Army Air Corps B-29B-60-BA Superfortress #44-84077
On the 2 September 1945 official VJ Day – The surrender of the Empire of Japan, brought the hostilities of World War II to a close.
Because Aircraft Commander First Lieutenant George R. Hutchinson's B29 was in for repair, some his crew joined Captain Lewis D. Town (P) and Capt. James O. Clark and Sgt Thomas Passarello (FE) on their B29 on a mercy mission to Osaka for US POW's, the 16th Bomb Group lost 9 of its members in an aircraft accident that day. A few hours after takeoff, Aircraft Commander First Lieutenant George R. Hutchinson's crew contacted the tower at Northwest Field and reported mechanical difficulties with their aircraft. Lt. Clark and Captain Town (P)CP), returned to base to land. After circling the field for a few hours to burn off fuel, the crew prepared for landing. Finally, it came in for what at first seemed to be a normal landing. But at the last moment, it swerved, hit a wingtip on a tree, and burst into flames. The only members of the crew saved were the 3 gunners, the aircraft broke into two parts, and they were able to get out of the tail section. Sergeant Davis R. Flynt, Jr. and Corporal James A. Humbird, and Sgt Melvin E Berkey (he lived 3 days after crash but died 5 Sep 1945) KIA in the crash was 1st Lt. George R Hutchison (AC), Capt. James O. Clark(P) and Captain Lewis D. Town (P), 1Lt Lester R Nahouse (Nav), Sgt Thomas Passarello (FE), 2nd Lt. William E Bradley, 2nd Lt. Carl W. Strait, 2nd Lt. Robert H. Yost, Sgt. Leonard V Steveson. The men of the 16th paid their respects to their deceased comrades during a funeral held the following day in the group's briefing room. Later, the deceased members were buried in a temporary Marine Corps cemetery south of Agana Guam. Later, disinterned in 1948 and returned to US and laid to rest in their final resting place, six in national cemeteries and four in private cemeteries per next of kin request.