Welcome to the 58th Bomb Wing's 45th Annual Reunion web page. The reunion, held in Hartford, CT on August 21-26, 2001, was a visit through the history of aviation at the New England Air Museum. Some of the planes seen there were the B-25 Mitchell, the P-47 Thunderbolt, the Corsair and the Hellcat.

On August 22, 2001 they held the B-29 and 58th Bomb Wing Memorial Building Ground-Breaking ceremony. This was a memorable occasion for all of the 58th B-29'ers attending!

Trips were also made to the Mystic Seaport at Foxwoods Gaming. It has an internationally recognized Maritime Museum and an historic village. There was also a tour of Hartford city and the Legislative Office and State Capitol. A more touristy trip was The Yankee Candle Factory with its black forest, old world shops in the village square, the glockenspiel tower and the Nutcracker Castle. A boat cruise was also available with a stop at the Iwo Jima Memorial.

From the looks of these photos submitted by Rod Drake and Sparky Corradina, a good time was had by all!



The New England Air Museum, the largest aviation museum in the Northeast, is owned and operated by the Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Association, a private, non-profit educational institution organized in 1959.


The new England Air Museum is committed to preserving the story of aviation, the human genius that made it possible and the profound effects that it had on the way in which we live. We achieve this by:

Preserving and presenting historically significant aircraft and related artifacts.

Engaging our visitors through high-quality exhibits that help them understand aviation technology, history, and the stories of men and women who built, flew and made history with those famous machines, and

Inspiring students through our innovative and hands-on education programs delivered on site and in schools that allow them to discover and reflect on aviation history and its ties to the social sciences, geography and technological advancements.

58th Bombardment Wing

The 58th Bombardment Wing (V-H), part of the 20th Air Force, was formed in Kansas in 1943. The 58th consisted of four bomb groups - the 40th, the 444th, 462nd, and 468th. The first organization of the B-29's, the four groups deployed to India, with forward bases on China where they commenced operations against targets in Japan, Manchuria, China, Taiwan (Formosa) and other East Asian defenses. From June 1944 to May 1945, the 58th conducted aerial reconnaissance and bombardment operations, flying combat missions from bases in India, China and Burma.

The Museum will create exhibits depicting the story of the 58th and will house the organization's memorabilia and archival materials.

B-29 Superfortress

The aircraft, serial #44-61975, was manufactured by Boeing Aircraft in Renton, WA and delivered to the USAAF on July 12, 1945. From July 1945 through May 1953, the aircraft served the following bases: Denver Modification Center, CO (july 1945), Chatham AFB, Savannah, GA (August 1945), MacDill AFB, FL (November 1945), Robins AFB, FA (March 1946), Mountain Home AFB, ID (March 1946), and Great Falls AFB, MT (April 1953). During the Korean War it flew between Molesworth and Wheeler AFB, Libya, on special assignment. Later, it was placed in storage at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.

In 1973, the New England Air Museum acquired the deteriorating B-29 (TB-29A). The aircraft suffered extensive damage during the 1979 tornado. Approximately 70 volunteers are half way through their four-year restoration project, which is expected to be completed and configured in authentic 58th Bombardment Wing markings by Spring 2002.

Dedication Ceremony
11:30 AM

.Michael Speciale, Executive Director, New ENgland Air Museum
11:32 AM

.Opening Remarks
.William O'Neill, Former Governor, State of Connecticut and Vice-President, New England Air Museum Boar of Directors; and Lawrence Churchill, Retired.Vice-President, Public Affairs Pratt & Whitney, and President New England.Air Museum Board of Directors.
11:35 AM

Welcome to the 58th Bomb Wing Veterans and the New England Air Museum's Impact on Tourism and Economic Development
The Honorable M. Jodi Rell, Lieutenant Governor, State of Connecticut

11:43 AM

New England Air Museum, Home of the 58th Bomb Wing
James Patillo, Pilot, 468th Bomb Group and 58th Development Chairman; and Henry Horner, President 58th Bomb Wing Association, and CFC, 462nd Bomb Group.
11:45 AM

Ground Breaking

12:00 Noon Lunch

Construction of the B-29 and 58th Bomb Wing Memorial Building is made possible by a $58 million grant from the State of Connecticut. The Museum is grateful to the State for its generous grant. Creation of the 58th Bomb Wing Memorial is made possible by the many generous individual contributions from members of the 58th Bomb Wing Association. The Museum is pleased to develop a memorial to recognize their contributions to our nation. Special thanks go to James Patillo, Isaac Morris and Ralph Roberts.

Candid Reunion Shots at the New England Air Museum

(Photo courtesy of Rod Drake)
Bob Becker, sharing memories of his time in
the tail, at the New England Air Museum

(Photo courtesy of Rod Drake)
Greenhouse on the 29 being restored in windsor locks
at the NEAM.

(Photo courtesy of Sparky Corradina)
Nona and Rudy Thompson

(Photo courtesy of Sparky Corradina)

(Photo courtesy of Sparky Corradina)

(Photo courtesy of Sparky Corradina)
Sparky looking out the window

(Photo courtesy of Rod Drake)
Joe Rod and Fred

(Photo courtesy of Sparky Corradina)
Rudy and Nona Thompson and Sandy Corradina

(Photo courtesy of Sparky Corradina)
Jody Smith sits where her "Dad sat"

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