6 was ready 19 May 1945 to make a daylight formation attack
on Tachikawa. The 39th Group was alerted but it was an unfortunate
one for this crew.
Courtesy of 1st Lt Warren Foster, Nav.
Click on image to enlarge - NEW
had made eight missions to Japan already but they were forced
to abort because of an engine problem. They were making
a landing with a feathered propeller, when they careened
off the runway and burst into flames.
"Steve" Garcia, the tail gunner was seriously burned and
later succumbed to his injuries. A/C Edward Flynn and Sgt
Robert Winsniski were burned seriously also. M/Sgt Angelo
Repucci, Cpl Tynan, Cpl Ray Schwartz and Sgt James Regopoulous
escaped with burns less extensive.
Lt Warren C. Foster recalls from his crash position in the
navigator's seat that the bottom of the plane was literally
torn off and that he was dragged along the ground while
he hung on. This tore off all of his clothes. When the plane
"bumped" up over one of the "key holes"
parking spot for airplanes he was thrown forward into the
pilots area. When the plane initially struck the ground
a canister (which looks like a small keg of beer) struck
him in the head nearly knocking him out. He managed to get
himself up and around to the radio/flight engineers window
and jumped out. He says "I dove out the window and
never touched the sides of the window".
an email from Ray Schwartz dated 3 July 2003 he states:
Raymond Schwartz recalls "The radio operator's station
didnt have a window. My escape was thru the astrodome, which
was on top of the fuselage right at the end of the tunnel.
Luckily I had removed it before we crashed since A/C Flynn
had stated we were making an emergency landing & he
reluctantly gave me permission to do so otherwise I would
not be here today misspelling all these words.. I had to
hoist myself up thru a ring of fire from fuel burning on
the skin of the plane and received burns up to my elbows
on both arms as well as on my face. Warren is correct about
the plane breaking near our stations. I later noticed the
back of my GI shoes badly scraped where I evidently got
dragged along the ground (crushed coral).
May 1945 B-29# 42-94053 "Queen Cathy"
Photo Courtesy of Ray Schwartz
Click image to enlarge
Slivka had numerous cuts and bruises (I pulled him out thru
the copilot’s window. Lemon was in the rear of the
plane & his worst injuries were burns. The fingers on
both hands were bent back severely on healing. He had been
involved as an art instructor and was concerned that his
career as an artist was doomed, He was from Chicago. I have
no knowledge of Wagner’s injuries. We had us a flight
engineer, last name was Burke
on his virgin mission. He was the one hanging upside down
outside the copilot’s window caught by a web strap,
I lifted him enough to release his ankle and he dropped
on his head, I learned in Dayton in about 1990 that he later
flew missions (don‘t recall the crew) but almost lost
one ear in our crash. I wonder if I might have caused it?
might add also that I do not recall actually seeing Red
(Foster) outside the plane after the crash Pomieko refused
to fly after two missions. I didn’t know the circumstances
until years later when I asked Flynn about it. Our first
mission was as a dumbo (rescue). It was on our first bombing
mission as we were taking off that he said to Flynn “I
can’t do this, abort" Flynn told him its too
late, you’re going! After that mission he went on
"sick call" and all knew then was that he was
ill & couldn’t fly.
above photo is courtesy of Ray Schwartz, RO, P-6.
This photo was part of a series of B-29 photos found
on Ebay.com Auction site by Chuck Ivey, son of L.
Jay Ivey, 61st Sqd Flight Chief, who notified the
39th BG webmaster that there appeared to be "Square
P" tail insignia's in the photos being auctioned.
After reviewing the auction, an email was sent to
Ray Schwartz, who verified that was indeed his crew's
B-29. Ray's son Randy was able to succussfully win
the bid for the photos. Ray Schwartz was awarded
the Soldier's Medal for saving the lives of his
fellow crew mates. To read more click here.
Report of Major Accident
Report Number: 45-5-19-505 is the report
that covers Crew 6's crashing landing on 19 May
1945. The report is courtesy of Craig Foster,
son of 1st Lt. Warren C. Foster, Navigator, P-6.
report contains 27 pages - Narratives of crew
involved, statements from personnel in the control
tower and other witnesses in addition to crash
photos- these photos are photocopier quality (two-tone
black and white).
Narratives and witness statements in the report
are in some cases less than legible - therefore
they have been transcribed as they were written
and included with the original pages of the report.
report is in PDF format and is in 4 parts to make
viewing easier for those who do not have a high
I - AAF
Accident Report Form Sections A-M & Flt Report
Part II - Narratives
of: AC, Pilot, Nav, Bomb, Radio Op (664k)
Part III - Narratives
of: CFC, Radar Ob, RG, FE Observer, Control Tower
NCOIC and witness (787k)
Part IV - Crash
Photos (1.07 mb)
will need a PDF viewer to view and print the PDF
file. You can get Acrobat Reader for free by clicking
of Crew P-6
60th Squadron Crew Index