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  B-29-50-BW "Homing De-Vice" Serial Number 42-24785 Tail Z25
20th AF
73rd BW
500th BG
882nd BS

USAAF c1945
Pilot  Major Frank A. Roberts, O-397460 (MIA / KIA) GA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Samuel B. Porter, Jr. O-896335 (MIA / KIA) Kenova, WV
Navigator  2nd Lt. Howard E. McBride, O-811658 (MIA / KIA) Palm City, CA
Bombardier  2nd Lt. Eugene E. Pierson, O-686058 (MIA / KIA) Minneapolis, MN
Engineer  2nd Lt. William F. Kottke, O-864489 (MIA / KIA) Akron, OH
Radio  Sgt Glen E. Danielson, 37523158 (MIA / KIA) Russell, KS
Asst Radio  Pfc Arthur W. Mitchell, 32604823 (MIA / KIA) West Orange, NJ
Gunner  Sgt James A. Bailey, 33633849 (MIA / KIA) Williamsburg, VA
Gunner  Sgt Joseph P. Conte, 35056731 (MIA / KIA) Ashtabula, OH
Gunner  Sgt Charles F. Hicks, 33897030 (MIA / KIA) Baltimore, MD
Gunner  Sgt Eugene B. Wood, 38369595 (MIA / KIA) Richland Springs, TX
MIA  January 23, 1945
MACR  11386

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing. Constructors Number 4446. Delivered to the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-29-50-BW Superfortress serial number 42-24785. Ferried overseas to Isley Field No. 1 on Saipan.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 20th Air Force (20h AF), 73rd Bombardment Wing (73rd BW), 500th Bombardment Group (500th BG), 882nd Bombardment Squadron (882nd BS). Tail Code Z25. Nicknamed "Homing De-Vice". When lost, engines R3350-23A serial numbers DW 201856, DW 202062, DW 200394 and DW 201896. Armed with .50 caliber machine guns serial numbers not listed

in Missing Air Crew Report 11386 (MACR 11386).

Mission History
On January 23, 1945 took off from Isley Field No. 1 on Saipan piloted by Major Frank A. Roberts as one of seventy-three B-29s on a bombing mission (Mission 22) against the Mitsubishi engine plant and urban area of Nagoya. The weather was ceiling and visibility overcast (CAVO) with visibility 4/10.

Over the target, the formation was aggressively intercepted by enemy fighters. An attacking fighter, believed to be a Ki-61 Tony made a vertical dive and opened fire on this B-29, hitting this bomber's No. 4 engine, causing it to explode over the Hamamatsu area. Damaged, this B-29 turned on its back and spun into the sea roughly 45 miles east of Daio Saki light. No one was believed to have survived the crash. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

No specific search mission was flown for this bomber.

The entire crew was officially declared dead on the day of the mission. Roberts earned the Air Medal, Purple Heart, posthumously. All are memorialized at Honolulu Cemetery (Punchbowl) at the courts of the missing. Roberts, Porter, McBride on court 7.

The nickname of this B-29 is listed as both "Homing De-Vice" (correct according to photographs) and "Homing Device" or (incorrect, this was another aircraft B-29 44-69751. Unclear of tail code Z31 or Z25
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-29-50-BW Superfortress 42-24785
"24785 (500th BG, 882nd BS) shot down by Ki-61 over Hamamatsu, Japan Jan 23, 1945 while on mission to Mitsubishi aircraft factory at Nagoya, Japan. MACR 11386. Crashed into Pacific Ocean, all 11 crew killed."
Missing Air Crew Report 11386 (MACR 11386) 73rd Bomb Wing Data Nickname - Homing Device
The B-29 Superfortress Chronology, 1934-1960 pages 91, 296 (index 42-24785)
The B-29 Superfortress: A Comprehensive Registry of the Planes and Their Missions page 22, 92, 196
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frank A. Roberts
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Samuel B. Porter, Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Howard E. McBride
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Eugene E. Pierson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William F. Kottke
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Glen E. Danielson

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Arthur W. Mitchell
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James A. Bailey
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph P. Conte
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles F. Hicks
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Eugene B. Wood
FindAGrave - Maj Frank A Roberts (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Samuel B Porter, Jr (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - William Kottke (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Howard E McBride (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Eugene E Pierson (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Joseph P Conte (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Glen E Danielson (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Charles F Hicks (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Eugene B Wood (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Arthur W Mitchell (courts of the missing photo)

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Last Updated
January 21, 2020


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