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  B-29-5-BW "Postville Express" Serial Number 42-6279  
20th AF
468th BG
792nd BS

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Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Witchata, Kansas. Assigned to the 20th Air Force, 468th Bombardment Group. Assigned to Major Donald Humphrey (C.O. 792nd Bombardment Squadron) of Postville, Iowa. Nicknamed "Postville Express". On the nose was painted bomb markings for missions and camel markings for flights over "The Hump". Engine and weapon serial numbers not noted in MACR.

Wartime History
This B-29 entered service on May 1, 1944. In total, it flew 13 bombing missions from India and China and flew the Hump eight times.

On June 15, 1944 this B-29 piloted by Humphrey took off from China and flew as the lead bomber during the first B-29 raid against Yawata.

On August 20, 1944 took off from Pengshan Airfield in China piloted by Humphrey on a bombing mission over Yawata. Aboard were several war correspondents and photographers. Over the target, this bomber was the first to release its bombs, amidst heavy anti-aircraft fire. A ramming attack by Ki-45 Nick piloted by Sgt Nobe downed the B-29 "Gertrude C" 42-6368 and B-29 "Calamity Sue" 42-6334 both in the same formation.

On November 21, 1944 took off from Pengshan Airfield in China on a bombing mission over Omura. Over the target at roughly 1:48am, the right blister of this bomber blew out and right gunner  TSgt Norman E. Stiffler, 13030165 was sucked out, and observed to be trying to deploy his parachute. The rest of the crew and bomber returned to base safely. Stiffler's remains were recovered postwar and are buried at Honolulu Cemetery (Punchbowl) section F grave 1020.

During late 1944, this bomber was declared war weary and returned to the United States. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped.

Missing Air Crew Report (MACR)  9866
B-29 Hunters of the JAAF page 13, 15

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018


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