Herb Harper, Historian 98th Bomb Group Veterans Association, writes, "I jined the Air Force in 1948 and was assigned to the 98th Bomb Group which was equipped with B-29s at the time.

I did fly some as a gunner but never qualified because of bad eye sight. I spent a total of about five years in B-29 Operations as an alpha amorer. We deployed to Yokota Air Base , Japan in August of 1950 and flew combat against the North Koreans for the remainder of that conflict."
Herb Harper has generously sent me information and photos on the B29 and Korea. The following was all contributed by Herb.....


Actual photo

The following was extracted from official Department of Defense POW/CIA case: KA-0194-009, by Herb Harper.

On 07 May 1951, at approximately 1148 hours a United States Air Force B-29A was lost on a combat mission over Pyongyang, North Korea. The aircraft was flying the #2 position in a flight of four aircraft. Thirteen men were aboard the aircraft when it departed Yokota Air Base, Japan. Immediately after releasing their bomb load the aircraft was damaged by a large flak burst under the right wing. The aircraft made a wide 180 degree turn and began to fly in a southwesterly direction. Another B-29 separated from the main flight and began to escort the crippled aircraft. The aircraft then turned and headed in a southeasterly direction. Three parachutes were seen leaving the rear of the aircraft. A few seconds later the right wing fell off and the aircraft went into a flat spin to the left and went down in flames. One more parachute was seen exiting the aircraft. This crewman landed approximately 3/4 of a mile west-northwest of the main wreckage. The aircraft broke up and burned over a wide area. A United States Navy SA-16 two engine aircraft circled the wreckage until dusk. All four of the crew who parachuted were captured and taken prisoner; three held at Pyoktong and released after the war, the fourth died during captivity. No further report on the nine remaining crewmen.

The crewmen were as follows:

Aircraft Commander
Radar Operator
Radio Operator
CFC Gunner
Right Gunner
Left Gunner
Tail Gunner
Radar Mechanic

Lt. Co

Dewey L. Chapman
Richard E. Hawes
Junior M. Adler
John S. Collins
William C. McTaggart
Frank C. Chesnowsky
John A. Rice
Edward J. Stoll
Raymond R. Bacon
Lee E. Erickson
Richard M. Jones
Ellsworth E. Smith
Vance E. Black
Lt. Col. Black survived the bailout, but was badly burned and died in the POW camp. McTaggart, Jones and Smith were released in 1953. Jones died in 1994. Herb Harper has talked with Jones' widow, McTaggart and Smith and hopes to get their personal stories in the future.

In 1996, a search of the wreckage was conducted by the US Department of Defense where all four engines and props and all twelve machine guns were found. Not much else was found, according to the report.

In June of 1951 the Shady Lady, a member of the 345th Squadron, was shot up and landed in South Korea with FULL power on only one engine. All the air crew were OK. The flight engineer got credit for getting her back and was awarded the Silver Star. Herb went to Korea and salvaged the bomb site and the guns as the airplane was not going to fly again.

See Photos Below



Herb and Joan Harper

Many thanks to Herb Harper for sharing his photos and stories with us. Please click below and enter the Nose Art Gallery (also compliments of Herb).

Victory Girl Nose Art

Nose Art on Tinian

Loads of Nose Art

Most of the links that Herb gave me in 2002 have all been taken down. The first two links he gave me. The third link I just added all kinds of nose art that you can click each image to see larger.