39th Bomb Group (VH)

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"City Of Maywood"
"Double Trouble"
B-29 # 44-69901

Herington, Kansas - March 1945
Front Row L to R:
1st Lt  Joseph F. Callaghan Navigator
1st Lt  Elmer C. Jones Radar Observer
1st Lt  Thomas A. Bell Aiplane Commander
2nd Lt  Richard D. Harrison Pilot
1st Lt  Charles D. Baldridge, Jr. Bombardier
Back Row L to R:
S/Sgt David Schulman  Radio Operator
T/Sgt John J. Essig CFC Gunner
S/Sgt David E. Potters Left Gunner
Sgt Thomas F Smith, Jr. Tail Gunner
S/Sgt Ralph W. Johnson Right Gunner
M/Sgt George W. Beaver, Jr. Flight Engineer

 Crew 10
Honor Roll 
1st Lt Charles D. Baldridge Bombardier 2 November 1999
M/Sgt George W. Beaver Flight Engineer 3 January 1977
1st Lt Thomas A. Bell Airplane Commander 24 January 1997
2nd Lt Richard D. Harrison Pilot 19 August 1998
S/Sgt Ralph W. Johnson Right Gunner 12 March 1976
Pfc Angelo P. Repucci Mechanic 17 April 2000
Sgt Thomas F. Smith, Jr. Tail Gunner 13 July 2003
S/Sgt David E. Potters Left Gunner 12 January 2004
1st Lt Joseph F. Callaghan Navigator 29 December 2004
T/Sgt John J. Essig CFC Gunner 11 February 2006
S/Sgt David Schulman Radio Operator 12 May 2008
1st Lt Elmer C. Jones Radar 5 April 2014


23 April 2014: Added 1st Lt. Elmer C. Jones, to the Crew Honor Roll and the Final Flight Honor Roll

Elmer C. Jones was the last surviving member of P-10's combat crew.

On 26 June, Crew 10 of the 60th Squadron established a record for the longest combat mission flown. Commanded by Lt Thomas A. Bell, the reconnaissance flight had taken them to the northernmost Japanese Island of Hokkaido. This was a difficult assignment involving long distance flight over hostile waters and enemy territory. Navigational checkpoints were as much as a thousand miles apart over great expanses of totally unfamiliar waters and land. Furthermore, winds of high velocity were encountered. Notwithstanding these problems, and the fact that undercast obscured the island of Hokkaido, the navigator performed his duties in such an exceptional manner that the route to the objective and return was flown exactly as briefed

The fuel supply had been closely calculated because of the distance and duration of the flight. Therefore, the expert work of the flight engineer in connection with cruise control and other related matters was instrumental in accomplishing this assignment.

The instrument specialist performed an outstanding job in securing important and much needed reconnaissance photographs. The overcast above the island added to the difficulty of his work, and a camera malfunction required that a part of the route be retraced so that picture could be taken with hand cameras. In spite of these obstacles, photos of superior quality were obtained.

Throughout this exceptionally long flight, there was the constant exposure to of the lone B-29 to possible attacks from enemy fighters and anti-aircraft fire. The added danger of mechanical malfunction loomed as a possibility too.

Despite these perils, the airplane returned safely to Guam twenty-two and one half-hours later after making a non-stop flight of 4,650 miles.

In recognition of their accomplishment, later The Distinguished Flying Cross would be awarded to Airplane Commander Thomas Bell; 2nd Lt Elmer C. Jones, Radar Observer; 2nd Lt Joseph F. Callaghan, Navigator; and Master Sergeant George W. Beaver, Jr., Flight Engineer. [click here to read the order]

Special Commendations were given to the ground crew whose expert maintenance made the record-breaking flight possible. They were S/Sgt Edward F. Lally, Crew Chief; Sgt Walter J. Bodner, Sgt Anthony J. Mangiaracina, Cpl Jack D. Donathan, and Pfc Angelo P. Repucci.

60th Squadron Crew Index
Sources: "History of the 39th Bomb Group"