Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
30 May 1918 2
1918 1
Iowa 1
Death:
01 Apr 1945 2
Saipan, Mariana Islands 2
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Personal Details

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Person:
Robert H Canfield 1
Level of Education: 4 years of high school 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
Birth:
30 May 1918 2
1918 1
Iowa 1
Male 2
Death:
01 Apr 1945 2
Saipan, Mariana Islands 2
Cause: KIA B-29 crash 2
Residence:
Place: Scott County, Iowa 1
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World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
26 Mar 1942 1
Army Branch:
Air Corps 1
Army Serial Number:
17065346 1
Enlistment Place:
Ft Des Moines Iowa 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
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Occupation:
Salespersons 1
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0246 1
Film Reel Number: 2.103 1

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Stories

Robert H. Canfield

Saipan, Mariana Islands

 

He enlisted as a Private (ASN: 17065346) in the Army Air Corps on 26 March 1942 at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. 

Graduated from Bombardier Class 43-05 on 27 March 1943 at Kirtland Field near Albuquerque, New Mexico and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant (ASN: O-741463). 

Graduated from Navigator Class 44-42 on 4 October 1944 at Carlsbad Field, New Mexico and underwent Boeing B-29 aircraft transition and combat crew training at Great Bend Army Air Field in Kansas. 

On 7 October 1944, he 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, 498th Bombardment Group, 873rd Bomb Squadron stationed at Isley Field on Saipan in the Mariana Islands. 

On Sunday 1 April 1945, he flew as the Bombardier aboard a Boeing B-29-40-BW Superfortress, serial #42-24614 nicknamed “Joltin’ Josie, The Pacific Pioneer” (tail code: T-Square-5).  It was one of 121 aircraft launched in a multi-group formation on a mission to bombard the Musashino Aircraft Engine Factory (target #357) near Tokyo, Japan. 

His aircraft took-off at 2100 hours local with an intended course heading of 339 degrees on the planned 15-hour round-trip mission.  Shortly after take-off, fumes in the cockpit were reported.  The aircraft burst into flames and crashed with a large explosion about 300 yards offshore into Magicienne Bay on the southeast side of Saipan. 

A Coast Guard vessel was dispatched within a few minutes, but upon reaching the burning aircraft, they were unable to find any survivors.  All 12 aircrew members were officially listed as Killed-In-Action on 3 April 1945.

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