Built at the Boeing Wichita Factory. Ferried overseas on May 3, 1945. Assigned to the 20th Air Force, 9th Bombardment Group, 1st Bombardment Squadron.
Assigned to pilot 1st Lt. Edward T. Kelby.
This B-29 flew its first combat mision on May 18th. The 5th Marines logo was painted on the right side of the nose, and the left side with a painting of the second flag raising, photographed by Joe Rosenthal.
Dave L. Rogan, AC, 1st Squadron (via 9th BG history) recalls:
"On May 28, 1945, General A.W. Kissner, Chief of Staff, 21st Bomber Command, wrote to General Keller Rockey, Fifth Marine Division, that as a token of respect and appreciation of the great contribution made by the Fifth Marine Division in the taking of Iwo Jima; they desired to name a new B-29 for the Fifth Marine Division in the taking of Iwo Jima, and to inscribe the Division Insignia on the plane. Our crew was selected for this honor and crew 11A was proud to have a new ship named “The Spearhead”. The brass of the Fifth Marine Division and the 9th BG got together and had a dedication ceremony on Tinian, August 17, 1945. About 100 Marines including their band took part. “The Spearhead” also took part in the ceremony. All in all, it was fun, and since our crew led many missions, “The Spearhead” was an appropriate name. Its two waist gunners were twins (Burton and Langdon Dyer) and as far as I know, were the only twins to fly combat missions together."
This B-29 flew its last combat mission was September 1, 1945, for total of 25 combat missions and one abort during the war. On May 8, 1946, returned to the United States. On May 23, 1946 it was scrapped at Aberdeen.
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May 22, 2017