December 1944 - Our crew bailed out near Smoky Hill because
two engine fires and a runaway prop. We waited for about
ten minutes to see if could be brought under control. No
luck so out we went ! Our plane (B-29 # 42-24570) crashed
seven miles north of Concordia, Kansas. A month earlier,
Alan Miller, Crew 1, lost
most of his crew in similar circumstances. Only 6 survived
[Click here to read more about Crew
29's bailout in Kansas]
April 1945 - Our second mission was over Hachiaji (a few
miles west of Tokyo). We were hit by flak and pulled out
of the formation. As we headed toward Tokyo, about 20 Japanese
fighters jumped us and we put the airplane in shallow dive
to increase airspeed (250) and out ran them. We landed at
Iwo for repairs. Our magnetic compass, radio antenna, radar
and Loran equipment were destroyed. We flew to Iwo using
the Astro Compass and celestial for direction. We counted
over 150 flak and machine gun holes in our aircraft. Fortuniately,
no one was hurt. Just "Pure Luck" !!
were having trouble with our Crew Chief. In April we aborted
six or seven times because of mechanical failures. Engine
fires, bomb bay doors opening as well as other things too.
It continued through April and in June, we were only able
to get in two missions. In late June, we were assigned a
new man, S/Sgt
James F. Finlay from Cullen, Louisiana. We never aborted
again. What a great guy !
Lester Fauver, TG states " We flew all 23 missions
together as a crew with the following exceptions - Capt
Ferrell did not fly #22 with us, he flew as pilot for Major
Miller. 1st Lt Guinther
was AC, I don't recall the name of the pilot filling in
on # 22.
between our 10th - 15th mission 1st Lt Walter Fauerso left
the crew because of health reasons. I cannot be sure but
I think his replacement was a M/Sgt Evans.
mentions "We completed our duties and flew home October
General Order 53 dated 4 September 1945 Section XX
For extraordinary achievment while participating in
aerial flight over the Japanese home island of Honshu
23 May 1945. These individuals were combat crew members
from a base in the Marianas against the South Tokyo
urban area. They held unswervingly to their assigned
heading to the target in spite of a volume of continously-pointed,
heavy caliber anti-aircraft fire, reaching the proportions
of a barrage over the target. After dropping their
bombs on the flaming target area, they accomplished
a withdrawal through a ring of radar-controlled searchlights
and flak in the objective area. The cool courage,
outstanding skills, and exceptional airmanship displayed
by these veterans of repeated assualts against the
Japanese homeland materially contributed on this mission
to the successful prosecution of the war, reflecting
great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.
RAYMOND S FERRELL, (then First Lieutenant) Air Corps,
United States Army, as Airplane Commander.
Lieutenant JAMES G. GREEN, Air Corps, United States
Army, as Navigator
Lieutenant JOHN W. GUINTHER JR, Air Corps, United
States Army, as Pilot.
Lieutenant FREDERICK RICE, (then Second Lieutenant)
Air Corps, United States Army, as Radar Observer.
Sergeant PAUL E. FAUST, (then Sergeant) Air Corps,
United States Army, as Right Blister Gunner.
Sergeant LESTER P FAUVER JR, (then Sergeant) Air Corps,
United States Army, as Tail Gunner.
Sergeant DONALD J MORRIS, (then Sergeant) Air Corps,
United States Army, as Radio Operator.