Accident Boeing B-29A Superfortress 44-87638, Saturday 19 April 1947
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Date:Saturday 19 April 1947
Time:03:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B29 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing B-29A Superfortress
Owner/operator:19th BGp /30th BSqn USAAF
Registration: 44-87638
MSN: 12441
Fatalities:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 16
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:off Kwajalein Atoll -   Marshall Islands
Phase: Take off
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands
Destination airport:Andersen AFB, Guam (UAN/PGUA)
Narrative:
Boeing B-29-85-BW Superfortress 44-87638: Delivered to the USAAF 5 June 1945. Departed Herington AAF, Kansas for Andersen AAF, Guam 21 June 1945. Assigned to 60th Bomb Squadron, 39th Bomb Group, Guam. Named ‘Eight Ball II’

Returned to CONUS (CONtinental US) 10 March 1947. Re-Assigned to 19th BG, 30th BS, when crashed on takeoff from Kwajelein en-route to USA on April 19, 1947 (MACR 16207). Aircraft came down in the Pacific Ocean, one miles offshore. All 16 persons on board killed, no bodies were recovered. According to contemporary newspaper reports ("The Decatur Daily Review" Decatur, Illinois Tuesday, April 22, 1947 Page 5 - see link #11)

"16 Men Killed In B-29 Crash
Honolulu, April 22 (AP)

Sixteen officers and enlisted men were killed early Sunday in the crash of a B-29 at sea immediately after it took off from Kwajalein, headquarters of the 20th air force announced last night. The plane, on a routine flight from Kwajalein to Guam, caught fire, exploded and sank a few minutes after the takeoff. There were no survivors, the air force report said.

The big bomber was attached to the 19th bombardment group on Guam. The plane began its run down Kwajalein's airfield at 3 am, Kwajalein time, roared into the air off the narrow little island, then spectators saw flames in its No. 2 engine. A few seconds later there was an explosion, and the bomber hurtled into the water. Listed as dead were:

Major Branwood J. Wilding, plane commander. White Plains, New York
Major Malcom G. Boys, Omaha, Nebraska
Captain Quitman B. Jackson, Jr., Columbia. South Carolina
Captain Sidney M. Coleman. Memphis, Tennessee
Captain Gerard T. Murphy, Brooklyn. New York
Lieut. Walter A. Nih, Jamestown, New York
Lieut. Ralph L. Keltner, Ontario, California
Lieut. John P. Feight, Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania
Lieut. Edward C. Carroll, Providence, Rhode Island
Lieut. Keith H. Green, Longview, Washington
Lieut. Lantolf, Scranton, Pennsylvania
Staff Sgt. William D. Conner, Gordo, Alabama
Sgt. Edwin R. Carmel, Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii
Corporal Donald K. Vanhecke, San Diego, California
Corporal James C. Jerusalem

Sources:

1. El Litoral 22 April 1947, page 1 .
2. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1944_6.html
3. http://www.baaa-acro.com/1947/archives/crash-of-a-boeing-b-29-85-off-kwajalein-16-killed
4. http://39th.org/39th/aerial/60th/crew08.html
5. http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/1940sLate/1947Apr.htm
6. http://apps.westpointaog.org/Memorials/Article/14423/
7. "The News Journal" Wilmington, Delaware Tuesday, April 22, 1947 Page 5 at https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/154520827/
8. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/145194076
9. "Columbian's Death Confirmed", The State, Columbia, South Carolina, Sunday 11 May 1947, No. 20,410, p. 4-B.
10. "The Index-Journal" Greenwood, South Carolina Monday, April 21, 1947 Page 1 at https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/69768681/
11. "The Decatur Daily Review" Decatur, Illinois Tuesday, April 22, 1947 Page 5 at https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/84702478/

Images:


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
02-Feb-2015 11:37 TB Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
27-Jun-2017 02:00 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
27-Jun-2017 02:00 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Source]
27-Jun-2017 20:38 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
13-Mar-2020 10:36 DB Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative, Operator]
05-Jun-2020 06:05 DeeS Updated [Photo]
06-Jun-2022 07:57 Ron Averes Updated [Location]

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