These are photos sent to me over the years that did not have enough information to make an entire page. They are all collected here in this series of "scrapbook" pages.
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I have attached a
photograph of my father's B29 taken on Saipan during WW2. A photo of the
crew is shown below. My father, Captain Carl F. Breth, was the Flight
Engineer on this plane which flew over 25 missions to Japan. He was a
member of the 73rd Bomb Wing, 497th Bomb Group. This group has an "A"
on the tail.
Carl F. Breth II
N Deal #42-24604 73rd Bomb Wing 497th Bomb Group
Phillips, T/Sgt.- Crew Chief, Charles W. Boal, Cpl.- Tail Gunner, Harold
Bossley, Sgt.- Gunner, Nick Samela, Sgt CFC, George Quattlander, Sgt -
Radio Operator, Edward Tuenge- Sgt. Radar Operator
Row: L.H. Breininger, 2nd. Lt - Co-Pilot, Roy E. Meeker, 1st Lt. -
Navigator, Paul Beard, Capt. - Pilot, Carl F. Breth, 1st Lt. -Flight Engineer,
William E. Wild, 2nd. Lt - Bombardier, Ival L. Witsman, 2nd. Lt. - Passenger
Here is a photo of
my Dad and his crew. He was stationed at Hobbs, New Mexico right before
he left for Tinian. My Dad is 5th from the left in the back row.I don't
have any first hand info on the rest of the crew, but Jack Nichols said
that the airplane armorer assigned to this plane was Kenneth D.Meek and
one time Crew Chief was Ronald J. Martelly. Harry George said that the Aircraft
Commander was John C. Jaekels - Thanks, John McFee
When Otis was shot
down my oldest brother was four days short of being 2 years old, my other
brother was 6 months old, and my mother was about 6 weeks pregnant with
me. She passed away December 2, 1994 but she never really got over that
"what if he was still alive" concern.
Like most war widows, she remarried (a really wonderful guy that took all
three of us kids and raised us like we were his own) and we kids didn't
want to possibly upset our "Dad" by inquiring too much about our father.
And, of course, as we grew older and married we came to realize Dad would
have helped us find out all we wanted to know if we had only asked him....but
by then we were all so taken up with our own families that none of us followed
up on it after we were told the records had been destroyed. My youngest
son (who is a police officer in Richmond, VA) has taken up the task. - Denese
My interest in
the B-29 comes from my many years of flying in light aircraft with the
late Captain Glenn William Dye. When he landed his B-17F, 42-30089,
"Sunny", at New Philadelphia, Ohio in 1943, Glenn was on his
way to Thorpe Abbotts, England to join the 351st Squadron of the 100th
Bomb Group as the Group entered combat in the E.T.O.. After finishing
his tour in the E.T.O., Glenn was stationed at Smokey Hill A.A.F.B.,
Salina Kansas, where he took part in the program that is sometimes referred
to as the "Battle of Kansas". At Salina, a lot of B-29s were
extensively flown and many modifications were made to them in order
to get the airplane ready for operational service. Glenn flew the B-29
there as a test pilot and also as a flight instructor. He also was a
crash investigator. He was involved in the training of the 509th Composite
Group and he was at Battista Field in Cuba with them, but he did not
go overseas with them. His remark on this was: "We knew we were
training for something big, but we didn't know what it was!"
Glenn was flying a training mission in a B-29 out of Salina when word
came over the radio that Japan had surrendered.
I was lucky enough to get to fly to Salina a few times with Glenn in
the 1960s and 1970s. He would always have something to say about the
B-29 when we were in the area. And whatever it was, it was always interesting.
Also, when Glenn
was at Smokey Hill, he held the position of "Acting Colonel".
Hap Arnold froze promotion for non-combat personnel and Glenn finished
his B-17 tour in the E.T.O. as Captain. The only way he could command
the people he needed to was for the Army Air Force to give him "Acting"
rank! The "Acting" rank dissolved for Glenn when the B-29
testing, modification and initial crew training was finished and I suppose
when he left the 509th training area. He was discharged as Captain.
The book, "CENTURY BOMBERS, The Story of the Bloody Hundreth",
by Richard Le Strange, assisted by James R. Brown, Published by the
100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, Thorpe Abbotts, Diss, Norfolk, England...Printed
by M.F. Barnwell, Penfold Works, Aylsham, Norfolk, England..ISBN 0 9515159
OX contains a crew photograph of the boys that landed at New Philly,
their ground crew chief and Olen Turner. The airplane in the picture
is not the one they had in New Philly. The B-17F, 42-30089, "Sunny",
that Glenn landed at New Philly, blew up in a field near Beaumont Le
Roger, France on 3 September 1943 after being landed wheels up by Pilot
Richard King and Co-Pilot, George Brykalski. Glenn was "stood down"
that day and his buddy, Lt. King, borrowed the airplane to fly his mission.
The airplane received a direct hit in the bomb bay from a German Flak
88 and King tried to get her down, but she blew up right after he landed.
I want to pass
this along. Glenn used to say: "A pilot could like a B-17 and
fly it without much trouble, but you had to RESPECT a B-29."
Many thanks to Geoff Buchanan for sharing this story with us. We
hope to hear more from Geoff in the future.
Bomb Wing - 9th Bomb Group - 5th Bomb Squad
Row(L-R) Vincent J. Rauen-RO, James G. Goodloe- Bombardier, Louis
F. McMenamy-Navigator, William J. Martin-Radar, Sydney P. Craig Jr.-Pilot,
Charles A. Glock-A/C.
Front Row(L-R): James E. Taggart-R Gunner, Elden L. Ice-T.Gunner,
James G. Schaffer-L. Gunner, Harry R. Jones-CFC, John R. Lezovich-F.E.
sent in by John Lezovich's nephew, Joe.
Robert (Bob) Richey sent home a picture of the Hi-Stepper to my mother
some years ago. He was a top rear gunner. Bob never talked about his experience,
but my other brother said that after one bombing mission, the pilot was
killed and the co-pilot was injured. They crashed landed in China. You
can't see it on the attached photo (see above), but a name below the front
top gunner was N. Bell, and above the Hi-Stepper figure is the name G.
Morene. The serial # 44-65275 - 20th AF - 58th Bomb Wing - 468th Bomb
Group (Triangle-L) - 794th Bomb Squadron. - Sent in by David Richey
The attached photo
was made of me at North Field flight line the day after the atomic bomb
drop. I went down to the flight line to essentially look at the bombay
for curiosity. There was no security. To my surprise, another pilot and
myself investigated the Enola Gay at will. - Bill Wishner
left to right: S/Sgt Agoglia., (Right Blister Gunner) 2nd Lt. J.
Iliff (Pilot) J. Epton, (Flight Surgeon) Major J. Dendy, (Air Plane
Commander), and General Davies.
Kneeling left to right: S/Sgt. G. Bernstein, (Radar Operator)
M/Sgt. H. Vitte ( Flight Engineer ) S/Sgt. J. Czemerda, (Radio Operator)
2nd Lt. D. Solokow, (Navigator) S/Sgt. J. Bertucci, (Lt. Blister Gunner),
S/Sgt. B. Allen, (Tail Gunner) 1st Lt. P. Pollock, (Bombardier) Missing
from photo T/Sgt. T. Boswell, (Central Fire Control).
This B29 is one of three B29's that were the first to land on Tinian's
North Field. The aircraft were picked up in Nebraska; this was their
departure point. The stops along the way were California, Hawaii, Kwajalein,
Gaum, Saipan, and then Tinian. However the three B29's had to wait on
Saipan until the airstrip was finished on Tinian, (a few days).
As the first planes to land on Tinian, the 67th SEA BEES adopted my
father's airplane, M/Sgt. Harold N. Vitte who was the Flt. Engineer
of INDIAN MAID. As you can see in the picture, when the SEA BEE's installed
the nose art they included their insignia along side the plane's name.
This photograph was taken on March 18, 1945. Brig. General James H.
Davies, 313 Wing Commanding Officer, greeted and congratulated the aircrew
of the B29 known as the INDIAN MAID (serial number 42-24809), upon returning
from a successful firebombing raid on Nagoya, Japan. This plane was
part of the 482nd Bomb Squadron - 505th Bomb Group - 313th Bomb Wing
- 20th Air Force.
My father flew 35 missions against the Empire in two aircraft; both
named the INDIAN MAID. The first plane received heavy damage over Japan
and was grounded.
Target: Nagoya, Japan
Wings assigned: 73rd, 313th, & 314th Wings.
Bomb Type: Incendiary Bombs
Altitude: 6,500 feet
Length of Mission: 14 hours
Planes over target: 290
Planes lost over target: 1
Bombs dropped 1,863 tons
Armament Twin: .50 caliber tail guns only 100 rounds each
My father is still alive and lives in Freeport, Ohio. He attends all
the reunions and is looking forward to the next one in San Diego, Ca.
- Jim Vitte
Rush's Air Crew M-52
"The City of Cincinnati"
314th Bomb Wing, 19th Bomb Group, 93rd. Squadron
from left: First LT. Patrick E Simons - Radar, Master SGT. Burton
P Hill - R. Gunner *, First LT. Gordon Skinner - Navigator *, First
LT. Lester G Hapgood - Bombardier (D), Staff SGT. Robert Soenksen -
Radio Operator(D), First LT. James Harris Jr. - Co-pilot
Sitting from left: First LT. Theodore Rush - Pilot, A/C *, Master
SGT. Ralmond J Smiltneck - Engineer *, Staff SGT. Murt Vonleer - Tailgunner
* , SGT. James Harvan L. - Gunner *, Tech. SGT. Howard W Whiting - CFC
and information sent in by Howard Whiting's son, David. * stands for
David has talked with the person and D stands for deceased.
some of the same crew 55 years later (minus the female)
L to R
standing; James Harris, Ted Rush, Gordon Skinner, R.J. Smiltneek,
James Harvan, David Whiting (son of Howard Whiting), Murt VonLeer
Burt Hill, Mary Ellen Ponzio (Daughter of Ernie Hamilton, tailgunner,
injured 6/5 Kobe
Photo and info sent in by David Whiting