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USAAF June-July 1945
USAAF July-Aug 1945
USAAF Aug 21, 1945
|Aircraft Commander 1st Lt Joseph Queen (survived, rescued) Ashland, KY
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Robert S. Rainey (survived, rescued) Moroa, IL
Navigator 2nd Lt. Eugene R. Harwood (survived, rescued) Colorado Springs, CO
Flight Officer/Bombardier Marion J. Sherrill (survived, rescued) Flat River, MS
Engineer SSgt Jessee Owens (survived, rescued) Fayetteville, TN
Radio SSgt Arthur Strilky (survived, rescued) Chicago, IL
Gunner SSgt Jose Rinaldo (survived, rescued) Bronx, NY
Right Gunner Cpl Clifford McGee (survived, rescued)
Ring Gunner Sgt Cyril Bernacki (survived, rescued) Stafford, CT
Tail Gunner Cpl Richard H. Turner (survived, rescued) Greenville, OH
Radar Sgt Douglas E. Arthur (survived, rescued) Millersburg, PA
Observer John Barrett Grant (survived, rescued) Greenwich, CT
Observer 1st Lt. Robert W. Campbell (survived, rescued) Ada, TX
Observer Lucius William Weeks (survived, rescued) Loon Lake, WA
Crash Landed August 29, 1945
Built by Boeing in Wichita, Kansas completed on May 11, 1945. Constructors Number 10968. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-29-80-BW Superfortress serial number 44-70136. Ferried overseas by pilot 1st Lt. Queen on a flight from Topeka Airfield via Mather Field, John Rogers Field, Kwajalein and Eniwetok before arriving at Harmon Field on Guam. The next day, flew to Isley Field on Saipan.
Assigned to the 20th Air Force (20th AF), 73rd Bombardment Wing (73rd BW), 500th Bombardment Group (500th BG), 882nd Bombardment Squadron (882nd BS). Tail code "Z28" as the second B-29 assigned to the 500th Bomb Group with this code. Nose number 28.
This B-29 was flown by at least three different crews led by pilots Arbon, Sasser (10 missions), D. Jackson (2 missions) plus five other crews that flew this B-29 on only one mission. This bomber completed a total of twenty missions.
On June 17, 1945 nicknamed "Buckin' Bronc" with the silhouette of a black bucking bronco atop a checkered background. This bomber flew six bombing missions over Japan, bombing targets including Kure Navy Arsenal, Osaka Army Arsenal and incendiary bombing missions against Fukuoka, Hamamatsu, Sasebo and Kumamoto.
On July 2, 1945 or July 3, 1945 renamed "Hog Wild" possibly by Sasser's crew. The ground crew included Sgt R. Newton of Midlothian, TX, Sgt C. Miller of Cleveland, OH, Sgt A. Wasner of Owatonna, MN and Cpl H. Gordon of Carpinteria, CA.
On July 3, 1945 took off on a bombing mission against Kochi on Shikoku. This B-29 flew fourteen other bombing missions, including twelve incendiary bombing missions against Akasji, Kochi, Ichinomiya, Nishinomiya. On July 16, 1945 (Mission 272) bombed Oita. Flew another bombing mission against Osaka Army Arsenal. On August 3, 1945 dropped propaganda leaflets near Tokyo.
On August 29, 1945 took off from Isley Field on Saipan piloted by 1st Lt Joseph Queen on a humanitarian mission to drop supplies over Konan POW Camp near Hungnam and Hamhung in North Korea. Aboard were three observers and a cargo of canisters with food, clothing and medical supplies for the Prisoners of War in the camp. Over the target area, this B-29 encountered Soviet VSS Yak-9 fighters and was fired upon. Damaged, six of the crew bailed out, while the remainder of the crew force landed the B-29 near Konan.
Fates of the Crew
The six crew members who bailed out landed in the Sea of Japan and were rescued by Korean fisherman. The rest of the crew crash landed with the B-29 and all survived without serious injury. Two days later, the entire crew was reunited at Konan POW Camp. Afterwards, U. S. diplomatic maneuvering including the intervention of Supreme Allied Commander General Douglas MacArthur negotiated for their freedom.
On September 16, 1945 the entire crew was rescued with salvageable parts from the bomber.
Barbara (Harwood) Hartwig (daughter of navigator Eugene Harwood)
Terry Rainey (son of co-pilot Robert Rainey)
Individual Aircraft Record Card (IARC) B-29-80-BW Superfortress 44-70136
USAF - B-29 Superfortress 44-70136
New York Times "Russians fire B-29 by error in Korea. Red Army apologies after MacArthur protests - None in Mercy plane hurt" September 17, 1947
Hog Wild – 1945 (2013) by Dwight R. Rider details this bomber
Remembering the B-29 'Hog Wild' by Barb Hartwig, Terry Rainey and Dwight Rider
Honorable Heart—Memoirs from Colorado to B-29s to Iowa by Eugene R. Harwood
The Hog Wild Story: Memories from those who were there by Terry R. Rainey
WCF Courier "Wild Blue: Book recalls how Waterloo airman was shot down by Soviets" by By Pat Kinney October 23, 2009
Cold War Times "Honorable Heart—Memoirs from Colorado to B-29s to Iowa" by Eugene R. Harwood and Barbara (Harwood) Hartwig, February 2011
Iowa Public Television "The Price of Democracy" includes an interview with Gene Harwood
Thanks to Dwight Rider for additional information
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