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'
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
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
Kunz, Engine Specialist, Ground crew, 6th Bomb Group, 39th Bomb Squadron
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
of. . . . .
John D Ralph,
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
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.