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  B-29-40-MO "Big Stink / Dave's Dream" Serial Number 44-27354  
USAF
4677th Radar Evaluation Flight
Former Assignments
USAF
106th Radar Calibration Squadron
7th Radar Calibration Squadron

USAAF
20th AF
509th CG
509th BS

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing as a B-29-35-MO Superfortress at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Plant at Bellevue, Nebraska. One of fifteen B-29s modified as a silverplate. Delivered to the U. S. Army on April 20, 1945. During May 1945, flown to Wendover Army Air Field, Utah, by its assigned crew A-5 (under Lieutenant Colonel Thomas J. Classen, aircraft commander and group deputy commander).

Wartime History
On June 29, 1945 took off from Wendover Field on a ferry flight to North Field Airstrip on Tinian Island arriving on June 24, 1945. Assigned victor number 10. On August 1, 1945 assigned circle R tail markings of the 6th Bombardment Group as a security measure and the Victor number changed to 90.

On July 23, 1945 took off piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets on a mission to drop a dummy "Little Boy" atomic bomb assembly off Tinian to test the radar altimeter detonators.

This B-29 flew twelve training missions plus two combat missions to drop pumpkin bombs on industrial targets at Nagaoka and Hitachi flown by Classen and crew A-5. This B-29 was flown by nine of the fifteen crews assigned to the 393rd Bombardment Squadron.

On August 6, 1945, on the atomic bomb mission against Hiroshima, this B-29 was flown by aircraft commander First Lieutenant Charles McKnight and crew B-8 as a back bomber, but landed on Iwo Jima when all aircraft in the flight continued.

On August 9, 1945 this B-29 served as camera ship for the atomic bomb mission. For the mission, this B-29 was flown by aircraft commander Major James I. Hopkins, Jr. with crew C-14, normally assigned to B-29 "Necessary Evil" plus British observers. Before take off, Dr. Robert Serber was ordered off the plane because he forgot his parachute and did not make the flight.

Aircraft Commander  Major James I. Hopkins, Jr.
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. John E. Cantlon
Navigator  2nd Lt. Stanley G. Steinke
Bombardier  2nd Lt. Myron Faryna
Engineer  M/Sgt. George L. Brabenec
Radio  Sgt. Francis X. Dolan
Radar  Cpl. Richard F. Cannon
Assistant Engineer  Sgt. Thomas A. Bunting
Radar  Cpl. Sidney J. Bellamy
Tail Gunner  Sgt. Martin G. Murray,
Observer  Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC, (former C. O. 617 Squadron, official rep. Prime Minister)
Observer  Professor William Penney (Project Alberta)

Took off late from North Field Airstrip on Tinian Island and failed to reach the rendezvous point, this B-29 failed to arrive in time and although waiting for thirty minutes extra and B-29 "Bockscar" 44-27297 and B-29 "The Great Artiste" 44-27353 proceeded together. Proceeding alone, this B-29 reached Nagasaki in time to photograph the mushroom cloud from 39,000'. Afterwards, all three B-29s landed at Yontan Airfield on Okinawa, refueled and then took off again and return to North Field Airstrip.

Afterwards, assigned to aircraft commander Captain Captain Herman S. Zahn and crew C-12. Nicknamed "Big Stink".

Postwar
This B-29 returned to the United States and was based with the 509th Composite Group at Roswell Army Air Field, New Mexico.

During April 1946 assigned to "Operation Crossroads" to conduct an air drop atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll. Renamed "Dave's Dream" by its crew in honor of Captain David Semple, a bombardier killed in the crash of a B-29 on March 7, 1946.

On July 1, 1946, this B-29 dropped an atomic bomb code named "Gilda" during atomic bomb test "Able" at Bikini Atoll. The aim point was USS Nevada BB-36, but the missed, exploding 710 yards to the west.

This B-29 was transfered to the United States Air Force (USAF) when it formed. In June 1949 transferred to the 97th Bombardment Group at Biggs AFB. In April 1950 converted to a TB-29 by the Oklahoma City Material Area at Tinker AFB.

In October 1952, assigned to the 106th Radar Calibration Squadron, Sioux City AFB, Iowa. In September 1953 assigned to the 7th Radar Calibration Squadron, Sioux City Air Force Base. In March 1954 assigned to the 4677th Radar Evaluation Flight at Hill AFB. In June 1959 it was moved into storage at Davis-Monthan AFB and dropped from USAF inventory. In February 1960 scrapped.

References
FindAGrave - Capt David Semple (grave photo)

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-29
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