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Bishop Keener Mitchell, Jr.
24 May 1945 | Tokyo Bay, Japan
Born Bishop Keener Mitchell, Jr. 13 July 1920 at Lubbock, Texas to Bishop Keener Mitchell (19 May 1885-15 Jan 1921) and Dovie Mitchell Griffin (18 Oct 1894-7 June 1969).
Graduated from Lubbock High School in 1937. Enlisted in the Army Air Corps on 13 January 1941 at Lubbock, Texas. Completed radio technical and aerial gunnery training and was assigned to the Caribbean. Returned to the U.S. and was assigned to a bomber replacement training unit at Alamogordo Army Air Field , New Mexico. Underwent B-29 aircraft transition and combat crew training at McCook Army Air Field, Nebraska. Processed through Herington Air Field, Kansas and deployed to the Central Pacific Theatre of Operations. Assigned to 20th Air Force, XXI Bomber Command, 73rd Bomb Wing, 500th Bombardment Group (VH), 881st Bomb Squadron stationed at Isley Field on Saipan in the Mariana Islands. During the night of 23-24 May 1945, he flew as the Radio Operator aboard a Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Tail Code: Z-Square-7 (serial #42-63486). It was one of 520 aircraft launched in multi-wing group formations to bombard the urban-industrial area south of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan. After bombs away, the plane’s right wing was set afire by flak from anti-aircraft artillery. While departing the target area, the plane was hit with flak in the rear fuselage that destroyed all the flight controls including the intercom. During aircrew bail-out, the plane exploded in mid-air and fell into Tokyo Bay. He was declared KIA on 24 May 1945.