FIRST LIEUTENANT JOHN A. LOFLAND was born in 1912 in Brooklyn NY to John C. and Florence Ewald Lofland. His father worked as an engineer. By 1920, his family, which included a younger brother, Edward, had purchased a home at 235 Virginia Avenue in Westmont NJ with the proceeds from an inheritance of his mother.
John Lofland went to grade and middle school in Westmont, and was a member of the 1930 graduating class of Collingswood (NJ) High School. He transferred to Camden County Vocational School in Pennsauken NJ to take advantage of the chemistry class there, graduating in 1930. John Lofland then attended Drexel College in Philadelphia PA. After graduation he pursued various interests, including a fling in the stock market, and interest in a radium mine in the Canadian northwest. He returned to college at Louisiana State University, where he met and married Halimah Hendry in 1938. The following year the young couple returned to the northeast to visit home and the 1939 World's Fair and the Empire State Building in New York. He was working for the DuPont Corporation when he entered the Air Command as a civilian pilot in 1941, having received training through the Civil Aeronautical Training Program and through private lessons.
John Lofland was lost on July 14, 1944 while flying with the India-China Wing of the Air Transport Command. He was piloting a Consolidated Liberator C-87 Express cargo plane with a crew of four, on a flight from Tezpur, India with a load of gasoline bound for Kunming, China, where he was to pick up passengers on the return flight. The C-87 was the cargo version of the B-24 Liberator bomber. This plane was notorious for problems with leaking fuel tanks, and midair fires were an ever-present danger. The C-87 also had some dangerous icing properties, which made it a very risky plane to fly over the Hump.
The plane departed at 1:40 AM local time. Witnesses saw a fireball in the sky, and he did not radio in from his first checkpoint, 30 minutes after takeoff. The plane to this date has not been recovered. John Lofland and his crew are memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery at Manila, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal nine months after he went missing, and was declared dead in October of 1945.
John Lofland was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John C. Lofland of 235 Virginia Avenue, Westmont NJ, his wife, Halimah, and a daughter, Jean Elizabeth.
Another member of his high school graduating class, Joseph Silverman, was killed in action while serving with the Unted States Marine Corps on Saipan in 1944.
If you knew or are related to John Lofland, please contact Dorothy Scott firstname.lastname@example.org
with cousin Ruth Miller
Miller, "Cot" Lofland, & Ruth Ewald Lofland
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