The following is copy of a letter written by Harry Slater, CFC Gunner,
Kobler Crew, 61st Sqd, 39th BG to the mother of David Curry, Gunner
on the same crew & cousin of Richard (Dick) Curry Crew 19 (60th
Sqd 39th BG). David Curry was listed as Missing in Action. According
to MACR # 14511 (Missing Air Crew Report) David Curry is listed
as "DED". Sparky Corradina of the 40th Bomb Group Association provided
this: "With Cpl David R. Curry being listed "DED" (Declared Dead)
further research turned up that the remains were crashed with the
aircraft and it is supposed that the remains could not be identified
- this may explain why Curry is listed as "DED"".
Slater (R) w/ Dick Curry, cousin of crewmate David Curry,
who was lost with the rest of Slater's crew.
at last, got a chance to write you and express my sorrow on the
missing boys. I just have to thank God that I was so lucky to
leave the plane first. We were burning badly and it looked as
if she would blow up any second when I dove out of the bomb bay.
I am the CFC or ring gunner on the plane and during our training
I was taught to jump first in my compartment.
Captain was planning on ditching it in the ocean but he gave us
our choice whether to bailout or to go down with him. The fire
looked so bad that I decided to get out quick, which I did. The
rest should have followed but they didn't have much time. I am
not sure, but it seemed to me like an explosion (occurred) when
I left. I was covered with fire and parts of the plane were falling
off. By the time I released my burning raft and rubbed out the
fire on me, I pulled the ripcord. After that, I never saw anything
of the plane. I wasn't sure whether it flew away or if it was
one of the many fires on the ground. I wasn't burned too badly
and hid out in the hills for two nights and then I was captured
near a town. I was then taken to M. P. Headquarters at Kempei
in Tokyo where I was put in a cell with eight other B-29 men,
which soon grew to fourteen. It was awfully crowded in that 7
x 10 foot cell. Not enough room for everyone to sleep.
fed us a handful of rice and sometimes a few greens for three
months. I lost 50 pounds but already have gained it back. While
we were there I never saw any of the rest the crew or never heard
any news concerning them.
were all very close to each other. Playing basketball together
and going to town together. I give you all my sympathy and hope
and pray that they might show up some place somehow.
close for now praying that they might show up among the missing
soon. I will, write again when I get more time. I have just a
few days at home now. I am stationed at Van Nyes in the Birmingham
General Hospital for the time being.
wish you all the luck and health in the future.