December 12, 1923 (Norwalk, CT) – May 2, 1945; 21 years old
Engaged to Alice DiDomenica (1925-2015)
Last local address: 56 Osborne Avenue, East Norwalk
Service number: 518360
Unit: VMB611 (Marine Bombing Squadron), MAG32, FMAW, FMF
Norwalk High School Yearbook, Class of ‘42 (Class President)
From VPNavy! USN, USMC, USCG and NATS Patrol Aircraft Lost or Damaged During World War II by Douglas Campbell. May 2, 1945, PBJ-1D (B-25), 35200, Zamboanga, Philippines 1st Lt Mason was flying PBJ-1D BuNo 35200 in a two-plane section to bomb and rocket strafe an underground storage area surrounded by a clump of trees at Del Monte just off the south end of Diklom #1. The two planes made individual runs over the target, dropping their bombs and rockets on and around the storage area, also catching the surrounding trees and grass on fire which caused a lot of smoke. 1st Lt Mason’s wingman radioed he was done and was heading to the rendezvous point; 1st Lt Mason replied that he wanted to make one more pass at the target before joining him at the rendezvous point. As 1st Lt Mason’s wingman was heading toward the rendezvous point he noticed oil was leaking from both engines, so he radioed 1st Lt Mason that he was scrubbing the rendezvous and heading directly back to base. No one replied to that transmission nor to any subsequent calls. The wreckage of BuNo 35200 was seen on subsequent flights. On 19 May Lt Col Sarles flew to Del Monte to investigate the wreckage of 35200. The plane was definitely identified as BuNo 35200 as the tail section was found and the BuNo was clearly discernible. The remains of the crew were buried in the site of an Army cemetery in the area.
Pilot 1Lt Robert B Mason
Co-Pilot 1Lt Paul A. Frank
TSgt Ernest Z. Nevidjon
SSgt Harold G. Johnson
SSgt Edilberto Yanulevicus
Sgt Harlan L. Bushby
Sgt Edward J. Byrne
Sgt Richard N. McKnight
From The Norwalk Hour June 5, 1945
Technical Sergeant Ernest Nevidjon, 21, son of Mrs. Bessie Hegedus of 65 Lexington Avenue, was recently killed in action in the South Pacific, news of his death having been received by his mother in a Navy Department telegram. Tech Sgt Nevidjon had previously been reported as missing in action, the notification stating that the plane in which he was a turret gunner was long overdue. The sergeant enlisted in the Marines in December 1942 from Bridgeton Academy. He is a Norwalk High School graduate, 1942, and was class president. He participated in high school sports and was captain of the hockey team. He was the fiancé of Miss Alice DiDomenica, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. DiDomenica of Spring Hill Road, their engagement having been announced in December 1943.
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, 2900 Sheridan Rd, St. Louis, MO. Section 79, Site 426-427. Photo from findagrave.com.