USAAF Aug 21, 1945
|Aircraft Commander 1st Lt Joseph Queen (survived, rescued) Ashland, KY
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Robert S. Rainey (survived, rescued) Moroa, IL
Navigator 2nd Lt. Eugene R. Harwood (survived, rescued) Colorado Springs, CO
Flight Officer/Bombardier Marion J. Sherrill (survived, rescued) Flat River, MS
Engineer SSgt Jessee Owens (survived, rescued) Fayetteville, TN
Radio SSgt Arthur Strilky (survived, rescued) Chicago, IL
Gunner SSgt Jose Rinaldo (survived, rescued) Bronx, NY
Right Gunner Cpl Clifford McGee (survived, rescued)
Ring Gunner Sgt Cyril Bernacki (survived, rescued) Stafford, CT
Tail Gunner Cpl Richard H. Turner (survived, rescued) Greenville, OH
Radar Sgt Douglas E. Arthur (survived, rescued) Millersburg, PA
Observer John Barrett Grant (survived, rescued) Greenwich, CT
Observer 1st Lt. Robert W. Campbell (survived, rescued) Ada, TX
Observer Lucius William Weeks (survived, rescued) Loon Lake, WA
Crash Landed August 29, 1945
Built by Boeing in Wichita, Kansas completed on May 11, 1945. Accepted by the US Army. Ferried overseas by pilot 1st Lt. Queen on a flight from Topeka Airfield via Mather Field, John Rogers Field, Kwajalein, Eniwetok before arriving at Harmon Field on Guam. The next day, the B-29 flew to Isley Field on Saipan where it was assigned to the 20th Air Force, 73rd Bombardment Wing, 500th Bombardment Group, 882nd Bombardment Squadron. Tail code "Z28" (second B-29 in the 500th Bomb Group to bear this code). Nose number 28.
This B-29 was flown by at least three different crews led by pilots Arbon, Sasser (10 missions), D. Jackson (2 missions) plus five other crews that flew this B-29 on only one mission. This bomber completed a total of twenty missions.
On June 17, 1945 nicknamed "Buckin' Bronc" (June 17-July 2, 1945) with silhouette of a black bucking bronco atop a checkered background. This bomber flew six bombing missions over Japan, hitting targets including Kure Navy Arsenal, Osaka Arsenal and incendiary bombing missions over Fukuoka, Hamamatsu, Sasebo and Kumamoto.
On July 2 or 3, this B-29 was renamed "Hog Wild", possibly by Sasser's crew. Ground crew included: Sgt R. Newton of Midlothian, TX, Sgt C. Miller of Cleveland, OH, Sgt A. Wasner of Owatonna, MN and Cpl H. Gordon of Carpinteria, CA.
On July 3, 1945 flew a bombing mission over Kochi on Shikoku, and fourteen other bombing missions, twelve incendiary bombing missions hitting Akasji, Kochi, Ichinomiya, Nishinomiya, July 16, 1945 (Mission 272) bombed Oita, Another mission against Osaka Army Arsenal. On August 3, 1945 dropped propaganda leaflets near Tokyo.
Took off from Isley Field on Saipan piloted by Queen on a humanitarian mission to air drop supplies to the Konan POW Camp near Hungnam and Hamhung in North Korea. Aboard were three observers and a cargo of canisters with food, clothing and medical supplies for the Prisoners of War in the camp. Over the target area, this B-29 encountered by Soviet VSS Yak-9 fighters and was fired upon. Damaged, six of the crew bailed out, while the remainder of the crew force landed the B-29 near Konan.
Fates of the Crew
The six crew members who bailed out landed in the Sea of Japan and were rescued by Korean fisherman.
The rest of the crew crash landed with the B-29 and all survived without serious injury. Two days later, the entire crew was reunited at Konan POW Camp. After diplomatic maneuvering involving General Douglas MacArthur, on September 16, 1945 the entire crew was rescued along with salvageable parts from their crashed B-29.
Barbara (Harwood) Hartwig (daughter of navigator Eugene Harwood)
Terry Rainey (son of co-pilot Robert Rainey)
Individual Aircraft Record Card B-29 44-70136
New York Times "Russians fire B-29 by error in Korea. Red Army apologies after MacArthur protests - Non in Mercy plane hurt" September 17, 1947.
Hog Wild – 1945 by Dwight R. Rider details this bomber
Remembering the B-29 'Hog Wild' by Barb Hartwig, Terry Rainey and Dwight Rider
Honorable Heart—Memoirs from Colorado to B-29s to Iowa by Eugene R. Harwood
The Hog Wild Story: Memories from those who were there by Terry R. Rainey
WCF Courier "Wild Blue: Book recalls how Waterloo airman was shot down by Soviets" by By Pat Kinney October 23, 2009
Cold War Times "Honorable Heart—Memoirs from Colorado to B-29s to Iowa" by Eugene R. Harwood and Barbara (Harwood) Hartwig, February 2011
Iowa Public Television "The Price of Democracy" includes an interview with Gene Harwood
Thanks to Dwight Rider for additional information
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January 5, 2018