first of B-29 of the 497th Group to land on Saipan and the first, and
only, crew lost on the first B-29 mission over Japan.
flight crew are:
Front row right to left: Lt. SP Wagner, AC; Lt Dahl, Engineer;
Lt Lopes, Co-pilot; Lt Schnarrs, Bombardier
Back row right to left: Staff Sgt Wendler, Radar; Cpl Frederick,
Gunner; Sgt Wheeler, Gunner; Sgt Lindenstruth, Gunner; Staff Sgt Banovicts,
Radio; PFC Merritt, Gunner
This photograph was taken at Herrington, KS during September 1944. The
airplane, A Square 26, of the 870th Bomb Squadron was the first airplane
of the 497th Bomb Group to land on Saipan on October 19, 1944.
Additionally pictured , rear row, extreme left, is Crew Chief, Master
Sergeant William S. Nattrass who was not a member of the flight crew.
This flight crew, with the exception of Nattrass, was the first, and
only, crew lost on the very first B-29 mission over Japan on November
Photo and story courtesy of Joe Simonds
of the 73rd Bomb Wing