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6th Bomb Group: In Memoriam II

Tinian Cemetery. Photo provided by John Potenza. All Rights Reserved.

Airplane #17. [Serial #42-24870], [Lt Joseph H. Snyder] 24th Squadron

 

MISSING IN ACTION*

2d Lt Joseph H. Snyder [A/C]
2d Lt James A. Williams [Pilot]
1st Lt Richard C. Willis [Navigator]
1st Lt Russell Snyder [Bombardier]
T/Sgt William O. Kent [Engineer]
Cpl Wyman L. McKee [Radio]
2d Lt Earle W. Karlson [Radarman]
Sgt Richard W. St. Martin [CFC]
Cpl Ernest W. Holman, Jr. [R Gunner]
Sgt Floyd D. Carlock, Jr. [L Gunner]
Sgt Richard G. Hamilton [T Gunner]

* According to a later update to the Missing Aircraft Report, their status was later changed to KIA.

The crew was memorialized at the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

May 25, 1945: Night Incendiary – Tokyo, Japan.

Airplane #26. [Serial #42-63558][1/Lt Donald M. Fox], “Tokyo Trolley,” 39th Squadron. Fourteen of the Group’s planes were damaged, which was over one half of the attacking force, and one was lost over the target. This was the airplane manned by Lt Donald M. Fox’s crew of the 39th Squadron. Today only Sgt Harry D. Magnuson of this crew has been found as a POW. The others are listed as MIA. LEARN MORE

 

Crew #3917 in front of Tokyo Trolley – possibly taken on the day of their last mission. MORE ABOUT THE CREW
Photo courtesy of David Gaines, All Rights Reserved.

 

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).

 

MISSING IN ACTION*

1st Lt Donald M. Fox [A/C]
2d Lt Leland L. Sanderson [Pilot]
2d Lt John W. France [Navigator]
1st Lt Herman W. Thomas [Bombardier]
Sgt Charles E. Barron [Engineer]
T/Sgt Joe A. Atchley [Radio]
2d Lt Walter L. Wentz, Jr. [Radar]
Sgt Donald R. Arntsen [CFC]
Sgt Robert E. Warren [R Gunner]
Sgt Charles W. Snell [T Gunner]

The bodies of the missing crew members were recovered after the war. Lt Wentz and Sgt Warren are buried in the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. Lt Fox, Lt Thomas, Sanderson, Sgt Atchley, Sgt Barron and Sgt Arntsen are buried together in a common grave in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri. The body of Sgt Snell was returned home for burial.

LEARN MORE

June 5, 1945: Daylight Incendiary- Kobe, Japan

Airplane #41. [Serial #44-69839], [Cpt William G. Catts], “Forever Amber,” 39th Squadron. 

The next mission on 5 June was also a daylight incendiary. This time the target was the urban area of Kobe. All of the Group’s losses for June were suffered ON this day.  Sgt Raymond L. Merritt, 39th Squadron, was killed instantly by a flak burst and S/Sgt Charles P. Magnuson, also of the 39th Squadron, died in the hospital at Iwo Jima from wounds. Both were members of Lt Catt’s crew which had two other men wounded on the raid.

KILLED IN ACTION

S/Sgt Charles P. Magnuson
S/Sgt Raymond L. Merritt- 39th Squadron

Sgt Magnuson is buried at the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. The body of Sgt Merritt was returned home for burial.

LEARN MORE

 

“Forever Amber” on final approach to Runway D at Tinian.
Photo provided by David Wilhelm, son of Sgt Daniel L. Wilhelm (58th BW, 468th BG, 794th and 795th BS). All Rights Reserved.

July 19, 1945: Night Mining- Niigata, Honshu

Airplane #03. [Serial #44-70116], [Cap Gordon P. Jordan], “Sharon Linn,” 24th Squadron

On the night of 19 July Capt Gordon P. Jordan and crew, 24th Squadron, failed to return from a mission to minefield “Zebra.” The only information available is reports of other crew members who stated that they saw a burning plane over Niigata. As of 1 Jan 1946, five crew members had been found and repatriated. They were: Capt Jordan, Lt P. A. Trump, M/Sgt G. E. McGraw, S/Sgt W. W. Wiernik and S/Sgt W. W. Dickerson. The six other crew members are still missing-in-action. This proved to be the last of the war for the Sixth.

Original members of Crew #2406: LEARN MORE
Photo provided by Milton Garin and Greg Hadley. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Standing – Left to Right: S/Sgt Florio D. Spero (T Gunner), M/Sgt George E. McGraw (Engineer) [POW], S/Sgt Norman S. Kruvant (CFC) [not on last flight], Sgt Robert A. Grant (L Gunner) [POW], S/Sgt Max A. Adams (Radarman), S/Sgt Robert J. Burkle (R Gunner), S/Sgt Walter W. Wiernik (Radio) [POW]

Kneeling – Left to Right: Cpt Gordon P. Jordan (A/C) [POW], 1/Lt Wails Hawkins (Pilot), Lt Milton Garin (Navigator) [not on last flight], 1/Lt Clinton L. Wride (Bombardier).

Crew members on last flight who are not shown here: 2/Lt Paul A. Trump (Navigator) [POW], S/Sgt Walter W. Dickerson (Right Gunner) [POW]

MISSING IN ACTION

1st Lt Wails Hawkins [Pilot]
1st Lt Clinton L. Wride [Bombardier]
S/Sgt Max A. Adams [Radarman]
S/Sgt Robert J. Burkle [R Gunner]
Sgt Robert A. Grant [L Gunner]
S/Sgt Florio D. Spero [T Gunner]

The bodies of the men were eventually recovered. Lt Hawkins and Lt Wride are buried together at Ft Snelling National Cemetery in Minnesota. Sgt Adams is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia. Sgt Burkle is buried in Riverside National Cemetery, California. Sgt Spero is buried in Rock Island National Cemetery, Illinois. Sgt Grant was a POW and returned home after the War.

July 9, 1945: Night Mining- Shimonoseki Straits

Airplane #??. [Serial #42-93939], [Cpt Robert R. Schmid], “Little Giant,” 40th Squadron

Capt Robert K. Schmid’s airplane with the 40th Squadron Commander, Lt Col Elmer A. Dixon, went down on the 9 July mining mission. Flak was heavy and one plane was shot down. The crew and aircraft lost was commanded by Capt Schmid and carried as a combat observer, Lt Col Dixon. Reports from members of other crews on the mission reveal that one B-29 in the formation was caught in a number of searchlights, sustained several direct flak hits and was seen to spiral down and crash in flames. Since the Sixth was the only group operating in the area, it is a reasonable assumption that this was Capt Schmid’s plane.

MISSING IN ACTION*

Lt Col Elmer A. Dixon, squadron commander
Capt Robert R. Schmid [A/C]
2d Lt Robert R. Ryan [Pilot]
2d Lt Arthur L. Wright [Navigator]
Capt James K. Chatfield [Bombardier]
S/Sgt Donald O. Winkler [Engineer]
Sgt Juan D. Donato [Radio]
2d Lt Oliver L. Fix, Jr. [Radarman]
Sgt Jack J. Roy [CFC]
Sgt Andre W. Jacques [R Gunner]
Cpl Robert W. Strickland [L Gunner]
Sgt Joseph Beneski, Jr. [T Gunner]

Another website contains a picture of the air crew in front of “Take It Off,” a B-29 used in training. LEARN MORE

This crew had just arrived on Tinian and had not flown the regular number of training missions. The squadron commander was on board, in part, so they could call this a “training flight.”

The crew was memorialized at the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, except for Sgt Jacques and Cpl Strickland who are buried there.

Airplane #17. [Serial #42-24870], [Lt Joseph H. Snyder] 24th Squadron

 

MISSING IN ACTION*

2d Lt Joseph H. Snyder [A/C]
2d Lt James A. Williams [Pilot]
1st Lt Richard C. Willis [Navigator]
1st Lt Russell Snyder [Bombardier]
T/Sgt William O. Kent [Engineer]
Cpl Wyman L. McKee [Radio]
2d Lt Earle W. Karlson [Radarman]
Sgt Richard W. St. Martin [CFC]
Cpl Ernest W. Holman, Jr. [R Gunner]
Sgt Floyd D. Carlock, Jr. [L Gunner]
Sgt Richard G. Hamilton [T Gunner]

* According to a later update to the Missing Aircraft Report, their status was later changed to KIA.

The crew was memorialized at the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

Airplane #01. [Serial #42-93906], “Uncle Sam’s Milk Wagon,” 24th Squadron

On the same raid Lt Joseph Novak Jr., 24th Squadron, co-pilot on crew No. 3906, was wounded by 20 mm cannon fire from a Japanese fighter and later died in a hospital on Tinian. For a detailed account of this flight written by Sam Parks, the aircraft commander, see “Co-Incidences – I Can’t Believe It!”

KILLED IN ACTION

2nd Lt Joseph Novak, Jr. [Pilot]

The body of Lt Novak was returned home for burial.