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Richard L. Connell
28 November 1944 | Saipan, Mariana Islands
Enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a Private on 10 December 1942 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Underwent B-29 aircraft operational training at Walker Army Air Field, Kansas. On 9 November 1944, deployed from Mather Field, California to the Central Pacific Theatre of Operations and was assigned to 20th Air Force, XXI Bomber Command, 73rd Bomb Wing, 500th Bombardment Group, 881st Bomb Squadron stationed at Isley Field on Saipan in the Mariana Islands. On 27 November 1944, Sgt Connell flew as an Aerial Gunner in the right scanner blister station aboard a Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Tail Code Z-Square-2 (Serial # 42-24662). It was one of 81 aircraft launched in a multi-group formation to bombard the Musashino Aircraft Plant and Nakajima Aircraft Engine Factory near Tokyo, Japan. He was killed when his battle damaged aircraft ran low on fuel and was forced to ditch in the ocean approximately 200 miles north of Saipan. On 28 November 1944, his last known position at 21 degrees North, 147 degrees East was extensively searched by the Destroyers USS Roe and USS Fanning, and three Air-Sea Rescue “Dumbo” aircraft, with negative results.