DAUNTLESS DOTTY LED FIRST B-29 RAID
ON TOKYO, NOVEMBER 24, 1944



Dauntless Dotty is readied for the first B-29 mission to Tokyo.

Robert Morgan, pilot of the famed B-17 bomber Memphis Belle, commanded Dauntless Dotty, which led the first B-29 bombing raid on Tokyo on November 24, 1944. It was the first bombing raid on Tokyo since Doolittle's B-25 raid in 1942. After completing 25 combat missions in the Memphis Belle in Europe and commanding a three month stateside public relations tour in the Belle, Morgan could have gone home. For him the war could have been over. Instead the chose to train in B-29's and continue to fight the war in the Pacific. He completed 25 combat missions in Dotty out of Saipan and finally did go home to Asheville, NC in April of 1945.

During the Memphis Belle PR tour in the States, Morgan had seen the B-29 in a Boeing Aircraft hangar in Wichita. Kansas. This plane, still cloaked in some secrecy, was Boeing's brand new long-range bomber. For Morgan it was love at first sight!

He wanted a B-29 squadron and as a reward for his accomplishments in the Belle, he was approved to enter B-29 training. Upon successful completion of the training in Pratt, Kansas and Clovis, New Mexico, Morgan arrived in Saipan in the Marianas in October,
1944.

His B-29 was named Dauntless Dotty (after his first wife). She was assigned to the 20th AF, 73rd Wing, 497th Bomb Group, 869th Squadron.

On November 24, 1944, Morgan and Dotty were selected to lead the first B-29 attack on Tokyo. Her crew included General Rosie
O'Donnell as mission command pilot and Vince Evans as lead bombardier. Evans had served in England with Morgan as bombardier of the Memphis Belle. The Japanese were completely surprised and the mission was overwhelmingly successful. DOTTY also participated in another significant Tokyo raid on March 9, 1945. The magnificent bomber flew the first night, low level altitude, fire bombing raid.

Dauntless Dotty and Morgan completed 25 combat missions in the Pacific. Since Morgan was a B-29 Squadron Commander, he flew with many different crews aboard to help train them for future missions on other B-29's. On April 14, 1945, Gen. O'Donnell asked Morgan, "Don't you think it's time for you to retire from combat? You've been extremely lucky to complete 50 combat missions and I think it's time for you to go home." Morgan agreed and left Saipan for his home in Asheville, NC on April 24, 1945.

Dotty stayed in combat after Morgan returned to the states. She was credited with a total of 53 missions. 880 combat hours, and 176,000 combat miles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This photo taken 10-10-44 in Herrintgton KS shows Maj. Robert Morgan with the crew that flew Dotty to her base in Saipan.

Kneeling L-R: S/Sgt S Frityshall-Radio, Sgt WB Sandor-LG, S/Sgt EH Cordes-CFC, T/Sgt RW Pauell-Radar, M/Sgt MH Bunkmeyer-Crew Chief, Sgt PT Black-TG.
Standing L-R: 1st Lt AG Moyse-Copilot, Capt VB Evans-Bombardier, Maj R Morgan-Pilot, 1sr Lt Ed Lee-Flight Engineer, 1st Lt NS Alton-Navigator





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


10 on Way Home Die in Crash of First B-29 to Bomb Tokyo

Dauntless Dotty, Veteran of 53 Missions, Falls at Kwajalein - One Victim Was
Last Survivor of Three Brothers in Service


Top L-r: Lt Wm Kovach- navigator, Lt John Neville- co-pilot, Lt Wm Kelley-pilot, Lt Karl Stammerjohn, engineer, Lt Roy Shanklin-bombardier. Bottom Row L-R: Ssgt Thurman Walling-RG, SSgt Al Desimone-radio, TSgt Glenn Jones-CFC gunner, SSgt Charles McMurry-RG, SSgt Glenn Gregory-TG, SSgt Otto Pence-radar operator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tragically, on July 8, 1945, during a ferry flight home, Dotty crashed on takeoff from the island of Kwajalein. Ten crewmen died; three survived. The crew who was ferrying her were new to Dotty, but they had flown their assigned number of combat missions in other 29's and were experienced. But, they were on their way home! The actual cause of the crash was never determined. It is speculated that Dotty lost an
engine on takeoff . . . it is known that her crew was to refuel and remain overnight on Kwajalein.

Especially tragic was the death of Pft Lowell Spivey of Windsor, NC, a passenger who had received a ride in the B-29 so he could go back to the US or Hawaii to be assigned to "non-hazardous" duty. Private Spivey's two brothers had been killed in action in other war theatres and he was being taken out of the forward area in accordance with a War Department policy that states that when only one member of a family in the armed services survives, he may elect to transfer to a noncombatant duty.

Others killed were Wm Kelley of Tifton, GA, FLt Roy Shanklin of Radford, VA, Wm Kovack of Detroit, Carl Stammerjohn of Chicago, SSgt Albert DeSimone of Schenectady, NY, TSgt Glenn Jones of Salt Lake City, SSgt Thurman Walling of Wichita, KS, and SSgt CB Pence of Conway, Ark . FLt John Neville of Joliet, IL survived as did Staff Sgts Charles McMurry of Memphis, TN and Glenn Gregory of Waldron, IN.

They did not overnight and they were not familiar with the runway. It was dark. The runway had a dip in the center that allowed incoming tides to cause temporary flooding. It is speculated that Dotty's flaps were down and hit this water. The drag prevented the aircraft from getting airborne and she lumbered off the end of the runway and crashed. The wreckage has never been found.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many thanks to Robert Morgan (former commander of the Dauntless Dotty) and his wife, Linda for permitting me to use this information on my site. She kindly sent me many photos and news clippings to accompany the text. You can visit the Morgan's site at: www.memphis-belle.com