39th Bomb Group (VH)

Navigator's Badge

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1st Lt Kenneth G. Doty

Everything was going fine for us until Friday May 11, 1945 when B-29# 42-93975 crash-landed on Iwo Jima, borrowed by P-31's (Lt Henry Snow) crew. Fortunately we were not aboard.

We were able to get in our 8th mission in B-29# 44-70077 and mission 10 was in    B-29# 42-94079. We were delayed by faulty action of a bomb bay door so we took off 45 minutes late. We came into flak alley at 13,000 feet and immediately were picked up by numerous searchlights. We were hit several times but nothing vital. Results of the 500-plane raid looked excellent.

We were back in our damaged but repaired #42-93975 for the rest of our missions. June 26's mission (Nagoya) was to hit an unfinished factory. We got into formation with P-41 on the way to the IP when we ran into clouds and planes going in every direction. P-57 just missed hitting us. We lost # 3 engine when it blew a piston and had to be feathered. We dropped out of formation and saw the town of Shiroko below and dropped our bombs on it. Flak was heavy and accurate; we were in a turn so it didn't get too close. While heading for Iwo we buddied up with P-38 and decided to head back to Guam.

At 0907k time on the plane's radio compass, we heard the news of the surrender. Mission 23 was finished and the war was over. We made it and we were ready to go home.

Kenneth G. Doty, took his final flight on 28 Sept. 2007 at the age of 88 yrs.

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Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group