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Thanks to David Gaines, nephew of Joe Atchley, crewmember.

The Air Crew

Crew #3917 was one of the first replacement crews.  The original members were:

Cpt Barney R. Olive (A/C)
2/Lt Leland L. Sanderson (Pilot)
2/Lt John W. France (Navigator)
1/Lt Herman W. Thomas (Bombardier)
S/Sgt Charles E. Barron (Engineer)
T/Sgt Joe A. Atchley (Radio)
2/Lt Walter L. Wentz (Radar)
S/Sgt Donald R. Arntsen (CFC)
S/Sgt Robert E. Warren (R Gunner)
S/Sgt Harry D. Magnuson (L Gunner)
S/Sgt Charles W. Snell (T Gunner)

Upon arrival at Tinian, the crew was unhappy to find that they were losing both their plane and their A/C.  Cpt Barney R. Olive (A/C) swapped places with 1/Lt Donald M. Fox, former Pilot on Crew #3901.  The reason for this swap was to allow Cpt Olive to gain combat experience with an experienced crew and to allow Crew #3917 to gain combat experience with an experienced A/C.  While the crew hated to lose Cpt Olive, by all accounts, they all got along well with 1/Lt Fox.

Sadly, 1/Lt Donald M. Fox and this crew were shot down on a night incendiary mission over Tokyo on May 25, 1945.  Only Harry Magnuson survived.  This was an especially bad day for Cpt Olive who had hoped to rejoin the crew as A/C.

The crew of Tokyo Trolley. This picture might have been taken on the day of their last mission.
Photo courtesy of David Gaines

Standing – Left to Right: S/Sgt Charles W. Snell (T Gunner), S/Sgt. Harry D. Magnuson (L Gunner), S/Sgt Robert E. Warren (R Gunner), S/Sgt Donald R. Arntsen (CFC), S/Sgt Charles E. Barron (Engineer), T/Sgt Joe A. Atchley (Radio).
Kneeling – Left to Right: 2/Lt Walter L. Wentz, Jr. (Radar), 2/Lt John W. France (Navigator), 1/Lt Donald M. Fox (A/C), 2/Lt Leland L. Sanderson (Pilot), 1/Lt Herman W. Thomas (Bombardier).

In Memoriam

T/Sgt Joe A. Atchley. [By David Gaines, nephew of Joe Atchley.]
“My uncle was born in Willard, MO on July 30, 1924, so he was only 20 when the Tokyo Trolley was lost. He joined the service in Springfield, MO, our hometown. He completed 30 missions as a radio operator/gunner with the 306 BG, 423 BS, 8th Air Force in England, was sent home to a training unit and volunteered (the way I understand it he told his CO off to be able to go) for B29’s in the Pacific. He completed 9 missions with the 39 BG. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with at least 3 clusters, Purple Heart (posthumously), a Presidential Unit Citation, Foreign Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and I would think some sort of European service medal. He became a member of the Caterpillar Club when he had to bail out over England on his first mission.”

The Airplanes

This crew generally flew “Tokyo Trolley“.


Last updated 04/10/2010