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  B-29-50-BW "Phony Express" Serial Number 42-24801  
20th AF
462nd BG
770th BS

Pilot  Captain Albert Abranovic (survived) Alberta, Canada
Engineer  1st Lt. Rudy Thompson (survived)
Radio  Paul Myers
Crashed  May 16, 1945
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing. On October 21, 1944 delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-29-50-BW Superfortress serial number 42-24801. Afterwards, flown to the Bechtel-McCone Modification Center, Birmingham, AL. On November 23, 1944 flown to Oklahoma City Air Depo at Tinker Army Air Field. On November 30, 1944 the modifcations were completed. On December 18, 1944 departed the United States on a ferry flight to China-Burma-India (CBI).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 20th Air Force (20th AF), 462nd Bombardment Group (462nd BG), 770th Bombardment Squadron (770th BS) at Piardoba Airfield in India. No known nickname or nose art. Afterwards, flown West Field on Tinian.

Mission History
On May 16, 1945 took off from West Field on Tinian pilot Captain Abranovic on a bombing mission against Nagoya in Japan. During the flight, the no. 3 engine caught fire on take off and the crew was ordered to bail out. This B-29 crashed near West Field on Tinian and was destroyed.

All eleven crew landed safely and were rescued and returned to duty. Thomson landed at the eastern end of Able runway. Myers landed about a mile off of Tinian.

Abranovic retired from the U. S. Air Force (USAF) as a Major. On April 28, 2004 he passed away and is buried National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona at section B3, row B, site 43.

Thomson passed away on December 8, 2010 at age 90 in Florida.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-29-50-BW Superfortress 42-24801
"24801 (462nd BG, 770th BS) crashed near West Field, Tinian due to engine failure May 16, 1945. All 11 crew bailed out and survived, aircraft was destroyed."
May 1945 USAAF Overseas Accident Reports - B-29 Superfortress 42-24801
FindAGrave - Albert Abranovic (grave photo)

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Last Updated
May 14, 2020


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