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Elijah Garner Lane, Jr.
10 Feb 1945 | Isley Field on Saipan in the Mariana Islands
Born Elijah Garner Lane, Jr. in 1922 at South Carolina. Enlisted in the Army Air Corps on 24 September 1942 at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Completed Central Fire Control gunnery training at Lowry Field, Colorado. Underwent B-29 aircraft transition and combat crew training at Walker Army Airfield, Kansas. In September 1944, deployed to the Central Pacific Theatre of Operations and was assigned to 20th Air Force, XXI Bomber Command, 73rd Bomb Wing, 500th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy), 881st Bomb Squadron stationed at Isley Field on Saipan in the Mariana Islands. On 10 February 1945, he flew as an Aerial Gunner in the starboard blister station aboard a Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Tail Code: Z-Square-13 (Serial #42-93876). It was one of 120 aircraft launched in a multi-wing group formation to bombard the Nakajima Aircraft Assembly Plant at Ota on the northwest side of Tokyo, Japan. While over the target area, the group was attacked by a band of Nakajima Ki-44 single-engine “Tojo” fighter planes. His B-29 aircraft suffered damage to the right wing and the #3 engine trailed heavy smoke. He was last sighted by A-Square-43 at a geographic location of 35+45N, 141+25E approximately 80 nautical miles east of Tokyo. He was killed when his aircraft was forced to ditch on the return route to Saipan.