18 December 1944 — Saipan, Mariana Islands
Clifford E. Reid ASN: 0-684048 From: Deport, Tarrant County, Texas Rank: 2LT
Enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in the Army Air Forces. Graduated from advanced pilot training with the 873rd Two-Engine Flying Training Squadron at Blackland Army Air Field near Waco, Texas. Underwent B-29 aircraft transition and combat crew training at Pratt Army Air Field, Kansas. Deployed to the Central Pacific Theatre of Operations and was assigned to 20th Air Force, XXI Bomber Command, 73rd Bomb Wing, 497th Bombardment Group, 871st Bomb Squadron stationed at Isley Field on Saipan in the Mariana Islands. On 18 December 1944, he flew in the right seat as a Pilot aboard a Boeing B-29 Superfortress nicknamed "Dixie Darling" (Serial #42-63413) Tail Code: A-Square-45. It was one of 89 aircraft launched in a multi-group formation to bombard the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Company and Aircraft Engine Plants near Nagoya, Japan. However approximately 80 nautical miles west of Iwo Jima, his aircraft was last sighted leaving the formation at a geographic location of 24 degrees +33 minutes North and 139 degrees +50 minutes East. Weather at the time was under-cast with a ceiling of 10,000 feet and less than 3 miles of visibility at sea level. His aircraft never returned to Saipan and was presumed to have been forced to ditch due to mechanical problems. A routine sea search failed to reveal any trace of the plane or survivors.