Eric Hammel, Air War Pacific Chronology: America's Air War Against Japan in East Asia and the Pacific 1941-1945, (Pacifica, CA: Pacifica Press, 1988, ISBN 0-935553-26-6). Items that are [bracketed] are comments that add to the historical record which were contributed by members of the B-29 mailing list on E-group.
[The lost B-29s are A-26, 42-24622 *Lucky Irish* with the Wagner crew, and V-48, 42-24679, which the Tudor crew ditched successfully.]
Crew-- M/Sgt. Howard W. Matz, Crew Chief Sgt. Marion R. Brady, Jr. And
Cpl. Mervin E. Toalson
MARIANAS - At 0005 hours, two Japanese G4Ms based at Iwo Jima attack the B-29 base at Saipan Isely Field. One 499th BG B-29 is destroyed and eleven are damaged.
[The destroyed B-29 was V-1, 42-24659]
At 1210 hours, 17 Japanese A6Ms based on Iwo Jima attack the same target. Nearly all the attacking aircraft are downed by AA or defensive fighters, but 3 B-29s are destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
[The destroyed B-29s were A-9, 42-24599; T-10, 42-63428; and V-42, 42-63438.]
[On 27 Nov 1944, 60 B-29's of the 58th Bomb Wing attacked Bangkok. 55 hit the primary target, one bombed Mergui, the secondary target, one bombed Taungup, the last resort target and one hit a Target of Opportunity northeast of the primary. Two planes, one from the 444th and one from the 462nd aborted for mechanical reasons]
Ground Crew M/Sgt. Bernard R. Purcell (Crew Chief), Sgt. Frank Slagle, Sgt. John S. Gregson, And Sgt. John C. Coufal.
Notes: this aircraft was lost on 11/29/44 on it's second mission with the hanson crew, who were on their first. They were on a nuisance raid to tokyo (a plane every 15 minutes ?). they disappeared without a trace.
Source: 500th BG Historian
B-29s lost were:
Z SQUARE 37 "BELLE RUTH" SER. #42-24580
History--she was the original z squre 7 and arrived on saipan in early nov. 1944 under the command of 1/lt. Richard d. Sullivan and started the war with The 881st squadron.
On Dec. 3, 1944 z-7 went to Tokyo under the command of 1/lt. Hugh f. Mcnamer, target #357. They were attacked by fighters before they reached The target. The bomb bay and wheel well doors came open and the landing gear Came down. That drew about 50 fighters that tried to finish them off.
About the same time Maj. Robert Goldsworthy in z-1 got hit and fell away From the formation. Most of the fighters took off after him and shot him Down.
The bombardier could not salvo the bombs but they were able to retract The landing gear. The landing gear and bomb bay doors would not close, However. The fighters stayed with them shooting large holes in the tail and Knocking off part of the rudder, and disabling the tail guns. Another Fighter tore a huge hole in the fuselage in back of the radar compartment Tearing up a lot of control cables. They were finally able to salvo the Bomb load but the fighters hung on and kept pecking away at them.
Mcnamer asked for and got all the power that was in #7 and succeeded in Pulling away from the fighters and started high tailing for home.
They were low on fuel and ditching was predicted. They started to prepare For it by throwing out anything that was not bolted down. As it turned out, They didn't have to ditch. Somehow, they made it back even with the radar Out.
They landed on the b-24 runway with the nose wheel coming through the floor. Number seven was pulled off the runway, her props looking like pretzels. By Some miracle, no one was hurt.
The aircraft was repaired and came back into service to fly as z square 37, Of the 882nd squadron. She was renamed "Belle Ruth" and flew 28 more Missions.
Source: 500th BG Historian
Note-- * Indicates Killed In Action
Aircraft lost 12/03/1944 on Tokyo mission. Col. King, Maj. Goldsworthy, And Sgt. Schroeder survived as POW's. Col. Brugge was beaten to death.
Source: 500th BG Historian.
MARIANAS - At 0404 hours, several Japanese G4Ms based on Iwo Jima strafe airfields on Saipan; and 13 more G4Ms bomb the bases at 1435 hours. Six of the latter bombers are downed by AA, but 3 B-29s are destroyed, 3 are severely damaged, and approx. 20 are lightly damaged
. [On December 7, 1944, the 58th Bomb Wing put up 107 B-29's against the Manchuria Airplane Manufacturing Company, Mukden, Manchuria.
The 40th Group got off 26 planes, of which 23 attacked the primary target. Ten planes, however, dropped early on the Suhuton RR Yards. One plane bombed Darien, the secondary target, one bombed Chenghsien, the last resort target, and one Hsuchang, a target of opportunity. One plane of the 40th, 42-63363, was lost on the mission.
The 444th sent off 27 planes, of which twenty bombed the primary target and one dropped early Suhuton RR Yards. One plane dropped on Chenghsien and one on a target of opportunity, Tsingtao. One plane, 42-65262, was MIA and four were early returns
The 462nd Group got 23 planes airborne, off which 21 bombed the primary target. Two planes were lost, 42-6299 was rammed and 42-6359 was MIA, and two returned early.
The 468th Group was the largest contributor of airplanes, launching 31. Twenty-six bombed the primary, two bombed Darien, one Chenghsien and one bombed Kaishu, Korea, a target of opportunity. One airplane returned early. The 468th reported no losses.]
[The 462nd Bomb Group also lost 42-65213 "Carlalani" A/C Maj. White, non-combat, lost due to heavy icing and plane broke apart.]
The 444th Bomb Group lost 42-6262
The 468th Bomb Group lost 42-6389 "Party Girl" and 42-6390 "Gallopin Goose"]
[On the 462nd Bomb Group 42-65213 A/C White had just taken off from Kiunglai, China on a ferry mission to Piardoba with 17 men on board.
42-65213 started to pick up ice at 4500 feet but continued to climb to an altitude of 10600 feet. By this time the aircraft had picked up so much ice that it could climb no further. A/C white tried to make a turn to return to base at which time it went into a flat spin, and began to disintegrate in midair. Official cause of accident listed as excessive icing conditions.]
airplane that slipped through the loss crack on 12/7/44 was the 468th's
42-63395, which crashed at A-7 returning from Mukden.]
might have had a different A/C: William S. Doxey, Capt.
MARIANAS - Service groups of the 313th BW arrive on Tinian.
MARIANAS - The 7th Air Force headquarters displaces to Saipan from the Hawaiian Islands.
[Five 73rd Wing aircraft were lost on 13Dec44:
/ 42-63430 / McCandliss crew, all lost after ditching;
NOTES: Original Aircraft Arrived On Saipan Under Command Of Capt. Charles G. Grise In Early November Of 1944. Aircraft And Crew Were Lost Dec. 13, 1944. After Bombing Nagoya They Were Observed Going Down With One Engine Smoking And Another Windmilling. They Made It Out Off The Coast And Had To Ditch. All Were Lost, 2/Lt. James O. Burpo Was A Member Of The Original Crew But Was Not On That Mission.
Source: 500th BG Historian
MARIANAS - No actions reported.
THAILAND - Thirty-three of 48 58th BW B-29's dispatched from Calcutta attack a rail bridge in Bankok; and 14 B-29's attack various alternate targets and targets of opportunity; they claim 0-1-0 Japanese a/c. Four B-29's were lost when a full load of bombs detonates aboard one of the planes.
[These were all 40th Bomb Group B-29's dispatched from Chakulia, India, and all carrying a mixed bomb load, they knew the danger of carrying a mixed bomb load but were ordered to fly the mission.]
The bombs exploded under one of the formations over the target. Out of the 11 B-29's in the three formations only 2 returned to Chakulia, 5 made emergency landing at various airfields and 4 were lost. All planes were damaged.
Capt. Howard Gerber crew: 11 KIA
was the 40th Bomb Group most disastrous day: B-29's lost 4, B-29's damaged
all, KIA 17, POW's 28.
[This is known as the "Rangoon Disaster". All the POW's survived and were liberated. They were all kept at the camp in Rangoon. They were liberated by the British. On May 4, 1945, the men left the camp to board a hospital ship and arrived in Calcutta on May 9, 1945.]
15 December 1944 No actions reported
MARIANAS - Marine Air Group VMF-321 is withdrawn from Guam back to the United States to undergo carrier training.
- Sixty-three of 89 73rd BW B-29's dispatched from the Marianas attack
the cloud-obscured Mitsubishi aircraft factory in Nagoya with the aid
of radar; and 10 B-29's attack various targets of opportunity and last
resort; they claim 5-11-12 Japanese a/c. Four B-29's are lost.
[Four B-29s were lost over the target or enroute home, but a total of six B-29s and 27 precious crewmen were removed from the rolls this day:
/ 42-24628 / "Special Delivery" / Ewing crew; ten survived
[Here is a little on the Bricker Crew and the 2nd Z Sq 1:
NOTES This aircraft arrived on saipan in early dec. 1944. Commanded By captain linden o. Bricker. The aircraft was ditched after bombing Nagoya on dec. 18, 1944. Captain bricker and six of the crew survived the ditching.
Source: 500th BG Historian
JAPAN - Due to bad weather, only 17 of 36 58th BW B-29's dispatched from Chengtu, China are able to attack their primary target, an aircraft factory at Omura. Two B-29's are lost in accidents.
MARIANAS - The 505th BG, arrives at Tinian/North Field from the United States for service with the XXI Bomber Command, 313th Bomber Wing.
VOLCANO ISLANDS - Fourteen P-38's from the 318th Fighter Wing are guided by 3 XXI BC B-29's to strafe airfields on Iwo Jima.
JAPAN - Several 11th AF, 28th Composite BG B-24's attack targets in the Kurile Islands from bases on Adak and Shemya islands.
VOLCANO ISLANDS - Twenty-three 11th BG B-24's based on Saipan attack Iwo Jima.
[BURMA - The 40th Bomb Group lost one B-29 today. Maj. Robert Moss crew, 42-6331 "Gone With The Wind", Chittagon, Burma, shot down by a British Beaufighter, two killed. Gone With The Wind was the first B-29 to arrive in the CBI.]
MARIANAS - The 504th BG (VH), 398th and 421st BS arrive at Tinian/North Field from the United States for service with the XXI Bomber Command's 313th BW.
VOLCANO Islands - USN surface ships, 23 XXI BC B-29's, 50 VII BC B-24's and 17 318th FW P-38's attack airfields on Iwo Jima.
[CBI - The 40th Bomb Group lost 42-6322 Capt. Martin's crew "Bonnie Lee" after a take off crash when he lost two engines at Ankang, China.
Note: 40th Bomb Group was B-4 Chakulia, 444th Bomb Group B-3 was Charra/Dudhkundi, 462nd Bomb Group B-2 was Piardoba and 468th Bomb Group B-1 was Kharagpur. All bases around Calcutta, India.]
December 1944 - (Merry Christmas)
6th Night Fighter Squadron P-61 crews down three G4M's over the Saipan area between 2000 and 2300 hours.
[All three aircraft lost today are from the 498th, one from each squadron, with a loss of 23 men:
T2 / 42-24605 / "The Heat's On" / ditched; Gress crew, 4 survived; T25 / 42-24642 / "Uncle Tom's Cabin" / Krause crew shot down over Tokyo; 3 survived captivity; T45 / 42-24613 / ditched; Horsefall crew, 3 survived.]