73 Bomb Wing Table of Contents
497th Bomb Group
B-29 Ground crews on Saipan - great color photos, black and white, photos, manuals, etc. Photos taken by Dick Bastasch of the 497th while he was a B-29 remote control turret mechanic.
Jack Bartlett and The American Maid - Jack Bartlett was shipped out with the brand new B-29 serial number 42-24593, with A square 7 on the tail whom his crew named the “American Maid.”
The Diary of a 73rd BW Tail Gunner -This is the "Diary" of Bob Spring's experiences as a tail gunner on a B‑29 crew, flying 35 combat missions against Japanese targets during World War II in 1945. We were in the 870th Bombardment Squadron, 497th
Bombardment Group, 73rd Bomb Wing of the 20th Air Force.
Dauntless Dotty and Robert Morgan - 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.
A Square 26 and Joe Simonds - The
first 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.
Tribute to 1st Lt. Joseph V LaMoglia and the 497 Bombardment Group (VH)
Jack Franklin- Flight Engineer - Jack
Franklin was a flight engineer on the B-29's in World War II. Jack flew
out of Saipan, arriving there on December 11, 1944 and departing on
July 3, 1945. Jack's total combat flying hours were 443.2 .
Jack's Missions - Jack's 73rd Bomb Wing mission summary
Lowery 5-March-44 - Jack's restricted orders from Lowery Field
Lowery 6-March-44 - Jack's restricted orders from Lowery Field
Secret Air Transport Command - Pacific Division, West Coast
Wing, 1505th AAF Base Unit, Mather Field, Sacramento, CA.
Panchito and the Jerry Francis Crew- This
is an account of some of the 35 missions we flew in our Boeing B-29
(A-Square 54 A/P No. 44-69724) during World War II.
Matt Dorrian - Ground Crew- a remote control gunner who was grounded due to his specialized training states-side and became the part of the maintainence crew that took care of the remote control guns on his plane Waddy's Wagon
498th Bomb Group
Jack Montgomery -Then the axe fell. Sorry, but we have too many in the program, the expediters
had done their job too well. No openings in Pilot, Navigator or Bombardier
classes at this time. Big disappointment. What next? I was to become a
Radar Specialist, whatever that was.
499th Bomb Group
The Banana King of Saipan- Sgt.
Bill Royster - who earned the title of the "Banana King of Saipan" for
his crop restoration efforts in that country in World War II - is better
known today by some other titles.
B-29 Flyover Honors WWII Airman- - It
was a long journey which led to Bill Royster to Saipan where he was
a tail gunner on a B-29 Superfortress during WWII and a longer journey
which led him here where a B-29 and a B-24 flew overhead in his honor.
Flak Alley - A poem by Bill Royster
Ray Brashear and the Betty Bee - There
has been a lot of confusion on the name "Ready Betty" and "Betty
Bee". We didn't name V-37 Betty Bee until late in the war. I was
rather surprised when the name showed up on our bird.
January 27, 1945 - Time Heals Everything Almost - As the 58th anniversary of the
shoot down of Hap Halloran's Rover Boys Express drew near, I asked Hap
if he would, or could, go back in time to those days and try to describe
his own personal living nightmare as a captured B-29 crew member living
in a POW camp in World War II Japan. Often times we see war depicted in
movies and on television as either romance or machismo. As Hap describes
here, it is neither. It is survival.
Enemies Then . . . Friends Now - On January 27, 1945,
B-29 bombers of the 73rd Wing, based on Saipan, flew a high altitude mission
against the Nakajima aircraft plant located at Musashino on the western
fringe of Tokyo. It was known to all B-29ers as target 357. Nine superfortresses
were lost on that mission; one of them was V Square 27, known affectionately
as the Rover Boys Express. I was the navigator aboard this aircraft.
Hap's Victory . . . A POW's Story - As a boy growing up in Lockland, Ohio, during the Great Depression,
Ray "Hap" Halloran dreamed of flying planes. After graduating from
Roger Bacon High School in 1940, he was given his chance when World War
11 began. He joined the Army Air Corps, becoming a navigator and
bombardier on a B-29 crew called the "Rover Boys Express."
Ex-POW Brings Closure to Another - by Henry Sakaida Fifty-five years
after the end of World War II in the Pacific, some ex-POWs still have
nightmares about their prison camp experiences. Living day-to-day, never
knowing if they would ever survive to see loved ones again, was a frightening
ordeal whom no one but an ex-POW would ever understand.
Winged Samurai - Saburo Sakai - Japanese World War
II fighter ace Saburo Sakai, who downed 64 enemy planes and then went
on to reconcile with his former foes and urge his nation to face its wartime
past, has died. He was 84.
Pacific Journey - I
was visiting with my son, Dan, in early May 1999. He lives in Cincinnati,
Ohio. I live in the San Francisco area. Dan is now 40 years old and
is my best friend. Out
of the clear blue sky one evening he caught my full attention when he
asked, "Dad, do you think maybe we could take a trip together to your
WWII combat area?"
Hap Inducted Into the WWII Hall of Fame
Photos from the US Air Force Academy -Photos
that Hap Halloran was kind enough to take for us and to share with us
at the unveiling of the new B-29 sculpture/memorial at the US Air Force
Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.
The Aviation Artistry of Hideichi Kaiho - -wonderful paintings of B-29's and their air fights. All paintings are copyrighted so please do not take.
500th Bomb Group
The Diary of Capt. Stanley Samuelson - This Diary was written by Captain Stanley H. Samuelson telling of his war experiences in the Pacific Area from the time he left Kearney, Nebraska, October, 1944, until his last entry a few days before his ship was shot down over Tokyo on February 19, 1945.
500th Bomb Group Web page
Col. Curtis Burchfield - Curtis
Burchfield was born to James (Jim) Edward Burchfield and Eula Spears
Burchfield in the Hurricane Community of western Pontotoc County Mississippi.
Jim was a veteran of World War I having survived going over the top
with the 30th Inf. Division. He was severely wounded and returned home
with shrapnel from a German shell above his left eye, his leg and back.
Lt. Bob Copeland's War Diary - "My
uncle Bob's story has always been an inspiration to me.His generation
had a oneness, a goal, that could only be achieved by everybody
pulling together to get the job done. Sadly that sense of patriotism
and national dedication has long left our society. The "me
generation" is here to stay. My uncle's writings and diaries
would go a long way in explaining to today's younger generation
what being an American is all about.
. -- Bill Copeland
Capt. Ferd Curtis - This is the story of Captain Ferd Curtis, the Aircraft Commander of the B-29, Z Square 12. He started his B-29 training
graduating as an Aviation Cadet Class 41G – Kelly AAF, Texas, Sep 26, 1941. At that time he was a 1st LT. Ferd flew 80 anti submarine missions off the East coast of the US before being transferred to 479th Anti Submarine Group in England. He flew 57 combat missions in B-24s and was credited with a submarine kill on July 28th 1943.
Return to Japan - Robert Goldsworthy
Sky Giants Over Japan - Chester Marshall
Interphone - by John Saxon An example of what was said on those interphones
3 December 44 - Z Square 7
73rd Bomb Wing Data
73rd Bomb Wing Reunion 2000
73rd Bomb Wing Reunion 2001
73rd Bomb WIng Reunion 2002
73rd Bomb WIng Reunion 2003
73rd Bomb Wing Reunion 2004