Other titl es in the Crowood Aviation Seri es
A ichi D3A I/2 Val
A irco - T he A ircraft Manufacturin g Company
Av ro Lan caster
Av ro Shackleto n
BAC One -Eleven
Boe ing 737
Boei ng 747
Boeing 757 and 767
Boeing 13- 17 Flying Fort ress
Brist ol Brttanni n
Consolidated 8 -24 Liberator
Douglas A-26 and 13-26 Invader
Do uglas A D Skvraidcr
Do uglas Twinj ers
Eng lish Electr ic Canberra
English Electr ic Ligh tn ing
Fairch ild Republi c A- I0 T hunderbolt [I
Fair y Swordfish and A lbaco re
Fokkcr A ircraft of World War One
Hawk er Hu nt er
Heinkel He II I
Junkers Ju 88
Lock heed C- 130 Hercules
Lockheed F- I04 Starfigh te r
Luftwaffe - A Pictorial Hi stor y
Mc Donnel l Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
Mc Donnel l Do uglas F- 15 Eagle
Mcsserschmirt Bf 110
Messcrsch mit t Me 262
Nicuport A ircraft of World War O ne
Nort h Ame rican 13-25 Mi tchel l
Nort h Ame rican F-86 Sabre
Nort h Ame rica n F- IOOSuper Sa bre
Nort h Ame rican T 6
Panavi n Torn ado
Pet! yakov Pe-2 Pcsh/((1
Short Sunderland
T he Turr et Fighters
Vickers VC I 0
Vough t F4U Corsa ir
Pet er C. Smith
Mi ck Davi s
Ken Del ve
Barry Jones
Malc olm L. Hill
Malc olm L. Hill
Mart in W. Bowman
T homas Becher
Mart in W. Bowman
Charles Wood ley
Mart in W. Bowma n
Scott T hompson
Peter C. Smith
T homas Becher
Barry Jones
Mart in W. Bowman
Pet er C. Smit h
\X!. A . Harri son
Pau l Leaman
Bar ry Jones
Ron Mackay
Ron Mackay
Marti n \X!. Bowman
Martin \X!. Bowman
Eric Mombcck
Brad Elward
Pet er E. Davies ami Tony T hornborough
Ron Mackay
David Baker
Ray Sanger
Jerry Sc ut ts
Duncan Curt is
Pet er E. Davies
Peter C. Smith
Andy Eva ns
Peter C. Smith
Ken Delve
A lec Bre\\'
Barr y Jones
Lan ce Cole
Marti n W. Bowman
Steve Pace
I = > ~ c l
The Crowood Press
First published in 2003 hy
The Crowood Press Ltd
Ramshury, Marlborou gh
Wi lt shi re 5 1 2HR
© Steve Pace 2003
All righl s reser ved . 0 part of this publication ma y
he reproduced or t ransrnirred in any form or hy any
mean s, elec t ron ic or mechani cal. including l ' h ( ) t ( ) ~
copy. recording. or any information storage and
rcrri cval syste m, wi thout pe rmission in writing (rom
th e publisher s.
Bril ish Librar y Ca tulogu ing -in-Pu biicnti on Data
A cat alogue record for t his book is ava ila!.'le from rhc
Brili sh Library.
T h is book is chiefly dedica ted to th e th ousands of peop le who were a soc iared with th e
Boeing B-29 Supcrforrress in Worl d \Var Two and the Kor ean \Var. It is also dedicat -
ed to th ose who fait hfu lly served with her duri ng the Cold \Var, never knowing when
th ey mi gh t have to take her into bat tle once agai n.
I BN I 86 126 58 1 6
Photograph on page 6: The ENOLA GAY as she
appeared t he day before she dropped Lirrle Boy on
Hiroshima. Rich ard Ii. Campbe ll Co llect ion
Typefaces used : Cloudy (rexr), C hel tenham
(heculin):s) , Univers Conde nsed (ca/>liollS,," d hoxes).
Type set and design ed by
D & N Publishing
Lowesdcn Busi ne ss Park. Hungerford. Berkshi re.
Pri m ed and ho un d by Bookcrafr, Midsomcr o r t on,
Pet er M. Bowers; Scott Burris, heavy- Rich ard H. Campbell; Col
Melv in G. Cas h, USAF (Retd ); Bob Cole;
Bill Copeland; William R. Cor ker, Ameri-
ca n Insti tute of Aeron aut ics an d Astron au-
t ics - August 1999 cwslcrrcr of the New
England Sec t ion; Sparky Corrndi na, B-29
Research Resources; Ronald Ellison; Frank
' Bud' Farrel l; John Forster; Joe Godfrey, Profiles; Sha wn Hamilton;
Chris Howlett, \Vashington Times cws-
lett er and B-29 Research Resources; Chuck
Irwin; Philip Jarrett; Mich ael J. Lombardi ,
Boeing Histor ical Archi ves; Earl Johnson;
David Karr and Wi lliam R. ' Billy' Karr :
Chester W. Marshall; David Maxwell, B-29
Research Resour ces; M/Sgt David W.
Men ard, USAF (Retd); Ma x Nel son; Tricia
Niquett e, Boeing Commercial Airplanes,
Wi chita Division; Stan Pier, founder/exec-
uti ve director , The G lenn L. Marrin Avia-
tion Museum; David Price-Goodfellow,
D & Publish ing; Dr Raymond L. Puffer.
archivist/ historian, Air Force Flight Test
Center History Office, Edwards AFB;
Alexander Rearick; William Royster; Mrs
Donna Jean Sc hifferli; Leon D. Smith; Maj
Donald R. Spelling, USAF (Rcrd): Hans-
Hciri Stapfcr: Pat rick St inson; 2nd Lt
laude E. Surface, USAF (Retd); Earl
Swinha rr, The Aviat ion Histor y On-line
Museum, nvia rion-hi \Vatren E.
Thompson ; Sa llynn n \Vaguner,;
Will iam F. 'Bi ll' Welch; R.C. 'Colin'
\Villiams; and Dick Ziegler, conununica-
t ions, Boeing Airplane Company, Wichi ta
Foreword 7
Introduction 9
Appendix I B- 29 Product ion 187
Appendix II Individual Aircraft Names 193
Bibliography 205
Index 206
II was Monda y morning, :30am, 5 Fcb ru-
Iry 1940. It was rain ing and foggy (as
u ual), Boeing Airplane Company Presi-
k-ru Phil Johnson grabbed a cup of hoi
.. Ifce and sat down at hi s desk to go
dHl lllgh th e morning mail. He normally
.mncd all the envelopes before he read
III\' lett er, but th is one caught hi s eye: ' \Var
I k part lllent, US Army Air Cor ps, Wright
11l'1L1, Ohio' . Inside he found a t hick doc-
umcru with a co ver page, whi ch began ' US
rmv, Airplane , Bombardment , Spccifi-
.u ron For' . It was da ted 29 January 1940.
Thus began th e long, somet imes tragic,
I"urney rhar would cu lmina te in th e Boe-
11\1-: B-29 Supcrfortrcss, unquesti onably the
1111 1st formidable bombing aircraft of
W'l rld War Two.
It was ori gin ally designat ed Boe ing
lodcl 1'-34 1 but , after raking a few sug-
!:l'st ions from th e British (who were t hen
u' ll1g a sma ll number of B-17Cs as Fort ress
I for t he Royal A ir For ce), Boeing began
,Illding self-scaling fuel tanks, more armour
.nul state-of-the-art defensivc armame nt,
.uuongsr other refinement s; when t hey
were th rough , they sent th e new spcc ifica-
lio n ro the Army Ai r Cor ps and rcdesig-
n.ucd it Boeing Model 1'-345. The spec ifi-
cat ions were approved in June and by the
end of 1940, Boeing had completed a
mock-up. Afte r an inspect ion an d
approval by th e USAAC, two prototype
XB-29-BO aircraft and a stat ic test air-
frame were orde red, and th e Boei ng-Scar-
de plant shifted into h igh gea r.
Within five mont hs, and before a single
piece of th e XB-29 had been manufactured,
the Army orde red 250 more 1'-29 aircraft.
Before th e first 1'-29 ever flew, 1,650 were
on orde r by th e USAAF (aro und thi s l ime
the name was changed from 'US Army Air
Corps' to ' US Army Air Forces') . Fourt een
of the first bat ch were designa ted YB-29-
BW. (The last two lett ers in the designati on
were for the company name and locati on of
the manufa cturi ng plant. ' -BW' signified
' Boeing-Wichita.' ' -1'0 ' was used for 'Boe-
ing-Seattle in order t o avoid ' -BS'.) The
YB-29s would be the 'Service Test' aircraft.
The first prob lem was finding a wing to
lift the giant . A search for an ' off-t he-shelf'
wing yielded nothi ng suitable. Any given
wing would have enough lift, only to have
too much drag at cruising speed. Another
wou ld have low drag bUI wicked sta ll char-
ac te rist ics. Yet another wou ld have low
dr ag, good sta ll charac rcrist ics and not
enough lift 10 gel the I05,0001b (48,000kg)
monst er off any runway of reason ab le
len gt h . Boeing's sohuion was simple: it
designed its own wing, designat ed the Boe-
ing ' l IT wing, \Vh en the wing design was
finished, it was 141ft 3in (43.05m ) and had
an area of 1,736sq ft (I 6 1.3sq m). It had a
set of flaps, whi ch wou ld increase the wing
area by 350sq ft (32 .5sq m), for better con-
t rol at slower speeds. With the flaps retract-
ed, th e wing had very low drag, whi ch per-
mitt ed hi gher speeds. Boein g had to devi se
a way to manufacture two wing spars,
whi ch were the longest and heavi est Dura-
lumin ext rusions eve r made. During de-
struct ion test ing of t he Boein g I 17 wing, it
took 300,000 1b ( 136,OOOkg) of pressure to
co llapse th e wing.
Early on, Boeing wrestled with the prob-
lem of crew comfor t in th e Superfort ress. ln
smaller bombers the problem was less
severe because of the ir limited range. Wi th
rhe endurance of the Superfort rcss. rhe
crew could be airborne for up to 18 hours at
alt itudes of 32, 000ft ( 10,000m) where the
tempera ture could drop to SO°F below zero.
Thi s inc ant I he 1'-29 crew areas would
have to be pressurized. But, if t he plan e
were pressuri zed, how could you open 40ft
( 12m) of the fuselage to outside air pressure
at 32,000ft in order to drop th e bombs ?The
solut ion: pressuri ze th e areas fore and aft of
the double bomb-bay and connect I he two
sec t ions wit h a large tube placed over the
top of the bomb-bays so airmen could get
from one sect ion of th e ship to th e other.
Then th ere wer e prob lems with the
huge, 16.5ft (5m) Hamil ton Sta nda rd pro-
pellers, wh ich caused ' runaway' engines
and problems with th e four remot el y con-
trolled gun ' barbcrrcs'. There were prob-
lems with t he fire-contro l ' blisters' where
gunners were stat ioned to aim the bar -
bcrrcs: rhe bl ist ers some t imes blew out
when th e craft was pressur ized and flying at
hi gh altit ude . (Gunners were adv ised 10
wear a safety line in order to avoid being
blown overboard if a blister poppccl.)
The re were problems with booster c.»it rols
for t he rudder, and problems with t he radar.
Fina lly on Monday 21 Septe mber 194 2,
in front of almost all th e Boein g employees
who had contr ibuted over 1,300, 000 man
hours to th e Model 34S project , XB-29
Number One was rolled out on the runway
at Boei ng Field, Sea t tle . Engi nes were
war med , take-off power was applied and
Eddi e A llen , Boeing's Chief Test Pi lot , lift -
ed I he first Superfortress off the runway as
smoothly as if he'd been doing it for years.
The 52.S-ton (47.6-tonne) craft rose
steadily to 6,OOOft ( I , OOm) , where Allen
made the preliminar y tests of th e cont rols
for pitc h, yaw and roll. Afte r a IY1 hour
flight , he brought th e huge aircraft back to
a smoot h landing. The second prototype
flew t hree mont hs later.
As a measure of t he prob lems yet 10 be
solved, in the ninet y-seven days following
that first flighl, Allen was able to accumu-
lat e on ly twent y-seven hours' flight t ime
in Number One. However. as a measure of
the fundamenta l int egri ty of the aircra ft
itsel f, not a single basic alrcra t ion 10 rhc
airframe was required t hroughout its pro -
duct ion hi st or y.
The most relen tless problem was the
2,200bhp Wri ght Cyclo ne R-3350 twi n-
row rad ial engine . It had a persist ent incli -
nati on to overheat, swallow valves and
even catch fire in fligh t. In an effort to pro-
duce mor e horsepower from a light er
engine, th e crankcase was made of magne-
sium, a very light and very strong metal.
The probl em was that magnesium is also a
flammable metal. \Vhen th at was combined
with the addit ional problem of a fuel indu c-
t ion system th at tended to ca tch fire and
burn long enough to set the magnesium on
fire. it became a very serious situat ion.
' Band-A id' treat ment s such as air baffles to
direct more air to the rear row of cylinders
and propeller cuffs to force more air thro ugh
the engine hel ped, but it would be man y
moons before the prob lem was solved.
Boei ng lost its Chief Test Pilot along
with the cream of the B-29 flight test crew
because of a fire wh ich destro yed a wing
spar. Shorrly after noon on Thursda y, 18
February 1943, Eddie Allen was flight -
testing XB-29 Nu mber Two when an
engine fire developed. The port wing spar
burned th rough and co llapsed, sending t he
huge bomber crash ing into a meat packing
plant a few mil es south of Boeing Field. All
eleven men aboard th e plane and eighteen
(some sources say twent y) in th e plant
were killed insta ntl y.
Event ually, Senat or Harry S. Truman
(who would lat er become President Tru-
man) headed a committ ee looking into the
problems of the Wright Cyclone eng ine.
The committ ee found Wright Aerona ut i-
ca l at fault for lett ing qualit y go by the
board in favour of quant it y. Equally at
fault, accordi ng to the committee report ,
was th e USAAF for putt ing too much
pressure on Wright to speed up producti on
of th e Cyclone.
Though the prob lems were not com-
pletely solved, by the end of 1943 they were
under control to th e extent th at Boeing-
Renton , Bell-Atlanta and Mart in-Omaha
began turni ng out th e first of nearl y 2,000
B-29 Supcrforrrcsscs contained in the ini -
t ial orde rs for deli very to the USAAF.
It was ar med with the General Electric
auto -comput ing fire-cont rol syste m com-
posed of eight remot ely cont rolled .50-cali-
brc machine-guns installed in four bar-
bctr cs located on the top and bottom of the
fuselage, fore and aft. Lat er models added
two more mach ine-guns to the top for ward
barbctre to assist in defendi ng against
frontal atta cks. Control of the four bar -
bcrres could be transferred to a single gun-
ner or sha red between front , right, left and
top gunne rs. The tai l-gun ner controlled
two mor e fift ies plus a 20mm cannon. It was
est imated the tail -gun ner acco unted for 75
per cent of all ene my aircraft destroyed by
the Superfortrcss. One reason for this was
the 20mm cannon. Anot her was th e slow
closing rat e of an ene my approach ing from
the rear, whi ch allowed more t ime for the
tail-gunner to sight on the at tacker,
Init iall y th e B-29 had a maximum
permi ssible weight of around 105,0001 b
(48,000kg). Dur ing th e latt er phases of th e
war wi th Japan , gross take-off weight s of
well ove r 140,000l b (64,000kg) were fair-
ly commo n for t he Supcrfort rcss.
A whopping 40 per cent of the fuselage
was dedicated to carrying bombs. The
double bomb-bay co uld ca rry 20,000 1b
(9,000kg) to a target 2,050 miles O,JOOkm)
away and return to base. It rook 6,988 US
gallons (5, 8 19 Imp. gallonsj26,4761rr ) of
IOO-octane aircraft fuel to fill the tanks. The
maximum capac ity was 9,548 US gallons
(7,950 Imp. gallons) with ferr y ranks in the
bomb -bays, in which case th e ran ge was
ex te nded to 6,000 miles (9,700km) .
The Supcrforrrcss was furn ished in t hr ee
basic configurat ions - B-29, B-29A and B-
29B. Then the re was th e F- 13 phot o ver-
sion, which was used to obtain target pho-
tos of Japan, and in fact the enti re west ern
Pacific and eastern Asia area. T hough th eir
' innards' were somet imes very different
they were all nearly ident ical in outward
appearance. As each Supe rforrrcss rolled
down the assembly line, it was given th e
latest USAAF mod ificat ions, which result-
ed in 3,970 B-29s, each of whi ch was just a
bit different from t he next.
The Supcrlort rcss acquitt ed itsel f well
in the Pacific war in spite of mech ani cal
and electro nic pro blems. At first, it wasn' t
unu sual for a mission to lose mor e aircraft
to mechani cal problems t ha n to the
ene my. But , as the crew ch iefs became
mor e ade pt at field mod ificati on, th e num-
bers slowly began to improve.
The major fact or in creat ing an efficient
bombing machine out of t he Supcrforrress
was an Air Forces major general named
Curt is E. LeMay. Nickna med ' Iron Ass' ,
LeMay was put in co mma nd of the B-29s
based on th e Mar ian as Group in th e west -
ern Pacifi c and was responsible for solving
several of t he Supcrforrrcss's operat ional
problems in one st roke: he ord ered th e B-
29 crews to remove th e guns, gunne rs and
all th e ammunit ion. (Some of the tail guns
were replaced with broom st icks so t he
ene my fight er pi lots, hopefully, wou ldn't
become aware of t he missing guns. ) And
he orde red th at mission s be flown at
8,000- 12,000ft (2,400- 3,700m).
Bombing accuracy had been miser able
because of th e hi gh winds at the 28,000-
34,000ft (8, 600- 1O,OOOm) level wher e
previous missions had bee n flown. Aborts
wer e co mmon because of engines over-
heat ing wh ile climbing to alt it ude . Wi th
t he new procedures, fuel co uld be saved,
without th e wei ght of guns, ammunit ion
and gunne rs, more bombs could be carr ied,
engines would run cooler and bombing
wou ld be done from bel ow th e fierce winds
raging over Japan .
LeMay faced a near-muti ny from his
crews, who were certain Japanese flak bat -
teries would rip th em to pieces at such a low
altitude. And he knew his career was on the
line if it turned into a massacre. But he
stuck to hi s decision an d it was a good one.
Casualties went down , the number of tar-
gets destroyed rose dr amat ically and th e
number of aborts due to ove rheated engines
dropped. The air war against the Japanese
home islands entered a new and apocalyp-
tic phase where city aft er city was nearl y
oblite rate d by firebombs: the city of Toya-
ma was 99.5 per cent dest royed in one raid
by 173 B-29s on the ni ght of I August 1945.
At 2:45am, Mond ay 6 August 1945, an
ordina ry-loo king B-29-45-MO, serial num-
ber 44-86292, sat at th e end of th e runway
at ort h Field, Tin ian, an obscure lit tle
island in th e Mar ian as. T he engines were
run up one at a t ime, a spotl ight ill umi nat-
ing eac h to check for undu e smo ke or
ot he r disord ers. The only thi ng peculiar
about t he sh ip at all was t he name; no rau-
cous female nude in a suggest ive pose
painted on the nose, just the rath er unr e-
markable print ing 'ENOLA GAY'. In com-
mand was Col Pau l W. Ti bbets Jr, com-
mander of the 509 th Composite Group; his
co-pilot was Capt Robert Lewis. The
Group had been at Ti nian since June and
curiosity amongst t he or he r Groups was
mounting. The 509th didn't seem to have
a part icular mission , just a few ' t raining'
flights to Truk and othe r low prior ity ta r-
gets in Japan itsel f. They kept t heir dis-
ta nce from th e other Groups, didn' t min -
gle at all. In anothe r few hours, the whole
worl d wou ld kno w of t he mission of th e
509t h Composite Group and thi s parti cu-
lar aircraft, th e ENOLA GAY.
Lift ing 75 tons (68 tonncs) off the run-
way, she was on her way to Japan . At
8: 15: 17am th e ENO LA GAY was over
Hi roshima, Japan at 3 I ,600ft (9,630m)
when the world 's first atomic bomb to be
dropped from an aircra ft was toggled. Two
minut es lat er it exploded over th e ci ty at
an alt itude of about 2,000ft (600m). The
bomb wiped out a circle 4.5 miles (7.25km )
in di amet er in th e middle of Hirosh ima.
On 9 August, ano t he r atom bomb was
dropped on Nagasaki. Six days lat er, the
Japanese uncondit ionall y surrende red.
Thus th e end of World War Two was
bro ught about in no sma ll measure by th e
Boeing B-29 Supc rfortress.
Earl Swi nhar t,
Th e Aviation HistOl')' On-line Museum
I Ill' Boeing B-29 Superforrrcss will forcv-
Ill' reme mbered as the bomb er that
Illlpcd br ing abo ut th e earl ier-t ha n-
pl'l' ted close to \X!orld \Var Two . For on
IIld 0 August 194 5, respecti vel y, B-29s
() LA G AY and BO C KSCAR lai d
, I tl' to the j apan ese cit ies of Hi rosh ima
Ill.! Nagasaki. T hese con rro vc rsia I act ions
I romprcd j apan to sur render once and for
.11, t hus saving t he lives of co untl ess
lhccl servicemen wh o surel y would have
I -cn sacrificed in th e invasion of Japan's
h,.ml' islands, planned to begin in ovcm-
I " 1045. Yet th ere is far mor e t han just
lhl"e two mi ssions to t he h istor y of th e
upc rforrrcss, whi ch ultimat e ly served in
lwo ' hot ' wa rs and part of the Cold \Var
I -lorc it was allo wed to ret ire.
Ih c B-29 Supcrfort ress was designed ,
h-vcloped and produced as a pisto n-
ngi ned heavy bomber for service in th e
l JS Army Air Corps (USAAC) . It subsc-
IUl' ntl y served wit h US Army Air For ces
(LJSAAF) and US Ai r Force ( SAF) - th e
I JSAAC became t he USAA F on 20 Jun e
Il)4 1 and the USAAF became the SAF
on 18 Se ptember 1947. It also served wit h
Hoyal Air Force Bom ber Comma nd and
till' Royal Aust ralian Ai r For ce ( RAAF).
The B-29 was un officially called 'A-
I" imhcr' , 'Super Bomber' an d 'Supcrf»r ',
hut its official name was Supcrforrrcss. But
what ever the Superforrrcss was called, it was
the wor ld's first tr ue heavy-cl ass bomb er air-
cra ft , designed specifically for st rategic con-
vent iona l and nucl ea r bombardment.
Boe ing start ed full-scale B-29 produc-
t ion at its Wi chita , Kansas and Ren to n ,
Wash ingto n fact ories in mi d- and lat e-
1943, respecti vel y, In addit ion, due to th e
numbers requir ed for the war, B-29s wer e
soon be ing built by th e Bell A irc raft Cor -
porat ion at Atl ant a, Georgia and hy th e
G len n L. Martin Compa ny at O ma ha ,
Nebraska, For th e most parr th ese B-29s
were produced in around-th e-cl ock ten-
hour sh ifts, six and eve n seven days a
week , day and ni ght. 2,776 B-29s and B-
29As were bui lt by Boe ing, 668 B-29s and
B-29Bs by Bell , and 53 1 B-29s by Mart in -
these last incl uding t he sixty-five spec iall y
modi fied Si lve rpl are B-29 s, t he world's
first atomic bombers. T he last B-29 to be
buil t ro lled off th e Boe ing-Renton produc-
t ion li ne on 28 May 1946. Befor e Vj -Dny
th er e were 9,052 B-29s on orde r but soon
afterwards 5,082 wer e cancelled. T hu s,
incl uding th ree ex pe rime ntal proto type
XB-29s, fou rt een service-tes t YB-29s and
te n pat tern B-29s, a gra nd to ta l of 3,970 B-
29 ' were bui lt. (Ten , possibly e leve n , pat -
tern ai rplanes and 3 ,943 or 3,942 full-scale
product ion a ircraft wer e buil t - Boei ng
records show that four patt ern B-29s went
to Bell and six pat tern B-29s went to Mar -
t in; however, the U AAF says five patt ern
B-29s went to each. )
Since the B-29 was put into product ion
and service in a cons iderable rush - it went
from first flight to first combat in a mere
twent y-one mont hs - it was fraugh t with
development problems. Irs devel opment
woes had cen tred mostl y on it s new and
unproven engine s, wh ich at first had a ten -
dency to leak cran kcase o il, ove rhe at and
catc h fire. Nume rous early non-combat
and combat crashes were att ributed to th is
specific problem .
The B-29 Supc rfort ress incl uded many
design innov at ions never before applied to
a produ ction heavy bomher. Among th ese
wer e a t ricycl e under ca rr iage, autopilot ,
du al ( in tandem) bomb -bays, pr essurized
crew sta t ions and a remot e ly cont ro lled
cannon and mach ine-gun arma me n t. It
can eas ily he sa id th at it was th e most
adv ance d hombel' of \'(Ior ld War Two.
The B-29 and a number of its deri va-
tives were extens ivel y used in co mbat ,
erving in bot h \'(Ior ld \Var Two and the
Kor ean War. It performed a var iety of
bombing dut ies, ranging from th e rel ease
of small incen d iar y bombs to the oblite ra-
ti on of two cit ies with two ato mic bombs.
\'(Iit h its maximum speed of 350mph
(560km/h ), it co uld ca rry a maximu m
bomb load of up to 20,OOOIb (9,000k g) for
a d istance of 1,600 mil es ( 2,600km) .
T he many versions of the B-29 inc lud-
ied the F- 13 photograph ic reconna issan ce
and mapping aircraft , wh ich became the
RB-29; th e KB-29 aerial-refue ll ing tank er ;
t he SB-29 sea rescue a ircraft; th e TB-29
bomber t rain ing and transi t ion model; th e
\/ B-29 VIP t ransport; and th e WB-29
went her reconnaissan ce aircraft.
During t he course of the B-29's ca ree r
there were numerou s improvements made
to t he a irframe and eng ine s. These ulti -
mat e ly led to t he creat ion of th e prop osed
B-29D model , lat er redesign at ed B-50A,
of wh ich Boeing went on to build 37 1.
Eve n the B-50 had spin-off including th e
gargant ua n 13-54, whi ch due to th e adve n t
of th e jet age was nor proceed ed wit h.
On 4 ovc rn bcr 1954 th e last co mbat -
ca pa ble Supc rfort rcss, a Strategic A ir
Command B-29A of th e 307th Bomb
\'(Iing, based at Kaden» A ir Base on O ki-
nawa, reti red to t he aircraft sto rage and
reclamat ion fac ility at Davis-Monr han Ai r
For ce Base in Arizona . A limit ed number
of ot her non-com bat -capable B-29s
remai ned in service, however ; the last of
these, a weat her reconnaissance \'(IB-29,
retir ed in 1960.
The Boeing B-29 Supe rfort ress led an
attenti on -grab bing life desp ite t he n umb er
of de velopme ntal complicat ions from
wh ich it had suffered. Bur one must
remember how difficu lt t imes wer e during
its ges tat ion peri od and just how adv anced
thi s part icular ai rcr aft act ua lly was.
In a lett er to th is writer in 2002 , former
B-29 a ircraft co mmander Major Donald R.
Spe lling sa id ' If th e war had dragged on
into the lat e 1940s th ere's no other bomber
I'd ha ve wanted to be associat ed wit h.'
The Boeing Airplane Company
The Boe ing A irplane Company is a wor ld
leader in th e de-ign, development and pro -
duct ion of large and heavy mull i-engine air-
craft for civilian and military usc. Wi l h its
headquarters now based in Chicago, Illinois
( Boeing moved to Ch icago from Seatt le,
Washington in September 200 1), Boein g
remain s one of the wor ld' s largest aerospace
firms, rivall ed only by the Lockheed Mart in
Corporat ion. But il cert ainly did no t start
out th at way: in 1916, when what was to
become the Boeing Airplane ompany was
founded, there were no world leaders in the
sale and production of aircra ft.
\X!ill iam E. 'Bill' Boeing was born on I
October 18 I to a Germa n immi grant who
became a weal:hy lumber baro n in the
orrh \X!estern region of the Un ited States.
As a 22-year-old he opted to leave the
She ffield Sc ient ific Sc hool at Yale Un iver-
sity to pursue hi s place in th e rapidly grow-
ing tim ber indust ry, in whi ch he soon pros-
pered. T hat was in 1903, the very same year
I hat the \X!right Brolhers made their hi stori c
flight s in th e world 's firsr controlled and
powered aircraft. Those events at Kitty
Hawk, Nort h Carolina mesmerized Bill
Boeing and he soon became engrossed with
William E. 'Bill' Boeing, founder of the Boeing
Airplane Company. Boeing Media
BelOW: The first of the two Modell Boeing and
Westervelt (B&W) seaplanes on Lake Union in
Seattle , just after its first flight on 29June 1916.
Peter M. Bowers
avi anon. He immedi atel y wanted to fly
himsel f, beco me a pilot and eve ntua lly bui ld
hi s own aircraft. Hi s first Iliglu, with a barn-
stor me r named Terah Maroney ove r catt le
on 4 July 1914 , had him hoo ked for life; he
th en set about designi ng and building a bet -
ter aircraft th an he had flown in.
In Decemb er 191 5 Boei ng had an air-
cra ft hanger built on the we t hore of Lake
Union in carrlc, Wash ingto n. This soon
became known as Bill Boeing's Lake nion
Hanger, and here he fou nded t he Pa ific
Aero Products Compa ny on 15 July 19 16.
T he co mpa ny was fou nded wit h Boeing's
friend and business partner Lt onr ad
Wester vel t , a naval officer and aerona uti -
cal engineer assigned to a cattle sh ipyard.
Whi le th e han ger was t ill under oust ruc-
t ion, Lt \'\Iestervelt started I he de -ign of the
Model 1 or B&W (Boe ing and Wester -
vel t ), whi ch quick ly evolved into a two-
place uti lity sea plane powered by a 125hp
Hall -Sco tt A-5 eng ine drivi ng a two-blade
pro pel ler. Two B&\'\1 airplane s were bui lt ,
the first exa mple maki ng its first flight on
29 Ju ne 19 16.
A career naval officer, Lt Wester vel l was
reassigned to the cas t coast of the U A in
rI )917. At th is time, with no producti on
I. , t ~ i r t he B&W forthcom ing and
liN' of slow business with the USA mil -
l! III general, West ervelt signed off on th e
IlIl Aero Products Company. After hi s
I uturc, however, the USA avv subcon-
", Il'cI wit h the compa ny to build fifty C ur-
.. IIS·2 L flying boat , for use in Worl d War
lt l l ' . So, wit h a new manu facturing fac ility
III I he Hca rh Sh ipyard on th e Duwam ish
I rver in sout h Seat tl e, Bill Boei ng csrab-
II IwcI t he Boe ing Airplane Company on 26
I nl 19 17. About hal f of the orde r for HS-
I was termina ted after th e war and Boe ing
t1WIl st ruggled to get new busin ess.
I he fledgling Boeing Airplane Company
" Il l inned 10 obtain minimal o rde rs for t he
,',)' limited product ion of its own designs -
nc plane here, one plane t her e, and a few
m.mufacruring subcont racts for ot he r air-
I.llt and related assemblies. In the mean -
III Ill', I I I kee p its wor k force of skilled car -
I -nrcrs intact , Boei ng even bu ilt furn it ur e.
II \\'as not un ti l the adve nt in 1922 of th e
I. "Id B- I 5 fight er, wh ich entered service
IIh rhc USA A rmy as th e PW-9 and USA
,IV)' as rhc FB- I , that Boeing first built its
own designs in rel ati vel y large qu anrir ics.
Boei ng cont in ued to develop and pro-
lucc fighters for the A A rmy and avy
Illfll ughout the I920s and int o the 1930s,
ulm inat ing with its F7B and 1'-26. (The
nnv referred 10 its fight ers as ' pursui t '
aircraft , hence t he ' P sulfix.) O t her pursuit /
fighter t ypes wer e desi gn ed and offered
to t he A rmy and Navy, but wer e not pro-
ceeded wit h .
ABOVE: Bill Boeing (holding the mail bag) and his
then-favourite test pilot, the famed Eddie Hubbard,
pose in front of a Model C-l Fseaplane. Wayne All en
O n t he civilian side of Boeing's business
a number of not ab le aircraft eme rged in th e
late 1920s and t hroughout the 1930s. T he
first successful civil type was t he sing le-
BElOW: Boeing's first factory building, the Red
Barn, which is now an integral part of the
Museum of Flight, Boeing Field, Seattle,
Washington. BenWi lsonColl ection
The sale Model B-40 mailplane first flew on 7 July 1925. Although it was not ordered
into production it served as the foundation for the advanced Model B-40A.
Mark LinnCollection
The mail- and passenger-carrying Boeing Model B-40A was a limited success Inr
Boeing, However it led to the manufacture Df several fDIIDw-Dn types, including the
famed model B-200 MDnDmai l. The first ot twenty-five MDdel 40As was first Ilown en
20 May 1927. Wayne Allen
even higher speed, at mor e th an 200mph
(320km/h) . Thus th e sho rt per iod of the
Bocin g B-9' success was over,
Ne xt came an out stand ing civilian
transport th at borrowed the technologies
Boci ng had developed for th e Monornail
and B-9. This was the trend-sett ing Model
B-247 , whi ch has been descr ibed as th e
worl d's first ' modern' airliner. The first B-
247 made it first ni ght on February
1933. The B-247 boasted speeds some
50- 70mph ( 0- 1IOkm/h ) fast er th an the
th en stare-o f-t he-art Boeing, Ford rind
Fokk er tr i-rnorors. It could carry ten pas-
sengers at 180mph ( 290km/h), at alt it udes
of up to 20,000ft (6 ,000m), and had a
rangc of some 500 miles (800k m) . They
th e service dcsignat ion YI B-9A and whi ch
was, in fact, ordered at rhe same t ime t har
th e 214/2 15 aircraft were bought. The
main cha nges from the B-214/ 215 design
were an enclosed cockpit, a revised vcrrical
rail and uprat cd en gines. Oddly, th ough
th e enclosed coc kpit configurat ion was
called for, it was never in fact applied. The
YI B-9A was powered by two 630hp Prat t
& Whitney 1\- 1860-11 radial engines and
its top speed was I86 mph (300km/ h ). Five
service test aircraft were ordered and buiIt,
and even th ough th ey wer e top of th e line
when th e first one flew on 14 Jul y 1932,
they wer e qu ickly surpassed by rhc Martin
B- IOand B- 12 series, whi ch could carry a
greater load, had a longer ran ge and had an
engine Model 200 Monomail monoplane.
The Monomail was a combined mail and
cargo transport with nocu ft (6.2cu m) of
mail/ cargo space. The first Monorn ail madc
its first flight on 6 May 1930. Wi th its
monoplan e configurat ion the Model 200
was a major mi lestone for Boeing: it was one
of the first truly succcssful mon opiancs. Its
575hp Prat t & Whitn cy Hornet engine
gave it a top speed of 160mph ( 260km/h)
and an impressive, for th e rime, cli mb rare
of 50ft/min ( 260m/min) .
Boeing's seco nd successful civil tvpc was
th e Model 0 series of t ri-rnotor passenger
airliners, t he first of whi ch flew for the first
t ime in August 192 . T hc or iginal Model
80 carried twelve passen gers and I hr cc
crew, along wit h I,000lb (450kg) of cargo,
over a di stan ce of some 540 m i l e ~ (870k l{1).
Thc Model 80 was powered by I hr cc 41Ohp
Pratt & \Vhitney Wasp engines, and had a
top speed of 130mph ( 21Okm/h ).
Despit e th e variety of aircraft Boei ng
had been building and sell ing sinc e 19 16,
it had not vet produced a successful
bomber, Th is cha nged with the adv ent of
the open- cockpit Model B-214 and B-215
de igns, which applied th e st ructural and
ae rodyna mic feat ures of the Model 200
Monomai l. \Vi th no requi remen ts forth -
coming from the A Army for a ne w
bombe r, Boei ng de veloped th e B-214 and
B-215 using its own money.
The t wo types were for the most pan
ident ical, hut were powered by different
engines. The Model 215, with two 575hp
Prall & Whitney 1\-1860- 13 Hornet air-
coo led radial engines, was completed first
and made its first night on 13 April 193 1.
The B-2 15's perfor man ce was quite amaz-
ing for I he I ime: I hc Army Iikcd what it saw
and ordered bot h types on 14 August 193 I,
before B-214 had even bee n fini shed. At
thi s t ime th e B-215 was designated YB-9,
tho ugh for a shor t ti me B-2 15 was known
as XB-90 I (X - Experi mental, B- Bomber,
90 1 - 90 l st rest aircraft) . The Model 214,
whi ch had been designat ed YI B-9, was
co mpleted in late October 193 1 with two
liquid-cooled 600hp Curt iss \1- 1570 Con-
queror inlinc engines and was first flown on
5 ovember 1931. In man y wavs the Boe -
ing B-9 monoplan e bombers were rcvol u-
rion arv for th eir day. They were tout ed as
high-spced bombers, and in fact, wit h t hei r
175mph ( 280km/h) ' peed, th ey were faster
th an any operat ional USA Army or avv
pursuit/fighter rvpc in service at th e rime.
The B-214/ 215 designs led to th e
improved Model B-246, wh ich was given
: There was a time when tri-motor passenger-
Irying airliners were all the rage. The Boeing
d I B-80 series competed with such notable
otors as the Fokker EVil and Ford5-AT.
"'0 Media
liT. The Boeing Model B-214/-215 Y1B-9 and YB-9
r among the world's ear liest monoplane
mbors. The Y1 B-9is shown with a Model
P-26 ' Peashooter' monoplane pursuit plane.
vne Allen
l OW: When it first appeared the Boeing Model
2 7 was quite revolutionary with its all-metal
w·wing monoplane design. It was we ll rece ived
ntil the advent of Douglas' DC-1/-2/-3 series.
oomg Media
were all powered by eit he r Pratt & Whit -
ney \Vasp or Twin \Vasp Jun ior engine s
that produced 525 hp. Boeing went on to
build seve nt y Model 247s for Un ited Air
Lines (whi ch Boein g itself founded) and
Germany's Luft hansa.
It is most likely th at Boeing would have
built man y more 247s, but fo'r one serious
marketing mistake. That is, Transcon t inen -
tal and Western Airlines (lat er Trans World
Airlines ) and others want ed to buy 247s,
but Boei ng refused to deliver any of the new
aircraft to othe r carriers before its own air-
line, United Ai r Line , got its quota. There-
in lies the problem, for T\VA pur out a
request for proposals to othe r manufact urers
to come up with a transport equal ro or bcr-
rer th an Boei ng's 247. The Douglas Aircraft
ompany rose to th e occasion with its
Model s DC- I, DC-2 and DC 3. Boeing's
fai lure to share its trend-setti ng 247 with
ot her airlines spelled an ignomi nious doom
for what had really been a milestone in th e
civilian tran sport at ion field .
Boeing's last and best serious pursuit of
sel ling a fighte r to t he USA Army for some
sixty years to come came in the for m of its
Model B-248. T he 248, designed at Boe-
ing's own expense to a USA Army spec ifi-
ca t ion, became th e Model 266 P-26A/B/C
Peashoot er series. The first Peashoot er, a
P-26A, made its first [ligh r on 10 Januar y
1934 . With a rop ' peed of Z35mph
(380km/ h ) t he open- coc kpit P-26C wou ld
be t he cream of th e Peashoot er crop. In all.
Boei ng built 136 P-26s of all type' for th e
Army, as wel l as the Model B-2 I exp ort
var iant th at went to Ch ina and Spain. A
USA Navy version, th e enclosed-cockpi t
Model B-273, XF7B- I , was offered but not
proceeded wit h.
As it happened, ot her USA aeroplane
manufacturers such as Seversky Aviat ion
(lat er Republic Aviati on) , Lockheed Air-
craft, Bell Aircraft and Curt iss-Wr ight soon
all came up with much more modern fight-
er designs th an Boei ng's 1'-26 and proposed
1'-29. Respecti vely, these were th e 1'-35 and
1'-36, 1'-38, 1'-39 and 1'-40. The slowest of
th ese, the 1'-36 with a top speed 295mph
(475km/h), was 60mph ( IOOkm/h) (aster
than th e 1'-26 . Since Boeing had no othe r
advanced fighters on the drawin g board , it
redirected its efforts toward the design,
devel opment and product ion of post-B-9
bombe r aeroplanes, whil e not abandoning
civil transport types. This led to the Model
B-294/XB- 15 and B-299/XB- 17, which are
described in det ai l in Chapter Two.
The Stear man Aircraft Company of
Wi chita, Kansas became a di vision of Boe-
ing in the early 1930s. Lloyd C. Stea rman
had holdl y challenged th e worl d with the
development of several unique aeroplanes ,
but the USA depression had hi t his compa-
ny extre mel y hard, Boei ng, more financ ial-
ly secure, opted to expa nd its growth into
th e Midwestern USA with the acquisition
of Stear man in Wi ch ita, Kansas. At first the
former Stearman plant concent rated on
building advanced and primary trainers
such as the famed Kader biplane series for
th e Army and Navy; lat er, man y B-29s
wou ld be built at Wich ira as wel l.
Business rap idly picked up over th e sub-
sequent years and Boeing esta blished itsel f
as a major aircr aft manufacturi ng co mpa-
ny. It is beyond the scope of th is book to
describe the nu merous airl ine r, missiles
and rockets , bomber plan es and ot he r
products it has produced in the last eighty-
plus years. Therefor e th is wor k will focus
on Boeing's commit ment to th e develop -
ment of large - and very large - multi -
engine ( that is, two or mor e engines) pis-
ton-powered aircraft , wh ich led up to the
B-29 an d its post -war relat ives, in wh ich
Boeing has mor e rhan excel led. These
were th e Models B-294/XB- 15 and 13-
299/13- 17 Flying Fort re s (see hapt er
Two) ; and th e Model B-307 t rnrolincr,
Mod el 8-307 Stratolin r
The Strarolinc r was a fully pressurized pas-
senger airline r whi ch bor rowed a nu mber of
assemblies from the B- 17C Hying Fortr ess.
Specifically, the rrat oliner used th e B-
17C's horizontal and vert ical stabilizers,
wings, engines and nacell es. Its ' ylindrical
fuselage, however, was rorally different and
seat ed thirty-three passengers and a five-
person crew in pressuri zed omforr,
Development of the 13-307 began in late
1935 and carr ied on th rough 1936. In 1937
Pan Ameri can Airways (I' ) b 'came th e
first airline to order the tr at olincr, and th e
first B-307 made a succe ssful first flight at
Sea t tle on 3 1 December 193 .
The Srraro lincr was powered hy four air-
cooled Wri ght GR- I 2 y lone radi al
engines of 900hp at 2,300rpm at 17,300ft
(5,300m). It was 74ft 4in ( 22.67m) long,
20ft 9in (6.37m) h igh wi th a wingspan of
107ft 3in (32 .70m). Irs maximum speed
was 246 mph (39 6km/h) and its gross
weight was 42,OOOIb (19, 000kg) .
In addition to PAA, Trans \Vorld Air-
lines (T\VA) also bough t a number of 13-
307s. The TWA rrarol incrs were onfis-
ca red by the USAAF Air Tra nsport crvicc
Command (ATSC) in 1942. These were
designat ed C-75 and carried milita ry sup-
pl ies th roughout the remainder of World
War OneTwo.
Beca use of th e advent of the mor e
adva nced Douglas DC-4 kymastcr airline r
(or C-54, as it was known in the USAAF)
The four-engine Boeing Model B-307 Stratoliner was the world's first fully pressurized high-altitude
airliner. It set the standard in passenger travel until Douglas unveiled its DC-4. Boeing Media
I I I, xk hccd L-49 Conste llat ion, only ten
I \ '7 Str.uolincrs were built by Boei ng.
II lit them, owned by the Na t ional Air
I I " pace Museum (NASM) - bel ieved to
I IIll' lasl one in exist en ce - was fully
, ,"rn l to flying condit ion by Museum of
II. ,III volunteers in Seatt le, Wa shingto n.
I II l1lg a test flight on 28 March 2002 this
1I 11,' r I'AA 13-30 7, named the CLIPPER
II YINl C LOUD, lost power in all four
II ' 1Il " S on final approach to Boeing Field
I II Illade a successful gear-up belly landing
II <,a ttlc's Elliot Bay with out serious injury
,IllY of its four cr cwrncmbcrs , Even
,I.IIl1gh it suffered relat ivel y minor damage,
II u-muins uncl ear as to wheth er thi s one -
I kind classic will be restored aga in.
·17G(44-83514) of the 457th BG. Chuck Irwin
Model B-314 Flying Boat
The Boeing Model 13-3 14 'Clipper' was ere-
arcd to meet Pan American A irways' 1935
specification for a tr an soceani c flying-boat
airl iner. Pan American ordered six C lip-
pers on 21 Jul y 1936 and the first exa mple
made a successful first fligh t on 7 June
1938. O n 20 May 1939 C lippers in it iated a
tran satl anti c airmail service, and on 28
June they began to ca rry passengers across
th e At lant ic to Europe and across the
Pacifi c to Hawaii and beyond . At the t ime
they were t he largest passenger-carr ying
tran sports in th e world. (The 13-3 14 never
received an ' official' name. It was Pan
Ame rica n that req uest ed t hat its 13-3 14
flying boat s be called 'Clipper' , as its othe r
flying boar s were. )
Pan American then ordered six improved
C lippers, kn own as B-3 14As, and brought
five of its ea rl ier ones up to 3 14A sta ndard.
The 13-3 14 C lippers wer e built in major
sect ions at Boeing's Plant I facilit y on the
Duwarnish River, th en bar ged northward
to Elliot Bay where they were assembled
and flight -t est ed prior to deli very.
T he 13-3 14 co uld accommo da te seven-
ty-four passengers and ten crewrncmbc rs.
It was powered by four 1,200hp Wrigh t
G R-2600 Doub le Cycl one air-cooled rad i-
al engine s for a maxi mum speed of
190mph (300k m/ h ). T he y had a maxi -
mu m range of 3,500 miles ( 5,600k m) and
HOW: The Boei ng Model B-314 flying boats were
ci all y bui lt for Pan Amer ic an Airways who
I l erred to t hem as their 'Clipper' fleet. BoeingMedia
a service ceiling of 13,400ft (4,000m ).
The B-3 14 was 106ft (32.3 m) long, 27ft
7i n (804m) high, with a wingspan of 152ft
(46. 3m); its gross rake-off weigh t was
82 ,5001b (3 7,400 kg).
In World War Two five B-3 14As were
requi siti oned by th e USAAF and wer e
redesignat ed C- 98. Three wer e requi si-
t ioned by t he US A avv and were kn own
as B-3 14s. Ano the r three were bought by
the Brit ish Overseas Airways Corporat ion
( BOAC ) for wartime t ran sat lan t ic service.
Model B-344: The XPBB-l
Sea Ran ger
T he sole XPBB- I Sea Ranger (nicknamed
th e ' Lone Ranger' ) was built to prove to
t he US A avv t he usefulness of a large,
long-range, long-endurance, twin-engine
pat rol bom ber flying boat , in the hope
t hat they would order such an aircraft.
The XPBB- I used various B-29 co mpo-
nent s incl udi ng its ' 117' airfoil sect ion
and, in facr. was built alongside XB-29
number one at Boeing's Plant I facil ity.
Afte r its co mplet ion it was bar ged to th e
newly built Plant 3 facil ity at the south
end of Lake Washington in Ren ton,
Wash ington wher e the production PBB- I
was to be buiIt . It made its firsr flight on 9
Jul y 1942, wi t h Edmund T. 'Edd ie' Allen
at the cont rols.
The XPBB- I (Bureau umber 3 144)
was powered by two 2,000hp Wright R-
3350-8 radial engines and had a top speed
of 219mph (352 km/ h) at 4,500ft ( I,400m) .
It was 94ft 9in (28.9m) long, 35ft ( 10.6m)
hi gh and its wingspan was 139ft 8in
(42.6m) . The PBB- ! was int en ded to be
operated by a ten-man crew.
The USA avy liked th e PBB- I wel l
eno ugh to orde r fifty- even. However,
requirements changed and t he avy cvcn-
rually opted ins tead to go with pat rol fly-
ing boat s already in production ; thus th e
cont rac t was canc elled.
Event ually the USA avv turn ed over
its Plant 3 facilit y to t he USA Army Air
Forces for the product ion of B-29s. In
exc ha nge, the Na vy got use of No rt h
Ame rican Aviat ion's Kan sas C ity plant for
th e product ion of its land-based PBJ-I air-
planes, whi ch were for the most part B-25J
Mit chell bombers in naval dr ess.
Mod el B-367: Th e C-97
St ra to fre ighter
The Boeing Model B-367 - the C- 97 - was
developed in Wor ld War Two but only a
few service test examples S, IW limit ed
act ion in the war.
In January 1942 the USAAF order ed
three XC-97 ca rgo/ t ransport prototypes,
wh ich Boeing soon named rrat ofrc igh re r.
The first XC-97 exa mple, th e Model 5-
367- 1- 1, made its first fligh t on 15 ovcm-
her 1944. (The second and th ird XC-97
airplanes received Boeing model nu mber
B-367- 1-2. ) O the r than its rather unique
dou ble-lobe fuselage it was essent ially a 5 -
29 ada pted for a cargo/ transport role. T hat
is, it employed t he B-29's win g, land ing
gear, powerplanr, nacell es and tail asse m-
bly. Its lower lobe was the same diamet er as
t he B-29's fusel age.
The th ree XC-97 airplan es wer e fol-
lowed hy ten service test YC-97s (six YC-
97s, thr ee YC-97As and one YC-975). The
first service test example, one of six YC-
97s, made its first flight on II March 194 7.
The C- 97 Srrarofrcighrer featur ed 'cl am-
shell' doors on the centrel ine in its aft belly.
The 74ft ( 22.5m) long upper lobe could
carry two light -class ranks (such as the M-
48 Patt on) , or th ree fully-load ed 3,000Ib
class ( I ,400kg) truck , or eighty-three
stretche r pat ients, or 134 combat troops.
They were operate d hy five crewmcmbcrs
and four atte nda nt s.
The YC-97 was powered by four 2,325hp
Wright R-3350-57A rad ial engine s. Its top
speed and operat ing alt itude were 346mph
(557km/h ) and 28,700 ft (8,750m ), respec-
t ively. The YC-97 was 110ft 4in (33 .64m)
long and 33ft 3i n ( 10. 14m) high, wit h a
wingspan of 141ft 3in (43m) . It " gross
weight was 120,0001 h (54,500kg). The C-
97 went on to become a workhorse transit.

The Boeing Model B·344 XPBB·l Sea Ranger was to be built at Boeing's Plant 3 faci litv in Renton. Washington .
The Sea Ranger programme was cancelled, however, and B-29s were built there instead. Author
-' . .
The Boei ng Model B-367 C-97Stratofreighter evolved into an adequate. though
01world-class. cargo transport airplane for the US Air Force Military Air
Tr nsport Service (MATSI; YC-97A (45-59595) is shown . USAF
The tanker version of the B-367 wa s a cr itical addition to the USAFi n that it
performed extremely well with pi ston-powered B-36s and B-50s. However.
with the advent of the j et-powered B-47 Stratojet, KC-97s act uall y had to pitch
their noses down in an effort to gain speed wh ile refuelling the B-47; otherwise
the B-47s would have been forced to fly at near their stall speed. A KC-97A
(49-2591) is shown. USAF
The Boeing Model B-377 Stratocruiser featured a unique double-deck conf igurat ion.
It was not until the advent of the Boeing 747and forth coming Airbus A-380 that such
an arrangement was used again. Boeing viaW. All en
Maciel 8-377:
Th e St ra to cruis er
T he Model 13-377 tr arocruiser is unique
among th e prop-driven ai rl ine rs o( t he late
1940s and ea rly 1950s, (or it was of a dou-
hie-deck design offering unprecedented
comfor t and amenit ies for its passengers.
The St rarocruiscr was a civilian airline r
version of th e mi litar y C-97 cargo/ t rans-
port, and used t he same Pratt & \X! hitn ey
engines and 7SST struct ure. The proto-
type 13-377 - 10- 19 Srraroc ruiscr Iollowcd
the sole YC-97B - a specially builr very
import ant person (V IP) t ransport , on t he
C-97 product ion line, and il made its (i n
flight on 8 Ju ly 1947.
Produ ct ion Srrnroc ruiscrs ca rried be-
tween (i(ly-five and 100 passen gers and
flight an cnda nts. with five fligh t crew.
With a range of 4,200 mi les (6, 750km), it
was cons ide red to be a lon g-range t rans-
port . The Srrarocruiser was I IO(t 4in
(33.64m) long, 3 (t 3in ( 11.6m) h igh and
th e wing span was 14 1(t 3in (43m) . It W;JS
powered by (our Pratt ., Whi t ne y R-4360
rad ial engines o( 3,500hp (2.600 kW ). The
maximum speed was 375mph (600km/h).
Unforruna tely (or th e Srraroc ruiser it
was conrcmporary with anot her propeller-
dr iven long-range airliner that was better
received by hOlh t he airl ines and th e pay-
ing public. T h is was th e elegant, tr iple-
rai led Lockheed Conste llat ion, wh ich
offered hi gher speed, longer ran ge and bet-
ter load-carrying capahi liry, Thus only six
airline ' ordered Srratocruiscrs, and just
fifty-five wer e built.
the KB-29P (de scribed in derai l in Chap-
ter Eleven) . Tests wit h the system were
success ful and the USAF ordered, initi al-
ly, sixty KC-97E tanker/cargo-t ransport
aircraft; these would be followed by 159
KC-97Fs and 592 KC-97Gs.
The KC-97G was the most import an t
version o( KC-97 and it was powered by four
3,500hp (2,600kW) Pratt & Whitney R-
4360-5913 radial engines. To increase its
own range the KC-97G was fitt ed with two
700 USA gallon (582. 8 Imp. gallon/
2,650Itr) extend Iucl ranks - one under
eithe r wing. Its gross weight was 175,0001h
( O,OOOkg) and, incl uding its boom, it was
117ft Sin (35.8m) long, 3 (t 3in ( I I.67m)
high and its Wingspan was 14 1(t 3in (43m) .
Its maximu m speed was 375mph (600km/h )
at 30,000(t (9,000m) .
Immediately afte r \Vorld \Var Two th e
l ISAAF and Boeing wor ked in co ncert to
k-vclop the technique of in-fligh t rcfu-
·lIing (or t he newly established St rategic
\Ir Command (SAC) and its global-reach
I unbcr force. \Vhile th ey struggled to
adapt B-29s (or the task, they soon realized
•ha t t he C-97 would he perfect (or th e job,
.11 least in the inte rim wh ile SAC, wait ing
tor its first jet -powered bombers, conrin-
ul·d with its prop-dr iven fleet. Thus the
":C- 97A was born .
To dev elo p th e KC-97, o( whi ch I I
would event ually he built, three C-97As
were fitted with an improved version of
the ' flying boom' in-flight refuel ling sys-
tem that Boei ng had already devel oped (or
The KC-97
Immediat el y afte r \Vorld \Var Two Boein g
was hard -pressed to gene rate new civilian
and military business. But several significant
Boei ng-designed aircraft changed all th at.
The B-47 St rarojet , of whi ch more th an
2,000 were built , was th e worl d's first oper-
at iona l st rateg ic jet bomber. The 370 B-50
'S upc rforrrcss l ls' (de cribed in Cha pte r
Eleven) were dir ect descen dant s of the B-
29. The B-52 St rarofortrcss first flew as far
back as 1952, yet survivors of the 740 built
arc st ill flying in t he guise of th e B-52H.
The Model 707Jet Srrarolincr was the most
successful of the first gene rat ion of modern
jetl ine rs and derived from it were the KC-
135 Strato rankcr mili tar y ta nker-cargo/
tr ansport ae roplane and th e C- 135 SIruto-
freighter, the world 's first jet-powered cargo/
t ransport . Boeing event ually produced some
1,000 707s and 800 KC/C-13 5s.
T he Boeing Airplane Company has
ce rta inly come a very long way over th e
last eighty-fi ve years or so. Othe r th an
the Lockheed Marti n Corpor at ion it is
th e longest -sur viving aircraft manufactur -
ing firm in t he USA, for all th e ot he r
once-great airc raft manufact urers such as
Bel \, Convair, Curt iss, Douglas, General
Dyna mics, Martin, McDonnel \, orrli
American, Republi c, Ryan and many ot h-
ers have either been absor bed or eliminnr-
cd altogethe r.
In th e course of hecoming t he aerospace
giant it is today, Boeing purch ased the air-
craft, rocket propulsion and spacec raft
division s of th e Rockwell Cor pora t ion on
12 December 1996 to form the Boeing
Nor t h American division. II th en merged
wit h t he Mc Donnell Douglas Cor porat ion
on I August 1997 to become the second-
largest ae rospace firm in the wor ld, afte r
Lockh eed-Mart in.
The Boeing Ai rplane Company of today
is a mu lti -faceted cor poral ion with numer -
ous ent it ies and di visions. T hese incl ude
Boei ng Business Jets, Boei ng Commercial
Airplan es, Boeing Mili ta ry Aircraft and
Missile Syste ms, Boeing Nort h American ,
Boeing Phant om \Vor ks, Boeing Space and
Communica t ions, and th e recentl y esta b-
lished Boeing Unmanned Systems division.
In t he commercial field, the Boeing Ai r-
plan e Company is current lv manufactur ing
its 717, 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777 jet air-
liners, with its revolutionary So nic Cruiser
airline r rising over th e ncar hor izon. On
the military side it is either responsible for
or producin g the B- 1B Lancer, B-52H
St rarofortrcss, C- 17A Globcmasrcr III, F-
15EStr ike Eagle, F/ A- 18E/F Super Hornet ,
KC- IOA Extender, KC-135 Srrarorankcr
and t he YAL- I A Ai rbor ne Laser, among
othe rs. It is also in part nership with ort h-
rop Grumma n on th e B-2A Spiri t and with
Lockheed Mart in on the F-22A Rapror
programmes. \Vhet her or not it teams up
wit h Lockheed Mart in on the F-35A/B/C
Joint Strike Fighter programme remains to
he seen.
Boei ng conti nues 10 de velop an d pro-
duce some of th e world 's most important
aircraft and spacecraft. Ir is very likel y that
it may soon be building its Sonic Cruiser
for the world 's airl ines, the E/A- 18 Air-
horne Elect ronic Att ack Var iant of th e
two-scat F/A- 18F Super Hornet to replace
the EA-6B Prowle r, and th e X-45A
Unmanned Combat Ae rial Vehicle. It is to
build fort y F- 15K St rike Eagle fighters for
th e Republic of Kor ea to keep the famed
F- 15 air-superiority fighte r in producti on
through the year 2008 . It has also recentl y
started work on 100 tanker aircraft based on
its767 m in-jet wide-bodyjetliner, which arc
to be leased or hought by the US AF to sup-
plement and replace 40-plus-year-old KC-
135s. Boei ng is also heavily invol ved in
space business incl uding it" management of
the Int ernati onal Space Station, Spa ce
Shuttle, Sea Launch , comme rcial and mili-
tary satellite-launch programmes.
So Boeing has built a large number of sig-
ni ficant aircraft over the last eight-plus
decades, most part icula rly the huge run of
large and heavy multi -engine commercial
and mili tary types thai started wit h the leg-
cnd.irv B- 17 Flying Fort ress of Wor ld W,lr
Two and has no end in sight. Bill Boeing had
started out with a fantasy to fly. He cont in-
ued to st rive toward building bet ter aircraft
th an he had flown in. The \Vestervelt-
designed B&\V was the first result of tha t
effort. By the t ime Mr Boein g passed away
on 28 September 1956 he was no longer
associated with the compa ny he had found-
cd, for he had left it in 1934. He had, how-
ever, wit nessed the dawni ng of the jet age
and some of the incredible jet-powered air-
craft that were emerging. A numb ' r of these
were comi ng from the Boeing irplanc
Company itself. and they were a far ry fnun
the aircraft he had enj oyed as a young man.
Boeing Model B-345-2 was to be t he B-290. but
became the B-50 instead. Somet imes referr ed to
as 'Superf ortress II' . the B-50 served t he USAF
well until the arri val of t he j et-powered B-47
and B-52; a B-50B (47-159) is shown . USAF
I \ 1he early 1930s it had become appa re nt
.11. .1 t he wo rld - free o( gloha l con fl ict
,,1\ ,. 19 IR- was be co ming a very danger -
I pla ce. Ja pa n had a lready invaded
11111;\ an d Manch ur ia , and Germa ny was
• 1'I\lIy rea rming. These un comfo rt able
I t v (" rce d US mi litary plan ner s to face
.1", leal possibilirv o( a sec o nd world war,
II wu li enemies ac ross bo t h oc ea ns. It
was a t ime of agon izing reapprai sals (o r US
a ir power , bu t sinc e th e SA was not
ac t ually in vo lved in any war , adeq ua te
funds woul d no r be fort hc oming (or the
time be ing. cv crthc lcss, a ir power ad vo-
cates in t he US A rmy A ir Cor ps co nt in-
ued to ' h un t and peck' (or mu ch- impr oved
co mbat a ircraft . spec ificall y ad vanced
bomber t ypes.
The only XB-15 on its first flight . on 15
October 1937. It laid the foundat ion for
all subsequent large bomber airc rah
developed by Boeing. Boeing Historical
BElOW: The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
was a real workhorse in World War
Two. The B-17 and its stable -mate. the
Consolidated B-24 Liberato r. did more to
bring the German war machine to its
knees than any other daytime bomber
aircrah; a B-17G142-38091) is shown.
Royal Air Force bombers took care of
Germany in the night-time . USAF
O n 14 April 19.34, th e USAAC issued a
requirement (or a bomber t hat co uld carry a
2,0001b (900kg ) bomb load at 200mph
(.320km/h) over a dista nce of 5,000 mil es
( ,000km ). T he Boeing A irplane Compa-
ny proposed its Model 13-294, a bch cmor h
to be powered by ( Ollt' 24-cy linder Allison
XV-.3 42 0 1,600hp liqui d-co ol ed inlinc
eng ine s. The 13-294 was one o( two selected
(or furt her devel opmen t and t he USAAC
ga\'C it t he design at ion XBLR- I. The ot her
successful design was t he Douglas XBLR-2,
also to be powered by (ou r XV-3420s.
Essent ially, A ll ison 's pr oposed V-.3 420
eng ine was a pair of l Zvcvlindcr V- 17 10
engine ' joi ned by a co mmon cra nks haft (in
o t her wor ds, a V-24 rat her than a V- 12) .
T h is engine underwent serious devel op-
ment a l dela ys and did not first run unt il
1940, too late (or th e XBLR- I and XBLR-2
prot ot ypes. But wh en it did run it produced
a hu ge .3,OOOhp, instead o( the I ,600h p t hat
had been or igina lly advert ised. Nevert he-
less, it never Iound its way onto t he ' Long
Range A irplane Suita ble (or Milit ar y Pur -
poses' as t he XBLR prorot ypcs were being
referr ed to. Since t he All ison engine wou ld
not be available to Boeing in t ime, it chose
to huild its XBLR- 1 wit h (our two-row
I ,000hp Prat t & Whitney R- 1830- 11Twin
Wasp l -l-cylindcr radi al eng ines inst ead .
Boeing's XBLR- I was redesignat ed XB-
15 in July 1936, rhc Douglas XBLR-2
l-ccoming t he XB- 19 at th e same rime. \Virh
Eddi e A llen at the co nt rols t he XB-I S made
a successful first fligh t in cat t le on 15 Octo-
her 1937. Ir was woe fullv underp owered, as
had been (ea red, ycr ir act ua lly set a [ew pay-
load and distance records in 1939.
eit her t he XB- 15 nor t he XB- 19 was
whar th e USAAC was looking (or in a
long-range heavy bomber, Bur t hese t wo
aircraft wer e trul y sign ificant , and rhey
hel ped lay th e foundat ions upon whi ch
large bomber aircraft in rhe fut ure would be
built. (There was a third contender in th is
long-range bomber vent ure, the proposed
Sikorsky XBLR-.3, whi ch never received an
' XB' - Experimenta l Bomber - designat ion
because it was not proceede d wit h .)

On 1 September 19 9 ermany invaded
Poland and all hell began 10 break loose in
Europe. After an ult imatum was given to
Hitler, which he ignored. hot h G reat
Britain and Fran c decl ared war on Ger-
man y two da ys later. In the President
Roosevelt submitted a very large defenc e
budget , procl aiming neut ral ity, hut
promised in May 194 to bui ld ' SO,OOOair-
craft per year for th • nat ion's d .fen c' . ud-
denly the ' hun t ing and pc kin g' was over
and th ere was plent y of money ava ilable for
new military aircraft. In lat e 1939 howev-
er, with war raging in Europe, U AAC
planners wer e hard-pressed to find the
money for the type of bomber they desired,
one with even greater range th an either th e
XB- IS or XB- 19, a ' Supcrbombcr', whi ch
some were referring to as a ' Hemisphere
Defence Weapon' and ot he rs a 'Ver y Long
Range Bomber' .
BOTTOM LEFT: A Consolidated B-24Liberator
(41-23711). StanPiel
MIDDLE LEFT: The Boeing Y1 B-20. Lloyd S. Jones
In rhe mcant imc, Boeing had been work -
ing on irs Model 13-299, whi ch in many ways
was a sca led-do wn version of th e XB- IS.
The first 13-299, unofficially designat ed
' XB- I T, made irs first flight at Seat tle on
28 July 1935. By th e rime the XB-l S ma de
irs first flighr in Ocrober 1937 rhe 13-299,
now officially design ated 13-17, was mak-
ing itself wel l kn own 10 th e U AAC. But
it was a far cry from what th e USAAC st ill
wan ted and need ed in the way of a very
long-ran ge heavy bomber.
A proposed follow-on programme to rhe
XB-15 was th e Model 13-294 -2, wh ich was
to be rhe service test ver ion of the XB- IS,
designat ed Y113-20 due to several differ -
ences. Two YI B-20s were ordered, with t he
more power ful 1,400hp Pratt & Whitney
R-2180-S engine, in lat e 1937. ornc wha r
similar to th e XB- IS in appearance, th e
YI 13-20 was to be 90ft ( 27.4 m) long wi th a
wingspan of 152ft (46.3m). Irs projected
gross weight was O,OOOlb (36, kg) and ir
was 10 be manned by ten crew. However,
even before it rea hed mo k-up stage the
Y113-20 was canc elled.
I /
-- ....
\ '

'c..- -. - .

A fi ne study of a B-17F namedMARYRUTH (42-29536). Stan Piel
\ )" I0 September 1939, newly appoint -
Il'ing presiden t Phil Johnson ca lled in
111 1'1 eng ineer \Vellwood Beall, assista nt
1111'1 engineer Ed Wel ls, acrodyna mi cist
II lIrgl' Schairer and eng inee ring test pilot
I I,hl' Allen to di scuss new designs. Spccif-
dly. he wan ted t o kn ow about Boeing's
unbcr designs . A ll (our to ld Johnson that
lin o-callcd Superbombc r, Model 13-34 1,
I coming along qu ite wel l. They to ld
hun that Wrigh t Army A ir Fiel d was h igh-
I uu crcsred but th ere was no req ui rem ent
IIld no money) (or it just yet. But due to
1Ill' war in Euro pe this wou ld soon change.
qui rement R-40-B
III No vember 1939 USAAC co mma nde r
I h-nrv H. ' Hap' A rnold start ed hi s crusade
I II a very long-range heavy bomber supe-
lIo r 111 every way 10 th e 13- 17 and 13-24. Hi '
unpa ign lasted about t hree mont hs and
ulminatcd with an ext reme ly far-sight ed
I Huber requi rement. On 5 Februar y 1940
r circular (rom \Vright AA F reached Boc-
IIlg labelled ' R-40- B' . (RAO-B meant
I cquircmcn t number 40, Bombcr.) T he
official not ice asked t ha t ev ery interested
••mpanv submit a proposal, wit hin one
mllnt h o( receipt , (or a high -alt itude, h igh -
Il' ed bombardment aircraft wit h a 5,3 33-
nule (8 ,583km) range , with deta iled cos t
\ t ima rions, engine ering da ta and draw-
IIlgs. It was sta mped ' Urgent ', ca lling (or a
lull-scale eng ineering mock -up to be ready
lor inspect ion by 5 Au gust 1940, the first
.urcraft deli ve red by 1 Jul y 194 1 and any
.uldit ional aircraft one month t he reafter.
Chief engineer Beall was in cha rge of the
R-40-B project. He appo inted Lyle Pierce
. IS project engineer; Do n Euler to head up
prel iminary design; Edd ie Allen (or wing,
tai l and per forman ce data; and John Ball,
wit h his assistant George Mart in, to be in
charge of struct ures. Ed Wel ls would super-
vise the detail design groups wit h N.D.
Showalter serving as h is chief assistant.
By this time , due to di (ficult ies with the
development of the Model 13-34 1, Boeing
was vigorously working on Model 13-345,
similar in some ways to 13-34 1. but larger and
heavier to meet the rigid requ irement s of R-
40-13. It was the design best suited to the R-
40-13 project and the one Boeing pursued.
In late March and early April 1940 (our
airframe con tracto rs - Boeing. Lockheed ,
Douglas and Consolidated - submitt ed
their respect ive R-40-B data to Wright
Fiel d. In general, each firm had met the

Cutaway of design 341. wh ic h was the XB-29's
immediate predecessor. USAF
The Lockh eed XB-30. Lloyd S. Jones
....- __--c:=
- -L
2 1
• '0
u ·
TheConsolidated XB-32. Lloyd S. Jones
-- \
, \


TheDouglas XB·31. Lloyd S. Jones
TheBoeing-ownedFairchild PT-19liltedwith
scaled-down B-29 wingandtail assemblies
toevaluatetheB-29'saerodynamics inflight.
Peter M. Bowers
Martin XB-33. Lloyd S. Jones
I n ificarions and all wer e rewa rded co n-
11 .11 Is 10 build and evaluate wind-tunnel
1Il111kls. and to provide cost est ima tes and
lcr.ulcd engineering data and drawings.
l lu-sc proposals were designa ted th e Boeing
1\-29. Lockheed XB-30, Douglas XB-3 1
11I.1 Consolidat ed XB-32. (The Model B-
14Shad received its official USAAC dcsig-
u.uion . XB-29, on 24 August 1940.)
I\oeing co nt in ued to work hard on t he
. 1\-29, and mad e numerous cha nges and
Improvements ove r the next several
. -cks, The n , on I I May 1940, it submit-
h·d t he final design for t he XB-29. Boeing
W.IS promising a range of over 5,000
IIIl1es (8,OOOkm), a speed over 370mph
(600km/ h ), an alti t ude of 38 ,OOOf\
(1 1,500111 ) and a bomb load exceed ing
' .OOOlb (900kg ). In additio n to wind-t un-
1Il,I evaluat ions, Boei ng had houghI a
1'.lIrchild PT- 19A (4 1-205 3 1), a small
two- place USAAC primar y tr ainer. It was
turcd wit h sca led- do wn B-29 wing and
r.ul flyi ng surfaces and served as a flying
Il'st -hed for B-29 aerodyna mic cvalua-
nons. Th is 'ex tra' work by Boeing was well
rece ived by Wri ght Field.
The tr iple- ta iled Lockheed Model 51-
1-0 1 XB-30 was cl osel y based on Lock-
hecd's Model 49 C-69 Constella t ion cargo/
rr.msport , whi ch itself was bused on th e
1,xlel 49 Constel lat ion airliner. It was to he
I iwcred by four 2,200 hp Wr igh t 1\-3350- 13
radial eng ines. Ir was to have a len gth of
104ft 8in (3 1.9m), a win gspan of 123ft
(n.5m) and ca rry a twelve-man crew.
The Douglas Model D-332F XB-31 was
In he larger and heavier than any of the
" the r Supcrbomber contenders. It was to be
powered by (our 28-cy linder 3,OOOhp Pratt
& Whitney 1\-4360 radial engines and carry
a 25,OOOIb (l I,OOOkg) bomb load. It was to
ha ve an eight-man crew, a Icngth of 117ft
~ i n (35.75m), a wingspan of 207(t (63m)
and a maximum rake-off weight of
I98,OOOlh (90 ,OOOkg). Its pilot and co-pilot
were to be seated side-by-side und er separa te
'hug-eye' bubble canopies, (This canopy
arrangement larer appeared on the Douglas
c-74 Globcmastcr cargo/ transport and th e
XB-42 Mixmaster light att ack bombcr.)
Lockheed and Douglas, whose designs
were inferior to both th e XB-29 and XB-32,
elected to how out of th e competit ion and
withdrew from the R-40-B progra mme scv-
cral months before the USAAC decision
was scheduled for annou ncement. With th e
XB-30 and XB-3 1 out of cont ent ion, on 6
Scprcmher 1940 both Boeing and Consoli-
dated recei ved US AAC contracts to build,
respectively, two XB-29s (41-002/-003) and
two XB-32s (41- 1411-142) .
Conso lidat ed's Model 33 XB-32 T ermi -
nator' , lat er Domina to r, was of serious
inte rest to t he USAAC, th ough it lacked
th e altitude, spee d and ran ge being pro-
jec ted by Boei ng for th e XB-29. The XB-
32 featured twin, inwa rd-canted ve rt ica l
tai ls in its ori gina l configurat ion (which
was changed to a sing le rail late r). It was
power ed by four 2,200h p Wri gh t R-3350-
13 radial eng ines . It was 83ft ( 2S.2m ) long,
20ft l Oin (6. 12m) hi gh and it s win gspan
was 135ft (4 l.1m). Its maximum tak e-off
weight was 10 1,6621b (46,I 13kg) and it
had a top spee d of 376mph (605km/h) at
25 ,OOOft (7,600m). ltcouldcarry a 2,OOOlh
(900kg) bomb load 4.45 0 mil es (7, I60km).
The first XB-32 rolled out on I Se pte mber
194 2 and, with Consolida ted lest pilot
Russ Rodgers at the contro ls, made a suc-
cessful first flight on 7 Se pt ember - four -
teen days ahead of th e first X B-29 - at
Lindhergh Field , San Diego. Event ually
I I B-32 Dominator s were built.
The USAAC wou ld indeed have a
Supc rbombcr, But wou ld it he th e B-29 or
the B-32! O r would it be bot h !
Th e Experiment al
Prot otype XB-29
The fina l co nfigurat ion of the expe rimen-
tal protot ype or XB-29, was th e
result of a hea vy bomber des ign evolut ion
in the mi litary preli minary design sec t ion
of th e Boei ng Airplane Company. Us ing
what it had learned (and was st ill learn ing)
(rom its earl ier B-9, B- 15, B- 17 and B-20
bomber designs, Boeing at first ca me up
with the Model B-3 16, a (our-engine h igh-
wing mach inc with tri cycle landi ng gear
based in large pan on th e B-307 Srrarolin-
cr. ex t ca me the B-332, a (our-engine ,
mid -wing ' tail-dragger' design with notable
B- 17 Icarurcs such as the or igi nal XB- 17
ta il assembly and gun bliste rs. T he B-333
and 333A designs were similar hi gh -wing
aircraft , but wit h two very di fferent (our-
engi ne layouts. The B-333 was a ' push-me,
pull-me' design th at featured both pusher

and t racto r engines - two on cither win g,
in linc with one ano ther - whil e the 13-
333A had four separate engines, two buried
in each win g. The B-33 4/-33 4A offerings
were refined B-333/-333A designs, th e (or-
mer featuring thr cc vert ical ta ils.
cxr ca me rhc B-34 1, wh ich (or the
most part - excl ud ing its lighter wei ght
and shorter wi ngspan - was a d irect pre-
cursor o( t he 13-34 5. T he 13-34 1 was yet
another refinement o( t he sing le-mil (our-
engine B-334A , but wit h many new fca-
rur cs th at eve nt ua lly wer e used on th e XB-
29. In (act , it was the 13-34 1 dcsign th at
was first offe red to th e USAF when Lock-
heed, Douglas and Consolidar cd had
o((cred up their respect ive XB-30, XB-3 1
and XB-32 'Su perbomb cr' designs. But it
was furt her refinements to th e B-34 1, and
a brand new win g, that ult imatel y led to
th e Model B-345 - the XB-29 .
It soon beca me obvious th at th e AAC
was more impressed by rhc B-29 I han the
B-32. ever liking to put all o( its cggs in
one basket , however, it proceeded with both
programmes. This became apparent on 29
ovembc r and 14 December 1940, respcc-
rively, when the U AA approve d ame nd-
ed cont racts (or a thi rd prototype (rom eac h
firm - XB-29 nu mber three (4 1- 1 335) and
XB-32 number three (41-1 336).
Boeing used its Plant 1 (aci lity, about a
mile north of its main Plant 2 fact ory, to man-
ufactu re and attach the mai n assemblies o(
the three XB-29s. They were rhe n bargcd
down the Duwamish River and a ' sembled in
a cordoned of( area inside Plant 2, away (rom
the B- 17 assembly line.
The first XB-29 (4 1-002) was fin ished at
Bocing Plant 2 in early September 1942, and
on the n ight 0( 20 Se ptember, Boeing Direc-
to r of Flight and Research Eddie Allen
declared it ready (or flight. Allen was an
cnginccring rest pilot exrraordina irc and
Boeing Direct or of Flight and Research. Nat-
urally, hc woul d fly the XB-29.
XB-29-1 at Boeing Plant 1 in Seattle , Washington. It was at this stage of manufacture
that the first two XB-29s were barged up the Duwamish River to Pl ant 2 for final
assembl y. Peter M. Bowers

XB-29-1 nears completion. on 8 August 1942at Plant 2. Peter M. Bowers
Sport ing a US Army olive drab paint
scheme with neut ral grey undersides, no
armament and l Zft-diamerer (5.1 m)
three-bladed propell ers, the first XB-29 was
fin ed with four 2,200hp Wright Aeronau-
tica l R-3350-13 radial eng ines , eac h one
with two General Electric type B- l 1 tur -
bochargcrs. It was 98ft 2in (29.93m) lon g
with a wingspan of 141ft 3in (43.06m) . Its
wing was qu ite long compared to its chord
(widt h) and feat ured a high aspec t ratio
(1 1.5: I ). The wing used large-area Fowler
flaps, whi ch increased its tot al area by 20
per cent when t hey were exte nded.
The fir t XB-32 had made its first flight
already, at Lindbergh Fiel d, Sa n Diego on
7 Se pte mbe r 194 1 with Conso lida rcd's
Russ Rodgers at th e co ntro ls. But twent y
minut es into the flight, th e aircraft under-
went serious buffet ing and tail Ilut tcr, due
to a rudder tr im tab 'grem lin' di scovered
later. Rogers made an eme rgenc y landing
at aval Ai r Stat ion Nort h Island, Sa n
Exactly two week s lat er on 2 1 Scprcm-
ber 194 1, Eddic Allen made a successful
test flight out of Boe ing Field in comma nd
of XB-29 number one. Hi s co- pilot was
Boeing Chief Test Pilot Al Reed . Being
t he hi gh ly expe rienced engineering rc t
pilot th at he was, Allen exac t ly knew the
pluses and minuses exhibited by t he
Supc rforrress on t hat first flight. He took
off at 3.40pm from Boci ng Field's rela tively
short 5,200ft runway and landed one hour
and fifteen min utes later. He and Reed
flew over \Vash ington tat e's Puget ound
area, ne ve r exceed ing 6.000ft whil e evalu-
at ing its basic flying capabili t ies. After the
fligh t Eddie Alle n succ inc rly said ' She
The following fligh t -t ests went fai rly
wel l, though with some rather perp lexing
diffi cu lti es, espec ially wit h th e o il-leaking,
fire-pron e R-3350 engines , wh ich were for
th e most parr unproved. The XB-29 was
far and away th e most technologically
advanced bombardme nt airplane in th e
worl d and it let its followers know it.
Whi le landing after its ninct ccnt h flight,
on 18 December, the first XB-29 ran into a
TOP: The XB-29s were completed with three-bladed propellers. Here XB-29-1 is shown with lour-bladed
propellers on 17December 1943. All B-29safter the XBs and YBs were fitted with four-bladed propellers. USAF
ABOVE: XB-29-1 on 23 September 1942. two days after
its first flight. Peter M. Bowers
lirrlc trouble: rhc left-hand main landing
gear doors an d part of the Fowler flaps were
da maged after the two main landing gear
lyres blew out upon touchdown. On 28
Dcccrnbcr 1942, during what was to he a
high alt itude performan ce rest, the flight
had to he aborted when , at 6,000ft, th e
number one cnginc failed and had to he
feathered (turn ing rhe propeller blades par-
allel to the airflow to minimize acrodvna m-
ic dr ag). As it turned out, the reduction gcar
had failcd, and to correct that problem,
floating bushings were ret rofitt ed.
\'Virh Eddi e Allen at rhc co nt rols once
again, th e seco nd XB-29 (41 -003) made irs
first flight on 30 Deccmber 1942. It was
nea rly identical to XB-29 number onc but
was unpaint ed and loaded with test equip-
me nt. \'Virh the addition of a second XB-29
ro the Superbomber programme the all-
import ant fligh t-t est clara could bc gcncr-
.ucd and digested mor e qu ickly. However,
after on ly about a mont h and a half of test -
ing, the second XB-29 and its ent ire crew
were lost , on 18 February 1943.
It seems that a fuel leak in t he left wing's
Ieading-cdge area, sparked by a backfire
from one of the cngines, set I he wing on
fire. T hc firc could not he ext inguished and
Eddic Allen elected to make an emcrgency
landing at Boei ng Field. As the XB-29 was
descc nding from rhc nort h end of the field,
a large part of its left \\.ing leading edge
burned off. Evcn worse, th e ent ire \\'ing and
part of th e fuselage were on fire. By thi s t ime
rhe plan e was only about 250fr above the
ground, roo low for the crew to conside r
bailing our. The aircraft crashed into rhe
Frve Meat Pack ing Company plant , some 3
or 4 mi les nort h of Boei ng Ficld. It was a
horrific event, killing all eleven of the XB-
29's crew, ninet een Frye employees, a Seat-
tle fireman , and twelve othc r persons were
either killed or seriously injured.
Of course, an intense crash invest igat ion
ensued and thi s seriously del ayed XB-29
number one's flight-rest programme. Num-
ber one had been ferried to Boeing's Wi chi -
ta facilit y in late December, where ir was
tur ned over to th e 58rh Bomb \'Ving for irs
evaluation purposes. Afrer the cras h inves-
rigat ion was over and number one was
oncc mor e cleare d for fligh r t he 58rh did
irs th ing. Its rest ing ended in the spring of
1943 and on I I May, number one was
returned ro Boeing-Seatt le ro rejoi n Boe-
ing's test programmc
The first fligh t of th e rh ird XB-29 (4 1-
18335 ) was delayed somewha t due to th e
crash invest igat ion of numb er two. But ir
finall y made its first flight on 29 May 1943
with Colonel Leonard 'Jake' Har mon, a B-
29 flight test office r from Wri ght Field, at
t he helm. Hi s co- pilot was Lt Colonel
Ahram Olson.
Wit h XB-29 number one behind them, flight-test crewmembers
pose et Boeing Field on 1 November 1943after their ret urn from
• two-month flight -test programme in Wichit a. Shown left to
right are: third, Everett Denton [powerplant engi neer); fourth,
d Marti n l eo-pi l ot ); fifth, Noah D. ' N.D.' Showalt er (Boei ng
chi ef of fli ght-test and co- pil ot); si xth, Robert Robbins (aircraft
commander]: seventh, H. Washburn (radio operator); tenth,
Don Whitworth (flight-test enqineerl; and eleventh, Ben Head
(fli ght engi neer). The others are unknown. Robert M. Robbins
Engi nes:
Specification - XB-29
Empty 66,1OOlb (29,990kgl;
loaded 105,0001b (47,600kgl
Four WrightAeronautical R-3350-13/ -17
Cyclone 18air-cooled radial
Length98ft 2in129.9ml; wingspan 141ft 3in
(43.1 m): wingarea 1.736sqIt (161.27sqrn];
height 27ft 9in(8,45ml
Maximumspeed 370mphl590km/ hl; cruising
service cei ling32,1 DOl t (9.785m);
maximum range5,850miles19,415kml; range
withmaximum bombload 16,0001b (7,300kg)

ABOVE: Bob Robbins, w ho later became chief test pilot on the XB-47 St ratoj et programme,
is shown at the controls of XB-29-1. Robert M. Robbins
Bob Robbins poses by XB-29-1 THEFLYING GUINEA PIG, in November 1944. Robert M. Robbins

TOP: Boeing experimental flight-test pilot group in about
August 1944. Seated left to right are Fornaflio. Michael.
N.D. Showalter. Merrill and Robert Robbins. Standing left
to right are Robert T. ' Bob' Lamson. Ed Martin. Scott Osler.
Code and Fraser. Robert M. Robbins
MIDDLE: XB-29-1 after its gun turrets were installed.
Peter M. Bowers
eorroa: XB-29-1 was a big aircraft, this attested to by its
size compared to the men shown around her. Peter M. Bowers
TOP: Anice view of XB-29-2(41-0031. which was lost on
18 February 1943. Peter M. Bowers
MIDDLE: XB-29-3(41-18335) is prepared for its first flight
on 29 May 1943. Peter M. Bowers
aorrua; XB-29 No.1 in profile. Peter M. Bowers
-. ...
....:..... . .
. - _. . ;. ...
.. . .."""J- ... -- ..
.- -
"" ,


Eddie Allen and the8·29
ByRaben M. Robbins, BoeingExperimental Test Pilot onXB-29Number One
The Twentieth Air Force andtheB-29s it used to bomb Japanshortened the war by
months, perhapsyears, and saved, it has beenestimated, amillionor more UScasual-
ties byending the war before a planned invasion of the heavily defended Japanese
homeland wasundertaken- aninvasionthat was scheduled to beginon1November
1945, less than three months afterJapan capitulated. That invasionwouldundoubted-
ly have taken place had theB-29programme been delayed or had it andthebombing
of Japannot beenpushedasfastashumanlypossible, inspiteof thecost inlivesand
thevery difficult odds, choices andprobl emsthat wereencountered.
Throughout thechroniclethat follows, I believethat you will bestruck bythenumber
of close calls that theB-29 programmeitselfhad- events thatcould have very easily
terminated ormortally compromisedtheprogrammeor thecapabilitiesof theB-29, had
it not beenfortheoutstandi ngcourage, foresightandabilities of arelatively fewpeo-
pie- bothmilitaryand civilian. Twoof thevery tough choices theymade wereto put
the B-29into product ioneven before the engineering was completed andto commit
themtocombat before developmental testingcouldget themfullydebugged,
Thi s storyabout the early development of the XB-29 andparticularly about a very
important man inthat earlydevelopment - thefamousexperimental test pilotandBoe-
ingDirector of Fl ight and Research, Edmund T. Allen, wholost hislifetrying tomake the
B-29 combat ready as quickly as possible. Without Eddi e Allen the B-29 programme
might never have succeeded. One B-29-40-BW (42-24579) flown by the 40th Bomb
Group(Very Heavv] wasnamed THEEDDIE ALLEN inhonour of Eddie. The unsurpassed
excellence and ability that Eddie Allen appl ied tohelping make theB-29 theawesome
giant that it becamecan best beappreciatedbya look at Eddie's aeronautical career.
BeforetheUSA entered WorldWar One, Eddie Allenworkedfor three yearsafter his
father diedtosupport hisfamily, Hethenfinishedone year at theUni versity of Illinois.
In 1917, when hewas 21, theUSA entered World War One. Eddie enlisted in the US
Army Air Servi ce, learned to fly, becamea flight instructor and taught advanced aero-
batics. Hewas sent to the Britishflight test centreinEngland to learnBritishaircraft
flight-testing techniques. Before the armisticein November 191 Bhe returned to the
Army's flight test centre at McCook Fieldto apply his flight experienceand overseas
observat ions. After thearmisticehe became the first test pilot for the National Advi-
soryCommitteeforAeronautics- forerunner of todav'sNASA.
In 1919 Eddie returnedto the University of Illinois for a year, studied aeronautical
engineering fortwoyearsat MITand topped that off byentering glidercompetitionsin
England andFrance inagliderhebuil t whileat MIT. From 1923to1925 hedidfreelance
test piloting and becameacivilian test pilot at McCook Field. From July1925tomid-
1927, Eddie flew rebuilt World War OnedeHavillands asanairmail pilot for thePost
OfficeDepartment overthetreacherousRockyMountainroutesbetween Cheyenneand
Salt Lake City- sometimes under extremelyadverseconditions.
Starting on1September 1927when thePost OfficeDepartment got out of theflying
business, EddiejoinedBoeingAir Transport. flyingBoei ngModel 40Amailplanesasan
airmail pilot ontheir new Chicago toSan Franciscorun. Over thenext fiveyearsEddie
began todomoreand moretest flying, particul arlyfor theBoeing AirplaneCompany,
anaffiiiilteof theBoeing Air Transport whichlaterbecameUnited Air Lines.
By 1932 Eddie Allenwasa recognized, established, highly respected, independent
test pilotand consultingaeronautical engineer. Inthe years that followed his accom-
plishmentsbecame legendary - from landingaNorthrop Betawithjammedaileron con-
trolsoutof abarrel roll, todevelopingthefirst-evereffectivecruisecontrol techni ques
basedonsome 200hoursof flighttestingontheDouglasDC-2, tobeing awidely pub-
lishedauthor,mostly ontest flyingbut afewjust plainoldgood flyingstories - but all
witha seriousmessage. He worked for most if not all of themajor aircraft manutac-
turers at one time or another, and for Eastern Airlines and Pan Ameri can Airvvays.
For at least some insurance companies, Eddie Allen' sblessing onanewaircraft was
aprerequi sitetotheminsuri ngit. If Eddie wastomake thefirst flight and dotheinitial
testing onanew design, theinsurance premiumswould besubstantially lower- and
themanufacturer couldhavegreat confidence that hiscreationwouldcomebackinone
piece. OvertheyearsEddiemadefirst flightsonoverthirtydifferentnewmodelsof air-
craft. These included the Boeing Model 83 in 1928, the forerunner of the famous US
NavyF4Bs andUSArmy Air Corps P-12s; theDouglasDC-2in 1934; theSikorsky S-43
in 1936;theBoeingXB-15 in1937; theBoeing B-17B, C, 0, E, andFfrom1939to 1942;
the Boei ngXPBB-l and XB-29 in1942-43; andtheLockheedModel 049 Constellation
on9January 1943, justthirty-ninedaysbeforehisdeathinthecrashof XB-29 number
Famed test pilot EdmundT. 'Eddie' Allen at the controls of a 8-17 Flying Fortress.
Boeing Historical Archives
two. That Eddie Allen should betaken bythe USArmyAir Corps from his vital jobat
Boeingtomakethefirst flight of theLockheedConstellation isafurther testimonial to
thehigh esteem withwhichhewasregarded.
Between 31 December 1938 and 20January 1939EddieAllen, still asafreelancetest
pilot. test-flew the33-passenger Boeing B-307 Stratoliner. Two months later, on 18
March1939, theB-307 crashed,onitsnineteenth test flightkilling all onboard. Boeing
Chi ef Test Pilot Julius Barrwasinthepilot'sseat. Anengineer foraprospectiveairline
customer was in theco-pilot's seat. That engineer had been pressing Boeing hard to
findout whatwouldhappen if theaircraft wasstalled with thenumber oneand two
engines throttled andthe number three and four engines at take-off power. Boeing
refused to demonstrate such a dangerous, unrealistic condition but did agree to
approach theconditioncautiously. Onecan only speculateas to just what went onin
thecockpit and whatreally causedthestall, spin, partial recovery, break-upandcrash
that occurred. Eddiereturned to Seattle to testify at the3April 1939 Civil Aeronautics
Administrati on(CM ) AirSafetyBoard hearing onthecrash. Hewasthere asanexpert
witness,ahighlyrespectedtest pilot andthemanwhohad made thefirst fifteenof the
test flightsprior totheaccident.
Whilein Seattle for theCM hearings, Eddiehadaconversationwith BobMinshall,
BoeingVicePresident andGeneral Manager. EddietoldMinshall that calling inatest
pilot tofly anewdesign after theaircraft wasbuilt wasno longer aproper approach,
Eddie felt that the real need in theaviationcommunitywas for exhaust ive aeronauti -
cal research, both onthegroundin laboratori es and windtunnel s, and in flight with
sophisticatedinstrumentationand equipment and specialized flight crews. Groundand
flight research needed to be carefully coordinated to complement eachother. The
resultsshouldbecombinedwiththeexpertiseof thespecializedflight crewsand engi -
neeringtest pilotsandbeappliedduringthedesignof anynewaircraft. Eddiefelt that
Boeingwasinauniquepositiontodoit. Boeing hadthebigaircraft needed tocarry all
theinstrumentation,equipment andspecializedflightcrews. It alsohad theneed- its
real future wasinbigaircraft. where it already hadan enviablebackground. Minshall
liked theconcept andsodidClaireEgtvedt, Boeing'sPresident.
Thegrimreality of the recent Stratoliner accident added emphasis to Eddie's ideas,
On 26April 1939 Edmund1. Allen became Boeing'sfirst and only Director of Aerodv-
namicsand Flight Research - a posi tion that he held for almost four critical years. It
wasafortunate, far- reachingevent forBoeingandtheUSA. Thetimingwasfortuitous,
His beneficial impact on the B-17, B-29and even today's jet fleets would ultimately
touchthelives of literallymillions of people- most of whom never knew hisnameor
Thi sisnoexaggeration when one considersthehugeB-17 fleetsthatbombedGermany
andthemassiveB-29raidsonJapan, andthelives thatweresavedandtouched bythei r
partsinbringingWorldWarTwotoanearlierend. Modernworldwideaerodynamicand
flight research, which is such avital part of todavs multifaceted aerospaceindustries,
includingmoderncommercial jet transports, hasits rootsinandevolves from the ideas
that Eddie Allen brought to Boeing in April 1939 andimpl ement ed shortly thereafter.
InApril 1939Boeingwasmanythings. It wasalreadyasuperbdesignerof thebigair-
craft EddiehadreferredtosuchastheXB-15andB-17 bombers, theB-314PanAmClip-
pers hadonlyaso-soproductionreputation, particularlywith
theArmy whoseB-17Bswerebehind schedule. The B-314deliveries werewell under-
wayandthesecondB-307Stratoliner wasnearing flight-test stage. Boeingwaslosing
money, was indeepfinancial troubleandwas struggling to survive. It was acompany
withpeoplewho were courageous, full of vision, imagination, integrity, determination
and adedication todesign aircraft that weresuperior and right. Boeing designs were
innovativebut. at thesametime, conservative. Boeingwouldnot pursueapoororeven
a mediocredesign even thoughit might appear to be the politically desirablecourse.
Inlate1938Boeinghadstartedthinkingabout aSuperbomber- anaircraft forwhich,
at that time, there was no established militaryrequirement andno money - also, an
aircraft that no-nneknew howto build. TheArmy's Oliver Echols andBob Ol ds talked
about anbomber with a5,OOO-mile rangecapableof hittingan enemy aircraft carrier
when it was still at least twodays offshore. The B-17 could strikea carrier that was
only oneday out - tooclosefor comfort.
Thekeytoasuccessful Superbomber wouldbetoget thedragwell down. Manypre-
liminarydesignstudieswererun onnumerous configurations, includingsuchideasas
newflat liquid-cooledenginesburiedinthewing. Some weretemptingbut nonewould
reallymakeagoodaircraft. sothestudies werecontinuedinanattempt tofindanidea
that wouldgive thenecessarybreakthrough.
Eddie Allen'sreputation, nowcombinedwithBoeing'scommitment toaserious, full-
timescientificaerodynamicandflight researchprogramme, wasastrongattractionfor
some of the best brains in thecountry. Noticeable among them was George Schairer
whowantedtoworkfor Eddieat Boeing.SchairerwasMIT-educated, hadbeenanaero-
dynami cist at ConsolidatedandwouldleavehismarkonBoeingaircraft fordecadesto
come. Hisfirst jobforEddiewastoputanewStratolinermodel Eddiehadbuilt intothe
windtunnel totrytofindawayof improvi ngtheB·307sothat evenif it werevery badl y
mistreatedarepeat of the 18March 1938 accident lthelossof theprototype) couldbe
avoided. A famous Boeing trademark, the dorsal fin runningfromthefuselage to the
vertical stabilizer, wasGeorge's answer. It went onall StratolinersandB-17safter the
B-170. It greatly reduced the possibility of stalling the vertical tail evenunder very
extremeyawconditionsandmade theB-17E/F/ Gmodelsmuch safer andmorestable
bombingplatforms. Thesomewhat shorteneddorsal finusedontheB-29providedsim-
ilar benefits for the flight crewsof theTwentiethAir Force.
problem,towhichasatisfactoryanswer hadstill not beenfound inthemanyconfigu-
rationsthat had been considered. It was Schairer whoproposed, promotedanddevel-
oped thesolution. It lay inabandoningthepreviouslyconventional approachin favour
of concentrating first ondeveloping a wing with the lowest possibledrag. Schairer's
view was that the wing is typi cally a big drag itemonan airplane andtherefore pro-
vides thegreatest potential fordragreduction. Theresult was, forthefirst time, athin,
very high-aspect ratio(that is, longandnarrow] wingwith avery highwingloading(a
small wingfor theweight it carriedI.Theaerofoil sectionwasalsocritical. Georgewas
familiar withthe- at that time- controversial Daviswing, whichwastobeemployed
by theConsolidatedB-24. When efforts to obtainpermissiontousetheDavi spatents
draggedon, Boeingdecided todevelopits ownwing, whichGeorgeSchairer did. The
Boeing '117' wing was the result. Very large high-lift wingflaps, alsodevelopedby
Schairer, wereaddedto permittake-offsandlandingsinreasonabledistanceswiththe
smallest possible wing. The fuselage, nacelles, fairings, equipment and so on were
now designedsothat they addedaminimum of drag.
By August 1939 therefinallywasaSuperbomber configurationthat Boeing coul dbe
proudtoproposetotheUS ArmyAir Corps. It wascalledtheModel B-341. lt wouldlater
growintotheModel B-345and eventuallybecome theB-29. Thewind-tunnel work, the
research anddevelopment doneby EddieAllen, GeorgeSchairerandtheir peoplehad
finally paid off. Later, as the detai l design progressed, Eddie and Georgeapplied the
samepainstaking'try, try, tryagain' philosophyandeffort todevelopingaflight-control
systemandother detailsthat neededattention.
The B-29was the first (and onlv] aircraft that Eddie Allencould partibipate in and
watch evolve from concept through initial flight testing andinto large-scale planned
3 7
production whichwasdesigned under thephilosophyandintheenvironmentthatEddie
first proposed toBobMinshall that April 1939day inMinshall's Seattleoffice. Admit-
tedly,theB-29shad their probl ems; however, it isnoteworthy thattheaerodynamicson
the thousandsof B-29s that were built remainedessentially unchanged fromthoseof
the first XB-29onits first flight. TheB-29crewsof the TwentiethAir Forcewhoman-
agedtocontrol andgettheir sometimesbadlydamaged B-29sfromover Japantosafe
landingsowetheirsuccessestoasubstantial degreetothework, phi losophiesandcon-
tributions of Eddie Allen. Needless tosay therewere manyother people, civilian and
military, whoalsoplayedvital rolesintheB-29programme; spaceheredoesnot allow
for adequaterecognitiontheydeserve.
TheModel B-341Superbomber configurationbreakthrough came just intime. TheUS
Army Air Corpsbegan showing real interest in the autumn of 1939as a result of the
shock of Hitler's 1September 1939invasionof Poland and the- coincidentally simul-
taneous- completionof aspecial Air Boardstudy of hemispheredefencethat empha-
sizedtheneedfor aflexible, long-rangebomberfleet.
Support foraSuperbomber spreadrapidly. On5February1940Boeing wasoneof sev-
eral aircraft manufacturerstoreceive fromtheArmyaninvitationtobidahigh-altitude,
high-speedbombardment aircraft witharequirement for a5,333-mile(8,583kml range
witha2,OOOl b1900kg)bombload. Amonthlater BoeingproposedtheModel B-341 with
agross weight of 85,OOOIb(38,600kglto meet the requirement. Four 2,OOOhp Pratt &
Whitney engineswould be used. The wing loading would be a whopping 641b per
squarefoot (31.2kg per squaremetre) - doublewhat had previously been considered
acceptablebytheexperts. EddieAllenhadconvincedthedoubtersthat withavery big,
properly designed wingflap they couldget awaywith it. Thefact that Eddie's aerody-
namicsgroupwould havetodeveloptheflap, thatEddiewouldflytheaircraft andthat
he was confident of success won the day. In addi tion, extreme measures would be
requiredtoreduce dragasmuchaspossible. Amongmanyotherthings, flushrivetsand
butt joints would berequiredandthat woul dadd to themanufacturingproblems. But
confidence washigh that theB-341 wouldbeagoodaircraft.
Several agonizing weekspassed withnoword ontheSuperbombercompetition.The
Air Corpsannouncedthatnoneof theproposalswere acceptable. Therequirementshad
changed asa result of lessons beinglearnedin Europe. The Superbombermust have
more armament. powered gun turrets, armour plate, self-sealing fuel tanks, higher
cabinpressures, a 16,OOOIb(7,250kgl bomb load for shorter flights- and nodecrease
inperformance! Arevisedproposal wasrequiredinthirty days.
Backto theDrawing Board!
The Boeing Model B-341 became the Model B-345. The gross weight went from
85,0001b138,600kg) to 11 2,OOOIb(51 ,OOOkgl. and later toa maximum overloaddesign
gross weight of 120,OOOlb (54,400kgl. The wingspan increasedfrom124ft 137.7m) to
141ft (42.9m). Morepower wasrequiredand thenew 2.200hpWright R-3350engines
wouldhavetobeusedinsteadof the2,OOOhpPratt &Whitney.
TheWright was an undeveloped engine and there wereserious reservations about
whether it wouldbeagoodengine. Boeing wasveryuncomfortableabout the Model
B-345- about beingpushedtoofar intounexplored areas. Tomakethingsevenworse,
therewasnowserioustalkabout ordering largeproductionquantitiesbeforeanexper-
imental prototypecouldbebuilt. Theriskswerebecomi ngveryhigh. Boeingcamevery
close to proposinga smaller aircraft with which theywould bemore comfortable, but
whichwouldnotbewhat theAir Corpssaidwasrequired. Ontheother hand, thewar
wasspreadingrapidly inEuropeandthreatenedtospreadmuchfurther.Theexpanded
Superbomber requirements of the Air Corps might very well prove necessary even
thought the technological risks were very high. After careful soul searching with the
war in mind, Boeing uncharacteristically decided to submi t the Model B-345 with a
strongdeterminationtodoeverythingpossibletomakeit successful. TheModel B-345
proposal was submittedon11 May 1940. WithinweekstheAir CorpstoldBoeingthey
were issuing a contract for engineering, wind tunnel and a mock-up of the Model B-
345, whichwould betheB-29. Furthermore, productioncontractsforperhaps200B·29s
wouldbeawarded long beforean experimental prototype could be flown. Cl early the
Air CorpshadjoinedBoeinginadesperategambleonthesuccess of theModel B-345
design. After Paris fell on 14June 1940Congresswasasked for moneyfor 990 B-29s.
Theantehadjust beenraised!

Eddie Allen and the 8-29continued
On6September 1940aformal contract for twoXB-29s was released. Engineeringstud-
ies, whichhadstartedwithonlyafewpeopleinlate1938, hadnowgrownintoafull-scale
first XB-29 would fly. EddieAllen and GeorgeShairer were keptbusy withliterally hun-
dredsofwindtunnel andflight researchinvestigationstoreducedragand toproducethe
aerodynamicandflight test dataneededtomovethedesignforwardasrapidly aspossi-
ble.APT-19experimental wing flight-test programmeandthreespeciallyconfiguredB-17s
conductedflight testsof many differentconfigurationsof developmental itemsfor theB-
29 such as propellers, cowling, turbosuperchargers, empennage, rudder, elevators,
aileronsandflaps. Thesetestshelpedtofind thebest configurations andtooptimize such
thingsascontrol forcesandcontrol balance, andtoreduce thetechni cal risks.
Thereweretobetwoserious 'wingloadingcrises' longbeforetheXB-29ever got off
the ground. The first waswhen a newAir Corps 'plane X' withonly a 531bper square
foot (25.8kgper squaremetreIwingloadingwas a'dog' tofly andinadditionwouldnot
get above28,000lt (8,500ml. TheAir Corps intently questioned Boeing about thewing
loadingontheB-29. Thesecondandevenmoreseriouscrisiswaswhenarespectedair-
craft manufacturer'sengineersreviewedBoeingdataandtoldtheAir Corpsthat Boeing
was very wrong in its predicted B-29performance. They said that the B-29would be
40mphslower, wouldhave a5,000lt lowerceilingandwouldhave1,000mileslessrange
than Boeinghad predicted. Inthefaceof suchcriticism, it took real courageandconfi-
denceonthe part of BoeingandAir Corpsprincipals involved not to increasetheB-29
wing area to substantially reduce the wing loading- a step that Boeingfirmly main-
tained would be catastrophicfor performance and, by then, to production schedules.
Againit wasEddieAllenandGeorge Shairer whoseworkwasbeingchallengedand
whoneededtodefendtheir positionsif theyreallyhadconfidenceintheir predictions.
The price for being wrongeither way wouldhavebeen catastrophic to the B-29suc-
cesses of theTwentiethAir Force. They had thecourageof their convictions andcom-
mandedsufficient respect toconvincetheir inquisitorsthat theywereright andtocon-
tinuetherapidlyexpandingB-29programmewithout change. Againacatastrophewas
averted. It isinterestingtonotethat incombat theB-29swerefrequently successfully
flownat agrossweight of 140,000lb(63,500kgl !
Whilethe many B-29problems were beingaddressed, Eddie Allen had had another
extremely important task to accomplish. That was to build the kind of flight-research
operationthat hehadoutlined toBobMinshall inhisofficeinearlyApril 1939. At that
timenoonerealizedhowcrucial it wouldbetotheall-out war effort that wastocome.
Inthe following three years Eddiebuilt asophisticated Boeing flight researchcapa-
bilitythatwassecondtonone. Hisbasicpurposewastosafely, economicallyandquick-
ly obtainanddisseminateaccurate, quantitativeflight-test data. Thi swouldhelpfind,
developandprovethebest possibleconfigurationsfromtheperhapshundredsof can-
didates. Thedatawouldbeused todeterminethesafetyof thearticlebeingtested,the
degree towhich it met itsguarantees andrequirements, itsadequacy for the purpose
intended, areasneeding improvement, waysof improvingtheexistingarticleormaki ng
thenext design as good aspossible, and finally, thebest wayof operatingtheequip-
ment inservice. To accomplishthesegoalshehired thebest peoplehecouldget with
asclosetothequalificationshewanted, andtrainedanddevelopedthemintothevery
skilful and expert teamthat was required toaccomplishhis vision. Most of the flight
crewmembers and a highproportion of theflight-test department groundpersonnel
were engineers. Each had weeks of formal, structured classroom trainingtailored to
specificassignments. Therewas 'handson' traininginthealtitudechamber and inthe
appropriateaircraft withtest andsafetyequipment.Therewasperiodicrecurringtrain-
ingasnecessarytomaintainthehighest possibleskill level tominimize personnel risks
andtoobtainhigh qualitydata.
Therewere threecompletely separateflight-test groups at Boeing withentirely dif-
ferent people reporting through different organizat ional lines. One was Production
Flight Test, whichwasresponsibleforflying everynewproduction aircraft tomake sure
therewerenomanufacturingor qualitycontrol problems, and to makeany necessary
adjustments before turning theaircraft over to thecustomer for acceptance. Another
wastheCustomer FlightAcceptanceGroup. Inthecaseof B-17s andB-29s, they were
Air Corpsofficerswhoflewandacceptedtheaircraft fortheArmy.
ThethirdwastheResearchFlight Test Department. whichwasEddieAllen'screation
and is referred to throughout this discussion. It conducted engineering, experimental
andresearchflight-testing. Inthepurest sense, thesewerereally threedifferent kinds
of flight-testingthat wereall conductedinEddieAllen'sdepartment. For themost part
all threeweredoneby thesame peopleusing thesame methods, althoughit wasrec-
ognized that certaintestsinany of thecategoriesmight potentiallyrequirespecialized
or exceptional ski llsandthiswarrantedselectivepickingof specific flight-crew mem-
bers. First flightsonnew models of aircraft fell in this category. Becauseof thesimi-
laritiesinmethodsandcrewsandthefact that someflightsmight involveengineering,
experimental andresearchtesting, thethreetermsareoftenusedinterchangeablywith
somethinglessthanpreciseregard for thedifferences.
EddieAllen'sFlight ResearchDepartment wasunderAI Reed, Chief of Flight Test and
Chief Test Pilot. It was organized into functional groups such as: pilots and co-pilots;
theother specializedflight-crew members, for themost part flight test engineers; the
instrumentation group, whichwas responsible for obtainingor designingandmaking,
calibrating, installing, servicingandmaintainingthevast amountsof standardandspe-
cialized instrumentationandphotographic equipment required to measure andrecord
the many variablesthat needed to bemeasured; theanalysis groupwho transcribed,
corrected with calibration data, plotted or tabulatedthecorrecteddata, analysed the
results and prepared the final reports for distribution; the liaison group, whoworked
with themechanics andshopstomakesurethat theaircraft configurationand instru-
mentationwereinaccordancewithrequirementsestablishedby theProject Flight Test
Engineer inchargeof eachtest aircraft; a flight equipment grouptoservice, storeand
maintainitemssuchasparachutes, oxygenmasks, bailout andwalk-aroundoxygenbot-
tles,andsoon; andanadministrativesupport group.
Prior toeach flight theaircraft wasprepared toconformto theveryspecific written
test andconfigurationrequirements. Averydetailed, specificPlanof Test settingforth
eachtest conditionwasprepared for eachtest flight, given toeach of sometenflight
crew members andthen gone over in detail in the pre-flight conferencesoeveryone
knewexactlywhattoexpect andwhat was expectedof himinflight.
Duringnormal flight thebasic flight crewperformed their dutiesin theconventional
manner. Duringtheflight-test phases theProject Flight Test Engineer wouldbeslight-
ly aft of andbetweenthepilot andco-pilot toprovide thebest possiblecommunication
andawarenessbetweenthosethreepeopleand, inthecaseof theB-29, theflight engi-
neer aswell. Anormal flight test crewonB-17sandB-29sconsistedof about tenpeo-
ple. Theadditional peoplemannedthespecial instrumentationandequipment involved
inthetest.All hadinterphonecontact. Atypical instrumentationloadmight includetwo
photo recorders with forty or fifty instruments and a camera in each; two or three
manometer boards to record forty or fifty pressures; one or two potentiometers to
record fiftyto100temperatures;aBrownrecorder that couldbeselectivelyset forcon-
tinuous recording of any one of manydifferent potentially critical temperatures; and
perhaps an oscillograph to recordstrain gaugeor vibrationdataon structural demon-
stration or flutter flight tests. Largebundlesof wires or tubingconnectedeachinstru-
ment to the appropriate transmitters on propellers, engines, nacelles, wings, control
surfaces and soon. Manual and photographic recordingof thedata was routine. Fre-
quencyof recordingdependedupontherequirementsof thetest conditionthatwasset
up. For instance, automatic recordingonceasecond for perhaps threeminutes during
astabilizedperformanceconditionwas common- andproduceda lot of performance
and cooling datatobeanalysed.
The Proj ect Fli ghtTest Engineer coordinated theactivitiesof theentirecrew, kept a
master logof events andset theappropriate recordingfrequency of all cameras from
hismaster control. At every recordingstationtherewasacoordinationlightandacoor-
dinationcounter that clickedoveronceasecond that providedprecisecoordinationof
all manual and photographic data from before take-off toafter landing. Typically, one
pilot wouldconcentrate entirely on flying theaircraft to precisely stabilize and main-
tainthe planned flight condition. The otherpilot would set upthe engine power, set
cowl or wing-flappositions,maybeoperatespecial equipment suchasanenginewater-
injection systemandmonitor everythinggoingoninsideandoutsidetheaircraft, tobe
abletoanticipateandreact immediately tocopewithany emergency. IntheXB-29the
flight engineer helpedparticularlywiththepowerpl ant-related tasks.
Immediately after every flight there was a highl y structured but quite informal post-
flightconference that wasrecordedverbatimbyacourt-typestenotypist.Theconference
wasattended by theentireflight crew andanykey ground personnel who hadadirect
interest in the flight. These could include: design project and staff engineers who had
requested specific test conditions and who might have to design the corrections or
request additional tests based onproblems encounteredandthedataobtained; techni-
cal and management representatives fromoutside suppliers whose components were
being tested. such asengines, propellers. carburettors, accessories. brakes and arrna-
ment; flight-test instrumentation engi neerswhowanted toknowhowtheir instrumenta-
tionworkedand what they neededtodobeforethenext flight; thedataanalysissuper-
visorwhose peoplewould haveto takethevast amounts of manual andrecordeddata.
and sort out what shouldbeprocessed; theshopforemanandqualitycontrol supervisor
whowantedtoknowof anyaircraft problemsandanyspecial actions neededfromthem
for thenext flight; customer representatives, usuallyat least anAir Corps qualitycontrol
supervisor; and for parti cularly important flights perhaps high-level company and cus-
tomer management. Apost-flight conference might haveas few asadozenor asmany
asfortyormore people. It might last for onlyfive minutesor aslongasacouple of hours.
TheProject FlightTest Engineer or perhaps theProject Test Pilot waschairman. The
short items were usually disposed of first. so most of the peoplecould leaveandget
backtotheir work. Thetestconditions that wererun were each reviewed usingthePlan
of Test as theagenda. Any unusual eventswerenoted. Any clari fyingquestionswere
askedandanswered whilecircumstances werestill clearly remembered. Plansforthe
next flight weretentativelymadebeforetheconference adjourned.
Before theirdaywasover thestenotypistswouldhavetranscribed theirverbatimrecord-
ingof thepost-flightconference sothat it couldbedistributed thenext morningtoall those
withaneedtoknow.TheProject Flight Test Engineer wouldmakeevery efforttocomplete
anddistribute his 'Report of Test' onthe followingday aswell. Thiswas awritten sum-
mary of thetest-flight conditionsrun along withhislog sheet. The systemwas not allowed
toget bogged down. Fl ight-testdatapromptlygot tothosewho needed it.
EddieAllen said 'Flight Testing is a Sound Business' andwrotea paper proving it. It
is also an expensive business. usually involving heavily instrumented aircraft that
would hehard. expensive and time-consumingtoreplace. Sometimes they areone of
akind. Withthehighlyorganized, structuredapproach thatEddiedeveloped. risks. costs
andtimewere minimizedwhileresults and accuracywere maximized.
Eddie'sdrivetomakeaircraft assafeaspossibleextended tothespecial needsof mil-
itaryaircraft. He andBoeingworkedparticularlyhardtodesignandbuildcombat dam-
age-tolerant aircraft. It allowedmany B-17and B-29crewstoget tosafety in spiteof
extremecombat damage.
WhenPearl Harborwashit on7December 1941. EddieAllenhad hisorganizationset
upasdescribed. It was operatingsmoothly and hewasintheprocessof expandingit.
Including Eddie. therewereonly four pilotsat that time doing engineering flight-test-
ing at Boeing.
In early January 1942I startedworking for Eddiealongwith sixother new co-pilots
andtwicethat manynewflight engi neers. Weweremovedquickly throughschool and
the formal training programme. and acquired B-17 experience with the production
acceptancecrews. Most of our engineering flight-test effortsin 1942 were spent try-
ing to find out howto make crews safer and allowthem to operate more efficiently
whileunpressurizedat altitudestoandalittleabove 35,000ft111 .000ml. BetweenApril
and theendof 1942 I flewanumberof timeswithEddieashisco-pilot ontheB-1 7and
XPBB-1 twin-engineflyingboat.
When I first met Eddie inJanuary 1942 I was surprised. Although I had noprecon-
ceived ideas. I didnot expect theworld-renowned test pilot to be of soslight a build
and so unassuming. He weighed about 1451b and was about 5ft 8in tall. In those
moments he fit better my image of a naturally friendly. soft-spoken. mild-mannered
midwesternfarmer. It washardthentovisualizehimsoskilfullycontrollingthesome-
times huge. sometimes'balky' aircraft hehad tested.
AsI gottoknowEddiebetter inthesubsequent fourteenmonths. I came tohavevery
great respect, admirationand affection for him. I have never heard anyone say an
unkind word about Eddie Allen. On thecontrary. there have been many very compli-
mentarywordsused todescribeEddie. Theyinclude: calm. competent. skilful, precise.
earnest. ingenious. courageous, intensely curious. dedicated. sincere. pleasant. con-
genial. gentlemanly, retiring. friendly. unassuming, generous- and the list goes on-
and I'll betthere isat least onestoryor actof Eddie's to fit eachword. Nowonderhis
peopleweresodedicated tohim.
Inspiteof hisgreat personal ability. helet me. hisco-pilot. domost of theflyingwhen
I waswithhim. Hewasakindbut preciseteacher. I learned alot from himinflight and
ontheground, Hemademefeel that hehadgreat faithinme. I believehewasthesame
withmost of us, It madeonedetermined todoeverything possibletojustify that faith
andconfidence. Although heranatight shipwithhighly structured procedures. I don't
ever remember feeling resentment or rebellion agai nst the discipline - perhaps
becauseit seemedsoright. sological and ever soproper. Hewasagreat team leader
anda tremendous inspirationtous.
Eddiewasaconservativetest pilot.not pronetotakechances. Heunderstoodhislimi-
tationsandthoseof theequipment hewastesting. Hedidnot likethethen-commonHol-
lywood depiction of a test pilot as a brash. wild. flamboyant daredevil. He felt keenly
responsibleforprotecting thehugeinvestmentthat anexperimental aircraft anditscrew
represented. Hesai dthat hewasafraidtotakerisks! Hefelt thatfear ishealthy. whereas
pani cisdebi litating. Hestayed cool under pressure. This. then. wasthemanandtheorga-
nizationhe had built. whichwasto begintestingof thefirst XB-29 in September 1942.
There had been many tough decisions made and significant risks taken in the short
threeyearssincetheModel B-341concept hadsparkedreal hopefor aSuperbomber. It
wasonlytwovery compressedyearssincethecontract fortwoXB-29shadbeensigned.
Now. after investing more than 1.400.000 engineering man-hours in theXB-29. flight
testingwasabout to begin. flight testing that would prove whether Eddie Allenand
George Shairer had been right in their many decisions. includingdefendinga 691b per
square foot wing loading; whether the Air Corps had been right in building two new
plants. instartingB-29productionby Boeing. Bell and Martininfour plantsinWichita.
Renton. MariettaandOmaha. andinalready ordering764 B-29sbefore the first XB-29
ever flew; andwhether thethousandsof other decisionsthat had been madewere right.
Everyonehad beenundertremendous pressures and timehad not allowed asmuch
pre-flight development testing asmost would have liked. For instance. the engines.
whichEddiewasabout toflywith. hadbeen cleared foraservicelifeof onlythirty-five
hours! Theneed forflight-test answers wasenormous.
The pressure wasreally on Eddie Allenandhe kept his cool in spite of it all. Eddie
estimated that withanall-out effort it should take fivemonthsand200 flyinghoursto
doa reasonablejobof shaking down theXB-29. determiningits capabilitiesandget-
ting theminimum performance andoperatingdata theAir Corpsneededtostart train-
ingandplace theforthcomingproductionaircraft inservice.
Taxi testsandacoupleof very short hopsweremadeby Eddieontherelativelyshort
5.200ft (1.600ml runwayat BoeingField inSeattleinthe first part of September 1942.
Althoughtherewere some systemproblems. Eddiefelt that meani ngful testinginflight
couldbeconductedwhile solutionstotheseprobl emswerebei ngworkedon.
On 21 September 1942thefirstXB-29flewforthefirst time. withAI ReedasEddie's
co-pilot. Eddieclimbed to6,00Oft and checkedlateral, directional and longitudinal sta-
bilityandcontrol. Hechecked controllabilityandgeneral performancewiththenumber
one engine throttled. Power-off stalls were checked. Control response. forces and
effectivenesswerenoted. Everythingthat shouldbechecked ona first flightwas sat-
isfactorilyaccomplishedinthe1Xhr flight.It wasaprettyuneventful flight and first indi-
cationswerecertainlyfavourable. But Eddi eand theothersknew therewasagreat deal
of workahead.
Therewere tobeveryfewmoreuneventful flights. Thetroubl esstartedaddingup. By
28 Oecember Eddiehadbeen able to make only twenty-three flights in twenty-seven
hours of flying. There had been sixteen engine changes, twenty-two carburettor
changesandnineteenexhaust systemrevisionsinthose threemonths. Inaddition there
werepropeller governingandfeatheringdifficulties.runawayengines that overspedto
3.600rpm and ahost of lesser problems. Thelongest flight was2hours 19minutes. the
average only1hour10minutes. It wasalmost impossi bletoget muchmeaningful quan-
titative data when flights were that short - particularly when much of the time was
spent fighting theproblemsandgettingback to thefield. One of thefew bright spots
wasthat theaerodynamics of theaircraft seemed tobejust what EddieandGeorgehad
workedsohardtoachieve -later testingwould confirmthat earlyassessment. Perfor-
mance and handling qual ities were excellent. No significant aerodynamic changes
wereever made. except for researchwork ontherudder whichresultedinbeingable
tosimplify and improve theaircraft byeliminating therudder boost. EddieandGeorge
Theflight on Oecember28was intended tochecktheservicecei lingandset perfor-
mance data. Thenumber oneengi nefailedat 6.800ft (2. 000m) andtheflight was ter-
minatedafter twenty-sixminutes. Groundinspectionof thenumber twoengineshowed
metal chips inthesump - it. too. wasabout to fail. That was thelast timeEddieAllen
or AI Reed would fly the number one XB-29 as subsequent events kept the aircraft
groundedfor more, thansevenmonths, until August.
Eddie Allen and the8-29 continued
XB·29·1 with EddieAllen at the controls, in preparation for its firstllight on 21
September 1942. Peter M. Bowers
Thereisaninterestingpersonal sidelight tothat 28December flight. Sixdaysbefore,
on22December, I flewwith Eddieas hisco-pilot onthe62,OOOIbXPBB-1twin-engine
flyingboat. It turnedouttobethelasttime EddieflewtheXPBB-1and alsothelast time
I ever flew with Eddie. The purposeof the flightwasto complete a few testsprior to
flyinga final demonstration for the Navyin a fewdays. Eddielet me fly the aircraft,
including the required power-off landing, whichcalledfor cutting the ignitionon both
engines at 1,OOOft. Thehigh-dragboat came downlikeabrick- it wasthefirst timeI
had ever donethat! Eddiejust sat thereandwatched, Fortunately it wasagoodland-
ing in spiteof theextremely steep glidepath. I had no inkling that that would be my
checkout flight (and I doubt that Eddie didl until themorning of 28December, when
Eddiecame tomydeskandverycasuallyaskedmetoflythefinal demonstrationforthe
Navythat day onthe XPBB-1 becauseheand AI Reed neededto fly the XB-29. I man-
aged, inmy amazement, tostammer somethinglike 'I'dbeglad to'.
Thedemonstration went well andI havealways beenextremelygrateful toEddie for
giving me that opportunity and for placingthat muchtrust andconfidence inme. Inci-
dentally, he let me have thefun of making thedelivery flight to theSand Point Naval
AirStationtwoweeks later.
On 30DecemberthenumbertwoXB-29(41-0031 was readyforitsinitial flight. It, too,
hadengines that wereclearedforonlythirty-fivehoursinpositionsone, threeandfour.
It wastobea thoroughfunctional check of theaircraft andits extensiveinstrumenta-
tion. The weather wasmarginal. The functional check proceeded normally until the
number four propeller would not feather andgoverning was erratic. Eddie elected to
discontinuethe flight and immediatelyheaded hack to BoeingField, at whichtimehe
wasadvised thattheweatherwasdeterioratingrapidly.
Aboutsixminutesout, thenumberfour engine caught fire,thepropeller over-sped to
3,500rpm, thepropellerwouldnot feather, andsmoke, sparksand flamewerecoming
from theexhausts. Shuttingoff thefuel and usingthe fireextinquisherswereineffec-
tive. The fire continued to get worse. About two minutes out, the fire was burning
fiercely in theaccessorycompartment. Flames werepouring fromthe nacell e access
door and fromtheintercooler exit area. Heavysmokeandlongfingers of flame were
trailingoff thewing. Inthemeantimeheavy smokewaspouringfromthebomb-bayinto
thecabin, makingit increasingly difficult to see or breathe. Eddie landeddownwind,
chokingandpartially blinded. The intense fire was put out by fire equipment on the
ground. Eddielater receivedtheAir Medal for hisskill andbraveryduring that harrow-
ing 32-minuteflight. Groundinspectionshowedmore troubl e. Afirehadjust startedin
enginenumberoneand enginenumberthreewasclosetofailure, too. Thosethree35-
hour engines eachhadless thanthreehours' total ground and flight time. Becauseof
engineshortages, twoof thethreeengineshad tobereplacedwithengines cannibal-
izedfrom thenumber oneXB-29, which waslaidupforsomemodifications. Inaddition,
thefireinnumber four hadbeensoseverethat thenumber fourenginenacellehad to
bereplacedwithanumber four nacellealsocannibalized from thenumber oneXB-29.
At least thenumbertwoXB-29nowhad fourso-called'unlimited' engines.
Unfortunately, engine/nacel lefiressimilar tothenumber fourfirecontinued toocca-
sionally haunt productionB-29s and caused at least nineteen seriousB-29 accidents
between February 1943andSeptember 1944. While Boeing and Wright tried hard to
findandcorrect thecauseor causes, there wasanatural tendency for each to blame
the other. It was fifteenmonths before therewas positive proof that the R-3350 was
susceptible to induction systemfires, which could very rapidly get out of hand and
become uncontrollablemagnesiumfireswhichthen destroyed evidenceof thefire'sori-
gin. That proof came on24March1944 whenI hadaninductionsystem fireonthenum-
ber four engineduringa routine test flight on thenumber one XB-29. I was fortunate
enough toget theenginefeatheredand the fireout, before it brokeoutof theblower
section or the intakepipes andbecame anexternal fire. The partially burnedmagne-
siumimpeller and interiorof theblowercasewere irrefutableevidence. Inthe faceof
that evidence Wright developedthefuel injectionsystemtoeliminatethepotential for
induction systemfires.
It wasalmost amonthbeforethenumber twoXB-29flewagain, on29January1943.
Inthenext threeweeksemphasiswasonengine, propeller, governing andperformance
testing. Catastrophicengine failures easedup, but that was aboutall. Duringdescent
for landing on 2 February there was a strong odour of gasoline emanatingfrom the
bomb-bay into thecabin. A thoroughinspection uncovered nothing conclusive. On a
flight on17February therewasabadfuel leakoverthewingfromthenumberfour fuel
filler cap; theleakingcapwasfixed.
By 17 February1943thenumbertwoXB-29had madeeight flightstotalling7hours27
minutes- an averageof onl yfifty-sixminutes per flight.Inthefivemonthssincethefirst
XB-29flighton21September, therehad been onlythirty-one flights, totalling34hours27
minutes - a longway from what Eddiehadestimated inSeptember couldbedone. And
withan overall average flight timeof only 1hour7minutes, theamount of meani ngful
test data wasprettysparse.Ashard aseveryonewasworkingtosolvetheprobl ems,the
answerswerecomingpainfullyslowly. AsEddieandhisProj ect Flight Test Engineer left
theaircraft that afternoon andwalked across the ramp to the post-flight conference,
Eddie expressedtohimthegrave reservationshehadaboutcontinuingflight testinguntil
at least themore seriousoftheXB-29problemscouldbefixed. Unfortunately, thefastest,
and maybetheonly, wayto fix someof them was to tryout thevariousfixes inflight -
the'try, try, tryagain' approachthat hadbeensosuccessfullyusedbyEddieandGeorge
Schairer over theyears. But now Eddiefacedareal dilemma.
TheB-29 was potentiallya fineaircraft. It was urgently needed inthePacific. It was
committed to production - 1,600 B-29s were now on order at four separate plants.
Flight test was way behind its expected schedule and the data wasbadly needed to
prove the aircraft. quickly findandcorrect the problems, minimize production disrup-
tions, anddeveloptrainingandoperatingproceduresand manuals.
But it was currently a dangerous aircraft. Major improvements werebadly needed.
Temporary groundingwouldbethenormal, prudent thingtodo. But thesewerenot nor-
mal times. Thesooner theB-29couldbeusedincombat. thesooner thewar wouldend
and thesooner thecasualties and carnagewould stop. Eddie concluded that hemust
continueflight-testingasrapidlyaspossible. Hisentirecrewalsohadtoknowtherisks
- and toa man they stayedwithhim.
Theprimaryobjectives of the 18February1943 flight were tomeasureclimb and level
flight performance andget enginecoolingdatawithfourand twoenginesoperating.Max-
imum altitude wouldbelimitedto25,OOOft becauseof theexcessivetroublethathadbeen
encounteredwithlow engineoil pressuresabovethat altitude. Theeffectiveness of fixes
forsomeof the past problemswouldalsobeevaluated. Take-off wouldbeat thenormal
design gross weight of 105,OOOIb with full fuel tanks - 5,410US gallons of gasoline.
Eight minutesafter the12.09pmtake-off tothesouth, whileclimbingthrough5,OOOft
with rated [i.e., by the manufacturer] power, a fire was reported in the number one
engine. Mixtureandfuel tonumberonewere cutoff, thepropeller wasfeathered, the
cowl flaps wereclosed, a CO
fire extinguisher bottle was discharged and a descent
and returnto Boeing Field was started. Sincethe fireappeared to have beenput out
andeverythingseemedundercontrol, Eddieelectedtoflyanormal landingpattern and
landfromthenorthonrunway1311 28magnetic)tothesouth-south-east intothe5mph
windrather than makingadownwind landingonthe 5,200ft runway with aheavyair-
craft. At 12.24pm the radiooperator routinely reported altitude at 1,500ft at apoint 4
milesnorth-east of thefield. Theywereonthedownwindleg, headednorth-north-west
andstartingaleft turnontobaseleg. Noonesuspectedthedrasticchangethat would
takeplace in thenext two minutes. At 12.25they hadjust finished turning onto base
leg, had just crossed the heavily populated west shore of Lake Washington about 5
miles north-north-east of the field, were at about 1,200ft altitude andwere headi ng
south-west. approachingthe commercial andindustrial southsideof downtownSeat-
tle. At that point groundwitnesses heard anexplosionthat sounded like a loudback-
fireand a piece of metal fell from the aircraft. At about that time the radio operator,
whocouldsee into the forwardbomb-bay andthewingcentre-sectionfront spar, was
overheard by the Boeing tower on anopen microphone to say 'Allen, better get this
thingdown in a hurry. Thewingspar is burningbadly.' He told BoeingRadio on adif-
ferent frequency'Havefireequi pment ready. Am cominginwithawingonfire.' About
a mile downthe flight path fromthe explosion, burned parts of a de-icer valve, hose
clampsand instrumentationtubingwerelater found; they hadcome from anareanor-
mally inside thewing leading edge, ahead of the front spar and just outboardof the
number two nacelle, near thenumber twofuel tankfiller neck, whichwas rubber like
theself-sealingfuel cell. Theaircraft nowturnedsouthonanobliquefinal approachin
adesperateeffort toreachBoeingField, just 4milesaway. Eddiewasabout 250ft high
and ground witnesses later reported that part of the wingleading edge between the
numberoneandnumbertwoengines wasmissing. Inthenextmiletheflight engineer's
data sheet was found andthree of the forward compartment crewmembers jumped
fromthe aircraft - toolowfor their parachutes to open. At 12.26pm, only threemiles
fromBoeing Field, the number two XB-29 crashed into the Frye Meat Packi ngPlant.
killingpilots EddieAllen, BobDansfield, andtheother six crewmemberson board. The
crashandresultingfirekilled another twenty peopleonthegroundanddestroyedmuch
of the aircraft and theplant. Therewasclear evidence that fire and dense smokehad
gone through the bomb-bay into thecockpit inthe last moments beforeimpact; burns
onthebodiesandclothingof thethreecrewmemberswhobailed outjust beforeimpact
wasapart of that evidence. EddieAllenand hiscrew diedintheserviceof their coun-
trythebest way they knewhow. Inoneminutethefirehadgonefromundetectabl eto
At 12.26pm onthe eighteenth dayof February 1943, the saga of Eddie Allen ended.
Not so, however, his legacy, whichhascontinuedtothisday tobenefit hisfellowmen,
for whomhealwaysshowedsuchgreat respect. The scientific flight-testing methods,
whichEddie Allenhad developed, cont inued to serve his countrywell throughout the
war. And they havecontinued to thisday to evolve, improve andkeep pacewithtech-
nology, and toserve man- just asEddieAllen wouldhavewanted.
Theflight-test team that Eddiehadassembledandtrained wasdecimated, devastat-
ed and demoralized. Someof its members wouldprobably never completely get over
his loss- but they didput thepiecesbacktogether andcontinuedto 'fightthebattles'
andget theanswersasEddiewouldexpect themto.
On23Apri l 1946, threeyears after EddieAllen'sdeath, hewasposthumouslyaward-
edtheAir Medal - anhonour rarelybestoweduponacivilian- bydirectionof thePres-
ident of theUnited States. Themedal waspresentedtoFlorenceAllenHoward, Eddie's
widow, byMajor General BenjaminT. Chidlaw, Deputy Commander for Engineeringfor
theAir Material Command, at Wright Fi eld, duringceremoniesat theBoeingPlant 2in
Seattle. At MrsHoward's request, General Chidlawpinned themedal onTurney Allen,
the six-year-old daughter of thelatepilot. TheCitationreads:
To Mr Edmund1.Allen, Civi lianTest Pilot, for hismeritoriousachievement inaerial flight on
30 December 1942. On this occasion while piloting anArmy Air Force XB-29typeaircraft
underextremely unfavourabl eflyingconditions, anuncontrollablefiredeveloped inthenum-
berfour engine. Inspiteof thefact that hewouldhavebeenjustifiedinabandoningtheair-
planeundersuchconditions, Mr Allenelectedtoremainat thecontrolsand attempt tosafe-
lylandit. Asaresult of hisskill anddaringinvaluabletest dataand aprototypeairplanewere
saved,thelossofwhichwouldhaveimmeasurablyretardedtheentireB-29Programat acru-
cial timeinitsdevelopment.
It issignedbyPresident HarrySTruman. Inhispresentationremarks,GenChidlawsaid:
In thecourse of agreat war suchaswehaveonly recentlyconcl uded, thereareagreat many
unsung heroes- menwholabourandworkinrelativeobscurity whileothersgarner the lau-
relsof combat accomplishments. Ofcourse, themenwhoflewtheplanes incombat andmet
theenemyon hisownground deservetheplaudits, whichhave beenaccordedthem. But in
theair war therewereother menwithout whose workand sacrificeit would not havebeen
possibletoget intocombat theplanesthat finallywonthewar.Especiallythiswastrueinthe
caseof theaircraft test pilots- the men who tooktheplanes in their experimental stages,
testedtheirpotentialities, ironedout theirdefectsandbrought inthereportsthat madeit pos-
sibletofashiontheseairplanes intoformidableweaponsof war. Theirswasthecontribution
of ascientific objectivitycombinedwith thedaringandfearlessnessof the pioneer, and the
contributionwasamagni ficentone. Theyhaveearnedtheadmirationand therespect of the
menwhoflew theplanesthat grew out of their effortsandaccomplishmentsand, asamat-
ter of fact. theywerereallyapartof thegreat Air Forceteamthat bombed theenemytodefeat.
EddieAllenwasoutstanding among thesemen.
RobertM. Robbinslearned toflyin 1934at thelocal airport inhishome townofBlooms-
burg, Pennsylvania whenhewas 18 years old. Hegraduatedfrom theMassachusetts
Instituteof technologyin 1938 withBSDegreeinAeronautical Engineering. From 1938
to 1941heworked for Pan American WorldAirways, where heearnedhisAircraft and
Aircraft Engine MechanicLicensesandbecame aSeniorFlight Engineer ontheBoeing
B-314 flying boats on trans-Atlantic flights. He made some twenty-six trans-Atlantic
crossingsduring approximately 1,000 flyinghours.
InJanuary 1942Mr RobbinsjoinedtheBoeingAirplaneCompany inSeattle, Wash-
ingtonas anEngineering/Experimental Test Pilot. In this capacity he flewas Proj ect
Pilot ontheB-17FlyingFortress, theXPBB-1Sea Ranger. XB-29Superfortress andXB-
Except forthefirst fewmonthsof theXB-29flighttestprogramme, hedidmost of the
flyingduring World War Twoonthenumber oneXB-29, whichwas dubbed THE FLYING
GUINEA PIG. He became only the second Boeing Experimental Test Pilot andAircraft
Commander onXB-29number oneafter EddieAllen. From 21October 1943 totheendof
World War Two, Mr Robbinshadbeen theProject Test Pilot andAircraft Commanderon
everyflight of XB-29numberone- 312flightstotalling458hoursintwenty-twomonths.
InJuly 1948Mr Robbinsretiredfromprofessional flight testing tobecome Assistant
Project Engineer at thebeginningof theB-47Bproductionprogramme. Hemoved onin
numerous management positions on the B-47, B-52 and KC-135 programmes. He
retiredfrom Boeingon1January 1979after thirty-sevenyearsof serviceat theage of
sixty-two. Hecurrentlyresides at Ormond Beach. Florida withhis wifeAnn.
YB-29-1(41 -36954) nears completion pri or to its 26June 1943 first flight. Peter M. Bowers
The first flight of XB-29-3 with the top of 14.410ft (4.392m) Mount Rainier in the background. Peter M. Bowers

Specifications - YB-29
Four Wright Aeronautical R-3350-21 Cyclone 18radial engines
Empty 81 ,620lb(37,020kg); loaded 120.5001b154,660kgl
Length98ft 2in129.9m); wingspan 141ft 3in(43.1m); wingarea 1.736sq ft (161.27sqm);
height 27ft 9in(8.45m)
Maximum speed365mph(590km/ h);cruisingspeed250mph1400km/h);
serviceceiling33.500ft IlO,200m); maximum range 5.600miles19.000km); maximum bomb
load 20,OOOl b(9,OOOkg j
The Ser vice Test YB-29
The USAAC or de red fourteen YB-29 ser-
vice test aircraft (4 1-3695 4 to 4 1-36967 )
at t he same tim e th at it or dered its first
bat ch of 250 product ion 8 -29s. These air-
craft were manufactured in the I hen -new
govern ment -owne d plant in \Vich ita ,
Kan sas, called Plant 2. Plant 1 was th e for -
mer Stear man Ai rcraft factory, whi ch th e
Boeing Airplane Company had previously
bought. Afte r Plant 1 finished th e
10,346th and last Kavdcr primar y trai ner
for th e US Army and US Na vy, it buil t
subassemblies for B-29s.
The YB-29s wer e outwardly very similar
to th e XB-29s , bu t wer e built to near-pro-
du ct ion sta ndard with most of the planned
mi litary systems on board . They also fea-
tured the five gun- tur ret emplace me n ts
and th e th ree gun-sight ing blist ers. They
were power ed by t he somewhat improved
R-3350-21 engine , but st ill had the three-
bladed propel lers that wer e ori gin ally used
by t he th ree XB-29s. A ircraft 41 -36954
was finished on 15 April 1943 and rolled
off th e Plant 2 product ion line. Bur it did
not fly un til 26 June - mor e th an two
mont hs lat er - because of the XB-29 crash
invest igat ion .
As dedi cated service test aircraft , th e
YB-29s wer e for th e most pan used for B-
29 test programmes and tra ini ng aids. The
first YB-29 was lat er to become th e on ly
X8 -39, described in detai l in Chapter 11.
S P E R B O ~ l B E R
~ \ \
First five YB-29s at Boeing-Wichita Plant 2 prior to getting their olive drab and neutral grey camouflage paint schemes. Peter M. Bowers
Close-up view of the leh outboard engine's leh turbosupercharger on YB-29-1 as it was
photographed on 29July 1943. Peter M. Bowers
One of the fourteen YB-29s undergoing pre-flight at Wichita.

A pair of earlv production B-29-1-BWs in flight over Kansas i n late 1943. DavidW. Menard
Bell and MartinB-29Pilot Aircraft Produclion
B-29-I-BA' 42-6222
B-29-I-MO: 42-6229
O ne of the ot her YB-29s act ually made it
int o ombat dur ing th e Supcrforr's initi al
dep loyment to t he Ch ina- Burma- India
th eatre ' of operat ions. All of the YB-29s
were paint ed in overall olive drab with
neutral grey und ersides.
Th e 8-29 Pilot Airc raft
In the case of t he 13-29 th e term ' pilot air-
craft' refers to five Bell-bu ilt 13-29- I -BA
and five Martin-built B-29- 1-MO patt ern
aircraft that were built with tooling pro -
vided by th e Boeing Airplane Company.
They were essent ially hand -bu ilt, st rict
adherence to Boeing specificat ions bein g a
prereq uisit e. Once t hese pi lot sh ips were
built, th orough ly inspected for crit ical tol-
erances and so on, then successfully test-
flown, each firm earned th e 'green light' to
proceed with th ei r respecti ve 13-29 pro-
duct ion programmes. These ten 13-29 pilot
aircraft arc often overloo ked in tota l 13-29
prod uction figures.
The first XB-29 sits derel i ct in a fie l d. around 1950. Neith er it nor XB-29-3 was preserved. Robert M. Robbins
On 6 September 194 1 the USA AC
approved an ini t ial contract for the pro-
duc t ion of 250 B-29s, to be built by Boeing
ar Wichita, Kansas (240), Bell at Atlanta,
Ge orgia (5 ) and Martin at Omaha,
Ne braska (5) . This ncar-unprecedented
move caused qu ite a st ir for a number of
reasons, which in part arc as follows: th e
USA was not yet at war; no example of t he
8-29 had yet flown; and th ere were serious
doubts as to whether such an advanced
heavy bomber wou ld ac tually perform as
advert ised. In fact it would be more than a
year befor e the first X8-29 took wing,
some twe nty -one mont hs before t he first
YB-29 flew. Nevert hel ess, work on the
X8 -29s in cat tle proceeded. In the mean-
t ime , with addit iona l ord ers fort hcoming,
Boeing, Bell and Mart in prepared th eir
respec t ive factories for 8-29 production in
Renton, \Vich ira, Atlanta and Omaha.
Since t he USA was nor yet at war th e
USAAC had walked on rat he r shaky
ground when ordering its init ial batch of
ten pilot ships and 240 production aircraft.
or since it had placed first orde rs for I 4
ort h American B-25 Mitchell and 20 t
Mart in B-26 Marauder medium bombers
had it gambled on ' paper aeroplanes' t hat
had not yet flown. But all of th is doubt did
not matt er any mor e after the Japanese
att ack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December
1941. In facr, as it turned our , U AAC
leaders found themsel ves receiving hi gh
praise fur what turned out to be incredible
In all, Boei ng wou ld gu on to huild
2,744 product ion B-29s and B-29As; Bell
huilt 668 and Ma rti n built 53 1. Boeing
also bu ilt t hre e XB-29s and fourt een Y8 -
29s; Bell and Marrin built five B-29 pi lot
ships each, making a grand tota l of 3,970.
Without building yet anot her factory build-
ing at Boeing's Sea t tle Plant 2 facility th ere
simply was nor enough space to creat e addi -
tion al product ion lines for the B-29, due to
Boeing's ongoi ng heavy B- 17 production at
that facility. Thus Boeing-Seat tle built just
the th ree XB-29-80 s in a cordoned-off area
of the Plant 2 B-17 factory. Moreover, due
to the B-29's high security stat us, Boe ing's
Wichita facility was considered more suit-
able because of its more secure location in
the USA mid-west. All thr ee XB-29-BOs
were fabricated in major sect ions at Boe-
ing's south Sea tt le Plant I facility, then
barged upstream on the Duwamish River to
Plan t 2 for final assembly and flight-test.
O n 6 September 194 1 the Boeing Ai rplane
Company received approved USAAFcon-
t ract AC 19673 for the manufacture of 230
B-29- 1, 8-29-5, 8-29- 10, B-29- 15 and B-
29-ZO-BW aircraft at its Wichi ta, Kansas,
facility. Of these, fourteen wou ld be service
test YB-29s and 213 would be product ion
B-29s. In addi t ion, it had to manufactur e
and deliver B-29 tooling to both Bell and
Mart in so that they could build their B-29-
I-BA and B-29- 1-MO pilot ships.
On 3 1 January 1942, on amended con-
tract AC 19673, anot her 500 product ion
B-29s were ordered from Boeing-Wichi ta.
The cont ract was again amended on 13
June 1944 for the product ion of 500 addi-
t ion al B-29s. Then it was amended again
on 30 June 1944 for 200 more. On 13 Jan-
uar y 1945 the same ca nt ract was amended
for t he last t ime wit h an order for 180 more
8 -29-B\Vs. ot count ing the fourt een YB-
29s airplanes, thi s brought the tot al of
Wichita -produced B-29s to 1,630.
Boeing-\Vichita Plan t 2 went on to bui ld
a total of fourteen service test Y8-29s and
1,630 product ion B-29s. The first combat-
ready 8-29-BW, a B-29-I -BW (42-6222),
was accepted by the USAAF on 3 March
1944. The last Wichita-built Superfortrcss,
a B-29-I OO-BW (45-2 1872) came off the
product ion line on 26 September 1944 and
was deliv ered to the USAAF on 10 Octo-
her. But gett ing 8-29 product ion and deli v-
eries off the ground ar Boein g-\Vichira was
mor e than a challenge. In fact , it was a bat-
tle - the Barrie of Kansas.
The Batt le of Kansas
With YB-29 flight-test act ivit ies con ri n u-
ing and Plant 2 up and running, Boein g
had moved headlong int o B-29-BW pro -
ducti on by mid- 1943. However, fewer
th an 100 production B-29-BWs had been
built at Wi chita Plant 2 by ea rly Januar y
1944. \Vorse, due to a lack of government
furni shed equipment (GFE) and other
mater ials, on ly sixteen of th ese were fly-
able. Worse yet, on IS January 1944, an
assessment by 20th Air Force headquarters
had concl uded th at not a single B-29 in
the invent ory was ready for combat.
The U AAF commander, Gene ral Hap
Arnold, was un aware of thi s situat ion
when he ar rived at Smok y Hill AAF in
Kansas ( 0 sec what he though t wou ld be
th e first ove rseas depart ure of combat-
ready B-29s of th e 20t h Air Force's 58th
Bomb Wing (Very Heavy). To h is urprisc,
and disgust . he found that no B-29s were
ready for their first combat deployment s.
The problem was that th e ea rly product ion
B-29-BW aircraft were being used for crew
train ing, so they needed extensive modi fi-
cat ions to ach ieve combat readiness.
Moreover. there was a serious sho rt age uf
mech an ics and eq uipment to affect these.
Gene ral Arnold - the 8 -29's chief advo-
cate - was more t han livid. He immediate-
ly rook steps ro cor rect th e situat ion. He
immedi arely orde red hi gh-prior ity modifi-
cations, wh ich numbered mor e than fifty
per aircraft and encompassed numerous
items ranging from the cont inuing engine
problems to t he complicat ed installat ion
of th e new and soph ist icarcd computerized
cent ral fire control (CFC) system. He
placed his aide . General B.E. Meyer, in
charge of th e modificat ion programme, a
crash programme to make B-29-BWs com-
hat ready, whi ch became known as the
Bart le of Kan sas and whi ch began on 10
March 1944.
Boeing-Wichita Plant 2. Peter M. Bowers
Earlier, th e 100t h product ion B-29-BW
was OlH of the factory by I Jan uary 1944.
Gene ral Arnold arrived at Plant 2 to see
how th e 175th Superfort was coming alon g
(th is was the minimum number of aircraft
needed to equip the first B-29 bomb
group). He found its already att ached fuse-
lage sect ions in final assembly and it was
nearly ready to recei ve its wing and empen-
nage assemblies. 'T his is the plane I want ,'
said Arno ld, ' I want it befor e th e first of
March. ' The 175th Boeing-Wi chi ta Super-
fort - now named THE GE ERAL H. H.
AR OLD SPECIAL - rolled out on 28
February 1944. So by thi s t ime ther e were
175 completed B-29- BWs to deal with.
The man y new, and in some cases
untried, systems on th e B-29 cha llenged the
military airframe and powerplan r mech an -
ics and techn icians involved in the pro-
gramme. Therefore, when they ran into di f-
ficult ies Boe ing supplied some of its
mech ani cs and technicians from the Plant
2 assembly line to assist them. This move
inevitably furt he r slowed producti on . Then
th e mid -western US A winter weather got
worse and it became extre me ly cold OlH -
side where the mech ani cs and technicians
were for ced to work, sinc e Plant I was busy
turning out Kaydcr t raining aircraft and
the few han ger'S that wer e at th e Boeing-
Wichita facil ity were all already full with
other aircraft.
It was so co ld th at t he work ers had to
dr ess in high -al t it ude flight suits and wear
gloves. \Vorse, they could only work about
twenty minutes at a time before th ey need-
ed warm-up breaks in heat ed tents. These
hard-pressed personnel work ed in around-
the -clock eight- hour sh ifts, six days per
week unde r th ese horri ble condi t ions. The
Bat tle of Kansas raged on for some th irty-
five days, ending for th e most in mid-Apri l
1944. BUl the long and agonizing bat tle
had finally been won .
Following contrac tor flight s the modified
B-29-BWs were acce pted by the USAAF
and flown to Smoky Hi ll AAF for crew
assignments. It was on 26 March 1944 th at
the first flight s of combat- ready B-29-BWs
began to depart Smoky Hill. Thc first flight
out was led by the comma nde r of 58BW
(H) , Colonel Leon ard 'Jake' Hannon , who
had made the first flight on XB-29 number
thr ee. The last of the 58BW's B-29s depart -
ed on IS April 1944.
Bell-Atlant a (Marietta)
The Bell A ircraft Corporat ion of Buffalo,
cw York, was busy building P-39 Airaco-
bra fight ers when rhe U AAF ordered its
first bat ch of 250 B-29s from Boeing. But
when it was decid ed to grea tly sup plement
the initi al B-29 producti on orde r, th e
USAAF looked to othe r man ufactur ers to
help out.
Wit h its P-39 produ ct ion beginning to
wind down as more advanced fighters such
as th e P-38, P-47 and P-5 1 became ava il-
able, Bcll would have adequate factory space
- especially in its brand new Plant 6 facility,
whi ch was being readi ed in Atlanta (Mari-
ett a), Georgia . Bell's new fight er, th e P-63
Number 38 of fifty producti on B-29+BWs. 42-6242on the ground with a USAAFguard.
Peter M. Bowers
This in-flight view of 42-6242 clearl y shows the Boei ng 117 wing design. which
provided the lift so important to the success of the Superfort . Peter M. Bowers
PBB-I Sea Ran ger twin-engi ne sea-based
pa tro l bombers in mid - 1942. However, it
was about this t ime th at the USN's patrol
bomber requirement s cha nged sufficiently
to warr ant ca nc ellat ion of the Sea Ran ger
product ion cont ract, so th e USN t raded
th e use of Boeing's Plant 3 facil ity at Ren-
ton to th e USAAC, in exchange for its use
of North American's Kansas City produc-
t ion facilit y, t hat was producing B-25s and
t he US 's PBJ land-based pat rol bombers.
Thus, Boeing was author ized to prod uce
t he newly-or dered B-29A -BN airplanes at
On 19 Septe mbe r 1942 - two days befor e
XB-29 number on e had flown - th e Boe-
ing Airplane Company received approved
cont ract AC 19673 for t he manufacture of
300 product ion B-29As. This contract was
amended on 30 June 1944 for th e manu-
facture of an addit iona l 8 19 B-29As,
bringing the tota l to 1, 119 airpla ne s.
Boeing's brand-new Rent on, \Vash ing-
ton, plant was owne d by t he U A Navy
and was gear ing up to produce fifty-seven
Mart in-Omaha
Kingcobra, was going to be built in Buffalo,
so the USAAF gave Bell a series of produc-
tion cont racts to build B-29s in Georgia.
As previously relat ed, on 6 September
194 1 Bell recei ved approved USAAF con-
tract AC 19673 to build five 13-29 pilot ships
from too ling supplied by Boeing (USAAC
serial numbers 42-6222, 42-6224, 42-6233,
42-6235 and 42-6243). Then on 19 July
1944 USAAF contr act AC 27730 was
approved for the producti on of 400 13-29-
BAs and B-29B-BA . Thi s was an increase
of ISOaircraft over the original 250- plane
orde r allowed for in the lett er-of-intent con -
tract Bell had received in early 1943. Then
on 19 July 1944 in amended cont ract A
27730, Bell received not ice that it wou ld
produce anot he r 268 B-29s and B-29Bs.
The first Bell-built 13-29 (a pilot sh ip)
was to be deliver ed in Se pte mber 1943.
The first exa mple was not complet ed until
late October however, and it made it first
flight on 4 Novembe r 1943. 1 ot count ing
the five pilot sh ips, Bell went on to build
357 product ion B-29 -BAs and 3 11 pro-
duct ion B-29B-BAs; 66 total. The last of
thes e, a 13-29 13, was deli ver ed on 19 Janu-
ar y 1945.
On 6 September 194 1 th e G lenn L. Mart in
Company in Baltimore, Maryland received
USAAF cont ract AC 19673 for the con -
struct ion of five B-29-I -MO pi lot ships
using Boe ing-provided tooling (USAAC
serial numbe rs 42-6229/ -6232 and 42-
6237). Then on 30 June 1944 the compa -
ny recei ved cont rac t AC 117 for the initial
product ion of 199 B-29s. Thi s amount was
upped to 299 in th e amended co nt rac t AC
117, and then th e amount was furt her
incr eased on amended con tract AC 117,
by 232 aircraft.
Ma rtin had planned to build its 13-33
Super Marauder four -engine medium-cl ass
(in othe r word s heav y-cl ass) bombers at its
Omaha , ebraska, fac ility, but aft er th e 13-
13 product ion programme was termi nat ed
in favour of 13-29 and 13-32 product ion, it
used its Omaha pla nt for its B-29 manu-
fact uring programme.
In all, not co unt ing th e five pilot sh ips,
Martin produced 531 producti on B-29-
MOs, including the sixty-five ilvc rplarc
B-29s (descr ibed in Chapte r 6) . The first
Mart in-Omaha 13-29 pi lot sh ip flew in
October 1943 and the last one built left
the factory on 19July 1945.
4 7

u.s . TREA'SUKY OfP·T.
8-29 Production
TOP: AB-29A-5-BN(42-93844) is
illustrated on this War Bonds
Drive Certificate. Peter M. Bowers
ABOVE: Abrand new B-29-86-BW
(44-87704) leads a flock of other
factory-fresh Superforts to their
air base prior to being ferried to
operations in the Pacific.
Peter M. Bowers
Total: 3.980
1,1 19
Seattle. Washington
Wichita. Kansas
Atlanta, Georgia
Omaha. Nebraska
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia
Omaha. Nebraska
Renton, Washington
Wichita. Kansas
pilot ships
pilot ships
Renton. The USN st ill owned Plant 3, how-
ever, and that is why B-29A airplanes had
the BN ( Boeing/Navy) suffix.
The first B-29A (42-93824) rolled off
t he assembly line on 21 December 1943
and made its first fligh t on 30 Decembe r.
Boeing-Renton produced 1, 1ZZ B-29As.
The last production Superfortre ss, a B-
29A-75- BN (44 -62328) , came off th e
Renton produ cti on line on 28 May 1946
and was del ivered to th e USAAF twel ve
days lat er, on 10 June.
ABOVE: Three Renton-built B-29As are about to cross the Cedar River. after
which they we re parked on the flight line. Peter M. Bowers
BELOW: B-29A-10-BN42-93888 being towe d across the Cedar River.
Peter M. Bowers
LEFT: B-29-55-BW
42-24881 in the
background flies
in close formation
with an unidentified
Superior!. Peter M.
RIGHr. Arare shot
of Bell-built B-29s.
TOP: The first Renton-built B-29A-1-BN (42-93824) is about to be barged across
the Cedar River on 28 December 1943. Peter M. Bowers
ABOVE: The same B-29A arrives on the west side of the Cedar River. It made its
first flight two days later. on 30 December. Pater M. Bowers
Empty 86.500lb (39.000kg); loaded
FourWright Aeronautical R-3350-57
Cyclone18radial engines
Specifications - B-29- BA. B-29-BW
I II and B-29-MO
Powerplant: Four Wright Aeronautical
R-3350-23 Cyclone 18radial
Weights: Empty 80.000lb (36.000kgl; loaded
~ J I .
I I ~
Dimensions: Length99ft 130.1m); wingspan 141ft
3in(43.1m); wingarea 1,736sqIt
· [ 1'1
; r
(l61.27sqm); height 27ft 9in
I '
; <;
' I
Perlormance: Maximum speed 370mph (590km/h);
,\ ~
cruisingspeed 250mph{400km/hl;
serviceceiling 32.1DOlt (9.800m);
maximumbomb load 20.000lb
(9.000kg) l or adistance 011.500
Specification - B-29A-BN
Specification - B-29B-BA
Dimensions: Length991t (30.1rn] : wingspan
142ft 3in143.4m); wingarea 1.800sq
ft (167.2sqm); height 27ft 9in
Performance: Maximum speed375mph(600km/h);
cruisi ngspeed 250mph (400km/h);
serviceceiling33.0001t (10.000m);
maximum bombload 20.000lb
(9.000kgl lor adistance 01 1.500
Female worker prepareswiring harnesses to be installed in Martin-built B-29s.
The Gl enn L. MartinAviation MuseumviaStan Piet
Four Wright Aeronautical
R-3350-51 Cyclone 18 radial
Weights: Empty 79.5001b (36.000kg); loaded
This B-29-1-BW(42-6237) wasone of several Superforts that went to theMartin-
Omaha pl ant to serve as pilot ships. The Glenn L. Marti" Aviation Museum via Stan Piet
Dimensions: Length991t (30.1 m); wingspan 141ft
3in(43. 1m); wingarea 1.736sq ft
(161.27sq ml;height27ft 9in{8.45ml
Performance: Maximumspeed380mph(610km/hl;
serviceceiling33.000lt (lO.OOOm);
maximum bombload 20.0001b
This in-flight view of B-29A-30-BN 42-94106 i ll ustrates the extraordinarily clean Art
Decolines of World War Two's most advancedbomber. USAF
ABOVE: This is the first Martin-built B-29-1-MO (42-652D2) as it appeared
on 1D October 1944. The Gl ennL. Martin AviationMuseum vi a StanPiet
BElOW: This is a compos ite image of Martin-Omahafactory workers take n on 4 November
1944with a completed B-29 in their midst. The GlennL.MartinAviationMuseumvia Stan Piet
A Martin-built B-29-25-MO on the ramp.
TheGlenn L. MartinAviation Museumvia Stan Piet
BELOW: 42-65267 is one of f ifty production B-29-25-
MOs at Martin's Middle River facility in Baltimore,
Ma ryl and. on 14 December 1944.The Glenn L. Martin
Aviation Museumvia Stan Piet
Bon OM: Another view of 42-65267surrounded by
empl oyees. The Glenn L. MartinAviation Museumvia
Stan Piet
TOP: The Martin-Omaha production line on 11April
1945. TheGlenn L. MartinAviationMuseum via StanPiet
INSET MIDDLE: The 1.000thproduction Boeing-Wichita-
bui lt B-29. USAF
BOTTOM: Martin B-29sbeing assembled for Combat
Eagle on 11April 1945. TheGlennL. Martin Aviation
TOP: Riveters putti ng the finishi ng touches to
Mart i n-bui lt tail -gunner compartments on 5 June
1944. TheGlennL. MartinAviationMuseumviaStanPiet
BOTTOM: Bei ng held at the final assembly doors
on 11 April 1945is the 532nd Marti n-built B-29.
It was the 34thB-29-40-MO (44-27359) built. but
si nce producti on was stopped at 531 air craft,
it was not received by the USAAF. Thus only
thi rty-three B-29-40-MOs wer e delivered.
TheGl enn L. MartinAviation MuseumviaStanPiet
TOP: The last production B-29-MO. on 19July 1945. The Glenn L Martin Aviation Museumvia Stan Piet
ABOVE: Forward fuselage assembly on 5 June 1945. The Glenn L MartinAviation Museumvia Stan Piet
RIGHT. A B-29 being towed. USAF
Structures and Systems
The Boe ing B-29 Supcrforrrcss was a mas-
terpiece of aerona ut ical and propulsive
syste m engineering. It was very large and
very heavy for its day, easy on th e eye and
incredibly advanced, wh ile featuring an
autopilot , compute rized fire-contro l sys-
tem, radar-enhanced all-weat her bomb ing
capabilitv, pressur ized crew accommoda-
t ion, tricycle landing gear, sel f-sca ling fuel
ta nks , and man y ot he r innovat ion s. It had
been conce ived some two years before th e
U A entered \Vorld \Var Two by people
who had the foresight to know that such a
plane would be needed. At first it was sim-
ply described as bei ng a bigger and better
B- 17 Flying Fortress - a SU/Jer Fort ress, one
might say - but it was far more than t hat.
To manufacture and field such an
adva nce d bomber as the B-29 at such a
heel ie time created one of the most intense
industri al und ert akings of t he war, second
only to the creat ion of th e atomic bomb, of
whieh the Supe rfort itself became an int e-
gral parr . All of thi s woul d ha ve been for
noth ing, however, if key Pacific islands had
not been secured for B-29 operat ions - at
an inc redible loss of life.
The B-29 Supcrfortress was replete wit h
both common and uncommon st ruct ures
and systems, wh ich in part arc as follows.
Accommodat ion
Accommodati on was made for a nor mal
crew of six or an alte rnative crew of up to
t welve. T he normal six-person crew con-
sisted of pi lot, co-pilot, bombardier, flight
engineer, navigator and radio operator.
The six ext ra crew members were thr ee or
four target-sight ing men to fire th e
remotely-operated defensi ve guns , a radar
operat or and a tail-gunner. These crew
members were hou sed in three pressur ized
sect ions: the nose sect ion, t he rear fuse-
lage sect ion (just aft of th e rear bomb-
bay) and th e tail-gunner' s co mpa rt ment.
T he pilot , co-pilot , bombardier, radi o
ope rator, flight enginee r and na vi gator
wer e housed in the forward nose sect ion
TOP: Looking forward out of a 8-29 cockpit. also called the 'greenhouse' because of
all the glass . showing both pilot's (left) and co-pilot's controls. USAF
BOTTOM: Section 41. the forward fuselage compartment or nose section. which housed
the pilot. co-pilot. bombardier. flight engineer. radar operator. radio operator and
navigator. USAF
The flight engineer's sta tion in B-29A-1 -BNnumber one (42-93824)
on 15 December 1943.fifteen days before its first flight. Peter M. Bowers
The navigator and radar operator stations. Peter M. Bowers
The navigator's station in the first Renton-built B-29A.
Peter M. Bowers
Flight engineer station . USAF
BELOW: The Central Fire Control (CFC) compartment. The CFC compartment was
manned bythree crewmen - l eft. right and centr e spotters/gunners. USAF
.. ·r
, ,
H- 5t-d I .
I_ l a-' ......
J- • ••• 01 a ....
f -O k
1- ' Po-_ l-.Lor. _
CO-l Whft l lop<>
l'ft so...
' \, -, 'K.
lo.'rl ,
n il O f ISSTRU MII ·.,TS
AS I S Til t. AIRPlA1'oiF MAY
SOl !if 1Ot.:"oj ICA L
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had 'hl isrcr'vtvp c Plexiglas windows. These
had a ter rihie tendency to blow out at
alt itude, caus ing sudden decompression .
\'(1orse, crew members would be blown out
as well if th ey were not securely st rapped in
with hi gh-qual ity safety belts. Unfort u-
natel y thi s occurred far too often, wit h
tragic results. The re has been no docu-
mcnrcd report abo ut the top sight ing sta-
tion 's blister window blowing out.
Armo ur plating and ' flak curtains' were
employed for crew prot ecti on.
In the Korean \'(1ar, after the ni ght-time
bombardment missions had begun, each
machi ne-gun had only 100 rounds of
ammunit ion. T he 20mm ca nnon were not
l _ T...t.o-n«
M-CJ, . l
O - ("-Pon
f' -fII ..._
, ;. ..... J9 -4' ;' . ' " I"".' ",,.".,
(.; .. ...
11- '1.....
I h lr nl U -lI
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11n .•"'t:-.. 0 1 I:-;STR l ! Ml l"o "TS
AS IN ST ALlfll 1I"oTI n .\ IRI'LAl'>; t ,\l A"
:-;01' BE JDEm ICAI. \'CH II TH AT:"oIIO\'C':-.l

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11I(.Ml " A." O-
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r lot_ _ .. k04... _
3 11 Bell-bui lt B-29B airplanes were modi -
fied to employ an advanced A /A PG- ISB
airborne rada r-di rected fire cont rol system
ca lled Airborne Radar Gu n Sigh ti ng Sys-
tem, whi ch locked on to approach ing
fight ers and automa t ically fired whatever
gun fs) were requi red. Most B-29s, howev-
er, were fitted with th e A /A PQ-13 rada r
bombardment system for ' t hrough the
clo uds' bombing. Othe r B-29s came
equipped with the special AN/APQ-7
Eagle radar bombardme nt system, which
feat ured a large wing carried und erneat h
th e Superfor ts - thus, Eagle.
Two of the CFC sight ing stat ions - port
and sta rboard in th e rear compart ment -
ABOVE: Pil ot and co-pilot's
i nst rument panels. USAF
Ar mament
wh ile t he sight ing personnel wer e housed
in t he rear fuselage sect ion. A pressuri zed
t unnel 34in (0. 6m) in di ameter, just
above th e tandem bomb-bays, connec ted
t he for ward and rear co mpart ments . T he
ta il-gunne r, by co nt rast , was for ced to
remain in hi s compar t men t.
The B-29 was heavily armed, wit h four
remo tel y controlled, power-operat ed gun
turret s (IWO dor sal, two ventral), eac h
housing two Model M-2 .50-ca libre
mach ine-guns. A fifth gun tur ret in the tail
housed a Model M-3 20111m cannon with a
.50-calibre machi ne-gun on eithe r side.
The re were normal ly 500 rounds of ammu-
ni t ion for each mach ine-gun (but some-
times as many as 1,000 rounds per gun were
carried) and 110 rounds for th e cannon. In
many cases during \'(1or ld War Two th e
cannon was removed, leaving just the two
machine-guns in the rail posit ion; some-
times a third mach ine-gun mount ed in its
place. Lat e-production B-29As had four
machi ne guns in th e forward dorsal turrer.
T he upper rear tur ret 's lower limit of fire
was hor izontal. The upper forward turret's
lower limit of fire was 2Y1 degrees below th e
hori zont al. The forward and rea r lower
turret s' upper limit of fire was 5 degrees
above hori zont al. The ta il tur ret's rear lim-
its of fire were 30 degrees above and below
the hor izont al cent rel ine and 30 deg rees
right and left of the vert ical cent rel ine
(wit hin these limit s a pyramid-shaped area
of fire was formed). The four upper and
lower gun turrets were eac h supplicd wit h
1,000 round s of ammunit ion (500 rounds
per gun ). Anot her 1,000 rounds were sup-
plied when I he four-gun upper forward rur-
ret appeared (2,000 total , 500 per gun ).
The re were thr ee sight ing stat ions in the
rear compart ment : one on either side of t he
fuselage and one atop the fuselage on cen-
trel ine just aft of the rear dorsa l turret.
There was a fourth sight ing stat ion at the
bombardier's position . The rear compart-
ment housed the General Electric Cent ral
Fire Cont rol (CFC) system. The bom-
bardie r was respon sible for the forward
lower turr et . The cent re gunne r was respon-
sible for the two dorsal turrets and the left
and right waist-gunners were responsible
for t he aft, ventral turret , having bot h pri-
mary and secondary control of that turret.
In addit ion to th e GE CFC syste m used
on most of th e B-29 and B-29A aircraft,
TOP: The escape routes for B-29 crewmembers in case of an emergency. Peter M. Bowers
aorroe: The shaded areas on this inboard profile show where B-29 crewmembers were
housed and where they moved about w ithin the air craft. Peter M. Bowers
- CUNNEIl:50

/ -- HINGE ...(CES5
---- AC((55
- - - - GLNNH! 50
Of .. : i ll: HOSE
( ()N,Nlc riONS
l.lot. " " , ( ' <'
whi ch allowed crew members access to
either compart me nt duri ng hi gh-al ti tude
fligh t. Exit from th e rear compa rt ment
was through eit her the pressure bulkhe ad
(stati on 646 ) door, offering emergency
ex it through t he aft bomb-bay, or t hrough
t he pressure bu lkh ead (st ati on S34) door,
which gave eme rgenc y exi t [() t he rear
unpressuri zed compart me nt. Exi t from
the rear un pressurized compart ment was
through the rear entrance door, whi ch was
bot h the nor mal and an eme rgency exit ,
or through an esca pe hat ch on t he upper
left side of fuselage, wh ich co uld be used
as an eme rgency ex it, but on ly whil e on
the ground or in water.
Pressur e bulkheads, located at stat ions
1110 and 1144, for med a small pressur ized
enc losure for th e tai l-gunner. Entrance
was gained th rough a door in t he sta t ion
1110 bulkhead and emergency exi t made
t hrough a win dow at th e t ail -gunner 's
right (t hat is, the left -han d side of air-
craft ).
!'" t . !
I Al r- 0"'1' [)(Y 11: -
",1(11 DOlf I::
IQf ""TfI( Afl QN
' AM l A(C1SS
0'; :0'( .. 0 e 10'- _--..JI
S; ,:>1 1"
lI [MO VABl (
ABOVE: B-29 acce ss doors. windows and panels. Peter M. Bowers Coll ection
mi nor except ions, only flush rivet s were
used to att ach the skin ro the fuselage struc-
tur e. There were thr ee pressurized compart-
men ts: one in the nose, one aft of the rear
bomb-bay and one in the extreme mil.
The pilot , co- pilot , fight engine er,
radi o operator, navigator and bombardi er
were sta t ione d in th e forward compart -
ment and were provided t hree exits . T heir
nor mal entry and exit was through th e
nose land ing gea r wheel-well, by means of
a hat ch in th e floor beside th e fligh t engi-
neer' s stat ion; thi s hat ch could also be
used as an eme rgency exit. The pressure
bulkh ead (stat ion li S) door prov ided an
emergency exit th rough the bomb-bay.
Lastl y, th e fligh t engineer's removable
window could be used as an eme rgency
ex it , but on ly wh ile on the ground or in
The rear pressuri zed co mpart me nt was
located immediatel y aft of th e rear bomb -
bay. and was conne cted to the forward
co mpa rt ment by a pressur ized tunnel ,
employed in Korea, all having been re-
moved after \'(Iorld War Two.
The Supcrfort had two bomb-bays
mounted in tandem between th e forward
and rear crew compart me nts, one forward
and one aft of the wing cent re sec t ion. The
hombs wou ld be ejec ted in a forward-to-aft
sequence from the two bomb -bays to
maint ain a prope r centre of gravity. Each
homb-bay was fin ed with six bomb racks,
three for ward and three aft. A typical
bomb load was comprised of fon y SOOlb,
twent y per bay. Up ro 20,000 1b (9,000kg)
of bombs could be carried.
The B-29's bomb-bays could accommo-
date the following bomb loads: eighty IOOlb,
fifty-six 3001b, fon y SOOlb, twelv e 1,000Ib,
twelve 1,600Ib, eight 2,0001b or four
4,000Ib. The Silvcrplare B-29 could carry up
to two IO,OOOl b-ciass atomic bombs. Some
B-29s were fitt ed with externa l bomb racks
underneath their inner wing sections,
between the fuselage and the inboard
engine nacel les. These were for th e ca rriage
of very large bombs such as four 4,0001b
bombs, two on either externa l bomb rack, or
ot hers such as the Brit ish I2,0001b Tall Boy.
Moreover, some B-29s had both of their
bomb-bays mod ified to accept a single
British n ,OOOlb Grand Slam.
In Worl d War Two the B-29 used two
types of bomb sight . The first of these was
the famed ordcn Model D-S. The second
was the A fAPQ- 7 Eagle radar sight,
which featured a large l Sft-span (SAm)
wing moun ted beneath th e fusela ge, an d
was employed for bombing at night and
through heavy cloud cover.
The Mk- I or lillie Boy atomic bomb was
120in (3.04Sm) long, 2Sin (0.7m) in diam-
eter and weighed S,9001b (4,000kg). It had
a yield of IS-1 6 kilotons and was a gun-type
heavy urani um bomb. Five were built. The
Mk-3 or Fat Man atomic bomb was 12 in
(3.25m) lon g, 60in ( l.5m) in diameter and
weighed 1O,3001b(4,700kg). It was a plum-
nium implosion bomb with a yield of 1 --49
kilotons. 120 were built. The cancel led
Thin Man was approximately 17ft (5. ISm)
long and 2ft (0. 6m) in diamet er. Since it
was cancelled prior to dep loyment , its pro-
jected weigh t and yield are unknown.
The B-29 fuselage was of all-me tal. semi-
monocoque design , with stressed skin,
extruded longerons and formed circumfer-
cntials of 24ST aluminium alloy. \'(Iith
1100 t
BOO 700 600
500 300
1\ II
, cow I
I I -==l TAI L GUN·
ABOVE: The centre section (section 42) showing arrangement of the fore and
aft bomb -bays. USAF
•. 1.1 .--- -
.. 10.-.0
• ... • ... It. JI .
..... r l lt
\IAotJC>of ....
RIGHr. B-29 bomb ra cks. Peter M. Bowers
ABOVE: B-29 bomb-bay cross- section, Peter M. Bowers

- -----1
10100. Soq_
§;v/' B. Indiurted 8y <D
locot;on "A" Fwd.
lad: No. I
lomb Rode Statton'
Rod.: No. 3 Fwd. Cent. ,
fwd. aomb Boy
20.000 11>0.
r ---- - - ----- - - --- >ooLAS.
//8omb Rod. Stat", "
@/" &y m
"-UI,.clllt ·1
>'-'U,_Itt '"
' l lr",, [ I" " I

, . • "'Of'-OC . ' D . u .••• •
l Ol; " 1 0 10 I Q_'
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HOISTI"'G . .. LOA[)ltic;
. LB ••2 . •
t15LB ... 70 BOMes
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"n ", . '" 3
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, I .
LEFr. Rear top gun-turret detail. Peter M. Bowers
BELOW: This is the last B-29A produced at Boeing-Renton as it appeared on 20 May 1946. It
clearly shows cockpit and forward top gun-turret details. Peter M. Bowers
. ' . ~ ,
The landing gear employed in th e 13-29
was of th e tri cycle type, whi ch was rela -
ti vel y unusual at th e time. As far as U
bom bin g aircraft go, only th e 13-24, 13-25
and 13-26 had previ ously employed tri cycle
landing gea r, an d hardl y any Briti sh, Ger-
man, Soviet or Japanese aircraft used such
an arrange me nt. Indeed, th e 13-29 was the
first heavy-class producti on bomber of any
nati on to usc tri cycle landing gear.
The main landing gear was of a cant ilcver
type, consist ing of two air-oil shoc k strut
assemblies, on each of which were mounted
two wheel s wit h 56in (1.4 2m) diamet er
tread-type tyrcs. Retra ct ion was acco m-
plished electrically, and an alternat ive
mot or was provided for emergency opera-
tion of the gear in the event of power or
mot or failur e. The main land ing gear wheels
were eac h equipped with expander tube-
type hydrauli c brakes, operat ed in th e con-
vent iona l manner from the rudder peda ls.
The nose landing gear operated imulra-
neously with th e main landing gear and
cons isted of a trunni on , a compression
strut, two torsion links, a uni versal assem-
bly, a retracting mech ani sm, a single air-oil
shoc k strut and du al wheels equipped wit h
36 in (0.91m) smoot h- type tvres. The wheel
and ax le assembly could tum through 360
degrees. Within 15 degrees of each side of
the cent re positi on, however, a cam-and-
roller mech ani sm would return the gear to
the cent re position . A towing lug was pro-
vided ncar the centre of the ax le assembly,
and the shock absorber was mounted on th e
shock strut, to prevent wheel shimmy.
A ret ractable tai l skid operated in co n-
junct ion wit h the landing gea r to prevent
damage to th e aircraft in an abrupt take-off
rotatio n or a rai l-down landi ng.
Landing Gear
Engin es
The 13-29 was powered by four air-coo led
IS-cylinder Wri ght R-3350 Cyclo ne I
twin-row radial engines of 3,350cu in
(54.Sltr) di splacement, fitted with exha ust-
dr iven rurbos upcrcha rgers. It used a nu m-
ber of versions of the R-3350 with take -off
power rat ings ranging from 2,200hp ro
2,SOOhp. The basic R-3350 engine weighed
2,SOOlb (1.270kg) when ready to insrall . Its
cylinder bore was 6. 125in (l55. 5mm) and
its connec t ing rod stroke 6.30in ( 160mm) .
\Vhen Boe ing powcrplan t engineers
were asked to find an adequat e en gine for
I ;
'lY. '!!.l!Il!lli
oPE RAT)() N
" , • • 1l'Ol'li 00·" 1IP'Pt"
't' ee-.T'lIOI..!l LOWt.R I •
D' CO'fff':llS l.o-tR "t""',JftIt[r 10.'\[1;.5""-0
r l 'PfIotfASf·""'f't."'&5:)(S'Ot,
==;: ...... t... . 8 A"I ' ..v GVrlI"RS . r M 4Ct()t,j: 5. ·..0'1(' 0->'"
(1TPO(R C)If ,. . GUil"'if!lo CAl" f a"ll ovr_ 8"
lIItAfid 0# c...Sl . £CTQ'lt toll - vr Of'. 'L
- l.P"f A &JNf'lrA'1O
.. '
_ r .... 5IGt1"
- 1f.(',iH"' St(J( CAJ"Nl" S ..
- I t ' · 6 .. "If'> 5oGtoT
Primary and secondary gun-fir ing controls. USAF
Oneof YB-29number 14's (41-36967)bomb-bays full of 500lb bombs. Peter M. Bowers
the XB-29 in mid-1940, th ey looked at
every hi gh-horsepower offering th at was
ava ilable or soon to be available. They
wanted an engine that could produ ce a
maximum take-off rating of at least
2,000hp, but preferred to get one rat ed at
2,200hp. They focused on two different
air-coo led radial engines - one from Pratt
& Whitncy, one from Wri ght. The con-
tender from Pratt & Whitn ey was th e R-
2800 Double Wasp, whi ch boasted of
2,000hp and was soon to be available. Thc
onc being offered by Wr ight, th e R-3350
Cyclone 18, promised at least 2, 1OOhp but
it was not going to be immediatel y avail-
able. However, th e \Vright offered a better
growth pot ent ial (in terms of increased
power outputs) th an th e Prat t & Whi tn ey,
so th e R-3350 was selected: it would power
the XB-29 and any subsequent models,
Wri ght had started work on its Cyclone
18 engine in January 1936, and th e pro to-
type first ran in May 1937. It was based on
Wri gh t's l-l-cvlinder t win-row R-2600
radi al , but had two more cylinde rs per row,
with t he same bor e and st roke. It was made
wit h a three-sect ion forged aluminium
(lat er cast iron) crankcase, featuring cast-
iron cylinde r hcads and magnesium-alloy
turbosupercharger casings.
Downdraft carburat ion was employed
by th e early R-3350 engines, wh ich creat -
ed air and fuel mi xture incon sisten cies
betwee n the front and rear cylinder rows.
For t he most part thi s prob lem was elimi -
nat ed when a dir ect fuel -inj ecti on syste m
was incor porat ed on lat er model s.
To mass-produce the R-3350, Wr ight
built a new factory at Woodbridge, Ne wJer-
sey, to wor k in conce rt with its Cinc innat i,
Ohio, facility. Wri ght 's New Jersey and
Ohio factor ies churned out some 13,800 of
these engines. In addi t ion, the Dodge di vi-
sion of the Chrysler Corporat ion in Ch ica-
go, Illinois, produced about 18,400 more of
them. Thus approximately 32,200 R-3350
engincs were manufactured.
The R-3350 was plagued with early
development problems, but many early
design flaws were addressed and corrected
and by the end of World War Two the time
between scheduled overha uls of the R-3350
increased from about 100 to 400 hours. But
it remains one of the most troublesome
engines to ever enter full-scale product ion .
St ill, it was used by a number of other leg-
endary US mili tary aircraft, such as the
Douglas AD Skvraidcr, Fairch ild C- 119 Fly-
ing Boxcar, Mart in PB2M Mars and Lock-
hced C- 121 Supcr Constellat ion.
TOP: Two 12.0001b (5.400kg) Tallboy penetrat ing (earthqu ake) bombs being carr ied
under eith er wing on external hard points. These bombs were 21ft (6.4m) long and
3ft Bin (l .15m) i n di ameter. Peter M. Bowers
ABOVE: A 22.0001b (10.000kg) Grand Slam bomb fitted to an extensively modified
bomb-bay. Peter M. Bowers
TOP: This B-29-25-BW (42-24441 ), one of fifty -25-BWs built, was used to evaluate
various gun types and gun locations. The ' plane's powered turrets we re
replaced by Marti n-bui lt manned turrets (t op) and Sperry-built manned tur rets
(bott om) and, in this vi ew, two remote-cont rol nose turrets were evaluated .
Peter M. Bowers
ABOVE: Another vi ew of 42-24441 show ing an extended Sperry ball -type
retractable bott om t urret and a manned side blister gun. Peter M. Bowers
LEFT: left-hand spotter/gunner
sighting blister. The CFC
compartment is sect ion 43.
Peter M. Bowers
RIGHT: A number of factory-fresh
B-29As at the Boei ng-Rent on
plant. Note four -gun top forward
turret. exclusive to B-29As. USAF
The four 1\-3350 engine s on th e 13-29
wer e fitt ed wit h Ham ilton-Standard , four-
bl aded, constan t-speed, full-fea thering
propel lers. Cons tan t -speed cont ro l was
maint ained with a gove rn or and was oper-
ated el ectrically by four switches for incli-
vidua l cont ro l of ea ch propelle r. These
switc hes wer e located on th e aisle sta nd,
for use hy th e pilot or co -pilor.
Each R-3350 eng ine was equipped with
two type 13- 11 exhaust-driven t urbosuper-
chargers mounted ve rt ically on either side
of the nacell e. T hese boosted man ifold
pressure for take-off and provi ded incr eased
air pressure at h igh alt it udes.
Eng ine exhaust gases passed through
the collecto r ring and ta il stac k to the noz-
zle box of ea ch supercharger , expa nded to
at mosphe ric pressur e th rough th e t ur bine
nozzle, and drove a bucket wheel at h igh
speed ; t h is bucket wheel in t urn drove the
impeller of th e supercharger. A ramming
a ir in let du ct supplied air to th e impe ller,
whi ch increased its pressure and temp era -
t ure. However, in order to av oid detona-
t ion at the cnrb urc rto r, the a ir supplied to
the ca rburci tor passed through t he inter-
coo ler, where the temperatu re was reduced.
ABOVE: Therear bomb-bayarea andoverhead crew
tunnel. Peter M.Bowers
BELOW: TheB-29's structure. USAF
TOP; Fuselageand wing final assemblies.
Peter M. Bowers
ABOVE: The B-29'sstations.
Peter M. Bowers
urr; Exploded view of a B-29A.
Peter M.Bowers
BonOM: Femaleworkers at work on the
mid-sect ion of YB-29number one at
Boeing-Wichita. USAF
51el i ON NO.
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SfCT).Q.N NO .
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11· ·
Radar Systems
AN/APQ. 15B This was only cmploycd
by B-29Bs built by Bell -Atlanta.
AN/APQ- 13 T his was th e most advanced
bomb ing radar available when the 8 -29
first ente red combat in World \Var Two.
In th e early I940s th ere were fell' ground-
based rada r systems and absolutel y no US
mi litary aircraft car ried airborne radar. But
by th e end of World War Two, however,
there were nu merous type s of mi lita ry air-
craft t har were equipped wit h airborne
radar syste ms. The 8-29 used several dif-
ferent radar systems th roughout its car eer:
An int ernal engine impeller, driven by
th e engine cranksha ft , again increased
pressur e as th e fuel /air mix t ure entered
th e int ake manifold. High -i nt ake ma n i-
fold pressure result ed in greater engine
power out put.
fUl l 5UPPlYT.-.NICS.
1NIO.uD tNGlNl

TOP; Fuel, hydraulic fluid and oil repleni shing di a-
gram. Peter M. Bowers
TOP: The 1,OOOth Boeing-Wichita B-29with the 10,346th and last Kadet bipl ane primary trainer.
PeterM. Bowers
ABOVE: Aunique view of B-29sub-assemblies, using
the actual segments of the aircraft. USAF
BonOMl EFT: B-29general arrangements. USAF
BonOM RIGHl: Extendedtail-skid details are shown here on XB-29number three. Peter M. Bowers

r" ,g
The left-hand main landing gear on a YB-29. Peter M. Bowers
RHll:..... (YING MQTOtI' -----....
. !TIl .... (lIN(j-
lJl'.. UVfll:SAl - - - - - --'
Left-hand main l anding gear deta i ls. Peter M. Bowers
.__.... _.
e.. _ ..
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.... .......0\0"..
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General Wright R-3350 engine details. USAF Later Wright R-3350-23engi ne det ail s. USAF
A / APQ-23 This was basicall y an upgrad-
ed A /A PQ- 13 radar syste rn employed
durin g Wor ld \X1ar Two.
AN/APQ-7 T hi s was used on some B-29s
only, and became kn own as the Eagle radar
syst em beca use of its large wing. The first
Superfort to get t he Eagle radar syste m - in
early 1945 - was a late model B-29-60-BA
(44-84066) , which later deployed to Tin-
ian with th e A / APQ- 7 system installed.
The A /A PQ -7 had a forward, 60-deg ree
elect rical scan. The antenna was a wing
about Sfr wide.
AN/ APQ-30 Thi s lat er system provided
360- degree scanning and a 3-degree beam
widt h, and was known to be a better sys-
tem than th e AN/APQ-7 though its pul se
widt h was about th e same. Fitt ed to B-29s
in th e post-war period, the A /APQ-30
provi ded a much bett er navi gat ion capa-
bility t ha n th e A /A PQ-7.
The radar operator's posit ion was the same
in all configura t ions .
ABOVE: Final assembly and preparation to mount one
of the thousands of R·3350engines on yet another
Boeing-Wichita-built 8·29. Peter M. Bowers
BELOW: The B-29's tail group (empennage, section
44). USAF
. , ...... - ---
"""..,. --
,..... ....,.
- - ... n ....· 1IC ..... ••
",., ,.,,.
TOP: The large. externally-mounted wing of the Western Electric AN/APQ-7
Eagle Mk1 radar system on a B-29A. Peter M. Bowers
ABOVE: Early B-29wing ass emblies at Boeing-Wichita on 1 October 1943.
Peter M. Bowers
TOP: Later B-29A wing final ass emblies in October 1945. Peter M. Bowers
BOTTOM: Wing-join to section 42. Peter M. Bowers
The B-29was loaded with numerous exterior items
of vast importance. Some of these critical items
included access panels, cowl flaps, filler necks ,
vents, pitot static holes, and so on. Peter M. Bowers
TOP: The left-hand jack slipped under this B-29A-35-BN, causing it to fall and incur severe damage.
as shown in this 23March 1945photograph. Peter M. Bowers
BonOM: Pressurized section 41(nose section) mass production at Boeing-Wichita. Peter M. Bowers
Tail Group (empennage)
The empennage was of the convent iona l
type, includi ng a hor izont al sta bilizer, ele-
vators, elevator trim tabs, a verti cal stabi-
lizer, dor sal fin, rudder. and rudder tr im
tab. It also conta ined th e tail t urret and
housed a fully pressur ized ca bin for th e
ta il-gunne r. The th ree ta il-turret guns had
\ ,000 rounds of ammunit ion per machine-
gun and 110 rounds of ammunit ion for th e
20mm cannon. When the 20mm canno n
was removed from lat er B-29s and replaced
with a th ird machine-gun, t he re were
3.000 rounds of ammun it ion supp lied for
t he th ree mach ine guns.
As engineering on th e Model B-345
design progressed t hrough 1940 and int o
\ 94 1, Boeing aerodynamicists wanted to
usc, if possible, th e so-called Dav is wing,
de velo ped for Consolidated by free lance
aerona ut ical engineer David R. Davis,
wh ich was already bei ng used on t he Con-
solida ted B-24 Liberator; all agreed that it

would be the best wing to use on th e forth-
coming B-29.
When th e Davis wing underwent its
first wind-tunnel evaluat ions at the Cali-
fornia Inst it ute of Technology (CaITech ),
eng ineers were amazed to learn that its lift-
to-drag efficiency far surpassed what was
thought possible at the t ime . In fact, the
win g's efficiency exceeded ot he r contem-
por ary wing designs by abo ut 20 per cent.
The Davis wing was of a full cant ilever
design with a long, nar row chord, feat ur-
ing an advance d high-l ift and low-drag
aerofoil design and flush riveting. It was
also th e wing Conso lidat ed wanted to use
on its XB-32 - th e XB-29's ch ief compet i-
tor. Thus, Boeing was in a qu and ary: how
was it going to be able to apply th is revo-
lut ionary wing to its XB-29 ? T he answer
was simple: it was not going to be able to
use it , and it was as simple as t hat. After
numerous congressiona l debates and mil i-
ta ry hearings, Consolidated was assured
that it had t he right to keep its Davis win g
ABOVE: Section 42 Imid-sect ion} sub- assembly
product ion at Boeing-Wichita Plant 2.
Peter M. Bowers
LEn: A number of Boeing -Renton B-29As i n final
assembly, just prior to roll -out. Peter M. Bowers
technology and th at d id not have to share
it with its compet itors. Boeing, t herefor e,
came up with its 117 acrofoil using Fowler
flaps wh ich, as it turned out , was a most
impressive wing design in its own righ t.
The 117 acrofoil wing used by the B-29
consisted of an inboard sect ion permanent -
ly attache d to the fusel age and two remov-
able oute r panel s provided with detach-
able t ips. Fuel co mpart ments eq uipped
wit h sel f-scaling tanks wer e an integra l
part of the inboard wing sec t ion struc ture.
Ailerons provided with tr im ta bs were
hinged to the outboa rd panel s, and ele ct ri-
cally operated Fowler-type wing flaps
for med t he lower surface of the inboard
win g tra iling edge, from the fusela ge to the
outboard wing joint . The leading edge sec-
t ions were removable and pro vide d access
to cables, t ubi ng, wir ing and mi scella-
neous ot he r equipment.
ABOVE: The Boeing -Renton B-29A assembly line as it appeared on 20 March
1945. The tai l group assembl i es have yet to be fitted to the mid-sect ions.
Peter M. Bowers
BELOW: The f ir st Renton-built B-29A-1-BN (42-93824) nears comple tion on
15 December 1943. It made i ts first flight on 30 December, and was the only
Renton-built B-29 to receive a camoufl age paint scheme. Peter M. Bowers
The last pressurized B-29A-15-BN
(42-93973) nose section (section
41) is being removed from its
assembly jig at Renton Plant 3
on 22 November 1944. The number
of women workers is noteworthy.
Peter M. Bowers
BELOW: Factory assembly
procedure for B-29 production.
Peter M. Bowers
; I
, II
I .1
~ :

World War Two
The Boeing 13-29 upcrfortress earned its
combat spurs during fourtee n mont hs of
act ion in Worl d War Two - 5 June 1944 to
15 August 1945. This was a relat ively short
ti me compared to ot her combat aircraft.
However, it arguably played one of the most
significant roles in the final defeat of Japan,
and probably cont ributed more to that v ic-
tory than any ot he r bomber.
Product ion B-29s did not begin to take
wing unt il 10 Septe mber 1943 when t he
fir t Boeing-Wichita B-29- I-BW (42-6205)
made its first fligh t. Th is was just eleven
days shy of one year since the first XB-29
had made its maiden fligh t, on 21 eptcm-
ber 1942. The first product ion Bell-Atlant a
B-29-I -BA (42-62252) made its first flight
on 10 Octo ber 1943. The first production
Marti n-Omah a B-29- I -MO (42-6'i202)
made its first flight on 23 October 1943. The
first product ion Boei ng-Renton B-29A- l -
BN (42-93824) made its first flight on 30
December 1943.
On 10 August 1943, exactly one month
before the first product ion 13-29 took wing,
USAAF Commanding Gene ral Henry H.
' Hap' Arnold finalized hi plans for the 58th
Bomb Wing (Very Heavy) to be operat ing
in the Ch ina-Burma- India (Clsl ) theat re of
operations by the end of 1943, beginning
with strikes against the home islands of
Japan from forward bases in India. Ge ne ral
Arnold picked Brig Gc n Kenneth B. Wolfe
to command the five bomb groups and their
respective bomb squadrons, which would be
assigned to the 58BW (VH).
The 58BW (VH ) had been act iva ted
some t wo months earl ier on I June 1943
at Mar iett a, Georg ia, near Bell's 13-29
RIGHT. USNavy Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz poking his head
out of the co-pilot's window on his B-29, a B-29B-35-BA(42-63650)
of the 315BW, 501 BG. Peter M. Bowers
ABOVERIGHT. General Curtis E. LeMay. In J uly1944 he was
transferred to the Pacific to direct the B-29heavy bombing
activities of the 20th Bomber Command in the China-Burma-Indi a
theatre. He later commanded the 21st Bomber Command with its
headquart ers on Guam, and still later became chief of stall of the
Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific. Atthe end of WorldWar Two
he returned to the United States, piloting a B-29Superfortress on
a non-stop record flight from Hokkaido, J apan, to Chicago, Illinois.
Peter M. Bowers
. ~
\ ,
~ \ \ o ,
y,'V .. ,
o 0
CAo " Oll
T o
The pattern of air power i n the Western Pacific. USAF
product ion facility. The headquart ers of
the 58BW moved to Smoky Hill Army Air
Field at Sa lina , Kansas, on 15 September
1943, which was close to Boeing's Wi chi -
ta 13-29 product ion plant. The five bomb
groups assigned to the 5 B\V incl uded t he
40t h, 444th, 462nd , 468t h and 47Znd
Bomb Groups (Ver y Heavy). The 47ZBG
(VH) was to remain at Smoky Hill AAF to
serve as the 58 BW's Operat ional Train ing
Un it (OTU) , whi le the other four BGs
deployed to th e CBI.
It was clear from th e outset of t he 13-29
programme th at it wou ld be used in th e
Pacific war. T he mai n reason for t his deci -
sion was th at it possessed much greater
range and load-carr ying ability th an eithe r
th e 13- 17 or 13-24. Yet its effect ive combat
radius was only 1,600 miles (2,600km) ,
t hough it could man age 2,200 miles
O ,500km) if pushed. Since at th e ti me of
th e B-29s first depl oyment s in early 1944
there were no US air bases yet esta blished
that put th e home islands of j apan within
the combat radius of the Superfort , it was
decid ed to base t hem in India and China
for th eir initi al combat operat ions. Logis-
ticall y, operat ions from th ese bases were at
first a very serious prob lem, in that it
wou ld be at best di fficu lt to furn ish t hese
four bomb groups with adequate supplies.
T hese di fficult ies notwith stan ding,
President Roosevelt approved a spec ial
project ca lled Mal!crhom, whereby Chi na-
based B-29s would be used to bomb j apan-
ese steel mills. The Superforts would, at
first, be based in Indi a and woul d be staged
th rough Che ngt u in cent ral Ch ina. The
parent organization of the 58BW B-29s,
XX Bomber Command, l Oth Air Force,
began its preparati ons in lat e 1943, but it
was not unti l early April 1944 th at th e first
B-29s began to arrive in Indi a.
President Roosevel t had promised
Ch ina 's Gene ralissimo Ch iang Kai -shck
that 13-29 bombers would be in India and
China by 3 1 j an uary 1944 to begin Opera-
t ion Matt crhom. Due to the Bat tie of Kansas
(see Chapter 3), however, US AAF com-
mand ing Ge ne ral Hap Arnold was forced to
push back the t'vla!!crhom schedule to 10
March 1944.
For comba t mission s during World War
Two t here was a maxi mum of eleven
crcwmc mbc rs assigned to eac h 13-29.
These included t he aircraft commander
(command pi lot ), co-pilot , bombardier,
TOP: THE ERNIEPYlE, a B-29-80-BW (44-70118), was named for the famed war
correspondent, killed in 1945. USAF
ABOVE: Another view of THE ERNIEPYlE before it was delivered to its user,
the 313BW, 504BGand 458B5. Peter M. Bowers
navi gat or, flight enginee r, radi o operator ,
radar operator, cent ral fire cont rol (CFC)
gunner, left -sidc gunner, righ t-side gunner
and ta il-gunne r. T he bombardier was also
responsible for firing the two guns in the
forward ventral turret. The CFC gunne r
was respon sible for firing the four-to-six
guns in th e two dorsal turrets. The left -
and right -side gunne rs were responsible for
firing the two guns in the aft ventral turret
and , if th ere were no ta il-gunner, the can -
non and two guns in the ta il turret. Dur ing
hi gh alt itude bomb runs the 13-29 wou ld
be depressurized in case of being hit by flak
and/or figh ter gun fire, which would have
caused sudde n decompression .
Crew Training
The first prospecti ve 13-29 crews started to
arrive at thei r respect ive training bases in
July 1943. while initi al producti on of Super-
fort s inch ed forward . They had already
completed th ei r spec ific duty traini ng and
they had now begun their journeys to
become c lcvcn- rn nn 13-29 combat crews.
Since there were few B-29s to trai n wit h,
these ea rly crews were forced to train with
B- 17s and B-24s. Thei r trai ni ng dut ies
included many hours of ground schoo l.
learning about the Superforrs' intricat e sys-
tems. Both daytime and ni ght -time mission s
were flown for pract ice. To simulate over-
water missions, these crews flew to Cuba
and othe r locat ions in the Caribbean Sea.
ABOVE: A B-29-40-BW (42-24625) namedLADY
MARYANNA with an R-3350 engine alongside.
It belonged to the 73BW, 498BGand 874BS.
Note the B-29Afour-gun top-forward gun turret.
B-29-40-BW (42-24614) of 73BW, 498BGand
873BS. She was the fi rst B-29to arrive in the
Pacif i c theatre and was commanded by General
Haywood Hansell , commander of XXI Bomber
Command. KenRust viaStanPiet
GOIN' JESSIE of 313BW, 9BGand 5BSon Tinian
never had to abort a mission, Captain John
Fleming was its commander and it was a
B-29-20-BA (42-63561). StanPiet
BELDW: An unidentified B-29Df314BWand 29BG
starts its engines tor a mission, Griber viaStanPiet
BonOM: A BDeing-Wichita-built B-29-70-BW
Superlort (44-69975) namedTHESPEARHEAO
of 313BW,9BGand 1BS. StanPiet
- ~
ABOVE: A B-29 with battle number Z 23 of the 73BW,
500BG, aher an emergency crash landing on Iwo
Jima with a P-51D Mustang alongside her.
Peter M. Bowers
LEFr. A group of 73BW, 500BG8-29s unload 500lb
bombs. USAF
A num ber of the pilots already had mult i-
engine ex pe rience on 13- 17s and 8 -24s.
and transirion cd quickly to the 13-29. The
nav igat ors tuned their navi gat ionnl skills
to and from th e pract ice target s. The flight
eng inee rs (a new crew positi on created
becau se of th e co mplex ity of the 13-29)
practised aircraft systems management. The
bombardiers lea rned how to use the Nor-
den bombsight, dropping inert bombs and
bags of flour on selec ted tar gets. The gun-
ners pract ised shoot ing at rad io-cont rol led
drones and long canvas pan els th at were
towed behind aircraft - a nu mber of the
tow planes wer e piloted by \'(1omen Air-
force Se rvice Pilot s (\'(1ASPs).
T here were. of co urse , many ot he r
important personnel needed to make up a
13-29 bomb gro up. T hese incl uded airframe
and powerp lanr mechani cs. armourcrs,
cl erks. cooks, electricians . fuellers, medi cs,
police and man y more.
The 8-29 combat crews wer e assigned
to overseas duty afte r some thr ee months
of train ing. Most of t he grou nd personnel
in th ese bomb groups went to their bases
aboa rd t roopsh ips wh ile the 8 -29 combat
crews flew there in thei r ai rcraft.
The first 13-29 bomb wing, the 5 8 \'(1
(VH) , had begun its training in July 1943 at
four Kansas ar my air fields: Smoky I-Iill AAF
(headq uart ers). Pratt AAF. Great Ben d
AAF and Walker AAF. But t ra ining was
mor e th an difficu lt withou t th e required
numl-cr of B-29s. ln fact , man y 58BW (VH)
crews had less th an twent y hours of 13-29
I imc whe n th ey left th e U A for comhat on
10 March 1944. Othe r 13-29 homh wing
crews trained at four cbraska arm y ai r
fields: Fairmont AAF, Grand Island AAF,
Harvard AAF and ~ v 1 c C o o k AAF.
At thi s time. in addit ion to heing com-
mand er of th e 5 13\'(1, Gene ra l Wolfe was
XX Bomher Command commander and in
charge nf 13-29 pro curement and produc-
rion. Thi s cha nged on 4 Apri l 1944. how-
eve r, when General Arnold estab lished
the new XXI Bomber Command, 20th Ai r
Force. and appo inted himself in charge,
repor t ing to th e [ oint Ch iefs of Staff. He
was then in charge of 13-29 allocations.
TOP: 313BW and 9BG B-29s charge forward to their respect ive targets. The B-29 i n full view car ried
radio call number 55 but it s USAAF ser i al number i s not vis ible. Peter M. Bowers
ABOVE: B-29s of the 39BG. 60BS tax i out for take-off from North Field on Guam. Peter M. Bowers
INSET: A tr io of B-29s fly past a wav ing Seabee. USAF
8 1
DINA MIGHT of 313BW. 504BGand 29BS is about
to receive a load of 500lb bombs. being sat upon by
smiling troops. She was a Martin-built B-29-25-MO
(42-65280)and apparently this was during a lighter
moment of the war. USAF
BELOW: The remains of a 499BG. 877BSB-29 known
as T Square 1 on Saipan following an emergency
crash -landing. Peter M. Bowers
THUMPER noseart detail . THUMPER was a
B-29-40-BW 142-24623) assignedto 73BW. 499BG
and870BS on Saipan. SIanPiel
BELOW: A 58BW. 444BG B-29i n its revetment.
Stan Piel
BonOM: Six special -purpose B-29sof 313BW. 9BG
carrying much-neededsupplies to drop into prisoner
of war camps. Note PW SUPPLIES on the bottomof
their wings. SIanPiel
There were at least four B-29s named LUCKYLADY
i n Worl d Wa r Two . This one is bel i eved to have
belonged to the 58BW, 444BGand 678BS. If so, it
w as a B-29-40-BW (42-24584). Stan Piet
LEFT. This is an early Superlort from the first batch of
fifty production B-29-1-BWs (42-6228). Its ' Hump'
missions far outweighed i ts bomb missions. The
meaning of the strange 3VII mark ing on the nose
is unclear. Schirmer viaStanPiet
BELOW: 313BW, 9BG B-29s i n their revetments.
Stan Piet
Deployment to t he Far East
To get ro th eir air bases in India th e B-29s
o{the 58BW flew {rom th e cast coast o{the
U A to outh America and th en across
th e Ar lamic Ocean, refuell ing in orrh
Africa befor e GlI1t inuin g on to India. O nce
in Indi a, to get supplies to th e for ward bases
in China, B-29s were used as ca rgo tran s-
port s, flying ove r th e Himala yas, whi ch was
referred to as th e ' Hump' route. They tran s-
port ed everyth ing {rom grease to gasoline
and {rom bread to bandages. \Vhi1e these
bombers were doubling as tran spo rts. crew-
members paint ed hump backed ca mels on
th eir noses inst ead of bombs, 10 signify
th eir missions over the Him alayas.
Some of th ese B-29s had to make emer -
gency landings in Russia when bombing
j apan {rom the ir bases in China . Thei r
crews were event ually returned, hut th e air-
craft were not. This led to th e creation o{
Russia's B-29 co py, the Tupolcv Tu-4 ' Bull '
(described in de rai l in Cha pter Sev en).
By 8 May 1944 there were 130 58BW
(VI-I) 13-29s at their bases near Calcutt a,
Ind ia. At t hi s t ime, using Chinese labour-
ers, {our 8,500{t ( 2,590m) runways were
ci ther under const ruct ion or near ing com-
plct ion ncar Chcngt u, Ch ina. The di s-
ran ee between th e bases in Indi a and those
in C hina was approximately 1,200 miles
( 1,900k m). There were, of course, th e
Himalayan mountains, the 'Hump' , in
l-c t wccri . The route was ni cknamed 'the
aluminium tr ail ' {or the un counted pieces
o{ airc raft th at never made it over th ese
mount ains.
Fina lly, on 27 May 1944 the B-29 got to
do the mi ssion it was design ed {or - bomb -
ing! Flying a 2, 100-mile (3,400km) round
tri p {rom India, a number of B-29s struck
ja panese target s in Ban gkok , T ha iland.
All but five B-29s returned to base; {our
were lost to mec ha nica l problems, one 10
ene my {ire.
Then on 15 j une 1944 the first strike on
j apan itself was made by 5813\'(1 B-29s based
in China . This Ma!ccrholl1 bombing mission
was flown against a steel mill called the
Imperial Iron and Stee l Works at Yawat a on
nort hern Kyushu Island, j apan. There were
ninet y-eight Superforts launched on thi s
mission but only forty-seven of them had
actually reach ed their rnrger. Seven were
lost on the retu rn trip and a number of ot h-
ers had to make emergency landings wher-
eve r they could. They had encount ered
heavy ant i-aircraft {i re and some fighters,
whi ch {or some reason di d not attack.
TOP: Aformation of 314BW. 29BG B-29s charging forward to their targets. Peter M. Bowers
ABOVE: MARY ANN. a B-29-30-BW(42-244941. unloads its bombs on Haito, Formosa. on
16 October 1944. USAF
Thisunidentified B-29is about to beloadedwith the
500lb bombs intheforeground. USAF
BELOW: 73BW. 499BGB-29sdropincendiary bombs.
Peter M. Bowers
- ..
ABOVE: A B-29-40-BW (42-24590) of 58BW, 462BG and 770BS named CELESTIAL
BELOW: VSQUARE 50, a B-29of 499BG, 879BS 'in the drink' on 13Decemb er 1944.
Her crew, in the three life rafts, was rescued the next day. Peter M. Bowers
As an aside, it had been twenty-six
mont hs sinc e land-based bombers had h it
homeland Japan; these being the sixteen
North Ame rica n 13-2513 Mitchell's of the
Doolit tle Raid ers, whi ch had, in fact been
car rier-launched for th at parti cular mi ssion.
T he last 13-29 combat mission flown
from out of the C BI, whi ch was flown
aga inst Singa por e, on the southern tip of
Mala ysia, ca me on 30 March 1945. T hus 13-
29s flew combat mi ssions from the ir bases
in India and Ch ina for ten months. The
58BW (VH) flew seven ty-two co mbat mis-
sions from Ch ina , avera ging sixtee n hours
per mi ssion, covering round- trip di st ances
of as mu ch as 3,200 mil es (5, 150km) and
ca rrying maximum fuel loads of 9,5 48 US
ga llons.
Pacific Operations
As from 30 March 194 5 all 13-29 combat
opera t ions wer e flown from their hard-won
Pacifi c island bases on G uam, [wo [ ima,
Sa ipa n and Tin ian in th e Mari anas, some
1,500 miles (2,400km) south-east of th e
main Japanese island of Honshu . (B-29 s
wer e not based on Iwo Jirna but it was used
numerous tim es for eme rgency landings.)
Eve n befor e th e last combat mi ssions wer e
flown out of Ch ina th e US Army, work ing
in co ncert with the US Navy and Marine
Cor ps, had th e difficult job of capt uring
and secur ing th ese islands, wh ich was on ly
ac h ieved at a terrible cost of lives. T he US
invasion of th e Mari anas began in mid -
1944. Saipan fel l in Ju ly 1944 and bot h
G uam and Tini an in August .
It was not unt il Octo be r 1944 that ope r-
able a ir bases were fin ally read y for the 13-
29s . But eve ntua lly ther e wer e five a ir-
fields on th ese three islands, each one
ca pable of housing an ent ire 13-29 wing
with its groups and squadrons. T here were
t wo win gs on G uam, one wing on Sa ipan
and two more on Tinian, Eac h base had as
many as 180 B-29s and 12,000 personnel.
The Superforts began arr iving on 12 Octo-
ber when Brig Gen Haywood S. Hansel l [ r,
co mmande r of XXI Bomber Command,
landed on Sa ipa n wit h hi s 13-29 - JOLT IN'
On 28 October 1944 Mari ana-based 13-
29s flew their first co mba t mi ssion, aga inst
th e island of Truk in the Bonin island
cha in , south- east of th e Mari anas. O n ly
fourteen of the eigh tee n B-29s bombed the
target s, with limi ted succ ess. Tr uk and
othe r ene my-held islands wer e now used
for a series of ' t rain ing' mi ssions pri or to
t hose flown against Japan itsel f.
Then on 24 Novembe r 1944 the com-
mander of the 73rd Bomb Wing (VH),
Brig Gcn Emm ett O ' Do nnel l, led a for ce
of III Superfor ts aga ins t industri a l target s
in and around Tokyo . Generally speaking,
the result s of th is raid wer e not ve ry good.
Bad weat her in part (en rout e and ove r tar -
ge ts) allowed only eigh ty-e igh t of th ese
I I 1 airplane s to act ua lly bomb their tar-
ge ts. But it is int erest ing to not e th at th is
was th e first attack on Tok yo since the
Doolit tl e raid of 18 Apr il 1942 - some two
yea rs, seven months earl ier.
Subseq uent da ytim e preci sion att ac ks
target s th roughou t th e
home islands of Japan , pri marily aircraft
factories and sh ipyards, were not up to
expec tat ions . T h is was du e for th e most part
to th e lack of long-range escort figh ters, a
h igh rat e of mi ssion abor ts, terri ble bo mb-
ing acc uracy, th e slow buil d-up of 13-29
strength , bad weath er and numerous 13-29
losses at sea. General Arnold was not happy
and in Januar y 1945 he or dered Gen C urt is
E. LeMay from Indi a to G uam to replace
Brig Gcn Hansell as commander.
S imply put, the man y losses of B-29s at
sea wer e du e to the fact t hat ther e was no
place for crippled aircraft to make emer-
gency landings othe r than in the ocean.
Even with t he outstanding work of the a ir-
sea rescu e serv ice t her e wer e far too man y
losses. However , after Iwo j irna was cap-
tured it became an eme rge ncy land ing
base for di sab led B-29s. Moreov er, long-
range esco rt fighter s we re subsequen tl y
based t he re. The in vasion of Iwo Jima
began on 19 Feb ruar y 1945 and t he bat tle
raged on for four weeks , rat her th an the
thr ee or fou r days that had been pr ed icted.
To captu re the island some 4,900 US
Marine Corps troops wer e killed , but by
the end of World War Two some 2,400
Supe rforts had made eme rge ncy landings
on lwo [ ima. It is est imated that as man y
as 25,000 13-29 crewmen would hav e been
lost at sea, wer e it not for th e ca pt ure and
use of Iwo [ ima.
In Februa ry 1945, at th e beh est of Head -
qu arter s USAAF in Washington DC,
Gene ral LeMay ord er ed the start of day-
t ime incendi ary-bomb attacks aga inst
large Japanese c it ies. T he result s of th ese
ph osphorus bombing raids wer e promising.
Yet 13-29 aircrew and a ircraft losses
remained at un acceptable level s.
T he 13-29 was also demonst rat ing a
nu mb er of tact ical flaws. C limbing to h igh
alt it ude req uired a lot of fuel , wh ich sig-
ni ficantl y decr eased th e bomb load. Also,
the 150- 300mph (250- 500km/h ) win ds
in the jet stream made prec ision bombard -
ment impossibl e at hi gh alt it ude , t hough
Jap anese fighter s co uld inter cept B-29s
even at hi gh alt itude.
Gene ra l LeMay wanted to put as much
firepowe r on tar get as possible, and to do
th is he ca me up with a very co ntroversial
plan. That is, inst ead of hi gh -alt it ude day-
t ime mi ssions, he ordered low-alt it ude
ni ght -t ime attacks. Mor e con ten t ious yet,
to maximize bomb loads, he ordered th e
removal of all defensive guns excep t for
th e two .50-calibre ta il-mo unted machine-
guns (most 20mm canno n had a lready
bee n removed ). Since th ese atr acks wer e
made at low a lt itud e less fuel was required,
and bomb loads incr eased.
The first low-al t itude ni ght -time incen-
diary ra id was on 9 Mar ch 1945. Coming
in at low alt it ude wi th their bel lies full of
incend iary bombs, 334 Superforts h it
Tok yo during the n ight. Mor e than 15.8
squa re miles (40.9sq km) in the cent re of
Tok yo was set ab laze, dest royin g about
one- fourt h of th e c ity' s buildings and
kil ling more tha n 80,000 people.
T he fire-bomb ca mpa ign aga ins t Japan
had begun and four more such attacks fol-
lowed in rapid succession. By 20 March the
B-29s had dest royed 32 squa re miles (82.8sq
km) of structu res in th e industr ial areas of
Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo. These
nigh t-ti me raids cont inued withou t mercy,
and sinc e Japan ese air defences at ni ght
wer e limited, t here were few 13-29 losses.
By th e end of th e war t he B-29s had
dropped 145,000 tons (132,000 metri c
to nnes) of bombs on Japan and dest royed
abo ut 105 square miles ( 27 1.9sq km) in
the cent ra l ar eas of Japan's six most impor -
ta n t indu stri al cit ies. This to ta l does not
include dozens of smaller c it ies such as
Toyama, 99.5 per ce nt of whi ch was laid
wast e by fire-bo mb ing alone.
By June 1945 the four C lsl-bascd 13-29
groups had joined th e 20AF in the Mari -
ana s. Fina lly, with mor e 13-29 units co ming
from the USA, the re wer e nearly 1,000
Supcrforts in the Mari anas at any give n
time. In fac t, on a single day toward the
end of th e war, as many as 62 5 Supe rforrs
wer e launched agains t Japan. W hil e it was
in the C Bl the 58 th Bomb Wing (Very
Heav y), XX Bomb Command flew a to ta l
of 49 co mba t mi ssions. Wh ile in the Pacif-
ic t he 58 BW (VH) , 73BW (VI-l), 3 13BW
(VH) , 3 14BW (VH) and3 15 BW (VI-l),
XXI Bomb Command flew a total of 25 1
combat missions.
Marianas-based B-29s also flew 1,528
mine-laying missions in 1945, plant ing
mor e than 12,000 ant i-sh ipping mines. It
is est ima ted th at th ese mines sunk about
800,000 tons (725,000 met ric ronncs) of
enemy sh ipping.
The Atomic Bomb Attacks
By th e end of jul y 1945 j apan was th or -
oughly beaten . However, with its 'fight to
th e death, to the last person' ph ilosophy, it
refused to surrender. Hundreds of th ou-
sands of its peop le had been killed, its
ind ustr ial out put was at less t ha n 25 per
cent of its normal capacity, and its air
forces and navy wer e for the most par t
destroyed. Yet it woul d not ca pit ulate .
Instead, it now appear ed inevit able th at
an invasion of j apan wou ld have to be car -
ried our. In fact, planning for such an inva-
sion had been going on for many months.
As plans stood by j uly 1945, th e invasion
was to begin in November 1945. No-one
knew how long such a horrific venture
wou ld have last ed - many mont hs for sure ,
but mor e th an like ly several years.
j apan's uncompromising stance arguably
forced th e USA to use its final trump card:
two ato mic bombs, respectiv ely named Little
Boy and Fat Man, on 6 and 9 August 1945.
The first of these two bombs dest royed 4.7
square mi les ( I2.2sq km) of Hi roshima,
killing more than 70,000 people. The second
bomb destroyed about one-third of agasa-
ki, killing another 150,000 people. (The 13-
29's use of the ato m bomb is fully recount ed
in the next chaprer.) It was the second bomb,
and the threat of more to come, tha t finally
convinced the j apanese government th at
resistance was fut ile, and on 10 August the
government decided it must surrender. On 2
September 1945, in Tokyo bay aboard the
batt leship USS Missouri, j apan forma lly sur-
rend ered. Vj -Day had arrived and World
War Two was finally over.
Pros and Cons
The re are pros and cons associat ed with
just about everything. While there are
uncou nt ed enthusiasts for the 13-29, it also
has a number of crit ics. One of the se is
William R. 'Bi ll' Cor ker who offered hi s
th ough ts in the following art icle, ' Prob lems
Affect ing the B-29 Superfortress' , that he
present ed to the Ame rica n Inst itute of
Aeronaut ics and Astro na ut ics in 1999:
Whe n you ment ion t he B-29 to me it bri ngs
hack t he memor y of th e t wo ato mic bom bs t hat
t hi s a ircraft dropped on Hirosh ima and agasa-
ki. Actually, th e firebomb raids on Tok yo and
ot he r cit ies wer e mor e destr ucti ve but th ey did-
n' t prov ide t he punct ua t ion mar ks that th ose
two atomic bombs did [ 0 ge t Japan to surrende r.
When th e B-29 first ca me o ut, it caused qu ite a
sensation, wi th its tremendo us size, its futuristi c
appearance. Now, some fifty-seven years lat er, I
find th at this heavy bomber was mor e of a men -
ace to its crews than the en emy.
Boe ing's Model 345 XB-29, t he prototype for
the Supcrfort rcss, ca me into being at the begi n...
ning of Se pte mber in 1940 when th e company
received an order to buil d two, th en th ree, pro -
rorvpcs. T hey were designed to be lon g-ran ge
bombers, wi th a crew of ten, an d a maximum
range of mor e th an 5,000 mil es. T hey wo uld
also he capable of carrying bomb loads of up to
16,000Ib. To mai nt ain t he crew's efficienc y on
t hese long flights, t hey would he pr essur ized and
heat ed. Self-sca ling fuel tanks, ar mour plat e and
t he gun t urre ts wer e to he factory-ins talled, and
not retrofitt ed as in t he case of many of th e B-
17s and I)·24s.
The most sensational innovation was the
servo- cont rolled gun turret used to aim twin
fiftie s in five locat ion s, t wo vent ral, t wo dor sal
and t he tai l. The t urr e ts wer e physically sepa-
rated from t he gunners, who a imed the guns
th rough an opt ica l sight ing system th at was
st at e of t he art for t hat era. It was supplied by
General Elect ric.
It was a bea ut iful, futuri stic aircraft , with its
hemispher ica l Plexiglas nose (t he greenhouse
effec t co uld put you to sleep), slim cylindrical
bod y an d a sweeping verti cal stabil izer and rud-
der , copied for t he most part from t he B-17. T he
fusel age was 99ft lon g, and it had a wingspan of
14 1ft 3in, almos t 40ft mor e t han th e B- 17.
Empt y, it wei ghed in at abo ut 100,000Ib. Wit h
a full load, its gross we ight was 140,0001b -
about 20,00 01h ove r t he or iginal est imat es.
Ther e were 3,970 B-29s built .
Four Wrigh t R-3350 Cyclone 18 2,200 hp radi-
al cngines made it a powerfu l airplane . Unfort u-
natel y. the engine and its components were not
fully tested before becom ing operationa l. To
meet th e weight specificat ions and produ cti on
deadli nes, Wright allowed several major design
flaws to pass th rough . T he power plants, whic h
co nsisted of the engines. ca rburct tors, s u p e r ~
chargers, exha usts, fuel system, and the pro peller
governor mech an isms, all had seve re problems.
Proh lcms wit hin t he aircraft itsel f soon
beca me appar ent in flight -t est ing. The first
twent y-th ree test flights were made wit h an
average duration of less th an an hour. The num-
ber one XB-29 protot ype had sixteen en gine
changes. There were eve n more carburerrors
changed, and t he engine ex ha ust syste ms had to
under go modificat ions. The Hamilton St andard
propel ler pitch mech ani sms somet imes failed to
hril lg th e propeller blades to a fully feathered
posit ion when an engine was shut down . COI1#
vcrse lv, if a governor failed d urin g flight, th e
pitch of t he prope ller blades wou ld become flat
to the air st ream and the engine would lose its
load. Subsequent ly, ' a runaway propel ler ' sit ua-
tion woul d occur, where the engine revolut ions
per min ute increased rapidly. Excessive cent rifu-
gal for ces wou ld cause t he shedding of th e four
prope ller blades, flinging t hem in a ll di rect ions,
wit h a good cha nce of piercing th e a irframe with
terri ble conseque nces. T he sudde n imba lan ces
could also rip the engine from its moun t.
Mea nwhile , th e second XB-29 protot ype
bomber was completed and made read y for
flight -t esti ng. In its ini t ial fligh t, almost imme-
diar el v after mke-off a fire broke out in th e outer
righ t engine . Fort un at el y it was pUI out, and the
B-29 lan ded safely. A mont h and a hal f lat er, an
inner engine on the left side ca ughr fire wh ich
soon spread ro th e fuel syste m. The ext reme
heat dest royed t he main wi ng spar. All of t he
crew were killed, and also twen ty ot hers who
were worki ng in a nearby factory th at t he
bomber fell int o.
Not hing was going righ t in th e flight tests,
wh ich was delaying product ion . Conseque ntly,
speci al reams were assemb led to loca te t he prob -
lems and get t hem fixed . Afte r a he mic effort ,
many of th e hugs wer e removed hy redesign .
T he engines st ill remained dangerous, amI
major problems could not he correc ted such as
replacing t he ligh t wei gh t magnesi um crankcase
t hat expanded mor e t han t he aluminium eng ine
structure at operat ing temperature, which
placed th e magn esium und er heavy compressive
st resses. Event ua lly, it wo uld crack an d oil
wou ld begin leak out. Soon, rhe eng ine tempe r-
at ure would rise, increasing t he st ress and prop -
aga t ing t he cracks, which increased t he rat e of
oil loss unti l a gunner in a side blister could sec
it strea ming from th e engine . If it wasn ' t shut
down in t ime, t he pistons would freeze up and it
wou ld virt ually explode . T he fuel from th e rup-
lur ed lines would ca tch fire, igniti ng th e mag-
nesium, whi ch burn ed at such high tempera-
tures t hat it would dest roy th e integri t y of th e
win g structure, dooming the aircraft. This is
what happened to t he seco nd XB-29 prot ot ype.
Strangel y, no one wanted to mod ify t he
en gine by subst it ut ing aluminium fm t he light -
wei ght magnesi um. In conjec ture, the reason
was pmbah ly a large inc rease in we ight , and th e
need fm a major design cha nge , causing dcl avs
in product ion. Instead , nne of th e primar y tasks
gin ?1l to the side bli st er gunners was to watch for
nil leaks. When not ified nf an nil leak . th e [l ight
engineer wou ld immcdi ntel v shut down th at
engine. Even in t he late 1950s, wh en I was par -
t icipat ing in cloud di ssipati on experunc nts from
the rni d- cornpa rt rnent . there were a lways two
crcwmcmbc rs watching the engines t hrough
the side blisters. We did have a noriccablc nil
leak once, The engine was shut down immcdi-
ntc lv, and we ret urned to th e base. Ano ther
prob lem was th at th er e was not eno ugh nil (low-
ing upwards tn cool t he ex ha ust valves in t he
top engine cylinder. Sometimes the engine
would 'swallow a valve' meaning th at a valve
head would break nff from a val ve stem, and the
engine would have to he shut dow n qui ckl y
before it was wrecked. Thi s kept th e !light cng i-
ncer s on th e ir toes. Man y losses and aborts were
ca used hI' engine and propell er problems in th e
early days of its mil itary operations. To tr y t o
reduce thi s there were co ntinual engine
changes and ove rhauls th at kep t the maint e-
nance crews husy aro und t he cloc k.
A porti on nf t he 8.800 hp hei ng del ive red hI'
the fou r powerful Wrigh t engines crept inr o the
!light st ruct ure as vihr arions that evcnruallv
loosened bolt s and rivet s, an d fittings on
hydraulic and fuel lines whi ch wou ld cause
leak s. It was seve re enough to ca use fuel pumps
to fail, cutt ing nff the fue l flnw to an engine.
Instr ument s wou ld fai l. Hyd raul ic pump fai lures
wou ld affec t the landing gea r, t he !laps and t he
brakes . causing rake-off and landi ng acci de nt s.
In my own ex perience, I had a rorurv valve
faste ned to th e inside of mid-com part men t . aft
of the l-omb hay, th at I used for npeni ng and
cl osing the flow of mon om er h yluminc gas int o
st rat us c louds [rom a tank in t he hnmh-hay. O n
nne !light th e valve sprang a leak from t he
vi hrarion nf t he pressure bul khead , lett ing thi s
no xious gas flow into the compa rt me nt . I had to
wait unt il we descended from 20,000 to 10,000ft
hefme I cn uld npen th e hat ch tn get int n th e
hnmh. hay tn shut nff t he main supply \'a"'e.
Thc two L'rcwlll eml"' crs donn ed the ir oxyge n
masks tn a\'()id inhaling th e fUllles. O,klly, t hey
didn't switc h tn 100 pe r ce nt nxyge n. Sn th ey
were st ill hreathi ng th e am hient ai r. When t he
\' a"'e was replaced , t he new nne also sprang a
leak. Wl' finally used a different kind nf \'a "'e.
O n annt he r !l ight , nn a twn·week sta y at
t-la lmst rom AFR, a SAC hase in Mnnt ana. t he
hydraul ic system fm th e brak es fai led. TI ll' pilnt
had tn land th e ' plane at th e start nf t he 15,000ft
nonway, re" er se pro pell ers and pou r nn th e
pnwer tn keep us frolll gning nff the ot he r end.
Fnllnwed by crash trucks, we finally stnpped
rolling after using up abnut twn th irds nf it.
There wer e nf ten aborts on rill' taxi str ip when
the engine run -ups showed that there were tuag'
drops (a drop in th e voltage in t he magnetos in
t he ignition system).
Early on, when operat ions were from bases in
Ch ina , th e supply system ov er the ' Hump'
beca me such an ac ute probl em t hat th e h igh
command made the dec ision to captu re the
Mari an a Island s in th e Pacific and hnm b Japan
from th ere. Sai pa n, Ti n ian and Guam, t hree
clos e islands 1,500 miles from Tokvo wer e
selec ted and se ized. EH' n hefme t he last of t he
ene my t roops wer e killed, t he army engineers
and navy Scabces wer e busy building air bases.
Capt ur ing th ese three island s cos t us ove r 6,000
nf our men killed in act ion, hut it speed ed up t he
end nf th e war.
When hom bin g opcrarions hegan, co nrinu-
nus eng ine changes and inspect ion s reduced the
to tal number of aircraft avai lab le for missions
against j apan. Engines had to he co nt inually
replaced and overhauled. Pist ons, va lves , cvl in-
ders and crankcases had to he changed and
checked for crac ks. Even with all of t h is, many
lxuul -er s had to abort the ir missions.
Ab out 120 crippled bomber s ditched in the
sea , and about hal f of th ei r crews, around 600
men, were picked up hI' rescue subm ari nes that
were diverted from th eir ant i-shipping du tie s.
Af te r the island of lwo [ima was taken, wh ich
was much close r to Japan, ov er 2,000 cr ippl ed
homhers evenrual lv lan ded t here. Most major
mi ssions co ns isted nf ahout 500 ho mhers. So, if
we hadn' t ta ken 11" 0 [ ima , we would have had
to replace our bomber for ce several t imes, based
on till' prn habili t ies nf hn w ma ny cripples might
ha ve made it hac k to t he Mari an as.
Gene ral Curt is E. LeMay, a brill iant gene ral
in cha rge of thi s, th e 20t h A ir Force, eve ntua l-
II' made th e fat eful deci sion to cha nge t he t he -
ar rc hom bing tactics from h igh -alti tud e day.
ligh t hom bing to low-alt itud e fire-bo mbi ng at
night , using new radar l-omb sights. S ince th e
Japan ese had no night figh te rs, bom ber losses to
ene my acti on were reduced. T he Japanese cities
burned like torch es wi t h tr emendous loss of life.
Radar ho mh ing had shown itsel f to he a great
succe" . Nex t, to incr ease th e hom h Inads, th e
gun turre ts t har were no lon ger ne eded were d b ·
pen sed with.
Yet, t here was no let up of hom her s lan ding at
Iwn Ji ma. In the hom bing nf Japan, 414 R· 29s
were lost (ahout 4,000 men) , 147 due to ene my
acti nn, and 267 from ope ra t iona l losses, for a
r:Hio nf O. 55. This rat io sho ws th at for e"e ry a ir-
craft downed hI' th e ene my almost two wer e
Inst opera t ion all y. If we hadn' t ca ptured Iwo
j ima, thi s rati n would ha\' e heen much h ighe r.
T hese Insses would ha" e ordinarily bee n un ac·
ceptable, hut to win th e war t he gene rals had to
become expedie nt. T her e had to be no letup in
th e bo mb ing.
Earl y on. when t he B-29 became op erationa l
(rom bases in China, there were an excessive
number of aborts. opera t ional losses ami equ ip-
ment failures . The first B-29 mission in the war
was to bo mb railway yards near Ran gkok in
Thaila nd. O ut of t he 112 aircraft assigned, four-
teen didn't get off t he ground, scvc ntv-sevc n
reached the ta rget area hut oulv fort y· ei ght
managed to drop th ei r bombs on t he ta rge t. Five
B-29s wer e lost bec ause of equ ipme nt failures.
In th e first mission to Tokyo. I I I B-29s rook off.
Thirt een had to abort. Two aircraft were shot
down. In a mission to drop mines into the
mouth of a river, only e ight nut of fou rt een air-
craft made it.
Much of t h is can be blamed o n t he peace-
t ime art irud e of refusing to spend funds on th e
development of sma ll numbers of rrust wo rth v
military equi pme nt . T hen t here was the
wart ime rush to fiel d inadeq uatel y deb ugged
major weapon syste ms, almos t off t he dra wing
boar d . T hi s g'1\'e us a mismatched airfr ame and
enuines, In Irying to meet specificati ons, the
en gine design er s fai led wh en th ey t ried to pus h
t he sta te of t he art . A co mp lete redesign was
requir ed , hut t he re was a war on and th er e was
just no ti me for t hat. T he R-J350 became t he
nem esis of th e a irfra me. If t he B-29 was dcvel-
oped befor e t he war, it probab lv would not
have go tten past the XR· 29 design at ion . The
Wri ght engi ne would most like ly have bee n
rejected t oo.
I have often wondered why th e last ha tc he s of
B· 29s were lined up in t he desert and bul ldo zed .
You woul d ex pec t that th e tir ed on es from t he
Mari anas would have been the first to go. Now,
I th ink I kno w what th e reasoning was. The new
bombers were basica lly junk unt il t hey had gone
th rough t he series of problems and fixes, as t he
older bombers did . They needed better engines.
but t he re were no ne availab le. T her efor e th ey
wer e decl ared as surpl us and dest royed wit h a
ven ge:ll1ce.
The rema ini ng operat iona l aircraft and
eng ines were then win noweJ down to the 1l1o st
re liab le ones with th e in-t he· field modi fica ·
ti ons. The, e wer e assigned tn the new trategic
Air Comma nd. As new types of ho mhe rs ca me
nff t he line, th e R· 29s were ret ired. or sent to
ot he r part s of t he Air For ce for special !l ight
purpllses such as research and dC\'l'lllpment.
Such is the nat ure of air war. Br:1\'e me n had
to fight wi th a ircraft th at wer e so dan gerou s to
fly th at at tacks hI' th e enemy heca me almost a
secnndary issue. Tn paraphrase Si r \Virb to n
Church ill, ' e" er in th e hi stor y of air warfare.
ha\'e so man y hra\' e a\' iators, wit h faili ng a ir-
craft , managed to hr ing the enemy to his knees.'
Th e Ni ght We Burned
Tokyo Down
(REm )
I would say th at one of my most memorable
mission s was th e one ni ght on 9 March
1945 over Tokyo. During our training we
were told th at the B-29 was designed to fly
hi gher than any kn own enemy fighter
'planes and t hat ver y littl e ant i-aircraft
art illery fire could accurately reach th e
alt it udes that we wou ld be bombin g from -
35, 000- 40, 000 ft .
The first mission s we flew were at those
alt it udes with some of the Jap fighte rs
reach ing those alt itudes, but th ey were not
very aggressive. We did get AAA flak at
those alt it udes and we did receive some
battl e damage.
About the 3rd or -lth of March , I noti ced
some very unusual act ivity going on with
our airplane , whi ch was that all of its ten
machine-guns and its cannon were being
removed. I also noticed th at some very
unu sual types of bombs were being stacked
around the aircraft hard stands.
As well as I can remember, briefing was
about one o'clock in the afternoon as it
was to be a midnight st rike, with engine
start set for about four o'clock th at after-
noon. On' my weight and balan ce figures, I
was to allow for less weight because of the
canno n/gun and ammo removal. In addi-
tion we'd on ly be carrying two gunne rs,
who were to act as scanners instead
because of th ese removals. Of course th e
removals allowed our 'plan e to carry a
heavier bomb load.
These changes caused a grea t deal of
concern and worr y for all of us bomber
crews, as you might imagine, because we
literally had no idea what our target was
going to be that ni gh t as no infor mat ion
had leaked out prior to the bri efing.
After all of the crews had gotten seated
in t he br iefing room we waited for our wing
commander, Colonel Bobby Ping, to come
to the podium and announce our tar get for
that night. Oddly, to me anyway, th ere
were newspaper report ers sitt ing up front
with thei r cameras. That was someth ing
new. With everyone coming to attenti on
upon his entry, Colonel Ping h it th e podi -
um, rubbing h is hands toget her. There was
dead silence. After 'A t ease' , Colonel Ping
said 'Well gentlemen, our target for toni ght
is Tokyo, at an alt itude of 7,000ft.'
The inst ant Colonel Ping made th at
announcement t he newspaper reporters
jumped up and star ted taking pictu res of
us. I suppose they were trying to capt ure
what must have been shocked looks upon
our faces. Sudden ly we were going to fly a
mission over Japan with no guns for sel f-
defence and at an unheard -of, very low
alt it ude. This was absol utel y incredible for
an unarmed hi gh-altitude bomber, espe-
cially one th e size and weigh t of a Super-
fort, to say th e very least. This was nothing
but suicida l, we thought.
Our 'plane was in the th ird formati on
going over the target and when we were
about 50 mi les from Japan , the red reflec-
tion of the burning city of Tokyo could be
clearl y seen in the distance. As we made
land fall, out my por tside window I could see
the outl ines of what appeared to be burning
buildings. We were flying through th ick
smoke that smel led like tarpaper, wood and
a cross between burning hair and other odd
smel ls that were sickening. There didn' t
seem to be any[ ap 'planes around but th ere
was some flak bursts - way above us in most
cases. I could see the undersides of wings in
the format ion and they were blood red from
th e reflect ions of fires.
Jim, our bombardier, was having a prob-
lem finding a clear target to unl oad our
bombs, which were incendiari es as I found
out lat er. I heard him tell our pilot th at he
had th e Emperor' s palace and grounds in
h is sight but the airplane commander told
h im to find another target because th e
palace was off limi ts to bombardment.
Shortly t hereafter he found a suitable tar-
get and dropped our bombs.
Ne edless to say we made a safe return to
Tinian, as did most of th e ot her 'planes.
We did lose a few B-29s on t hat mission,
not knowing if it was to enemy act ion or
othe r causes such as mid-air collisions.
On anot her mission on board PASSION
WAGON we had our number thr ee engine
shot out over Oita during a bomb run and,
about five minut es out of Iwo [ ima, an oil
line ruptured on the number one engine.
After an emergenc y landing we had to
leave her on Iwo. We were later assigned to
anothe r 8-29 (squadron nu mber48), which
we named HERE'S LUCKY.
We lat er borrowed a Superfor t from the
509CG. It was one of th e Silverplate B-29s
but I don 't recall whi ch one it was. It was
reallysomet hing, though, with its improved
R-3350-4 1 engines with a fuel-inj ecti on
system and reversible-pitch props.
Then Master Sergeant Claude E. Surface was
aflightengineer assigned to the 20AF/313BWI/
50513G/484BS on Tinian in the Wl estern Pacif-
ic. He arrived on Tinian on 1 January 1945 ,
flewhis first mission on 21 January 1945 and
his thirty-fifth and last mission on 28 July 1945 .
The name of his 13-29 wm PASSION
WlAGON (squadron nwnber 42) . lr wasa 13-
29-25-13A (42-63524) . He related that the 9
March 1945 mission over Tokyo destroyed
about 15 squaremiles (39sqkm) of thecity. He
concluded 'Of course that wasn't the only mis-
sion over Tokyo for us. Wle hit other cities roo
such as Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Yokahama and
many others. I wason several of theminingmis-
sions. 1 wm still on Tinian when the A-bombs
were droPIJed. In fact the 509 BG 'l)lanes were
just across the raxi stn/Jfrom our planes.'
(NOTE: 13adly damaged on a mission, PAS-
SION WlAGON later crashed to destruction
about 300ft short of Tinian 'srunway, killingall
of the crew. It had been on loan to the 509CG
at the time.)
Pacifi c Ditching of
In Febmary 1945 , Maj Gen Curtis E.
LeMay; commander of the 20th Air Force in
the Marianas, ordered a /)recision bomb
attack on the Nakajima Aircraft factory at
Ora , Japan. The raid was scheduled for ) 0
February 1945 . 13 -29s from the 73rd Bomb
Wling on Saipat: and the newly arrived 313th
13WI on Tinian were ordered to txuticitxi te.
1st Li Melvin G. 'Mel' Cash, aircraft com-
mander of the 13-29 named HOM ING BIRD
(/3-29-50-13W1, 42-24824) was scheduled to
fly on just hissecond mission tomainlandJaI)an
with the 3 13I3\ 'V. Cash was assigned to the
313BWI, 505th Bomb Grou/J, 483rd Bomb
My second mission came on 10 February
1945. Eighty-four B-29s were laun ched that
day against the Nakajima Aircraft plant at
Ora, just north of Tokyo. I was aircraft com-
mand er of the 13-29 we named HOMING
BIRD. Major Jul ian Dendy, from Caribbean
duty with me, led the group and Capt
Carmel M. Slaughter [ r led the high flight.
Before cont inuing th is narrat ive, an
explanat ion of jet st reams is in order.
Crews had become acquainted wit h hi gh
wind s at alt it ude whil e in t raining, but
nothing like those encountered over Japan
during the win ter months. If you tried a
cross-wind bomb run , the dri ft exceeded
bomb-sight capabilit ies, and if you came in
from downwind , you were past the target
before you were synchron ized. The othe r
alte rnat ive was upwind, and that day we
were at 32 ,000ft in a hor rendous jet st ream
going upwind. It seemed like we were
bac king up when the bomb-bay door s were
opened. T hi s gave the AAA bat teri es t ime
to reload and cont inue firing.
HOMING BIRD got one of the rounds
through her righ t wing. Gunne rs at first
report ed th at we were on fire, t hen called
out th at we were losing fuel. At about the
very same [ ap fighters sho t out our number
two engine - it wouldn't feat her due to loss
of oil.
Over the target, hi gh flight leader Ca pt
Slaughter and Owen O. Barnhart in an-
ot he r upcrtort collided and went down .
As th e format ion departed the tar get area
we were picked our as a st raggler by Jap
fighters. We had reversed course after
bombs away, headed cast, seeking a lower
alt it ude. Our gunners were giving the fire
control system a work-out and cl ai med
three fighters on t he way out to Chos hi
Point , our exit point from th e Japanese
mainland . Turning south, we tr ied to avoid
Japan 's small islands.
While we were over the target earlier,
my co-pilot Harr v Wing suggested we head
to Vladivostok to make an emergency
landing in Russia, but I want ed no part of
flying upwind across th e cold Sea of Japan.
\'(!e would instead take our chances wit h a
ni ght ditch ing in the war mer wat ers of the
Pacific Ocean. Our radio operator, James F.
Haley, tr ied to establish radi o contac t with
a US avv submarine on sta t ion, but
co uld not. Ir was just as well, for it was
snowing. \,(!hen our uperfort reached a
lower alt it ude, it cont rolled fairly wel l
wit h one engine dragging and one feat h-
ered, so our crew made plans for th e eve nt-
ful ditch ing yet to come. Radio contact
was estab lished wit h Tinian and our int en -
t ions were made known, A Super Dumbo,
a 13-29 ISB-291assigned to provide ditch-
ing support was contac ted and maint ain ed
course with HOMING BIRD. We were
tr ying to make it to the USS Bering Strai t,
a US avy vessel on stat ion south-cast of
Iwo [ irn a, assigned th e task of picking up
dit ch ed 13-29 crews. A quick survey of our
'29 revealed we had flak holes in the crew
compart ment, but none of t he crew had
recei ved any hits. \'(!e discussed ej ecting
th e empty bomb-bay fuel ta nks to ligh ten
our load, but decided against it, especially
if a shackle didn't rel ease. That would
have increased drag, and besides, the tanks
would provide some flot at ion.
At 10:15pm th at ni gh t our fuel supply
had gotten down to about five min utes,
then we headed into the wind for our
di tching manoeuvr e. It was a fairly dark
night, and wit h the experience I had
gained from ni ght submarine run s in the
Caribbean Sea, 1kn ew th ere was always a
hor izon. 1 th erefore chose not to usc our
land ing light s, wh ich could blind us, ca us-
ing ot her problems. \'(!e had placed our
gear ncar t he ex its, gone th rough th e brief-
ing as to what each crewman would do,
and radioman Haley had let out th e trail-
ing ant ennae to give me surface contac t
awareness. \'(!e briefed the Super Dumbo
and headed down.
Sure enough, when HOMI G BIRD
got int o her final ditch ing posit ion, we
cou ld see the waves, the horizon and the
swells. As th e prop t ips began slicing into
I he tops of the waves, I cut power and held
on. The ' 29 came to an abrupt stop, so sud-
den in fact th at my head h it th e bulletproof
glass over the inst rument panel and the
sliding window, which 1 had opened for
ditching, slammed shut , but not enough to
stop wat er from coming int o t he cockpit.
It was eerie, to say the least. I re-opened
the window and saw that our left wing was
st ill int act ; co- pilot Wing said the right one
was, too. We th en inflat ed the life-rafts. 1
took char ge of t he left one, Wi ng th e right
one. Bombardier \'(!ill iam T. Tri vett e dove
out of the flight engineer's wind ow and
took a poundi ng from the wing due to the
cho ppy sea. The two rafts became separat-
ed during the night. The crew had been
unable to offload a large box of survival
gear. I wanted to re-ent er the 'plane to get
it, but the crew on my raft talked me out of
it arid it was just as well, for our H O ~ v l l j G
BIRD went to the horrom of the Paci fic
Ocea n about 5:00am th e next morning.
Prior to ditching I had changed course to
the east of lwo [i ma to avoid bein g strafed
in the rafts by any [ap fighters flying out of
Iwo. As morning opened, three Superforts
from the squadron flew over the spot we
had radioed we'd be at. We established mir-
ror cont act with them. The hand-cra nked
survival radio wasn't working properly, not
even with our target ship. the Bering
Straight. But Ti nian had told her Capt of
our posit ion and a US Navy PB4Y Priva-
teer took up top-cover over our rafts and
stayed until about 4:00pm th at evening.
Although our mishap had occurred just
75 miles off Tinian, I wanted to be pre-
pared for t he worst and had set up our
rati ons for a fourt een -day wait. After all,
we were in enemy waters and we co uldn' t
take anyth ing for granted,
Earl ier in t he day, wh ile sitt ing rhere in
rhar raft with the sun blazing down on us,
I made a vow to myself: If I get out of thi s,
I' m going to live the best life I ca n for as
long as I can.
The Bering Straight ca me up on t he hor i-
zon aro und 5:00pm and th e crew was piped
aboard. Here we found th at two ot he r
crews from the group had di tched as wel l.
Lieut en ant Lowr y of the 4 4BS also had a
badly shot -up upcrforr , He used landing
lights and had h it a big swell rath er than a
trough. His ' plane broke int o three sec-
t ions. The nose sank immediat el y and the
other two sect ions filled up with water
rapidly th ereafter. Lieutenant Jack Hallo-
ran . also of the 484 BS. had bett er luck. He
found the Bering Straight and circled it
twice wit h his landing lights on. The sh ip
gave hi m a heading, turned on its lights.
Jack had about the same experience as I
had when th e "planc came to a stop. His
side window also slammed shut and his
crew experience d about the same problems
as mine had while evacuat ing the 'plane.
Our crew was given some hot soup and
put to bed. The next day I met the ship's
Capt, Walter Deane Innis, who lat er
became a Rear Admiral. It too k us ano rh-
cr five days to make our trip back to Tin-
ian - slow, but a whole lor better than
doing it in a life-rafr.
After we had retu rned to Tin ian \ \ ' C
found out the extent of the losses from the
10 February raid, Of the eighty-four 3 13BW
B-29s launched that day, twent y-one did
not retu rn. \,(!hile the crew was being re-fit-
red, we spcnt the time going around to the
othe r un its in the 3 13B\'(! explaining how
to dit ch a '29, since ours had been the most
successful so far. My crew made recommcn -
dnrions th at were later incorporat ed in the
aircraft str ucture, amclv, sho ulder har-
nesses for the pilot s and braces for the
bomb-bay bulkhead doors to keep wat er out
of the crew compartment on ditchi ng.
Ernie Pyle was highly respected for the brave work he did in the Pacific War. The
crew of this unidentified B-29showed their high regard for this legendary man by
naming their plane ERNIE PYlE'SMILKWAGON. StanPi et
About a mon th lat er I was issued a new
8 -29, which I kept unti l August , t rad ing it
in for a new one with improved rad ar and
fuel -inj ected engines.
Mel Cash served 33Y1 )'ears III the USAF,
retiring as a Colonel.
Pilots Ado re Cra mped 8-29
Ernest T. ' Emie' Pyle was bov» on 3 August
1900 in Dana , Indiana, and became a farned
\'(!orldWar Two conesl)()ndent who wm killed
b)' ja/Janese gunfire on 18 A/Jril 1945. He
wrotemIHlCrollS com/Jassionate columns ooout
\'(!orld \'(Iar Two airmen, sailors and sok!iers
and was a highly tespectea journalist. He was
so revered, in fact , that a B-29-80-BW (44-
70118) wm named THE E I ~ N I E PYLE by
the Boeing Air/Jwne Comj xmy in his honour.
/-lis 13-29 sror)' is m follows;
T he 8 -29 is un questi onabl y a wonderful
aeroplane. O uts ide of t he famo us old Dou -
glas DC -3 wor khorse, I' ve never heard
pilots so un animous in th ei r praise of <I n
I took my first ride in one the other day.
No, I di dn 't go on a mission to Japan . \X!e've
been through all th at before. I don't bel ieve
in peop le going on missions unl ess they
have to. And as befor e, the pilots here all
agreed with me; but I went along on a littl e
pract ice bomb ing tri p of an hour an d a half.
T he pil ot was Major Gerald Robin son.
I sat on a box bet ween t he pilots, bot h
on the ta ke-off and for the landing, and as
much as I' ve flown, that was st ill a thrill.
T hese islan ds are relat ively sma ll, an d
you're no soo ner off the ground than
you're out over water, and th at feel s funny.
If the air is a littl e rough, it gives you a
ve ry odd sensat ion sitt ing way up th er e in
the nose. For the 8 -29 is so hig t hat ,
ins tead of bump ing or dropping, th e nose
has a ' willowy' mot ion, sor t of like sit t ing
out on the' end of a gree n limb when it 's
swaying arou nd.
T he 8 -29 carries a crew of el even. Some
of them sit up in the coc kpit and the co m-
pa rt ment just behind it. Some othe rs sit in
a compart ment near the mil. T he rai l-gun -
ner sits all alone , way back the re in the
lonel y taiI tur ret. .
T he bod y of the 8 -29 is so tak en up
wi t h gas ranks and bomb racks tha t th er e's
normally no way to get from front to rear
compart men ts. So th e manufacturer s
solved tha t by building a tunnel in to th e
'plane, right along the rooftop .
The tunnel is round, just big eno ugh to
crawl in on your hands and kn ees, and is
padded with blue clo th. Ir'ssome 30ft long,
and crew members crawl back and forth
through it all th e ti me . Major Russ Cheev-
er reported that he accomp lished th e
impossible the other day by turning around
in th e tunnel. O n missions some of th e
crew go back in th e tunnel and sleep for an
hour or so, bu t a lot of them can't stand to
do th at. T hey say they get cla ustrophobia.
There used to be some sleeping bunks on
the 13-29, but they' ve been taken out , and
now th ere's hardly even roo m to lie down on
the fl oor, A fellow does get sleepy on a four-
teen-hour mission. Most of the pilot s take
naps in their seat s. One pi lot I know turn ed
the 'plane over to his co- pilot and went hack
to the tunnel for 'a littl e na p' and didn 't
return for six hours, just before they hi t the
coast of Japan. They laughingly say he goes
to sleep before he gets the wheels up.
T he 13-29 is a very sta ble plane and
hardly anybody eve r gets sick even in
rough weath er. T he boys smoke in th e
plan e, and the mess hall gives them all a
small lunch of sandwiches, oranges and
co okies to ca t on th e way. O n mission days
all fl ving crewme n, even those not going
on th e mission, get all t he fried eggs th ey
want for br eakfast . T hat's t he only day
th ey have fried eggs.
T he crewmen wear th eir regul ar cl othe s
on a mission, usually coveralls. They don't
like to wear heavy Ilcccc-Iined clot hes and
all th at hulky gear, because th e co mpart -
ments ar c heated . They do slip on th eir
heavy steel ' Oak vests' as th ey approach
th e tar get. T heydon't have to wear ox ygen
masks except when they're over the target ,
for the cabin is sealed and ' pressur ized' -
simulat ing constant alt it ude of 8,OOOft.
Once in a great wh ile one of t he Plexi-
glas ' blisters' where t he gunne rs sit will
blow out from the st rong pressure inside,
and t hen everybody bet ter grab hi s ox ygen
mask in a h urr y. T he crew always wear the
oxygen mask over the target , for a shel l
th rough t he 'plane 'depressur izes' the com-
partments instan tl y, and th ey'd pass out.
T he boys spea k frequentl y of th e un be-
lievable hi gh wind s th ey hit at hi gh alt i-
t udes over Japan. It 's noth ing unusual to
have a 150mph wind, and my nephew,
Jack Bales, said that one day hi s 'plane hi t
a wind of 250 mph .
Anot he r th ing that puzzles and amuses
th e boys is th at often they' ll pick up news
on th eir rad ios, when st ill only halfway
home, that th eir bombing mission has been
announced in \X!ash ington. Th us the ent ire
worl d knows about it, but they've st ill got a
thousand miles of ocean to cross before it's
finished. Sc ience, she is wonderful.
B-29Units inWorld War Two
20th Air Force, XXI Bomb Command
58thBomb Wing
40BombGroup: 25,44, 45and395Bomb Squadrons
[Ihe 40BGtrainedat Pratt AAF, kansas]
444Bomb Group: 676, 677. 678 and679 BombSquadrons
IThe444BGtrainedat Great BendAAF, Kansas.l
462BombGroup: 768, 769, 770and771BombSquadrons
(The462BGtrainedat Walker AAF, Kansas.)
468BombGroup: 792, 793, 794and795Bomb Squadrons
(The468BGtrainedat Smoky Hill AAF, nearSalina, kansas]
472 BombGroup: 808, 809, 810 and811 Bomb Squadrons
(The472BG trainedat SmokyHill AAF, near Salina, Kansas.]
Iii Whenbased inIndiaandChina the40, 444, 462and468 BombGroupswereunder
thecommandof XXBomberCommand.
Iii) The472BGremainedat SmokyHill AAF asOperational TrainingUnit. aspart of
73rd Bomb Wing
497 Bomb Group: 869, 870 and 871 Bomb Squadrons
(The497BGtrained at Pratt AAF)
498 BombGroup: 873, 874and 875Bomb Squadrons
(The498BG trained at Great BendAAFI
499 Bomb Group: 877. 878and879 Bomb Squadrons
(The499BG trained at Smoky Hill AAF)
500Bomb Group: 881 ,882and 883 Bomb Squadrons
(The500BG trained at Walker AAFI
373Bomb Wing
6BombGroup: 24, 39and40BombSquadrons
IThe6BG trained at GrandIslandAAF, Nebraska.)
9BombGroup: 1,5and99Bomb Squadrons
(The9BG trainedat McCook AAF, Nebraska]
504 Bomb Group: 398, 421 and680BombSquadrons
(The 504BG trainedat Fairmont AAF, Nebraska.]
505Bomb Group: 482, 483and484 BombSquadrons
(The 505BG trainedat HarvardAAF, Nebraska.]
509CG: 393 BombSquadron
(The 509CG trainedat Wendover AAF. Utah.]
374 Bomb Wing
19BombGroup: 28, 30and93Bomb Squadrons
IThe19BG trainedat Great BendAAF, Kansas.]
29 BombGroup: 6, 43and52Bomb Squadrons
(The29BG trained at Pratt AAF)
39 BombGroup: 60, 61 ,62and402BombSquadrons
(402BS wasreassignedto502BG on 6/ 1/ 451
(The39BG trained at SmokyHill AAFI
330 BombGroup: 457, 458 and 459 BombSquadrons
(The330BG trained at Walker AAF.I
375Bomb Wing
16BombGroup: 15, 16and 17Bomb Squadrons
(The16BG trained at Fairmont AAF)
331Bomb Group: 355, 356 and 357 Bomb Squadrons
(The331 BG trained at McCookAAFI
501BombGroup: 21, 41 and405BombSquadrons
(The501 BG trained at Harvard AAF)
502BombGroup: 402,411 and 430Bomb Squadrons
(The502BG trained at Prall AAF. )
Other Units
3rdReconnaissanceSquadron(F-1 3AI
XXI BC, 20AF. 4th Emergency Rescue SquadronISB-29 Super Durnbo]
XXI BC, 20AF, 41 st PhotographicReconnai ssance IF-13AI
8thAir Force, XXBomb Command
376 Bomb Wing
333BombGroup: 435, 460 and 507Bomb Squadrons
346 BombGroup: 461, 462and463Bomb Squadrons
(The316BWwasbased onOki nawa late inthewarwith thereactivatedXX Bomber
Command, 8thAir Forceandits twobombgroupsneversawactionasunits;
however, somelead personnel didseeactionwiththe313BWand58BWonIi nian.l
Other Units
383 BombGroup
The383BG(540, 541,880and884 BombSquadrons) trainedat Walker AAFfrom6/ 14
to8/11/45. VJ-Daycame about beforetheunit coulddeploy tothePacific.
The458BGwastotrainat Walker AAF VJ-Daycame about beforethe458BGcould
begintraining. The458BG wasdisestablished beforeany squadronswereassignedtoit.
B-29 Bases inWorld War Two
Bomb Group
331 BG
Combat Besets}
Tinian(NorthFi eldl
Guam(Northwest Field]
Guam (NorthField)
Guam (NorthField)
Hsinching, ChinaandTinian(West Field)
Guam (North Fi eld)
Guam (North Fi eld)
Hwangchan, Chinaand Tini an(West Fi eld)
Based at Piardoba, India with advanced base of operations at
Kiunglai, China, thenTinian(West Fi eld)
Combat Besets)
Pengshan, ChinaandTinian(West Fieldl
SmokyAAF, Kansas(MidwesternUnitedStates]; B-29pilot training
and transitionand B-29crew training operations
SaipanIIsley Fieldl
Sai panIIsleyField)
Sai panIIsleyField)
Guam (Northwest Fieldl
Guam (Northwest Fieldl r
6BG - Ci rcleR
9BG - Circle X
16BG - Diamond B
19BG- BlackSquareM
29BG- BlackSquare0
39BG- BlackSquareP
40BG- TriangleS
330BG- BlackSquareK
331BG - Diamond L
444BG - TriangleN
462BG - TriangleU
468BG - TriangleI
497BG - ASquare.thenA
498BG - TSquare. then T
499BG - VSquare. theV
500BG- ZSquare. then Z
501 BG - Diamond Y
502BG- dark blueDiamond H
504BG- CircleE. then ETriangle
505BG- CircleW. thenKTr iangle
509CG- Ci rcleRandArrowhead inCircle
Tail Codes
ABOVE: 314BW, 19BG B-29(42-93??71smokesto a halt during anemergency landing onGuam with the number
four engine on fire. Pet er M. Bowers
BELOW lEfT. A gaggleof 314BW, 29BGB-29s head toward Japan fromtheir base on Guam. Peter M. Bowers
ABOVE: TSquare5411ater T541 asseen
fromanother73BW, 498BG Superfort.
Stan Piet
urn 'Look Ma, no rudder!' This B-29of
the 313BW, 504BG and24BS madeit
back to its North Field,Tinian base
despite the severeflak damage to its
vertical stabili zer. Peter M. Bowers
continued overleaf
Ta il Codes continued
ABOVE: ENOLA GAY performsan engine run-up in August 1945. USAF
BOTTOM: A 501BG B-29. AW. Georgevia DavidW. Menard
BELOW: A B-29A-50-BN(44-61818) of t he 313BW, 9BG. DavidW. Menard
BELOW MIDOLE: 509CG Silverplate B-295 wi th ENOLA GAYintheforefront. USAF
LEFT: ROUNO-TRIP TICKET, also known as BLACKIEl , was a B-29-5-BW
(42-6262) with 24' Hump' andnine bombmissions at the t ime of this freeze-
frame. It is shown herewi th its crew fromthe 444BG, 678BS. Peter M. Bowers
• .
I . 'bl ;" ' l / } o \' NoT T'
" 0 : • - \ \.0 '-' _

BELOW: ENOLAGAYwas commanded by Robert A.
Lewis but it was flown by 509CG commander Paul
W. Tibbets on the Hiroshima mission, 6 August 1945.
RobertKra use/509BWAssociation viaStan Piet
BELOW RIGHT: BOCKSCAR was commanded by
Frederick C. Bock, but it was flown by Charles W.
Sweeney on the Nagasaki mission, 9 August 1945.
Stan Piet
BOTTOM: ENOLAGAYawaits disposition at
Oavis-Monthan AFB in Arizona. This historic
machine eventually became part of the vast
collection of National Air and Space Museum
aircraft and spacecraft. Schirmer Collection viaStan Piet
LEFT: A rare colour image of XB-29 number three
(41-18335) during its first test flight on 29 May
1943. Peter M. Bowers
BELOW: Two early B-29-BWs shared the skies over
Kansas in the summer of 1943. Peter M. Bowers
LEfT. Close-up view of the 509BG (formerly CG, later BW)
emblem. Schirmer Collection via Stan Piet
BELOW: A shiny new B-29is about to be loadedwith forty 500lb
general purposehigh-explosive bombs. Stan Piet !
BOTrOM: DINA MIGHT. a B-29-25-MO(42-65280) of the 313BW,
504BG, 29BS was shot down on26June1945, on her twenty-fifth
mission, by a Kawasaki Ki-61 Hein fighter. Seven of her
crewmemberssurvived. Stan Piet
RIGHT. AYB-29and B-17 flytogetherto
show the vast differences intheir respec-
tive configurations. Peter M. Bowers
44-27353) was one of the fifteen
operational Silverplate B-29s flown by
the 393BS. 509CG. David W. Menard
ABOVE: Atow-motor moves B-29-95-BW 45-21766 to its place on the flight line.
Peter M. Bowers
LEFt: On 9 August 1945 the 'Fat Man' atomic bombwas dropped on Nagasaki by
BOCKSCAR. Richard H. Campbell
BOTTOM RIGHT: 98BGB-29s in close formation.
David W. Menard
BELOW LEFT: THUMPER, a B-29-40-BW (42-24623) of
the 73BW, 870BS. Stan Piet
BOTTOM LEFT: 98BGB-29s in close formation, the
aircraft in the background being a B-29-55-MO
(44-86400). DavidW. Menard
BELOW: An unidentified B-29, the numbers 3524 being
the last four numbers of its USAAF serial number,
was T-52 of 73BW, 498BG. Stan Piet
The Circle X and white cowls of the B-29s in this
formation means they were from the 313BW, 9BG.
Stan Piet
ABOVE: A 19BGB-29 at rest in Korea. The black underside
camouflage treatment was applied for night-time bombardment
duties. Peter M. Bowers .
lEFr. A couple of nose artists applving their talents to an
unidentified B-29. David W. Menard
BELOW: LADY MARY ANNA, a B-29-40-BW (42-24625) of the
73BW, 498BGis about to get a new R-3350engine . This B-29
served with both the 874 and 875 Bomb Squadrons of the 498BG.
Stan Piet
RIGHl: A B-29-40-MO (44-27341) named DREAMERof
the 315BW, 98BG, 343BS i n the Korean War.
Max Nelson
BElOW: A B-29-25-MO (42-65306) of the 19BGin
Korea named THEOUTLAW. David W. Menard
ABOVE: A good view of an SB-29 taxiing. SB-29
Super Dumbo aircraft were welcome sights for
crewmembers that had been forced to ditch at sea,
especially after they dropped their A-3 lifeboat in
which these crewmen could survive until they
were rescued. Stan Piet
LEFT: B-29-36-MO SOME PUNKINSN-84 (44-27296)of
the 509CG was commanded by James N. Price.
Robert Krause/509BWAssociation via Stan Piet
ABOVE: Ahose-type KB-29M (44-69710) tanker as it
appeared in October1952. David W. Menard
BELOW: Some ofthe derelict B-29s that were parked at ChinaLake. California. Twoofthem(out of view).
DOC and FIFI. were salvaged. rebuilt and made to flyagain. AFFTC/HD via Raymond L. Puffer
BELOW: The B-29-70-BW(44-69972) named DOC being restored in the
Boeing-Wichitafactory. Afterrestoration in 2003 it became onlythe
second airworthy B-29in the world. Boeing
RIGHT: Alovelyview of a B-29 bankingto the right.
SIan Piel
RIGHr. FIFI of the Confederate Air Force
(CAF) was the first andonly flying B-29in
the world until the advent of DOC, which
was scheduledto take wing in 2003.
Boeing Media
BELOW: A SAC VB-29, formerly a
B-29-90-BW (44-87755), servedas
a VIPtransport in the early 1950s.
DavidW. Menard
BELOW RIGHr. T SQUARE 54(formerly T-54)
belongedto the 73BW, 498B6. It is now
a restored, but non-flying, B-29-60-BW
(44-69729) on permanentdisplay at the
Museumof Flight in Seattle, Washington.
Stan Piet
BOTTOM: A USAir ForceReserves (AFRES)
B-50B (47-162). TheB-50wasthe ultimate
outgrowth of the B-29and, in fact, almost
beganlife asthe B-29D. Stan Piet
The world's first atomic bomb was simply referred to as the 'gadget' . It resembled
something more like an electrician's nightmare than a complicated housing for a
device of mass destruction. USAF
On 6 and 9 Aug ust 1945 two Si lverpl are
B-29s became the world's first atomic
bombers when they obliterated two cities
in j apan and killed hundreds of thousands
of its people. The j apanese cit ies of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were laid waste
by special-purpose B-29s carrying ato mic
bombs named, respec tively, Little Boy and
Fat Man. For America it was a long-over-
due payback for japan's 7 December 1941
sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. For
the peopl es of those two cit ies in japan it
was overkill in the truest sense of that
word, and hell on earth.
Six years earlier, on 2 August 1939, Pro-
fessor Albert Einstein had drafted a letter
for Presiden t Franklin D. Roosevelt. Pro-
fessor Einstein gave the letter to Dr
Alexander Sachs to hand deli ver to Presi-
dent Roosevel t. Dr Sachs was not able to
see Roosevelt until 11 October 1939, how-
eve r, at which time he delivered the Ein-
ste in letter and discussed the import ance of
its contents; it was more than int eresting.
In part, Professor Einstein wrot e that
the element uranium could be turned into
a new and important source of energy in
the immediate future . He added that thi s
new phenomenon would most likely lead
to the construction of bombs of a new and
ext remely powerful type, but that th ey
might be too heavy for transportation by
air. Hi s lett er to Roosevelt caused a cha in
reaction that would change the world as
mankind had known it. Suddenly the
USA had the possible means to create a
new power source and a weapon of mass
dest ruct ion.
The Manhattan Project
and Silverplate
Prior to America's ent ry int o World War
Two t he creation of such a weapon was
not a major priority. But this all cha nged
after j apan 's atta ck on Pearl Harbor. In
mid-December 1941 President Roosevelt
appoint ed a committee to determine if the
USA could con st ruct a nuclear weapon.
Six months later the committee gave the
President its report , recommending a fast-
paced programme that might produce such
a weapon by j uly 1944. The President
accepted the committee's recommenda-
t ions and the effort was turned ove r to the
US War Depa rtment. In September 1942
the War Departmen t assigned the task of
develop ing a nucl ear weapo n to the US
Army Corps of Engineers. This effort was
code -named the Manhattan Project.
Development of what was on ly referred
to as the 'gadget' proceeded quite rapidly,
but there were numerous prob lems and
setbacks. But in mid-july 1945 the 'gadget'
was ready to be tested at the Trinity proj ect
site located in the north-west sector of the
Alamogordo Bombing Range in south-
central New Mexico. At 5:30am on 16july
1945 the ' gadget ' detonated atop a 100ft-
high tower. Its nuclear yield was equal to
the energy released by detonating 19 kilo-
tons of TNT.
Long before the spectacular Trinity pro-
ject atomic bomb test took place it had
already been decided that the Boeing B-29
Superfortress would deliver atomic bombs
against t he Axis powers. By the time the
atom bombs were ready for use VE-Day
had come and gone, and japan alone
remained to be beaten. Yet it remained a
formidabl e foe and so work continued on
the world 's first atomic bombers - the Sil-
verplate B-29s.
As part of th e hi ghly classified Manhat-
tan Project, the USAAF was instructed by
th e US War Department to secretly mod-
ify a B-29 to become a protot ype aerial
Con to",' II) te rvil l in f ~ ~ (
o 20
<--'-7:7.';=;;-- - _......J
LEFT. The Trinity test site.
BELOW LEFT. The Trinity test-site blast at 5:30amon
16July 1945. Sometimes a picture truly is 'worth
a thousand words'. USAF
platform to ca rry a 'spec ial wea pon' ca lled
Thin Man, wh ich measur ed some 17ft
(5 . 18m) in lengt h. This B-29 modificat ion
programme was code named PlI llman
under Sec ret Proj ect MX-469 (MX mean-
ing, Mat eri e l, Experime nta l) . A Boeing-
W ichi ta-bui lt B-29-5-BW (42-6259, th e
fifth of fifty B-29-5-BWs) was sel ec ted for
the modi ficat ion programme. T h is a ircraft
was in it iall y delivered to t he 58th BW,
468th BG at Smoky Hill AAF near Tope-
ka, Kansas, on 30 November 194 3. It was
rcd cl iver cd to \Vrigh t AA F in Da yton,
O h io, for the modi ficati ons in early
Dece mbe r 1943, and by 1 Februar y 1944
th e modi ficat ions wer e co mplete.
The alte rat ions to th e Silverplatc proto-
type were des igne d to accommo da te th e
Thi n Man ato mic bomb. T he bomb-bay
doors were removed from t he two bomb-
bays and the sta ndard bo mb racks were
re moved. T he rada r radoru c was removed
from the area between the bomb-bays and
two new, long bomb-bay doors wer e
installed , whi ch covered th e new sing le
bomb-bay. To rran spo rt rh e bo mb, t wo
glide r row cable attach-and- rele ase mech-
an isms wer e modi fied and insta lled in th e
bomb-bay; th ese co nnected to th e two
arrachrnc nr lugs of th e Thin Man bomb.
T he first Thin Man drop tests wer e co n -
duct ed ;J [ Muro c Army A ir Field (now
Edwards A ir Force Base ) in the Mojave
Desert of Californ ia in February and March
1944. In one of the drop tes ts th e bomb-bay
door s suffered heavy da mage and the pro-
rot ypc returned to \Vrigh t Field for repairs
and furt he r modificat ions. New bomb-bay
door s and three new el ectri c moto rs were
insta lled. Ad dit iona lly, the homb rel ease
mechanisms were modi fied to el iminat e
furt her bomb -rel ease problems.
The second set of Thin Man test drops at
Muroc was hel d in June 1944. These drops
wer e almos t complete when the Manhat tan
Project sc icn rists, at their Los Alamos ce n-
tre, det ermined that plut oni um wou ld not
work in a gun-type (cy lindrically sha ped)
bo mb. T he pro bl em was pr e-detonat ion
due to th e inabilit y to achi eve sufficient
ve loc ity of a plutonium project ile in a
gun t ub e. T he refor e, the Thin Man bomb
ABOVE: The single Silv erplat e B-29 prototype
wa s formerly a B-29-5-BW (42-6259). one of fifty
produced . It was assigned Secr et Project Number
MX-469 and given the code name Putlmen. It is
shown at Muroc army air field (now Edwards Ai r
Force Basel. some t ime in mid-1944. Richard H.
LEFT: The Thill Mall at omic bomb shape being test -
fined in the extensively modified bomb-bay of the
Silverpl ate B-29 prototype in January 1944. Under
the guidance of aircraft commander Major Clyde S.
Shields and bombardier Captain David Semple.
Thill Mall shape drop-tests at Muroc AAF were
carr ied out in February and March 1944.
Richard H. Campbell
BELOW: The act ual LittleBoybomb just prior to
being loaded in ENOLAGAY. Both LittleBoyand Fat
Mall were carr ied in the forward bomb-bay of their
mother ships; reportedly. their near 10.0001b we i ght
demanded long take-oil rolls and almost level -pitch
lift-oils aft er rotat ion. causing lengthy climb-outs.
Richard H. Campbell
was aba ndoned, an d inst ead an alte rnat ive
gun-type bomb known as Little Boy wou ld
tak e its place, which used uranium as th e
ac t ive ma terial. A second alte rna t ive was
a plutonium device ca lled Fat Mall.
To acco mmodat e the projected 10,0001b
(4,500kg) weight of the lillie J30)' and Fm
Man bombs, the glider tow cable attach-
and- release mech anisms were replaced wit h
the Brit ish Type F bomb release and Type G
bomh att achment systems. And since the
Little Boy and Fa: Mall homhs were some 7ft
(2. 1rn ) shorter th an th e Thin Mall bomb,
the product ion Silverplate B-29s ret ained
their or iginal dual bomb-hay arra ngement ,
but with th ese modified bomb at tachments,
racks and release mech ani sms.
Bomb drop tests wit h the Little Boy
and Fat Mall shapes began in September
1944 and conti n ued t hrough lat e 1944.
... ..
Unfort unat el y, at thi s t irnc th e prot otype
ilverplate R-29 was da maged in a landing
accident at Wen dover AAF.
The code -na me Silvcr!Jlatc was selec ted
by the USAAF for the prior ity assigned to
the cffort to equip, organi ze, trai n and usc
the Superfort's capab ility to car ry and drop
th e atom bombs. Thc Martin-built Super-
forts involved became known as the Silver-
plate R-29s simply beca use of the priority
code-na me. They were modifi ed on the
Martin-Omaha production line and the n
put into service with neither ar mour plat ing
nor the upper and lower gun turret . There-
fore, the three gun-sight ing stat ions and
their respecti ve blisters were removed:
instead, these ope nings were filled with cir-
cular aluminium fairings. So th at some self-
defence was retained at the rear, the rail rur-
rcts were not removed. Anot her important
modification was rhe insta llat ion of much-
impr oved fuel-inj ect ed Wright R-3350-4 I
engines, wh ich had hi gher performance
and were more reliable with better coo ling.
Moreover, new Curt iss-Electric propellers
fea turing rever ible pit ch were install ed to
enhance braking capability on landing.
The primary reason why the Silverplarc
B-29s were stripped of their upper and lower
ABOVE: The assembled Fat Manbomb on Tini an Island just pr ior t o being loaded on BOCKSCAR.
Ri chard H.Campbell
l EIT. A Little Boytest shape in the bomb-bay of t he Si lverpl at e B-29 prototype. Richard H. Campbell
The name ENOLA GAYwas the only nose art appli ed to any of t he fiheen Si lverplate
B-29s that were on Tini an Isl and prior to 6 August 1945. It was a B-29-45-MO (44-86292).
Richard H. Campbell
Vict Dr Number V-82 was the radio call -sign tor
ENOLA GAYand its crew was assigned the
desi gnat i nn 8-9; Hobert A. Lewis was the aircraft
commander, USAF
BELOW: ENOLAGAY in its Hiroshima markings.
Peter M. Bowers
BOTTOM: ENOLAGAY back at it s NDrt h Field base
on Tini an Iollnwi nq the mission. Peter M. Bowers
ABOVE: ENOLAGAYawaits her final disposition after
she was taken out of servi ce. Schirmer viaStanPiet
LEFT: The twelve-man ENOLAGAYcrew that bombed
Hi roshima on 6 August 1945. Shown l eft -to-ri ght
in t he bottom row are: elect ronic countermeasures
technic ian Jacob Beser, we apon test officer Morris
Jeppson. navi gator Dutch Van Ki rk, bombardier Tom
Fer ebee. weapon officer Willi am 'Deak' Parsons,
ai rcraft commander Paul TIbbets and co-pi lot
Robert Lewi s. Standing l eft-to-right in the back row
are: assist ant flight engineer Robert Shumard, radio
operator Rich ard Nelso n, radar operator Joseph
Stiborik, fl i ght engineer Wyatt Duzenbury and t ail -
gunner George Caron. Richard H. Campbell
gun turret s, the Central Fire Cont rol system,
the th ree gunne r posit ions and th e sight ing
blisters was that at th e beginning of the Sil-
vcrp lare programme ri o-one knew exactl y
how much th e atom bombs would weigh . It
was (cared tha t these weapons might weigh
as much as 2S,OOOlb ( I I ,OOOkg) or eve n
more. So to be on the safe side Silverplare
engineers opted to make these 1)-29s as light
as possible. Mor eove r, (or delivery of th e
atom bombs, these 1)-29s wou ld have to fly
at their maxi mum alt itude and best possible
speed. Thus, to elimina te the parasit ic drag
created by the gun tur rets and blisters, they
were removed. Finally, the lighter weight of
these 13-29s allowed for hi gher-altitu de
operat ion and somewhat higher speed. As it
turned out, the atom bombs weighed in the
neighbour hood of l O,OOOlb (4,SOOkg) and
were carried excl usivel y in the front bomb-
bay, wh ich made the Silvcrplarc 1)-29s nose-
heavy. In (act , in practice with Little I30y and
Fat Man loaded on ENOLA GAY and
I)OCKSCAR (the 1)-29s th at actually
dropped the atom bombs on, respect ivel y,
Hiroshima and Nagasak i), extra weight was
moved to the aft pressurized compart ment
to help alleviate th is problem - crcwmcm-
hers included!
As previously ment ion ed the Thin Man
was not devel oped beyond early drop tests
at Mu roc AAF using the prototype Silver-
plat e 13-29. Thus th e Silvc rplarc 1)-29s
wou ld instead be configured to car ry the
Fat Man and Little I30)' atomic weapons,
wh ich arc discussed bel ow.
BOCKSCARnose art was not applied until after
her at om bomb mission on 9 August 1945. It was
a B-29-36-MO (44-27297) with call sign Victor
Number V-77; Frederick C. Bock was the aircraft
commander. Richard H. Campbell
BELOW: The thirteen-man BOCKSCARcrew that
bombed Nagasaki on 9 August 1945. Shown
left -to-right in the bottom row are: weapon test
off icer Philip Barnes. electronic countermeasures
techni ci an Jacob Beser. co-pilot Fred Illivi,
bombardier Kermit Beahan. pilot Don Albury.
navi gator James Van Pelt . aircraft commander
Charl es Sweeney and weapon officer Fred
Ashworth. Standing left-to-right in the back row
are: flight engi neer John Kuharek. radi o operator
Abe Spitzer. assi stant flight engi neer Ray Gall agher.
radar operator Ed Buckley and tail-gunner AI
Dehart. RichardH. Campbell
Group (CG) . Colonel Paul W. llbbets Jr
was appoint ed commander of the 509 th G
and only he knew the actual mission of the
393 rd BS. He had earlier selected Wendover
AAF in Utah for training because of its iso-
lation, the need for security and the wide
open spaces available there for training.
In May 1945 the 509CG, 393 8S left
Wendover, flying to Tini an in th e Marian a
Islands ro start bombing training sor t ies
while awaiti ng spec ial weapon del iver ies
from the USA via Douglas C-54 transport
aircraft and a US Na vy cruiser - th e USS
Indiana/Jolis. So me add itional atom bomb
compone nts were ferried to Tin ian on
some of th e last Silvcrplatc B-29s to arrive
th ere.
Wh ile th e 509CG wait ed for its spec ial
del iver ies it part icipat ed in fifty-one con-
vent iona l bombing sort ies using so-called
' pumpkin' bombs. These were Fat Man
shapes filled with 6,3001b (2,900kg) of h igh
explosives. The pumpkin bombs weighed
about IO,OOOlb (4,SOOkg) each. These mis-
sions were flown with th irt een Silverplate
B-29s, as follows:
The Bombers are Prepared
On I I March 1944 the 393rd Bomb
Squadron (Very Heavy) was act ivat ed as an
element of the 504t h Bomb Group (Very
Heavy), 2nd Air Force at Dalhart, Texas.
After act ivat ion the 5048G (Vl-I) and its
bomb squadrons started traini ng operat ions
at Fairmont AAF in ebraska. In Septem-
ber 1944 the 393 BS (Vl-I) was det ached
from th e 504BG (VJ-I ) and moved to Wen-
dover AAF, Utah. T he first Silvcrplatc 8-
29s were assigned to the 393BS at Wen-
dover in October 1944. Then on 17
December 1944 the 393BS was assigned to
th e newly ac t ivated 509t h Composite
20/7/45 four mission s, ten sort ies
(on e abort )
24/7/45 three mission s, ten sort ies
26/7/45 t wo missions, ten sort ies
29/7/45 th ree missions, eight sort ies
8/8/45 two missions, six sor t ies
(one abort )
14/8/4 5 two missions, seven sort ies
TOP LEFT. Crew B-7 operated SOME PUNKINS,
Victor Number V-84, a B-29-36-MO(44-27296).
James N. Price was the ai rcraft commander.
Richard H. Campbell
Victor Number V-89, a B-29-40-MO (44-27353).
Charles O. Albury was the aircraft commander.
Richard H. Campbell
MIOOLE LEFT. UPAN' ATOM carried Victor Number V-88
and crew B-l0 operated it. It was a B-29-36-MO
(44-27304) and George W. Marquardt commandedit.
Richard H. Campbell
MIDOLE RI GHT: Crew A-l was in charge of FULL
HOUSE, Victor Number V-83.It was a B-29-36-MO
(44-27298) commandedby Ralph R. Taylor.
Richard H. Campbell
(44-86347).It was commanded by EdwardM. Costello,
crewed by crew A-2 and it carried Victor Number
V-95. Richard H. Campbell
Bon OMRIGHT: RalphN. DevorecommandedNEXT
OBJECTIVE,Victor Number V-86, a B-29-36-MO
(44-27299). Crew A-3 operated the aircraft.
Richard H. Campbell
LEFT. Crew A-4 operated STRANGE CARGO,
commanded by Joseph E. Westover. It was a
B-29-36-MO(44-27300) wi th Vi ctor Number V-73.
Richard H. Campbell
RIGHT: TOP SECRET was a B-29-36-MO (44-27302)
commanded by Charles F. McKnight. 11 was operated
by crew B-8 and carried Victor Number V-72.
Richard H. Campbell
The Atom Bornbs Arr ive
A few hours after the successful Tr init y test
on 16 July 1945 t he U S Indianapolis (CA-
35) depart ed an Fran cisco, Californ ia
with her top secret cargo - th e ' reci pe and
ingredients' for the Little Bo)' atomic
bomb. he made Ti ni an in record t ime on
26 July 1945, sailing some 5,000 mil es
(8,000km) in just ten days. Afte r deli ver-
ing the Little Boy compone nts to Ti nian
she depart ed for Guam where she spent
one day. Unfort unately, on her way from
Guam to Levre in th e Phili ppi nes a Japan -
ese submarine (I -58) sank her, with heavy
loss of life, on 30 Ju ly 1945.
Rich ard H. Campbell, author of They
Were Called SILVERPLATE, offers a brief
and simplified explanat ion of how the
atom bombs got to Tini an. The mat erial
for hi s explanat ion has been excerpted
from records obtained from th e archives at
Los Alamos ariona l Laborator y:
The -235 target rings for LiHle Boy were trans-
ported from Kirt land AAF (now Kirtland
AFR), ew Mexico to the island of Tinian on
hoard Douglas C-54 Skvmasrer cargo transport
aircraft . arriving on 28 and 29 July 1945. The U-
235 project ile rings and the basic LiHle Boy
structure were trans ported from an Francisco
to Tin ian on the cruiser U S Indiana/wIi, . Other
LiHle Boy and Fat Man component s were del iv-
ered to Tin ian over a several-week per iod in
July. Assembly of LiHle Boy was completed on
Tin ian ami was ready for use on 2 August.
The inn er sphere and outer casing for the Far
Man bomb were one of three sets transported
from Kirtland to Ti nian in the front l-omb-bays
of thr ee ilvcrplare R-29s, departi ng Kirt land
on 28 Jul yand arriving Tini an on 2 August. The
pluto nium core was transport ed via C-54.
departing Kirtl and on 25 July and arriving Ti n-
ian on 28 Jul y. Far Man was assembled on Tin -
ian and was ready for use on August 1945.
The Little Boy was a gun- type uranium
bomb that weighed ,9001b (4,000kg) . It
was 2 in (0.73m) in diameter and l 20i n
(3.04m) long. Essent ially, Little Boy was a
10ft-long (3m) canno n with a U23 5 bullet
and thr ee U235 target rings fitted to its
muzzle. The cha in react ion was initiat ed
by explosivel y forcing th e U2 35 bullet and
U235 target rings together. It had a yield
of 15- 16 kilotons.
The Fat Man was a plutonium implosion -
type bomb weighing 10,3001b (4,700kg) . It
was 60in ( 1.52m) in di ameter and 128in
(3.29m) long. It had a plutonium shel l with
an ar ray of shaped cha rges wrapp ed around
it. \Vhcn these shaped cha rges were simul-
taneously fired, th e plutonium was violent-
ly forced inward and compressed, start ing
the ch ain reaction . It had a yield of 1 -49
Th e Atomic Bomb Attacks
On 25 July 1945 commanding gene ral of
the US Army Strat egic Air Forces, Gener-
al Carl A. 'Toocv' Spaarz received orders
from the \Var Depart ment . In part these
orders specified th at the 509GG, 20th Air
Force woul d del iver its first 'special weapon'
as soon as weather permitt ed visual bom-
bardment, after about 3 August 1945, on
with Victor Number V-91, a B-29-45-MO(44-86291 I.
It was commandedby Norman W. Ray. RichardH.
ABOVE RIGHT: BIGSTINK, operated by crew A-5,
was a B-29-40-MO (44-27354). It was commanded
by Thomas J. Classen and it carried Victor Number
V-90. It was later renamed DAVE'S DREAM. Ri chard
H. Campbell
LEfT. Crew C-11 was in charge of STRAIGHT FLUSH,
a B-29-36-MO (44-27301) with Victor Number
was commandedby ClaudeR. Eatherly. Ri chardH.
9 August 1945 Crewmembers
Duri ngtheNagasaki Mission, cr.ew numberC-15. the
crewnormally assigned to the GREATARTISTE, flew
BOCKSCAR. Eventhiscrewwasslightly modifiedand
included threeadditional members(Ashworth. Barnes
Crewnumber C-75
CharlesW.Sweeney,aircraft commander
Charles D. Albury. pilot
FredJ. Olivi. co-pilot
James F. VanPelt. navigator
KermitK. Beahan, bombardier
Frederick L. Ashworth. weaponofficer
Philip M. Barnes. weapontest officer
JacobBeser. radar countermeasures
John D. Kuharek. flight engineer
Abe M. Spitzer. radio operator
Edward R. Buckley, radar operator
Albert T. Dehart. tail-qunner
Raymond G. Gallagher, assistant engineer/scanner
LUKETHE SPOOKwas commanded by Herman S.
Zahn with crew C-12. She was a B-29-50-MO
(44-86346) with Victor Number V-94. She is shown
here at Kwajalein on 30July 1946. DavidW. Menard
DAVE'SDREAM (formerly BIGSTINK). She is shown here in May 1948 at Dobbins AFB. Georgia.
David W. Menard
one of th e t hese ta rgets: Hiroshi ma, Koku-
ra, igat a or agasaki, Furt her, addit iona l
spec ial weapons wou ld be delivered on th e
above tar get s as soon as th ey wer e ava ilab le.
Colonel Tibbet s flew the first A ir For ce
Special Bom bing Mi ssion o. 13 in hi s il-
verplate B-29-45 -MO (44 - 6292 - radio
call sign Victor 82 , changed to Dimpl es 82
for the Hi roshima mi ssion ), wh ich he had
na med E O l A GAY afte r hi s mother on
t he preceding da y. Three days later than
originally planned , on 6 August 1945 at
2:45am, ENO LA GAY depart ed Tini an for
Hirosh ima , j apan. The ato mic bomb named
lillie 130)' was rel eased over Hirosh ima at
8: 15am local t ime and th e aircraft ret urned
to Tinian at 2:58pm, 12 hours 13 minutes
after take-off. Little l30y was released from an
alt it ude of 3 1,500ft (9,6000 m) and th e radar
fuze on t he bomb had bee n preset to go off
at an alt it ude 2,000ft (600m) above t he
ground. In t he ensui ng explosion, some
75,000 people wer e ki lled and approximate-
ly 4 ,000 st ruc t ures were dest royed .
T here were several ot her Silve rplarc B-
29sassigned to th e 6 August mi ssion as well.
These included: BIG ST I K (44 -27354),
on sra nd by at lwo [ima: FUll HO U E
(44-2729 ), mon itoring t h e we ather over
agasa ki: G REAT A RT IST E (44 -27353 ),
ca rrying data recordi ng instru ments; j A BIT
III (4 4-27303), mon ito r ing t h e we a ther
over Kokura: ECESSARY EVil (44-
8629 I ) , responsibl e for pho to graphy ; and
ST RA IG HT FLUS H (44-2730 1) , moni-
to ring the weather ove r Hiroshima.
O n 7 August 1945, President Harry S
Truman released a state men t:
Sixtee n hours ago an American airplane dropped
one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese
army base. That bomh had more powe r th an
20,000 tons of T T. It had more th an two rhou -
sand times th e blast power of t he British G rand
Slam l-oml-, wh ich is t he largest homb ever yet
deve loped in th e h istory of warfare . The j apan -
ese bega n th e war from t he air at Pearl Har bor.
They hav e bee n repaid many folds. And th e end
is no t yet. \Vith th is bo ml: we have now added a
new and revol ut ion ary inc rease in destr uct ion to
supplement t he growing power of ou r ar med
forces. In their present form th ese bombs arc now
in producti on and even mor e powerfu l forms are
in deve lopmen t. It is the atomic boml»
Maj or C harles 'C huck' Sweene y flew the
second Ai r For ce Special Bomb ing Mission
o, 16 in Capt Frederi ck C. ' Fred' Bock's B-
29-36- MO (44- 27297, radio call sign Vic-
to r 77) two days ea rl ier th an first planned,
on 9 August 1945 . The aircraft took off
from Ti ni an at 3:49am. At 12:02pm local
t ime the Fat Man bomb exploded over
agas aki. The B-29 had run low on fuel du e
to a number of target sel ec t ion difficu lti es
ca used by the weather co ndit ions , and was
t her efore di rected to land on Okina wa ,
wh ich was much cl oser th an Ti ni an, The
major reason it had run low on fuel, how-
ever, was because Major Sweeney sta yed
too long at t he rendezvous po int waiti ng for
th e ph ot o 'p lan e. At I: l Opm he lan ded at
O kina wa. Afte r it was refuell ed V-77
departed O ki na wa and arrived bac k at Tin-
ian at 11:30pm that ni ght. ome 35,000
peop le di ed in the agasaki explosion .
Once dropped, the atom bombs moved
for ward, meaning they would ex plode sev-
eral mi les ahead of the rel ease point. If the
B-29s had kept flyin g in the same directi on
t he y wou ld have been too cl ose to th e
explosions, so t hey had to qui ck ly turn
away, sha rply banking to t he right at a 155-
de gree headi ng to the rear to get away from
th e dcronat ions as fast as possib le. O ne
mi ght th ink th at a 180-degree t urn wou ld
be more suitable bur thi s was not so, due to
th e large t urn ing radius of the B-29s. Sinc e
th e Supcrfort is suc h a big aircraft it
requires at lot of sky to make t urn s - eve n
a ' tight ' turn with a B-29 has a rad ius of sev-
eral miles. Had the B-29s t urn ed away at
180 degrees, t he tu rni ng rad ius would have
bee n too grea t, and once they had st ra igh t-
ene d out they would not have had their
tails pointed toward the detonations, but
their aft right sides instead - t h is was too
dangerou s. By t urn ing away at 155 degree ,
t he bombers pr esented t heir tail s full -on to
t he nucl ear ex plos ions.
O n ly Vi ctor 82 ( E O l A GAY) had
a name and nose art pri or to the two atom-
ic mi ssions. Vic tor 77 was named
BO C KSCAR after t he agasnki mission.
(BOCKSCAR is indeed t he co rrec t spel-
ling, not BOCK'S C AR as suggested in
so me references. ) The re t of t he fift een
Silve rplar c B-29s (except for 44 -27303 and
Silverplate 8-29Production
'TheprototypeSilverplateB-29, damaged inalanding accident inDecember 1944; transferred tostorageat Davis-Monthan
MF, then assigned toFortWorthM F, Texasfor useasan instructional aircraft; scrapped inMay 1948
" RenamedDAVE'S DREAMfor test Ableof Operation Crossroads on 7/1/46(buzz number BF354)
"'Thelast sevenSilverplateB-29swereproduced at Boeing'sWichita, Kansasfacility
BOCKSCAR isondisplay atthe USAir Force Museum atWright-Patterson AFBinDayton, Ohio. Currentlyinsections, ENOLA
GAY will be assembledanddisplayed attheNational Air and Space Museumannex at WashingtonDulles International Air-
portinFairfax and Loudoun Counties inVirginia, which iscalled theDullesCenter. At thiswriting Dulles Centerwas sched-
44- 86346) had th eir names and nose art
applied on Tini an somet ime aft er t he Hi ro-
sh ima and agasaki missions. The other
two had thei r names and nose art applied
after they returned to the U A.
The destruction of th e two cit ies and
th e tremendous loss of life forced Japan to
surrende r, wh ich it did aboard the US
avy bat tleship USS Missollri (1313-63) , on
2 Septembe r 1945 in Tokyo Bay. Military
plan ners had feared t hat Japan would
- never surrender, th at instead it would fight
on to th e last man . In fact , the Allied inva-
sion of Japan was not to begin until 1
November 1945 and th ere was no way of
tel ling how successful that wou ld be. So as
far as aviat ion histor y goes, it was the
42-6259, B-29-5-BW'
42·65209, B-29-5-MO
42-65216, B-29-1 O-MO
42·65217, B-29-10-MO
42-65234, B-29-15-MO
42·65235, B-29·15-MO
42-65236, B-29-20-MO
42-65237, B-29-20-MO
42-65238, B·29·20-MO
42-65239, B-29-20-MO
42·65240, B-29-20-MO
42-65258, B-29-20-MO
42-65259, B-29-20-MO
42·65260, B·29-20-MO
42-65261, B-29-20-MO
42·65262, B·29·20-MO
42-65263, B-29-20-MO
42-65264, B-29·25-MO
42-65384, B-29-30-MO
42-65385, B-29-30-MO
42·65386, B·29-30-MO
42-65387, B-29-30-MO
44-27295, B-29-36-MO
44-27296, B-29-36-MO, V-84, SOMEPUNKINS
44-27297, B·29·36-MO, V-77, BOCKSCAR
44-27298, B-29-36-MO, V-83, FULLHOUSE
44-27299, B-29-36-MO, V-86, NEXT OBJECTIVE
44-27300, B-29-36-MO, V-73, STRANGE CARGO
44-27301, B-29-36-MO, V-85, STRAIGHTFLUSH
44-27302, B·29·36-MO, V-72, TOPSECRET
44-27303, B-29-36-MO, V-71 , JABITIII
44-27304, B-29-36-MO, V-88, UP AN' ATOM
44-27353, B·29-40-MO, V-89, GREATARTI STE
adve nt of t he 13-29 and th e atomic bomb
that had worked so wel l to bring about VJ-
Day much earlier th an expected.
The war was finally over and on VJ-Day
there were thirt een operat ional ilvcrpl arc
B-29s on Tini an . Two others had earlier
depart ed Tini an on 9 August for \Vendover
to be ready to tran sport components for a
th ird bomb. On 17 October 1945 t he
509CG and th e 393 13 headed back to th e
US A, moving to Roswell Army Air Field
in ew Mexico. It remain ed th ere until it
was sent to Kwnjalcin in th e Marshall
Islands to part icipate in Operat ion Cross-
roads in July 1946. During th ese tests the
'A ble' atom bomb was dropped by a 13-29
and the ' Baker' bomb was ground-de ronar-
44-27354, B-29-40-MO, V·90, BIG STINK"
44-86291 , B-29-45-MO, V-91, NECESSARYEVIL
44-86292, B-29-45- MO, V-82, ENOLA GAY
44-86346, B-29-50-MO, V·94, LUKETHESPOOK
44-86347, B-29-50-MO, V-95, LAGGIN' DRAGON
44-86382, B-29-55-MO
44-86383, B-29-55-MO
44-86384, B-29-55-MO
44-86394, B-29-55· MO
44-86401 , B-29-55·MO
44-86430, B-29-60-MO
44-86431 , B-29-60-MO
44-86432, B-29-60- MO
44-86437, B·29-60-MO
. 44-86439, B-29-60-MO
44·86440, B-29-60-MO
44-86443, B-29-60-MO
44·86444, B-29-60-MO
44-86445, B-29-60-MO
44·86447, B-29-60-MO
44-86448, B-29-60·MO
44-86451, B-29-60-MO
44·86472, B·29-60-MO
44·86473, B-29-60-MO
44·87752, B-29-90-BW' "
44·87771,B-29-90-BW' "
44-87774, B-29-90-BW' "
45-21707, B-29-90-BW' "
45-21736, B-29-90- BW' "
45-21739, B-29-90-BW' "
45-21818, B-29-95-BW' "
Total :65
ed. By t his time the 509CG had acquired
t wo more boml squadrons , the 715t h and
t he 830t h, which became operat ional after
th e ret urn to Roswell. Interest ingly it was
th e 715t h BS, not the or igina l 393 rd 13 ,
whi ch dropped th e re t Able bomb of Oper-
at ion Crossroads (the Baker test was an
underwat er explosion ). After Crossroad., the
509CG was rede ignat ed as the 509t h Bomb
Group on 10 July 1946, and the 509BG
returned to Roswell AAF th at August.
When the 509th Bomb Group (Medium)
became t he 509th Bomb Wing (Medium)
on 17 Nove mbe r 1947 th e 509BG (M)
became a subordina te element of th e wing.
T he switch of category from heavy-class to
medi um-class was due to the US AF's
employment by th en of the much larger
Convair B-36 Peacemaker.
In early 1946 the 393BS had twenty-
two Silvcrplarc B-29s. By July 1946 the
509 BG had on ly nineteen due to thr ee
losses from acc ide nt s. Two more losses
were incurred, and there were only seven-
teen Silvcrplarc B-29s by Januar y 194 7.
During 194 7 t he 509BG (M) received
more Silvcrplare B-29s from th e depot at
McCl ell an AAF ncar acramcnto, Cali-
fornia, bringing the tot al to as many as
rhirt y-rwo. By January 1950 the 509BG
was down to two, having lost twent y-seven
to t he 97th Bomb Group and having lost
another three to accide nt s.
By May 1950 all twent y-seven of th e
97BG Silvcrplare B-29s had been sent to
th e Oklahoma City depot for th eir planned
conversions to TB-29 t rainer aircraft and
WB-29 wcat her reconnaissance aircraft.
T he last t wo 509BG (M) Silvcrplarc
B-29s (44-2 1736 and 44-8777 1) were
deployed to England for a time (st ill in thei r
Silvcrplate configurat ion ). One (44-2 1736)
must have been in an accident while it was
there because it was salvaged at a Royal Air
Force base, RAF Marharn, in August 1950.
The other (44- 87771) was deployed to RAF
Lakcnhcath for a t ime, then reassigned to
the 9th BW at Mount ain Horne AFB,
Idaho, in ovcmber 1951. It was dropped
from USA F inventory in July 1956.
The 509th Bomb Wi ng (M) remained at
Roswell until the new Boeing B-50Ds began
to ar rive in lat e 1950. The 509BW (M)
moved to Pease AFB, Por tsmouth, ew
Ham pshir e in July 1958. The 509th has had
numerous name changes over time and it
st ill exists today as the 509th Operat ions
Group of the 509th Bomb Wing, which cur-
ren t Iy operates the No rthro p Grumman B-
2A Spirit stealth bomber.
De-engineering the Superfortress
The Tupolev Tu-4 'Bull ' and Derivatives
In Berl in o n II Novembe r 194 6, t he for -
me r capita l of the T h ird Rei ch, an art icle
appeared in the newspaper Der Kuricr sta t-
ing t ha t th e USSR was bui ld ing identi cal
co pies of th e Boeing 13-29 Supc rfo rrress for
t he Soviet A ir Force. Der Kllrier, a news-
paper t ha t had been pub lished and di st ri b-
ut ed in three \X!estern sector s of Berl in ,
went on to say t hat t hi s was being done in
,1 number of factories near t he cent ral and
so ut hern U rals, in t he Eastern Sovie t
Un io n . T he US War Dep art men t' s in iti a l
re ply to t he rep o rt in Dcr Kuii er was
' impossible' ! It was fel t t hat it was simply
not feasible for t he USSR to build a war -
plane such as th e 13-29 - t hen st ill t he most
ad vanced bo mber in the worl d. But t he
War Dep art mcnr began to ta ke se rio us
note afte r rep resen tat ive s from the USSR
be gan to bu y co mplete se ts of 13-29 land-
ing gear assemb lies from var io us scrapyards
in t he USA.
St ill, it was widel y felt th roughout t he
Wa r Depart ment t hat Russia simply did not
have the technical prowess to d uplicat e t he
13-29. T he sit uat ion fell into a lull and fo r
t he most part was forgot ten . But th is all
changed in a big way in A ugust 194 7.
O n 3 A ugust 194 7, d uring t he Aviat ion
Day disp lay of aircraft flyi ng over
Moscow's Tushino A irport , what appeared
to be t hree B-29s wer e see n flying over at
low alt it ude . It was speculate d that th ese
we re t he same three B-29s that ha d been
interned in t he Soviet Un ion in 1944.
W hat appeared to be a fourt h 13-29 soon
fo llowed, but it was d ifferent: it had win -
dows ! Prev iously no 13-29 o n ea rt h had
passe nger windows. O bviously t he USSR
had indeed acco mplished t he 'impossible' .
As it tu rn ed out , to t he chagrin of t he
USA , t he first t hree ' B-29s' see n at Tush i-
no were nor th e int erned B-29s, but near-
iden t ical copies of t hem produced by the
Tupolev a ircraft compa ny and designated
Tupolev Tu-4. T he fourt h turned o ut to be
a tr ansport version of t he copied bomber,
designate d Tu -70. Russi a is wel l kn own for
its abilit y to make near -ident ical copies of
airc raft it envies - even today, t he Tupolev
Tu- 160 'Blackja ck' ac ts and looks very
much like A merica' s Boeing Nor t h A mer-
ican 13- 113 Lancer, even though it is not in
fact a copy of the 13- 1B. It was no d ifferent
in 1944- 45 when several int erned B-29s
wer e de-engineer ed and reproduced as th e
Tupol cv Tu-4 .
The B-29s that Went to Russia
In early 1944, guided by A ndre i
Tupolev, Russia was devel opi ng a heavy-
cl ass four-engine bomber known as ANT-
64 or Project 64, whi ch was a lso known as
t he Type 22 , Tu-2R and/or Tu-6. It was to
have a lengt h of95. 14ft (29m), a wingspan
of 140Aft (42.8m) and be powered by four
2,200hp engines. It was to ca rry a bomb
load of I I ,OOOlb (5,000kg) with a maxi -
mum range of 1,850 miles (3, OOOkm) . Its
top speed was proj ected to be 370 mph
(600k m/ h) at 20,000ft (6,000m) . As int er -
est ing as thi s design was, t here were sever-
al unplanned gifts fro m the USA to Russia
t hat made Proj ect 64 obso lete before it got
off t he dra wing boa rd .
While t he 13-29 Supc rfort rcss was oper-
ati ng out offor ward bases in C h ina aft er its
co mbat debut in june 1944, severa l of
them wer e force d to make emergency
landings at Vlad ivos to k and el sewhe re in
Russia afte r th e ir bombs wer e offloa de d.
Since th e Soviet U n ion had no t decl ar ed
war upon j apan t hese Supcrtorts were
int ern ed t h rough out the remainder of t he
war . (T hd Soviet Un ion did no t decl ar e
war upon j apan unt il 8 A ugust 194 5, t wo
days after the atomic bo mbing of Hi roshi -
ma and one day before Nagasak i. )
O n t he morn ing of29 july 1944 th e 58t h
Bomb Wing launched ninety-six B-29s in
a ra id aga ins t th e Shown meta l factory in
A nshan, Manchuri a. O ne of t hese B-29s,
whi ch became t he first Supcrforrrcss to be
int erned , was from t he 77 1Bomb Squadron
of the 46 2 Bo mb G roup (Ver y Heavy)
operat ing out of Kiun gl ia, C h ina . Named
RAMP T RAMP and manned by a ten-man
crew under Capt Howard Jarrel l, this 8 -29-
5-BW (42-6 256) was for ced to make an
emergency landing at Vladivostok.
Because of pro blems wit h the aux iliary
power uni t , RA MP T RAM P was t he last
8 -29 to ta ke off on the I ,65 0-mile mission,
and it took t he crew abo ut t wo hou rs, at a
hi gh power sett ing and so burn ing mor e
fuel , to catc h up with th e rest of the for-
mati on. RAMP TRAMP mad e a nor mal
bomb run and may have been h it by a flak
burst, but damage was at most minor .
However , when Jarrell sta rt ed h is descen t
to cruising alt itu de for the tri p back to
C hengt u, the inboard right eng ine 'ra n
away' and could not be feat her ed . T he
engi ne had to be shut down and the
increased drag of t he unfcarhcr cd pro-
pel ler made it obvious t hat t he pla ne
wou ld not be able to get back to C hcngru,
du e to insuffici ent fuel.
T he plane was st ill ove r Jap anese terri -
tor y so t he crew began dest roying all the
cl assified materi al on board incl ud ing
ope ra t ing manuals, ord ers and instruc-
ti ons, in case they wer e forced down in
ene my ter ri tory. Small obj ec ts and shred-
ded paper mat er ials (fl ight manuals,
checklists, placard s, code books, and so
on ) wer e d umped in to t he nose wheel
well. In t he meantime , Jarre ll headed
to war d t he Soviet base at Vladivostok so
as to land t he damaged a ircra ft in A ll ied
territor y. As t he bom ber approached a
Soviet airfield, a squadron of figh te rs was
scrambled to ' escort' th e plane.
T he Soviet aircraft fired near the 13-29,
but it was uncl ear whet her t hey wer e t rying
to hi t it or force it down. After a few min-
ut es of t hi s, a Soviet fight er pilot moti oned
for the 13-29 to land. The 13-29 began to
head towar d a field with a conc rete runway,
but the fight ers sta rred shoot ing again and
indicat ed th e plan e should land at the grass
fighter str ip. Alt ho ugh the grass field was
too small for a B-29, Capt Jar rel l had no
cho ice, and lined up to land. As he lowered
th e landing gear, all the shredded material
in the nose wheel well streamed out and
fel l into th e wat ers of Vladivostok Bay. The
plane touched down at just above stalling
speed and stopped just before running off
th e end of the runway.
Aft er land ing, Capt Jarrell order ed the
crew to sta y aboard t he B-29 whi le he left
and tri ed to co mmunicat e with the Russ-
ian pilot s, but none spoke English. A few
hours lat er the crew left th e B-29 and
joined Jarrel l. He asked to be allowed to
co nt ac t th e American Consulate in the
city, but permission was denied. The Russ-
ian ' All ies' inter rogated t he Ame rican
crew, t rying to obta in operationa l deta ils
about the aircra ft and its capabilit ies. The
crew refused to divulge secret informati on,
and after three days of quest ion ing without
contact from th e American Consulate, th e
crew refused to eve n speak for a week. On
th e elevent h day afte r landing, th e crew
was fina lly able to speak wit h the Con-
sulate . Unfort una tely, th e crew was nor .
rel eased to the consulate and remain ed
prisoners of the Russians for seven months
before being released along with about 100
othe r US Army and Na vy fliers for ced to
lan d in So viet territor y during th e war.
The B-29 had been flown by experience d
Sov iet pilot s to th e Flight Research Centre
at Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, where it was
subsequentl y among ot he rs invol ved in the
DFS-346 programme, a Soviet superson ic
aircraft programme similar to the US Bel l
X- I project. · The Russians kept RAMP
T RAMP in spite of American prot ests, and
also three othe r B-29s that landed on Sov i-
et terri tory - two made similar emergency
landings in Vlad ivostok and the ot her
crash-landed in Siberia.
One of th ese interned Supcrforrs was a
B-29-5-BW, 42-6358. It was subsequently
used exte nsively by the Soviet Air Force. It
was sent to the Flight Research Inst itute at
Zhukovsky for tr aining. The large USAAF
tact ical number '358' st ill remain ed on th e
tai l. Thi s aircraft had been used to drop the
engineless DFS-346 from the B-29, in a
similar manner to th e launch of the Bell X-
I in th e USA. The first rocket -powered
aircraft received the designati on 346D. It
was jettison ed from th e B-29 for th e first
t ime on 30 Se pte mber 1949 from an alt i-
tud e of 3 1,800ft (9 ,700m).
The second B-29 to be int ern ed was from
the 795 BS of the 468BG opera ting out of
Pcngshan , China. It was parr of a 98-plane
raid on Omura on I I November 1944. It
was the B-29- 15-BW (42-6365) named
which had been th e last B-29 delivered in
the 'Battle of Kansas'. It also made an emer-
gency landing at Vladivostok.
The th ird B-29 to be interned was
named DING HOW. It was a B-29- I-BW
(42-6225 ) from t he 794BS of the 468BG ,
also operat ing out of Pen gshan. It had
been parr of a I09- plane raid on Omura. It,
too, made a forced landi ng at Vlad ivostok.
There was also a B-29A- I-BN (42-
93829) named CAIT PAOMAT from the
395 BS of the 40BG, which had been based
at Hsinch ing, China. It was parr of a 36-
plane raid on Omura, Japan, on the evening
of 19- 20 August 1944. It crashed to dest ruc-
tion in Siberia shortly after midnight, after
its eleven -man crew had successfully baled
out over Russia. Before they jumped they
dropped their top secret Norden bomb sight
int o the China Sea. Tho ugh unclear, it is
possible that CAIT PAOMAT offered up
some usable bits and pieces for th e Tu-4 pro-
gramme. The aircraft was assigned to the
Tupolcv Design Bureau as a patt ern aircraft
and subsequently the wing sect ion was used
for the Tu-70 programme.
All crcwrnc mbcrs from th e four aircra ft
above survived and all forty-four were
returned to the USA via Iran. (Officially,
th ey had 'esca ped'. )
The 8-4 Progr amme
This was a ' finde rs, keepers' situat ion of th e
first degree, and th e Soviet government
made the most of it. With these ' gifts' in
hand, Proj ect 64 was canc elled and the so-
called B-4 programme was launched, B-4
meaning Bomber, four engines.
Tupolev examined the B-29s in minute
detail and copied them almost exac tly - a
fairly remarkable engi nee ring feat. Amongst
man y othe r things, he had to conve rt th e
US system of measurement to the metric
system, and had to duplicat e electr ical
wiring gauges and harn ess bundles. But
there were far more differences bet ween the
two types th an at first met the eye. These
differences incl uded aluminium skin thi ck-
ness of 0.03 1in to 0.70in (0.8cm to 1.8C1n )
instead of 1/l 6in (0. I6cm) , and differences
in the cockpit, crew sta t ions, armament,
avionics, propulsion system and so on.
However, due to Stalin's order, copying was
so strict that even ashtrays were buil t in the
coc kpits at the same l OCH ion as they were in
the B-29, only to be closed by a seal because
it was forbidden for Soviet crews to smoke
during missions.
Stalin ordered the programme to dupli-
cate th e B-29 to be given top prior it y, since
it was an already-proven design . The B-4
programme (a lso kn own as Product ' P')
proceeded under direct co nt rol of t he
Soviet Polirburcau. The first B-4 was co m-
pleted in the spring of 1947 and it made its
first flight on 19 May 1947. The type
recei ved the publ ic designat ion Tu-4 as a
Tupolev product. ( Dur ing 194 1, all Soviet
aircraft had recei ved a public designat ion,
for insta nce Yak- I , MiG-3 and on. Th is
was a direct take-over from the German
system, for example Mcssersch rn itr Me
262 , Junkers Ju52. )
The Wright R-3350 engines were t urned
over to Shvcrsov, a Soviet engine designer
who specialized in radial engines. Arkady
Shvetsov had built the ASh-S3 twin radial
engine that was used on the La-5 fighter
and Tu-2 bomber in great numbers. How-
ever, the pirated R-3350s were not in fact
duplicat ed, and Shvetsov ASh-73TK
engines were used instead. The ASh-73T K
engine was itself a clone of an earlier
\X!righ t design, wh ich had been author ized
for usc ea rlier for the USSR by the USA
itself. Amazingly it produced 2,400hp -
200hp more th an the R-3350. The ASh-
73TK had been developed in 1944 and was
equipped with two TK- 19 rurbosupcrcharg-
crs. VZ-A3- type four-blade propel lers with
a diamet er of 16ft 7in (5. l m) were used.
The first series-product ion Tu-t s wer e
deli vered in 1948. Defensive ar mament in-
cl uded ten Berezin UBT 12.7mm machine-
guns. Start ing wit h the ' 8th Series' Tu-4s,
the turret s were armed with two new 20mm
B-20E guns. T he Tu-4 (Sth Series) was in
fact th e first Tu-4 that was capable of deliv-
ering nuclear weapons. Tupolcv went on to
prod uce S47 Tu-4s by 1952, in a to tal of fif-
teen batch es. The last Tu-4 ( 15th Series)
were armed with two NS-23 cannons in
t he PS-23 turret s, instead of th e B-20E
cannc;n. The NS-23 was also install ed in
th e Mi G-I S 'Fagot '. Most Tu-4s were pro-
duced at State Aircraft Factory (GAZ) 22
in Kazan and State Aircraft Factory 18 in
Kui bishcv. In 1948 a third Tu-4 product ion
plant in Moscow was under constr uct ion -
Sta te Aircraft Fact or y 23, whi ch began
building Tu-4s in 1950. (To th e best of this
writ er' s knowledge th ere is no conc rete
B-29-15-BW 42-6358during tr ail s wi th t he Soviet Flight Research Inst itute at
Zhukovsky. Part of the original USAAF Bomb Group mark ings remai ned, though
a small red star had been added on the fin. Hans-Heiri Stapler
42-6358at Zhukovsky. At the extreme left of its tail a Tupolev Tu-2 bomber is vis ible.
The mission markings on the nose still remained on the Superfortress, even after the
Soviets took possession of the bomber. Hans-Heiri Stapl er
pat rol bomber aircraft. One Tu-4 with the
civil registrat ion SSR-92648 was assigned to
the Poi)'amaja Aviazija (Polar Aviation) and
flew supply missions to an Arct ic stat ion
used as a secret base during th e Kor ean War.
The Tu -4 was also used on fligh t-refu-
elling t rials wit h MiG- 15bis figh ters. T he
evaluat ion programme lasted from 24 ep-
tcm ber 1954 unt il 2 March 1955, at t he
Fligh t Research Inst it ute at Zhukovsky.
T he programme inv olved ten fights with a
spec ially modified Mi G- 15bi s t ha t was refu-
el led by a Tu-4 (serial number 1840848)
' Red 4 1.'
would br ing the threat of ki lling So viet 01-
di crs with ' friend ly' l-ombs.
One of t he Tu -4s th at had part ic ipat ed
in th e Budapest raid is now on exh ibit in
Monino. It is th e Tu -4 ( erial umber
2 0503 ), whi ch had been del iver ed in
Mar ch 1952. It perfor med a tota l of 2,004
landings and a fligh l durati on of 1,540
hours. 'Red 0 I ' mad e its last flight on 7
October 195 wh en the 'Bu ll' tou ch ed
down at M on i no,
Some Tu-4 airplanes were given to the
Aviatsi)'a Vocnno-Morskovo Flora (AVMF, or
aval Air Force ) to serve as long-range
Tu -4 product ion total that ha s been prop -
erly document ed . \Vh ilc Russian sources
cl ai m 47 bui lt other sources claim as many
as I JOO Tu -4s bui lt . Thus, th e ac t ua l pro-
du ct ion number of Tu -4s built remains un-
cl ea r. )
T he Tu-4 began to ent er service wit h th e
So viet A ir For ce' s strategic bo mbardmen t
sec t ion , th e /)al' na)'a Al'iatsi)'a (DA), in
194 . T h is gave t he Air Forces of t he
USSR, th e Vocnno Vosdl/shni)' c Sit)' (VVS),
its first strat egic bombi ng capa bility. Rut it
was not un t il mid-194 9 th at t he DA
ac h ieved full ope rat iona l ca pability: hy th e
end of I hat yea r it had some 300 Tu-4s in
service. T he Tu-4 was co de-na med ' Bull'
hy t he Nort h A tlant ic Tr eat y O rga n izn-
li on (NATO).
T he Tu-4 was deployed to Soviet bases
in Poland , Czec hos lovakia and rhc Ger-
man Democrat ic Republ ic. In East Ger-
many t he hig airc raft wer e quit e frequent-
ly photograp he d hy \Vestern int elligenc e
services. The 'e Tu-4s wer e a ll capable of
ca rrying nucl ear weapons and were parr of
the 43rd Ai r Army. However most Tu-4
Regiments wer e based in the \Vestern
Soviet Un ion , oc cupying bases in Belorus-
sia, th e Ukraine and th e Balt ic Rep ub lics,
T he airc rcws wer e well trai ned for the ir
missio ns, as well as for air-to -air refuelling,
co nsiderably enhanc ing t he ir opera t ional
range over West ern Europe .
During the crisis in Hungar y in autu mn
1952 , a Tu-4 Regiment of rhe 43rd A ir
Army based at l3orispol, near Kiev in th e
Ukra ine was alerted on 30 October 1952
for fut ure operat ions ove r Hungar y, The
Tu-4s look off from l3orispol on 3 ovcm-
her 1952 at II :40pm loca l rime. T heir tar -
ge t was Budapest, the ca pita l of Hungary.
T he Tu-4s were hri efed to bomh a I hcar re
in th e Pest di str ict of the capita l wh ere th e
headquar te rs of t he insurgent forces under
th e command of Pal Malcrcr wer e supposed
10 he. The l-omb-bavs contained wit h two
FA R-500 and eigh t FAB-250 bombs, mak-
ing a total bomb load of 6,600 lh D ,OOOkg)
for each Tu -4. T he form at ion headed
sout hward toward Roman ia, having cho-
sen th e capital, Buchar est , as a t urning
point for the fina l bomb run aga inst
Budapest. O ve r Ploicsri, a recall orde r was
rece ived hy t he lead bomb er and the fleet
retu rn ed to base withou t drop ping its dead-
ly load ov er Budapest ; the mission had
been canc elled because the advance of the
Soviet Army in the Hungar ian capita l was
much quicker th an est imated hy I he Sovi-
ets, and homhing Buda pest wit h Tu-4s
Soviet Tu-4 Derivat ives
Tu-4 - Convent ional bomber.
A view 0142-8358 at Zhukovsky. Hans-Heiri Stapler
On 29 August 1949 Russia exploded its
first atomic homh. Code-named Joe No. I
(also JOE 1) in th e USA (j oe forj osef Sral-
in ), t hi s sent shoc k waves th roughou t
Washington DC. Sudde nly, with its grow-
ing fleet of operat ional Tu-4s, and with its
new nucl ear capabilitv, Russia had become
a serious threat. The nucl ear-capabl e
' Bull's were designated Tu-4A. It was well
known that Tu-4s did not have the ran ge
to make round tr ips from th e USSR to t he
USA and back, but since they could now
car ry atomic weapons, one -way trips were
not only feasible, but cont emplated.
Mor eover, from west ern air bases with in
the USSR, Europea n target s could easily
be hi t. Thi s realit y mot ivated th e Un ited
Stat es, United Kingdom, Canada . France
and others to in iti at e elabor at e and expen-
sive air-defence systems, whi ch included
the development and manufacture of
adva nced int ercep tor aircraft, earlv warn-
ing radar systems and a multitude of sur-
face-to-air missiles.
Specifications - Tupolev Tu-4
Four Shvetsov ASh-73TK air-cooledradial engines
Empty 77.161 Ib135.270kg); loaded 145.5001b (66.000kg)
Length99.041t(30.19m); wingspan141.31t(43.08m);
wingarea 1,740.52sqIt (1 61.7sq m)
Maximumspeed 347mph1558km/ h!; service ceiling36.7501t111.200m!; maximum range
3.170miles15.100km); maximum bombload 17.600lb(8.000kg)
Ten 12.7mm. 20mm or 23mm guns
Indeed, then, Russia's all-out effor t to cre-
at e what became the world's second strate-
gic nucl ear bomber, the Tu-4 ' Bull' (tho ugh
some will argue th at the RAF' s Avro lin-
coln was the world's second nuclear
bomber ), was not only a major undert akin g
but a significant card in the nuclear poker
game that became known as the Cold War.
The Tu-4 remain ed the Sov iet Union's
primar y long-range bomber until about
1955, when it was phased out in favour of
newer types.
Known Tu-4 Survivors
One Tu-4 ' Bull' (Serial Number 280503 )
' Red 0 1' is locat ed at th e Russian Air For ce
Museum in Monino, out side Moscow. Two
Tu-4s arc located at the Chinese Air For ce
Museum near Beijing; these former Tu-4
aircraft were modifi ed by the Ch inese wit h
turboprop engines and served as airborne
early warning aircraft.
Tu-4A - Nucle ar bomber.
Tu-4D - Tra nsport for twent y-eight
pam troopers.
Tu-4K - KS-I air-to-surface missi le
launch er.
Tu-4LL - Engine test -bed .
Tu-4T - Troop t ran sport .
Tu-70 - Civilian passenger airl iner; was
to carry seventy-two passen gers.
Tu-7S - Armed militar y transport ; one
pro tot ype built at Sta te Aircr aft Fact or y
22 at Kazan with three gun turret s. The
pro totype first flew on 2 1 January 1950,
t he factory tests being fini shed in May
1950. It could carry a wide range of cargo,
incl uding six to seven GAZ-67 automo -
biles or 120 soldiers. The sole Tu-75 was
destr oyed in Octo ber 1954 during an acci-
den t.
Tu-SO - Projected follow-on to th e Tu-4,
also code-named ' Bull' by NATO . It was <I
redesigned Tu-4 featuring a longer fuse-
lagc and <I larger wi ng. It was to be pow-
ered by four 2,280hp ASh-73T KF
engines giving it a top speed of 340 mph
(545 km/h ) and a range of 5, 100 mil es
(8,200km) . Its aruuuuc nr was to be ten
23mm ca nnon. It featu red a mor e con-
vent ional stepped windscr een and it car-
ried mor e fuel. A pro tot ype was buil t but
its pro ject ed performance goals wer e not
met. The Tu-85 (see bel ow) first flew on 1
December 1949 and so th e Tu-80 pro-
gramme was not proceeded with. The sole
Tu-80 prot ot ype ended at one of th e
ranges as a target , where it was shot at and
bombed by ot her aircraft .
Tu-SS - The pro posed Tu-85 was a scaled
up Tu-80 with tr ue inrcrcon rincnral
range. Ir was to car ry a IO,OOOlh (4,500kg)
bomb load 7,500 mil es ( 12,000km) with <I
top speed of 396mph (638km/h ). Two
examples wer e bui lt, but pro ducti on
orders wer e not fort hcoming and th e pro-
gramme was cancelled, The USA fea red
t hi s bomber would be used in a possible
nucl ear at tack agains t the USA and its
all ies.
LEFTANDBElOW: 42-8358 during trials with the rocket-
powered experimental air vehicle known as DFS
346 placed under the st arboa rd wing.
Hans-Heiri Stapler
Bon OM: The DFS346 had been developed in Germany
dur i ng World War Two and had been taken as war
booty by the Soviet Union where the type w as
rebui l t for tests . The DFS346was only carried by
t hi s B-29(42-8358). Hans-HemStapl er
For DFS346 trial s the tail turret of this B-29 was
removed and replaced by a conical fairing to help
el imin ate boat tail drag, Hans-Heir! Stapler
BELOW: The crew of a Tu-4 ' Bul l' 2806303 ' Red 28'
being brief ed for a missi on. In contrast to the
origin al B-29 a number of antennae had been added
to the nose section of the Tu-4, The f ir st two di git s
of the serial number had formed the tactical number
of thi s particul ar bomber, Hans-Heiri Stapler
Peopl es Liberation Army
Air Force Tu-4 Bulls
Russia delivered ten Tu-4 'Hull's to the Peo-
ples Liberat ion Army Air Force (PLAAF)
in Peking, China, in February 1953 and the
-lrh Independent Regiment was formed to
operate them. Russia went on to provide
three more Tu-4s in subsequent years, which
the 4th IR also received, The fin ten Tu-4s
were only based at Pekin g for about a month
being transferred in March 1953 to Shi-
hchiachu ang Tokuotsun. They were moved
back to Peking a year later, in March 1954.
The Tu-4s received hy the 4th IR were
considered to he medium-class bombers and
crew training revolved pr imar ily around
lon g-range night bombing sort ies through
lat e 1954. Ch inese Air Force Tu-4 crews
became instrument flight rule (I FR) profi-
cient by 1956. in medium-altitude homhin g
ABOVE: ATu-4 being prepared on a snow-covered airfield
somewhere in the Soviet llnion. Hans-Heiri Stapler
RIGHl: Lineup oflr eshly produced Tu-4 Bulls at the
Tupolev plant. The Soviets had also applied the se rial
number on the tai l in blac k digits, as the USAAF had
done with their B-29s. The aircraft nearest the camera
(220404) is the fourth aircralt of the fourth batch, the
second aircraft (220504) the filth aircraft in the fourth
batch. The prefix 22stands for t he factory, in this case
State Aircrah Factory 22 located at Kazan. Hans-Heir;
ABOVE: Two MiG-15bis ' Fagot' fighters being refuelled by a Tu-4 (onlyone is
visible in this photograph, the other being out of shot to the lelt).
Hans-Heiri Stapler
LEFT: ATu-4(2805002) being overhauled at an unknown maintenance facil ity
in Russ ia_The rear armament consisted of two NS-23 23mm ca nnon.
TOPlEFT: This MiG-15bis was one of the ai rcraft
modified with a boom for in-flight refuelling by
a Tu-4 'Bull' . Hans-Heiri Stapl er
TOP RIGHT: The MiG-15bi s ' Red 342' refuelled by
a Tu-4. The picture was taken from the ' Bull'.
Hans-Heiri Stapl er
ABOVE: The f usel age of the Tu-10 ' Cart' after bei ng
rolled out from the hangar at the Tupolev plant. In
the background is t he Amer ican built B-29 (42-8358).
It seems that the wings and engines of this particular
B-29 were used for the Tu-10. Hans-Heiri Stapler
Roll-out of the Tu-10 with the w ings adopt ed from
the B-29 Superfortress. Of i nt erest is the logo 'Tu-12'
on t he nose of the aircraft. This would have been
the service designation had the type entered
Aeroflot service, Hans-Heiri Stapler
The Tupolev Tu-70prototype shortly
after its roll-out. The aircraft made
its maiden flight on 27 November
1946; interestingly. this was six
months ahead of the Tu-4, The
engines. propellers and the entire
wi ng had been pirated fromthe 8-29
Supert ort ress . Hans-Heiri Stapfer
The Tu-75 was desi gned as a large t roop carr ier
for self-propelled guns, vehi cl es or sol di ers, It was
based on the Tu-70 ai rliner and could carry up to
120fully equi pped soldiers, The only Tu-75 was lost
i n October 1954during an accide nt. Thi s i s possibl y
the only photo of the Tu-75to exist. Hans-Heiri Stapl er
BELOW: The Tu-80 prototype was based on Tupol ev's
experience in develop ing the Tu-4 'Bull' and made
its mai den flight on 1 December 1949powered by
four ASh-73TKFNengin es. Thi s photo wa s t aken
duri ng 1950at the Flight Research Institut e L11 at
Zhukovsky. Hans-Heiri Stapl er
The first prototype of the
Tupolev Tu-85 ' Bar ge' during it s
evaluation trials; it fir st flew on
9 January 1951. It was powered
by 3,300hpVD-4K 28-cyl inder
radial engin es. Hans-Heiri Stapl er
The second prototype of the
Tu-85 was modified to benefit
from the experience gained
with the flight-testing of the
f i rst prototype. This aircrah
had a whopping empty weight
of 122.135Ib (55.400kg). The
seco nd Tu-85 fir st flew on
28 June 1951. It had an
ast oni shi ng range of 7,468
mil es (12.018km), enabling the
Soviet Union to deliver nucl ear
weapons over the United
States. Hans-Heir! Stapler
fl ights. In addit ion to normal fligh t-trai ning
du t ies the C h inese Tu -4s per formed o t her
du ti es such as ae rial surveys, air defence
exe rc ises rind spec ial weapons programmes.
Wit h it s Tu -4s in hand , the 4t h IR
mo ved to W uk ung in February 1955,
wher e it remain ed until 19 7 1. T hen in
mid-I nl t he 4t h IR, rema in in g at
W uk ung, sent its ' Bull 's to Nansh ui A ir-
field. T he PLAAF 'Bull' s were removed
from co mbat d ut y in t he mid-1970s. O ne
example was co nve rt ed to A irbo rne Earl y
Warning (A EW) co n figur at io n and
received a lar ge pylon-m ount ed di sc for
AE\V rad ar d ut ies. As many as fifteen Tu -
4 'Boll's wer e in t he PLAAF 4t h IR
inventory, bu t the ac t ua l n umber rema ins
uncl ear.
PLAAFAirborne Early Warn ing (AEW)
airplane der ived from Tu-4 ' Bul l' . PLAAF
BELOW MIDDLE: Tu-85 inboard profile.
Chuck Irwin Coll ection
BODDM: Head-on view of a Tu-4.
Hans-Heiri St apl er

I . ' n ......
,oo; p.. L.:£..,.
./-', --
Strategic Air Command
Some six mon th s after World War Two,
USAAF heavy- and ve ry heavy-class
bomber aircraft from all the bomber com-
ma nds were assigned to a single comma nd
ca lled the St rategic Air Command (SAC);
light - and medium-class bombe rs went to
the Tact ica l Air Command (TAC) . T hus,
beginning in lat e March 1946 a large num-
ber of surviving Wor ld War Two B-29s were
assigned to SAC.
The Strategic Air Command was estab-
lished as a major USAAF command on 21
March 1946 under the guidance of Ge neral
George C. Kenney. First headquartered at
Bolling Field, Washington DC, the newly
formed SAC only had about 600 aircraft
ava ilable, including numerous B-29s - some
of t hem factory fresh, having never seen
comba t. SAC Headquart ers moved to
Offutt Air Force Base at Omaha, Ne braska,
in No vember 1948, where it remained unt il
SAC was disestablished and absorbed byAir
Combat Command in June 1992. Gene ral
Curt is E. LeMay became its second com-
mand er, in Septe mber 1948.
When SAC was given the responsibility
of using the atomic bomb in t ime of war on
I May 1946 it only had one un it - the
S09CG, discussed in det ail in Chapter 6 -
capable of delivering ato mic weapons, with

ABOVE: The famed logo empl oyed by the Strategic Ai r
Command (SAC). USAF
RIGHT: A super cl ean B-29A-45-BN (44-617331poses
with its inspect ion-ready eleven -man crew,
probabl y i n ear ly 1954. DavidW. Menard
Thi s B-29-60-BW (0-469739) was stat i oned at Edwards AFB, Califo rni a where i t was used for vari ous special weapon test evaluations conduc ted
there. The 0 preceding ' 469739' meant that it had been i n serv ice for more than 10 years. Its origi nal serial number was 44-69739. Stan Piet
12 1
LEFT ANDBELOW: Two views of the
both its four- and three-bladed
propeller configurations. This
B-29B-60-BA (44-84061l. after the
paddle -type three -bladed propellers
were installed. was redesignated
YB-29J. It was the personal B-29
of General William Irvine.
Peter M. Bowers andStan Piet
ABOVE: The f amous Norden bomb sight. USAF
LEFT: A USAFai rframe and powerpl ant (A&PI mechani c performs R-3350engi ne
maintenance on the ramp. USAF
its spec ial fleet of sixty-five Silverplarc I)-
29s. The S09CG was based at Roswell Arm y
Air Field in cw Mexico at that time.
On 18 September 1947 the United Stat es
Air Force (USAF) was established as a
whole and separat e mil itar y service. Eight
days larcr, on 26 September Genera l Carl
A. 'Tooev' Spaarz was sworn in as rhe fir r
Chief of taff of t he AF. Shor tly afte r
the USAF was born there were nu merous
departu res from U AAF doct rine. Onc
such cha nge of important not e was th at a
Bomb Group (BG ) became a Bomb Wing
(BW) , alt hough for some reason a few
B\'(Is were st ill being referred to as BGs
unti l afte r the Korean \'(Iar - one exa mple
being t he 19th Bomb Group. Ano the r was
th at an Army Ai r Ficld (AAF) became an
Air Force Base (A FB).
Four bomb wings that were equ ipped
with B-29s - the 22ml, 92nd, 98th and
TOP: AB-29bombardier at his station with the Norden bomb
sight. Griber via Stan Piet
MIDDLE: ABell-built B-29-15·BA(42·63418) with radio call-sign
'418' on its nose landing gear doors, The removal of its upper
and lower gun turrets is noteworthy. Stan Piet
BOTTOM: Apair of Iactorv-fresh B-29-35-BWs(42·24554 in
the background, and 42-24558) head oil to war. Both of these
Superlorts eventually wound up with SAC's 2BG in the late
1940s. AFFTC/HOvia Ray Puller and H. Wood
Strategi c Air Command B-29 Bomb Wings
1947 and 1948
1946and 1947
1948,1949,1950, 1951and1952
1948, 1949,1950, 1951and1952
1946, 1947and1948
1946, 1952 and1953
1946and 1947
1950, 1951, 1952and1953
1951, 1952and1953
1948, 1949, 1950, 1951and 1952
1946, 1947, 1948, 1949and 1950
1946, 1947and1948
1946, 1947,1948 and1949
1947, 1948,1949, 1950, 1951,1952
and 1953
19521possibly 1951asweil l
1946,1947,1949, 1950,1951and 1952
1951 and 1952
1946, 1947, 1948,1949, 1950,1951,1952
and 1953
1952and 1953
1951 and 1952
1946and 1947
Bomb Wing
Non-stop Around-the-World Flight byPatrickStinson
Here is the historyof the first around-the-world non-stop refuelling mission, accom-
plishedby KB-29Msof the43rd and 509th Air RefuellingSquadrons.
Thesuccess of thenon-stopglobe-circlingmissi ondependedupontheprofi ciencyof
the recently created43rdAir Refuelling Squadron (ARSI. This unit was activated on
paper as part of General Order Number 33issued byHQ SAC on 12July 1948, and
assigned tothe43rdBombardmentWingat Davis-MonthanAFB, Arizona. At thesame
time the509thARSlikewise came intobeing aspart of the509th Bombardment Wing
at Roswell Army Air FieldinNewMexico, whichwasrenamedWalker AFB beforethe
endof theyear.
WithSAC representativeCapt Lyle Freedobservi ngtheworkat Boeing'sWichitaPlant
2,thefirstKB-29Msbeganarriving inthefieldlatein1948.The509thARS wasmanned
fasterandthereforegot aslight jump inactual trainingoperations. Infact, astheyear
1949beganMajorDonald G. Foster, theDeputyCommander and acting COof the43rd
ARS, hadonl ytwoofficers andfiveairmenpermanentlyassigned tohisunit.
Asignificant milestone waspassedinearlyDecember that greatlyboostedconfidence
inthebasictechniqueof in-flight refuelling. A43rdBGaircraftcommandedbyLtColonel
Michael N.w. McCoy flew a non-stop 9.870-mile (1 5.880kml course that included an
undetected passoverPearl Harbor on7December. HisB-50madesuccessful refuelling
contactswith509thtankers400miles(644kml west of SanDiegoandover SanNicholas
Island. Atanker from the43rdalso rendezvousedwiththebomber over Bylas, Arizona.
The staffing probl ems of the 43rd ARS had improved considerably by the time Lt
Colonel WilliamC. Sipestookcommandof thesquadroninJanuary, but still not enough
to meet the demandsof scattered deployment around the globe in support of a non-
stopworldflight. Additional aircrews were drawn fromother squadronsinthewingfor
special temporaryduty (TOY).Theycamefromnotonly the63rdand 64thBombardment
Squadrons, butalso the20th,49thand 96thSquadronsof the2nd BombardmentGroup.
Withflight crewsthrowntogether fromsomanydifferent units, theJanuarytraining
exercises took on added importance. Technical experts were present from Boeing-
Wichita, aswell asWalker AFB, tohelp withthefamiliarizationbriefingsandLtForrest
M. Jewell, theco-pilot for Colonel McCoy'searlierflight, shared hisfirst-hand experi-
ences fromthat mission.
After the preliminaryorientationwas over LtJewell and hiscrew from the64thBS
began flying practicemissions aboarda B-50named GLOBAL QUEEN. One of hisflight
engineerswasLUCKY LADYworld flight veteran T/ Sgt. DavidE. Davis.
Thenext milestone fortrainingoperationswas passedon 17January whenaKB-29M
pilotedbyLt FrancisH. Dolan, on TOYfrom 64thBS. carried outasuccessful fuel trans-
fer. The manoeuvres for accomplishing that task required precise flyingskills. To an
observer on theground the routine may have looked like an intricate aerial ballet.
Lt. ChesterK. Ballengee, 49th BS, was one of the pilots taki ng part in subsequent
practice flights over the Arizona desert and he explained theprocedure as follows:
Thetankeraircraft approachedthebomber.alsocalledthereceiver aircraft. fromtherear on
the left side, trailingaweighted steel cable. The receiver now traileda steel cablewith a
wind sock. pullingit straight outbehindthe bomber. The tankerclosedtoapproximately10
feet behindthebomber withthecockpit about evenwiththetopof thebomber'svertical tail.
Thetankerpilotusedright rudder toskidtotheright across thecablebehind thebomber.
Theendof theweightedcabledangledbelowthereceiver' slineand engagedit withagrap-
nel. Thetanker pilotthenpulled upand forwardontherightsideof thebomber.
Therefuelling operatoronthetankerreeledinthecable, bringing intheendof thereceiv-
er'slineand attachedit tothefuel transfer hose, whichwasmadeof canvas. Hethenreeled
out thehoseasa crewmanaboardthe receiver usedawinch tohaul inhis cable. bringing
the hose with it, After the hose was secured to thebomber' s refuelling receptacle, valves
wereopenedandfuel transfer wasstarted. Nopumpswereused. It wasstrictlygravityflow.
Thetanker pilot triedtoget ashighabovethe bomber ashesafelycouldtoincreasethe
rateof transfer. Duringtrainingoperationsalot of hosescollapsedandwere dropped onthe
desert west of Tucsonwhenpilotsexceededthelength of thehose. whichwasabout 200fl.
After the 43rdARSandits borrowed aircrews had logged asufficient number of prac-
ticeruns, it was time fordeployment overseas. Col onel WC. Kingsbury commanded air-
craft assigned toTaskDetachment Number OneintheAzores. Detachment Two head-
ed for Dhahran. Saudi Arabia, under the command of Colonel D.E. Bailey. Fl ying
westward, Colonel WH. Blanchard led Detachment Three to the Philippines. while
Colonel Sipestook Detachment Four toHawaii.
On16February1949,Colonel Sipes boarded tanker KB-29M(44-877771, pilotedbyLt
Ballengee. At thesame timethepilot of KB-29M (45-21 7781, 1stLt Sheldon A. Cl asson,
welcomedaboard histankeranobserver from HQ7thBombardmentWing. Capt John
p. Glocker, whowasescortedby Major lR. Christian, 43rdARS Staff.
Major VincentP. HannleyandCapt GeorgeM. Lockhartfrom43rdARSclimbedaboard
KB-29M(44-877791with1st Lt Harold W Sal isbury fromHQ 43rd BombardmentGroup.
1st Lt ColinC. Hamilton, one of thetoppilotsinthewing, ledthe96th BSflight crew.
The speci al passengertransported bytanker KB-29M(44-87782) was MajorLouisA.
Gazzanicoof the21 02nd Weather Group, Mitchel Field, NewYork. Thepilot of thisKB-
29Mwas 1st Lt George W Hagan. onTOYfrom49th BS. Hisco-pilot. 1st Lt WarrenC.
Kohlman. wasoneof thefewpilots already ontherefuelling squadron'sfull-timeros-
ter. Once everyonewassettled andthe crews had run their pre-flightchecks, all four
aircraft inthisformat ion took off from Davis-MonthanAFBand headedwest for Hick-
amAFB inHawaii.
Not longafterwardsa64thBS aircrewhadtanker KB-29M 145-217131onitswaywith
Colonel Blanchardaboard. Fl ying alongside it towards Hawaii wasa C-54 (46-250). a
1st Strategic Support Unit cargo plane. These two aircraft were now assigned to
DetachmentThreeand. toavoidcongestion, landed at JohnRodgersField. adjacent to
Hickam. FromtheretheystagedthroughKwajaleinandGuamtoreach ClarkAFBinthe
Thebulkof Detachment Three, ledbyLt Colonel Boyd B. White. CO64thBS. depart-
edfrom Davis-Monthanonthe17thandproceededalongthesame routeColonelBlan-
chard had followed. KB-29M tankers (45-21704, 45-21705.45-21716 and 45-21731)
also reachedCl arkbythe 21st. Withone exceptiontheyweremanned by64th BS per-
sonnel. Aircraft 45-21 704andcrew. however. werefrom the509th Bombardment Wing,
based at Walker AFB (formerly Roswell M F) outside of Roswell. New Mexico.
Thefinal two'planesinDetachment Four alsoleft Arizonaon the 17th. They includ-
eda cargo'planein which Colonel James C. Seiser, CO43rd Bombardment Wing,
hitched aride, and aKB-29Mpiloted by 1st LtCharles F. Nedball, 96thBS.
Whileall theseaircraft wereheaded westanequal number comprisingDetachments
OneandTwowere headedeast. stagingthrough MacDili AFB, Florida. Colonel Kings-
bury's tankers deployed at Lagens. Those under Col onel Bailey, including a KB-29M
flownbyLt W Sontagfromthe509th, pushedonfor Saudi Arabiaandeventually land-
ed at Dhahran. Theeastward-moving detachments were also in place by the 21 st.
Taking offfromDavis-MonthanAFB on22February, five B-5OsflewtowardsFortWorth.
Texas. They landed at Carswell AFB. Texas, which was the starting point for thestill-
secret around the world flight. Preparations for the mission were almost completed.
GLOBAL QUEEN majesticallyclimbed skywardonthe25thandheadedeast. Tomaintain
secrecytheflight planfiledwiththetowergaveno destinationbeyondLagens. Lt Jewell
didnot expect tolandthere,but intendedtoflyontowardsDhahranafterrefuellingcon-
tactsovertheAzores. That second legof thejourney wouldbemadeunder aflight plan
filed byoneof thetankers, operating out of Lagens. whichwould later landbackat the
base using GLOBALQUEEN's tail number for identification. Inany radio communication
along theLagens-Dhahran routetheB-50wouldrespondwiththat tanker'stail number.
OverSaudi Arabia following the next refuelling another switchof tail numbers and
declareddestinationswouldtake place. Thiswas thepattern tobefollowed for each
of thefiveseparatelegsof theglobal flight.
Darkness fell overtheAtlanticasthelonebomber continuedeastwardunderacanopy
of stars. Pegasus, thewinged horse. had notyet set in the west. Overhead, thecon-
stellationOrion dominatedthewintersky. The tranquil scenewasshattered when num-
ber two enginecaught fire. Flickering tongues of flame chased away all thoughts of
refuell ing. Withonepropeller featheredGLOBALQUEEN reluctantly. but without argu-
ment, landedat LagensAFBunderitsowntail number indawn's early light. Not realiz-
inganattempt tomake aviationhistory had been thwarted bythismalfunction, outside
observers paid only passing attention to the crippled B-50 making an emergency
approach thatmorning. Crash trucks sprintedabout withtheir sirenswailing andthere
weremomentsof tensionuntil asafelandingwas attained.but on thesurface nothing
much out of theordinary had happened.
Detachment Oneflight crews. briefed about themissiononlyafter Colonel Kingsbury
had receivedword of thebomber'sdeparture fromCarswell, went backtothewaiting
game. They were. of course, notallowed todiscusswhat they nowknewwith any of
the regular base personnel at Lagens. Meanwhile. themajority of thetanker crews
coolingtheir heel sat theother threesupport basesstill hadnoidea what wasup. Not
until thebomber had actuallystartedonthenext legof itsglobe-circling journey would
thecrewsinthenext designatedrefuellingareabebriefedonmissionspecifics.
Twenty-four hoursafterthefirst bomber had raceddowntherunwayat Carswell AFB,
B-50A(46-0101stood ready foritsturnat bat. CaptJamesG. Gallagher, theaircraft com-
mander, neededonlytobeclearedfor take-off. Theskyaround FortWorthonthe26th
wasovercast andthreatening. Everyoneaboardrealized'LadyLuck' wouldhavetobe
ridingwiththemif aweather cancellationwastobeavoided.
A guarded sense of optimismpervaded the cockpit of LUCKYLADYII, though, The
elementswerenot about tostopher. 1st LtArthur M. Neal andhisco-pilot. Capt James
H. Morris, knewtheir 'planewas ready. Whilethis B-50was not theonehe normally
flew, Gallagher felt very comfortableinitsleft seat.
Theextent of hisflight experiencewasquiteimpressive. Hehad beenoneof theorig-
inal members of the677th Bomb Squadron and had completed a global combat tour
withthe444th BombGroupduring WorldWar Two. Whenthe58thBombWingmoved
toWest FieldonTi nianin 1945, Lt Neal happenedto bestationedat NorthFieldwith
the504thBombGroupof the313th BombWing. Theknowledgethat LtNeal wasmore
thanreadytospell himwhenever neededenhancedCapt Gallagher'sconfidenceinsuc-
cessasLUCKYLADYII awaitedclearance. It was infact Neal'spilotingskillsthat had
leadtohistransfertothe63rdBSjust beforeitsstint inAlaska.
Instead of the eight or nine that operated a B-50 under normal conditions, LUCKY
LADYII wasset for the long, demanding flight aheadwithanexpandedcrew of four-
teen, formedbymergingthecrewsof Capt Gallagher andLt Neal.Since everyonefrom
bothcrewscouldnot go, experiencewasthedecidingfactor. Oneplaceaboardwent to
anofficer fromHQSAC, Capt DavidB. Parmelee, whohadparticipatedintheearlyplan-
ningfor theglobe-circlingmission.
Whencleared for take-off, Gallagher eased the 'plane into the air and orderedthe
landinggear retracted. Thesecondattempt atthenon-stoparound theworldflight was
undervvay. AsLUCKYLADY IIdisappearedintothedistance, waitingondeckwasLONG
RANGER, pilotedby 1st LtWallaceF. VanDykeof the65th BS.
Themenassignedtothat thirdB-50followedprogressreportswithmixedemotions.
Certainlysuccess forthe'planeintheair washopedfor, but still ... it wouldbeniceto
get a crack at the mission. Another 'plane fromGLOBAL QUEEN's squadron waited
behind LONG RANGER. Lt Patrick B. Lewisbrought uptherear inB-50A(46-043) with
acrew fromthesame squadronas LUCKYLADYII.
Becauseof the cloudcover thefirst 850miles(1 ,370km)of thetriphadtobeflownat
5,000ft (1 ,525m) which was half the desired cruising altitude. As a result fuel con-
sumptioninthedenser air wasabit higher thanthemissionplannershadcountedon.
East of the Mississippiit wasfinallypossibletoclimbto1O,OOOft, as intendedfromthe
start. Oneof theflight engineers, though, noticedafter theylevelledoff that avalveon
number twofuel tankwasnot functioningexactlyright. Theproblem didn't appear too
serious.Just somethingtokeepaneyeon. Someof thecrewmight havewonderedthen
if that wasthewayGLOBAL QUEEN's troubleshadstarted.
Meanwhilethenavigator hadtokeepaclosewatch onwindconditions. Almost 200
miles(320km) beyondtheeast coast shoreline, as the'planeenteredlateafternoontwi-
light, aweakweather front closedin. Toavoidfuel-depletingheadwindsLUCKY LADY
IIsoaredto20,000ft anddecidedtomaintainthataltitudeuntil nearingLagensandthe
first refuellingrendezvous.
Backdownto1O,OOOft shortlyafter local dawn on 27February, onlyonetrywasneed-
ed to securethefuel linefromthefirst KB-29M. Everythingwent without a hitch. An
hour andahalf later, whentheB-50hooked up withanothertanker, it wasonthesec-
ond attempt, but once thehosewas fastened thetransfer ransmoothly. Intwoanda
half hoursof precisionflying almost 10,000USgallonsofpreciousfuel hadbeenpoured
into tanks that had held less than2,600 USgallonsbefore refuelling operationswith
thetankersout of Lagenscommenced. Underanassumed identity andwiththeother
radio operator takingover sofinal contact with LagensTower would be ina different
voice, theDhahranlegofthejourneybegannineteenhoursaftertake-off fromCarswell,
whichwasbythen4,000nautical milesastern.
Theweather over NorthAfricawasroughandturbulent asthebomber bouncedalong
between10,000-1 3,000ft. Thebooster pumpfornumber twofueltankbrokedownand
a set of propeller de-icers failed. Still Capt Gall agher and crew were able to fly on
throughanother night cycle. Arriving in theDhahranareatwohoursafter themorning
sunon the28th, heavycloudcover wasencounteredat 1O,OOOft. Breaking throughthis
at 9,000ft, thetankerswerefinallysighted. Good contactwiththefirst of twoKB-29Ms
wasmadeontheinitial passandthisrefuellingsessionstarted off smoothly. Just after
hookingupwiththesecondtanker, however, aseveresandstormtypical of Arabian win-
terssuddenlyengulfedboth'planes. Theswirlingcloudof fine, powder-likedust kicked
upbythewindreached higher than13,000ft. WithunderstatementtheCOof theLUCKY
LADYII felt thesecondrefuellingwas'hairy'. Lt Neal concurred: 'It wasaroughflight.'
Capt Gallagher then declared 'Willie Sontag fromRoswell really did a good job ...
Believethat wasafirst. Refuellingoninstruments.'
Lt Bonner. manningtheradar stationaboardtheB-50, agreed thetanker pilot'flewa
perfect jobor wemight still bethere'. Full refuellinghadbeen accomplishedundertry-
ingconditions. Now, following another swapof tail numbersaclimb backto 10,000ft
wasexecutedandacourseheadingset forCl ark AFB inthePhilippines. Not farintothis
legtheautopilot stoppedworking. That meant that for theremainder of theflight Gal-
lagher, Neal or Morris wouldhavetoconstantly flythe 'plane, insteadof letting it go
on itsowneverynowandthen.
Theywatched thesunset onthe28thsomewhereover India. Intheveryearlymorn-
inghoursof 1Marchthey wereover South-east Asia, possiblyflyingover HueandDa
Nang, hiddeninthedarknessbelow. Theygreetedthesun's returnover theSouthChina
Sea. Whentheir B-50reached thevicinity of the Phi lippines local lighting conditions
indicated it wasmid-morning. Thebomber madetwocompletecirclesover ClarkField
while fivetankers fell into positionaround it. Flying across Luzontowards the Pacific
Ocean, theentireformationthenset out inthegeneral directionof Hawaii.
Contact withthefirst KB-29Mwas flawlessandfuel startedflowingat a rateof 88
USgallons per minute, increasing slightly later on, Since the leg ahead wouldbe the
longest of thetrip,theywantedtoholdtherefuellingconnectionswiththeClark-based
tankers longer than the earlier contacts. For almost sixty-four minutes LUCKYLADYII
and KB-29Mtanker45-21713maintainedcloseformation.Then suddenly, withonlyfive
or sixminutesmorebeforethe linewouldbereleasedaftertransferring6AOO-US gal-
lons,the'planes pulledapart beforeanyonewasready. Perhapsairturbulencewas the
cause of this minor mishap. Thesystemhadbeendesigned foraclean breakaway in
suchcircumstances, but theintended 'weak link' heldfirm.
KB-29Mtanker 45-2171 3, whichhad almost completed itstaskanyway, lost arefu-
elling nozzlewith little impact on theglobal mission. It returned immediately to Clark
for inspection. Ofmore concernwasthe B-50's brokenwinchchain.Without addition-
al fuel froma second tanker, LUCKYLADY II could not reach Hawaii anduntil, or if,
replacingthechainwas successfullydone, this fuel couldnot be takenaboard. Work-
ing frantically, Capt Parmelee discoveredtheextrachainsaboardwere6inchestoolong
and wouldhave to becut tofit properly. The bomber also happened to be carrying a
wholenewwinch. Hedecided it would befaster to replace thewholeassembly, and
withalot of helpfrom SergeantsM. Davis andTraughproceededtodoso. Whilethey
worked KB-29M tanker 45-21716 was forcedto headbackduetoaturbofailure. That
left threeKB-29Msinthevicinity. Lt Colonel Michael NW McCoy, theRefuelling Con-
trol Officer, ridingaboard KB-29Mtanker 45-21 731, signalled that KB-29Mtanker 45-
21705woul dmakethenext contact whenever it occurred.
For twohoursCapt WilliamG. Fuller's 'planewaitedpatiently until refuellingopera-
tionscouldat last becontinued, As the loose format ionof aircraft continuedtocruise
north-eastward, dusk began to approach. There was little Fuller or his co-pilot, Capt
WilliamW. Taylor, coulddoabout thesituation. Aboardasanobserver, Lt Colonel Jack
S. Hunt, fromthe18thFighter Groupstationedat Clark, mayhavediscussedthepossi-
ble necessity of the B-50 landing at his unit's home field if the damage was not
repairabl eintheair. Ofcourse nobodywantedthistohappen. Thetanker'screw, which
alsoincluded1st Lt WilliamS. Roegles, 1st Lt Robert C. McCormick, 1st Lt EdwinW.
Ryan, S/Sgt Arthur W. Stear, S/Sgt AndrewJ. BrooksandS/Sgt Fred L. Shepherd, all
rootedhardfor their 43rd Bomb Groupbuddies to fixtheproblem.
Tostayinthewaningdaylight aslongaspossible, Capt Gallagher reversedcourse 180
degrees and the attendi ng 'planes followed suit. At last given the green light, Capt
Fuller'sKB-29M(45-21705)madeperfect contact andremainedlinkedforalmost anhour
and tenminutes, transferringclose to7,000 USgallonsof fuel whilethelinked pair of
aircraft flew back towards thePhilippines. The exhausting job completed, the elated
crewscheeredeachotheras thetwo'planespartedcompany. OnceagainLUCKYLADY
II executed a smart 180-degree turn, heading alonefor the distant Hawaiian Islands,
continued overleaf
Non-stopAround-the-World Flight continued
Thenext-to-last episodeof night flyingonthisglobal missionoccurredover theWest-
ernPacific. During thedarknesstheInternational Date Linewascrossed, producing a
doubled 1st of March. Capt Gallagher'sB-50A began showingsigns of strainfrom the
lengthof theepicjourney. Eight hours fromHawai ian airspace, a probl em cropped up
withrisingenginetemperature. Flight engineershad toperiodicall ygotomanual oper-
ationof theoil coolerstokeepthereadingswithinnormal limits. Then, fourhoursshort
of Hawaii, number four enginestarted backfiring sporadically. Neither problemwas
considered a showstopper andthelast of the scheduled in-flight refuelling contacts
tookplaceasplanned inmid-morningof theencore1st of March.
As soon as Colonel Sipes received word that refuelling over the Philippines was
underway, hecalledabriefing for DetachmentFour flight crews. At lasttheywerelet
inonthesecret abouttheB-50trying toflyall thewayaroundtheworldwithout stop-
pingonce. They learned thenthat it was headedtheir wayand they wereexpectedto
performthe last scheduled refuellingof the mission. Lt Classonwasinstructed to fly
KB-29Mtanker 45-21778west fromHonolulu toapredetermined point overthePacif-
icOcean andorbit there. Lt Ballengee, whohad oncebeenhis co-pilot, wasto behis
wingman, pilotingKB-29Mtanker 44-87777. Colonel Sipes decidedto have twoother
KB-29Mtankers, Lt Hamilton's 44-87779 and Lt Hagan's44-87782, orbit theJohnston
Island area, several hundredmilesfartherout.
It wastheJohnstonIslandpair that intercepted Capt Gallagher's 'planethat morning.
LtHami ltonandhiscrewflawlesslyledoff thefinal refuellingsessionforthemission.
Afterthey werefinishedLt Hagan andhiscrewmoved infortheir run. Contact withthe
B-50wasmissed onthefirst attempt. but everythingworkedperfectlyonthenext pass.
Overall it wastheeasiest full transfer encounter since Lagens. AsLUCKY LADYII flew
oninto thehome stretchshe passedbytheother tanker pair. Lt Ball engeegot agood
lookat her andnoted anumber of black streaks frompossibleoil leaks.
Next land sightedbythe crew of the loneB-50 would be the California coast. Two
hours' flying timebeyondHawaii it wasnoted that thecarburettorvapour eliminator to
thenumber four enginewas stuckopenandasaresult fuel consumptionwasupby50
USgallonsperhourmorethandesired. If theconditiondidnot worsenandstronghead
windswereavoided, the threat of a forcedditchingat seawas not yet amajor worry.
The journey's toll on engineperformance continued to mount. Nagging incidents of
backfiringpreviously confined tonumber fourenginespread tonumber two aswell. A
full fivehoursshort of thewest coast it wasdecidedtomanuallyenrichthefuel mixture
fed theminaneffort tosmoothout therough running. It worked. Withonemoreproce-
dureadded tothelist of tasksrequiredof hiscrewtokeepLUCKY LADY II airborne, Capt
Gallagher coaxedhis'planehomeward. Acouplehourslatertheintercoolerflaptonum-
berthreeengineworked loose. With thespirit expressedinthestill popular WorldWar
Two song'Comin' Inon a Wing and a Prayer' the aircraft and crew pressed onward.
Bathed ingoldenhuesof aglorioussunrise, thebeautiful Cal iforniashorelinegreeted
thereturnof theglobal flight toairspaceover thecontinental UnitedStates on2March.
Asaprecautionarymeasure, threeextraKB-29Msweredispatched fromDavis-Monthan
toescort theB-50intoCarswell and standby foranimprompturefuel lingif needed. Near
Tucson thetankerspickedupLUCKY LADY II inthedistancelookingabit like acomet. As
thebright silveryspeck withafaintsmokytail grewlarger, these tanker crewmen could
alsoseethatthetired 'planewasstainedinplacesbyoil streaks. Encouragedbytheaudi -
ence, theproud aircraft coveredtheremainingdistancewithout inci dent ontheremain-
der of the fuel load receivednear JohnstonIsland. At 9:31 am Fort Worth time,wheels
thathad left therunwayat Carswell AFB 94hours10minutes earlier touched downthere
onceagain. Thusaglobe-girdling lapof 23.452 miles137,734km) wascompleted.
Capt Gallagher andhiscrewemergedfromtheir trusty aircraft. posing forpresspho-
tographersasAirSecretaryStuart Symington, General Vandenberg andGeneral LeMay
congratulated them onajobwell done. On that festiveday inTexason2March1949,
membersof theelite43rd Bomb Wing savoured thesuccess that teamworkhadmade
possible. Frombasesaround theworldthe KB-29Mswererecall edto their home field
inArizona. GLOBAL QUEEN wasreturning fromtheAzoresand wouldsoonrejoinLONG
RANGER and thetwoother backupB-50sthat hadwaitedat Carswell. LUCKY LADYII,
however, was due for a thorough exami nation byStrategic Air Command specialists
interested indetermining whateffectsonengine parts long-durationflightoperations
had. A fewdays later, while Gallagher, Neal. Morris and theothers continued with
debriefings, aflightcrewunderLtLewiswasorderedtoflythenow-famousbomber to
Tinker AFB foranothercompletephysical.
Theinitial highspirits of theoccasionwerelater subduedsomewhat by tragicnews
from thePhilippi nes. Capt Fuller's'planewouldnotbe returninghome. Onthewayback
to Cl ark following thedelayed refuelling contact his KB-29M encountered deteriorat-
ing weather. Descendingtoosoonthroughthickclouds over Rizal Province, the tanker
struckthe summit of amountainabout 12miles(19kml east of thenearest hamlet at
Loobacand58miles193km)short of theClarkAFBdestination. Nosurvivorswerefound
at thecrashsitewhenit wasdiscovered on 15March. TheUSAir Force, though, was
notabout tolet anunfortunateaccidentrainonitsparadeashad happenedintheGulf
of Adentheprevioussummer. Inthemishapreport filedwiththeSafety andInspection
Offi ce, NortonAFB, aircraft 45-21705was listedas aTB-29onaroutinetraining mis-
siontoobscurethefactit hadanythingto dowiththein-flight refuellingof LUCKYLADY
II. Their roles equally anonymousat the time, all the other KB-29Msof the 43rdARS
returned safelyhometoDavis-MonthanAFB between4and 12March 1949. It hadbeen
ajobwell doneandnooneappreciated better the magnitudeof theaccomplishment
than thecrewof LUCKY LADYII, whowereamongthevery fewtohaveacompletepic-
tureof thefirst non-stoparound-the-world flight.
30 7th - were assigned to SAC during the
Kor ean War. One bomb group (lat er bomb
wing), th e 19th, also served with B-29s in
Kor ea. The latt er uni t was assigned to th e
20th Air Force wh ile th e former unit s were
assigned to th e Far East Air Force ( FEAF).
It remains uncl ear as to why th e 19BG was
not ren amed 19BW at th e time,
In early 1948, ninet y-two low-t ime B-29s
wer e sent to th e newly reopen ed Boeing-
Wi chita plant to und er go co nversion to
hose-t ype tank er aircraft; these were sub-
sequentl y designat ed KB-29M .
End of the Road
By the end of 1949 SAC had sixty-two RB-
29s and RB-29As - formerly F- 13s and F-
13As - whi ch had been fully updat ed with
th e most modern phot ographi c reconnais-
sance equipment and elect roni c warfare sys-
tems. By the end of 195 1SAC had 116 KB-
29P flying boom-t ype tank er aircraft to go
along with its ninet y-two hose-type KG-
29Ms, bringing the tota l of KB-29s to 208.
The hose-t ype refuell ing system was consid-
ered to have numerous disadvantages, espe-
cially the length y t ime requ ired to hook-up,
slow fuel transfer rates and the limited air-
speed imposed by the flailing hoses them-
sel ves. Boeing therefore devel oped an aero-
dynami cally cont rolled swivelling and
telescoping arm called the flying boom,
whi ch is st ill preferred today by the USAF
for aerial refuelling manoeuvres. In late
1952 SAC had a grand tot al of 4 17 B-29s.
These tot als above do not include t he
TB-29s used for ta rget -towing duti es and
for pilot tr aining and tr ansition, VB-29s
used for VIP transportat ion or the WB-29s
used for weather reconnaissan ce. They
show th e largest number of B-29s, KB-29s
and RB-29s ever employed by SAC, but by
th e mid - 1950s th e increasing availabiliry
of B-36s, B-47s and B-50s made a longer
career for th e Superfort un likel y.
The Boeing 13-50, the refined 13-29, first
became operat ional in late 1948 with the
43rd BW at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ari-
zona; at th e t ime th e 43BW ha d th irt y-four
B-50As, With th e arrival of th e garga nt u-
an Conva ir 13-36 Peacemaker in th e ea rly
1950s the 13-29 was demoted to become a
med ium-cl ass bomber, since th e 13-36 was
so very much larger and ca rr ied a much
heavier payload; B-36s first entered service
in June 1948 wit h th e 7th BW at Carswell
AFB, Texas. The Boeing 13-4713 Srrarojct
first became operat iona l in th e aut umn of
1952 on a limited basis with the 305t h and
306th Bomb Wings at MacDill AFB, Flor i-
da; by Februar y 1953 th ere were seventy-
eight operat ional B-47s assigned to th ese
two wings.
So with three new bombe rs available to
it and anot he r two on the near hor izon - the
Boei ng B-52 Srraroforrress and Convair B-
58 Hustler - SAC opted to ret ire its fleet of
war-weary B-29s, beginning in late 1953 and
early 1954. On 4 Nove mber 1954 t he last
operat iona l B-29 , a B-29A assigned to the
307th BW at Kadcna Air Base on Okinawa,
was ret ired to th e USAF reclamat ion and
storage facility at Davis-Mont han AFB.
A B-29-60-BA (44-840881 with 'buzz' number BF-088.
Buzz numbers were applied to USAF aircraft for a
ti me so that when and if one 01them ever 'buzzed'
resi dent i al areas they could be easily identified
by i rat e telephone callers. DavidW. Menard
BELOW; This B-29A-75-BN (44-62310; buzz number
BF-310) of 15AF.28BG has the stre amlined
l orw ard-top gun turret. David W. Menard
_......- ---=_. -

12 7
Thi s 2BG B-29A-75-BN
(44-623251 was photographed
at RAF l akenheath in the
summer 011948. A number 01SAC
B-29s were deployed to bases
in England to support the Berlin
Airlift. DavidW. Menard
Aleft-hand gunner/spotter at his
station within a CFS compartment.
Stan Piet
BElOW: This B-29-96-BW(45-21793)
was litted with a cosmic ray
detector and was used in the
Cosmic Ray Research programme
01 the late 1940s. USAF
ABOVE: Three No. 15 Squadron Washingtons - KO-A. KO-B and KO-F- flying in
formation in 1950. Philip Jarrett
TOP: A Washington before i t received its squadron markings. With USAFserial number
44-61599still visible. it is easily recognized to be a B-29A-35-BN. Philip Jarrett
Tupolev Tu -4 ' Bull', th e acquisit ion of a
cr edible det err ent wa imperati ve.
At th e time of the j oe Jdetonat ion in th e
summer of 1949, the Avro Type 694 Lincoln
B.2 was the only RAF heavy bomber th at
was capable of reach ing strategic targets in
Russia. It was essent ially an improved ver-
sion of th e Avro Lancaster tha t had served
with distinct ion durin g Word War Two. The
Lincoln B.2 was powered by four I,750hp
Packard -built Merlin 68, 68A or 300 inl ine
V- 12 eng ines. It could carry a maximum
bomb load of 14,0001b (6,350kg) for a dis-
tance of 2,640 mil es (4,225km) ; with a
lighter bomb load it co uld fly a maximum
di stan ce of 3,750 mil es (6. 000km). It had
a maxi mum speed of 295mph (475k m/h)
and a cruising speed of 23 mph (383km/h),
and its service ce iling was 22,OOOft
(6,7 00m) . 1t was 79ft 3.5in (24. 15m) long,
spa nned 120ft Oin (36.57m) and had a
wing area of 1,421sq ft (l 32sq m). It
weighed 44,1481b (20,021kg) empty and
82.0001b (37. 200kg) loaded.
T he RAF knew, of co urse , about t he
capabilit ics of the B-29 Supcrforrrcss. It also
knew tha t the USAF was beginning to
replace th em with B-36s and B-50s. and th at
th ey wer e cl ose to being ph ased out. Yet ,
wi t h its h igh -al t itude pr essuri zed flying
capabil ity it offered a vast improvement
over the Lincoln. Thus, under th e US Mili-
tary Aid Programme (MAP), RAF Bomber
Command began acce pt ing a total of
eighty-seven seco nd- hand Supcrforts, most-
ly B-29As, on 22 March 1950. In RAF ser-
vice they were officially designat ed Boeing
Washington B. I, th ough the y were gene ral-
ly known to RAF person nel simply as B-29s.
inc RAF bomb squadrons - 15. 35 (t he
\Vash ington Conversion Unit or \VC U),
44. 57, 90, 115, 149. 192 and 207- received
eight Washi ngton B. l s eac h by 25 May
195 1. The remaining fifteen \Vashingtons
were used for pilot training and tran sition.
and used for spares. Two \Vashington S. Is
went to the Royal Australian Air Force
(RAAF) in Australia (see below). The B. I
squadrons were locat ed at RAF Coningsby.
RAF Marham and RAF Wat ton.
det errent to th e USSR, wh ich had explod-
ed its first ato mic bomb on 29 August 1949
- a device with a yield of about 20 ki lotons
codc- namcd joe J. Since the Sov iets had ' the
bom b' and wer e within st riking di st an ce of
th e UK th an ks to t heir B-29 lookalikc, t he
As the Cold \Var grew eve n mor e frigid in
the late 1940s and early 1950s , commanders
of t he Brit ish Royal Air Force Bomber Com-
mand decided th at t hey needed to field a
more capable heavy bo mber t han they
the n had, to ncr as an addit ional n ucl ear
RAFWashington crewmembers pose by an aircraft they flew i n. RAFWashingtons
usually carri ed a crew of ten or eleven. not sixte en as shown here. PhilipJarrett
Sgt It C. ' Colin' Wi lliams is a World War
Two vet eran and later served as a navigat or
on Washingtons, first in 35 Squadron (t he
\X!ash ington Conversion Unit ) at RAF
Marharn in September 1952, then 15
Squadron at RAF Coningsby until Ap ril
1953. During hi s time on \X!ashingtons he
served aboard WF334, WF343, WF499,
WF497, \X! F505, WF507, WF552, WF554
and WF559. He recalls:
Afte r World War Two , Bo mber Command slid
into a dull, comforta ble rut , repeat ing what had
gone before - dropping prac t ice bombs on t ar -
gets in The \Vash, simulated blind-bombi ng
runs on the Cowley Works at Oxford, cross-
co unt ry runs out to wit hi n ten miles of t he Iron
Curtain , down it for a hundred mil es and back
home aga in , occa sional mo nt h sruys in th e
Cana l Zone to main tain a prese nce th er e. No t
much of int erest t he re.
Back in those days of Dead Reckoni ng navi-
gat ion, and wit h elect ron ics in its infancy, my
flying t imes were unr em itt ing ha rd labour, two
hours of preparat ion before rake-off, non -stop
effort whi le we were airborne. Ten hou rs of non-
Close-up view of KO-F of No. 15Squadron. PhilipJarrett
stop effort was commonplace . I won der now how
I did it ! Ad d to whi ch , you couldn' t imagine a
wor se working envi ron me nt. The Lancaster and
Lincoln wer e cramped, deafen ing noisy, often
freezing co ld, and anyt hing but stable.
Afte r some years of that , the B-29 Was hington
was like parad ise. The navigati onal remit was
much t he same, no ad vance t here, but wh at a
change in wor ki ng condit ions. The Wash ingt on
was t he RAF's first pressur ized aircraft. It was
consequentl y quiet and at a ni ce, eve n temper-
ature inside. You cou ld ac t ually ta lk to one
ano t her wi th out recourse to the in te rcom. not
have to wea r a cumbersome oxyge n mask.
wh ich in t he Lancaster dripped conde nsa t ion
constantl y on to your chart s. It was ligh t and
roomy, like work ing in your livi ng room after a
lon g spel l in a dungeon . In my yea rs of flying, ir
was t he best a ircraft I eve r flew in . It flew h igh-
er and faster than Lancasrers and l. incolns, but
th is was of lit tle acco unt in na vigat ion terms,
O ne would suppose t hat all th is would imp rove
my per for mance, but we always got what was
req uire d out of my navigat ion , and in t he end it
was just so much less wea ring Oil me .
After World War Two , the RAF di sconti nued
the rank of bomb ai rncr , '1I1d too k to havin g t wo
na vigators, in the face of the demands of nell'
ami bett er airbo rne radar. T her e was a nav-plor-
rer and a nav-radar. I was al ways a nav-p loucr. In
the Lincoln we sat side- by-side and the nnv-radar,
who S:lI near est the front , di d t he bomh aiming.
He did t he radar bombing anyway, so it was con-
vcn ienr . In th e Wa shi ngto n, the nav -ruda r was
in th e rear compa rt me nt wit h his blind bomb-
ing equ ipment , so it was conveni en t for me to
carry out t he live homh ing.
Again, what a difference, but some reserva-
t ions. In th e Lincoln and Lancas ter, the only
automat ically set bo mhi ng paramet er s were th e
alt it ude. speed and co urse, th e rest be ing set man-
ually. \Vhil e th is was not cond ucive to good
accurac y - inside IOOyd was exc e llent and a hit
lucky - it diel affmd a degree of flexibility durin g
the bombi ng run . T he Norden bombsight fill c' d
in the Washington was fully aut omat ic: the alt i-
tude, course and speed set in, th e defini tion of the
aircraft 's track and correc t bomh release point
being calculated by Dop pler effect during th e
run -up to the tar get. During the bo mbing run ,
the bornh-aimcr flew th e aircraft , via t he autop i-
lot, hI' turni ng t he homhsight. It was extre mel y
acc unuc , and cvcntu.illv I could guarantee drop -
ping a lxunb imi de th e IOOyd magic circl e.
All very commendable, but no manoeuvre-
flex ibility dur ing a 5-mile st raight -and-leve l
run-in, and I woul dn' t like 10 have t ried it wit h
any rada r-pred icted tlak arou nd'
So t he \Vashington was a beaut iful aircraft 10
fly, and III Ill' and wor k in. I don 't have much
kno wledge on th e gunnery side , except 10
reme mber it was automate d. and OUf gunners
were impressed. I do see from my logh, x,k, how-
eye r, th at on 9 June 1950, we spe nt ten hours in
a Lincoln searching the or t h Sea for survivors
of an American 11-29 tha I had shol ilsel f down.
T( Xl much automat ion can he a da ngerous thing!
The Washington 13. 1 served th e RAF wel l
and by lat e 1954, ot he r than the ones that
crashed or were scrapped in the UK, most
of them had been ret urned to the US A.
There were some st ragglers th at remai ned
in th e UK (or special duties unt il 1958.
RAF Washingt on Operat ions -
'St rike Hard, St rike Sure '
The Berlin A irlift in 1948 and the Korean
\Var beginning in 1950 sent out a loud and
clear message that t here woul d not be any
real peace in the world.
In the meantime, in 1949, RAF Bomber
Command began to replace its \Vorl d \Var
Two- era Lancasrer s wit h Lincolns. But it
really needed a bett er bomber wh ile it
waited (or th e je t-powered bombers then
under developme nt. So in early 1950 per-
sonnel (rom 115 Squadron were sent to the
USA to train on the Boei ng B-29s, wh ich
woul d serve until Brit ish-built jet bombers
ente red service.
Bei ng th e first RAF squadron to get 13-
29s, 115 Squadron first bro ught their first
(our Boeing Washingt ons int o the UK
beginning in March 1950, arr iving at RAF
Marh am which was to be their first base .
115 Squadron wor ked up to operatio na l
st rcngrh and part icipared in numerous air-
defence exercises. In 1951 and 1952 l IS
Squadron was at th e forefront of RAF
Bomber Command and was act ive in all
types of exercises, deploying to Malt a to
devel op, among other thi ngs, operati onal
radar-bom bing techniques. In 1953, 115
Squadron earned the Laurence Minot
Bombing Trophy (or its bombing expert ise.
Ir did not begin to convert to its English
Elect ric Canberra jet bombers until 1954.
Bomber Command \Vash ington 13. 1
operations were (or th e most part based
upon heavy bombing t rain ing man oeuvres
of the most serious kind - that is, dai ly
preparat ions (or th e possibil ity o( a Wor ld
Wa r Three. T hese were cent red on th e
mu lti -engine pilot ing skills, bomb-a iming,
flight engineer t raini ng. convent iona l and
nuclear bombardmen t scena rios, gunnery
perfect ion and na vigation al ab ilities, not
ABOVE: WF545on thefl ight line wit h other Washi ngton bombers. This Washington (code WP-D) was formerly
a B-29A-65-BN(44-621531. PhilipJarrett
BELOW: No. 15Squadron's KO-A and KO-Fin 1950.
KO-A (WF448) of No. 15Squ adron flies a lone .
around 1950. PhilipJ arrett
BELOW: AWashi ngton of No. 15Squadron.
Philip J arrett
to mcnt ion top notch airframe and engine
ma intenance by high ly skilled ground-
crews. With t he Wash ingto n 13. 1, th e RAF
had a dedicat ed strategic nu cl ear bomber
capable of reaching any given target in the
worl d from its man y air base around the
wor ld.
The WCU was for med in March 1950.
Eight-week conversion courses wer e held
for th e squadro ns to be based at Marham
and Coningsby. As previously menti on ed,
the first to become operat iona l was 115
Squadro n, in mid - 1950, followed by Nos
149, 90, 15,44, 20 7 and 35 Squadrons , of
wh ich the latt er was formed I cprernber
1951 from th e WC and became t he
Wash ington Training Squadron (WTS).
Nos 149, 15 and 44 Squadrons moved to
Con ings by whi le 115, 90, 20 7 and 35
staye d at Marham.
Marharn-based \Vashingtons too k part in
Exerci e between 7 and 15 Octo-
ber 1950. USAF 93rd Bomb Group B-50s
also took part in the exe rcise. In July 1952
90 Squadro n \Vash ingtons won the RA F
Bomber Command bombing compe t it ion.
The main part of th e compet it ion consisted
of four separate cross-co unt ry nigh t fligh ts
and visual bombing on a range, with points
awarded for acc uracy and navigation skills.
This led to the winning of the Lauren ce
Minot Boml ing Trophy, awarded to 9
Squadron by Marshal of the RAF Sir John
Slessor on 14 October 1952.
John Robert ' Bob' ole was an el ect ri-
ca l fitt er assigned to 149 Sq uadro n at RAf
Con ingsby. \Vhi!e Corporal Cole was
there he work ed on numerous \Vashing-
tons , but primaril y on WF498/LS-G, a 13-
29A-40-B formerly 44 -6 168 , wh ich he
refer s to as ' h is' ' plane. He rel at ed:
Afte r passing.out from the RAF Train ing
Sc hool at Hal ton in Au gust 1950 I removed t he
Ap prentice wheel from my uniform ar m.
removed th e yellow ) wing hat ban d, and
beca me a Se nior Airc rnfrsman. a worki ng ser-
vice man. Then it was t ime to report for dut y at
RAF Marham, in No rfolk. This was bomber
count ry, wit h big Amer ica n air bases like
Swnffluu» and Lnken heatb. and RAF airfields
such as Watton . Marh .un housed a B-29 Super-
(ortrc« conversion uni t, to t rain RAF air- and
groundcrews on t hese ai rcraft, whi ch were to be
called ' \Vash ingron s' by th e RAE Consequent -
II' Mar h.uu was a mixed RAF/ USAF base.
On Sat urday n ights we would go to the da nce
ha lls at King's Lynn or Wisbech , which were
always crowded with Amer ican and Briti sh air-
men , T hese were always a lot of fun, and
althoug h occasiona lly a fight would break out
we stayed on pretty good te rms with th e ' Yanks'.
Our new aircraft flew in from the United
States and after we had completed th e accep-
tan ce tes t ing we formed our squadron, N, >. 149,
and wit h our eight B-29s moved up to RAF
Coningsby in Lincol nsh ire. Life wit h 149
Squ adron was interes tin g. COll ingshy was rvp i-
cal Lincolnsh ire. Flat all the W'ly to the North
Sea, and often beset by rain or sno w-lade n
clo uds swee pi nu in from (he coas t. Our nearest
li t tle vi llage was called Ne w York and the' near-
est big town was Hosron - really! The H-29 was
a big, complex (for t hose da ys) aeroplane and
my , bys were spent out on the !light line, doi ng
pr c-Ili uh r in spe ct ions and minor tr ou bl esh oot -
ing. A di fferent crew di d any major ,ervici ng
back in t he han gar, but on th e !light line we had
' ou r own' aeropl ane .
On occasion it was necessary to fly on ai r tests.
Anyt hi ng requi ring full clcc t ricnl load, and exe r-
cises like parallel ing the eight alte rnat ors had to
be done in t he air. and for th is I would just go up
as supernumerary crew, comple te wi th fl ight suit
and parach ute on regular train ing missions.
These could last anyt hing from t hree or four
hours III' to - well. Illy longest !light was nin e
and a half hours. This. I rcrucml-cr, was a ni ght-
time combined na\'igat i<1I1{h unh ing exe rc ise
wit h a fliuht plan t hat led us "I' to the nort h of
co t land, down lh e WCSl coas t to Lands End ,
along the sout h coas t th en " I' to the boml»
ing range near h) the \Vnsh .
In September 195 1 I was to ld to joi n an air-
craft ta king parr in the Bartle of Britain Day fly-
past o ver Lond on . l lowcve r, low cloud condi-
ti ons ove r Lond on caused th e fly-past to he
'scratched' , so ins te ad we were d ive rted lip to
\'(fest Frcu gh, in Scotl and, and inst ructed to land
at t he RAF airfield t here to hc pa rt of th c 'sta t ic
d isplay' for th e ope n day. T h is we d id, land ing
despite the runway hcing nominall y 600yd too
short, and 'sto od hI" th e ai rcraft to explain it to
visitors. We near ly burnt out rhe brakes when
landi ng on thei r short run way! Smo ke was pour -
ing from t hcm by t he t ime we st opped . A t the
end of t he day, rhe skipper ga t he red us toget her
for a pre-rake-off hriefing and warned us that we
should be prepared for a rough ta ke-off. At t he
ver y end of t he run way he ran all four eng ine s up
to full powe r before rc lca sin g t he brakes, and yes,
we s t a g ~ e r e d in to the ai r, seclu ing ly inches over
th e per imeter fence . It was qui te exc it ing .
For a young man in his early twe nti es it was a
great life . T h ere was a grcat deal of ca ma rade rie
amongst th e lads in t he squadron. one of wh om
was my oid roomm ate from Halto n , Harry Rick-
woo d. Wc ha d our sha re of 'c haracter s' . incl ud -
ing one ai rman, somewhat older th an most of
us, who had a neve r-en ding supply of ou t ru-
gcously tall rules abo ut h is exploits in life. hav-
ing t he ab ility to h ypnot ise people .
At the end of 195 1 my promot io n to Jun ior
Techn ici an carne in, and I a lso went hack to
Marham to rake a t rade t est board for Cor por al
Technici an. T he new RA I' Tech nician ran ks
were intr odu ced in 19 51 (stri pes wer e worn
upside down) an d presen ted a problem , in t ha t
fin ite periods of severa l years ha d to spent in
each gradc befor e one co uld be quali fied to
move up to t he next ran k, afte r a tra de test
hoard. ( Evc n rually, af tcr I had Icft the se rvice,
th e techni ci an ran ks wer e abando nc d .) So
Bob Cole himse lf by hi s bird during a l i ght er moment. Bob Cole Collection
WW355. for merly B-29A-70-BN (44-622391. was deli vered t o t he RAFon 12 Jul y 1950.
Philip Jarrett
- .. J
This Washington. formerl y B-29A-45-BN 44·61787. i s j ust rot ating for lift-off. Peter M. Bowers
alt hough I passed the board t her e would be a
long delay befor e t he promotion could be pro-
mulgat ed. A few month s lat er, however, I did get
promot ed to Corpor al, a regular rank with the
str ipes up the right way. T his had a drawback in
t hat I got tran sferred from 149 Squadron to the
sta t ion techni cal wing back in t he hangar, where
we carried out more serious servici ng on aircraft
from all t hree squadrons at the airfield.
In February 1952, while sti ll wit h the
Squadron, I had my first tri p outside of the UK.
Several of our aircraft had flown down to the
Canal Zone , in Egypt, to rake part in exercises and
one of th em (' my' aircraft ) developed an engine
fault on th e way back and made an emergency
land ing at RAF Luqa, on t he island of Malta. A
groundcrew, incl uding myself, was round ed up at
Coningsby, a spare engine was loaded into t he
bomb-bay of anot he r 'kite', and we were flown
down to Luqa to do th e engine change (after
being inoculated against seemingly every disease
known to man ). Because of some prob lem with
the spare engine anot he r one was flown down,
whic h resulted in us bei ng there for twelve days.
On several occasions some of the permanent staff
at Luqa rook us visitors down to Valona , which at
th at t ime was a major Royal Na vy base. There was
an area of Valerrn known as ' the Gut' , an area of
narrow alleys full of bars, which housed a world I
didn 't know even existed. It was definitely no
place for anyone's maiden aunt .
Back at Conings by t he good life cont inued
unti l th e end of th e summe r. Fat e ste pped in and
in October I was posted to a place called Nor t h
Operation Home Run - Returning WF513 tothe USAF
Cotes, a mi serable, desolat e hole on th e north
coast of Lincolnshir e, to th e sout h of Grimsby.
No squadron th ere, just a bunch of N issan huts
and lots of RA F pol ice and unsmili ng non-com-
mission ed officers.
RAF Bomber Command lost several
Washingtons and a number of th eir crew-
men due to crashes . One such mishap came
about at 5:55pm on 5 January 1953 when
a 15 Squadron Washington (WF553)
crashed at Claxby, killing five of its ten- man
crew. One member of t he crew, Sgt/Air
Gunner Wi lliam R, ' Billy' Karr, recei ved
th e Queen's Commendat ion for Bravery
because of hi s actions in the afte rmath of
th e crash, Through a newspaper cl ipping
At thebeginningof 1954RAFBomber Commandbrought theCanberraintoserviceand
theWashingtons that hadpluggedthegapbetweentheLincolnand theCanberrawas
returnedtotheUnitedStatesunder thecodenameHomeRun. This isabrief recollec-
tion.someforty-sevenyearsandsomemonthson, of one suchrepatriation.
I was aNational ServiceAir Gunner servingin207Squadronbased at RAFMarhamin
Norfolk. National ServiceAir Gunnerswerecalled Widgets' byother aircrew trades, I
guessthat wasbecausewedidnot havemuchtodoandtherewerefour of usineach
crew. Whenit was, asit alwaysseemedtobe, cold,thecrywouldgoup'Throwanoth-
er Widget onthe fire!' There beingnothingtoshoot at, wewereexpendable.
TheWashi ngtononly requiredone gunner todoanything useful, other than tokeep
alook out, asthecockpit wasavery longwayinfront of the tail andturnswouldoth-
erwise havebeenblind. Theuseful bit oneof ushadtodowastostart theAPU(auxil-
iarypower unit], that was apowergenerator runbyaFordpetrol engine. Wecal ledit,
amongother things 'theputt putt' becausethat waswhat it sounded likewhen start-
ingthe beast on theground when all elsewasquiet. It was a different story before
landing, withthecacophonyof thefour engi nes.
Anyway, backtotheplot.At 1520hourson 15February1954WF513roareddownthe
runway with a crewof eight on board, en route for the wild west of America where
most Washingtons where put out to grass. Oh yes thoseof you with anarithmetical
bentmayhavenoticed that twopilots, twonavigators, anengineer,asignallerandone
gunner add up to seven. Theeighth member was a wingcommander whowas 'bum-
ming' a ride, andas hewas in thecentresectionwithme I hadto behave. No crafty
drags thought I, until heoffered meone! I forgot to say that westopped being 'gun-
ners' whenweclimbedaboard aWashington, aswebecameCFC (Central FireControl]
systemcentre, left and right scanners and tail gunner. My wing commander was left
scanner, althoughhespent most of thetimeupthesharpend.
Weheaded north toPrestwick, Scotland, thatwas thejumping-off point fortracking
toNorthAmerica. This bit wasuneventful. Wehadexperiencedsomeminor pre-flight
radioprobl em andwhenI went out toWF513later, becauseI hadforgottensomething
or other, I found theradiotechnicianwas fiddlingabout with theequipment. I wasup
front sittingintheCapt'sseat, pretendi ngtobeapilot, whenthetechniciancalled me
todoaradiotest tothetower onchannel two. Theonlyradiocommunicationthat I had
donewas on intercom and thatwas limited to 'putt putt on the line, sir', 'clear right,
sir' and theoccasional acronym for ' send helpits terrible' when somethingunnervi ng
happened. Anyway, I punchedthe channel two button and with great aplomb called
'PrestwickTower, PrestwickTower, thisisRoyal Air Force513 for radiocheck, howdo
youread?' Back they came inaflash 'Royal AirForce513, readi ngyouloud andclear.'
Theonlyproblem was, I laterfoundout, I hadforgotten tosaythat it wasagroundtest
andthey areprobablystill doingasearchfor themissingWashington.
On again at 0023 hours - yes, that's twenty-three minutes past midnight - we're
boundfor theAzores, whichisaverylongwayover water andI hopedI couldremem-
ber mydinghydrill. 8hours10minuteslaterwelanded at Lages Fieldandwewereled
toaparkingbay by a truckwith a bigsign on thebackwhichread 'SIGA ME' andmy
schoolboySpanishhad come in useful at last, for I knewwhat that meant. So did the
Capt it seems, because hefollowedthe truck. At 1251 hoursthenext day wewere off
again, over moreandmoreocean, arriving9hours20minuteslater inBermuda. Thank
goodness deepveinthrombosishadn't beeninventedyet!
I can't rememberwhenit waswelost anengine. I thinkit must havebeen just before
Bermuda. Well, not literally lost it, that wouldhavebeencareless, but it stopped run-
ning. Thiswasnot unusual forWashingtonssowedidn't takemuchnotice. Aswewere
comingin to land I wasdoingmy scanningbit when to my amazement I spieda B-17
withadirtygreat lifeboathangingfromitsbomb-bay creepingupfrom astern, oringun-
ner-speakat 6o'clock. Apparentlytheskipper hadtoldthetower whenonhisapproach
that it would bea three-enginelanding, andthey alerted the USCoast Guard in case
we ditched. Verycomforting, mind you, since that was before I knew anything about
At 0251 hours thenext day we were off again over evenmoreocean andonto the
USA. At onepoint oneof thenavigatorssaid'there'stheMississippi' and lookingdown
fromabout 20,OOOft, I am sureI sawapaddleboat. I tookaphotobutyoucan't tell what
sort of boatit was. At last, after ashort tripof 3hours50minuteswelandedat theUS
Air Force basenear Dover, Delaware. Wespent afewdaysthere, aswewere to take
another Washingtonon to Tucson, Arizona. I think WF51 3 wastoo tired to continue.
Not us, though. Some of ushitchedaride toPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, andspent our
timedoing what wealways did, sampling the local ale. We went to a nightclub and
heardasinger nobody had heardof calledDeanMartin. WhenI thinkthat wewerein
the place where the USAwas born with the Liberty Bell andthe Declaration of Inde-
pendence just aroundthecorner. Oh well, I wasonly nineteen.
At 1830hourson24February weheaded forDavis-MonthanAir ForceBasenear Tuc-
son, a ten-hour flight inWF559. I can't remember the timedifferences but it was still
darkwhenwe landedandwetaxiedfor whatseemedages past parkedaircraft.
Next morni ngwelookedout ona truly amazingscene. For asfar astheeye couldsee,
therewererows of aircraft parkedinthedesert. It wasimpossibletocount howmanybut
I havethememory of hundredsof B-29tail finsglintinginthehot sun. Wewent down to
formallyhandWF559backtotheUSAF. Withinafewminutesthegunsand other bitsand
pieceshadbeenremoved, all ofthePlexiglashadbeen cocoonedwithwhat I suppose was
fibreglassandshewas uponjacks. Years later I saw asmall paragraphinanewspaper
that said thelast of theB-29sfromtheArizonadesert hadbeenusedasamissiletarget.
Viabuses, commercial airlinersandtrains,thetripback toEnglandandmyhome was
uneventful. My part of Operation Home Runwascomplete.
and Billy Kart 's log book, hi s nephew David
Karr provides thi s account :
As it happened, after a four-plus-hour radar exer-
cise flight , WI' 553 was ret urn ing to RAF Con-
ingsby. While WI' 553 was out on her mission
RAF Coningsby had got ten severely fogged-in.
When the Washington returned to base, it was-
n' t only foggy but it was dark. T he pilot, I'll Lr F:
A. Rust, made several go-around manoeuvr es in
his att empt to brin g her in. A serious landing
att empt was made after the th ird go-around, but
t he airplane had gOll en roo low, too fast to make
the runway and went in. My uncle was all right
and he tried in vain to get the dying out of t he
airplane. It was later ruled that \VF553 should
have been di ver ted to anot her air base, rhar t he
crash and loss of life could have been avoided.
Thc Bocing \Vashi ngtons served RAF
Bomber Command very well indeed and,
th ough bascd prima rily in Grea t Britain,
thcy also served at bases t hrougho ut the
British Empi re including Australia, Cyprus,
Ind ia, Malt a and New Zealand .
An unidentified Washington at RAF Coningsby. Bob Col eCollection
NB. All butthreeB.l aeroplanes wereBoeing-Renton·built B-29As.
Other RAF Coningsby Washingtons, BobColeCollection
Royal Aus t ralian Air Force
Two Washingtons - WW353 (44-62049)
and WW354 (44-6 1963) - were delivered
to the Royal Austra lian Air Force (RAAF) ,
which assigned them bot h to Aircraft
Research and Dcvclopmcnr Unit (ARDU)
Tria ls Flights 23 and 11, respect ively, As part
of Australia's Wcapo ns Research Estab lish-
ment (W RE) , ARDU received thei r Wash-
ingtons in Septembe r and December 1952.
US Air Force serial number 44-62049
(formerly a B-29A-60-BN) was delivered to
the RAF on 14 August 1951 and rece ived
RAF serial WW353. It was del ivered to
Scor t ish Aviat ion Ltd on 25 August [95 l ,
and then it was issued to rhe Mini st ry of
Supply (MoS) on 25 Ju ly 1952 for tri als.
Aftc r its dut y wit h the RAAF it was
retu rned to MoS on 25 Septe mbe r 1954,
and it was scrapped 23 Septe mber 1957.
T hough issued RAAF serial A76- 1, it
never wore it.
USAF serial 44-6 1963 (former ly a B-
29A -55- BN) was deli vered to SAL for
mai nten ance and sto rage on 25 August
195 1 and received RAF serial WW354, [t
was delivered to MoS on 20 May [952 for
trials, Aftc r its service in Australia it
returned to the UK on 25 Se pte mber 1956
and was scra pped on 9 October 1957. It
wor e RAAF serial A76-2.
Specification - Washington B.l (based on B-29A specifications)
Four Wright Cyclone 18R-3350-23radial engines
Empty 74, 5001b 133,560kg); loaded 120,0001b (54,400kg)
Length99ft Din130 17m); wingspan 141ft 3in143m);
wingarea 1.736sqft (16127sqm); height 27ft 9in18,45mj
Maximumspeed357mph(575km/h); cruisingspeed342mph (550km/hl;
serviceceiling33,600ft(10.240ml; maximum range3.250miles(5.230km); maximum bomb
load20,0001b19,000kg! for 1,000miles(1 ,600kmj
RoVal Air Force Washington 8.1s
RAF Serial Type USAF Serial Code Squadron(s) Comments
Number Number
WF434 B-29A-35-BN 44-61599 FB-K scrapped inUK8/8/57
WF435 B-29A-40-BN 44-61678 FB-L scrapped inUKB/B/57
WF436 B-25A-45-BN 44-61792 FB-M scrapped inUK B/ B/57
WF437 B-29A-55-BN 44-696BO FB-N 35Sqnand207Sqn returned to USA 22/7/53
WF43B B-29A-40-BN 44-27342 FB-O returnedtoUSA16/3/ 54
WF439 B-29A-40-BN 44-61634 FB-P returnedtoUSA 31/3/54
WF440 B-29A-20-BN 42-93976 FB-Q returnedtoUSA 22/3/54
WF441 B-29A-45-BN 44-61714 scrappedinUK 17/4/5B
WF442 B-29A-25-MO 42-65274 KO-J 115Sqn thenWP-P 90Sqn first 8.1delivered toRAF; deliveredB/6/50;
returnedtoUSA 7/7/53
WF443 B-29A-50-BN 44-618B3 KO-D 115Sqn thenWP-A90Sqn returned toUSA22/7/53
WF444 B-29A-25-BN 42-94052 KO-C 115Sqn returnedtoUSA 25/B/53
WF445 B-29A-60-BN 44-62062 KO-F 11 5Sqn returned toUSA 7/7/54
WF446 B-29A-35- BN 44-615B4 KO-B 115Sqn returnedtoUSA2B/7/53
WF447 B-29A-65-BN 44-621 59 KO-G 11 5Sqn returnedtoUSA 17/1 1/53
WF44B B-29A-45-BN 44-61743 KO-A 11 5Sqn returned toUSA 17/11 / 53
WF490 B-29A-60-BN 44-62074 OJ- 149Sqnthen35Sqn returned toUSA20/10/ 53
WF491 B-29A-65-BN 44-6219B OJ-T 149Sqnthen90Sqn returnedtoUSA25/B/53
WF492 B-29A-50-BN 44-61B95 OJ-U 149Sqnthen90Sqn returned toUSA11/B/53
WF493 B-29A-40-BN 44-61642 OJ-W 149Sqn returned toUSA 20/ 10/53
WF494 B-29A-65-BN 44-62155 OJ-X 149Sqn returned toUSA1B/B/53
WF495 B-29A-65-BN 44-6212B OJ- 149Sqnthen115Sqn crashedinUK27/1/54
WF496 B-29A-40-BN 44-61695 FB-N returned to USA22/3/54
WF497 B-29A-60-BN 44-62012 LS-A 149Sqnthen 15Sqn returned toUSA3/11/53
WF49B B-29A-40-BN 44-61 6BB LS- 149Sqn then 35Sqn returned toUSA22/7/53
WF499 B-29A-50-BN 44-61BB9 LS-B 149Sqn then 15Sqnthen 115Sqn returnedto USA 22/2/54
(recoded B)
WF500 B-29A-60-BN 44-62043 WP-C 149Sqnthen 90Sqn returnedtoUSA 7/7/53
WF501 B-29A-55-BN 44-619B2 WP-N 149Sqn then 90Sqn returnedtoUSA 11/B/53
WF502 B-29A-50-BN 44-61B94 WP-O 90Sqn crashed inUK B/ l /53
WF503 B-29A-70-BN 44-62231 WP-B 90Sqn returnedto USA 2B/7/53
WF504 B-29A-55-BN 44-6193B LS-C 15Sqn returnedto USA 11/B/53
WF505 B-29A-55-BN 44-62001 LS-D 15Sqn returnedto USA 3/ 11 /53
WF506 B-29A-35-BN 44-615B5 LS- 15Sqn returnedtoUSA 4/ 1/ 54
WF507 B-29A-70-BN 44-62234 LS- 15Sqn returnedtoUSA1B/8/53
WF50B B-29A-45-BN 44-6172B 44Sqnthen90Sqn returnedtoUSA 22/1/54;toUSAAFWB-29
WF509 B-29A-55-BN 44-62003 44Sqnthen 115Sqn returnedtoUSA 22/ 1/ 54
WF510 B-29A-55-BN 44-62005 44Sqn returnedtoUSA 2B/7/ 53
WF511 B-29A-35-BN 44-61 559 44Sqn returnedtoUSA 1B/B/53
WF512 B-29A-60-BN 44-62016 44Sqn returnedtoUSA1B/8/ 53
WF51 3 B-29A-60-BN 44-62037 44Sqnthen 115Sqn returnedtoUSA15/ 2/ 54
WF514 B-29A-70-BN 44-62280 KO-Y 115Sqn returned toUSA 25/B/53
WF545 B-29A-65-BN 44-62153 WP-D 57Sqnthen90Sqn returnedtoUSA 3/26/54
WF546 B-29A-60-BN 44-621 01 149Sqn returnedtoUSA 22/7/53
WF547 B-29A-70-BN 44-6232B 149Sqn returned toUSA20/10/53
WF548 B-29A-65-BN 44-62154 KO-Z 115Sqn returnedtoUSA 2B/7/ 53
WF549 B-29A-60-BN 44-62013 WP-M 90Sqn then207Sqn returnedto USA 19/1/54
WF550 B-29A-60-BN 44-62032 57Sqn then90Sqn returned toUSA 17/11 /53
WF551 B-29A-60-BN 44-62050 57Sqn then90Sqn returned toUSA 4/1/54
WF552 B-29A-75-BN 44-62326 57Sqn then 15Sqn then 115Sqn returnedtoUSA 22/2/ 54
WF553 B-29A-60-BN 44-62031 57Sqnthen 15Sqn crashed 5/1/53;scrapped2/2/ 53
WF554 B-29A-65-BN 44-62129 207Sqnthen57Sqnthen 90Sqn returnedtoUSA 16/3/ 54
WF555 B-29A-70-BN 44-62254 H 57Sqn crashed29/9/51; scrapped 3/1/52
WF556 B-29A-60-BN 44-62101 57Sqnthen 35Sqn then 90Sqn returnedtoUSA 4/1/54
WF557 B-29A-65-BN 44-62177 57Sqn then 115Sqn returned to USA 25/B/53
WF55B B-29A-55-BN 44-6197B 207Sqnthen57Sqn then 90Sqn returnedtoUSA 5/ 1/54
WF559 B-29A-60-BN 44-62014 FB-L 207Sqnthen35Sqn then 11 5Sqn returned toUSA 5/ 1/54
WF560 B-29A-50-BN 44-61B9B 44Sqnthen 115Sqn returned toUSA 19/ 1/ 54
WF561 B-29A-60-BN 44-62019 207Sqn then 44Sqnthen 15Sqn returned toUSA 1/12/ 53
WF562 B-29A-70-BN 44-62256 57Sqnthen 115Sqn(recoded Kl returnedtoUSA7/7/53
RAFSerial Type USAFSerial Code Squadron{s) Comments
Number Number
WF563 B-29A-55-BN 44-62006 57Sqnthen 90Sqn returned toUSA 25/2/ 54
WF564 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62259 207Sqn returnedtoUSA 17/ 2/54
WF565 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62243 EM-B 207Sqn returnedtoUSA 15/ 2/ 54
WF566 noother information
WF567 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62256 207Sqn returnedtoUSA16/3/ 54
WF568 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62265 EW-W 207Sqn returnedtoUSA 15/1/ 54
WF569 B-29A-6o-BN 44-62105 EM-V 207Sqn returnedtoUSA15/ 2/ 54
WF570 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62241 FB-M crashed14/ 12/52; scrapped8/ 1/53
WF57 1 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62257 FB-Q 35Sqn returnedtoUSA11 /8/ 53
WF572 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62266 FB- N 35Sqn returnedtoUSA15/1/54
WF573 B-29A-6o-BN 44-62030 FB-S 35Sqn returnedtoUSA15/ 1/ 54
WF574 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62244 FB- 34Sqn returnedtoUSA17/ 11/ 53
WW342 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62242 207Sqn returnedtoUSA3/11/ 53
WW343 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62235 35Sqn returnedtoUSA7{l/53
WW344 B-29A-6o-BN 44-62046 35Sqn returnedtoUSA 22/2/54
WW345 B-29A-6o-BN 44-62049 S 35Sqn transferred toVickersArmstrong for weaponstrials
20/ 5/ 52; returnedto USA27/2/54
WW346 B-29A-55-BN 44-61937 S 35Sqn then1925qn(recodedD) scrapped7/ 4/58
WW347 B-29A-55-BN 44-61983 90Sqnthen35Sqn returnedtoUSA16/ 3/ 54
WW348 B-29A-6o-BN 44-62058 a 35Sqn returnedtoUSA5/1/ 54
WW349 B-29A-55-BN 44-61968 destroyed inUKduring taxiing accident 29{l/55
WW350 B-29A-65-BN 44-62227 T 35Sqn returnedtoUSA 22/2/54
WW351 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62258 35Sqn returnedtoUSA15/ 1/54
WW352 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62255 207Sqn returnedtoUSA 25/2/54
WW353 B-29A-55-BN 44-61963 deliveredtoRAF14/8/51; delivered toRAAFin
Australia23/ 9/52(RAAF serial number A76-1);
returnedtoUK25/9/ 54; scrapped23/9/57
WW354 B-29A-55-BN 44-61963 deliveredtoRAF 25/8/51; deliveredto RAAF11 / 12/ 52
(RAAF serial numberA76-2); returnedtoUK25/9/56;
scrapped9/ 10/57
WW355 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62239 deliveredtoRAF12{l/50;scrapped 17/ 4/54
WZ966 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62283 55then1925qn(recodedA) scrapped 17/ 4/ 58
WZ967 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62282 56 then1925qn(recoded B) scrapped 17/ 4/ 58
WZ968 B-29A-7o-BN 44-62296 57then1925qn(recodedC) scrapped 17/ 4/ 58
Total: 87
AnAvrolincoln named THOR_Althoughthe B-29. like the lincoln. was based onearly
1940s technology. it was far andawaymorecapableas a heavy bomber. RAF
73 7
ABOVE: These are believed to be
pers onnel from No. 44
Squadron. Bob Cole Collection
LEfT. An RAAF Washin gton.
BELOW: A RAAF 8-29 Washington
in di srepair aw aits its fin al
fate . RAAF
Korean War
A Lock heed F-80 Shooting Star escort peels oil. l eaving thi s 92BGB-29A-20-BN
(42-94009) to go i t alone . USAF
After World War Two and before and during the Korean War. the USAFAir Training
Command (ATC) acquire d numerous TB-29s for B-29 pilot tr aining and tr ansi tion . This
TB-29 (formerly a B-29-40-BW, 42-24638) has been str i pped of all armament. USAF
had flown its last combat mission of World
War Two. Four years, ten months and th ir-
teen days later th e B-29 went to war far th e
second t ime. A real war that was at first
called a ' police act ion' , but ulti mat ely th e
Korean War.
milit ar y aircraft, airfield hangers and run -
ways at Kimpo airfield became auth ori zed
Nor th Korean targets as well - Kimp o was
in South Korea but had been tak en over by
Nort h Korean forces, thus it was bombed.
It was on 15 August 1945 th at the 13-29
At the end of Wa rid War Two 5,092 B-29s
on order at the t ime were cancel led,
though the B-29s on t he assembly lines and
major preassembly pieces such as nose sec-
tions and wings that were already on th e
tooling jigs were allowed to be completed.
On 10 june 1946 the last product ion
Supcrfort , a B-29A-75-BN (44-62328),
was del ivered to th e USAAF by Boeing-
Renton. Thus, not count ing the three pro-
totype XB-29s and fourteen service test
YB-29s, the USAAF received 3,953 B-29s,
B-29As and B-29Bs, not 9,045 as had been
planned. As wit h man y ot he r Wor ld War
Two combat aircraft types numerous B-29s
went int o storage, but un like man y of those
othe rs, they were put into flyabl e storage
and were not released to the civilian mar-
ket as surplus. T hey were top-of-the -line
combat aircraft and rio-one kn ew when
they would be needed again. As it turned
out they woul d be needed far soone r th an
anyone suspected.
On 25 june 1950 Nort h Korea ( th e
Democrat ic People's Republic of Korea )
invaded So ut h Korea (the Repub lic of
Korea) . Two days later th e Un ited Na t ions
Secur ity Counc il voted as to whet her
assista nce to Sout h Korea would be given.
The resul t of th at vote was unanimous -
assistance would be given. US President
Harry S Truman ordered Gene ral Douglas
MacArth ur, th en commander of t he US
occupat ion forces in j apan, 10 send combat
un its to the theat re. In t urn , Gene ral
MacArrhur dir ect ed Lr Gen George E.
Srrarcmcycr to att ack orrh Korean forces
bet ween the 38t h Parallel, whi ch divided
Nort h and South Korea, and the front
lines. Lt Gcn Srra rcrncycr was comman-
der-in -chi ef of th e Far Eastern Air Force
(FEAF) at th e t ime.
The 19t h Bomb Group (Medium) had
twent y-two B-29s deployed to Ande rson
Field on Guam at th e t ime. Srrnrcmcycr
ordered the 19BG (M) to redeploy to
Kadcn a air base at Okinawa, j apan , to start
bombing operati on s against No rt h Korean
st rategic target s such as supply roads,
wh ich began on 28 j un e 1950. On 29 j une,
ABOVE: Nice back-to-front view of a 98BW
B-29-40-MO(44-27341) named DREAMER.
Max Nelson
LEFT: It got very cold more than enough times during
the KoreanWar. Here a 98BG, 91SRSRB-29A-50-BN
(formerlyB-29A-50-BN, 44-618171 named AHSO
(with lots of other Osl stands tall in the snow.
Lt Col Mike MoHitt via David W. Menard
BElOWLEFT: This Superfort named ' NIPP 011I ESE'
was a B-29-55-BW(42-24917)that once served
with the 314BW. 29BG and 6BS in World War Two.
Still sporting the verysame nose art, it also served
with the 98BG in the Korean War.
Griber via David W. Menard
When the Korean \Var brok e out USAF
SAC had 1,787 B-29, B-29A and 8-29B
bombers, 208 KB-29M hose rankers and
KB-29P flying-boom rankers, 74 8-29tvIR
hose receivers, 162 RB-29A pho tographic
reconnaissan ce air craft and a number of
TB-29s, \lB-29s and WB -29s, whi ch were
eit her in stor age or operat ional with five
bomb win gs, one bomb group and one
st rategic reconnaissan ce squadron - th e
9 1st SRS (formerl y 3 1 SRG ), assigned to
th e 19BG (M) .
In early July 1950 two B-29 bomb wings,
t he 22nel and 92nd , were dispatc hed from
t he USA. For B-29 bombing operat ions a
spec ial FEAF Bom bardment Command
(BC ) was established on 8 July 1950, com-
manded by Maj Gcn Emmett O' Donnell Jr.
In lat e Jul y General MacArt hur ordered
Maj Gcn O ' Donnell to sta rt int erdicti on
rai ds aga ins t key target s in Nort h Kor ea
ABOVE: A B-29-40-BW (42-24584) unloads its bombs over North Korea i n early
1951. Peter M. Bowers
RIGHT: An ordnance man services the top forward gun turret on this B-29-70-BW
(44-69999) of the 19BG named SURETHING at Kadena Air Base i n Japan in
1952. David W. Menard
Crewmen prep are for a bombing mission in the Korean War. They are readying
a B-29A-45-BN (44-61727) of the 98BG appropriately named SOTIRED. Lt Colonel Mike
Moffitt via David W. Menard
clos e to the 38 th Par allel to int errupt t he
procession of supplies t hat wer e feeding
North Kor ean forces in So ut h Korea. Lat er
in Jul y th e 98 t h BW (M) and 307th BW
(M) arr ived in Japan from t he USA to
become part of t he FEAF Be. The 19BG
(M) , n BW (M), 30 7BW (tv! ) and 9 lSRS
(formerly 3 1SRG ) operated from the island
of Okina wa, wh ile t he 92 BW (M) and
98BW (M) operated from bases in Japan.
Short ly afte rward, 19BG (M) , n BW
(M ), 92 BW (M), 98BW (M) and 30 7BW
(M ) Superforts began flying deep int erd ic-
t ion missions against st rategic target s in
No rt h Korea, including bridges, marshalling
yards, roads and railway routes.
On 8 August 1950, newly appointed
FEAF BC commande r Lt Gen George E.
St raremeye r ordered now FEAF BC vice
commande r Maj Gen O' Donne ll to att ack
wit h two wings of B-29s eve ry th ird day in
an all-out maximum effort to dest roy
strateg ic tar get s. This had to be done with
hi gh-explosive bombs rather tha n incen-
diar ies, crea t ing addit iona l sort ies. For the
B-29s in the Kor ean War, thi s led to the
ach ievement of mor e sort ies flown and
bomb tonnage dropped t han th e B-29s in
World War Two. These five B-29 bomb
units baffled FEAF planners' expectat ions
as wel l, in that they beca me so adept at
radar bombing th at weather did not signif-
icantl y hamper their effort s.
One of FEAF BC's first heavy-satura-
t ion or ca rpe t- bomb ing missions came on
16 August 1950 when Maj Gen O'Donne ll
himself led a flight of ninet y-eight Super-
forts on a mission against a large area of
terra in near \X!aegwan in Nort h Kor ea.
Subsequent raids poundecl mi litar y tar-
gets in and aro und the cit ies of Chongjin,
Hungnam, Pyon gyang, Rashin (soon
removed from the target list due to its close-
ness to Siberia) and Wons an in No rt h
Korea. A large number of these at tacks were
to take out tac t ica l target s such as supply
dumps, tanks, troops, trucks and anti-
aircraft art illery batteries. The B-29 was not
a light -att ack aircraft such as the Douglas
AD Skyraidc r; therefore, it was not ve ry
well suited for these tact ical operat ions. As
more suitable tact ical aircraft types arrived
in th eat re, Superforts were clear ed for pure
strategic bombardment operat ions.
of the 98BW. Detachment4. After the KoreanWar
it was assignedto the 43BW. 43ARS. Stan Piet
LEn: A B-29A-50-BN(44-61951) namedUR L:L ASSof
an unknown unit. Lt Col Mike Moffi tt via David W.Menard
A III ('rJlIt I
BELOW: THE OUTLAW at Kadena Air Base. Japani n
1950. It was a B-29-25-MO (42-65306) of the 19BG.
28BS. David W.Menard
NOSWEAT. a B-29-80-BW (44-87618) of the 19BG. 28BS. wings its way to
a target over North Korea i n late 1950. DavidW. Menard
NOSWEAT nose art. SIanPiat
Another view of NOSWEAT with CREAM OFTHECROP (44-61657. a B-29A-40-BN) in the background.
CREAM OF THECROP belonged to the 30BSof the 19BG. DavidW. Menard
58-29 Super Dumbo
The Mil ita ry A ir Tran sport Service
(MATS) was esta blished on I June 1948. It
was created by consolidat ing the Air Trans-
port Command (ATC) and the Na val Air
Tr ansport Service (N ATS) under th e con-
trol of the newly cre at ed US Air Force on
18 Se ptember 194 7. Within MATS was
the Ai r Rescue Service (A RS) and in the
Kor ean \Var its fleet of rescue aircraft
incl uded the SB-29 Supe r Dumbo . (MATS
was d isestablished on I Jan uar y 1966 and
was replaced by the Mi litar y Airl ift Com-
mand, now Air Mob ility Cornma nd. )
In th e Kor ean War SB-29 Super Dumb-
os were on han d to effect sea rescues of
downed B-29 crews. Flight ' D' of t he 11t h
Air Rescue Squadron (ARS) of the Air
Rescue Service MATS was on hand wit h
one of its 5 B-29 air craft on 26 February
1952 when a 54t h SRS WB-29 got into
serious troub le. The co mplete tr an script of
that ac t ion is giyen in t he box (see p. 144).
The Korean War ended on 27 Ju ly 1953.
In the 1, 127 days of this war th e one group
and four wings of B-29s flew more t han
21,000 sort ies - an average of 18.6 sor t ies
per day. Superforts dropped almost 167,000
to ns of bo mbs. Bomb tonnage for t he
Supc rfort s ave raged IS,9001b (7 ,200k g)
per sor t ie. T hroughout the 3-year, 33-day
ord eal, with new cl uster ing techniques
whereby 192 IOOlb bombs could be carr ied
rather than 144 earlier in the war, bomb
to nnage had stead ily increased . Dur ing t he
Korean War thi rt y-four Supe rforts were
lost in combat - sixteen to fight ers, four to
flak and fourteen to var ious mi shaps such
as eng ine fai lures. But th e losses were less
than one aircraft per 1,000 sor t ies flown.
Superfort gunners cla imed t hirt y-four
Communist figh ters - confirmed, sixteen
MiG- I5s; proba ble, seve nteen MiG- ISs;
da maged , eleven MiG- ISs.
Transcript of Fit'0', 11th Air Rescue Squadron (ARS) Mission Report On Thelossof a 54th
Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (SRS) WB-29A-40-BN (44-61640) on26February 1952
FLI GHT '0', 11THAIRRESCUE SQUADRON, AIRRESCUESERVICE MATS, APO 334, 54thStrategic ReconnaissanceSquadron waslaunchedtorelieve thethirdSB-29and
(RCS: ARS-F2) withflaresremainedinthedisaster areauntildaylight andvectoredthesurfacevessel
a. MissionNumber: 11-0-14-26February 1952. USSTombigee(Barge11)totheA-3lifeboat. At 0600KBarge 11 recoveredthefirst A-
b. Typeof Mission: Escort, SearchandRescue. 3 lifeboat with three survivors aboard and reported all uninjured. At approximately
c. Objectiveor Flight Plan: AF1640/WB-29/ Kr ueger/ Andersen/ IFR18500/ 011 5K the followingmessagewas received from COMARI ANAS'TOCO 19THBOMB
Andersen/ 210/StandardIcao/0730K/14- 15/ 18- 00/3-2/ 1st Lt. WINGI AM CONTROL OF THESARINCIDENT INPROGRESS COORDINATERESCUE
d.Date of Suspension: 2March 1952. WITHMYRESCUE COORDINATION CENTER. ' TheCO19th Bomb Wing sent the fol-
e. SourceandTi me of Initial Alert: Guam Control bytelephonetoFlight '0' Operations lowing answer: 'REURADDTG26/1329ZFEB25 STATI NGCOMARINCONTROL SAR
f. Timeanddateof Initial ActionbyAir RescueService: SB-29 AF6303wasairborneat RESCOORDINATIONCENTER, THI SHQ INRECOFNO DIRSCONTRARY TOPRESFEAF
g. Bri ef Resumeof Action Taken: At 1131 KGuam Control advisedthat AF1640, WB-29, WGHI GHER HQ. COMPLETE COORDI NATIONWITH ANDASSTFR YOUR RESCOORDI-
pilotKrueger, had lost propeller control onnumber oneenginedueto anoil leak and NATION CENTER HASBEENINPROGRESSSI NCE START OFINCIDENT. ' At 0530K 27
wasunabletofeather thatengine. TheWB-29departedAndersen, Foxtrack,destine- Februarysevencrewsassembledintherescuecontrolcentrebriefingroom forinstruc-
tion Andersen, departure time 0730K, 18hours fuel, groundspeed 210, position at tionsontheday's mission. Thecrews andaircraft werefurnished bythe54thStrategic
11 30K23°5N, 135°4E, altitude 18,500escort wasnotrequested(thisposition approx- ReconnaissanceSquadron, AndersenBaseFl ight,theTactical Organi zationattachedto
imately800 nautical milesfromGuarnl. TheAircraft Commanderwasaborting hisrni s- thisbase, and twoRescueaircraft. Oneadditional aircraft, aPBMfrom NASAganapar-
sionand returningtoGuam. TheSB-29wasairborne at 1144K andproceeded out ona ticipated inthesearch, but wasbriefed by RCCGuam(Navy). The areasearchedwas
heading of 315degreesclimbi ng to11,000feet.Additional information wasrelayed to from 15°N to 16°50N between 141°00Eto 143°00E and from 15°00N to 16°lON
the rescue aircraft that the WB-29 was descending to 10,000. Initial HF contact between 143°00Eto143°30E. Atotal of 76hourswereflownbytheseaircraft and 100
betweenaircraft wasmadeat 1225Kandthe distressed aircraft was advised toplace percentcoverageof thearea wasaffected. Throughout theday numerousobjectsand
into operation their emergency IFF, VHFto 137.88and to tune their radiocompass to debris, apparently from thedisaster, werelocated and pickedupby Barge 11, andat
536kcstoaffect intercept. Positionreport at thistimeresultedinarecalculatedground 1438K the barge picked upthefourthsurvivor ina one man dinghy; position 15°09N
speedof approxi mately 155 whichappearedabnormallyslow. At l300Kall communi- 142°42E. An additional Rescue aircraft was airborne and orbitedthe area providing
cationsfailed withtheWB-29and theRescueAircraft continuedonitsinitial heading night coverage. At dawn 28 Februarysevenaircraft weredispatched tothe area and
until 1342K, fourteenminutes past original estimated time of intercept, andturned searchedfrom 14°45Nto 16°15Nbetween141°35Eand 143°05E. Thearea of proba-
aroundtoparallel theinbound trackof 141 degrees. At 1403KVHFcontact wasagain bilitywasdetermined bywind anddrift vectorsobtained byWeather Central. Twoaddi-
establishedand it was determi nedby theutilization of the ARN8 that thedistressed tionaI surfacevessel sjoined inthesearch. Afterrepeatedattemptstoobtaininforma-
aircraft was still behind therescueaircraft. TheSB-29 turned 180degrees and inter- tion from the four survivors as to the probability of additional crew members
cept was made head onwith thedistressed aircraft at 141 7K at analtitudeof 9,000 successfully abandoning the aircraft, the following messagewas received at 1715K;
feet.TheSB-29flewformation escort foraperiodof onehour andthirty-ei ght minutes. 'SURVIVORS INTERVIEWED. FIRST THREE MEN BAILED OUT OF TAILSECTIONSEC-
Informationreceived forLieutenantKrueger, Aircraft Commander of thedistressedair- ONDTWOMEN BAILED OUT OF MIDSHIP SECTION RUPTURED BY THROWN PRO-
craft, showsthat shortlyafter aborting hismission, duetoanoil leak, hehadtriedto PELLER FIRST MAN TO LEAVE PLANE STATES SUBSEQUENTLY OBSERVED ONLY
feather number one engine without success. Later the propeller obtained an exces- THREEPARACHUTES. THIRDTOLEAVE PLANE DEFI NITELYSAWSECOND LEAVEBUT
sivelyhighRPM of 3800andhe subsequentlyshut it down, butthe propeller continued ISDOU8TFUL THAT HECLEARED SPI NNING TAIL ASSY. SECOND MAN PROBABLY
towindmill at 2430 RPM. Hereported novibrationbut expressedconcernabout land- EQUI PPED WITH LIFEJACKET PARACHUTEAND ONEMANLI FE-RAFT. THIRDMAN
ingat Andersenduetotheexcessivedragandlowairspeed. Heeventuallycouldmain- STATES DOUBTFUL FOURTH MAN IN TAIL SECTI ON GOT CLEAR. ALL SURVI VORS
tain9,500feet but could only indicate 155 MPH. At 1551 Kthe co-pilot notified the AGREEEXTREMELYIMPROBABLEFOUR MEN INFORWARD SECTI ONGOT CLEAR.' The
escorting aircraft that there was a red ring just behind the propeller of number one aircraft returningthat dayhad negativereports, but againanSB-29 flewnight surveil-
engine and that bits of metal were flaking off and sparks were coming out of the lanceinthearea. At 0430K 29Februarysixcrewswereassembled intheFlight '0' oper-
nacelle. At 1555Kposition 15°33N 142°48Enumber oneenginewasseentoburst into ationsbriefing room for instructionsontheday's mission. Thesecrewsagainconsist-
flames, explodeand fall off theaircraft. Theaircraft went intoagradual left turn with ed of personnel of the 54th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, the Tactical
thebank becoming steeper until it entered thetopof thecloud deck ina tight spiral. Organizationassigned thisbaseandcrewmembersof Flight '0.' Thearea searchedwas
Anundetermined number of parachutesweresighted. TheRescueAircraft doveafter from 14°40Nand 16°00Nbetween 142°lOEand 143°lOE. All crewsbriefedwere air-
theplunging WB-29and after breaking out under theovercast discovered a largeoil borne by 0645K. At 0810K one SA-16fromFli ght 'B', 2nd ARS, which had landed at
slickandsawtwoparachutescollapsingonthesea.Apreliminarysearchwasmade of Andersen Air Force Base for refuelling and had beenheld for possible rescue assis-
thearea andatarget of two men in MaeWest live preservers was usedfor theA-3 tance, wasdispatchedtoattempt toaffect transferof thefoursurvivorsfrom Barge11
lifeboat. Releasewasmadeat 1607Kand theboat hit sufficientlyclose toonesurvivor for interrogation by Mission Commander at Andersen Air Force Base. At the time of
that hecrawledoverthecollapsed boat parachutetosafety(estimate thissurvivorwas takeoff Barge11reported: 'Conditionsoptimumfortransfer of survivors.' Shortlybefore
inthewater elevenminutes]. Little debris was noted in thearea and the SB-29 kept theSA-16arrivedat thesceneof thedisaster Barge11 reportedthat seaplane landing
vigilanceover theareauntildark. At 1603KasecondSB-29 wasairborne for threehours was'not advisable' because of sea conditions. The planecommander concurred and
at the scene of thedisaster and identified part of the debris as survivors. Due to theSA-16returned to AndersenAirForceBase and landedat 1306K. At 1615KtheIol-
mechanical difficultiesthesecondSB-29hadto feather number twoengineandinan lowingwasreceived fromBarge11; 'EVALUATIONPROBABILITY OFPROBABLESUR-
effort to effect additional support dropped thesecond A-3 lifeboat and returned to VIVORSBASED ON INTERVIEW OF SURVIVORS, SITUATIONAT SCENE, EXTENT OF
Guam. At 1655K, SC-47 arrived and due totheslower airspeed madeathorough low SERCH AND LOGIE [sic]: FOUR MEN FORWARD WHEN PLANE EXPLODED AND
altitudesearchinthearea. TheSC-47crewidentifiedthreesurvivors intheoriginal A- CRASHED XSURVIVAL CONSIDERED IMPOSSIBLE XSECONDMAN TOLEAVEPLANE
3 lifeboat and one man in a one mandingy approximately a mile distant. The SC-47 PARACHUTE NOTNOTED INAIRBYFI RSTMAN TOLEAVE PLANE XDID NOTETHREE
crew dropped twolife-raftstothisfourthman. At 1746KthethirdSB-29wasairborne OTHER PARACHUTES XTAILASSEMBLY SCRUTI NIZED INPASSINGBY ONE XONE
torelievetheescort aircraft and toremainforall night vigilance. At 0142K 27 February SURVI VORFROM FORWARD XNO BODYORPARACHUTEATIACHED XCONCLUSION
thethirdSB-29 sightedaredflareand droppedanadditional A-3Iifeboat. ThethirdSB- X SECOND MAN POSSIBLY STUNNED BYSPINNING TAILASSEMBLY XSURVIVAL
29reported they wereunableto pickupsurvivors on radar and that when their flare CONSIDERED IMPROBABLE ORIGI NALLY X NOW CONSIDERED IMPOSSIBLE IN
supplywasexhaustedtheywouldbeunabl etokeepsurvivorsinsight.AB-29from the VIEW TIME ELEMENT X FOURTH MAN IN TAIL SECTI ON X PARACHUTE POPPED
MANDER. ' At 2010K Barge 11 spotted a small oil slick position 15°55Nand 143°03E
with a flat brownishwhite object three feet by six feet in size. Object wasdiscovered
to begelatinousinnatureandaportionwasrecoveredfor analyzation. Noothersight-
ingsoroccurrences(sic)of consequence tookplace thisday. At 0700K 2MarchoneSB·
29crewandoneSC-47 crew, both of Flight '0', were briefedastil esearchingaircraft
for the day. Area to besearched wasfrom14°45N to 15°45Nbetween 139°40Eand
from 15°00N to 15°50N between 140
0E and 141°35Efrom 14°10N to
15°50Nbetween 141°35Eto 142°15E. SC-47 landedat 1547K, SB·29landedat 1958K
andbothreportednosightingsof anykindafter 100percentcoverageof their assigned
areas. At 1900Kthis daythe rescue incident involvingWB-29AF1640 was suspended
after exhaustion of all leadsandthorough search of all areas of probabi lity with con-
tinued negative results. All facilitiesweredealertedat thistime.
h. Locationof Crash: 15°33'N142°48'E
i. MissionResults:
(1)Namesof Survivors:
Judge, Michael AO 866 660, Capt
Erickson, Edward N. AO2221699, 2nd Lt
Johnson, Kenneth D. AF14325859, Sgt
Deese, James L. AF 19 360 767, PFC
12)Namesof Missing:
Krueger. Walter AO 2066242, 1st Lt
Gendusa, Vincent P. AO 944 068, 2nd Lt
Shaw, Robert J. AO 2 221699, 2nd Lt
Leach, FrankP. AF36 112171 , M/ Sgt
Toland, FrancisAF13378416, Cpl
Parker, Donald E. AF 14333 737, Sgt
(31 Namesof Deceased:
j. Method of Rescue:
Boatdrop andsurfacevessel.
k. Resume of Rescue:
At 0600KBarge 11 reported recovery of airborne lifeboat A-3-522 with three (3) sur-
vivorsonboard, position15°23N142°36E. At 1438K informationwasreceived that the
fourth survivorhadbeen pickedupinaone-man dinghyby Barge11at position15°29N
142°42E. All survivorsarereportedtobeingood physical andmental health. Bargecon-
tinuedsearch, with thefour survivorsaboard. until dusk, 2 March52at whichtimethe
missionwas suspendedandthe Barge returnedto Guam. Barge 11dock at Apra Har-
bor at approximately 0815K 3 March 52.
I. Cost Analysis:
11) Sortiesandhoursflown:
la) Flight 'D' 11ARS SB-29 10Sorties97hours
SC-47 6Sorties46hours
Ib)AssistingARSFlight ' B' 2ARSSA-1 6 1Sortie5hours
(c) Other Agencies 18Sorties 197hours
(21 Vehiclemileage: Jeep200milesWeaponscarrier 300 miles, cletrac20miles
(31 Officer ManHours: 1027
(4)Airman ManHours: 6327
(5)TOY funds expended: None
(6)AFForms 1034 and 15: None
(7)Telephoneexpenditures: None
(8) GasolineCredit card expenditures: None
A FEAF 98BG B-29A-20-BN
(42-94000) namedTIGER 1Il
showi ng twenty-one bomb
mi ssi ons so far. Noteworthy
is its useof atombombmushroom
clouds to denotethose missions.
Lt Gol Mi ke Moffitt photo via
David W. Menard
8-29 Units of the Korean War
Command BombGroup/Wing Detachment Group or Squadron
FEAF BC 19BG(M) 28BS IMI based at KadenaAir ForceBase. Okinawa
FEAF BC 19BG (M) 30BSIMI basedat KadenaAFB. Oki nawa
FEAF BC 19BG(M) 91SRGIVLR) basedat Yakota, Japan; formerly 31 SRG IVLR)
FEAF BC 19BG(MI 93BSIMI based at KadenaAFB. Okinawa
FEAF BC 22BW(MI 2BS{MI basedat Kadena AFB. Oki nawa
FEAF BC 22BW(MI 19B5IM) same
FEAF BC 22BW(M) 33BS1M) same
FEAF BC 22BW(M) 408BSIMI same
FEAF BC 92BW(M) 325BS (M) basedat Yokota.Japan
FEAF BC 92BW(M) 326BS (M) same
FEAF BC 92BW(MI 327BS(M) same
FEAF BC 98BW(M) 343BSIM) basedat Yokota. Japan
FEAF BC 98BW(MI 344BSIM) same
FEAF BC 98BW(M) 345BS(M) same
FEAFBC 98BW(MI Detachment-4 same
FEAF BC 307BW(M) 370BS(MI based at KadenaAFB. Oki nawa
FEAFBC 307BWI M) 371BS(M) same
FEAFBC 307BWIM) 372BS (M) same
FEAF BC 307BWI M) 424BS(M) same
ABOVE: A lone B-29-45-BA (44-839471 froman
unknown unit wings its way over North Korea.
Someaircraft commanders did not apply names
andnoseart to their aircraft - they just saluted
andgot onwith their jobs. Stan Piel
lEFT: A B-29-35-MO 144-27263) of the 22BG named
Colel Warrior
At least eight versions of th e Supcrfort
were used during th e Kor ean \'(1ar. These
included B-Z9s. B-Z9As, B-Z9Bs. KB-Z9s,
RB-Z9s. SB-Z9s. VB-Z9s and W B-Z9s. But
since th e Kor ean War was over - with out
an official tr uce between Nort h and Sout h
Korea ever bein g imp lemented - th e B-Z9
once mor e became a Cold \'(1ar war rior. at
least for a short t ime: by the time th e
Kor ean War ended, on Z7 July 1953. th ere
were numero us B-36s. B-45s, B-47s and B-
50s in opcrat ion with SAC.
Korean War 8-29 Operat ions
19th Bombardment Group (Medium)
Immedi at el y afte r th e communist inv asion
of So ut h Korea. the 19th BG (M) moved
from Guam to Okina wa. Init ially under t he
operat iona l control of ZOt h Air Force, after
8 July 1950 it was at tached to FEAF
Bomber Command ( Provision aI). The first
B-Z9 unit in th e war. the group atta cked
or th Kor ean stor age tanks, marshalling
yards and armour on 2 June. In the first
two mont hs it flew more th an 600 sort ies,
support ing United at ions ground forc es
hy bombing enemy troops, vehicles, and
such co mmunicat ions point s as th e Han
River bridges. In the nort h, its target s
incl uded an oil refiner y and port fac ilit ies
at \Vonsan, a railroad br idge at Pvon yan g
and an airfield at Yonpo.
After UN ground forces pushed th e
commun ists out of South Kor ea, the 19t h
BG t urn ed to str ategic object ives in orrh
Korea, incl uding indust rial and hydroel ec-
tr ic facilit ics. It also cont inued to atta ck
bridges, marshallin g yards, supply cent res,
art illery and troop positi ons, bar racks, port
facil it ies and airfields. It inactivat ed on I
June 1953.
Co mlJat Components: 28th BS (l'vI ), 30 th
BS (l'vI ) and 93rd BS (M) .
SWtiol1.l : Andersen AFB, Guam, to 5 July
1950; and Kaden a AB, Okina wa, 5 Jul y
1950 to I June 1953.
Commandcrs: Colonel Theodor e Q. Graff
to 26 Se pte mber 1950; Colonel Payne Jen-
nings Jr from 26 Se pte mber 1950; Colonel
Donald O. Tower from 29 March 1951;
Colonel Ad am K. Breckenr idge from 26
Ju ly 195 I ; Colone l Juli an M. Blcycr from 6
February 1952; Colone l Will ard \V Smith
from 8 July 1952; and Colonel Har vey C.
Dorney, 24 December 1952 to I june
Cam/)(lign Strcamers: UN Defensive; UN
Offensive; CCF Intervent ion; First UN
Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offens ive;
UN Summer- Fall Offensive; Seco nd
Kor ean \Vinter ; Kor ea, Summe r- Fall
1952; Third Kor ean \Vint er ; and Korea,
Summer 1953.
Decorations: Distinguished nit C itat ion
for ac t ions 28 June to 15 September 1950;
and Republ ic of Kor ea President ial Unit
Cita t ion for period 7 Ju ly 1950 to I June
UniLIJadge: Azure, within the square of the
cons te llat ion of Pegasus, a winged ' word,
point to base, all Or.
MotLo : IN ALiS VI CI MUS - On Wings
We Conquer. Approved for the 19th Group
on 19 October 1936 and for the 19t h Wing
on 9 May 1952.
19th Bombardment Wing (Medium)
On I June 1953, the 19th BW moved ' on
paper' from Andersen A13, Guam, to Oki-
nawa, absorbing the personnel and equip-
ment of th e 19th BG . Unt il the end of the
war, th e wing exercised cont rol over th e
tacti cal squadro ns , whi ch maint ained th e
13-29 int erdiction programme and provid-
ed some cl ose ai r support for UN ground
forces. In t he course of the war, th e 19th
Group and 19t h Wing flew almos t 650
combat missions.
Combat Components: 28th BS (M), 30t h
BS (M ) and 93rd BS ( M) .
SWLiol1.l : Kaden a A B, Okinawa.
Commanders: Colone l Harvey C. Dorney.
Cam/>aign Streamers: Korea, summer 1953.
Decorations: Republic of Kor ea Presiden -
t ial nit C itat ion for period I June 1953
to Z7 July 1953.
22nd Bombardment Group (Medium)
Detached from the 22ml BW, t he 22nd
BG deployed it B-Z9s in ea rly Jul y 1950
from March AFB, Californ ia, to Okina wa,
wher e it ca me under control of FEAF
Bomber Comma nd ( Prov ision al) . On 13
July, the group flew its first mission aga ins t
th e marshall ing yards and oil refiner y at
\Vonsan , Nort h Korea. By 2 I October,
it had car ried out fift y-seven missions
against th e enemy, at tacking br idges, fac-
to ries, industri al target s, troop concent ra-
tions, airfields, mar shalling yards, com-
mun icati on s ce nt res and port facilit ies.
During four mont hs of combat, th e 22nd
BG flew 335 sort ies with only fou rt een
aborts and dropped over 6,500 to ns of
bombs. It red ep loyed to the Un ited Sta tes
in lat e Octo ber and November 1950.
Combat Com/)()nents: 2nd B (M ), 19th BS
(M) and 33rd BS ( M).
Stat ions : Kadcna AB, Okina wa.
Commanders: Colone l James V. Edmund -
Campaign Streamers: UN Defensive; UN
Offens ive.
Decorcuions: None .
Unit IJadge: Azure, a cougar's left gamb
erased palcwise claws to base or ar med
Mot Lo : DUC EMUS - We Lead. Approv ed
on 19 June 1941 .
92nd Bombardment Group (Medium)
In early July 1950, 92nd BG B-29s arrived
from the United Sta tes at Yokot a AB, Japan.
By the time the ent ire group completed its
depl oyment on 13 July, its aircraft had
already flown a leaflet mission to Seo ul and
a combat mission against the \Vonsan mar-
sha lling yards in North Korea. Unde r con-
trol of th e FEAF Bombcr Command (Provi-
sional) unti l 20 October, th e 92nd bombed
factor ies, refineri es, iron works, hydroelec-
tric plant s, airfields, bridges, tunnel s, troop
conce ntrations, barracks, marshall ing yards,
road junctions, rail lines, supply dumps,
docks, vehicles and ot he r straregi and
int erdict ion target. The 92nd BG returned
to Spokane AFB, Washington in late to-
ber and ove mber 1950.
Combnr Components: 325 th B (M ), 326th
BS (M) and 3Z7th BS (M).
SWLiol1S: Yokota AB, Japan.
Commandcrs: Colonel Claude E. Putnam
Cmn/>aign Streamers: UN Defensive; U
Offens ive.
Decovouons: None .
UniLbadgc: Azure, a pterod act yl (pr crnn -
odon) volant , in bend or, Iangued Gules,
eyed Vert.
FASTER. Approved on 9 March 1943.
98th Bombardment Group (Medium)
The first B-29s and crews of th e 98th BG,
det ached from the 98th BW in Spokane
AFB, \Vashington, arrived at Yokot a AB,
Japan, on 5 August 1950. Two days later
they flew aga inst marshallin g yards at
Pyongyang, Nort h Kor ea. The 98t h BG
engaged primarily in interdict ion of ene my
communicat ions cent res but also .upport-
ed UN ground forces. Int erdict ion target s
incl uded marshall ing yards, oil centres, rail
facilit ies, bridges, roads, troop co nce nt ra-
t ions, airfields and mil itar y inst allati ons.
Alt ho ugh not forma lly inacti vat ed until
June 1952, group headqu art ers became an
unmanned unit on 1 April 195 1, when
cont rol of tact ical operat ions passed to th e
98th BW.
Combat Co m/)()nems: 343rd BS (M), 344th
BS (M) and 345th BS (M) .
Stations: Yokota A B, Japan.
Commande1'.l: Colonel Rich ard H. Car-
mich ael.
Cam/Xl ign Streamers: UN Defensive; UN
Offensivc; CCF Int erven t ion; First UN
Countcroffcns ivc.
Decorat ions: Repu bl ic of Kor ea Presiden -
t ial Unit C ita t ion for t he peri od 7 August
1950 to 3 1 March 195 1.
Unit badges: Azu re, a bend indented
between a dext er mai led hand coupled at
the wrist , in bcnd, grasping a drop bomb
and an olive wrea t h, all Or.
proved for 98th Group on 29 July 194 2.
Not forma lly approved for t he 98th Wi ng
unti l 1956.
98tll Bombardment Wing (Medium)
On I April 1951, the 98t h BW deployed
'on paper' with out per sonnel or equipment
to Yokota AFB, Japan , where it assumed
the tacti cal role of th e 98t h BG. Int erdic-
t ion of ene my co mmun icat ions, support of
UN ground forces and pro paganda leaflet
dro ps cons t it uted th e wing's missions. In
Jan uary 1952, to avoid daylight int ercep-
t ion by ene my fighte rs, th e 98t h BW
began to nynigh t missions almost exclu-
sivel y. In th e spring, its B-29s att acked
railway insta llat ions and airfields, then in
th e summer ind ustri al targets. The wing's
last bombing mission , flown on 25 July
1953, was followed on the last day of th e
war with a propagan da lcaflcr drop .
Combat Components: 98th BG (M),
assigned but not operat ional, I Ap ril 195 1
to 16 j une 1952; the 343rd BS (M) , 344th
BS (M) and 345th BS (M) were all at tached
from I April 1951 to 15 June 1952 and
assigned from 16 June 1952.
Stations: Yokot a AB, Japan.
Commanders: Colonel David Wade from 1
April 195 1; Colonel Edwin F. Harding [r
from c. 15 September 1951; Colonel Lewis
A. Curt is from No vember 1951; Colonel
Wint on R. Close from May 1952; Colonel
Charles B. Westover from 26 October
1952; Colonel Edgar S. Davis from 17[unc
1953; and Colonel George L. Rob inson
from 6 Jul y 1953.
Cam/Jaign Streamers: First UN Counrerof-
fensivc: CCF Spring Offcns ivc; UN Sum-
mer-Fall Offensive; Second Kor ean Win-
ter; Kor ea, Summe r- Fall 1952; Thi rd
Kor ean Wint er; and Kor ea, Summe r 1953.
Decorations: Dist inguished Un it Citat ion
for act ions I December 1952 to 30 April
1953; and Republic of Korea Presiden t ial
Unit C itat ion for th e peri od I April 1951
to 27 Jul y 1953.
307tll Bombardment Group (Medium)
On I August 1950, the 307th BG deployed
with its B-29s from MacDill AFB, Florid a,
to Kaden a AB, Okina wa. One week lat er
th e Supcrfortresscs went int o act ion over
Kor ea. From August to Se pte mber they
att acked strat egic objec t ives in Nort h
Korea, such as the enemy's rransporr at ion
syste m and industr ial faci litics. Following a
campaign in November 1950 against
br idges over the Yalu River into Man -
churia, the B-29s st ruck inrcrdi ction rar-
gets, incl uding commun icat ions and supply
cent res, and supported UN ground forces
by h itt ing gun emplace ments and troop
concc nrrat ions. ot officially inact ivru cd
unti l June 1952, th e 307t h Group became
an unmanned organizat ion on 10 February
1951, rep laced by the 30 7th BW.
Combat Components: 370t h BS (M ), 37 1st
BS (M ) and 372ml BS (M) .
Stat ions: Kadena AB, Okinawa.
Commanders: Colonel John A. Hilger.
Cam/Xl ign Streamers: UN Defensive; UN
Offensive: CCF Intervent ion; and First
UN Counteroffens ive.
Decorations: Repu blic of Korea Prcsidcn -
ti al Unit Ci tat ion for peri od Au gust 1950
to 9 Feb ruary 1951.
Unit badge: Azure, a four-pet alled dog-
wood bloom slipped Or. Approv ed for the
307 t h Group on 21 December 1942 and
for th e 307t h Wing on 23 December 1952.
307tll Bombardment Wing (Medium)
The 307th B\V' moved wit hout personnel or
equipment to Kadcna AB, Okinawa, on 10
February 195 I and absorbed the resour ces of
the 307th BG. For the next few mont hs the
wing's bombers parti cipat ed in FEAF's
bridge-bust ing campaign, nying numerous
missions against key spans. The 307th BW
also helped UN ground forces blunt a com-
muni st spring offcnsivc. On 23 May, it par-
ticipated in a tremendous night -t ime close
air support effort , shredding ene my positions
along the enti re battlefront with radar-
aimed fragment at ion bombs. Unt il the end
of the war, it cont inued at tacks against
ind ustr ial targets, bridges, troop concent ra-
tions, airfields, supply dumps, rail yards,
enemy front linc positions and lines of com-
mun icati ons. By lat e 1952, th e 307th BW
usually flew ni ght shoran missions, with
enemy ai rfields and dams as primar y targets.
As th e truce talks neared concl usion in July
1953, the wing hel ped spoil an enemy
ground offensive, earning a Dist inguished
Unit Citat ion. By the end of hostilit ies, the
307th BW and 307th BG combined had
flown over 5,800 combat missions.
Combat Components: 307t h BG (M),
assigned but not operat iona l 10 Februar y
1951 to 16J une 1952; the 370th BS ( M),
371st BS ( M) and 372ml BS (M) wer e
attached from 10 Februar y 1951 to 15 June
1952 and assigned from 16 Junc 1952.
Stat ions: Kadcna AB, Okinawa.
Commanders: Colonel John A. Hilger from
10 February 1951; Colone l John M.
Reynolds from 15 March 1951; Colone l
William H. Hanson from 20 August 195 J;
Colonel John C. Jennison Jr from 4 Febru-
ary 1952; Brig Gcn Raymond L. Winn from
8 May 1952; Colone l Charles S. Overstreet
from c. I Oc tober 1952; and Colone l
Aust in J. Russell from 29 December 1952.
Cam/Jaign Streamers: First UN Count erof-
fensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Sum-
mer-Fail Offens ive; Second Kor ean Win-
ter : Kor ea, Summer- Fall 1952; T h ird
Kor ean winter; and Kor ea, Summer 1953.
Decorations: Dist inguished Unit Cita tion
for actions I I to 27 July 1953; and Repub lic
of Korea Presiden t ial Unit Citat ion.
8-29 Derivatives, Variants and Spin-offs
Averyfine in-flight study of a B-29-45-BW(42-24688) somewhere over Kansas in early
1944. Boeing-Wichita-built B-29s were the first Superforts to see combat in World
War Two. USAF
The Boeing Ai rplane Company, Bell Air-
craft Corpora tion and Glenn L. Mart in
Company worked in conce rt to produce
3,953 producti on 13-29 Supcrfortress aircraft
between September 1943 and May 1946.
Boeing had built seventee n others - th ree
protot ype XB-29s and fourteen service test
YB-29s. In addit ion to these seventeen,
Boeing built 2,759 B-29s and B-29As, Bell
built 668 B-29s and B-29Bs and Mart in built
536 B-29s, incl udin g the special sixty-five
Silvcrplarc 13-29 atom ic bombers. Thus the
grand total of B-29s built was 3,970.
Successful ai rcra ft designs ofte n lead to
t he devel op ment of spec ialized deri va-
t ivcs, import ant vari an ts and outgrowth
spin-offs. The Boei ng 13-29 Supc rfort ress
was indeed a successful de sign and it gen-
erated many.
8-29 Derivatives and Variants
During \Vor ld War Two, and in th e course
of several post-war vears, Boeing pro posed
nume rous follow-on versions of its h igh ly
respected B-29 Superforrrcss. Wh ile a
number of t hese offerings were not accept-
ed, a number of other one s were. Most
importantl y, these included th e KB-29M
and KB-29P aerial refuelli ng tankers which
filled t hat role unti l the advent of the Boe-
ing KC-97 tanker/cargo aircraft in the mid-
1950s. Another important version of th e
Superfor t was the B-29MR, whi ch served
as bot h a receiver and ranker. But t he most
significant of th ese advanc ed designs was
Boeing's proposed B-29D, whi ch ultimate-
ly appeared as the 13-50, a major devel op-
ment of th e 13-29.
B-29-BW, B-29-BA and B-29-MO
Boeing-Wi chi ta, Bell-Atlanta and Martin-
Omaha built 2, 3 1 B-29-BWs, B-29-BAs
and B-29B-BAs, and B-29-MOs - respec-
t ivel y 1,627, 668 and 536 exa mples. In
add ition to the fourtee n service test YB-29-
BWs, Boein g-Wich ita buil t 1,613 prod uc-
t ion B-29-BWs in twenty-eight producti on
blocks nu mbering from one to 100. In addi -
t ion to five pi lot -ship B-29-BAs, Bell-
Atla nta built 663 producti on B-29-BAs
and B-29B-BAs in seve nteen prod ucti on
blocks numbering from one to sixty-five.
And in add it ion to five pilot - "h ip B-29-
Ma s, Marti n-Omah a prod uced 5 I B-29-
Ma s in sixteen production blocks rangin g
from one to sixty. (The ten B-29-BA/-M
pilot sh ips were full-scale devel opment air-
craft t hat served as guide assemb lies for
subsequent full-sca le prod uction B-29s.)
B-29-BW: The 1,627 produ ct ion B-29-
BWs were all powered by th e Wri gh t R-
3350-23 engine . The first exa mple made
its first n ight at \X!ichita on 14 Septe mbe r
1943. From block 55-BW and on, th e
20m m cannon was replaced by a th ird .50-
ca libre machine-gun. Wichit a product ion
reach ed its zenit h in July 1945, B-29-BWs
wer e being bui lt at a rat e of 4.2 per day.
T he last B-29-BW was del ivered to t he
USAAF on 10 October 1945.
B-29-BA: The 357 B-29-BAs were pow-
ered by the Wright R-3350-23 engine.
These were built with t he Supcrforts full
compleme nt of ten machine-guns and a
single 20mm ca nno n. From block -5 and
on, the tail-mo unted 20mm ca nno n was
removed and replaced by a third mach ine-
B- 29-MO: The B-29-MOs were power ed
hy t he Wr ight R-3350-23 eng ine. These
wer e nearl y identi cal to the B-29-B\X!s and
B-29-BAs. From block 25- MO and on, the
20mm ca nno n was replaced wit h a t hird
machine-gun. However, th e sixty-five spe-
cially bui lt Silvcrplarc B-29-MO atomic
bombers were manufactured without th e
upper and lower gun t urre ts, CFC sysrcm
and 20mm canno n.
A rare shot of a B-29B-40-BA (42-83872) showing
its clean lines sans upper/lower gun turrets. The
only problem is that it is marked with serial number
42-83872, a non-existent serial number ; it should
read 44-83872. USAF
BELOW: A B-29-40-MO (44-86270) featuring wing-t ip
pods, possibly fuel tanks. The aircraft's purpose
remains a mystery. Peter M. Bowers
Boeing-Renton built 1, 122 product ion B-
29A-BN aircraft in sixteen product ion
blocks numbering from one to sevent y-five.
They were powered by the Wr ight R-3350-
57 engine . The first B-29A made its first
n igh t at Renton on 30 December 1943.
From block 20-BN and on, t he 20mm can-
non was rep laced by a t hird mach ine-gun .
The last B-29A was del ivered to rhe
USAAF Str ategic Air Command on 10
June 1946.
The B-29A was built with a different
wing cent re sect ion. That is, it was a two-
piece assembly bolt ed together at its cen-
treline. It was installed as a single uni t ,
which passed all the way th rough th e fuse-
lage to support the engine nacell es. Thi s
increased the Supcrfort 's wing span to 142ft
3in (43.37m) but reduced the fuel capacity
by 260 US gallons (216.4 Imp gallons/
984Itr ). Moreover, th e B-29A was the only
Superfort to feat ure four mach ine-guns in
its upper forward gun turret. Some B-29As
had a st rca rn lincd forward top turret.
A factory-fresh B-29A-l -BN (42-93837) on a manufacturer's test flight near the
Cascade mountain range i n Washington State. Peter M. Bowers
The 3 11 B-29B-BAs were powered by th e
Wright R-3350-51 engine. Essent ially these
were stripped-down Supcrforts that were
manufactur ed without th e upper and lower
gun turrets, but whi ch ret ained th e tai l tur -
ret mi nus th e 20mm canno n (a third
machine-gun too k its place) . The B-29B
was essent ially a night -time bomber using
the advanced AN/APG- IS radar system for
both bombing and tail gun aiming/firing.
B-29A-75-BN (44-62310) with the st reamlined forwa rd top gun turret installed. Peter M. Bowers
\Vith th e absen ce of the four upper and
lower gun turrets and the Central Fire Con-
trol (CFC) system, th e B-29B's alt itude,
range an d speed increased substant ially.
T he B-29C was a proposed follow-on to
the B-29A hut with improved and mor e
reliable fuel- injec ted Wri gh t R-3350-4 1
eng ines wi th reversible propell ers, very
similar to th ose used on th e Silve rplare B-
29s. Like th e 13-29A it was to he built in
Rento n, but sinc e there was no other di f-
ferences othe r th an t he engine/propeller
change, th e proposed B-29C pro duct ion
programme was not proceeded wit h.
As ori gin ally offered to th e USAAF, Boe-
ing's pro posed B-29D was a sign ifican t
improvement over its B-29, B-29A and 5-
29B predecessors. It featured numerous
advancemen ts over th e Supe rfort , wh ich
incl uded a much more powerful 3,500hp
Pratt & Whi tn ey R-4360 cngine. Esscn-
rially, a B-29A-5-B (42-93845) served as
the 13-29D prototype when it was delivered
to Pratt & \Vhitney for the inst allati on and
eva luati on of its new R-4360 engine. T his
un ique machine was de signat ed XB-4 4
(de scribed in detail on page 164).
T he B-29D was subsequen tl y ordered
into produc ti on and it was to he built at
th e Boeing-Re nton pl ant . But righ t afte r
VJ- Day, since th ere was no immed iat e
need and it had not yet ente red produc-
t ion, th e B-29D progra mme was canc el led.
The USAAF had or dered 200 13-29Ds but
none of the m were eve r built. After th e
war, however, wit h t he esta blish me nt of
th e USAAF's Stra tegic Air Comma nd and
the need for more modern st rateg ic
bombers, th e B-29D programme was resus-
cita ted in the form of the 13-50 program me
me t cxpl aincd lat er in text ).
The B-29F de signa t ion was give n to six
specially prepared B-29s bu ilt at Bocing-
Wi chita th at served with the SAF
A laskan Command, Pacific Air Force
( PACAF) at Eicl son AFB, some 26 miles
(42km) from Fairban ks, Alaska . Afte r
th ese specia lly winterized B-29s co mple ted
t heir dut ies at Eielson th ey were returned
to t he USA and brough t back up to 13-29-
BW sta nda rd for normal ope rat ions .
T he de signat ion B-29K (also KB-29K) was
temporari ly applied to what became the
KB-29M series of hose-type ae rial ranker
B-29Fsat LaddField. Alaska. around 1947-48. Peter M. Bowers
KB-29Pwith the boom operator in place. Boom operat ors were nicknamed 'Clancy:
leadi ng to the old American adage ' Cl ancy lowered the boom' . Peter M. Bowers
The F-13A named THEBELLEOFBIKINI was forme rl y a B-29A-50-BN. It was
photograp hed on Kwaj al ei n on 30 Jul y 1946 for Operat ion Crossro ads. David W.Menard
aircraft (described on page 153). The one
B-29K (formerly a B-29-BW) th at had
been created, after it was used to test th e
hose-t ype aerial refuelling system, was
lat er used excl usively as a cargo transport .
T he B-29L designat ion was to be applied
to mod ified B-29 receiver/ tanker aircraft
using the Brit ish-developed hose-t ype in-
flight refuelling system. The ' L' suffix was
dropped and replaced wit h 'M' th en ' MR'
(see below).
B-29M and B-29MR
For merly known as the B-29M, the B-29MR
served as both receiver and tanker aircraft.
Boeing built sevent y-four B-29MRs at its
Wichita facility in the late 1940s. The B-
29MR (the suffix R for receiver) aircraft had
a 2,300 US gallon (1,9 15 Imp gallon/
8,7051tr) fuel tank in the aft bomb-bay. This
feat ure, of course, reduced the bomb loads
that were carried by the B-29MR aircraft.
Yet with a full load of fuel, these bombers
could st ill carry 10,0001 b (4,500kg) of
bombs: nuclear ones, in the ir forward bomb-
bay and for very long distances indeed. The
aft-facing hose receptacl e was of a cone-
shaped configurnt ion; it was located on the
lower right side of the fuselage, just below
the hor izont al railplancs.
F-13/ -13A
The Boeing B-29 Supcrforrrcss was the
first large and heavy aircraft to be used for
the all-import ant photograp h ic reconnai s-
sance and mapping mission in World War
Two. Dur ing Wor ld \Xlar Two, US photo-
graph ic reconnaissance and mapping air-
craft carried th e F for Reconnaissan ce-
Photographi c prefix. Thus, t he 8 -29s and
B-29As tha t were mod ified to serve in thi s
capacity were designated F- 13 and F- 13A.
The need for a very long-range photo-
reconnaissance aircraft became crit ical
when the USA start ed its strikes against
the home islands of Japan in 1944. And
since th e B-29 was the longest-range air-
craft in US AAF inven tor y it was a natural
cho ice for th at important mission. T he re-
fore a relat ivel y large number of \Xli chi ta -
built 8-29s and Rent on-built 8-29As were
modified at Boeing's modi ficat ion centr e at
Den ver, Colorado for such duty.
The Wright R-3350-23 engine powered
th e Wich ita 8-29-8Ws, while the R-3350-
F-13. F-13NRB-29. RB-29A Squadrons (partial)
57 eng ine power ed the Renton B-29A-
B s. The to p speed for both types was in
excess of 330mph.
For th e most pa rt t he F- I3/ - I3 As wer e
equipped with six side- and bell y-mou nt ed
cameras. T hese wer e comprised of th ree K-
17Bs, one K- 18 and t wo K-22 cameras. A
mod ified B-3 Drifrmctcr W<l S operated by
the photo-n avi gator in the bomb ardier's
co mpa rt me nt . To mai ntai n and operate
the ca meras whil e in flight , a came ra spe -
cia list crewma n was provided . T he si x
ca me ras were mount ed bel ow and <1 ft of
th e rem crew co mpa rt me n t.
In June 1948, th e surv iving F- l3 s were
redesignated RB-29 (RB meani ng Recon-
naissance Bomb er) and th e F-13As were
redesignat ed RB-29A. (This was wh en the
USA F recl assified a number of its aircraft
types, for exa mple F for Fighter ins tead of P
for Pursuit, and so on. Thus, all remaini ng
F-13 s and F-13 As wer e redesignat ed <ISRB-
29s and RB-29As.)
One B-29-96-BW (45 -2 1800) was modi -
fied to car ry aloft and launch the Bell X- I
rocket-powered aircra ft. It was redesignat ed
EB-29 and on 14 October 1947 it laun ched
Capt Charles E. 'Chu ck' Yeager in th e nu m-
ber one Bell X- IA (46- 062), ni cknamed
G LAMOROUS GLE N IS after h is wife,
and for th e first t ime in h istory <I pi lot flew
faste r th an the speed of sound, at 750mph
( 1,207 km/h) . T h is special EB-29 was also
used to launch the othe r two X- IAs, th e X-
I B, the X- I D and the X- IE.
1st SRS (Photographic)
1st PRS(VeryHeavy)Iredesi gnated 1st ReconnaissanceSquadron
IVeryLongRange, Photographic-Radar Countermeasures)
on10/4/45and1st ReconnaissanceSquadron IVLR, Photographic)
on11 / 13/45)
3rdPRS(VH) (redesi gnated3rdRSIVLR, Photographic- RCMI
on9/ 19/45 and 3rdRS(VLR. Photographic) on1/ 16/46)
5thSRS (photographi c)
9thRS(VLR, Photographic)
23rdRS(VLR, Photographicl (redesignated23rdSRS
IPhotographic) on6/16/491
24thCombat MappingSquadron
31st RS(VLR, Photographicl (redesignated31 st RS (VLR, Photo, RCM)
on 12/23/47and 31 st SRS IPhotographi c)on6/16/ 491
38th SRS (Medium, Photographic)
46th RS (VLR, Photographic- Weather) (redesignated46thRS
IVLR, Photographi c)on 10/23/46)
72nd RS (VLR, Photographic)
77th SRS (Photographic)
91 st SRS (Medium - Photographic)
99thSRS (photographic)
129thSRS (Medium. Phot ographi c)
(redesignated 129thSRS IMedium) on6/16/52)
PRS- PhotographicReconnaissance Squadron
PS- PhotographicSquadron
RS- ReconnaissanceSquadron
SRS - StrategicReconnaissance Squadron
11/10/ 44to3/10/47
5/19/44to3/ 15/47
5/1/49 to3/31/50
6/20/46 to 10/19/47
1/47to 12/16/47
10/ 20/47to 11/ 13/ 50
10/ 20/47to 11/ 15/ 50
11/1/50to 12/51
11/15/45to 10/13/47
10/13/47to 12/48
4/ 1/ 50to7/15/ 50
7/6/50 to 12/19/54
5/1/ 49to3/31/50
8/ 1/51to 10/15/52
In th e early I950s th e USAF investi gated
th e possibi lity of rag-a- long escort fighte rs to
defend its strategic bombers withi n ene my
airspace, The idea was to rend ezvous a pair
of figh ters with a bom ber right after take-off
and attach them to it with th eir wing-t ips,
so they could ride along during th e bomber's
mission. Once in ene my airspace th e friend-
ly fighters - having start ed thei r now idling
engines - were to detach from their carr ier
bomber and fend off host ilc fight er s if
'ju mp ed' . There were seve ral programmes
that investigated th is and similar concepts.
O ne such operat ion ca lled Ti/)Tow used
a modi fied B-29A-60-B (44-62093 ) and
two mod ified Republ ic F-84 D-I -RE Thun -
der jcr fight ers under Project MX- I0 18.
These th ree aircraft , redesignated EB-29A
and EF-84D respect ivel y, performed a
nu mber of succ essful flight tests in O pera-
t ion Ti/) Tow. But unfort un atel y on 24
April 1953 one of the EF-84D aircraft
un expectedly brok e away from the righ t
wing-ti p of th e EB-29A, causing it to enter
into a long, spi ralling flat spin from whi ch
it did not recover. A ll t hr ee aircraft crashed
into Peconic B<l Y, Long Island and the re
were no surv ivo rs.
An EB-29 B named MO NSTRO was crea t-
ed from one modi fied B-29B-65- BA (44 -
84 111) to serve as an airborne carrier and
launch vehicl e for th e Mc Donnell XF-85
Goblin in th e par a ire fighter programme,
under Project MX-472. As pl an ned, if th e
tests were successful, operat iona l F-85 Gob-
lins wou ld be ca rried on tr apeze-like assem-
blies withi n the aft bomb -bays of B-36
Peacemakcr bombers from rake-off to land-
ing. Since there wer e no B-36s yet avail-
able, the EB-29B was used in th e test flights.
Two XF-85s wer e built for use in th e par-
asite fight er programme and on 23 August
1948 at Mu roc AAFa rat her shaky but suc-
cessful in -flight b unc h. fligh t and recov ery
W<l Saccomp lishe d with XF- 5 number two
(46 -524 ). The number one XF-85 made
one free fligh t wh ile nu mber two made six.
T he parasite figh ter programme proved not
to be feasib le and was terminated in mid-
1949. It remai ns unclear as to what hap-
pened to MO NSTRO .
The desig na t ion KB-29M was assigned to
ninety-two B-29As and B-29Bs that were
co nverte d to ae rial tankers at Boeing's
\Vichit a Plant. The conversion invol ved
(44-615781of the 16thPhotographic Reconnaissance
Squadron at Kwajalein . It served with the 509BG
during the Bikin i atomic bombtests i n 1946.
Peter M. Bowers
u rr; THE ANGELLIC PIG,an F-13A-55-BN (44-61991)
at Kwaj al ein on 30July 1946. DavidW.Menard
BelOW: An F-13A-55-BN (44-619601 namedMARY
LOU at Kwajalein on 30July 1946. DavidW.Menard
TOP: A dramatic close-up view of the cockpit
greenhouseon an RB-29A(45-21773; formerly
a B-29-95-BW, it later becamea F-13A).
Peter M. Bowers
BOTTOM: The only EB-29B (45-21800; formerly a
B-29-96-BWI with a Bell X-1 tucked up within
her belly, It was on 14October 1947 that this
EB-29B droppedX-1 number one, and flown
by Captain Chuck Yeager, it becamethe first
aircraft to exceed the speed of sound.
Peter M. Bowers
This EB-29A 144-62093;
formerly a B-29A-60-BN)
was modified to carry a
pair of Republic EF-84D
Thunderjet fighters in
the Operation Tip Tow
experiments. In practice.
two F-84s would rendezvous
with a B-29 mother 'plane
and attach themselves to
her. Once this was done they
would ride along until they
were needed to fend off
enemy fighters. after which
they were to re-attach for
the trip home. EF-84D
(48-641) is on the left wing
t i p while EF-84D(48-661)
rides on the right. Peter M.
BELOW: The EB-29B named
MONSTROi s about to
ret ri eve a McDonnell XF-85
Goblin near Edwards AFB.
Formerly a B-29-60-BA
(44-841111. MONSTRO
successfully completed
a number of launches and
recoveries of the Goblin
parasite fighter. Peter M.
removing all gun tur rets and homhing
equipment. A 2,300 US gallon ( I,900 Imp
gallon/S, 7051tr) jctri sonablc fuel tank was
install ed in each bomb- bay. Fuel lines were
routed to a 200ft (60m) hose on a drum that
was reeled out of I hc ran ker by a steel cable
from the receiver B-29 or B-50. The met hod
of hook-up is explained in the story below.
The fuel transferred to the receiver init ially
went int o a 2,500 US gallon (2, 100 Imp gal-
lon/9,463lt r) fuel tank in th eir afl bomb-
bays. Seventy- four B-29s were converted to
receivers and designated B-29MRs.
The first two squadrons to get the KB-
29M were the 43rd Ai r Refuell ing Squadro n
(A RS) at Davis-Monrhan AFB. Arizona
and the 509th Air Refuelling Squadron
based at Walkcr (formerly Roswell) AFB,
cw Mexico. Thcy were ac rivarcd on 19
July 1948 and at th at t ime th ese two air
rcfuclling units (t he first in the USA F) were
KB-29MProduction (partial)
Serial Number Unit Comment Serial Number Unit Comment SerialNumber Unit Comm nt
44-27268 421ARS exB-29-35-MO 44-69958 exB-29-70-BW 44-87781 exB-29 90BW
44-27280 421ARS ex B-29-35-MO 44-69960 ex B-29-70-BW 44-87782 43ARS ex B-29·90-BW
44-27282 exB-29-35-MO 44-69962 ex B-29-70-BW 44-87783 exB-29·90-BW
44-27325 exB-29-35-MO 44-69981 ex B-29-70-BW 45-21 693 2ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-27329 421ARS ex B-29-40-MO 44-70019 ex B-29-75-BW 45-21695 509ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-27330 ex B-29-40-MO 44-70024 ex B-29-75- BW 45-21696 509ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-27333 ex B-29-40-MO 44-70044 ex B-29-75- BW 45-21697 ex B-29-90-BW
44-27338 ex B-29-40-MO 44-70047 ex B-29-75- BW 45-21699 509ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-27340 ex B-29-40-MO 44-70081 ex B-29-75-BW 45-21693 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-27349 ex B-29-40-MO 44-70144 ex B-29-80-BW 45-21700 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69681 ex B-29-55-BW 44-841 44 ex B-29-75-BA 45-21701 509ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69685 ex B-29-55-BW 44-86270 ex B-29-40-MO 45-21 702 509ARS ex B-29-90- BW
44-69699 ex B-29-55-BW 44-86277 ex B-29-45-MO 45-21702 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69704 ex B-29-55-BW 44-86389 exB-29-55-MO 45-21 703 43ARS ex B-29-90- BW
44-69709 ex B-29-60-BW 44-86418 421ARS ex B-29-55-MO 45-21 704 509ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-6971 0 43ARS ex B-29-60-BW 44-86420 ex B-29-55-MO 45-21 705 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69729 55ARS ex B-29-60-BW 44-87601 ex B-29-80-BW 45-21706 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69731 exB-29-60-BW 44-87610 ex B-29-80-BW 45-21713 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69782 ex B-29-60- BW 44-87611 ex B-29-80-BW 45-21716 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69798 ex B-29-60-BW 44-87622 ex B-29-BO-BW 45-21731 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69806 ex B-29-65-BW 44-87680 43ARS ex B-29-85-BW 45-21734 Oetachment 43 ex B-29-90-BW'
44-69807 ex B-29-65-BW 44-87725 ex B-29-86-BW 45-21738 ex B-29-90-BW
44-69809 ex B-29-65-BW 44-87742 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW 45-21741 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-6981 5 ex B-29-65-BW 44-87747 2ARS ex B-29-90-BW 45-21 764 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69841 ex B-29-65-BW 44-87758 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW 45-21765 509ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69853 ex B-29-65-BW 44-87770 ex B-29-90-BW 45-21769 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69860 ex B-29-65-BW 44-87776 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW 45-21778 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69875 ex B-29-65-BW 44-87777 43ARS ex B-29-90-BW 45-21785 509ARS exB-29-90-BW
44-69951 ex B-29-70-BW 44-87778 509ARS ex B-29-90-BW 45-21788 509ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69953 exB-29-70-BW 44-87779 43ARS exB-29-90-BW 45-21792 509ARS ex B-29-90-BW
44-69957 exB-29-70-BW 44-87780 509ARS exB-29-90-BW 45-21864 509ARS ex B-29-90-BW
45-21865 509ARS ex B-29-90-BW
ARS: Air Refuelling Squadron
*Modified with threedroguehosesasYKB-29T
only made up of sta ff members: theyd id not
recei ve th ei r aircraft unt il 1949. The crews
that [lew the ' planes were from sister bomb
gro ups - the 43BG and 509 BG. By mid -
1950 th ese squadrons were fully manned
and tr ained .
KB-29P Flying Boom Tan/?er
T hc hosc rcfuclling syste m used by th e
prev iously discussed KB-29M -aeroplanes
turned our to be cxrrcmclv cumbersome
and di fficu lt to use in service. T hc time
needed (or ranker and recei ver to make
cont act was usually qu ite long, th e rate of
fuel transfer was slow, and the aerodynamic
dra g imposed by th c hoses limited airspeed.
Boeing wen t to work on th e problem and
came up wit h the ' t1 ying boom' technique
A421ARS KB-29Monthe ramp at FairchildAFB. Washington. duringthemid1950s. Peler M. Bowers
Serial Number Unit Comment
42-65389 exB-29-35-MO
44-27346 exB-29-40-MO
44-27348 exB-29-40-MO
44-27353 509ARS ex B-29-40-MO
44-69672 ex B-29-55-BW
44-69674 420ARS ex B-29-55-BW
44-69687 exB-29-55-BW
44-69693 exB-29-55-BW
44-69700 420ARS ex B-29-55-BW
44-69702 exB-29-55-BW
44-69716 exB-29-60-BW
44-69761 exB-29-60-BW
44-69797 exB-29-60-BW
44-6981 9 exB-29-65-BW
44-69821 exB-29-65-BW
44-69822 exB-29-65-BW
44-69823 exB-29-65-BW
44-69826 exB-29-65-BW
44-69828 exB-29-65-BW
44-69837 exB-29-65-BW
44-69846 exB-29-65-BW
44-69847 exB-29-65-BW
44-69858 ex B-29-65-BW
44-69878 27ARS exB-29-65-BW
44-69904 exB-29-65-BW
44-6991 4 exB-29-70-BW
44-69915 exB-29-70-BW
44-83937 509ARS exB-29B-45-BA
44-84071 509ARS exB-29B-60-BA
44-841 89 ex B-29-75-BA
spec ially modified B-29B-60-BN (44-
8406 \ ) commanded by th en Colonel
of aerial refuell ing whi ch is st ill in use
today, The act ual de vel op ment of the fly-
ing boom aerial refuel ling syste m t urned
out to me a monumental undertaking, but
once it was perfected it prov ed to be hi gh -
Iy successful.
The designat ion KB-29P was assigned to
1\ 6 modified B-29s tha t were converted to
flying boom aerial refuelling tankers in
· 1950- 51, These were crea ted at Boeing's
Ren ton, Wash ingt on Plant 3 facility, The
KB-29P was the world' s first operat ional
flying boom aerial refuelling tanker, pre-
ceding the USAF fleets of Boein g KB-50s,
KC- 97s and KC-135s, and lat er th e
McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) KC-l Os
- all equipped by the flying boom syste m,
Since the advent of the KB-29, Flying
Boom operators arc st ill known as 'Clancy,'
which is derived from a classic America n
ballad, ' Clancy Lowered th e Boom' ,
The 'fl yi ng boom', Pater M. Bowers
A KB-29P(44·86383; formerly a B-29-50-MOI refuel s an F-86to demonstr ate the type of
receptacl e now i n st andard use within the USAF. AFFTC/HOvia Ray Puffer
ABOVE: General Bill Irvine's personal B-29B-60-BA (44-84061). which he
named PACUSAN DREAMBOAT. Fitted with special fuel -in jected R-3350-
CA-2 engines i t was used to set eighteen world records for distance and
speed in 1945 and 1946. DavidW. Menard
BELOW: Formerly a B-29-95-BW (45-21787), then a P2B-1S (BuNo 840291. FERTILE
MYRTLE launched this Douglas 0-558-2 Skyrocket with NACA test pilot A. Scott
Crossfield to achi eve a record speed of Mach 2.005, whi ch was then the fastest
speed ever attained by a manned air vehicle. AFFTC/HO via Ray Puffer
Clar ence S. Irvin e whil e he was based at
Andr ews Field (l at er Andrews Air Force
Base), Maryland. near Washington DC.
This partic ular B-29B was fitt ed wit h fuel -
inject ed R-3350-CA-2 en gines housed in
' Andy Gump ' nacel les. It was also stripped
of all of its ar ma ment and had large-capac-
it y fuel ta nks install ed in its two bomb-
hays. It wa in this configurat ion th at
Colonel (l ater Gene ral) Irvin e planned
and established eightee n wcighr -ro-alr i-
tude and weight -t o-speed records in lat e
1945 and early 1946. Hi s first record in
ovcmber 1945, from Guam to Wash ing-
ton DC, was set at a distance of 7,9 16 miles
( 12,737km). Anor her recor d, Los Angeles
to Ne w Yor k City. was esta blishe d at 5
hou rs 27 minut es. St ill anot he r mor e
famous record - flying non-stop 9,500
miles (15 ,300km) from Honolu lu. Hawaii
to Cairo. Egypt during 4-6 October 1946
- was acco mplished in 39 hours 36 min-
utes. The PACU A DREAMBOAT was
lat er fit ted with spec ial padd le-type three-
bladed propellers and was redesignat ed a
P2B-lS/ -2S
On 14 March 1947 th e US Navy bough t
four low-t ime B-29s to serve as long-range
sea rch and destr oy ant i-shi pping pat rol
bombe r aircraft. Two of th ese wer e desig-
nat ed P2B-I S. th e othe r two P2B-2S. One
P2B- l S (US Navy Bureau umber 84029)
was lat er modi fied for use by ACA (now
ASA) for the ae rial launch ings of the
Douglas D-55 -2 Skyroc ket.
This P2B-I S, n icknamed FERTILE
MYRTLE. was formerly a B-29-95-BW
(45-21787). It was used on 20 ovember
1953 when NACA t est pilot A. SCOll
Cross field raced to Mach 2.00 5 to become
the first person to fly at twice th e speed of
sound. FERTLE MYRTLE was saved and is
located at t he Internat ional Sport Avia-
tion Museum in Lakeland, Florid a.
Operation Bans hee
In 1947 , an operat ion ca lled Banshee was
put in place whereby specia l-purpose B-29s
would be filled with various loads of h igh
explosives and nuclear weapon s, for one-
way radio-cont rolled flight s into ene my
territory for pre-planned detonat ion upon
arriving at certa in st rategic targets. Th is
was a feasibility st udy under USAAF Air
Materiel Command Project MX-767.
A similar programme - Operat ion
A/Jhrodile - was actua llv imp lement ed in
World War Two, using Boe ing B- 17s and
Consolidated B-24s redesignated BQ-7 and
BQ-8, respect ively. (The prefix 'B' stood for
Bomber, 'Q' stood for Drone.) These aircraft
were flown to th e northern border of Ger-
man y where their crews baled out to be
picked up in the English Cha nnel. Just
before t he crews baled out an escor t ing
' mothe r ' plane' would take over the con-
trols via radi o co ntrol and fly th e BQ air-
craft 10 its pre-designat ed target. The
mother 'plane guided th e BQ aircraft to a
point wit hin 152nm (282km) of th e target
where two ot her mother ai rcraft took over.
T hese aircraft, using th eir SHORA
( 1-IOrt RA gc) radar syste ms, precisely
guided th e BQ aircraft to t he targets. One
Conso lidated BQ- .Toadcd wit h 21, 170lb
(9,600kg) of Torpcx explosive, mysteri-
ously and prcmat urely exploded on 12
August 1944, killing Joseph P. 'Joe'
Kennedy [ r, th e lat e Presiden t John E
Kennedy's oldes t brot her. Kennedy's plan e
was intend ed to have h it an underground
V-2 rocket facility.
In Operat ion Banshee, B-29s were to be
used just like t he BQ-7s and BQ -8s had
been. They were to carry a maximum h igh
explosive load of 10,000 to 12,0001 b
(4,500-5,400kg) and their one-way mission
range was to be 3,742nm (6,930km). At
least one B-29 was modified to BQ standard
under Operat ion Banshee and was del ivered
ro the USAF in Februar y 1948, but how
man y ot hers were created remains uncl ear.
In t he mid - to late- 1950s there were a
number of new and advanced fight ers and
fight er interceptors employed by th e
US AF's Air Defence Command (ADC )
and Tact ical Air Command (TA C) . A
nu mber of previ ously moth balled Super-
forts were resuscit at ed and converted to
serve as radi o-cont rolled Q B-29 target
dr on es for air-to -air gunne ry, missile and
rocket -firing evaluat ions. After t heir mod-
ificati on to QB-29 sta nda rd at Davi s-
Mont han AFB, Arizona , they were ferr ied
to Eglin AFB in Florida. Once they were
ABOVE: FERTILE MYRTlElaxis with the Bell X-1Aprior to its historic Mach 2.44number
fli ght with USAF Major Chuck Yeager at the controls. With this fli ght. Yeager regained
his status as the fastest manali ve. AFFTC/HO viaRay Puffer
8-29-95-8W- FERTILE MYRTLE mother ship;
Douglas 0-558-2 5kyrocket launch plane
US Navy P2B-l Sand P2B·2S Inventory
84030. formerly 45-21 791
84031, formerly 44-87766
84028. formerly 45-21 789
84029. formerly 45-21787
1' 28-15
1' 28-15
1' 28-25
1' 28-25
Recollections of anRB-29CtewinJapan: Alone WithTheEnemy
t here th ey were used for airborne target
pract ice by ADC and TAC weapon s t rain-
ing un its. For t he most part t hese new
fightcrs and int erceptors were scrambled
out of Eglin to intercept and th en dest roy
the alread y airborne and now incoming
Q B-29s th at approac hed from the cast,
nort h-east and sout h-c ast, Once they
intercepted the Q B-29s, wh ich were act -
ing the part of enemy bombers, th ese fight-
ers and interceptors proceeded to shoot
them down.
RB-2.9/ -2.9A
Beginn ing in 1948 t he surv iving F- 13 and
F- 13A ai rcraft wer e redesignated ' 1\13 ' for
(Pho tographic ) Rcconnaissancc 130mher
or RB-29 and RB-29A. In addit ion to th e
new ' ea vesdropping' el ect ron ic listen ing
equipment and elect ronic countermeasure
(ECM) systems, these RB-29s continned to
carry the phot ograph ic came ras emp loyed
by F-13s. Some of th ese cameras, however,
were improved and updated versions of their
predecessors. One j apan-based RB-29 crew
in t he Korcan \Var is recall ed in the box.
SB-29 'Super Dutnbo '
The SB-29 'Su per Dumho' was one of the
most import ant and un ique versions of the
Supcrforr. Thcy were dedica ted searc h and
rescue aircraft for aircrcws in both World
War Two and th e Kor ean \Var. These six-
teen spec ially buil t SB-29s carried a large
EDO Model A-3 lifeboat in thei r mod ified
bomb-hays. The acronym EDO st ands for
Earl D. Osborn , th e well-known Brit ish
man ufacturer of floats for seaplanes,
Early in Wor ld Wa r Two, t he Brit ish
government had assigned t he EDO Com-
pany the task of crearing a large unsink -
able lifeboat, complete with surv ival gear.
The EDO firm went to work and created
its Model A-3, wh ich was acc epted for
product ion . These were first used by Royal
Ai r Force bombers, wh ich car ried t hem on
long over-water comba t mission s ro rescue
aircrcws that had safely baled out of th eir
str icken aircraft or had made success ful
belly land ings at sea. Once it was reicased
from its carrier aircraft th e relativel y heavy
A-3 lifeboat wou ld drop int o the wat er
unde r four parachutes.
The UK-based USAAFalso used thi s sys-
rem, first with mod ified B-17s, designa ted
1'- 171-1 and named 'Dumbo' , th en with
modifi ed B-29s in th e Paci fic, designated
SB-29 and named 'Super Dumbo' ,
From acopyof aPacific Starsand Stripes article, pub-
lishedon30December 1950, The articlewas about the
31stand91st Recon Squadrons andwas in a Sunday
supplement of theStars andStripes, The storyis pro-
vided courtesy of WilliamF. (Bifl) Wel ch, crewmember
onLtEarleAmbrose's crew.
It is the story of thehighly secret mission of a little-
known groupof men and airplaneswithin theUS Far East
Air Forces thatcan now be told, It isastoryof danger-
ous, unescorted, lonely, single-'planeflightsdeep with-
inenemy territory bycrews of the31st Strategic Recon-
naissance Squadron, located at an airbase in Japan,
Duringthedarkdays inJuly 1950, whenworldatten-
tion was focused on theUnitedNations' valiant fight
against numerically superior Communist forces in the
shrinking Pusan perimeter, interest was momentarily
divertedtoareport originatinginthefar northalongthe
Theenemy reportedAmerican'planes flying in that
area, Werethesebombersreadytoattack? What were
they doing in that sector, when all the fighting was
goingonhundredsof milesto thesouth?
What theenemy didnot know then canbetoldnow,
The 'planes, loneRB-29Superfortresses flyinghigh and
deep into enemy territory, were operating on recon-
naissance missions asmembers of the 31st Strategic
Reconnaissance Squadron. (The squadron was later
redesignated the91st SRS,1
Starting four days after the North Korean Commu-
nistsplunged across the38th Parallel. a'planefromthe
31 st went aloftand headed west and northfrom anair
base in Japan, Dai ly thereafter, these 'planes went
deep into enemy territoryonphotographi c, reconnais-
sance and surveillance sorties, Dai ly they reported to
higher ground and air headquarters thedispositionof
enemy troops and supplies, movements of enemy
forces, weatherconditions, seatravel andother intelli-
gence information, whichassistedUnitedNationscom-
manders to virtually forecast the enemy's every step,
Since the start of hostilities, crewsof the31st have
flown more than 250 sorties, stacking up more than
2,800 combat hours, Their missions have been among
thelongest of the war, with fifteen- and sixteen-hour
flightsnot uncommon, Nearly all of them averagedten
totwelve hours flyingtime,
Duringmost of the time theRB-29crews have been
subject toenemy fireand somehave beenattackedby
enemy fighter 'planes, On9November, atailgunner, Cpl
Harry J, Laveneof St Louis, Mo. shot down a MiG-15
whenaflight of enemy jetsattackedhisRB-29, He thus
became one of thefirst airmen to scoreonthe prized
MiGs, He waslater decorated with theDistingui shed
Flying Cross,
After the first FEAF Bomber Command attacks on
Wonsan, low-hanging clouds hindered photographic
efforts for several days, Fi nally a 31st Superfortress
flown by Lt Earle Ambrose of Greenville, SC, roared
down to 1,500ft andskimmedover thecitytomake pic-
tures, drawingenemy firefrom thecityandnearbyhills,
On 27August, Lt Earl Myersof GrandIsland, Nebras-
ka, andhiscrewspottedninetytanksinonearea afew
miles west of Hamhung, Fighters and light bombers
roared into bring theconcentrationunder attack; pho-
tographstaken thenext day revealed amajor partofthe
tank force destroyed,
Flash reports from crews of the 31 st played an
important part inhelping stem theflowof troops and
suppliesfrom acrosstheborder intoKorea inSeptem-
ber. On 16September, Major Robert T. Ray of Little
Rock, Arkansas, and his crew spotted 200 vehicles
moving to thebattlefront. Air support wasmoved in
quicklyaftertheflash report tostrafe, bomb, androck-
et thevehicles,
It was aloneRB-29 from the31 st. flownbyLtRobert
T. Ebey of Topeka, Kansas, that took the first pho-
tographs of Sinuiju, a Korean cityonthe banks of the
Yalu River andtwin city on the Manchurian border. A
flash report from Ebey on 1 November disclosed the
presence of morethan 50enemy airplanesonthefield
there, A few hours later, flight after flight of Lockheed
F-80 Shooting Stars and North American F-51 Mus-
tangsof theFi fthAir Forceraked thefieldwith rockets
and,50-calibremachine-gun bulletsand left theenemy
air concentrationbroken and burni ng,
Still another RB-29from the31st, piloted byLt David
L Muller of NewYork City, hovered lowover theCom-
muni st stronghold of Kanggye on 5 November, while
high above, other B-29s from FEAF Bomber Command
rained thousands of fire bombs on the supply centre
and communicationshub,
Thefollowingday, 'before andafter' photos of Kang-
gye were spread over the desks of intelligence and
operationsofficers at FEAFBomber Command and FEAF
foranalysisof damage inflicted,
Thesamething happenedearly inthewarbeforeand
after strategic strikesonthe Wonsan oil refinery, the
Kanan munitions and chernical complex, the Seoul
bridges, important marshallingyards and more recent-
ly in thefire-bombing of eighteen resupplycentres in
far North Korea near theinternat ional border, and the
Shinuiju bridge complex, In all these cases the 31st
Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron crews pho-
tographedthetargetspriortomissionsandafter bombs
were dropped,
Thesquadron was in the Far East theatre - at Oki-
nawa- when the war brokeout. It was in action four
dayslater. It hasbeenfunctioningever since,under the
command of Lt Colonel EdwardD, Edwards of Altade-
na, Cal ifornia, and with a cloak of necessary secrecy
wrapped aroundit.
Reconnaissance made it possible to destroy military
target s with fire bombs, and leave untouched homes
and hospital s in thesame general area, The industrial
area a' Konan was obliterated, whileworkmen'shous-
esnearby wereleft untouched,
Suchpreci sion bombing ismade possible byaccurate
reconnai ssance furni shed bythe31 st - until now an
anonymousair element engaging inextremely danger-
ous operations high in the air over enemy territory.
Thecombat-proved RB-29s andRB-29Assoldiered on
until theywerefinally replacedbyRB-36s, RB-45s, RB-
47s, RB-50s and RB-52s in the mid- to late-1950s,
A fine study of an 5B-29 in flight. formerly a
B-29-80-BW (44-70119). Peter M. Bowers
BELOW: A 5B-29 on Rogers Dry Lake with an A-3
lifeboat at Edwards AFB. This 5B-29 was once a
B-29-70-BN (44-622121. AFFTC/HOvia Ray Puffer
INSET: An 5B-29 (44-61671) drops an A-3 lifeboat.
Peter M. Bowers
BonOM: The A-3 lifeboat w ith its detachable
ground-handling wheels. Its outward-canted
wings were used for aerodynamic stab ility dur ing
airdrops. Peter M. Bowers
It is not cle ar how many B-29s were converted to serve as VB-29 VIP transports .
Here a VB-29 (44-87755; former ly a B-29-90-BW) is shown in i ts USAFSACmarkings.
David W. Menard
TB-29s were all -important to the training and transit ion of B-29 pilots, co-pilots and
crewmembers. While it remains uncle ar exactly how many TB-29s were in servi ce
there were undoubt edly quite a few. This TB-29 was originally built as a B-29-55-MO
(44-86385). Peter M. Bowers
California, in 1946; it scrv 'd II
Anot he r was TB-29-75-B'\' (
t hat ope rated ,11 Gri({j s A FB,
with 4713th REVRO N (E
June 1959.
In a seconda ry role some T B-2l) -rv I
as row-rarger aircraft {or fighl er unu I II
pract ise hi gh-altitude gunne ry. Th . (arlo: I
reel ed out some 200{t (60m) beh ind rhe B-
29, on a cable {rom a spool that was
att ached to a spindle mounted undcmcath
the former tail-turret posit ion; th e tai l tur-
rets wer e removed {rom I he tow-tar get TB-
29s. Tow-target TB-29s operated wit h th e
Alaskan Ai r Command. 9t h Air Force in
the USA and the 12th Air Force in Europe.
Some T B-29s were employed by th e
Army, provi ding practice targets {or sur-
face-t o-air missi le systems such as the
Douglas SAM- A- ? Nike-Ajax and AM-
-25 j ike-He rcu les ground-based int er -
ceptor missiles.
An ADC rada r evaluat ion TB-29- I5-
MO (42-65234) had the distincti on of
being the last Supcrforrrcss in service, when
on 21June 1960 it was officiallv retired in a
ceremony at Hamilton AFB. California.
In th e US AF aircraft designati on system
t he prefix ' V' sta nds {or Very Important
Person ( VIP). T hus the VB-29 was a VIP
tr ansport . At least one VB-29 (44-84033 )
was crea ted {rom a B-29B-55-BA, bUI it
remain s unclear as to act ually how man y
VB-29s t here were.
T he WB-29 was a {ully co mbat -capable
wenther reconnaissance bomber. From
ea rly 1946 th e USAF Ai r Weather Se rvice
(AWS) operated many W B-29s, primari ly
{or weather reconn aissan ce, but wit h t heir
offens ive syste ms int ac t. That is, th eir five
gun turret s were removed and {aired over,
but th ei r hombin g ca pability was ret ain ed.
An ast rodo me took th e place o{ th e top
for ward gun turret. (During th e Korean
\Var a large nu mber of WB-29s had t heir
gun t urret s reinstalled; some just had their
ta il turret rcinsrall ed.)
From 26 June 1948 to 30 September 1949
a large nu mber o{WB-29s flew out of Eng-
land in support of th e Berlin Airlifr. On a
regula r hasis these W8-29s flew {rom RAF
air bases in the UK out over the North Sea
10 mon itor weather situat ions that might be
present 24-48 hour s lat er in th e air corridor
and B-29Bs. The T B-29 was primarily used
in the trai ni ng 0{ B-29 pilots, bombard iers,
gunne rs and flight enginee rs. These Trai n-
er-Bomber 29s work ed wit h both th e Air
Defence Comma nd and St rategic Air
Comma nd.
In th e case of th ose th at wor ked wit h the
ADC, a nu mber of T B-29s were spec ially
mod ified {or th e purpose o{ calibrat ing
radar sta t ions and ana lysing t heir detect ion
capability to track host ile air craft . One
such ADC TB-29 (a T8-29-60-BA, 44 -
840 76) was assigned to th e 4754th Radar
Evaluat ion Flight (REF) at Hamil ton AFB,
TB-29, TB-29A and TB-29B
The EDO Model A-3 Ii{ehoat could carry
up to fourteen per sons and it was 30{t
(9. 15m) long wit h a ran ge of 500 miles
(800km). To make room {or the A-3, whi ch
covered th e length o{ both bomb-bavs, on
the SB-29, the A lfAPQ- 13 searc h rada r
system was moved forward {rom its normal
posit ion bct wccu the two bomb-hays to just
art o{ the forward vent ral gun turret .
The designati on T B-29 was applied to
large numbers o{ former B-29s, B-29As
ABOVE: The XB-29Gwas formerl y a B-29-55-BA
(44-84043) that was used to test Gener al Electric
turbo j et engi nes such as t he J47 and J73 by lowerin g
t hem i nto the air strea m from its speci al trapeze
assembly mounted within i ts modi f i ed bomb-bays.
David W.Menard
RIGHT: The XB-39 (41-36954; formerly t he number one
YB-29) w as baile d to All i son for i n-fl i ght evalu at ion
of it s massive 24-cylinder V-3420 engine. The XB-39
was named SPIRIT OFLINCOLN. Peter M. Bowers
hcrwccn \Vest Germany and Berlin where
cargo aircraft would he flying.
During 1949 and 1950 a number o( W B-
29s were used to detect Soviet nuclear
bomb radiat ion (allout. These had red
Arcti c mar kings and a special device
ca lled ' bug ca tc her' in place o( the upper
rear gun turr et , whi ch sampled the part ic-
ulates in th e air.
As a notewort hy aside , wh ile it was co n-
ducti ng a spec ial research flight to st udy
elect ricity in th e air over t he Paci fic
Ocean a USAF AWl S WB-29 reached an
alt it ude o( 48,562(t (I 4,802m). which is
undeni ably th e highest ever recorded
flight of a Supcrfort ress.
There is very lit tle documented histo ry on
th e single XB-29E, other th an tha t it was
used to flight -t est various fire-con t rol and
radar systems; it was formerly a B-29-45-
B\V, its USAF serial nu mber unk nown.
The sole XB-29G was forme rly a B-29B-
55-BA (44-84043) . It was modi fied by
Gene ral Electric and served as a flying tur-
bojet engine rest- bed. The turbojet engines
were filled to a trapeze-like assembly in the
' plane 's modified bomb-hay. Once airborne
and cruising, the jet engine would he low-
ered inr o the slipstr eam (or its test runs.
Afte r test ing, the jet engine would he
raised back up int o the homb-hay to get it
out o( the way (or landing.
The single XB-29 H was a B-29A built at
Boeing-Ren ton th at was used (or t he spe-
cial insta llat ion and test ing of advanced
armament systems.
The Allison engine division of the Gene r-
al Moto rs Corpor at ion acquired YB-29
number one (4 1-36954) to inst all its new
2,600hp liquid-cooled V-3420 inline 24-
cylinde r engine (or fligh t -test eva luat ions.
After bein g rc-cngincd, t his aeroplane was
redesigned XB-39 and bore th e name
PIRI T O F LINCOL N. With the (our V-
3420 engines running at full power at
35, 000ft ( 11,000 m), th e XB-39 at ta ined a
maximum speed of 405111ph (652km{h) .
While some 35 mph (56km{h) (aste r th an
operat iona l B-29s, the incr ease in speed
was not enough to warr ant a new breed of
B-29s powered by V-3420 engi nes , so no
such aircraft were built.
The lone XB-44 (42-93845 ) was formerly
one of twenty B-29A-I -BN aeroplanes . It
was sent to Pratt & Whit ney, who fitt ed it
with (our 28-cylinder 3,500hp R-4360 (uur-
row \Vasp Major radial engines housed in
redesigned nacel les. The XB-44. then , actu-
ally served (or the most part as the prototype
(or the B-29D, which ult imat ely became the
B-50. (Since the XB-44 was created hy
P&W some referen ces refer to it as being the
Pratt & Whitney XB-44, hut it is officially
listed as the Boei ng XB-44.)
The Tall Tai l and 'Andy GUlTlP' B-29
One B-29-35-BW (42-245 28) was spec ial-
lv fit ted with ' Andy Gump' engine
nacelles and a tall vert ical tail. The taller
vert ical tai l was to improve directi on al sta-
bility (or the proposed B-29D at high speed
and alti t ude. The 'Andy G ump' engine
nacelle - so na med (or its sma ll chin, rem-
in iscent of t he ch inle ' s Andy Gump car -
toon st rip characte r - was slated for insta l-
lat ion on lure-model B-29As wit h th e
R-4360 Wasp Major engine.
The Andy Gump engine nacell e config-
urat ion was never applied to any produc-
tion B-29, apart (rom some lat e-product ion
B-29As. It was employed, however, on t he
ABOVE: The unique XB-44(42-93845; formerly a B-29A-l -BN)
was an engine test -bed for the Pratt & Whitney R·4360
engine. If built. this is what the B-290 would have looked
like. Peter M. Bowers
BELOW: This B-29-35-BW (42-24528) was specially modified with a tall tail and 'Andy Gump' engine
nacelles to serve as both the prototype for the B·290 (with the additional vertical tail area) and
the subsequent B-5OA (wit h R-3350 engines). which evolved fromthe proposed but unbuilt B-290.
Peter M. Bowers
six Boei ng service rest YC-97 transport air-
craft, as well as the lon g-range, spec ially-
modified B-29B-60- BA (44- 406 1) named
the PACUSA DREAMBOAT, whi ch set
a nu mber of world records (see page 15 ).
Post -war service test YB-29Js wer e also
fitt ed wit h the And y Gump nacelles.
Ult imat ely t he proposed B-29D became
the product ion B-50A, wh ich had th e
taller vert ical tail, Andy Gu mp engi ne
nacel les and R-4360 Wasp Major engine .
Thus, in essence , rhi s B-29 served in part
as th e proto type B-50A.
The YB-29J ae roplanes were fitt ed with
fuel-injected Wri ght R-3350-CA-2 engines
and t he revised 'Andy Gump' eng ine
nacelles. Thi s co mbina t ion was to be used
on late-model B-29As, and the YB-29Js
served as service test aeroplanes for it. At
least five YB-29Js were crea ted, but thi s
remai ns uncl ear. It is known, however, that
two examples (44-86398 and 44- 6402)
were converte d to serv e as YKB-29J ser-
vice rest aircraft for the fort hco ming KB-
Serial Number
44-27349. exB-29-40-MO
44-62027. exB-29A-60-BN
44-84061. exB-29B-60-BA
44-86398. ex B-29-55-MO
44-86402. ex B·29·55-MO
YB-29J Production (partial)
YB·29J toYKB-29J toYKB·29M
YB-29J only
YB-29J toTB·29B- lormerlythePACUSAN DREAMBOAT
YB-29J toYKB-29J
YB-29J toYKB-29J
June 1946 Boeing had , in the int er im,
tooled to produce its C/KC-97 aircra ft
th ere, so th e B-50A prod uct ion line was
set up at Boeing's Seat tle Plant 2 facility
inst ead; t hus the new aircraft wer e event u-
ally designa ted th e B-50A-BO.
71l e B-50
and a cont rac t for 200 producti on B-29Ds
had ac t ually been signed in Ju ly 1945 , but
thi s was ca nc elled in late Se pte mbe r 1945
due to th e war's end.
In the post-war years th e AAF set
about mothballing low-t ime and scrapping
h igh-t ime neet s of \'V'orl d Wa r Two
bombers, incl udi ng man y war-weary B-
29s. Then on 2 I March 1946 t he USAAF
esruhlishcd its Strateg ic Ai r Comma nd
(SAC) and raced forward to acquire a flee t
of modern stra tegic nucl ear bom bers.
However, the so-called jet age had arrived
and it was di fficult to sel l the USAAF' new'
13-29 models, eve n th e much improved
B-29D. St ill, the newly estab lished USAF,
fou nd ed as a sepa rate service on 18 Se p-
tem ber 1947, needed interim heavy
bombers wh ile it wait ed for jet -power ed
bombers such as the Nort h Ameri can 13-45
Tornado, Boeing B-47 Srrarojcr and Boeing
B-52 St rarofort ress. At th is t ime the US AF
was gearing up to receive its first bat ch of
Convai r 13-36 Peacemaker bombers, bur it
also wanted, and needed, Boein g's can-
ce lled B-29D.
Knowing that it would not fare all that
well wit h a request to build B-29Ds, th e
USAAF/USAF redesignat ed the D model
of th e B-29 the B-50A. Its newer and mor e
powerful engines and larger verti cal stabi-
lizer wer e the excuse used for thi s rcclcsig-
na tio n. The ploy work ed an d on 30 June
194 7 a co ntract (AC 13013) was approved
for th e initi al bat ch of fifty-nine B-50A -
13 s to be built at Ren ton. But since B-29
produ cti on at th at facility had ended in
29P tanker ai rcraft programme; at least two
more served as RB-29J photographi c recon -
na issance aircra ft.
>' KB-29T
ne YKB-29T was created from a KB-
29M (45-21734, for merly a B-29-90-BW).
It was converte d in England to use the
RAF's t hr ee-hose ae rial refuell ing system,
with whi ch it could refuel three fight er
aeroplanes at th e same t ime. Two of th e
three hoses reeled out from wing-tip tanks
whil e th e third reel ed out from the rail sec-
t ion . Th is thr ee-hose syste m was later used
on KB-50 ae roplanes.
The last Bell-At lanra built B-29 was deli v-
ered in Janu ary 1945 (B-29-65-BA, 44-
84 104) and th e last Bell-A tlanta B-29B
was delivered in Se pte mber 1945 (B-29B-
65-BA, 44- 4 156). The last Martin-
Omaha B-29 was deli ver ed in Septe mber
1945 ( B-29-60-MO , 44- 6473) . The last
Boein g-\'V'i chi ta 13-29 was deli vered in
October 1945 (B-29-100-BW, 45-21872 )
and th e last Boeing-Renton B-29A was
del ivered on l Oj unc 1946 (B-29A -75-BN,
44-623 28) .
8-29 Spi n-Offs
Almost immedi atel y afte r VJ-Day on 2
cprcmbcr 1945 the re were numerous
ca ncel lat ions and redu cti ons in milit ary
aircraft procurement and produ ct ion pro-
grammes. It was no differ ent for Boeing
and its B-29 Superforrress, st ill in produc-
t ion at hot h its Wi chita and Ren ton
plants. By t hi s time both Bell and Martin
had co mpleted th eir respect ive 13-29 man -
ufacturi ng program mes. In all, afte r all of
the 13-29 produ ction ca ncellat ions were
made, Boeing, Bell and Martin delivered a
tot al of 3,970 Superforts out of9,052 B-29s
th at had been or de red prior to VJ- Day;
t hus 5,082 B-29s were ca nc el led.
During th e war years Boeing had con-
t inued to devel op and impr ove its B-29
The Boeing Model B-345 -2-1, the B-50A-
130 , was classified as a medium-class stratc-
gic bomber. On 30 Jun e 1947 a USAAF
contract (AC 13013 ) was approved for th e
manu facture of sixty B-50As as follows: four
B-50A-I -BO (46-002/ -005), ten B-50A-5-
130 (46-006/ -0 15) , ten B-50A-IO-BO (46-
0 16/-025), ten B-50A- 15-BO (46-026/-
035 ), ten B-50A-20-BO (46-036/-045), and
sixteen B-50A-25-BO (46-046/-06 1). The
sixt ieth example, 46-06 1, was event ually
cance lled: it was to be taken off th e prod uc-
t ion line to undergo modificati on to the YB-
50C configurat ion as prototype of the pro-
ject ed B/RB-54A aircraft, described below,
To t he untra ined eye the B-50A looked
for the enti re world like a B-29 in its over-
all outward appea rance . But upon closer
examina t ion two major differences were
read ily detect ab le: a h igher vert ical srabi-
lizer , ab le to fold over for hanger clearance;
and a new nacell e design to house a new
engine. Othe r less noti ceable changes
included th e switch from th e use of 24 ST
alumin ium alloy to 75 ST aluminium alloy
for th e structure and skin. The new alloy
was both t ron ger and lighter. For exa m-
ple, a B-29 win g built with it was mor e
th an 600lb ( Z70kg) light er, bur 16 per cent
stro nge r! The B-50A retained th e B-29's
basic armame nt hut it was built from th e
outse t to serve as a nucl ear bomber if need
be. A sign ificant difference, hidden und er
its new nacel le, was its new engine - th e
28-cylinder, four -row 3,500hp Pratt &
Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major, wh ich gave
a 59 per cent power increase over th e B-
29's 2,200hp Wr igh t R-3350 engine.
Specification - B-5OA
FourPratt &WhitneyWaspMajorR-4360-35radial engines
Empty81,050lb(36,760kg); loaded 168,7081b176.525kg)
Length991t (30.1ml: wingspan 141ft 3in(43.1ml; wing area l ,720sq It (159.8sqm]: height
3211 8in(1 0m)
Maximumspeed385mph(620km/h); cruisingspeed 235mph(380km/ h);
service ceiling37.00011 (11 .300m);maximum range 4.650miles(7.500km); maximum bomb
load20.000lb 19,OOOkg)
The first B-50A (46-2) made its maiden
flight on 25 June 1947. It was not a proto-
type per sc, but a bona fide product ion air-
craft. It and the othe r fifty-eight B-50A-
BOs were lat er ferried to Boeing's Wich ita
faci lity to undergo an 'extend ed range'
mod ificat ion programme, whereby th ey
were fin ed with receptacles to use th e hose-
type in-fligh t refuel ling system devel oped
by the Brit ish RAE These were later modi -
fied to use Boeing's own ' flying boom' sys-
tem. It could carry a maximum bomb load
of 20,000l b (9,000kg) and was ar med with
twel ve .50-c alibre machi ne-guns and a sin-
gle 20mm canno n. Its maximum range was
unlimited with aerial refuelling.
In addit ion to the factor y-built B-50As,
B-50Bs, B-50Ds and T B-50Hs there were
numerous of othe r versions of the B-50 cre-
ated from modificat ion programmes, whi ch
are beyond the scope of thi s reference. In
all, Boe ing-Seat tle produced 371 B-50A, B-
SOB, B-50D and TB-5m-1 aircraft.
The forty-five B-50 Bs wer e imp roved B-
50As with an increased gross wei ght of
170,0001b ( 77, OOOkg). Most were convert-
ed into RB-50B reconnaissan ce bombers,
and then KB-50J tankers before th eir
reti rement .
The 222 B-50Ds were the ult imat e vari-
ants of th e B-50 series, wit h a 173,0001b
(78,S00kg) gross weight. These had exte nd-
ed range with two 700-US gallon (580 Imp
gallon/2,650Itr) externa l fuel tanks mount -
ed on pylons ben eath either wing. From B-
SOD number 16 onwards, th ey were
equipped for in-fligh t refuel ling via the fly-
ing boom system.
The twent y-four TB-50Hs served as
unar med bombardi er/ navigato r tr ainer s
unt il lat er co nve rted into KB-50K tankers.
The B-54
The never-bui lt Boeing B-54A and RB-
54A bombers fell vict im to Boeing's own
success in building two of the jet age's most
significant jet-powered bom ber aircra ft -
B-47 St rarojct and B-52 Strarotorrrcss. Yet
th eir story is int eresti ng because, if built ,
they would have been the epito me bot h of
B-29 devel op ment and of pist on-engin ed
bombers, wh ile st ill looking very much
like th e original XB-29 Supcrfort ress.
Respecti vely designated B-50C and RB-
SOC at first, th e B-54A and RB-54A were to
be highly advanced versions of the B-29/
B-50 series. Bot h were to be powered by four
4,S00hp Pratt & Whitncy R-4360-5 1 Wasp
Major turbo-compound 28-cylinde r radial
Animpressive view of a BoeingKB-50J(49-03911. formerly a B-500. sportingtwo
underwing 700USgallon(580 Impgallon1external fuel tanks andtwo 5.200lb thrust
General Electric J47turbojet engines.whichraised topspeedto444mph (715km/h).
AFFTC/ HO via Ray Puffer
B-50A. B-50B. B·50D and TB-50H Production
Designation Ouantity Serial Number Comment
B-50A-l -BO 4 46-002/ -005 contract AC 1301 31approved30/6/47)
B-50A-5-BO 10 46-006/-01 5
B-50A-l0-BO 10 46-016/-025
B-50A-15-BO 10 46-026/-035
B-50A-20-BO 10 46-036/-045
B-50A-25-BO 15 46-046/-060
B-50A-25-BO 0 46-061 cancelled; toYB-50C prototype
(laterYBIYRB-54A; not compl eted]
B-50A-30-BO 15 47-098/-11 2 contract AC 15587 1approved26/11 /47)
B-50A-35-60 5 47-113/-117
B-50B- 40-BO 10 47-1 18/ -127
6-50B-45-BO 10 47-128/ -1 37
6-50B-50-BO 10 47-1 38/ -147
B-50B-55-BO 10 47-148/-157
6-50B-60-BO 5 47-158/-162
B-500-65-60 8 47-163/-170
6-500-70-BO 7 48-046/-052
B-500-75-60 10 48-053/-062
B-500-80-60 10 48-063/-072
B-500-85-60 10 48-073/-082
B-500-90-BO 10 48-083/ -092
B-500-95-BO 10 48-093/ -102
B-500-100-60 10 48-1 03/ -1 12
B-500-105-60 15 48-11 3/-127
B-500-1 10-BO 33 49-260/-292 contract AC198231approved3/2/491
B-500-1 15-60 33 49-293/ -325
B-500-120-60 33 49-326/ -358
B-500-125-60 33 49-359/ -391
TB-50H-BO 24 51 -447/-470 contractAF14809 (approved24/10/511
Total : 370
TOP: Anartist' s impression of the gargantuan Boeing B-54. Peter M. Bowers
MIOOLE: The Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation (BAHF) restored this
C-97G (52-2718), named DELIVERANCE, to appear as the C-97A (45-59595) that
participated in that historic undertaking. BAHF
BonOM: AB-377Stratocru iser in American Airlines markings. Apart fromits double-deck
configuration and different nose treatment, it resembled the B-29. Northwest Airlines
engines; this version of the Wasp Major was
also known as a Variable Dischargc Turbin e
(VDT) engine and was once slat ed for use
by the Conva ir 13-36 as well.
In May 1948 the USAF ordered an ini-
t ial bat ch of thirt y B/RB-50Cs, USAF seri-
al numbers 49-200 to 49-229. Thc B/RB-
50C full-scale enginee ring mock-up was
inspect ed and approved in Novembe r 1948.
Then a B-50A-25-BN (46-06 1) was pirat ed
from the Scat tic product ion line to he con-
verted to the service test YB-50C. In early
1949, due to its man y differences from and
improvement s over the 13-50, the USA F re-
designat ed the B/RB-50C to B/RB-54A.
Wind-tunnel eva luat ions and engineer-
ing data in reference to the R-4360 engine' s
immense power dictarcd that the B/RB-54A
needed to he qui te a bit longer than previ-
ous B-50 model s, with an increased
wingspan as wel l. Their proj ect ed length
was to be 111ft (33.8m) wit h a wingspan of
161ft 2in (49. lm). Moreover, due to thi s
increased size and weight , these aircraft
would have been about 50,0001b (23 ,OOOkg)
heavier than the heaviest 13-50. However,
with the advent of the six-jet B-47 and
eight-jet 13-52, the B/RB-54A became obso-
lete and the programme was correctl y rer-
ruinated. The YB-50C/YB-54A service test
aircraft, some 75 per cent finished at can-
cel lat ion, was not completed.
As menti oned ea rlier th e B-29 served
as t he basis for two ot he r successful
Boeing types: rhe milit ar y Model 13-367
Str arofrcighrer, wh ich evolved into the C-
97 and KC-97 series of aircraft ; and th e
civilian Model 13-377, wh ich was th e
famed Srrarocruiscr airl iner. Boeing pro -
duced 888 C-97s and fift y-six St rarocruis-
crs. Of the 888 C-97s built, 219 were built
as KC- 97E/Fs and 592 as KC-97Gs. The
C/ KC-97 airplanes were bu ilt between
[944 and 1955 wh ile th e St ratoc ruiscrs
wer e prod uced from 194 7 to 1950.
An int erest ing modificat ion of rhe Srra-
tocruiser was the Model 377-PG , the ' Preg-
nant Guppy' . Aero Space Lines Corpora-
tion bough t a single Pan American
Airl ines 13-377 - 10-26 (N 1024V) and hi red
On-Ma rk Engineering Company to mod ify
ir to transport Sat urn moon-rocket assem-
blies. Ne xt ca me the even larger Super
Guppy (3 77SGT- 20 I ), created to trans-
por t Int ernat ional Space Stat ion modu les.
Finally, a lit tle-known use of B-29 tech-
nology was t he near ident ica l rail group
assembly (albeit sca led down ) employed
by the three Model 13-400 Boci ng XFSB- I
fighter-bomber prot ot ypes bought by the
-------- -----
- - - ~
TOP: The Aero Spacelines B371PG Pregnant Guppy
prior to a seri es of flight-tests and pilot familiari zation
eval uati ons at Edwards AFB i n October 1962. NASA
ABOVE: The Super Guppy in NASA mark ings at t he
Dryden Flight Research Centre (DFRC) at Edwards
The t ai l group on this XF8B-1 prototype clearly
shows its close relationship to that of the B-29.
- - - ~ ......---
A KB-29M of the 301st Air Refuelling Squadron in
the Korean War. Peter M. Bowers
US <1VY. The se were powered by single
3,000hp Pratt & Whitney 1\-4360 Wasp
Major four-row, 2 -cylindc r radial engines,
giving t hem a top speed of 430mph
(690km/h ).
It is t ruly amazing just how far a basic
airframe ca n be modi fied and stretche d to
gene rate newer and better types of aircraft.
This t ruism cert ainly applied to the B-29:
in only six years, from the appea rance of
th e origina l XB-29 in 1942 ro the ca nce l-
lati on of th e proposed B/RB-54A in 194 ,
t he Superfort had successfully mcramor-
ph osed int o at least twent y ot he r variant s.
- E ~ ' - - - ~
I ,
Line drawings of a B-29A.
Lloyd S. Jones
25 r::FFT
BELOW: A KB-29M (formerly a B-29-90-BW, 45-21734), later redesignated YKB-29T,
refuels three RAFGloster Meteor fighters via its standard fus el age hose and
added wing-tip pod hoses. Peter M. Bowers
A KB-29M (cl osest to camera) refuels a
B-29MR via the hose syst em developed
by the Brit i sh. This system was less pop-
ular than the hose-and-drogue system.
and far less favoured than the flying
boom system. Peter M. Bowers
BELOW: A KB-29B refuels a Boei ng
B-47A Stratojet near Edwards to verify
compatib ility between the two types of
aircraft. AFFTC/ HO via Ray Puffer
BonOM: An exce llent close-up view of
the KB-29P's fl ying boom conf iguration.
This KB-29Pwas formerly a B-29-60-BA
(44-84071). Peter M. Bowers
TOP: This EB-29 (42-62205; formerly a B-29A-60-BN)
was modifi ed to serve as a receiver for early flying
boom system tests . The tanker, f ormerl y a B-29A-l 0-
BN (42-93921I, was one of the first Superforts to be
converted to KB-29Pstandard . The wh ite-paint atop
the EB-29's fuselage was applied to show patterns
of fuel spillage. Peter M. Bowers
ABOVE: A KB-29M of the 301BG, 301st Air Refuelling
Squadron. Peter M. Bowers
MA (44-27352) in the lead, and PA(44-61551 )
tr ailing her over Edwards AFB, during t he mid
1950s. MA was a B-29-40-MO modifi ed w it h a
low-drag receptac le assembly astern, to refuel
PA IB-29A-35-BN) whic h was equi pped with a
ref uelli ng probe i n test evaluat ions of this unique
aerial ref uelling procedure. Once PA's probe
ent ered int o MA's receptac le, fuel was transferred
to PA. This in-fli ght refuelling system, however,
was not proceeded w ith. AFFTC/HOvia Ray PuHer
The 8-29 bone yard at the US Navy China Lake facility in southern California. This
facil ity provided numerou s spare parts for 8-29 restoration efforts. and it has provided
the world's only two fly ing 8 -29s, FIFI and. soon, DOC. AFFTC/HOvia Ray Puffer
reign as the wor ld's only flying upcr on I
about to end.
As thi s hook went to press in ea rly 200 3,
a second B-29 was being rest or ed 10 Ilyin
condit ion; it is owned by th e nircd nu
Avia t ion Museum (West ern I ivisinn
based at Inyokern , Californ ia. It is a B-2
70-BW (44-69972) whi ch was r .. u
15 April 199 from the US nvv
Ch ina Lake and subsequentI mo I
U AM (WD) faci liry ar lnvok I n III
2000, Boei ng-Wichita in K;II\ a I
provide hangar space and f I II I
orgunizat ion of t he volunt ' ' I
wou ld be necessary to su C ' (11 11
the aircraft to flying uuu s. It
qucnt ly moved to the I II
Wichita, Kansas (whcr ' it \ ', I I I I
restorat ion to flying ond it \I n I
and for mer Boei ng em] 1,1
. '
- ~ - - - - '
Beginning on 3 1 March 1971, CAF vol -
unteers wor ked ni ne weeks to make the air-
craft flyable. To do thi s th ey restor ed all th e
crit ical syste m by rep laci ng fuel, hydrauli c
and oil lines, and fligh t contro ls and instru -
ments. Prior to fligh t th ey tested the
engines and landing gear. Then on 3
August 197 1, flying 1,250 miles (2,000km)
non-stop to CAF headquarters in Harri ng-
ton, Texas, 44-62070 safely landed afte r
flying for th e first time in fiftee n years. ud-
dcn lv, th e wor ld co uld once mor e enjoy a
flying Superfor t , whi ch in late 1974 was
christened FIFI (civil registr at ion 529B).
For nearly thi rty yea rs since , FIFI has
kept a busy sche dule and has appea red at
nu merous air sho ws throughout th e ni t-
ed Sta tes. Ir remains one of the most pop -
ula r stars of these air sho ws and it is fully
apprec iat ed by th ose in attenda nce. But its
Flying 8-295
From early Septe mber 194 2 unti l mid-May
1946 the Boe ing Ai rplane Company, in
conc ert with the Bell A ircraft Cor pora-
t ion and the G lenn L. Martin Company,
produced nearl y 4, 000 B-29, B-29A and B-
2913 aircraft. A rel at ivel y large number of
them were cl ai med by combat act ion in
\'(Iorl d \'(Iar Two, whil e many ot he rs wer e
take n by gene ral att rit ion and unfort unate
mishaps. Yet , mor e than 2, 500 of th em .ur-
vived the war. A fairly large number of
th ese - gene rally th ose of th e newly estab-
lished USAAF St rategic Air Comma nd
and speci fica lly th ose of the 509t h Bomb
G roup (for me rly Compos ite Group), t he
world's first and then only nucl ear bomb
group - remained in service whi le a host of
others wer e placed in flyable stor age. They
were not to be sold or scrapped, like many
other types of World \'(Iar Two aircraft , for
the B-29 was the most advanced bomber
in th e world .
Combat ac t ion in the Kor ean \'(Iar took
a nu mber of ot he r B-29s, not to ment ion
t he addit iona l losses from att rit ion and
mi shaps between the wars and afte r th em.
Wit h the advent of mor e advanced heavy
bornbcrs the B-29s were finall y st ricken
from USAF inv entor y and placed int o dis-
persal yards to he sold and/or scrapped.
Today, fewer than forty remain in ex is-
tence out of th e 3,970 B-29s that wer e
built. T hese few serve as historic di splays
and museum pieces, and one was co m-
plet ely rebui lt to flying condit ion in 1974
and has been flying ever since.
The 13-29 that was brought back to become
a flying upcrforr once aga in is pro ud ly
owned by th e Confede rate Air For ce
(CAF ). It was ori ginally bui lt as a B-29A-
60-BN (44-62070 ) and was placed in non-
cocoo ned stor age at C hina Lake Naval
Weapons Cent re, Californ ia, in October
1956. Dur ing its service with t he US AF it
also served as a T B-29 and VB-29 on sev-
eral occasions.
FIFI of t he Confederate Ai r Force (CAF) has long wowe d the crowds of aviati on fans at many ai r shows.
It conti nues to do t oday. Boeing viaW. All en
Thi s 13-29 was delivered to the US AAF
in March 1945, and after th e war it pri -
mar ily served in th e el ect ronic co unter-
measur es (ECM) role at G riffis AFB,
Rome, ew York. It was decommi ssioned
in October 1956 and flown to China Lake
aval Weapons Centre where it remained
unti l it 199 rescue.
Whil c it was in service at G riffis AFB
this 8 -29 fea tured th e Walt Disney cartoon
characters now \Vhite and the even
Dwar fs, hi gh ligh ti ng Doc, one of the more
pop ular of the seven dwarfs, hence the
plan e's name - DOC.
At the tim e of wr it ing, DOC was sched-
uled to ta ke Oight in t he spring or summer
of 2003. In any eve nt, whether DOC
meet its proj ected first flight chcdule, it
will be no less t han mar vel lous to see these
two 13-295 Oying toge t he r when t hat eve nt
ac t ually occurs.
There was a th ird Oying Supc rfort of
wh ich littl e informati on has been bro ught
to light. It is a B-29A-45-B (44-6 1748)
named IT' S HAWG W ILD rl uu was
donat ed to the Imperial \Var Museum at
Duxford , England. Much like FIFI, it was
rescued from China Lake in t he late 19705
and was made flyable with the use of
n umerous bi ts and pieces from a number of
Chi na Lake B-29s. After it was restor ed to
Oying condit ion it was flown to Eng land in
19 0 (Brit ish regist rati on G- BHDK) and
it is on display at th e America n Ai r Muse-
um in Duxford in 307 BG co lours and
mar ki ngs.
The condition in which DOC was found at China Lake. Boeing viaDick Ziegler
DOC arri vi ng at Boeing-Wichita. BoeingviaDickZiegler
Non-Flyi ng 8-295
The most hi storically significant I
surviving B-29s is of course the III
E O l A GAY. This of course is the I II
ma/Little Boy atomic bomber, wlu I
many years was stored in bits and 1'1
the Paul E. Gar ber Preservat ion. 1
rion and Sroragc Facilirvof rhe mith II
Inst itut ion - spec ifically, the National
and Space Museum ( ASM).
In the early 1990s, in prepa rat ion for II
50t h anniversar y of its drop ping LilliI' BII
on Hi roshi ma to help bring ahout th e n I
of Wor ld War Two, ENO LA G AY \ a
undergoing restorati on in prepa rat ion for
its assembly for stat ic d ispla y to begin
somet ime befor e 6 August 1995. But th ' r
was cont rove rsy over just how E l.
GAY should be di spla yed. It was finall y
decid ed that only the nose sec t ion II
ENO l.A GAY would be display xl, II I
beginni ng in lat e Jun e 1995 th is hi! it
went on di splay at the NASM .
Oneof DOC's R-3350engines. BoeingviaDickZiegler
ABOVE: DOCrestor ation. Boeingvia Dick Ziegler
LEFr. DOC nose art . Boeing via Dick Ziegler
Sinc e mid - 1995 all th e remaining sec-
t ions of ENOLA GAYhave l -ccn restor ed.
It is to be fully assembled and put on per -
man cnt stat ic d isplay at th e new NASM
Air and Space Annex at what is ca lled
Dull es Center at Washingto n Dulles Inter-
nat ional Airport, Virginia.
The second most recogn ized 13-29 is
t he agasaki /Far Man at omic bomber
BOCKSCAR, whi ch remains on penna-
ncnt stat ic di splay at th e US Air For ce
Museum, Wr ight -Patt erson AFB at Day-
ton, Oh io.
Another significant 13-29 was the carrier
aircraft (mot her plane) for th e US avv
high-speed, high -altitude Douglas D-558-2
Skyrocket programme. It began life as a 13-
29-95- BW (45-21787) but was given ove r
to th e US Navy in th e lat e 1940s, wh ich
redesignat ed it P213- 1S (US Bureau um-
her 4029) . During its heyday at Edwards
AFB in the 1950s it was ni cknamed
FERTILE MYRTLE, and in 19 4 it was
donated to an av iat ion museu m in Oakland,
Califor nia. lr was larcr bought by the Kermi t
Wecks Fantasy o( Flight Museum near [)lJlk
Ci ty, Flor ida where it remains roday (c ivil
registrat ion number j 29KW).
TOP: DOCin Boeing-Wichita Plant 2 f acto ry, where it was or iginally built nearly sixty year s ago.
Boeingvia Dick Ziegler
ABOVE: The B-29-35-MO (44-27297) as i t w as i n desert stor age prior to being restored for permanent dis pl ay at
the US Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. BrianBaker via Peter M. Bowers
Stat ic Display 8-29s
ENOLA GAY, B-29-45-MO. 44-86292
O wne d by rhc ationa l Air and Space
Mu seum, on Slat ic display hegi nning in
2003 at th e ASM Ai r and pace Annex
(called Dulles Cen te r) at Wash ingron
Dulles Int ernat ional Airpor t , Virgin ia.
BOCKSCAR. B-29-35-MO, 44-27297
US Air Force Museum, \X1ri gh t -Patt erson
A FB, Dayto n, O hio.
13-29-97-BW, 45-2/748
Sand ia Nat ional Atomic Museum, Kirt -
land A FB, Albuquerque , cw Me. i o;
former ly displa yed at Chanute A FB Mus '.
11111 , Illinoi s.
LEAGLE EAGLEII, B-29-9D-BW, 44-87779 B-29A-70-BN, 44-62220
So uth Dakot a Air and Space Museum, Kclly AFB Museum, San Ant onio, Texas,
Ellswort h AFB, Rapid C ity, So uth Dakota.
B-2.9A-15-BN, 42-93967
Georgia Veterans Memor ial Park , Cordele,
B-29-80-BW, 44-87627
Barksda lc AFB, Sh reve port, Louisian a.
HAGERTY'SHAG, B-2.9-55-MO, 44-
Hill Aerospace Museum, Hill AFB, Ogden,
HERE'S HOPING, B-29-75-BW, 44-70102
Recover ed from China Lake, Californ ia to
replace DOC at th e Bud McGcc Avi ati on
Par k, lnyokern, Californ ia.
MAN 0 ' WAR, B-29-60-BA, 44-84076
Strategic Air Command Museum, Omaha,
B-29-55-BA, 44-84053
Warncr Robins AF B, Mariet t a, Georg ia.
Tin ker AFB Ai r Park , Oklahoma C ity,
RAZ'N HELL, B-2.9A-35-BN, 44-61535
Cast le AFB, Merc ed , Californ ia; mad c up
of rh rcc B-29s - win gs from 44 -84084,
n ose from 44-70064, am i tai l from the real
RAZ' N HELL (44-615 35) .
2.9A-40-BN, 44-6166.9
March AFB, Ri verside, Californ ia; to be
marked in its origina l 500BG, 883 BS mark-
ings with Z tail code and squadron number
Whitcman AFB, Knob Nosier, Mi ssouri.
(It is inappropriatel y named; actually, THE
G REAT ART IST E was a Martin-built 13-
29-40- MO, 44 -27353.)
T SQUARE54, B-2.9-60-BW, 44-69729
Muse um of Flight , Seat t le , Washi ngton .
Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson,
B-29-80-BW, 44-70013
Dobbins ARB, Mari et ta, Gcorg ia.
MI.s:5 AMERICA '62, B-29-25-MO, 42-
Travis Air Force Museum, Travis AFB,
Fairfiel d, Californ ia.
Bureau Number 8402.9
forme rly B-29-95 -BW, 45-217 7, The
Ke rmit Weeks Fant asy of Fligh t Museum,
Polk C ity, Flor ida .
B-29-.90-BW, 4.5-21739
O n sta t ic di spl ay ar a city par k in Seoul,
B-2.9-80-BW, 44-87627
Eighth Air Force Museum, Barksdale AFB ,
Louisian a.
SWEETELOISE, B-2.9-80-BW, 44-70113
ava l Air Stat ion ( AS) Atl anta, Atlant a,
PEACHY, B-2.9A-60-BN, 44-62022
Pueblo \Veisbrod Aircraft Muse um, Pueblo
Memorial Ai rport , Puebl o , Colorado.
FIFI, 44-62070
Confede rate Air Force, Midla nd, Texas.
DOC, B-29-70-BW, 44-69972
US Aviati on Museum, Inyokern , Califor-
ni a; bcing rest ored to flying condit ion at
the t ime of writing.
B-2.9A-55-BN, 44-61.97.5
New England Air Museum, Bradlcy In t e r-
nat ional Ai rport, Windsor Locks, Con-
nccr icut; 10 be di splayed as JACK'S '-lACK,
B-29A-35- B , 44- 6 1566, of th e 46 BG,
794BS at a larcr dare.
Imperi al War Museum/Ameri can Air
Museum, Duxford, England; 30 7BG co lours
and markings.
Walk-t hrough exh ibit at US Air Force
B-29B-60-BA, 44-84084
Acro Trader, Ch ino, Californ ia; sta tus
uncl ear.
LADY OF THE LAKE, B-29B-45-BA, 44-
Modified to KB-29P ; crashed on landing
and is parti all y ubmcr gcd in a lake ncar
Eiclso n AFB, Alaska; may bc recover ed for
BEETLEBOMB, B-29-60-BW, 44-69800
Unde rwate r in Lake Mead, e vada: may
never bc recovered.
F-I3A, 42-.93.967
Formcrlv a B-29A- 15-B , Georgi a Verc r-
an's Par k, Augusta , Georgia,
KEE BIRD, B-29-9.5-BW, 4.5-21763
KEE BIRD was rest or ed to flying cond it ion
in th e field on a frozen lakc in G reenland.
As it was being prepared to fly out on 21
May 1995 it caught fire, burned and sank
th rough t he melt ing icc. It remains there
to thi s day.
B-29 sc rap heap. Stan Piet
T he Boeing B-29 Superfort ress was th e
wor ld's first strategic n uclear bomber. That
is, it was the first bomber in the world that
was capable of very long range, very high
alt itude and very large payloads - including
nuclear weapons. It went from first fligh t (2 1
September 1942) to first combat (5 June
1944) in just twent y months and fifteen
days. To accomplish such a feat while it was
undergoing numerous dev elopme nt prob -
lems is no less than amazing. Then th ere was
the challenge of training its aircrews to han-
dle such a complicated mach ine as the B-29;
some of t hem were already experienc ed on
B- 17s and B-24s, but many ot hers, fresh
out of flight training schools, had onlyflown
one - and t wo-cn gi ncd airc raft. It was a
tremendous undertaking to say the least ,
but th e XX and XXI Bomber Commands,
l Oili and 20t h Air Forc es in the
Ch ina - Burma- Indi a and Pacific theatres
mor e than met th at most di fficult cha llenge .
T he 13-29 Supc rfortress was th e most
advanced bomber of \Vodd War Two. Its
long range of 3 ,000 miles (4 ,800km)
allowed for round tr ips from Ti ni an Island
to t he Japanese home islan ds and its heavy
20,OOOlb (9, OOOkg) bomb loads destroyed
many cit ies and st rateg ic ta rget s. But in its
infancy it was fraught with a number of
developmental problems, espec ially with its
relat ivel y new, undeveloped engine , wh ich
had a tendency to ove rheat , swallow valves,
The streamlined top forward gun turret that was mounted at op some B-29As.
Reportedly. this streamlin ing effort did not bear any frui t. Peter M. Bowers
catc h fire and prema t urel y fail. Bur when
th e engine woes and other significant dim-
cult ics were addressed and co rrec ted the
Superforr became the depend able wor k-
horse it was.
It was in September 1943 when the
20AF, 58BW began to accept the first com-
hat -bou nd Supcrforrs. Duri ng th e ensuing
rwcn ry-thrcc months of war, fourt een of
th ose mont hs being ac tual combat , the
20AF was forc ed to rake t he B-29 matrix
and mould it into the ' Super Bomber' it
became. Under XX Bombe r Command in
the CBI ( LOth Air Force) and XXI Bomber
Command in th e Pacific, the fleer of 20AF
8-29s new th e longest combat missions ever
attempt ed up to that t ime, and under I he
most demand ing condit ions. That is, they
had to nymore th an 1,000 miles ( 1,600km)
over wate r, and in a lot of cases they had to
do it dur ing foul weat her. Moreover, when
at hi gh alt itude, they had to contend wit h
something quir e new, which is now called
the jet stream, often fight ing th e severe tur-
bulence found wit hin.
From June to October 1944 the 20A F
new Ior tv-ninc combat missions in the C BI.
From the four forward air bases in Ch ina ,
5 rh Bomb Wing (VI-I ) B-29s destroyed
numerou s Japanese air fields, naval bases,
hipbuilding yards and reel-producing fac-
rorics, These four air bases were created by
hundreds of very hard-wor king, low-paid
Chinese civilians.
From ovcrnber 1944 to August 1945
the 20AF [lew 24,665 bombing sorties dur-
ing 251 combat missions dropping 155,04 1
IOns ( 140,65 \ metri c ronncs) of bombs and
min es. During thi s nine-month per iod,
unfort un atel y, many combat crews were
ki lled or captured and 3 18 B-29s were lost
The Supcrlort was used for othe r types of
combat missions in \Vorld \Vm Two as well,
even minel aying. These included nine pho-
togra phic reconnaissance flight s, seventy-
three radar reconnaissan ce, 405 weather
reconnaissance, 180 weather and phot o-
graph ic reconnaissance, 150 radar and pho-
tographi c reconnaissan ce, 106 weather
reconnaissance and leaflet drops, and 110
sea search and rescue missions. During the
weather reconnaissance and leaflet drop
missions another seven crews and th eir B-
29s were lost. The 3rd Photographi c Recon-
naissance Squadron alone flew 427 photo
recon naissance sort ies, losing six crews and
thei r F-13 and F-13A aircraft.
During th e last five months of th e war
th e 20AF destroyed five major industr ial
areas: Kobe, Na goya , Osaka , Tok yo and
S U ~ I ~ I A R I E S
Yokohama. It was duri ng thi s time that
th ese ind ustr ial ce ntres received 44.1 per
ce nt of all 20AF B-29 tonnage. effect ively
eliminat ing at least 50 per ce nt of th e air-
craft industry in those areas. Mor eover,
sixty-four other cit ies were burned to
destruction. The low-level raids alone
burned out 175 square mi les (450sq km) of
urban terri tor y in th ese sixty-n ine cit ies.
Thc Supe rfort was t he wor ld's first mod-
ern heavy bombe r and t he embod iment of
st rategic bombers to come. \Vhile it is tr ue
t hat a number of 'h eavy' bombers had
existed before, rhe B-29 had no equal, Thc
Consolidated B-32 Dominator was created
to bc th e B-29' s equa l - a backup, if you
will - but afrcr only a shor t t ime the B-29
easily demon st rated its superiority ove r
th e B-32.
Without a doubt, as far as Wor ld War
Two aircraft arc conce rned, the B-29 was
by far t he most expensive bomber in the
world to devel op and produce . In fact, in
some circles, th e 8-29 programme is
referred to as th e 'Three Billion Dollar
Gamb le' . Yet , to th ose who wer e assoc iar-
cd with it and whose lives it saved, it was
worth every ni ckel th at was spent upon it.
Afte r \Vor ld \Var Two and until t he
advent of th e 8-36 and B-50, and the jet -
powered B-45, 8-47 and B-52, it was the B-
29 th at reigned supreme. It was only afte r
th ese new bomber types sta rted entering
service, in June 1948 for both the B-36A
and B-50A , June 1950 for the B-45, OCIO-
ber 1951for the B-47 and June 1955 for the
B-52, th at the ac t ual phasing-ou t of t he
Supcrforr bomber fleet began, in lat e 1954.
And unt il the arr ival of th e piston- and
jet -powered Boeing KC-97G tanker, a
nu mber of KB-29M, KB-29MR and KB-
29P Supc rforrs stayed on to serve as aerial
tanker s. Mor eover, a number of RB-29s,
TB-29s and WB-Z9s cont inued to serve
unt il they wer e replaced by RB-50s, TB-
50s and W8-50s.
Just two months afte r the Korean \Var
broke out in June 1950, B-29s wer e flying
comba t missions over Nort h Kor ea. T hese
missions laste d thr ce full years, from
August 1950 to August 1953, and even
th ough B-36s, B-45s, 8-47s and B-50s
were availab le, the B-29 was t he bomber of
cho ice. As it tu rned out in fac r, none of
those oth er aircraft ever fired a shot in
anger; instead, it was th e tri ed and ·t rusted
Supcrforr th at was used . And Kor ean \Var
Supcrforrs had 10 fend off 1 orrh Kor ean
Mi G - 15 jet fight ers nown by experienc ed
Russian pilots.
The 8-29 Supc rfort ress was a solid air-
frame and powerplanr co mbina t ion that
spawned a number of important follow-on
aircraft. It gave birth to ae rial refuelling
tankers and recei vi ng aircraft , soph ist icat -
ed ph otographi c reconnaissance and map -
ping aircraft , avion ics, eng ine and weapon
system test -bed aircraft , and eve n Russia's
first heav y bomber and large civil tr an s-
por t aircraft. From its first combat mi ssion
against j ap an ese forces in Ban gkok, Thai -
land on 5 june 1944 to th e dropping of two
atomic bombs on 6 and 9 August 1945. th e
13-29 mor e th an made its presence felt.
Tru ly a technological wonder in the
ea rly- to mid - 1940s, the 13-29 could fly
higher, fart her and wi th mor e bom bs th an
any other bomber in the wor ld. It was
design ed in an era wh en A rt Deco st yling
was st ill in vogue. Aerodyna mica lly, it was
so st reamlined t hat its pa rasite drag act u-
ally do ubled when its lan ding gear was
exte nded. Its wide array of weapons -
wheth er conven t iona l or nucl ear - could
be dropped from very hi gh alt it ude . And
its advanced fire-co nt rol system provi ded
good de fenc e against japan ese figh te rs.
The Supe rfort had bee n design ed from
the out set for h igh -alti tude day time preci -
ion bombing. But on man y occasions in
Worl d \'(1ar Two, B-29s were used for mis-
sions for whi ch they wer e not pr imaril y
designed: low alt it ude ni ght -time ar ea
bombing, com mo n ly referred to to day as
ca rpet bombing.
In th e fina l analysis the Boeing 13-29
Supcrforrress was far more successful than
man y expected it to be. But with the advent
of th e 13-36 and 13-50, an d subsequent jet
bombers, th e reign of th e 13-29 Supc rfort
was finally ove rt aken by the numerous
technologies it hel ped to produce. In th e
box (see p. 184 ), famed Boei ng test pilot Bob
Robbi ns has summed up the number one
X13-29 fo llow-on flight test programme th at
contributed so much to th e successes of th e
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress
Turns Sixty
Wi th littl e fanfare . 21 September 2002
mar ked the 60th anniversary of the Boeing
13-29 Supcrfortress. Having been out of the
pot lighr since 21 Se ptember 1992, when
there was a big 50th anniversary celebration
at Boeing, the Superfort is now anot he r full
decade older. Somet ime in 2003, th e second
fully restored 13-29, named DOC , was sched-
uled to take wing. Then, along with FIFI, it
will be truly ma rvellous to sec two Superforts
in the air - in th eir prope r environment,
their rightful place.
The 468BG of the 58BWcalled itself ,.he General BillyMitchell Group'. TIME'S A
WASTIN!. an unident ified B-29of the 468BG. is shown here in mothballs. Note the
group logo. Schirmer viaSIan Piel
This mothballed B-29-45-BW(42-247371carried the nose art KAGU TSUCHI - The
Scourge of the Fire God; it belonged to the 58BW. 40BG. Schirmer via SIan Pi el
S U ~ I ~ l A R I E S
TOP: A fine study of an SB-29 with its A-3 lifeboat
tucked away in her belly. While the unarmed
SB-29s were not as glamorous as the armed ones,
they were every bit as important to t he war effort.
Stan Piet
ABOVE: A format ion of B-29s. The Circle X and
white-coloured cowls/tail fins denotes they were
from the 313BW. 9BG. Stan Piet
DAUNTLESSoom. A Square 1 (l ater A 1) of
the 73BW. 497BGand 869BS. This B-29-40-BW
142-24592) led the first daylight high -altitude strike
against Tokyo, Japan . on 24 November 1944. 73BW
commander Br ig Gen Emmett O'Donnell led the 110-
plane attack from Isley Field. Saipan. His co-pilot,
Colonel Robert Morgan. had earlier commanded the
famed B-17 named MEMPHIS BELLE.the f irst Flying
Fortress to complete twenty-five missions in Europe.
Stan Piet
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A bomb l oadi ng chart showing the B-29's overload capacities, USAF
S U ~ I ~ I A R I E S
TheXB-29: From Chaos toVictory
ByRobert M. Robbins, Boeing Experimental Test Pilot onXB-29Number One
It wasat 12:26pmon18February1943whenthemounting fortunesof thefledglingXB-
29 flight-test programme catastrophically hit rock bottom. For it was when Boeing
research test pilot EdmundT. 'Eddie' Allen alongwith his entirecrew perished in the
crash of heavily instrumentedXB-29 number two. This is the storyabout thepainful
aftermath of that tragic crash, theroad to recovery, theultimatesuccess of theXB-29
flighttest programme, andsome of my involvement therein.
AfterEddie'saccident. of course all of theXB-29pre-crashproblemsremainedandnow
there werea lot of newones. EddieAllen, his crew and thenumber two XB-29proto-
typeweregone. Thecause orcauses forEddie'saccidenthadsomehowtobefound from
themeagreremainsinall thedevastation- andtheyhadtobefixedbeforethenumber
oneXB-29orany subsequent B-29airplanes wouldflyagain. And every efforthadtobe
made at thesametimetofix themany problems that hadplaguedEddie.
The remaining two XB-29s[the third XB-29 didnot fly until 26June 1943J and pre-
sumably theB-29sfillingtheproductionlinesweretoodangerousto flywithout major
Boeing flight test was decimated, devastated, demoralized. Inless than eight years
Boei nghad lost threechief test pilots andthreebigexperimental airplanes andcrews:
AIReed, Eddie'sChiefofFlight Test and ChiefTestPilot. wasnowtheonlyman alive who
hadever pilotedanXB-29.Tothebest of my knowledge, AI never flewagainafterEddie's
accident. AI Reed left Boeinga fewweeksafter Eddie's deathanddropped fromsight.
Theend of Marcha man bythename of N.D. Showalter became the new Chief of
Flight Test. HehadbeenBoeingChief MilitaryProjectsEngineeranddeeplyinvolvedin
both theB-17 andB-29programmes. Hehad flownwith EddieAllenonthe testingof
thenumber twoModel B-307 Stratolinerafter JuliusBarr had beenkilledinthe 1939
crash of the first one. N.D. wasa good pilot but had notpursued that asa profession
anddidnot have much opportunitytofly. Whenhecould hewouldflyoccasionallywith
some of us as co-pilot. Under N.D.'s skillful guidance morale improvedand flight test
graduallygot back onitsfeet.
In the meantime a very comprehensive investigation into the cause or causes of
Eddie'scrashwasunderway. Witnesseswere interviewed, fallenbitsandpiecesalong
theflight pathwerecollectedandstudied, debrisfromthecrashsitewassiftedthrough
for all the evidence that could befound, the remains of engines andpropellers were
disassembled and examined and many, manyground tests and engineeringanalyses
Extensive airplanemodifications resulted. Possible conditions, which could cause
fuel leaks, wereeliminated. Fuel filler neckswere relocated, firestopbulkheadswere
installed, better sealing insomeplacesand better ventilationinotherplaceswaspro-
vided. Dams andoverboard drainswerealsoprovided toget ridof anyfuel that might
leak. Theseand manyother improvements wereincorporatedin the number one and
threeXB-29sandall productionairplanes.
Shortlyafter Eddie's accident, Brigadier General K.B.Wolfewasdirectedby General
Arnold to takeover all aspects of theB-29programme. Oneof his directiveswas that
theArmy Air CorpswouldtakeovertheentireB-29flighttest programmeandthenum-
ber oneXB-29flight test programmewouldbedoneat Wichitawhereconditionswere
much more favourable. The weather was better, runways were longer and wider,
approaches were clearer andgoodalternati vefieldswererelativelyclose. TheBoei ng
Wichita plant would providesupport. The number oneXB-29 pilot andco-pilot would
beAir Corpsofficers. Other than that theairplanewouldbeoperated andmaintained
inaccordancewithBoeingflighttest proceduresandbyBoeing peoplewho werefamil-
iar withthelargeamount of highly specialized instrumentation. I wasasked tobe the
primaryinterfacebetweentheAir CorpspilotsandtheBoeingtest crews- essential-
lytobetheFlight Test Project Pilot butwithout anypiloting duties. Unresolvedwasany
considerationof whetherI wouldever beallowed tofly theairplane.
On30August 1943thenumberoneXB-29wasflown fromSeattletoWichitabyColonel
Olson. Since thelossof thenumbertwoXB-29, thiswastheonlyheavilyinstrumentedB-
29inexistence- averyvaluabl eairplanefrom whichalot of datawasneededinahurry.
Colonel H.S. Esteswastheco-pilot. Theyverygenerouslysignedmeonalsoasaco-pilot
andlet me fly foracoupleof hours ontheway toWichita. InWichitathey arranged for
metoget some transitiontime. My first flight therewaswith Major Sullivanon3Sep-
tember 1943fromWichitatoSalina inthebrand-new YB-29 service test airplane, serial
number41-36963(YB-29number101. Major Sullivangavemefour flights, fivetake-offs
andsixlandingson 3and4September at SmokyHill andWalker in'SixtyThree'.
In the weeks of number one XB-29 flight testi ngthat followed, I was allowedto fly
asco-pilot onevery flight andgiven theopportunitytoget asmuchexperience withthe
airplaneasour test requirements permitted. On 8 October Colonel Estes checked me
out asAircraft Commander and Ed Martin asmy co-pilot. and, except for a fewaddi-
tional flightswithusover thefollowingtwoweeks, turnedthenumber oneXB-29flight
test programme overtousinitsentirety After 21OctoberthenumberoneXB-29flight
test programmewasatotal. 100percent Boeingresponsibility onceagain.
Nine unidentified 8-29s flyingin three-ship formations to create a nine-ship box formation. Griber via Stan Piet
By 28 October 1943 we had finished the initial testingwith the number one XB-29.
Theairplaneandtestinghadgoneextremelywell. Infiveandahalf weekswehadmade
twenty-four flights in seventy-two hours of flying. There had beenno engine failures
andnosignificant probl ems. Wehadgottenlargeamountsof crucial performanceand
enginecooling dataand make take-offsupto 130,OOOIb159,OOOkg). We flew a3,000-
mile (4,800kml. fourteen-hour simulated bombingmission with a 1D,OOOlb (4,500kgl
Therewasnolonger any doubt that theB-29wasgoingtobeafineairplane. Andthe
severetraumasufferedbytheBoeingFl ight Test OrganizationfromEddieAllen's18Feb-
ruary crashwas largelyhealed. N.D. Showalter, thesuperbBoeingmanager andChief
of Fli ght Test. hadrestored theFlight Test Organization to thesuperb teamthat Eddie
Allenhad built. Hehad alsoearned therespect of K.B. Wolfeand theAir Corps. N.D.
had stayed in Wichita during the entire time the number oneXB-29was there to do
everythingpossibletohelpachievethehugesuccessesthat hadbeenrealized.
It wastimetotakethenumberoneXB-29backtoSeattleforconfigurationandinstru-
mentationchangessowecouldget onwiththenext seriesof testsandtoexplorenew
ideasandpotential improvementstomaketheB-29fleet assafeandcombat effective
aspossible. It wasatriumphal return.
In December we flew another 37 hours 25 minutes andstill had no enginefailures.
Thingsweregoing great - afar cryfromthefierceproblemsEddieAllenhadbeenfight-
ingayear before.
Thenumber oneXB-29hadearnedtheright toaname. After careful considerationand
in viewof its past and probable future of experimentation and exploration, it seemed
right to name her 'THEFLYINGGUINEA PIG'. To the end, it was an appropriate name.
AB-29-75-BW(44-70077) 01the 19BG IromKadena Air Base in J apan, circa 1952.
Packed within its belly we re 20,OOOIb 01100lb bombs. Stan Piet
On15August 1945whenthewar ended,therehadbeen9,062B-29sorderedof which
3,970werecompleted. After thewar endedwecontinuedthenumber oneXB-29flight
testingat asomewhat slower pace. Thelast timeI ever flewTHEFLYING GUINEAPIG
wason9May 1947whenweusedit asalandingsimulator fortheXB-47Stratojet, on
whichI wastomakethefirst flightthat December.
On11May 1948thenumber oneXB-29wasscrapped. It hada total of 576 hoursonit;
EddieAllenhadflownit for twenty-seven hours. I hadbeenonboardatotal of 545hours
andhadbeenpilot incommandfor 496of those. From21October 1943totheendof the
war on15August 1945, 1hadbeentheProject TestPilotandaircraft commander onevery
flight of XB-29 number one - 312 flights, totalling 458 hours in twenty-two months.
Thereis apicturethat showsTHEFLYI NG GUINEAPIGinthescrapyard fadingaway.
After fouryearsofvery closeassociationandbeingalmost myentirelife'swork for two
of thoseyears, it issaddeningtoseesomethingthat servedmankindsowell just beleft
in solitude, ignored, to fade awayalone. She started as an incorrigible; developed to
servemankindwell; was fun to fly. Andwhile she has physically passedintooblivion,
hermemoriescontinueon. I'll never forget thenumber oneXB-29flight-test programme.
However, I was fortunate that mynext programme, the XB- 47 Stratojet, was even
morefuntofly andevenmoreexhilarating. Alsoit wasthebiggest peacetimebomber
programmeever. For 2,042B-47swereultimatelyproducedfor theUSAir Force.
B-29weight and balance
diagram. Note that the
pressurized bulkheads
are 01a convex shape
like the exter ior of a sphere.

ABOVE: The Boeing B-50 was no more than a modernized B-29 used to
suppl ement t he USAFheavy bomber fl eet unt il j et -powered B-47s came
on li ne. An Ai r Force Reserves (AFRES) B-50B (47-1621 is shown here. StanPiet
This B-29. marked with 20th Air Force logo and Number 1 on its t ail. wa s one
of three modif ied B-29Bs that flew non-stop some 6.000mil es (9.700km) from
Japan to Washington DCafter VJ-Day. It was commanded by Lt. General
Barney M. Giles. deputy chief of US Strat egic Air Forces in t he Pacific. USAF
A trio of 314BW. 29BGB-29s have departed North Field. Guam i n Apr il of 1945
to once more attack a very stubborn Japan. It is most unfortu nate t hat Japan
opt ed to fight on rather than surrender. prior to the devastation caused by the
atom bombs. StanPiel
_,.,.., ..... J ... . - .
. -
---- ' ; .. . . . ....... ..
'" ...-..-. -..-... • • a • _ _ _ -
The B-29 was at one time t he world's largest operational bomber, That was the case unti l the Convair B-36
' Peacemaker' came along. Their relat ive sizes are dramatically shown here. USAF
8-29 Production
Dcsigiuuio» Amoun: Contract N umber Date of Contract
XB-29-BO 2 AC 15429 6/9/40
XB-29-BO I AC 15429 (amended) 14/ 12/40
YB-29-BW 14 AC 19673 16/6/41
B-29-I -BW 50 AC 19673 6/9/41
B-29-5-BW 50 AC 19673 6/9/41
B-29-10-BW 50 AC 19673 6;9/41
B-29-15-BW 50 AC 19673 6/9/41
B-29-20-BW 50 AC 19673 6/9/41
B-29-25-BW 50 AC 19673 31/1 /42
B-29-30-BW 50 AC 19673 31/ 1/42
B- 29-35-BW 50 AC 19673 31/ 1/42
B-29-40-BW 100 AC 19673 31/ 1/42
B-29-45-BW 100 AC 19673 31/1 /42
B-29-50-BW 100 AC 19673 31/1/42
B-29-55-BW 50 AC 19673 31/1/42
B-29-I-BA 14 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-29-5-BA 16 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-29-10-BA 20 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-29-15-BA 50 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-29-20-BA 50 AC 27730 19/7/44
B- 29-25-BA 50 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-29-30-BA 29 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-29B-30-BA 41 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-29B-35-BA 70 AC 27730 19/7/44
B- 29B-40-BA 45 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-29-40-BA 4 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-29B-40-BA 12 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-29- I-MO I AC 117 30/6/44
B-29-5-MO 7 AC 117 30/6/44
B-29-10-MO 8 AC 117 30/6/44
B-29-15-MO 16 AC 117 30/6/44
B-29-20-MO 28 AC 117 30/6/44
B-29-25-MO 50 AC 117 6/30/44
B-29-30-MO 69 AC 117 6/30/44
B-29-35-MO 18 AC 117 6/30/44
B- 29A- I-BN 20 AC 19673 19/9/42
B-29A-5-BN 30 AC 19673 19/9/42
B-29A-IO-BN 50 AC 19673 19/9/42
B-29A-15-BN 50 AC 19673 19/9/42
B- 29A-20-BN 50 AC 19673 19/9/42
B-29A-25-BN 50 AC 19673 19/9/42
B-29A-30-BN 50 AC 19673 19/9/42
B-29-35-MO 67 AC 11 7 30/6/44
B-29-40-MO 33 AC 117 30/6/44
B-29A-35-BN 100 AC 19673 30/6/44
B-29A-40-BN 100 AC 19673 30/6/44
Contracts continued
A B-29A-40-BN(44-61604) of the314BW, 19BG
from NorthField, Guam. DavidW. Menard
Designation Amoun t Contract j umber Dale of Cammer
13-29A-45-B 100 AC 19673 30/6/44
13-29A-50-B 100 AC 19673 30/6/44
13-29A-55-13 100 AC 19673 30/6/44
13-29A-60-13 100 AC 19673 30/6/44
13-29A-65-BN 100 AC 19673 30/6/44
13-29A-70-13 100 AC 19673 30/6/44
13-29A-75-BN 19 AC 19673 30/6/44
13-29-55-BW 50 AC 19673 13/6/44
13-29-60-BW 100 AC 19673 13/6/44
13-29-65-BW 100 AC 19673 13/6/44
B-29-70-BW 100 AC 19673 13/6/44
13-29-75-BW 100 AC 19673 13/6/44
13-29-80-BW 50 AC 19673 13/6/44
13-29B-40-13A 5 AC 27730 19/7/44
13-29-40-13A I AC 27730 19/7/44
13-29B-45-13A 42 AC 27730 19/7/44
13-29-45-13A 25 AC 27730 19/7/44
13-29B-50-13A 23 AC 27730 19/7/44
13-29-50-13A 23 AC 27730 19/7/44
13-2913-55-13A 24 AC 27730 19/7/44
13-29-55-13A 24 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-2913-60-BA 24 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-29-60-BA 23 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-29B-65-BA 25 AC 27730 19/7/44
13-29-65-BA 24 AC 27730 19/7/44
B-29-40-MO 35 AC 11 7 6/9/44
B-29-45-MO 39 AC 11 7 6/9/44
B-29-50-MO 55 AC 11 7 6/9/44
13-29-55-MO 55 AC 117 6/9/44
B-29-60-MO 48 AC 11 7 6/9/44
13-29-80-BW 50 AC 19673 30/6/44
B-29-85-BW 50 AC 19673 30/6/44
B-29-86-BW 50 AC 19673 30/6/44
B-29-90-BW 50 AC 19673 30/6/44
B-29-90-BW 50 AC 19673 13/1/45
B-29-95-BW 65 AC 19673 13/1/45
B-29-96-BW 20 AC 19673 13/1/45
B-29-97-BW 15 AC 19673 13/1/45
B-29-100-BW 30 AC 19673 13/1/45
11 -29 I'ROD UCTI O;-.l
De$i[!;l UHion Nunioe: BlIilc Serial i lImber ($) Designauon NlImber BlIilc Serial i lImber(s)
XB-29-BO 2 41 -002/-003 B-29-30-MO 69 42-65315/-65383
XB-29-BO I 41 -1 335 B-29-35-MO 1 42-65384/-6540I
YB-29-BW H 41 -36954/-36967 B-29A- I-13N 20 42-93824/-93843 (first B-29As
(41-36954 ro XB-39) built and the first B-29s ( 0 be
B-29-I-BW 17 42-6205/-6221 built at Boeing's Renton
(first production B-29s) Washington plant)
B-29-I-BA 1 42-6222 (first Bell-built 13-29) B-29A-5-13N 30 42-93844/-93873
B-29-I-BW 1 42-6223 (42-93845 to XB-44)
B-29-I -BA I 42-6224 B-29A-10-B 50 42-93874/-93923
B-29- I-BW 4 42-6225/-6228 B-29A-15-BN 50 42-93924/-93973
B-29- I-MO 4 42-6229/-6232 B-29A-20-BN 50 42-93974/-94023
(firs: Martin-buill B-29s) B-29A-25-BN 50 42-94024/-94073
B-29-I-BA 42-6233 B-29A-30-BN 50 42-94074/-94123
B-29-I-BW 42-6234 B-29-35-MO 67 44-27259/-27325
B-29-I-BA 42-6235 B-29-40-MO 33 44-27326/-27358
B-29-I-BW 42-6236 13-29-35-13 100 44-61510/-61609
B-29-I-MO 42-6237 B-29A-40-BN 100 44-61 610/-61709
B-29-I-BW 5 42-6238/-6242 B-29A-45-BN 100 44-61710/-61809
B-29-I-BA I 42-6243 B-29A-50-BN 100 44-61810/-61909
B-29-I-BW I I 42-6244/-6254 B-29A-55-BN 100 44-61910/-62009
B-29-5-BW 50 42-6255/-6304 B-29A-60-BN 100 44-620I0/-62109
B-29-10-BW 50 42-6305/-6354 B-29A-65-BN 100 44-62110/-62209
B-29-15-B\'(1 50 42-6355/-6404 B-29A-70-BN 100 44-6221 0/-62309
B-29-20-BW 50 42-6405/-6454 B-29A-75-BN 19 44-62310/-6232
B-29-25-I3W 50 42-24420/-24469 B-29-55-13W 50 44-69655/-69704
B-29-30-BW 50 42-24470/-2451 9 B-29-60-BW 100 44-69705/-69804
B-29-35-BW 50 42-24520/-24569 B-29-65-BW 100 44-69805/-69904
B-29-40-BW 100 42-24570/-24669 B-29-70-13W 100 44-69905/-70004
B-29-45-BW 100 42-24670/-24769 B-29-75-BW 100 44-70005/-70I04
B-29-50-BW 100 42-24770/-24869 B-29- 0-13W 50 44-70105/-70154
B-29-55-BW 50 42-24870/-24919 B-2913AO-BA 4 44-83890/-83893
B-29-1-I3A 14 42-63352/-63365 B-29-40-BA 1 44-83894
B-29-5-I3A 16 42-63366/-63381 B-29I3AO-BA 1 44-83895
B-29-10-BA 20 42-63382/-6340I B-2913A5-BA 4 44-83896/-83899
B-29-15-BA 50 42-63402/-63451 B-29A5-BA I 44-83900
B-29-20-BA 50 42-63452/-6350I B-29B-45-BA 3 44-8390I/-83903
B-29-25-BA 50 42-63502/-63551 B-29A5-BA I 44-83904
B-29-30-BA 29 42-63552/-63580 B-2913-45-BA 3 44-83905/-83907
B-29B-30-BA 41 42-63581/-63621 B-29-45-BA I 44-83908
(first B-29Bs) B-29BA5-BA 2 44-83909/-83910
B-29B-35-BA 70 42-63622/-63691 B-29-45-13A I 44-83911
B-29EH O-BA 45 42-63692/-63736 B-29B-45-BA 2 44-83912/-83913
B-29-40-BA I 42-63737 B-29-45-BA I 42- 3914
B-29EHO-BA 6 42-6373 /-63743 B-29B-45-BA 2 42- 3915/-83916
B-29-40-BA I 42-63744 B-29-45-13A 20 44-83917, 44-83920,44-83923,
B-29BAO-BA 5 42-63745/-63749 44-83926, 44-8392 , 44-83930,
13-29-40-BA I 42-63750 44-83932, 44-83934,44- 3936,
B-29IH O-BA I 42-63751 44-83938, 44-83940, 44-83945,
B-29-I-MO 3 42-65202/-65204 44-83947, 44-83949, 44-83951 ,
B-29-5-MO 7 42-65205/-65211 44-83953, 44-83955,44-83957,
13-29-10-MO 8 42-6521 2/-6521 9 44-83960 and 44-83962
B - 2 9 - 1 5 - ~ 1 0 16 42-65220/-65235 B-2913-45-BA 2 44-83918/-83919
B-29-20-MO 28 42-65236/-65263 B-29B-45-BA 3 44-83920/-83922
B-29-25-MO 50 42-65264/-65313 B-2913-45-13A 3 44-83923/-83925
(42-65314was cancelled; B-29B-45-BA 7 44-83927, 44-83929,44-83931,
no other information) 44-83933, 44-83935,44-83937
and 44-83939
Producti on continued
Designation Numbev Bllil l Serial IImber(s) Designation N umber Bllill Serial Nllmber(s)
B-29B-45-BA 4 44- 3941/- 3944 44- 4075,44-84077,44- 4079,
B-29B-45-BA I 44-8396J 44- 40 1,44-84083,44- 40 5,
B-29-50-BA 23 44-83964,44-83966,44- 3968, 44- 40 7, 44-84089, 44- 4091,
44-83970,44-83972,44- 3974, 44- 4093,44-84095,44- 4097,
44-83976,44-8397 , 44- 3980, 44- 4099,44-84101 and
44-83982,44-83984,44-83986, 44- 4103
44-83988,44-83990,44-83992, B-29-65-BA 24 44-841 04,44-841 06,44-841 08,
44-83994,44-83996,44-83998, 44-841 10, 44-8411 2,44-841 14,
44-84000,44-84002,44-84004, 44-841 16, 44-8411 8, 44-84120,
44-84006 and 44-84008 44-84122, 44-84124,44-84126,
B-2913-50-BA 23 44-83963,44-83965,44-83967, 44-84128,44-84130,44-841 32,
44-83969, 44-83971,44-83973, 44-84134,44-84136,44-84138,
44-83975,44-83977,44-83979, (44-84140 cancelled),
44-83981 ,44-83983,44-83985, 44-84142, 44-84144,44-84146,
44-83987, 44-83989, 44-83991, 44-84148, (44-84150 cancelled),
44-83993, 44-83995,44-83997, 44-84152, (44-84154 cancelled)
44-83999,44-84001,44-84003, and 44-84156
44-84005and 44-84007 B-29B-65-BA 25 44-84105,44-841 07,44-841 09,
13-29-55-BA 24 44-8401 0,44-8401 2,44-84014, 44-84111 ,44-84113, 44-841 15,
44-8401 6, 44-8401 8, 44-84020, 44-8411 7, 44- 41 19, 44-841 21 ,
44-84022,44-84024,44-84026, 44-84123,44-841 25,44-841 27,
44-84028,44-84030,44-84032, 44-841 29,44- 413 1,44-84133,
44-84034,44-84036,44-84038, 44-841 35, 44-841 37,44-841 39,
44-84040,44-84042,44-84044, 44-84141 ,44-84143,44-84145,
44-84046, 44-84048, 44-84050, 44-84147,44-84149,44-841 51 ,
44-84052,44-84054 and (44-84153 cancelled) and
44-84056 44-84155
13-2913-55-BA 24 44- 4009, 44-84011 , 44-84013, B-29/-29B-BAs 44-841 57 to 44-84389
44-8401 5,44-8401 7,44-8401 9, cancelled
44-84021,44-84023,44-84025, B-29-40-MO 35 44-86242/-86276
44-84027, 44-84029,44-84031, B-29-45-MO 39 44-86277/-86315
44-84033,44-84035, 44-84037, B-29-50-MO 55 44-8631 6/-86370
44-84039, 44-84041, 44-84043, B-29-55-MO 55 44-86371/-86425
44-84045,44-84047, 44-84049, B-29-60-MO 48 44-86426/-86473
44-8405 1, 44-84053 and B-29-MOs 44-86474 to 44-86691
44-84055 cancelled
B-29-60-BA 23 44-84058, 44-84060, 44-84062, B-29-80-B\XI 50 44-87584/-87633
44-84064,44-84066,44-84068, B-29-85-B\XI 50 44-87634/-87683
44-84070,44-84072, 44-84074, B-29-86-B\XI 50 44-87684/-87733
44-84076,44-84078,44-84080, B-29-90-B\XI 50 44-87734/-87783
44-84082,44-84084,44-84086, 13-29-90-B\XI 50 45-21693/-21742
44-84088,44-84090,44-84092, B-29-97-B\XI 15 45-21743/-21757
44-84094,44-84096,44-84098, B-29-95-B\XI 35 45-21758/-21792
44-841 00 and 44-841 02 B-29-96-B\XI 20 45-21793/-21 12
B-29B-60-BA 24 44-84057,44-84059,44-84061 , B-29-95-B\XI 30 45-21 813/-21 842
44-84063,44-84065,44-84067, B-29-100-B\XI 30 45-21 843/-21 72
44-84069,44-84071,44-84073, B-29-B\XIs 45-21873 to 45-22792
Totals: XB-29-BO (3), YB-29-B\XI (14), B-29-BA (357), B-29-B\XI (1 ,630), B-29-MO (536),
B-29A-BN ( 1,119), B-29B-BA (311) - 3,970 B-29s total ; the last producti on B-29, a B-29A-75-B
(44-62328), cameoff the Boeing-Renton producti on lineon 28 May 1946.
AB-29from anunknown unit named"l AUE" HO!
is shownhere in mothballs at Oavis-MonthanAFB.
Arizona after it was cocoonedfor long-duration
storage. Schirmer via Sian Pial
BA Bell-Atlan((l , Georgia
BN Boeing-!{enton, \VClShington
130 Boeing-Seattle, Washington
13\'(1 !3oeing-Wichi((l , Kansas
MO lvlartin-Omaha, Nebraska
F-13 and F-13A Production (partial)
Original Serial No. Formerly Commen: Original Serial No. Formerly Connnen t
Designation DesigllMion
F-13 42-6412 13-29-20-13\'(1 served as F-13 F-13A 42-93850 B-29A-5-BN
proto: vpe F-13A 42-93851 B-29A-5-BN
F-13 42-24566 13-29-35-13\'(1 F- 13A 42-93852 B-29A-5-BN
F-13 42-24567 13-29-35-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93853 B-29A-5-BN
F-13 42-24583 13-29-40-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93854 B-29A-5-BN
F-13 42-24585 13-29-40-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93855 B-29A-5-BN
F-13 42-24586 13-29-40-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93856 B-29A-5-BN
F-13 42-24588 13-29-40-13\'(1 r -13A 42-93863 B-29A-5-BN
F-13 42-24621 13-29-40-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93864 B-29A-5-BN
F-13 42-24803 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93865 B-29A-5-BN
F-13 42-24805 13-29-50-8\'(1 F-13A 42-93866 B-29A-5-BN
F- 13 42-2481 0 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93867 B-29A-5-BN
F- 13 42-24811 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93868 B-29A-5-BN
F-13 42-24813 13-29-50-8\'(1 F-13A 42-93869 B-29A-5-BN
F-13 42-2481 6 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93870 B-29A-5-BN
F-13 42-2481 7 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93871 B-29A-5-8N
F-13 42-24819 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93872 B-29A-5-BN
F-13 42-24821 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93874 B-29A- IO-BN
F-13 42-24829 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93879 B-29A-IO-BN
F-13 42-24833 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93880 B-29A- IO-BN
F-13 42-24860 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93900 B-29A-10-BN
F-13 42-24869 13-29-50-13\'(1 F- 13A 42-93903 B-29A- IO-BN
F-13 42-24870 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93912 B-29A-IO-BN
F-13 42-24871 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93914 B-29A- IO-BN
F-13 42-24877 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93919 B-29A- IO-BN
F-13 42-24881 13-29-50-13\'(1 F-13A 42-93926 B-29A-15-BN
F-13A 42-93849 B- 29A-5-BN F-13A 42-93933 B-29A-1 5-BN
F-13 and F-13A Produc tion (partial) continued
O rigina l Serial No. Formerl)' Comment Original Serial 1 o. FOllnerl)· Comment
Design{l(ion Dcsignaiun:
F-I3A 42-93965 B-29A-15-BN F-I3A 44-61 933 B-29A-55-B
F-I3A 42-93967 B-29A- 15-BN F-I3A 44-61 934 B-29A-55-B
F-I3A 42-9396 B-29A-15-BN F-I3A 44-61 939 B-29A-55-B
F-I3A 42-93987 B-29A-20-BN F-I3A 44-61 945 B-29A-55-BN
F-13A 42-93992 B-29A-20-BN F- I3A 44-61 946 B-29A-55-BN
F-13A 42-93993 B-29A-20-BN F-13A 44-61 947 B-29A-55-B
F-13A 42-94000 B-29A-20-BN F-I3A 44-61 94R B-29A-55-B
F-13A 42-94022 B-29A-20-BN F-13A 44-61 951 B-29A-55-B
F-13A 42-94054 B-29A-25-BN F-13A 44-61 960 )-29A-55-BN
F-13A 42-94074 B-29A-30-BN F-13A 44-61 961 B-29A-55-BN
F- 13A 42-94080 B-29A-30-BN F-13A 44-619R1 B-29A-55-BN
F- 13A 42-94081 B-29A-30-BN F-13A 44-61986 B-29A-55-BN
F-13A 42-94113 B-29A-30-BN F-13A 44-61989 B-29A-55-BN
F-13A 42-94114 B-29A-30-BN F-13A 44-61991 B-29A-55-BN
F-13A 44-61528 B-29A-35-BN F-13A 44-61999 B-29A-55-BN
F-13A 44-61531 B-29A-35-BN F-13A 44-62000 B-29A-55-BN
F-13A 44-61 533 B-29A-35-BN F-13A 44-62216 B-29A-70-BN
F-13A 44-61 577 B-29A-35-BN F-13A 44-62282 1)-29A-70-BN
F-13A 44-61 57 B-29A-35-BN F-13A 44-6228) 1-19. -70-BN
F-13A 44-61 583 B-29A-35-BN F-13A 44-622 4 B-29A-70-B
F- I3A 44-61 659 B-29A-40-B F-13A 44-62285 B-29 -70-13
F-13A 44-61 727 B-29A-45-B F- I3A 44-622 6 B-29A-70-B
F-I3A 44-61 8\ 0 B-29A-50-B F-13A 44-622<7 B-29.'\- 70-B
F- I3A 44-61 813 B-29A-50-B F-I3A B-29A-70-B
F- I3A 44-61 815 B-29A-50-B F-I3A 44-622'l) 13-29.'\-70-B
F-13A 44-61 817 B-29A-50-B F-13A 44-6229 1)-29.'\-70-B
F-13A 44-61 8\ B-29A-50-B F-I3A 44-622l)1 B-29A-70-B
F-13A 44-61 819 B-29A-50-B F-13 45-21- B-29-9 -BW
F-13A 44-61822 B-29A-50-B F-13 45-2171 B-29-95-BW
F-13A 44-61 832 B-29A-50-B I F-13 45-21 - B-29-95-B\'(I
F-13A 44-61 843 B-29A-50-BN F-13 B-29-95-B\'(I
F-1 3A 44-61 847 B-29A-50-BN F-13 45-21766 B-29-95-BW
F- 13A 44-61854 B-29A-50-BN F-13 45-21 68 B-29-95-BW
F-13A 44-61 855 B-29A-50-BN F-13 45-21773 B-29-95-BW
F-I3A 44-61 857 B-29A-50-BN F-13 45-21775 B-29-95-BW
F-13A 44-61860 B-29A-50-BN F- 13 45-21777 B-29-95-BW
F- I3A 44-61862 B-29A-50-BN F-13 45-21790 B-29-95-BW
F-13A 44-61 866 B-29A-50-BN F- 13 45-21812 B-29-96-BW
F-13A 44-61 924 B-29A-55-BN F-13 45-21846 B-29-1 00-BW
F-13A 44-61 929 B-29A-55-B F-13 45-21 847 B-29-100-BW
F- 13A 44-61 930 B-29A-55-B F-13 45-21 84 B-29-100-BW
F-13A 44-61 931 B-29A-55-B F-13 45-21 856 B-29-100-BW
F-13 45-21859 B-29-100-BW
Known to tal: 139
Individual Aircraft Names
BABY'S BUGGY44-61 61 8 SAC92G
BABY'S BUGGY42-93964 314W330G459S AKA CITYOF
BACHELOR QUARTERS 42-24507 58W444G67 S
BAD BREW42-24594 73W497G869S
BAD BREW II 42-63539 73W497G869S
BADCREW 42-24594 73W497G869S
BADivlEDICI E42-24 50 313W505G482S
BAD PE Y42-65274 58W40G45S
BAI BRIDGE BELLE42-63525 313W505G4 2S
BALL OF FIRE42-65344 313W505G483S
BANANA BOAT 42-63551313W6G40S
BA ANA BOAT 44-86261 28G
BARBARA A 42-24652 73W500G8 2S and 883S AKA
BARBRA A 44-61685 73W500G882S
BARRO ESS. THE42-24675 73W500G8 3S
BATAA AVE GER 44-69753 313W6G
BATTLIN BETTY 42-24606 73W498G875S
BATTLIN BETTY 44-69847 313W6G40S
BATTLl BETTY II 42-24760 73W498G875S
BATTLI BETTYIII 44-69772 73W498G875
BATTLI BEAUTY42-24457 5 W40G25S
BATTLI . BEAUTY42-63457 5 W462G769S
BATTLI N BONNIE 1144-87737 313W9G IS
BATTLI BULLDOZER 42-93908 314W330G458S AKA
BEAUBOMBER II 42-63442 73W499G 79S
BEAT ME42-93943 314W330G45 AKA CITYOF
BEDRO M EYES 42-24610 73W498G874S
FR N I 03 14W330G29S
BEI-IR' BROOD42-93955 314W330G45 S AKA CITY
BELL RI ER 42-63464 5 W468G794S
BELL R TH 42-24680 73W500G881S
BELL 13 RTION 42-63355 58W468G793S
,}44 K
B 1 ~ ,AL LANCER 42-6348 58W40G44S
B I ~ L LANCER 42-24487 58W468G793
BE RAIDERS 44-69725 73W500G883S
BET Y313W9G99S
13 A BI RD42-93896 313W9G1S AKA BIG GA
BABYGAIL42-2491 7 314W29G6
ABLE FOX42-24466 5 W40G45
A-BROAD WITI-I ELEVE YA KS 44-70083 73W499G 77S
ADAMS EVE42-24600 73W500G883S
AGITATOR, THE42-6399 58W444G678S
AGITATOR II, THE42-24899 58W444G67 S
AH SOO 44-61 17 9 G K/SAC91SRS
AIRBOR E42-652685 W444G794S
AMERICAN BEAUTY42-24686 73W500G882S
AivlERICAN BEAUTY42-24703 58W468G792S
AMERICA BEAUTY III 44- 7661 5 W468G792S
AMERICA MAID 42-24593 73W497G869
ANCIE TMARI ER, THE 44-70113 73W500G 83S
ANDYGUMP 42-24528
ANDYS DA DY 42-65208 58W468G794S
ANGELLlC PIG, THE44-61 991 58W40G
A DEE42-65249 73W500G 3S
A 1 GARRYIII 313W 6G39
A GARRYV 44-87650 313W6G39S
A NIE42-6224 5 W468G
A TOI ETTE42-2475173W498G875S
ANTOll ETTE II 44-70135 73W498G875S
ARKA SAS TRAVELLER 42-65331 73W498G873S
ARSON INC. 44-70129 58W444G677S AKA FLAK MAID
BETTER' j ' UTI 42-2453 58W444G676
BIG AINT IT 42-65273 58W444G677S
BI G BLOW 44-86339 98K
BIG CHIEF42-63 2 58W462G770S
BIG FAT~ l A M A & PATRICA LY N 42-93901
BIG GAS BIRD, THE44-86400 98G344S K
BIG JOE42-24885 313W6G24S
BIG MIKE42-63619 313W505G
BIG POISO 42-6353 5 W444G677S
BIG SCHMOO 44-69963 58W44G678S
BIG SHMOO 44-62063 19G93S K
BI G STICK, THE42-24661 73W500G
BI G STI K44-27354 313W509G393S AKA DAVE'S
BIG WHEEL, THE42-652 3 313W9G99
BLACKJACK42-6292 58W444G45S
BLACKJACKTOO 42-63451 58W444G678S
BLACK MAGIC 42-24672 73W500G881S
BLACKMAGIC 1142-24718 58W40G45S
BLI D DATE 41 -24429 5 W468G794S
BLUE BO ET BELLE42-6307 58W444G676S
BLUETAILFLY42-65272 19G30S K
BOCKSCAR 44-27297 313W509G393S
BOMBIN BUGGY42-6306 58W40G44S
BOMBING BUGGY II 42-24541 58W40G44S
BON IE LEE 42-6322 58W40G44S
BOOMERANG 44-61 81
BOOZE HO D44-69746 73W500G881S
13- \VEET 42-6425 58W40G25S
B-SWEET II 42-24522 5 W40G25S
B-SWEET IV 44-70094 58W40G25S
BUB44-61 815 19W19G30S-K
BUCKIN BRONC 44-70136 73W882S
BUCKI ' BRONCO 42-63436 73W500G882S
BUGGER 42-6361 0 315W331G355S
BULLBUTTING B O ~ ' l B 44-86330 9 G343S KAKA APE
BURK JERKS 45-21 721 9 K
CAIT PAOR AT 42-9382 58\V40G395S
CAjU QUEE 144-69982 58W444G676S
CALAMITYj A E42-245 9 5 W40G25S
CALAMITYSUE42-636 58W46 G794S
CAMELCARAVAN 42-6333 58W468G793S
CAN UCK, THE42-24668 73W500G882S
CAPT. CLAY42-6351 4 313W6G
CARALANI 42-65213 58W462G770S
CE SORED LADY 44-69810 314W39G60S AKA CEN-
CHALLE GER, THE42-62 4 5 W468G794S
CHAT' NOOGA CHOO CHOO 42-24471 58W468G782S
CHICAGO SAL44-61 562 58W468G792S
CHOTTO MATTE 44-86400 98G344
CITYSERIES OF THE 330BG. 457, 458 AND 459BSs:
42-93982 - CITYOF H. WORTH
44-69795 - U AMED
42-93969 - U AMED
44-69996 - CITYOFGARY
458I3 5
459I3 5
44-61664 - CITYOF LYNN
OLLEEN 42-93955 314W330G458S AKA BEl-IRE S
COMMA D DECISIO 144-87657 19WI 9G28S
o STANT YMPH 42-63487 73W500G882S
CO VINCER44-61 521 58W468G793S
CORALQUEE 42-2461 5 73W497G869S
CORALQUEE 42-63499 313W504G398S
COUNTRYGENTLEMA 42-24793 313W505G482S
COX'S ARMY 42-63544 313W9G5S
CRAIG COMET, THE42-63445 58W468G794S
CRAMER'S CRAPpER44-83897 315W331G356S
CUNNUCK, THE42-24668 73W500G
DANNYMITE44-69777 73W49 G874S
DARKEYE 42-63555 58W40G45S
SAC 98Gj92G
DARLI G DON A ;:3 42-24820 313W9G99S
DAU TLESS DOTTY42-24592 73W497G869S
DAVES DREAM 44-27354 313W509G393SAKA THE BI G
DEACONS DELI GHT (THE) 42-24818 313W505G484S
DEAL MEIN 44-69805 98G K
DEARLY BELOVED44-70069 313W6G40S
DESTINYS TOT 42-65284 313W9G5S
DESTINYS TOT 42-65293 73W497G
DEUCES WILD42-6222 58W40G45S
DEUCES WILD44-69809 313W505G482S
DEVILS DARLIN42-24629 73\V498G873S
DEVILS DELIGHT (THE) 42-24652 73W500G882S AKA
DEVILISH SNOOKS 42-63527 5 W40G44S
DI A MIGHT 42-652 03 13W504G29S
DI AH MIGHT 42-65286 313W9GIS
DING HAO 42-6358 58W468794S
DING HOW 42-6358 5 W468G794S
DING HOW 42-63135 W40G45S
DING HOW 42-6225 5 W444G676S
DIXIE DARLIN42-63423 73W497G871S
DO IT AGAIN 42-65229 313W6G39S
DO 44-69972
DOCS DEADLYDO E42-24780313W504G39 S
DORIS AN 142-24677 58W444G792S
DOTT IE'S DILEMMA 42-24796 313W9G5S
DOUBLEWI-IMvlMY44-87734 19G93S K
DOW S CLOW 44-862 4 9 G K
DRAGGI LADY42-24694 73W500G 81
DRAGO BEHI D44- 624758W444G676S
DRAGO LADY42-93892 313W9G99S
DRAGON LADY 44-61 835 19G30S K
DRAGON LADY(THE) 42-63425 73W497G871S AKA
DRAGON LADY 42-69663 58W468G793S
DRAGO LADY42-63525 313W505G482S
DREAMGIRL42-634 05 W462G76 S
DREAMGIRL42-24673 73W499G879S
DREAMER 44-27341 315W9 G343S
DRU KARD- STAGGER IN 44-615665 58W40G25S
DUCI-IESS 42-63411 58W444G677S
DUCI-IESS (THE) 42-93880 98G K
DUMBO42-6257 58W444G
EAGER BEAVERIII 42-24750 73W498G876S
EARLY BIRD42-63556 313W9G5S
EARLYBIRD44-86303 313W6G
EDDIEALLE 42-24579 58W40G45S
EDDIEALLE 1144-701 51 58W40G45S
EIGHT BALL 44-62237 98G K
EILEE 42-6323 58W444G678S
EL PAj ARO DE LAGUERRA 42-24 74313W6G24S
ELEA OR 42-65337 58W444G676S AKA j o
ENOLAGAY44-86292 313W509G393S
ERNIE PYLE44-701 18 313W504G458S
ESSO EXPRESS 42-6242 58W46 G794S
EXCALI BUR 42-6316 58W462G76 S
FA CYDETAIL42-24696 73W500G882S
FANNY-TI-IEATOM& 144-86384 313W509G398S
FAST COMPANY42-2469158\V468G792S
FAST COMPA Y42-63495 73W499G877S
FAY 42-65210 73W49 G874S AKA FILTHYFAY
FEVER FROM THE OUTH 42-63497 73W500G882S
FICKLE FINGER42-63426 73W497G 71S
FIGHTING PA C1-II TO (THE) 44-69724 73\V497G
FILTHYFAY42-65210 73W498G874S AKA FAY
FILTHYFAY 2 42-93999 73W498G874S
FILTHYFAY3 44-69852 73\V498G874S
FIREBALL44- 6228198G345S K
FIREBELLE44-61653 58W444G677S
FIRE BUG 44-69944 73W500G882S
FIRE BUG 42-63566 314W29G52S
FLAG SHIP 42-63504 313W504G39 S
FLAG SHIP 500TH 44-61 669 73W500G883S AKA MISSIO
INN SAC22G2S & 19\V19G
FLAKMAGNET 44-61634 58W40G44S
FLEET ADMIRAL IlvllTZ 42-63650 315W501G
FLYIN' I-lOME42-24909 58W468G793S
FLYINJACKASS 42-24580 5 W444G676S
FLYI NG FOOL42-24698 73W499G877S
FLYING STUD42-6320 58W44G
FORBI DDEN FRUIT 42-24607 73W498G875S
FOREVER MvlBER 44-69839 313W6G40
FOUR-A-BREAST 44- 6323 19G28S K
FRISCO NANNY42-93889 73W500G882S
FRY' IN PAN (THE) 44-69812 SAC98K345S AKA
FUBAR 42-63378 58W444G676S
FUj lGMO 44-621 66 19G K
FU-KEMAL 42-6352 58W444G676S
FU-KEMAL-TU 42-24720 58W444G676S
FULL HOUSE44-27298 313W509G393S
GAl lOPI GOOSE42-6390 58W468G794S
GAS GOBBLER44-62314 43G
GEAR BOX (THE) 42-24704 58W468G793S
GEISHA GERTIE42-24763 73W498G874S
GE ERAlA DREW 44-69888 314W39G
58W46 G794
GE IE42-63455 58W40G25S
GE 11:;=244-61 12 58W40G25S
GEORGIA PEACH 42-63356 5 W468G793S AKA l ASSIE
GERTRUDEC 42-6334 58W468G794S
GHASTLYGOOSE(THE) 42-63541 73W497G871S
GLOBEGIRDlEMYRTLE 42-24581 58W462G770S
GODS Wlll42-24831313W9G1S
GOIN ' j ESSE42-63561313W9G5S
GO EWITH THE WIND 42-6331 5 W40G25S
GO A MAK' ER42-65231 73W497G871S
GOOD DEAL42-24852 313W504G421 S
GRAVELGERTIE42-63500 58W468G792S
GRAVELGERTIE42-64221 73W500G882S
GREAT ARTISTE (THE) 44-27353 313W509CG393S
GRIDERGIRL42-24884 313W6G39S
GU GA DII 42-635658W468G792S
GUSHER42-6356 5 W468G792S
HAGARTY'S HAG 44-86408 98K
1-I Al EY'S COMET 42-24615 73W497G870S
I-l AM'S EGGS 42-24670 73W499G879S
HAP'S CHARACTERS 42-63424 58W46 G792S
(-lARRYMIl l ER42-24740 58W40G45S
HASTA LUEGO 42-24647 73W499G87 S
HAULIN A 44-621 03 SAC 98G343S K
HAULI NASS 42-24461 73W499G878
HAWG WILD44-61 748 SAC 307G
I-I EARDOF BALDGOATS 44-70005 313W505G482S
I-IEATS ON (THE) 42-24605 73W498G873S
HEAVENLY 44-69696 314WI9G30S
HEAVENLY BODY42-63510 73W498G
I-lEAVE lY FLOWER 42-94025 313W9G99S AKA JUDY
I-lEAVE lY l ADE 44-61 22 16PRC
HEAVENLYlADE 45-21 822 91
HEAVENLY l ADEN 45-21522 98G344SG
HEl l ON WINGS 42-93857 58W444G677S
HEl l S BEllE-BEll RUTH 42-24680 73W500G88SG
I-IEllS BEllS 73W499G
HER MAJESTY42-63375 58W444G677S
RE 10
HERO HEATERS 44-61702 58W468G793S
HI STEPPER42-65275 58W468G794S
HO HUM44-701 23 58W462G768S
HOBO QUEEN 41-36963 58W462G
HOG WilD42-63436 73W500G
HOG WilD 44-70136 73W500G 88S
HOl l YWOODCOMMA DO 42-24724 5 W444G677S
HOLY JOE42-63489 73W500G881S
HOMERS'S ROAMERS 42-24794 73W498G873S
HOMING BIRD42-24824 313W505G483S
HON. SPYREPORT 42-24876 313W9G99S
I-IONEY 42-24659 73W499G879S
HO EYBUCKETHO SHO 44-61 929 91
HONEYWEll HONEY42-2473 58W40G45S
HONGCHOW 44-27308 28G
HONORABLET T WAGO 42-63484 313W505G484S
HO SHU HAWK 42-63444 73W498G87S
HOODLUM I-l OUSE#2 42-24475 58W462G768S
HOT PANTS 42-63485 73W497G869S
HOT T' TROT 44-69727 98G345S
HOT TO GO 42-65352 19G93S alsowith SAC98G K
HOUSTO I-I ONEY 42-63475 73W49 G875S
HULL' S ANGEL42-63362 58W462G770S
I-lUMP HAPPYPAPPY42-6254 58W40G45S
HUMPI N I-I ONEY42-6299 58W462G770S
I-lUMP'S HO EY 44-24648 73W497G87IS
I-IUN-DA-GEE44-61546 58W444G678S
79 7
HIBAN 44-61 807 91SRS
CHCLI FFECASTLE44-61 543 58W444G67 S
DIA MAID 67TH SEABEE 42-24806 313W505G482S
DIA A 42-63546 313W9G99S
I DIA A I142-94010313W9G99S
IINSPIRATIO 42-63427 73W499G8S
IRISH GIRL42-63614 313W505G
IRISH LASSIE42-6524_ 73W497G8S
IRI SH LULLABY42-24830 313W6G24S
IRON GEORGE44-87640 58W
IRON SHILLALAH 42-63519 73W487G
jABBITT III 44-27303 313W509G393S
JACKPOT 42-24797 313W505G4 4S
j A K'S I-lACK44-61566 5 W46 G794S
JAKE'S JALOPY44-69985 313W9G99S
JANICE E, THE42-93947 73W500G883S
j E REVIENS 44-70101 73W500G882S; formerly j A IE (see
j ITA 19G93S
io 42-65337 58W444G676S AKA ELEANOR
JOE'S JUNK42-24883 314W19G28S
JOHNNYREBAL44-61674 58W468G794S
jOI-I N' S OTHER WIFE44-86349 SAC22G
JOKERS WILD42-24626 73W497G87IS
JOKERS WILD II 42-24897 58W444G677S
JOLLY ROGER42-6341 5 58W468G793S
JOLLY ROGER 42-63475 58W468G793S
jOY-OUS VE TURE44-618215 W444G678S
JUDY A , THE42-94025 313W9G99S
JUG HAID III 44-69676 314W29G60S
JUMBE, KI G OFTHESHOW 42-6341 8 73W497G871S
JUMBO II 42-24855 73W497G871S
j UMPI G STUD, THE 42-63414 73W497G871S
JUKE BOX42-63353 58W468G792S
KAGO TSUCHI 42-24737 5 W40G
KAMRA-KAZE44-61583 16PRS
KATIE42-6298 58W40G25S
KAYO KID, THE44-69987 73W49 G873S
KICKAPOO II 42-6232 58W468G792S
KI CKAPOO LOU 42-24678 58W460G792S
KING SIZE42-6347 58W462G796S
KOEHANE'S KULPRITS 44-69774 3I4W330G459S
KOZA KID44-87661 I9G29S
KRI STYANN, THE42-93886 313W9GIS
KRO' S KIDS 42-24788 313W504G
LA BOHEME44-61851 54WRC
LADYBE GOOD42-65227 58W468G792S
LADY CHATEAU 44-87674 5 W468G793S
LADY EVE 42-65211 73W49 G875
LADY EVE II 42-24663 73W498G875S
LADYFRA CIS 44-61670 58W444G676S
LADYHAMILTON 42-6274 58W468G794S
LADYHAMILTON :2 42-24542 58W468G794S
WRECKSAC98G also with 19W19G93S
LADY JANE42-65363 314W330G459S AKA CITYOF
LADYJAYNE44-69874 313W9G5S
LADY MARGE42-24975
LADY MARGE42-24485 58W444G676S
LADYMARGE: 2 42-63399 5 W444G676S
LADY MARYANNA 42-24625 73W498G875S
LAGGIN' DRAGON 44-86347 313W509G393S
LAGGI WAGO 42-65390 98G92S
LASSIE42-63356 58W468G793S
LASSIE:2 42-24769 73W499G 78S
LASSIECOME HOME42-24609 73W498G874SQ
LASSIETOO 42-63460 58W468G793S
LASSIETOO 42-93984 58W462G768S
LAST OPER FLT 42-65234
LAST RESORT 42-63394 58W40G
LEADING LADY42-24766 73W500G882S
LEGAL EAGLE44-841I 28G714
LEMON (THE) 42-63462 5 W40G44S
LEMO! DROPKID 44-7001 2 19W19G2 S K
LETHALLADY42-6370 58W468G793S
LIFEOF RILEY 42-65241313W504G
LI LABNER 44-69657 73W500G882S
LlLDARLIN 44-86272 SAC98K
LIL' jODINE 42-24875 313W9G IS
LIL ' jODI E44-69748 313W9G IS
LIL LASSIE42-24693 73W499G878S
LIL LASSIE11 42-24769 73W499G878S
LIL ' SPOOK44-86346 313W505G AKASPOOK
LI LYUTZ 42-24892 58W468G794S
LI MBER DUGAN 42-6230 58W468G792S
LIMBER DUGAN;:2 42-65315 58W468G792S
LIMBER RICHARD44-70072 313W9G99S
LITTLE BUTCH 42-94014 73W498G873S
LITTLE CLAMBERT 42-245 2 58W40G44S
LITTLE FELLOW 44-61 782 73W500G881S
LITTLEGEM42-24596 73W497G869S
LITTLEJEFF 44-69 55 313W6G40S
LITTLEjO 42-24611 73W498G873S
LITTLEMIKE42-63422 58W444G677S
LITTLEORGA A IE42-24893 58W46 G794S
LIVE WIRE 42-24 53 313W9GI
LOADEDDICE 42-63688 315W16G15S
DEMO S 98G344S
LONESOME POLECAT 44-62151 375?
LONESOME POLECAT 42-94059 314W330G459S AKA
LONG DISTA CE42-24544 73W498G875S
LONG JOH SILVER 42-63502 58W462G769S
LONG WI DED42-63509 313W9G99S
LOOKHO!vlEWARD ANGEL44-69736 313W6G39S
LORDS PRAYER 44-6991 4 314W39G60S
LUBRICATI G LADY44-6175 1 19G28S
LUCIFER 45-21 745 19G30S
LUCKY 1344-701 49 58W444G676S
LUCKYIRISH 42-63432 73W497G874S
LUCKYIRISH 42-24622 73W497G870S
315WI6G I7S
LUCKYLADY 42-24863 313W504G398S
LUCKYLADY 42-24584 58W444G678S
LUCKYLADY44-61 734 73W498G873S
42-24685 73W498G873S
42-93956 313W9G I
42-93951313\Xl 6G24S
LUCKYLYN 42-24591 73W497G 69S
LUCKYSEVE 142-6407 5 W468G794S
TRIKE;:2 SAC 92G344S
I. CKYSTRIKE 44-62070 310
L CKYSTRIKE42-63552 313W6G39S
LUCKYSTRIKES42-94030 73W498G873S
LUELLA JEA 44-61795
M P I 44-86247 98G344S
MAC' S EFFORT 44-70073 98G
MAIDENS PRAYER 44-61678 73W498G874S
MAl OUI 44- 643698G343S
MALECALL42-63537 58W444G676S
5 W40G44S
MAMMY YOKUM 42-63536 5 W468G792S
MA 0 ' WAR 42-6346 5 W462G768S
MA O' WAR;:2 42-635113 13W9G IS
MARGIE'S MAD GREEK ;:3 44-61 43
MARIA A BELLE 44-69 833 13W9GIS
MARIAN A BELLE 44-70015 58W40G44S
MARIANNA RAM 44-69732 73W497G869S
MARYANN 42-24550 73W499G878S
MARYANN 42-24494 58W468G792S
MARY ANN 42-24693 73W499G878S AKA LI L' LASSIE
MARYANNA 42-65253 313W505G482S
MARYANNA ;:2 44-69962 313W505G482S
MARY K42-24525 58W468G793S
MARY KATHLEE 44-69814 314W330G458S AKA CITY
MARY LOU 44-61960 611 EG
MARYLI GAY(THE) 44-71 13 73W500G883S
MARY'S LI L' LAMBS 44-63332 58W444G678
MASON'S HO EY 44-61721314W29G6S
MAXIMUM EFFORT ;:3 44-69893 314WI9G93S
MAXIMUM LOAD 42-63564 3I4WI9G30S
MAYA'S DRAGOI 42-94022 313W6G39S
MEMPHIS MAID 44-70120 58W444G678S
MIGHTYFI E44-61655 73W498G873S
MILLION DOLLAR BABY 42-65247 73W500G883S
MILLION DOLLAR BABY ;:2 42-63532 58W46 G793S
MISS AMERICA '62 42-24896 3I3W6G24S
MISS SEA HAVEN 44-69805 98G
MISS BEHAVE ' 42-24655 73W497G881S
MISS BEHAVI ':2 42-63523 73W497G 71S
MISS CARRIAGE42-63364 313W504G680S
MISS DO A LEE 42-24915 58W40G45S
MI S HAP 42-24774 73W497G
MISSj UDY44-61 555 5 W462G770S
MISS LA E42-63554 73W498G874S
MISS LACE44-87658 58W462G
MISS LEAD42-24734 58W468G794S
MISS MARGARET 42-63427 73W497G870S
MISS MINNETTE42-6272 58W468G794S
SAC 98G 343S K
MISS MI-NOOKY44-69764 313W9G99S
MISS N.C. 44-86376 19G28S
MISS PEGGY44-69565 58W468G793S
MISS ROSEMARY42-2484 313W505G4 2S
MISS SA DY44- 76595 W46 G793S
MISS SHORTY42-65272 5 W46 G793S
MISS SPOKA E44-27332 98G344S
MI S SU SU 42-2481 2 3I3W504G42IS
MISS TAMPA44-86340 19G
MISS YOU 44-70100 5 W40G44S
MISSION IN 44-61669 SAC22G2S also with 19WI9G AKA
FLAGSHIP 500TH 73W500G883S
MISSION I 44-27263 22BG K
TI-IING 58W444G678S alsowirh 19WI9G
MONSOON 42-6294 58W40G45S
MONSOON: 2 42-24846 58W40G25S
MONSOO GOON 42-93828 58G468G794S
MO SOO GOON;:2 42-2489158W444G676S
MO STRO 44-841I I, XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter program
mother plane
MOOSE IS LOOSE42-24851 313W504G39 S AKA
MRS TITTYMOUSE42-6521 2 73W498G875S
MULETRAIN 44-86261 SAC 22G
MUS'N TOUCH 44-61548 58W40G44S
MUSNT TOUCH 42-24657 73W500G883S
MYBUDDY42-65279 58W468G794S
MYGALSAL44-69660 58W468G794S
MY AKED 42-63725 315W50IG485S
MY AKED42-63725 315WI6G
MYAKI AS 44-621 0 98G343S
MYA' S DRAGON 42-94042 315W6G39S
AUGHTYNANCY42-63496 313W505G also with
NECESSARYEVIL44-86291 313W509G393S
NEVER HOPPEN 44-61 562 19G28S
NEVER HOPPEN 44-62196 22G
NEXT OBJECTIVE44-27299 313W509G393S
NIGHT MARE 42-6311 58W462G77 IS
NIGHT-MARE! 44-87661 19G28S
NIGHTMARE44- 7661 19G30S
NI A ROSS 42-24689 73W500G881S
II' NEMESIS 44-69733 313W9G IS
II' 0 NEES 44-622619 G344S
IP-ON- EE 44-62261 98343K
II' PON-ESE44-87760 19G93S
NIP-PO -ESE44-6161792G
NIPPON NIPPER;:2 42-63503 58W40G44S
NIPPON NIPPER:3 42-24729 58W444G44S
NO PAPA 42-6325 58W444G676S
NO SWEAT 44-87618 19G285
NOAI-- rS ARK44-27334
NO SWEAT 44-8761 8 19G28S K
NO SWEAT 44-70134
0 1-1BROTHER 502G
OILYBOlD 42-24912 314W29G6S
OLD574 42-63574 313W9G99S
OLD900 42-24900 313W9G99S
OLD BITCH-U-AIRY BESS 42-6273 58W462G769Salsowith
98G345S K
OLDCAMPAIG ER 42-6272 58WW468G794S
OLD IRO SIDES 42-24436 73W500G882S
OLDSOLDIERS [-lOME 44-69766 314W330G459S AKA
OLEGAS EATER42-24798 58W40G45S
OLEMISS IV 45-21793
OLEMISS 45-21793
OLE SMOKER44-69857 314W330G459S
ONEYOU LOVE(THE) 44-69727 313W504G
O' REILLYS DAUGHTER42-6264 58W468G792S
O' REILLYS DAUGHTER: 2 44-61 703 58W468G792S
OUR BABY42-24597 73W497G869S
OURGAL42-244 4 5 W486G
OURGAL44-61 932 SAC 9 G 343S
OUR L' LAS 44-61 951 98G K
GOO E98G344S
OUTLAW (THE) 42-6'5 306 19G2, S K
OUTLAW (THE) 42-24685 5 W40G44S
PRI 1 ESS 5 W444G
PACIFIC QUEEN42-63429 73W500G882S
PACIFIC UNIO 42-24595 73W497G869S
PAMPEREDLADY42-6306 58W40G395S
PAPA TOM'S CABIN44-87668 58W468G792S
PAPPY'S I' LUvlA 42-24882 313W504G42I S
PAPPY'S PULLMA :2 42-634 I 313W504G42IS
PARTYGIRL42-6389 58W468G792S
PASSIO WAGO 42-63524 313W505G4 4S
PASSIO WAGO 42-94043 313W9GIS
PASSIO WAGO 42-63 9 58W44G
PATCHE 42-24822 313W9G5
PATCHES 42-24624 73W49 G875S
PATCHES 44-70085 58W40G45
PEACEMAKER44- 6433 9 G
PEACE0 EARTH 42-6341 2 73W497G 70S
PEACE0 EARTH 44-61 790 92G
PEACEMAKER 44-86433 92G325S
PEPPER42-62I7 58W468G792S
PHONYEXPRESS 42-24 01 58W462G770S
1'10 EER42-6208 58W46 G793S
1'10 EER :2 42-63546 58W468G793S
1'10 EER:3 42-63534 58W468G793S
POCOHA TAS 42-24601 73W498G 74S
POISO! IVY 42-245 5 JPRC
POLAR QUEE 44-621 57 375 WRC
POLAR QUEE 44-621 63 5 WRC
PO DERO PEN 42-63431 73W497G 71 S
PORCUPINE44-61 55 313W6G24S
PRINCESS EILEEN 42-24462 58S444G
PRI NCESS EILEEN: 2 42-6323 58W484G678S
PRI NCESS EILEEN : 3 42-63559 58W444G
PRINCESS EILEEN: 4 42-65327 58W444G678S
PRI NCESS Pf\T : 3 44-83946 315W331G357S
PRI NCESS POKEY42-63517 313W505G4 2S
PUNCHI 'J UDY 42-6571 9 73W500G 81S
PURPLESHAFT 42-65361 19G 93S & 30S
QUAKER CITY44-7001 6 314W330G
QUA YI CHA ARA 42-93853 3PRC
QUEEN BEE 42-24840 313W9GIS
QUEEN OFTHE AIR42-6380 234
RAIDERMAIDEN 42-6265 58W468G793S
RAI El ' MAIDE 2 42-65276 58W468G793S
RAMBLI RECK 42-24471 5 W468G792S
RAMBLI ROSCOE42-24664 73W500G 2S
RAMP QUEE 73W499G 77
RAMPTRAMp : 2 42-24904 58W462G770Salsoserved with
RA KL S WRECK42-63420 5 W40G
RAPID RABBI T 1776 9 / 19G ?
RATTLE 'ROLL44-61 803 313W6G4
RAZ ' HELL45-21 746 19G2 S
READY BETTY 42-24879 58W46 G792S
READY TEDDY 42-6408 58W468G792S
READY TEDDY 42-63561313W9G5S
REAMATROID 44-69672 313W6G39S
REDHOT RIDER42-65338 73W497G
20 1
REGI A COELI 44-83906 315WI6G
RELUCTANT DRAG' ON (THE) 44-62253 98G345S
RIPVANWRI KLE42-24868 313W6G39S
R.J . WILSON 42-24714 58W468G794S
ROAD APPLE42-63600 3 I5W50 lG
ROC (THE) 73W499G
ROCK HAPPY44-62053 19G93S
ROCKETTHE42-24742 73W
RO ALIA ROCKET 42-24656 73W500G881S
RUSH ORDER '13-13' 42-63393 58W462G768S
RUSHIN' ROTATION 42-6341 7 58W468G792S
SAD SACK44-61 676 9 G343S K
SAD TOMATO 42-652 5
SALEM WITCH 44-61 533
SALVO SALLY42-24699 73W499G877S
SASSYLASSY42-24867 313W505G484S
SAN ANTONIO ROSE42-24587 58W40G44S
SATANS ANGEL42-65202 58W444G
SATAN'S LADY 42-24779 313W504G
SATAN' SISTER42-65453 73\'(I499G
SEPTEMBER 0 G 44-69746
SHADYLADY 42-24619 73W497G870S
SHADYLADY 42-65357 98G345S K
SHAG'N I-lOME42-93859 58W40G45S
SHANGHAI LI L42-6277 58W444G676S
SHE HASTA 313W505G484S
SHEER MAD ESS44-61 94 98G
HEEZA GOER45-2171 6
THE 19G93S K
SISTERSUE42-6342 58W40G395S
SITTING PRETTY 42-24814313W504G421S
SKYCHIEF44-70002 58W444G
SKYOCTANE45-2171 6
SKY-SCRAPPER42-63463 73W497G
SKYSCRAPPER42-24599 73W497G869S
SKYSCRAPPER 42-65364 314W39G61S
SLEEPT TIMEGAL42-24620 58W40G44S
SLICKCHICK42-24906 314WI9G93S
SLICKCHICKS 42-24784 313W505G
SLICKDICK42-24700 73W500G882S
SLOW FREIGHT 44-61834 98G
SMILI N' JACK 42-24888 58W40G25S
SNAFU-PER PRT 42-63435 73W500G881S
SAC98G343S K
S OOKY'S BRATS 42-93877 5 W46 G792S
S 10 0 PIN' KID42-93865 IPRS
HAPPEN 73W500G881S
SNUFFY42-24873 58W444G676S
SNUGGLE BUN Y44-69667 313W6G40S; alsoassigned to
98G343S K
SO TIRED44-61727 91 PRS
SO TIRED, SEVE -TO-SEVEN 44-61 727 313W9G
SOME PU KINS 44-27296 509G
SOUTHERN BELLE44-61 667 58W468G793S
SPECIAL DELI VERY42-24628 73W97G870S
SPIRIT OF FDR42-93846 3I3W504G482S
SPOOK44-86346 313W509G393S AKA LIL' SPOOK
STAR DUSTER 42-24782 73W499G878S
STAR DUSTER42-93858 73W497G870S
STAR DUSTER42-6305 58W462G
STAR DUSTER, THE42-94067 313W9G99S
STI G SHIFT44-69742 73W500G 82S
STORKCLUBBOYS 42-24 643 13W504G398S
STRAIGHT FLUSH 44-27301313W509G393S
STRANGECARGO 44-27300 313W509G393S
SU SU BABY 42-24721 73W500G881S
SUELLAJ 44-61 577
SUPI ESUE42-24653 73W500G883S
SURETHI G 42-24653 73W500G883S
SURETHI NG 44-69999 19G
SWEATEROUT 42-24513 58W40G25S
SWEET N' LOLA 44-61578 16PRS
SWEET SUE44-70012 3I3W9GIS
TABOOMA 44-69906 58W40G25S
TABOOMA 11 42-63374 58W40G25S
TAILWIND 42-24761 73W500G883S
TAILWIND 45-2172198G345S K
TAKEIT OFF42-93939 313W6G40S
TANAKATERMITE 42-24749 73W498G
TDYWINDOW 44-86335 98G343S
TEASER42-63526 73W479G
TERRIBLE TERRY 42-63425 73W497G871S
TEXAS DOLL42-24627 73W497G870S
THERE'LL ALWAYS BE A XMAS 42-24643 73W500G881S
THING, THE45-21824 514WRS
TI-IIS IS IT 42-632158W444G
THREE FEATHERS 42-24671 73W500G883S
THUMPER 42-24623 73W499G870S
THUNDERBIRD42-63454 58W462G770S
THUNDERBIRD42-63570 314W29G6S
THUNDERHEAD42-24641 73W497G871 S
TIEN LONG (SKY DRAGON) 42-65362 314\V39G
TIGER LlL42-94000 98G K
TN-TEENY42-65278 313W9GIS
T N-TEENY II 44-69920 313W9GlS
TOjO'S NIGHTMARE44-70124 313W6G40S
TOKYO-KO 42-24859 313W9G5S
TOKYO LOCAL42-24587 73W500G882S
TOKYO TWISTER42-24682 73W499G877S
TOP SECRET 44-27302 313W509G393S
TORCHY42-24646 73W498G874S
TORRIDTOBY42-93830 58W462G
TOTIN' TO TOKYO 42-6454 58W468G793S
TOTIN' TO TOKYO 42-63530 58W468G793S
TOUCH AND GO 44-87601
TOWN TUMP 44-27282
TRIFLI N' GAL44-83919 314W301G32SRS
TRIGGER MORTIS 44-69744 313W6G39S
TRIGGER MORTIS 11 44-69744 313W6G39S
UMBRIAGO 42-63545 313W9G5S
UMBRIAGO II 42-94041313W9G5S
UNDECIDED42-24580 58W444G676S
UNINVITED, THE44-69754 313W9G99S
UNINVITED42-6409 58W468G794S
UNTOUCHABLE42-24506 58W462G768S
UP AN' ATOM 44-27304
VICTORYGIRL42-24731 58W444G678S
VICTORY JEAN 44-83946 315W331G357S
VIRGINIATECH 44-65129 58W40G45S
WADDY' S WAGO! 42-2459873W497G869S
WANGOBA G0 44-87653 314W19G
WARWEARY 42-24633 73W499G877S
WARSAW PIGEON 44-69849 313W9G5S
WE DOOD IT 44-69860 314Wl9G30S
WHAM BAM42-22469 58W468G793S
WI-IAT HAPPENED42-93829 58W40G395S
WHEEL'N' DEAL42-24604 73W497G870S
WHITE HUNTRESS 42-24776 313W6G40S
WICHITA WITCH 42-24654 73W498G874S
WICHITA WITCH 42-24442 58W468G793S
WILD HAIR42-24505 58W462G770S
WILLI AM ALLENWHITE44-701 21 313W505G482S; also
assigned to 313W9G99S
WILLI EMAY42-24663 73W498G875S
WINDYCITY42-6253 58W468G794S
WINDYCITYII 42-24486 58W468G794S
WING DING 42-63458 58W444G676S
WOLF PACK44-86340 98G345S K
WOLF PACK, TI-IE42-94063 313W6G24S
WUGGED WASCAL42-24658 73W499G877S
YACATAN KIDS 44-61587 58W40G44S
YONKEEDOLL-AH 42-65371314W330G458S
ZATS ALL FOLKS! 42-24453 314W330G458S
8 BALL, THE44-70070 313W9G5S
BODY 58W40G45S
42-24574 5 W40G45S
AKA also known as
Air Sqlladron
G Groll/)
K Korean \Var
PS Photo Sqlladro n
Photogral)!Jic Reconnaissance Sqlladron
S Squaaror:
SAC Strategic Air Command
W Wing
WRS \X!eather Sqlladron
A B-29-40-BW 142-24590). Thetail code T 3(formerly
T Square3; the square had been eliminated) means it
was from20AF. 73BW, 498BG and 875BS on Saipan.
Schirmer via Stan Piet
Bowers, Pet er M., Boeing 13 -29 SII!JeJ!orrress Warb ird Tcch Series,
Volume 14 (Speci alty Prcss, 1999 )
Bo\\'crs, Peter M., Boeing Aircraft since 1916 (A ero Publishers,
1966 )
Campbell, Richard H., Thc)' \V'erc Callcd Si!vcr!J!at c (Silvcr plarc
Assoc iates, 200 I )
Collison, Thomas, The SU!Jel!orrrC.l.l i.l Born : The Story of tlv: 13 -29
(Duel l, Sloa n & Pearce, 1945)
Dav is, Larry, 13-29 SII!Jcrforrre.l.l in action (Sq uadron/Signal Puhli-
ca t ions , 1997)
Hess, Wi lliam H., j ohnsen, Freder ick A. and Marshall, Ches te r,
Grern Bombers of \Vorld \Val' II (MBI Publi shing, 1998)
Howlcrr, Chris (cd.), \Vashingwll Timc.l Newsletter Issue No. I,
Fall 200 1; Issue No. 2, Wint cr 200 2
Tiv: Pacific SUl Stri!Jcs, 30 December 1950, ' Alone With The
Enemy: Recollect ions of an RB-29 Crew in Japan '
Aero Spacclincs 169
Air Force:
Srh 94
l Orh 76, 88, 179
20th 81, 88, 94, 179
Airborne Early Warning (AEW) 120
aircraft designations:
B- I7F 20
B- I7G 19
B-24 20
B-29 149
B-29-BA 149
B-29-BW 149
B-29-MO 149
B-29A 170
B-29A-B 150
B-29C l SI
B-29D l SI
B-29F l SI
B-29L 152
B-29M 152
B-29MR 152
B-50 18,1 66
B-54A 167
B/KB-29K l SI
C-74 23
C-97 168
EB-29 153
EB-29A 153
F- I3 152- 3
F- 13A 152- 3
KB-29M 153
KB-29P Flying BoomTanker 157
KB-50J 167
KC-I O 15
KC-97 17
KC-97E/F 16
KC-97G 16
KC-135 158
P2B-I S 176
P2B-2 176
PT-1 9A 22
RB-29 153
RB-29A 153
XB-15 19- 20
XB-17 20
XB-19 19- 20
XB-29 23- 7, 149
XB-29E 164
XB-29G 164
XB-29H 164
XB-30 21, 23- 4
XB-31 22, 23- 4
XB-32 22-5
XB-33 23, 41
XB-39 164
XB-42 23
XB-44 164
XBLR- I 19
XBLR-2 19
XBLR-3 19
XF8B- I 170
YIB-20 20
YB-29 36- , 149
YB-29J 165
YB-50C 168
1'B-54 168
1'KB-29T 166
Allen, Edmund T. 'Eddie' 21, 30- 5
Ambrose, Lr Earle 161
A /APQ-7 Eagle radar l-o mbnrdrn c n r
system 54,67
A/APQ-13 radar system 64
AN/APQ- 15Bradar system 54,64
AN/APQ-23 radar system 67
AN/APQ-30 radar system 67
Arnold, Gcn Henry H. ' Hap' 21, 40,
B-4 Programme I 10
B-29 bases in World War Two 94
B-29 production 42
B-29unic of the Korean War 146
B-29 units in World War Two 94
Ball, John 21
Battle of Kansas, the 39
Beall, Wcllwood 21
Bell Aircraft Corporation 40
Bell-Atlanta (BA) 40
Bock, Capt. Frederick C. 107
BOCKSCAR 9, 103, 176- 7
Boeing, William E. ' Bill' 10- 11,
Boeing Airplane Company 7, 9, 10- 11,
Boeing-Renron (BN) 41
Boeing-Renton Plant 3, 42
Boeing-Seattle 39
Boeing-Seatt le (130 ) 39
Boeing- catt le Plant 2,39
Boeing-Wichita (BW) 39
Boeing-Wichi ta Plant 2,38- 9
Boeing model numbers:
B-40/-40A 12
B-80 13
13-214/-215 13
B-247 13
B-294 19
B-299 20
13-307 14, 24
B-314 15
B-316 24
13-332 24
B-333 24
B-333A 24
B-334 16, 24
B-334A 24
13-341 21
13-345 21, 24
13-345-2 1
13-367 16- 17, 168
13-377 17, 16
B-400 170
Bomb Groups:
6BG 94
9BG 94
16BG 94
1913G 94, 146
N I3G 94
39BG 94
40BG 76, 94
330BG 94
331BG 94
333BG 94
34613G 94
444BG 76, 94
46213G 94
468BG 76, 94
472BG 76, 94
497BG 94
49813G 94
499BG 94
500BG 94
50l BG 94
502BG 94
504BG 94
50513G 94
509CG 94
130mb Squadrons (medium):
ms 146
1913S 146
2813S 146
3013S 146
3313S 146
9313S 146
32513S 146
32613S 146
32713S 146
34313S 146
34413S 146
34513S 146
370BS 146
37113S 146
37213S 146
40813S 146
424BS 146
130mb Squadrons (v ery heav y) :
IBS 94
5BS 94
6BS 94
15BS 94
16BS 94
17BS 94
21BS 94
24BS 94
25BS 94
28BS 94
30BS 94
39BS 94
4013S 94
41 BS 94
43BS 94
44BS 94
45BS 94
52BS 94
60BS 94
6113S 94
62BS 94
93BS 94
99BS 94
355BS 94
356BS 94
357BS 94
393BS 94
395BS 94
398BS 94
402BS 94
405BS 94
411 13S 94
42113S 94
430BS 94
43513S 94
45713S 94
458BS 94
459BS 94
460BS 94
461 13S 94
46213S 94
463BS 94
482BS 94
48313S 94
484BS 94
507BS 94
54013S 94
54113S 94
676BS 94
67713S 94
678BS 94
679BS 94
680BS 94
768BS 94
769BS 94
770BS 94
771BS 94
79213S 94
79313S 94
794BS 94
795BS 94
808BS 94
809BS 94
810BS 94
81113S 94
86913S 94
870BS 94
87113S 94
87313S 94
87413S 94
87513S 94
87713S 94
87813S 94
879BS 94
88013S 94
88113S 94
882BS 94
883BS 94
884BS 94
Bomb Wings (medium) :
n BW 146
92BW 146
98BW 146
307BW 146
Bomb Wings (very heavy):
58BW (VH) 75, 81,94
73BW (VH) 88, 94
313BW (VH) 88, 94
314BW (VH) 88, 94
315BW (VH) 88, 94
31613W (VH) 94
Bombardment Group (Medium):
19th 146
98th 147
307th 148
Bombardment Wing (Medium):
19th 147
98th 148
307th 148
Campbell, Richard H. 105
Cash, Col Melvin G. ' Mel' 91
China- Burma- India (CBI) Thcatrcs of
O perat ion 179
Cole, John Robert ' Bob' 132-4
Confederate Air Force (CAF) 173-4
Convair 13-36 ' Peacemake r' 186
Corke r, William R. 'Bill' 89
Davis, David R. 70
Davis wing 70
DOC 176,1 78
Einsre in . Albert 97
English Electr ic Canbe rra 129
ENOLAGAY 9, 100, 103, 176, 177
Euler, Don 21
Fairchild n
Far East Air Force (FEAF) 61
Fat Man 54,89,99- 100, 105
FIFI 173- 4, 178
Forster, John 134
Fowler- type wing flaps 72
Frye Meat Packing Company 26
'Gadget , Thc' 97
General Elec tr ic Company 25
B- l l type rurbosupercharger 25
Cen t ra l Fire Control (CFC) system
53- 4
Glenn L. Martin Company 41
G loste r Meteor 170
Harmon, Col. Leonard '[akc' 26
Hem isph ere Defence Bomber 20
IT' S I-l AWG WILD 178
Irvine, Col. Clarence S. 159
Johnson, Phil 21
Kenney, Gcn George C. 121
Korean War, the 139-4
Ldvl<l y, Gen Curtis E. 75
Lilt!c Boy 54, 89,99- 100, 105
MA and PA 172
MacArth ur, Gen Douglas 139
MA 0' WAR 178
Manhattcn Project 97
Martin-Omaha (MO) 41
Model M-2 .50-calibre machi ne-gun 53
Model M-3 20mmcannon 52
MONSTRO 153, 156
MX-472 (Parasite Fighter Project ) 153
National Air and Space Museum 175
imitz, Admiral Chester W. 75
on-stop around-the-World flight 124- 6
ordcn bomb sight In
ordcn Model D- bomb sight 54
O' Donnell, [r, Maj Gcn Emmett 140
Operation Homc Run 134
Peoples Liberation Army Air Force
(PLAAF) 114
Pierce, Lyle 21
Pregnant Guppy, The 169
Pyle, Ernest T. ' Ernie' 93
RAAFAircraft Research and
Development Unit (ARDU) 135
RAAF \Veapons Research Establishment
(WRE) 135
RAF Washington squadrons:
15 Sqn 134
35 Sqn 130
44 Sqn 129
57 Sqn 129
90 Sqn 129
115 Sqn 131
149 qn 132
192 Sqn 129
207 Sqn 129
RAMP TRAMP 109-1 0
Red Barn, the I I
Reed, Al 25
Req uiremen t R-40-B 21
Robbins, Robert M. 'Bob' 27,30, 35, I 4
Rodgers, Russ 25
Roosevelt, President Franklin D. 97
Royal Air Force (RAF) Bases, Coningsby,
Marham and \V<l ttnn 129
Royal Air Force Washington B. Is 136-7
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) 135
Royal Australian Air Force \Vashingtons
Sachs, Dr Alexander 97
SB-29 Super Dumbo 143
Schairer, George 21
Showalter, oah D. 21,27-8
Shvcrsov Ash-73TK 11 0
Sikorsky 19
Silvcrplatc 97- 8
Silverplatc B-29 Production 108
Spaatz, Gen Carl A. 'Tooey' 105
Stinson, Patrick 124
trategic Air Command (SAC) 121 -7
Strarcgic Air Command B-29 Bomb
Wings: 123
2BW 123
5BW 123
7BW 123
19BW 123
n BW 123
28BW 123
40BW 123
43BW 123
44BW 123
58BW 123
68BW 123
90BW 123
91BW 123
92BW 123
93BW 123
97BW 123
98BW 123
106BW 123
30 l BW 123
303BW 123
305BW 123
306BW 123
307BW 123
308BW 123
310BW 123
320BW 123
376BW 123
444BW 123
448BW 123
4 5BW 123
498BW 123
509BW 123
Srrntcmevcr. Gen George E. 139
Super Guppy, The 169
Supcrhomber 19
Surface, 2nd Lt Claude E. 9I
winharr, Earl
Tlil codes 95
Tal/l3o)' bomb 59
T11I Tail and ' Andy Gump' B-29 164
Thin Man 54, 99
THOR 137
Tibbets, jr, Brig Gcn Paul W. 103
Trinity test site 98
Truman, President Harry S 139
T-SQUARE 54 17
Tupolev aircraft:
Tu-2R 109
Tu-4 ' Bull' 11 2, I 15, 120
Tu-4A 112
Tu-4D 11 2
Tu-4K 11 2
Tu-4LL I 12
Tu-4T 11 2
Tu-6 109
Tu-70 'Cart' 11 6-1
Tu-75 118
Tu-80 ' Bull' 11 2, 11 8
Tu-85 'Barge' 112, 118-1 9
USS !ndiww!JO!is 103
Very Long Range Bomber 20
Washington B. I 129- 38
Welch, William E ' Bill' 161
Wells, Ed 21
Westervelt, Lr George Conrad 10
Willi<lms, Sgt R.C. 'Colin' 130- 1
Wolfe, Gcn Kenneth B. 75, I
World Wm Two 75- 94
Wright 5
Cyclone I 58-9
R-3350 5 , 66-7
R-3350-23 66
XX Bomber Command 75-89,94, 179
XXI Bomber Command 75- 89, 94, 179

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