Daniel R Ahern Jr

Daniel R Ahern Jr

World War II · US Army

Daniel Richard Ahern, Jr.

  • Florida

Daniel Richard Ahern, Jr.

Brooklyn, NY

b. 30 August 1921

Enlisted as a Private in the Army Air Corps on 7 Aug 1942 at New York City, New York (ASN: 12120783).

Completed flight training and was commissioned a 2nd Lt in the U.S. Army Air Forces (ASN: O-814845).

Selected for Boeing B-29 aircraft transition and assigned to the 326th AAF Base Unit Combat Crew Training Squadron, 323rd Combat Crew Training Wing (VHB) at MacDill Field near Tampa, Florida.

On 24 April 1945, he flew in the left seat as the Pilot aboard a B-29A-10-BN Superfortress, serial #42-93922.  It was on a combat crew training mission in the Gulf of Mexico.  However, it crashed due to mechanical failure approximately 100 miles southwest of Key West, Florida.

The Bombardier (Matthews) and Navigator (Jiler) were rescued the next day when they were spotted by the U.S. Navy Blimp K-54, which directed rescue ships to the crash site at a geographic location of 23-29N 83-01W.  The body of the Radio Operator (Phillips) was also recovered.  All other crew members were initially declared MIA.

    The Boeing B-29A was an improved version of the B-29, assembled only at Boeing's Renton plant. It featured an improved wing design and a four-gun forward top turret. The new wing had a span 12 inches greater than the B-29 and was constructed in three pieces, a center section and two outboard sections, rather than the two sections of the earlier model. This allowed for greater strength and quicker installation at the factory plus maintenance in the field was easier. NOTE: All 1,122 B-29A aircraft were built at the Boeing Renton plant.