The information on the following pages came to me from Bill Santavicca, a member of the 6th Bomb Group, 39th Bomb Squadron, 313th Bomb Wing, located on Tinian in 1945. I would like to thank Bill for sharing so many of his photographs and memories with us. Since the pirate was the logo of his squadron, we have decided to call his corner of the site the Pirates' Cove.

TOP L to R: William T Hamer S/Sgt, Radio; Robert R Joslin 1st Lt, Pilot; Wendell Sellers 1st Lt, Nav; John D Ralph Capt, A/C: Victor Steinmetz 1st Lt, Eng; Larry Schwartz 1st Lt, Bomb
Bottom L to R: William Santavicca S/Sgt LG; Raymond J Radomski S/Sgt, Radar: Jerry S Benesh S/Sgt, RG; Paul F Savage T/Sgt, CFC; Richard M Sidders S/Sgt, TG


 

A copy of the painting by Paul Jacobs of the B29 "Look Homeward Angel" given to Paul Savage, CFC on Look Homeward Angel by his son, Lt. Col. Paul Savage AF (ret).

 

I was a replacement crew aircraft in the 6th Bomb Group. Arriving on Tinian at the end of May, 1945. My first B-29 in combat was "Look Homeward Angel". Later I was assigned " Rip Van Wrinkle" as my aircraft, which I flew as a lead Crew Aircraft Commander.

You might be interested in the fate of "Look Homeward Angel" . On the last mission of the war, LHA lost an engine over Japan, and diverted to Okinawa. Since the war ended before we got home from that mission, no one was in any particular rush to get it repaired. So it sat on Okinawa through the big typhoon of October, 1945. In January, 1946. LHA was returned to Tinian and was scheduled to be returned to the U.S. in Project Sunset. The crew assigned to LHA took off for Guam, and lost an engine enroute. The engine was replaced, and they headed for Kwajalein island. Enroute another engine was lost. It was replaced, and the crew took off for Honolulu. Enroute two engines were lost, and the crew returned to Kwajalein, declaring that they would walk home before they would fly LHA again. LHA was abandoned on Kwajalein until July of 1946. At that time, Project Crossroads (the atomic bomb tests at Eniwetok atoll) was about to beg. Someone had the idea that with a hot atomic bomb taking off from a very small island, it might be a good idea for the Fire Department to have some practice on aircraft fires in case of a takoff crash. So, LHA became the subject for the practice, and was destroyed on Kwajalein.

Our thanks to Hubert Smith Jr - Lt Colonel - USAF (Ret) for the above information.


Our own Bill Santavicca with his baby, Look Homeward Angel (LHA)




Grass skirt created by Bill Santavicca from parachute shrouds and modeled by Bob Eggleton, Radar Operator, 6th Bomb Group

Willis Kunz, Engine Specialist, Ground crew, 6th Bomb Group, 39th Bomb Squadron


On a night mission to NAGOYA 3 -11- 45, Using 42-24901 - The Cultured Vulture, a navigation error resulted in being 150 miles off course. Raymond Radomski, Radar operator crew 3905, used his expertise to get us back on course thereby completing our mission, albeit with a fuel stop at Iwo Jima on the return. This was the first time a plane from the Sixth Bomb Group used Iwo Jima as an emergency field. (See photos of Ray below).



Raymond Radomski, Radar Operator, crew 3905


In Memory of. . . . .



John D Ralph, Captain

John was the Commander of Look Homeward Angel 44-69736 - Tinian 1945. He passed away some time in August, 1998 (we do not have the exact date). He piloted the crew 3905 on 25 Missions in the Pacific War 1944 - 1945 as the A/C. He will be missed by family and friends.


42-24843 - On Oct. 7, 1944 the Sixth experienced its first near tragedy when Capt Jeffrey Richards was forced to crash land soon after takeoff- Fire broke out in two engines.
Immediately after the ship was airborne. The burning plane skidded to a perfect wheels up landing - the 11 man crew emerged safely with only minor injuries. The plane never flew again. Grand Island, NE.