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  B-32-20-CF Dominator Serial Number 42-108539  
USAAF
5th AF
312th BG
386th BS

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated-Vultee at Fort Worth, Texas. At the factory, this aircraft was completed with aluminum finish and black anti-glare panels on the nose and inner side of each engine cowling. In the middle of May 1945 delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-32-20-CF Dominator Serial Number 42-108539. Also known as #539 for the last three digits of the serial number. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Clark Field.

Wartime History
On August 12, 1945 one of four additional B-32s assigned to the 312th Bombardment Group (312th BG), 386th Bombardment Squadron (386th BS) at Yontan Airfield as a replacement aircraft for combat tests. No known nickname or nose art.

On August 17, 1945 at 5:43am took off from Yontan Airfield as one of four on a photographic mission over Tokyo to document Japanese compliance with the terms of surrender led by B-32 "Hobo Queen II" 42-108532 piloted by Wells. At 10:15am as they approached Tokyo Bay, enemy fighters were spotted in "rat racing" with the formation including what were identified as Ki-44 Tojos (possibly misidentified N1K2-J Georges), Ki-61 Tonys and A6M5 Zeros including pilots WO Sadamu Komachi and Ensign Saburo Sakai. Over Yokosuka, B-32 piloted by Lt. Frick and B-32 piloted by Lt. Elliot experienced anti-aircraft fire and roughly ten fighters swarmed and individually made firing passes while their gunners reutnred fire claiming one as damaged and dove to gain speed and escape, fearing they might attempt a ramming. The fourth B-32 was also attacked by Tojos and Tonys and returned fire claiming a probable kill. Returning, all four B-32's landed safely at 5:00pm having expended 4,000 rounds of .50 caliber rounds in their defense and several sustain damage.

Afterwards, written off due to damage sustained. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-32-20-CF Dominator 42-108539
Dominator (1984) pages 46
Winged Samurai (1985) pages 86 (Sakai victory claims - 8/17/45 Tokyo, Japan / B-32 x 1 damaged by 14 pilots), 134-136 (The Last Mission)
Imperial Japanese Navy Aces 1937-45 (1998) page 80
"On 17 August [1945] unesccorted B-32 Dominators flew over Tokyo on a photo-reconnaissance mission and were duly intercepted by fighters from the Yokosuka AG [Air Group]. Ens Saburo Sakai and WO Sadamu Komachi chased one bomber to Oshima Island, where it ditched - the loss was recorded as operational."
Echoes of the Dominator (2007) pages 109, 112-116, 147
Rampage of the Roarin' 20's (2009) pages 356 (42-108539)

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Last Updated
August 28, 2020

 

Tech Information
B-32
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