Here are some of the close calls that 6th Bomb Group men had while training:
1944 – Air Medal to 1/Lt Charles S. Gipson
First Lieutenant Charles S Gipson, O726372, 40th Bombardment Squadron, 6th Bombardment Group, Air Corps, United States Army. For meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight on 16 December 1944. As Airplane Commander, he was leading a formation of B-29 aircraft on a fighter interception training mission at 5,000 feet over an airfield at Miami, Florida. Lieutenant Gipson displayed superior airmanship and outstanding courage when his number two engine burned off its mounting and rolled over the top of the wing, tearing off the left horizontal stabilizer. Applying full aileron and rudder, he was able to keep the airplane from rolling on its back. With a fire still burning in the wing he ordered the crew to prepare for an emergency landing. Losing 5000 feet of altitude in a 180 degree diving turn he lowered the gear and skillfully maneuvered the aircraft to a safe wheels-down landing. Lieutenant Gipson’s professional ability, calmness and good judgement reflect great credit on himself and the Army Air Forces.
From General Order #90, 19 May 1945, transcribed by David Wilson
1943 – Accident Report for 2/Lt Richard E. Holtzman
Report of Aircraft Accident, War Department, 25 January 1943 (Excerpts)
Place: Athens TX. Aircraft: BT-13A, AF # 41-22571. Station: MAAF, Greenville TX.
Organization: AAFGCTC, AAFBFS, 830th Basic Flying Training Squadron.
Holtzman, Richard E., O-659128, 2nd Lt., U. S. Army Air Corps.
Pilot’s mission: Navigation training.
Damage: Both propeller blades badly bent.
Description of Accident: The taxiing accident followed a forced lending caused by becoming lost on a hooded instrument flight and running low on fuel. A second airplane landed in the same field and drained fuel to service the forced down airplane, after which the second airplane took off without incident. The forced down airplane was taxying to take-off position through loose sand with about half throttle. Upon reaching firmer ground, the airplane attained 5 to 7 mph when the right wheel dropped into an obscured stump hole about 18″ deep. At the time the wheel dropped into the hole, the pilot closed the throttle.
The combination of:
(1) Sudden stoppage of airplane’s forward movement.
(2) Simultaneous loss of propeller blast over horizontal tail surfaces caused the airplane to stand on its nose. The only damage was both propeller blades badly bent. Both pilots had looked over the ground before taxiiing for take-off end had failed to see the hole partially obscured by sticks and grass.
A. D. Moore, Major USA AC, 2 February 1943
Transcribed by Bill Fogle