B-29 loss, AAF serial # 42-63508, May 25, 1945

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mikedonnelly
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B-29 loss, AAF serial # 42-63508, May 25, 1945

Post by mikedonnelly » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:51 pm

My uncle was a tail gunner on "Peachy" serial 42-63508 which did not return to Tinian from a May 25, 1945 mission. The MACR indicates an incendiary mission over Tokyo. His remains were returned to my family several years later. How can I get information on the crash site. Thanks

RSwank
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Re: B-29 loss, AAF serial # 42-63508, May 25, 1945

Post by RSwank » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:32 am

Here is some translated information from a Japanese Website. It gives a location.
--------------------------------------------------------
B29-# 42-63508

Crash date and time
May 25, 1945

Crash position: Chiba Higashikatsushika gun, Shinkawa Village (now Chiba Nagareyama Shinkawa) Kiriya river
Affiliation: # 482 Squadron # 505 bombing group # 313 bombing Orchestra 20th Air Force
Attack goal: Tokyo city
Crash cause: Fighter
Aircraft nickname: Peachy

Crew

In-flight deployment/ Name/Rank/Identification number/ Life and death
Pilot PUTMAN, Henry W. Captain 0-3993894 X
Copilot MALABY, Chester M. Second lieutenant 0-829378 X
Bombardier WHELLER, Vernon E. Second lieutenant 0-2076453 X
Navigator RITMILLER, William F. Second lieutenant 0-2061051 X
Radar hand ESTOK, Frank J. Sergeant 31336945 X
Wireless radio operator ENEARL, Leon K.Jr. Sergeant 19151894 X
Engineer WEISSENBERGER, William W. Technical Sergeant 35110455 X
Fire control center DUCKWORTH, John P. Sergeant 33792096 X
Right turret BROOK, Philin L. Sergeant 16187014 X
Left turret RAYNOLD, Walter J. Sergeant 20246060 X
Tail turret DONNELLY, Francis H. Sergeant 31448514 X
------------------------------------------

I assume you have the MACR (although it does not contain a crash location). You could also request your Uncle's IDPF file, which should have the information.

Search for "Individual Deceased Personnel File" on the web. Many sites will tell you how to request it. (It will take a long time to get it).

mikedonnelly
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Re: B-29 loss, AAF serial # 42-63508, May 25, 1945

Post by mikedonnelly » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:37 pm

Thank you RSwank for the information on my uncle's crash site. I will pursue his IDPF as advised. This is a huge help. M Donnelly

mikedonnelly
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Re: B-29 loss, AAF serial # 42-63508, May 25, 1945

Post by mikedonnelly » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:23 pm

From the IDPF file I have been able to establish the exact crash site coordinates for my Uncle's B-29. However Those coordinates refer to a US Army map of central Honshu (1/50,000, sheet 6054-1, 694.9-1446.7). Does anyone know how I can get hold of that sheet. Thanks.

RSwank
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Re: B-29 loss, AAF serial # 42-63508, May 25, 1945

Post by RSwank » Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:10 pm

You may have already found this, it is AMS-L774.

http://cluster3.lib.berkeley.edu/EART/maps/AMS-L774.jpg

You can locate the 6054 - 1 quadrant on the map. The co-ordinates inside that would be guesswork.

RSwank
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Re: B-29 loss, AAF serial # 42-63508, May 25, 1945

Post by RSwank » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:04 pm

Working out the co-ordinates of the corners of 6054-1 it would appear that:
The lower left corner is at 35.8333N, 139.75E (35 degrees 50 min N, and 139 degrees, 45 Min E)
The upper right corner is at 36N, 140E.
The other two corners follow from the above. The "square" is roughly 22.5 km wide and 18.5 km high.

What is interesting is that this takes in the region on Google Maps called Nagareyama, Chiba, Japan. Those names
were mentioned in a prior post. Note sure about Shinkawa and the Kiriya River, but there is a
"Shinkawa Post Office, Nagareyama, Chiba, Japan" that can be found on Google maps. Its Google co-ordinates are:

35.913264, 139.905201
(These can be pasted into Google Maps to see the location and it seems to be in the "square" discussed above.

RSwank
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Re: B-29 loss, AAF serial # 42-63508, May 25, 1945

Post by RSwank » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:21 pm

I found another online link that has some of the maps, in particular sheets 6054-II, -III and -IV. Unfortunately not the one we want 6054-I.

http://bbs.godeyes.cn/showtopic-384835.aspx

However, if you study those 3 maps you can figure out how the grid system works and how it would line-up with the missing 6054-I map.

For example the grid lines on map III run from roughly 654, 1419 in the lower left corner to 679, 1439 at the upper right. Thus the missing 6054-1 map will start (lower left ) roughly at the upper right of map III, i.e. the lower left grid lines would be near 679, 1439. Working out the upper right corner it would be roughly 704, 1459. (about 25 lines left to right and about 20 lines up). You can estimate approximately where the crash location (given as 694.9, 1446.7) would fall on the 6054-I sheet. It appears that from the bottom left corner of 6054-1 it is a little more than 3/5 of the way to the right and a little less than 1/2 up (approximately).

If you search for Army Map Series L774, you will see that several libraries have the series. Perhaps one of them is located near you.

RSwank
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Re: B-29 loss, AAF serial # 42-63508, May 25, 1945

Post by RSwank » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:00 am

I found a site that has many of the maps we seek but unfortunately not the one we want. By looking at the series of maps, you can understand how they work.
Here is a link to the site:
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/japan.html

Under the Topographical section you can see the series of maps at the 1:50,000 scale. They have Northern Honshu L773 and Southern Honshu L775 but not Central Honshu L774.

However, but picking say Southern Honshu, and then the last map in the series, YAE, you can double click to see the map nicely enlarged. The actually lined grid scale is in 1000 yards (in red is marked a 1000 meter scale on the edge). So the actually grid scale on these maps (each little square) is 1000 yards by 1000 yards.

Note the maps are not oriented to true North/South. The Y (vertical axis) of the map is between Magnetic North and True North.

Note they give you instructions on how to locate a point on the map (see box on lower right of map). They locate a marked point (hill?) 665 on the map to co-ordinates 576993.

The "full" grid reference to this hill in the style used to locate the crash would be 757.6 1299.3 on sheet 4651-III, Southern Honshu L775.

Maybe someone can come up with the map we want.

mikedonnelly
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Re: B-29 loss, AAF serial # 42-63508, May 25, 1945

Post by mikedonnelly » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:17 am

Really appreciate your help on this.

RSwank
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Re: B-29 loss, AAF serial # 42-63508, May 25, 1945

Post by RSwank » Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:52 pm

Mike, I found the map we want on-line. You need to play around with the controls at the top, but you can zoom in pretty well and find the crash location.
There seem to be two sets of zoom controls, a plus/minus set and a series of increasing boxes. I had to use both to get what I wanted.
The map is not "dragable" inside the window, so you have to use the arrow controls on the top to move it around and zoom in the window. You may need to drag the slider bar on the right of the screen to see the whole window.

This is the link to sheet 6064-I, called Noda after the central city on the sheet. Note the grid lines are not only numbered on the edges but there are repeating grid numbers in the interior of the map to help find the location:

http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00103141/00001/241x


My best guess is that the Google Map co-ordinates would be "about":

35.904903,139.905996

This is a little south of the Post Office co-ordinates I gave above. The Tubu-Noda rail line to Noda still exists to the right of the crash location and there is a distinctive street to the left of the crash that still seems to be there. (Nagareyama Highway) Check it out and see if you agree on the location.

mikedonnelly
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Re: B-29 loss, AAF serial # 42-63508, May 25, 1945

Post by mikedonnelly » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:56 pm

Thank you Lt. Swank, I agree on your approximation on the Google grid reference. It's interesting that there is now a Buddhist shrine at or near the location (ref. Google) and in 1945 on the 1-50,000 map. Thanks again for your help.

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