9 January 1945 — Isley Field, Saipan, Mariana Islands
Kimmel Parker Murphy born in 1917 to Park and Lillie Murphy of Mayes County, Oklahoma. Graduated with the Class of 1935-36 from Drumright High School in Creek County, Oklahoma.
Enlisted (ASN: 18019833) as an Aviation Cadet in the Army Air Corps on 31 July 1940 at Tulsa, Oklahoma. Completed Primary, Basic, and Advanced flight training and was commissioned (O-406428) a Second Lieutenant in the USAAF.
Assigned to Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command, 26th Antisubmarine Wing, as Squadron Operations Officer, flew modified B-24D Liberator aircraft.
Volunteered for the B-29 Program and was selected to command “Crew V-3” during B-29 aircraft transition and combat crew training at Smoky Hill Army Air Field, Kansas. In October 1944, deployed to the Central Pacific Theatre of Operations and was assigned to 20th Air Force, XXI Bomber Command, 73rd Bomb Wing, 499th Bombardment Group, 877th Bomb Squadron stationed at Isley Field on Saipan in the Mariana Islands.
On 9 January 1945, he flew in the left seat as the Airplane Command Pilot aboard a Boeing B-29 Superfortress nicknamed “Wugged Wascal” (serial #42-24658) tail code: V-Square-3.
It was one of 72 aircraft launched in a multi-group formation to bombard the Musashino Aircraft Works and Nakajima Aircraft Engine Factory near Tokyo, Japan. After the bomb run, his aircraft was last contacted by radio at a geographic location of 25 degrees +30 minutes North and 146 degrees +30minutes East; stating that they were having “operational difficulties.”
He was killed when his aircraft was forced to ditch in the ocean approximately 250 miles east of Iwo Jima. The next day a B-17 “Dumbo” search and rescue plane was dispatched to the area, but no wreckage or survivors were ever found.
Initially listed as MIA, he was declared KIA one year later.