Each year, we highlight a China service candidate for recognition. The selection for 2019 is 1/LT Sidney R. Amylon, who served in the China-Burma-India Theater as a B-25 bomber pilot from the autumn of 1944 through mid-1945.
Born and raised in Warwick’s Hillsgrove neighborhood, he graduated from Aldrich High School at the top of his class of 1939 and entered Brown University with the class of 1943. He left college and enlisted in the Army Air Corps on September 26, 1942. He earned his wings and was commissioned on February 20, 1944.
Lieutenant Amylon was eventually assigned to the 490th Bomb Squadron, 341st Bombardment Group, flying the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber. The squadron’s aircraft bombed bridges, locomotives, railroad yards, and other targets to delay the movement of supplies to the Japanese troops fighting in northern Burma. One of this unit’s squadron leaders accidentally discovered a very effective method for destroying bridges. Once perfected, this technique became so successful that the 490th earned the nickname “Burma Bridge Busters” from the commanding general of the Tenth Air Force. In the words of one war correspondent, the 490th became “one of the most specialized bombardment squadrons in the world.” Amylon was personally credited with several bridge destructions, and by the time he returned home he had flown 47 combat missions, comprising 202 combat flight hours. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and multiple Air Medals.
He returned to his studies at Brown after the war and graduated with the class of 1948. He enjoyed a career as a successful businessman, spending many years with BIF Industries in Providence. He and Mary raised six children in Scituate, where he also served on the school committee. There were 12 grandchildren at the time of his death.
More in 2019:
More in Special Recognition Award:
More in US Army:
More in WWII:
More in WWII China Service:
- Sidney R. Amylon
- Thomas G. Corcoran
Pawtucket native Thomas G. Corcoran (1899-1981) played a pivotal role in the establishment of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers.
- Bertrand T. Cournoyer
Bertrand “Bert” T. Cournoyer (1919-1967) was born and raised in Manville, RI. During WWII, Bert served as a French interpreter for General Claire Lee Chennault in Kunming, China.