Dad’s Military Stations
West Field, Tinian
Campaigns of the 468th Bomb Wing
Air Offensive – Japan
The 468th Bombardment Group was a World War II United States Army Air Forces combat organization. It was inactivated on 31 March 1946. The unit served primarily in the Pacific Ocean theater and China Burma India Theater of World War II as part of Twentieth Air Force. The 468th Bomb Group's aircraft engaged in very heavy bombardment B-29 Superfortress operations against Japan. After its reassignment to the Mariana Islands in 1945, its aircraft were identified by a "I" and a triangle painted on the tail.
The unit was established in May 1943 at Smoky Hill Army Airfield, Kansas as a B-29 Superfortress Very Heavy bombardment Group. The 468th was one of the four initial operational groups of the 58th Bombardment Wing, the first operational B-29 wing programmed for overseas deployment into combat. When established, the group was assigned four bomb squadrons (792d, 793d, 794th and 795th), all being newly-constituted.
Initially assigned a mixture of eight B-26 Marauders, twelve B-17 Flying Fortresses and four YB-29 preproduction Superfortresses, for training. Initial production B-29 aircraft received were in a constant state of being operationally ready or in a maintenance status for modification by Boeing technicians. Crews began to arrive in November 1943, but very few bombers were ready to receive them. At that time, there was only one Superfortress for every twelve crews, and most crews had to train on the Martin B-26 Marauders or Boeing B-17 Fortresses. The program was seriously hampered by the need to work in the open air in inclement weather, by delays in acquiring the necessary tools and support equipment, and by the USAAF's general lack of experience with the B-29.
A crash program was initiated by General Hap Arnold, head of the Army Air Forces to put things in order. The mechanics often had to work outdoors in freezing weather, since the hangars were not large enough to accommodate the B-29s. As a result of superhuman efforts on the part of all concerned, 150 B-29s had been handed over to the 58th Bomb Wing by 15 April 1944.
In March/April 1944 as each airplane was made combat-ready, its flight crew and crew chief departed for overseas; their initial destination in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater. One B-29 passed through England in an attempt to confuse Axis intelligence about the intended theatre of action of the B-29, although the B-29 was never intended for use in the European theatre.
In India, the 58th Wing came under the XX Bomber Command, the 468th Bomb Group arriving at Kharagpur Airfield on 13 April. However overheated engines plagued the B-29s in India. The entire B-29 fleet had to be grounded en route until the cause was found. My mid-May the B-29s were again ready. The initial mission of the 468th in India was to use their aircraft to haul bombs, fuel, ammunition and spare parts 1,200 miles to its advanced base at Field A-7, Pengshan, Szechwan Provience, China. Six round trips were necessary to deliver enough fuel for one airplane to mount a combat mission from China – an impractical logistics concept for an aerial campaign, particularly with an airplane plagued with an unreliable engine.
On 5 June 1944, the 468th flew its first operational mission from Kharagpur against railroad yards at Bangkok, Thailand. Ten days later, flying from field A-7, the 468th bombed the Imperial Iron & Steel Works, Yawata, Japan – the opening of the B-29 phase of the Air Offensive against Japan.
By late 1944, it established the best operational record of the four B-29 groups then in combat, for which Hq. XXth Bomber Command awarded it General Billy Mitchell's personal sailing burgee and authorized it to adopt the name "The General Billy Mitchell Group," a name requiring outstanding performance of duty. Within a year, it participated in eight campaigns and earned three Distinguished Unit Citations.
From June 1944 until May 1945, operating at maximum range, the 468th conducted aerial reconnaissance and bombardment operations from India and China against Japanese targets in Japan, Manchuria, China, Taiwan, Burma, the Malay Peninsula, Singapore and Sumatra. Sixteen-hour combat missions were common; the longest 21. Weather, terrain and the enemy were equally unforgiving. The B-29 was still being "invented" and its operational tactics had to be proved while the airplane was being de-bugged in the face of the enemy.
In July 1944, United States Marines invaded the Mariana Islands and as soon as West Field, Tinian, was readied in May 1945, the India-based B-29s were again designated the 58th Bombardment Wing and flew to West Field and continued the Air Offensive against Japan; operating as part of the new XXI Bomber Command.
Upon arrival the group's personnel were engaged in Quonset hut construction. By the end of April most personnel were able to move into the huts from the initial tents which they were assigned on arrival. The group began operations in May 1944 against targets located in the Japanese Home Islands. The group flew many missions against strategic objectives in Japan; on numerous raids, made its attacks in daylight and from high altitude. In October 1944 shortages in aircraft and equipment led to the 795th Bomb Squadron being inactivated, with its personnel being consolidated into other group squadrons.
The 468th flew its last combat mission from Tinian on 15 August 1945. It had played a vital role in the sudden, almost overnight development of Twentieth Air Force strength and had fought from beginning to end in the Pacific Air Offensive. After V-J Day, the 497th dropped supplies to Allied prisoners, participated in show-of-force missions, and flew over Japan to evaluate bombardment damage. On 2 September 1945, Major General Curtis LeMay had the 468th lead the 20th Air Forces show of force over the USS Missouri during the Japanese surrender ceremonies. As part of the 20th Air Force, it has participated in the first use of air power to end a major conflict without having to fight one's way into the enemy homeland.
In December 1945 the unit returned to the United States; initially being assigned to Continental Air Forces's (CAF) Second Air Force at Fort Worth Army Airfield, Texas. At Fort Worth, the 512th Bombardment Squadron joined the group; it previously being a Fifteenth Air Force B-24 Liberator squadron based in Italy, having been returned to the United States in May and was undergoing B-29 Very Heavy Bomber upgrade training in Nebraska when its former assigned group, the 376th Bombardment Group, was inactivated.
In January 1946, the group was reassigned the CAF Fourth Air Force at Roswell Army Airfield, New Mexico; then being transferred to the new Strategic Air Command on 21 March 1946, being one of SAC's initial bombardment groups. Demobilization, however, was in full swing and the group turned in its aircraft and was inactivated on 31 March.
• Constituted as 468th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943
Activated on 1 August 1943
Redesignated 468th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) in November 1943
Inactivated on 31 March 1946.
• 58th Bombardment Wing, 1 August 1943 – 12 October 1944
• XX Bomber Command, 13 October 1944 – 7 February 1945
• 58th Bombardment Wing, 8 February-15 November 1945
• Continental Air Forces, 1 December 1945
• Strategic Air Command, 21–31 March 1946
• 512th Bombardment Squadron 10 Nov 1945 – 26 Mar 1946
• 791st Bombardment Squadron, 7–31 Mar 1946
• 792d Bombardment Squadron 1 Aug 1943 – 31 Mar 1946
• 793d Bombardment Squadron 1 Aug 1943 – 31 Mar 1946
• 794th Bombardment Squadron 1 Aug 1943 – 31 Mar 1946
• 795th Bombardment Squadron 1 Aug 1943 – 12 Oct 1944 • 13th Bombardment Maintenance Squadron
• 14th Bombardment Maintenance Squadron
• 15th Bombardment Maintenance Squadron
• 16th Bombardment Maintenance Squadron
• 14th Photographic Laboratory Squadron
• Smoky Hill AAFld, KS 1 August 1943 – 12 March 1944
• Kharagpur Airfield, India, 13 April 1944 – 24 February 1945
Pengshan Airfield (A-7), China designated as forward staging base. • West Field, Tinian, Mariana Islands 6 April – 15 November 1945
• Ft Worth AAFld, TX 1 December 1945
• Roswell AAFld, NM 12 January – 31 March 1946
• B-26 Marauder, 1943–1944 (Training Only)
• B-17 Flying Fortress, 1943–1944 (Training Only)
• Boeing B-29 Superfortress, 1944–1946
792d Bombardment Squadron
The 792d Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with 468th Bombardment Group stationed at Roswell Army Airfield, New Mexico. It was inactivated on 31 March 1946.
Established in March 1943 as one of the first B-29 Superfortress squadron; however no B-29s were yet available for operational use. Trained with B-24 Liberators and B-17 Flying Fortresses throughout 1943. Received early model B-29s and prototype YB-29s beginning in August 1943, however aircraft were still undergoing development and were frequently modified by Boeing technicians in the field while the squadron was undergoing training in Kansas.
Deployed to India in early 1944; several aircraft breaking down en route via South Atlantic Transport route from Florida to Brazil then to Liberia; across central Africa and Arabia, arriving in Karachi, India in March 1944. Arrived at converted B-24 airfield in eastern India in mid-April 1944. Aircraft still undergoing modifications while transporting munitions and fuel to forward airfield in central China; staging first attacks on Japanese Home Islands since the 1942 Doolittle Raid. Lack of logistical support limited number of attacks on Japan from Chinese staging airfields; squadron also attacked strategic enemy targets in Thailand; Indochina and Malay Peninsula.
Moved to West Field (Tinian), Tinian, in the Mariana Islands of the Central Pacific Area in January 1945 and assigned to XXI Bomber Command, Twentieth Air Force. It's mission was the strategic bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands and the destruction of its war-making capability.
Flew "shakedown" missions against Japanese targets on Moen Island, Truk, and other points in the Carolines and Marianas. The squadron conducted combat missions over Japan participating in wide area firebombing attacks, but the first ten day blitz resulting in the Army Air Forces running out of incendiary bombs. Until then the squadron flew conventional strategic bombing missions using high explosive bombs.
The squadron continued attacking urban areas with incendiary raids until the end of the war in August 1945, attacking major Japanese cities, causing massive destruction of urbanized areas. Also conducted raids against strategic objectives, bombing aircraft factories, chemical plants, oil refineries, and other targets in Japan. The squadron flew its last combat missions on 14 August when hostilities ended. Afterwards, its B 29s carried relief supplies to Allied prisoner of war camps in Japan and Manchuria
Squadron was largely de-mobilized on Saipan during the fall of 1945. Was reoganized as part of continental Air Forces, Fourth Air Force at March Field, California in November 1945, being manned and equipped with low-hour B-29s returned from the Central Pacific. It later was transferred to the new Strategic Air Command on 21 March 1946, being one of SAC's initial bombardment squadrons. Demobilization, however, was in full swing and the unit turned in its aircraft and was inactivated on 1 October 1946.
Operations and decorations
• Combat Operations: Combat in CBI, 5 Jun 1944-29 Mar 1945, and Western Pacific, 5 Mayh-14 Aug 1945.
• Campaigns: Combat in CBI, 5 Jun 1944-29 Mar 1945, and Western Pacific, 5 Mayh-14 Aug 1945.
• Decorations: Distinguished Unit Citation Yawata, Japan, 20 Aug 1944; Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan, 23, 25 and 29 May 1945; Takarazuka, Japan, 24 Jul 1945.
• Constituted 792nd Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 May 1943
Activated on 1 Aug 1943
Redesignated 792nd Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 20 Nov 1943
Inactivated on 31 Mar 1946.
• 468th Bombardment Group, 1 Aug 1943-31 Mar 1946
• Smoky Hill Army Airfield, Kansas, 1 Aug 1943-12 Mar 1944
• Kharagpur Airfield, India, c. 13 Apr 1944-4 May 1945
• West Airfield, Tinian, 7 May-15 Nov 1945
• Fort Worth Army Air Field, Texas, 1 Dec 1945
• Roswell Army Air Field, New Mexico, 9 Jan-31 Mar 1946
• B-29 Superfortress, 1943–1946
468TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP
(From activation to 27 November 1943)
On 29 May 1943, Headquarters, Second Air Force, Fort George Wright, Washington,
issued General Order 78, which in Section I, Paragraph 1, activated the 468th
Bombardment Group (H) (B-29) composed of 792, 793, 794, and 795 Squadrons.
* Thus on 1 August 1943 the 468th Group was born at the Army Air Base, Salina,
The personnel of the Group, however, was to come from the 444th Bombardment
Group (H) located in Great Bend, Kansas, to be supplemented until the full T/O
strength was reached.
In accordance with vocal orders from Headquarters, Second Air Force, Colonel
Howard E. Engler, held the first staff meeting at Great Bend on 8 September 1943.
Colonel Engler came from Headquarters, Army Air Forces, Washington, D.C.,
having seen extensive combat duty in the United Kingdom and North African
theaters. His varied Air Corps experience, commencing in 1924, included three
years in the Philippines and attendance at the General Staff School, the Air Corps
Technical School and the Air Tactical School. The purpose of this meeting was to
inform key personnel of their duties. On 10 September Major Sam A. Carnes, Group
Executive Officer, 1st Lt. William F. Duffey, Schools Officer, and 2nd Lt. Stanley M.
Zielski, Special Service Officer, were sent to Salina as the advance party. **
On 15 September 1943, Headquarters, Army Air Base, Great Bend, Kansas, issued
Special Order No. 149, Paragraph 1, splitting the old 444th Bombardment Group (H)
into A and B sections; the A section remaining in the 444th Group and the B section
becoming the 468th Group. The B sections of the 676th, 677th, 678th and 679th
Squadrons became respectively the 792nd, 793rd, 794th and 795th Squadrons.
By means of a truck convoy and privately owned conveyance the Group’s change
of station from Great Bend, Kansas, to Smoky Hill Army Air Field, Salina Kansas,
was accomplished. Upon arrival, Lt. Col. James V. Edmundson, who saw
considerable action in the Solomon Islands campaign, assumed command of the
792nd Squadron. Another veteran of the Southwest Pacific who saw service as a
member of the 19th Bombardment Group in the Philippines, Lt. Col. Edward C.
Teats, assumed command of the794th Squadron. Major Henry R. Sullivan (now Lt.
Col.) took over the duties as commander of the 795th Squadron. The roster of
Squadron commanders is completed by Major John H. East, a veteran of foreign
service in Hawaii and Australia, who commands the 793rd Squadron. The total
strength of the organization upon arrival was 111 Officers and 824 Enlisted Men.
Three days after the arrival of the group, Captain Charles H. Reeves became
executive officer of the 794th Squadron and Lt. Col. Teats was relieved of command
by order of the 58th Wing. His successor as squadron commander was Major
Robert S. Clinkscales, who spent 21 months in Hawaii, the Philippines and the
Southwest Pacific. Major Jack Bollerud, with two years experience in the Alaskan
theater, reported in from Marietta, Georgia to become Group Surgeon.
The morning report of 1 October showed 203 Officers and 959 Enlisted Men present
which gave an indication of the growth to come. The next day Captain Leonard J.
Elmer came down from Headquarters, 58th Wing to be Group Dentist. Two days
later Major Philip F. Hennin reported in from Headquarters, Second Air Force, and
became Group S-3. The Headquarters of the Air Service Command supplied the
795th Squadron with their medical officer, Captain John Q. Rounsaville, and 1st Lt.
James A. Otey came from 58th Wing to be Group Weather Officer.
The Group continued to grow until the morning report of 15 October showed 248
Officers and 1184 Enlisted Men present. Medical personnel were brought up to full
strength when Captain John C. Lillis from 58th Wing Headquarters became medical
officer of the 792nd Squadron.
October was a big month for the Group although it was to bring the first real
misfortune. In the afternoon of 24 October, a B-29 assigned to the 795th Squadron
crashed just after taking off at the north end of the field. All members of the crew
were lost with the exception of one man. The fatalities were: Major Warren A.
Chittum, pilot; Captain Walter W. Foltz, passenger; 2nd Lt. Raymond Boardman, copilot; 2nd Lt. Jefferson L. Boling, qualified dual; 2nd Lt. Williams D. Fitzsimmons,
engineer; 2nd Lt. Ray H. Shirk, engineer; Sgt, Robert W. Wright, gunner; Cpl.
Anthony J. Perullo, gunner; Pfc. Jack Walker, gunner; Pfc. Tony C. Manolascino,
radio operator. S/Sgt. Oscar H. Bolt, auxiliary power plant operator, escaped with
Lt. Col. Ted S. Faulkner came from 58th Wing to become Deputy Group Commander
on 20 October and with the assignment of Major George P. Putnam on 16 November
the staff was complete. There were changes to follow in certain of the staff
positions but this marked the first time that all positions were filled since the
activation of the group.
The steady flow of Officers and Enlisted Men was to decrease in November as the
strength of the group approached the full T/O. The morning report read 331
Officers and 1334 Enlisted Men on 1 November. Major William K. Clark, who
reported from the Army Air Field, Pratt, Kansas, became S-4 officer.
One day later, Captain Thomas C. Mustain replaced Captain Ivan Kerr as group
navigation officer. Major William F. Savoie coming from Headquarters, Army Air
Base, Dalhart, Texas as group operations officer was one of the new officers on the
list of 320 Officers and 1320 Enlisted Men who were present on 15 November 1943.
In the latter half of November there were two changes in the staff.
Major George W. Baker from Headquarters, San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center,
replaced 1st Lt. William F. Duffey as Group Schools Officer. The other occurred on
20 November when Major Harve N. Johnson replaced Captain Smyth as the Group
bombing officer. Major Johnson formerly served in the United Kingdom and
worked out the ABC computer for high altitude bombing.
The mission of the Group was to train its entire personnel for combat. Immediately
after arrival at Salina, transition, instrument and navigational training began.
During the first few weeks B-26’s and B-17’s were used for training flights. As
training progressed it was found that the B-17’s were more satisfactory for the
Group’s purposes, and the use of the B-26’s was abandoned. On the 20th, the first
B-29 was delivered to the Group and was assigned to the 795th Squadron.
Additional B-29’s were received shortly thereafter, and on 27 November 1943 each
squadron had 4 B-17’s and 1 B-29. Training increasingly stressed the techniques of
navigation, radio communications, bombing, high altitude flight, aerial gunnery,
radar, formation flying and photography. This training for flying personnel has
continued until the present with increasing number of long daylight and night
The first serious mechanical trouble with a B-29 in flight occurred on the night of 8
November 1943 when the crew of the B-29 assigned to the 794th Squadron was
unable to get its landing gear down. After exhausting all possible expediencies,
Col. Engler ordered the ship in after a landing spot has been selected. Major
Robert S. Clinkscales brought the plane in for the first successful belly-landing of a
B-29, without injury to personnel.
On 6 November the first mission was briefed by group officers. The mission
consisted of one plane from the 792nd Squadron which took pictures over Denver
and Pueblo, Colorado. Interrogation of the crew was held the next day. In this
briefing, as well as in those which followed, cooperation between the S-3 and S-2,
painstaking preparation and close simulation of combat conditions were
Simultaneously the ground schools of the Group and four Squadrons were being
carried on. It was found that subjects such as Orientation, First-Aid, Chemical
Warfare, Aero-Medics could be best handled in Group schools. The Squadron
schools taught Navigation, Intelligence, Armament, Aircraft Recognition and
Engineering. * In addition, some sections instructed their own group and Squadron
personnel. For example, the S-2 Section had members of its own section teach
courses of special interest to its particular section. Occasionally these classes
were addressed by visiting officers, including a lecture by Major Roy F. French on
briefing and interrogation, and a talk by Captain Darnell of the 8th Air Force on
escape and evasion.
The 13th of November was the date that the first officers’ meeting was held for the
whole Group. At this meeting Colonel Engler announced that such meetings would
be held each Saturday morning and the reviews would be held Saturday afternoon.
** It was at the officers’ meeting of 27 November that the Colonel announc3ed the
division of the Group into combat and maintenance echelons.
AIR CORPS PERSONNEL
HEAVY BOMBARDMENT (T/O LESS 13 COMBAT CREWS)
42-6271 – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to USAAF on 12/19/43 – Model B-29-5-BW – Departed Smoky Hill on 4/13/44 for India and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 5/5/44.
Hump Missions – 1
Abandoned enroute to A-7 on 6/7/44. Crash occurred near Loshan in Szechwan Province, now known as Sichuan Province.
On June 7, 1944, while on a routine cargo mission over the hump, Major Pattillo and crew in 42-6271 were forced to bail out. The bail out occurred near Ho Shan, China. The cause was basically due to a run a way prop. The prop could not be feathered and soon all the oil was used up in attempting to feather the propeller. Nine members of the crew were rescued in five days. The body of Sgt. E.H. Tidy was found floating in a river 3 miles from the scene of the accident two days later. The remaining member of the crew Lt. G. Matthews has not been reported and is still MIA. 1st Lt. R.L. Cournoyer, reported as he floated down, the airplane started to dive straight at him. The airplane passed so close that his chute was deflated momentarily by the prop wash. He further stated that 42-6271 did two chandelles; dove straight for the ground for about 3000 feet, pulled up and finally dove to the ground. 42-6271 was completely demolished.
James Pattillo’s Statement: Bail out due to dragging runaway prop almost 200 miles without getting it slowed down, being above clouds over three hours with Navigator unsure of position and losing 7,000 feet with emergency power on remaining engines, still sinking into what appeared to be mountains. The crew of 42-6271 bailed out in a relatively straight line with a river winding below which we weren’t aware of because of the clouds beneath us. Pattillo bailed out with three engines running at emergency power, therefore, when his hands left the aileron controls 42-6271started turning into the dead engine, once he stopped holding the nose, it dropped and 42-6271 went into a diving turn to the left, airspeed then started building up. Airspeed finally became so high that 42-6271 started climbing, after climbing slightly it started into a second dive and kept this up until it hit the ground.
Maj. James Pattillo – AC 2nd Lt. Geoffrey Matthews – CP – MIA
2nd Lt. Donald V. Irby – B 1st Lt. Richard M. Cournoyer – N
FO Ralph M. Roberts – FE 2nd Lt. Robert M. Humphrey - R
Sgt. Eric H. Tidy – RG – KIA Sgt. Claude F. Frey - TG
Sgt. Henry G. Brogden – CFC Sgt. T.M. Keegan – RO
Sgt. Stephen M. Klusovsky - LG
42-6230 – “Limber Dugan” – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to USAAF on 2/19/44 – Model B-29-1-MO – Departed Smoky Hill on 4/15/44 for India and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 5/4/44.
India Missions – 2
Hump Missions – 1
Mission to Yawata on June 15, 1944, reported as MIA. Missing Air Crew Report Number: 6596
Toru Fukubayashi report – 42-6230 crashed in Takasu, Wakamatsu City, Fukuoka Prefecture – 12 KIA – According to the GHQ/SCAP Report Number 1241, 12 crew members were on B-29 42-6230. One was a passenger whose name was Mr. William Shenkel rank and serial number unknown.
First B-29 shot down over Japan by WO Sadamitsu Kimura, who caught the Superfortress in the searchlights from below and started to attack. “I approached it to within 20 or 30 meters, suddenly everything became white because of the reflected light off the big fuselage of the enemy plane, which filled my gun sight. It started to climb in fear of being rammed by me. I did not hesitate, I started to fire and I could tell that I hit it. The nose came down slowly and it started to spin, I saw one piece of the fin come off”.
Captain Ivanovic and crew were never heard from after takeoff.
Capt. D.D. Ivanovic – AC
2nd Lt. C.M. McMichael – P
1st Lt. C.A. Fisher – N
1st Lt. G.A. Johnson – B
2nd Lt. D.W. Simonson – FE
S/Sgt. H.G. Levy – RO
2nd Lt. R.J. Hymel – R
Sgt. R.C. Arnds – CFC
Sgt. J.C. Dupuis – RG
M/Sgt. J.W. Goodroe – LG
S/Sgt. A.W. Davis – TG
42-6243 – “Roger the Lodger” – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to USAAF on 1/31/44 – Model B-29-1-BA – Departed Smoky Hill for India on 4/10/44 and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 5/11/44.
India Combat Missions – 3
Hump Missions – 6
August 10, 1944 Mission to Naval Base at Nagasaki, Japan.
Due to mechanical failure, Major Brown and crew were forced to bail out near Taogan, China. All crewmembers were rescued in five days.
Maj. H.R. Brown – AC
1st Lt. J. Goeringer – CP
1st Lt. A.C. Beach – N
2nd Lt. W.E. Stern, Jr. – B
F/O J.C. Martin – FE
S/Sgt. J.S. Barto – RO
Sgt. R.B. Mogle – V
S/Sgt. J.I. Chobot – CFC
S/Sgt. M.F. Plant – LG
S/Sgt. B. Patterson – RG
S/Sgt. D. Nebeker, Jr. - TG
42-6238 – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to USAAF on 11/8/43 – Model B-29-1-MO – Departed Smoky Hill on 4/15/44 for India and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 5/24/44.
India Combat Missions – 1
Hump Missions – 18
42-6238 was converted to a tanker in the CBI.
Lost October 1, 1944 routine cargo mission, weather involved.
On October 1, 1944 aircraft 42-6238, piloted by Captain Winkler of the 792nd Bomb Squadron crashed on a routine cargo mission to the Advance Base, under circumstances which left little doubt that all on board perished. Aboard 42-6238 as passengers were Captain Thomas Maxwell, Medical Officer and T/Sgt. S.C. Spillers, Crew Chief of 42-6238.
Crew – All KIA
Capt. Eddie Winkler – AC
1st Lt. Robert Purvis – CP
2nd Lt. John Geene – FE
2nd Lt. Earl Thompson - N
Maj. John Matthews – Passenger
Capt. Thomas Maxwell – Passenger
T/Sgt. Jack Raymond – RO
T/Sgt. Ward Clark – Crew
S/Sgt. Henry Eyerman – Crew
T/Sgt. Samuel Spillers, Jr. – Crew Chief
42-6255 – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to USAAF on 12/13/44 – Model B-29-5-BW – Departed Smoky Hill on 4/10/44 for India and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 4/18/44.
On May 1, 1944, two B-29’s were dispatched to make the first trips over the Hump to the 468th Base at China. Lt. Sims’s crew was in 42-6255. Fifty miles north of Jorhat, Lt. Sims’s crew were forced to bail out, number 2 engine on fire and fire could not be controlled, 42-6255 on her Maiden Flight was four hours into the flight and at 23,000 feet. The plane was a total loss. Members of the crew were picked up within 2 days. Lt Pottol, Radar Operator, was found drowned in a river near the scene of the crash.
Lt. Sims – AC
Lt. Dick Smith – CP
Lt. Bob Harden –
Lt. Bloes – B
Sgt. William McCarthy – Passenger
Sgt. Frank J. Lewis – Crew Chief
Lt. Pottle – R – KIA
Sgt. Ernie Dunlevy – Crew
Cpl. Armando J Maceyra - Passenger
42-6264 – “O’Reilly’s Daughter” – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to USAAF on 12/16/43 – Model B-29-5-BW – Departed Smoky Hill for India on 4/13/44 and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 4/29/44.
India Combat Missions – 5
Hump Missions – 5
42-6264 was lost returning from the Yawata Raid August 21, 1944, crew reported MIA. MACR 11297 – Lt. Col. Savoie was the Commanding Officer of the 792nd Bomb Squadron. At the China coast Col. Savoie had Pickett on his right wing and Van Horne on his left wing. They picked up their course for the bomb run and on the course ahead the enemy had put up flak in a box pattern for them to fly through. Pickett’s B-29 was hit and went down, Col. Savoie’s 42-6264 got through but were them attacked by fighters and 42-6264 was hit and losing altitude. They bailed out near the China coast.
In September word was received that 5 crew members of 42-6264 had reached the safety of Chinese guerrilla forces behind Japanese lines in occupied China. 1 crew member was captured by the Japanese and 6 KIA.
On November 18, 1944, Col. Savoie, former Squadron Commander, 792nd, Capt. O’Brien Navigator, Lt. Stelmach FE, Lt. Lutz CP, and S/Sgt. Brundage CFC, returned to the 468th Bomb Group India base. They were forced to bail out due to two runaway props which could not be feathered. Some of the crew bailed out over the Yellow Sea and have not been heard from since. All five crew members appeared before the Evasion and Escape Board. The Board decided that all five men should be returned to the United States. All five departed for the U.S. on November 25, 1944.
Lt. Col. Savoie – AC- Rescued
Capt. O’Brien – Rescued
Lt. Lutz – Rescued
Lt. Stelmach – Rescued
Sgt. Brundage – Rescued
S/Sgt. James P. Meehan – POW – Liberated
Capt. Louie K. Wedel – KIA
T/Sgt. William A. Beckham – KIA
T/Sgt. Walter W. Alspaugh – KIA
S/Sgt. Granville L. Adams – KIA
T/Sgt. Rollin B. Hefferman – KIA
1st Lt. R.C. Geyer - KIA
42-6362 – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to the USAAF on 2/22/44 – Model B-29-15-BW – Departed Smoky Hill for India on 4/10/44 and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 4/19/44.
India Combat Missions – 10
Hump Missions – 7
Takeoff crash 11/21/44 Omura mission, 10 KIA, 1 Survivor.
Captain Maisch crashed shortly after takeoff. He made a normal takeoff but 42-6362 settled into some trees one half mile off the south end of the runway. He lost one of his left engines due to the fact that the prop hit a large tree, breaking off part of one of his blades. 42-6362 pulled off to the left with the left wing down and the right wing up in a very step turn, 42-6362 never pulled out and went into the ground left wing first, cartwheeling. The tail gunner was found 75 feet from the scene of the crash.
Capt. H.C. Maisch – AC – KIA
Lt. O.E. Whitley – CP – KIA
1st Lt. E.R. Johnson – FE – KIA
2nd Lt. P.L. Westbrook – N- KIA
2nd Lt. F.E. Meredith – B – KIA
2nd Lt. J.G. Christie – R – KIA
S/Sgt. R.J. Peterson – RO – KIA
T/Sgt. R.R. Brown – RG – KIA
Sgt. H.B. Jackson – CFC – KIA
S/Sgt. O.A. Pegg – LG – KIA
Sgt. Holst – TG – Survived
42-6389 “Party Girl” – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to USAAF on 3/2/44 – Model B-29-15-BW – Departed Smoky Hill for India on 4/10/44 and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 4/21/44.
India Combat Missions – 8
Hump Missions – 5
December 7, 1944, mission to the Mukden aircraft factory from forward base in China. MACR 10100.
42-6389 failed to return from the mission and was contacted 1 hour and 15 minutes from A-7. The element leader contacted 42-6389 and told A/C Lt. Lyons to break up formation in order to start descent through the undercast. 42-6389 answered back and started a 360-degree turn, which is normal procedure for aircraft flying in the #3 position. The element leader started a descend into the undercast but upon finding that ice was beginning to form on the wings very quickly decided to climb above the undercast and make a quick descent in the general area of A-7. 42-6389 was never seen again after starting the 360-degree turn.
1st Lt. Calvin L. Lyons – AC – KIA
2nd Lt. Lawrence Sybesma – CP – KIA
1st Lt. Waldo B. Schneider – N – KIA
1st Lt. John A. Bucher – B – KIA
1st Lt. James W. Smith – FE – KIA
S/Sgt. Joseph Micciche – RO – KIA
S/Sgt. Neuman A. Bodart – R – KIA
S/Sgt. William B. Jackson – CFC – KIA
S/Sgt. Sisto A. Aldieri – LG – KIA
S/Sgt. Lavern A. Fink – RG – KIA
S/Sgt. Russell W. Peters – TG – KIA
42-24494 – “Mary Ann” – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to USAAF on 5/13/44 – Model B-29-30-BW – Departed Morrison for India on 7/3/44 and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 7/19/44.
India Combat Missions – 16
Hump Missions – 12
January 17, 1945, mission to Formosa.
42-24494 had an engine failure immediately after take off. When just over the edge of the field on the final approach 42-24494 had a runaway prop, forcing the plane to overshoot it’s landing. Major McPherson, A/C, attempted to salvo his bombs “safe” from an altitude of 250 feet but the bombs exploded upon hitting the ground, damaging the control cables. All of the crew bailed out, but four members were killed due to the fact that their chutes did not open in time. Three of these four men fell on a high hill, precluding any chance of their chutes having time to open.
Maj. Clarence C. McPherson – AC
1st Lt. Martin D. Roe - N
1st Lt. D.V. Irby – KIA
1st Lt. S.E. Gray – KIA
S/Sgt. R. Wilson – KIA
S/Sgt. William H. Shaw – KIA
42-6408 “Reddy Teddy” – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to USAAF on 3/29/44 – Model B-29-20-BW – Departed Smoky Hill for India on 6/5/44 and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 6/25/44.
India Combat Missions – 3
Hump Missions – 5
August 20, 1944, mission to Yawata, hit by flak and attacked by Japanese fighter who gave position to ground what altitude then peeled away. 42-6408 had an explosion near the front as it was hit by flak, 42-6408 was on fire and going down and the crew bailed out. MACR 9687.
42-6408 crashed in Saienba, Kokura City, Fukuoka Prefecture, 3 crewmembers were KIA and 8 crewmembers were POW’s. Seven were moved to Tokyo and imprisoned in Omori POW Camp and returned to the United States after the war. 2nd Lt. Edward Roberts died of his wounds at Shimonseki Army Hospital on August 21, 1944, after being mistreated with serious wounds.
1st Lt. Ernest A. Pickett – AC – POW – Liberated
2nd Lt. William R. Rewitz – CP – POW – Liberated
2nd Lt. Harrison Robins – N – Possible POW died in captivity
2nd Lt. Edwin S. Roberts – B – POW – Died in captivity
F/O Mark S. Kennard – FE – POW – Liberated
2nd Lt. Robert M. Humphrey – R – POW – Liberated
S/Sgt. Charles Kazarian – RO – POW – Liberated
S/Sgt. Robert C. Armstrong – CFC – POW – Liberated
S/Sgt. Richard R. Bishop – RG – POW – Liberated
S/Sgt. Samuel M. Henry – LG – KIA
S/Sgt. Samuel A. Nixon – TG – KIA
42-24504 – “Gunga Din” – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to the USAAF on 6/3/44 – Model B-29-30-BW – Departed Morrison for India on 7/23/44 and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 8/27/44.
India Combat Missions – 4
Hump Missions – 2
Omura raid October 25, 1944.
42-24504 A/C Major Parsons, crashed approximately one minute after take off. All crewmembers were KIA and 42-24504 was a total loss. Capt. Harold Barber accompanied Major Parsons and crew for a checkout mission, he had just arrived from the States with a new plane and crew. Takeoff was at night so to arrive over Omura in the early hours of daylight
Maj. Edward F. Parsons – AC – KIA
Capt. Harold W. Barber – CP – KIA
1st Lt. Arglllyle E. Hanscom – N – KIA
2nd Lt. Franklin J. McDonald – B – KIA
2nd Lt. Boyd W. Ebel – FE – KIA
Sgt. Louis L. Pfeifer – RO – KIA
Cpl. Wallace E. Martin – CFC – KIA
S/Sgt. Warren F. Wood – RG – KIA
S/Sgt. John Fowler – LG – KIA
T/Sgt. Paul H. Coburn – R – KIA
S/Sgt. Rube E. Puckett, Jr. – TG – KIA
42-6356 – “Gusher” – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to USAAF on 2/23/44 – Model B-29-15-BW – Departed Smoky Hill for India on 4/10/44 and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 5/9/44.
Hump Missions – 20
August 25, 1944, Capt. Winkler and a crew of 6 delivered fuel to China in 42-6356. During their return they had a runaway prop, causing them to bail out near Sikang. All are reported safe at Fulin with 2 of the crew with minor injuries.
Capt. Winkler, F/O Thompson and S/Sgt. Stone returned to base in September 1944. The rest of the crew was forced to remain in Fulin, China due to transportation difficulties.
Capt. Winkler – AC
42-24446 – 792nd Bomb Group – Delivered to the USAAF on 5/9/44 – Model FB-29-25-BW – Departed Morrison for India on 6/18/44 and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 6/30/44.
India Combat Missions – 4
Photo Missions – 7
Photo Reconn B-29. Returning from a photo recon on October 20, 1944, from the Philippines prior to McArthur’s “Return”, fog in Chengtu area, 42-2446 runs out of gas trying to find the airfield.
Crewmembers that bailed out safely reported the #1 engine had been feathered. On final approach #4 engine caught on fire, the order to bail out was given by Capt. Lindke and Lt. Wilson, S/Sgt. Christensen, S/Sgt. Rupp who happened to be riding in the front of 42-24446 jumped safely through the nose wheel well. Lt. Ramsey left in the same manner and S/Sgt. Tucker left through the rear hatch, but both suffered a similar fate when their parachutes caught fire from the burning engine. All other crewmembers were lost in the crash. Cpl. Hastings, the photographer, who had been riding in the front of 42-24446 escaped through the nose wheel well.
Capt. Paul Lindke – AC – KIA
1st. Lt. Charles Youmans – CP – KIA
Lt. Milton W. Ramsey – FE – KIA
2nd Lt. Roy D. Houser – N – KIA
Lt. William Wilson – B
S/Sgt. Donald L. Christensen – RO
S/Sgt. Donald V. Wagner – R – KIA
S/Sgt. William R. Hampton – CFC – KIA
S/Sgt. Claude V. Tucker – RG – KIA
S/Sgt. Arthur H. Stein – LG – KIA
S/Sgt. Albert Rupp – TG
Cpl. Hastings – Photographer
42-24678 – “Kickapoo Lou” – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to the USAAF on 8/31/44 – Model B-29-45-BW – Departed Morrison for India on 11/30/44 and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 12/13/44.
India Combat Missions – 9
Hump Missions – 1
March 2, 1945, mission to the Singapore Naval Base. 42-24678 was hit by flak over the primary target and went down in flames, the crew bailed out. Fighter opposition was moderate but the flak was intense and accurate. Two heavy cruisers were in the Jahore Straits together with ground batteries they threw up predicted concentration at every formation.
Capt. Edward G. Millar – AC – POW
2nd Lt. Carl F. Moulton – CP – POW
1st Lt. Robert E. Presender – N – POW
1st Lt. Lucius Beebe – B – POW
F/O Bernard G. Feigener – FE – POW
S/Sgt. Jasper F. Byerly – RO – POW
S/Sgt. Thomas Goodger – CFC – MIA
S/Sgt. John S. Gibson – RG – POW
T/Sgt. Clarence M. Newcome – R – POW
S/Sgt. Frank Hillebrand – LG – POW
S/Sgt. Morris J. Shrader – TG – POW
42-63395 – 792nd Bomb Squadron – Delivered to the USAAF on 5/31/44 – Model B-29-10-BA – Departed Morrison for India on 8/31/44 and gained by the 468th Bomb Group on 9/15/44.
India Combat Missions – 7
Hump Missions – 1
December 7, 1944, crashed returning from Mukden.
42-63395 with Capt. Martin’s crew, crashed upon landing returning from the Mukden mission. As 42-63395 approached the field, A-7, the nose section was completely iced up and 42-63395 was very low on gas. 42-63395 fell from about 40 feet, the right wing sagged, hitting the ground and causing 42-63395 to swerve off the runway to the right. Two crewmembers were sustained slight injuries. 42-63395 was a complete wreck.
Capt. Martin – AC