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6th BG c1945
6th BG c1945
IJA July 20, 1945
| Pilot Captain Gordon P. Jordan, O-412692 (POW, survived) Monroe, LA
Co-Pilot 1st Lt Wails Hawkins, O-825628 (captured, hanged July 20 1945, BR) Bessemer, AL
Bombardier 1st Lt. Clinton L. Wride, O-666112 (captured, hanged July 20 1945, BR) Portland, OR
Navigator 2nd Lt. Paul A. Trump, O-2058584 (POW, survived) Kimberton, PA
Flight Engineer MSgt. George E. McGrew, 17014199 (POW, survived) Gillett, AR
Radio SSgt Walter W. Wiernik, 32380736 (POW, survived) Buffalo, NY
Radio SSgt Max A. Adams,14098594 (captured, hanged July 20 1945, BR) Grove Hill, AL
Gunner SSgt Walter W. Dickerson, 6983802 (POW, survived) Aurora, IL
Right Blister Gunner SSgt Robert J. Burkle, 35760718 (POW, survived) Wheeling, WV
Left Blister Gunner Sgt Robert A. Grant, 16161649 (POW, survived) Jamesville, WI
Tail Gunner SSgt Florio D. Spero, 36785815 (captured, hanged July 20 1945, BR) Chicago, IL
Crashed July 20, 1945 at 2:00am
Built by Boeing. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-29-80-BW Superfortress 44-70116. Ferried overseas to North Field on Tinian Island.
Assigned to the 20th Air Force (20th AF), 6th Bombardment Group (6th BG), 24th Bombardment Squadron (24th BS). Nicknamed "Sharon Linn". Tail code ® (circle R) in black. Fuselage number 3. When lost, engines DW 209876, 210639, D, D 210501 and 4283677. Armed with .50 caliber machine guns serial numbers noted in Missing Air Crew Report 14786 (MACR 14786).
On July 19, 1945 took off from North Field on Tinian Island piloted by Captain Gordon P. Jordan on an aerial mining mission to release aerial mines over Niigata Harbor. The weather was good with the bombers flying to the target area individually.
On July 20, 1945 at 2:00am arrived over the target area at an altitude of 7,000' and was hit by anti-aircraft fire near Niitsu. Other bombers in the formation observed a "a huge flame believed to be a plane burned for approximately four minutes." When this aircraft failed to return, it was officially listed Missing In Action (MIA).
In fact, the entire crew bailed out roughly 5-10 miles southeast of Niigata. Their B-29 crashed at the bend of the Agano River in an area known as Yakeyama.
Fates of the Crew
Landing in the darkness, all were captured by the Japanese civilians and military personnel. After being captured, four of the crew: Hawkins, Wride, Adams and Sparo were hanged by angry civilians.
The other seven crew: Jordan, Trump, McGrew, Wiernik, Dickerson, Burkle and Grant all became became Prisoners Of War (POWs) and survived captivity until the end of the Pacific War.
Jordon, Dickerson and Grant were liberated from Omori POW Camp near Tokyo. Burkle was liberated from Tokyo POW Camp (Shinjuku).
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