73rd Bomb Wing Data

Over the past 30 years or so, I have been building this list of all known B-29s operated by the 73rd Bombardment Wing on Saipan, sorted by group, serial number, nickname, and loss date. So far I have identified over 400 aircraft that flew at one time or another under the 73rd Wing banner.

This list is far from complete, and probably still contains many errors. The current revision, however, is much more accurate than previous ones, due mostly to the assistance of many good folks on the B-29 Mailing List, particularly Bob Mann, but also Sparky Corradina, Tom Mathewson, John Dickerson, and several others.

Now, some of you may say, “Wait a minute, these lists don’t agree in all aspects with the books published by Bob Mann and others”. Well, we all have our data sources. Bob and I have “debated” over the years about inconsistencies in this data. Though I trust his research, I trust my own, too, and Bob and I are both too old to argue much over the details anymore. I don’t think anyone will ever know all the facts for sure. There was a war on, ya know. Back then nobody bothered much with dotting every ‘I’ and crossing every ‘t’.

One caveat is in order: Some aircraft may be unavoidably listed twice. On one line you may note an aircraft recorded only by tail code or nickname, and on another line you may find an aircraft recorded only by serial number or loss date. These may be the same aircraft, but I have not yet discovered the evidence that ties the data together.

I am neither an author nor a professional researcher, just an amateur historian who is fascinated with the operation of the B-29, particularly by the 73rd Bombardment Wing. Perhaps some day this data may help a professional to write the definitive history of the 73rd Wing. If so, this "hobby" will have been worthwhile.

I encourage any and all to write and tell me if you find errors, or if you have additional information that will make my lists more complete. However, your information may not end up appearing here anytime soon, as I promised SallyAnn that I would no longer pester her with constant changes to the lists.

Also, please don’t bombard me with crew names and requests for crew information. All I know about the crews is what you see here. If you happen to know that a certain crew flew a certain airplane, I’ll note that information. I know that more than one crew, sometimes many crews, flew certain aircraft at one time or another. The crew information I noted here is included only because I happened to see the names in the sources I’ve studied.

Thank You,
Tom Robison

Planes sorted by Serial Number

497 Bomb Group sort

498 Bomb Group sort

499 Bomb Group sort

500 Bomb Group sort

Loss Sort List

73rd. Bomb Wing sorted by Nickname
























B-29s of the 73rd Bombardment Wing Bibliography and Data Sources

Anderton, David A

B-29 Superfortress at War, Chas. Scribner's, 1978
Berger, Carl The B-29 Superfortress. Ballantine Books, 1970.
Birdsall, Steve B-29 Superfortress In Action. Squadron/Signal, 1977
  Saga Of The Superfortress. Doubleday, 1980.
  Superfortress: The Boeing B-29. Squadron/Signal 1980.
Bowers, Peter M

Warbird Tech Volume 14, Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Specialty Press, 1999
Burkett, Prfentiss

The Unofficial History Of The 499th Bomb Group. Historical Aviation Albums, 1981.
Collison, Thomas The Superfortress is Born; Duell, Sloan & Pierce, 1945
Craven, Wesley F. and Cate, James L. The Army Air Forces in WWII, Vol. 5, The Pacific: Matterhorn to Nagasaki, June 1944 to August 1945; U. of Chicago Press, 1953.
Davis, Joseph T The Story of the 73rd: The Unofficial History of the 73rd Bomb Wing; Battery Press, Nashville, TN, 1980 (originally published in 1946)
Delano, Ostman & Cole

Superfortress Over Japan, Twenty Four Hours with a B-29. Motorbooks International, 1996
Dorr, Robert F B-29 Superfortress Units of WW2, Osprey Publication Ltd. 2002
Frank, Richard B

Downfall, The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire; Random House, 1999
Gurney, Gene Journey Of The Giants. Cowar-McCann, 1961.
Herbert, Kevin

Maximum Effort: The B-29s Against Japan; Sunflower University Press, 1983
igham, Robin, and Siddall, Abigail Flying Combat Aircraft of the USAAF-USAF; Iowa State University Press, 1975.
Johnsen, Frederick The B-29 Book. Bomber Books, 1980
Kerr, E.B Flames Over Tokyo. Donald Fine, Inc. 1991
LeMay, General Curtis, w/Bill Yenne Superfortress: The Story of The B-29 and American Air Power. McGraw-Hill, 1988.
Lloyd, Alwin Detail & Scale Vol. 10, B-29 Production Versions. Tab Books, 1983
Lloyd, Alwin Detail & Scale Vol. 25, B-29 Derivatives. Tab Books, 1987
Marshall, Chester B-29 Superfortress. Motorbooks International, 1993
Marshall, Chester Sky Giants Over Japan; Apollo Books, 1984;

Marshall, Chester w
Warren Thompsom

Final Assault On The Rising Sun. Specialty Press, 1995.

Marshall, Chester B-29 Photo Combat Diary. Specialty Press, 1996.
Mayborn, Mitch The Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Profile Publications, 1982
Morrison, W.H Point Of No Return: The Story of the 20th Air Force; Time Books, 1979
Phillips, Col. Charles L Rain Of Fire; B-29s Over Japan, 1945; B-Nijuku Publishing, 1995
Pimlott, John B-29 Superfortress. Chartwell Books, 1980
Rust, Ken 20th Air Force Story. Historical Aviation Albums, 1979
Thomas, Gordon, and Max Morgan Witts Ruin from the Air. Scarborough House, 1990
Werrell, Kenneth P Blankets of Fire. Smithsonian Press, 1996
Combat Diary of the 498th Group, copy provided by Craig Stettner
Personal flight log and diary of SSgt Robert C. Webb, radio operator of the 877th Sq., 499th Group
Website: Superfortress Then and Now, by Sallyann Wagoner ~ http://b-29.org/
Web site: Mission Logs of Wm. C. Atkinson
Web site: B-29 Motion Picture clips and photographs
Web site: U.S. Army Air Forces in WWII: 499th Bomb Group
Numerous magazine articles, video tapes, and television programs

Last Update 9 Nov 2005

I am always on the lookout for books and other publications about the 73rd Bombardment Wing. Please forward your suggestions to Tom Robison Thanks.