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39th Bomb Group (VH)


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Replacement Crew
"City Of Cleveland, Miss"

"Little Bully"
 B-29 # 44-70077
Photo Coutesy of Crumm Collection

Standing L to R:
1st Lt John T. Hill  Radar
1st Lt James L. Webb  Navigator
1st Lt Rube F. "Chic" Scheider, Jr.* Flight Engineer 
1st Lt Henry W. Snow, Jr. Airplane Commander 
1st Lt Bernard Greene Bombardier
1st Lt Samual C. LeNeve Pilot
Kneeling L to R:
S/Sgt David C. Smith Tail Gunner 
S/Sgt Edgar A. Tuttle  CFC Gunner
S/Sgt Jack D. Tate  Left Gunner 
S/Sgt Robert L. Stott  Right Gunner 
S/Sgt Richard A. Wachs Radio Operator
 * Replaced T/Sgt Clarence Beevers
Click on a crew member's names above for more information about them
 Crew 31R
Honor Roll 
1st Lt Samuel C. LeNeve
Pilot
1950s
S/Sgt Edgar A. Tuttle
CFC Gunner
29 June 1963
1st Lt Rube F. Scheider
Flight Engineer
Nov 1967
Sgt Manuel B. Singh
Mechanic
Oct 1970
S/Sgt Jack D. Tate
Left Gunner
1980s
Sgt Joseph Hanna
Mechanic
08 June 1988
1st Lt Henry W. Snow, Jr.
Airplane Commander
13 February 1994
Sgt Peter J. Ciucci
Ground Crew Mechanic
19 September 1995
S/Sgt Robert L. Stott
Right Gunner
14 August 1997
1st Lt John T. Hill
Radar Observer
12 August 2000
1st Lt James L. Webb
Navigator
12 October 2000
S/Sgt David C. Smith
Tail Gunner
29 March 2003
Sgt Allen D. Neidhardt
Mechanic
24 April 2004
S/Sgt Richard A. Wachs
Radio Operator
06 July 2005
Sgt Norman C. Brug
Mechanic
07 August 2015
1st Lt Bernard Greene
Bombardier
07 August 2015

Update:

08 Aug 2015:
Added Norman C. Brug to Crew Honor Roll and Final Flight Honor Roll; Also we were notified by the Brug Family that when they called Bernie Greene to let him know of Norm's Final Flight, they learned that Bernie had also taken his Final Flight after Norm. They were both from the same crew one combat crew the other ground crew - their lives intertwined back in 1945 ... and now together they take their Final Flight.

21 Sept 2006:
Added DOD for Edgar Tuttle per his daughter

08 July 2005:
Added: Richard Wachs to Crew and Final Flight Honor Roll

04 June 2005: Added: Allen Neidhardt to Crew and Final Flight Honor Roll

20 September 2003: Added: Profile of Richard Wachs, Radio Op, to section

04 April 2003:
added David C. Smith to Crew & Final Flight Honor Roll

03 June 2002: added Rube Scheider and James Webb to Honor roll

07 December 2001: Bernie Greene, Bombardier, notified the site that John T. Hill, Radar Observer - took his Final Flight on 12 August 2000.


Some personal memories concerning Crew 31's harrowing mission to Kobe on 11 May 1945 are recalled by Bernie Greene, the bombardier of that crew. This was their first mission. 

Seriously hurt by a direct flak hit and a closely pressed enemy attack while on the bomb run P-31 found itself in perilous straits with the wiring leading to the forward bomb racks destroyed. Several gashes in the casings of the 500-pound M-47 bombs testified to the seriousness of their situation. 

Bernie remembers a Tony bearing in from 12 o'clock level, seemingly on a collision course. He quickly picked it up in his sight and opened fire with both the upper and lower front turrets. The airplane commander swerved quickly to the right to avoid a disastrous head-on crash. As it passed under P-31's left wing it was seen to burst into flames. 

In the midst of continuing fighter attacks, Bombardier Greene was then ordered into the forward bomb bay to clear the hung-up bombs. Transferring his turrets to gunners in the rear, he grabbed his chest pack and stepped out onto the slippery catwalk made chillingly hazardous by the escaping hydraulic fluid. Greene struggled to keep his footing made even more difficult by the evasive maneuvers to evade the vicious attacks. Hugging the bomb racks desperately as he stared through the open bomb bays, Bernie managed to manually release the menacing bombs. Without hesitation, he scurried back to his position, breathing a temporary sigh of relief. 

With one engine feathered and a second pulling only half power, P-31 fought its way to the coast through deadly enemy flak and persistent fighter attacks. Scarred and crippled, it limped on toward Iwo Jima. Scarred and crippled, it did manage to land safely on Iwo with a aid of two parachutes determined to live and fight another day.

This crew was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for this mission per General Order 66 dated 17 September 1945 issued by 20th AF HQ

Photo Courtesy of Richard Wachs, RO, P-31R
B29 # 42-93975 "Four Aces & Her Majesty", borrowed from Crew 37, on the ground safely at Iwo Jima after Kobe Mission - Kawanisi Aircraft Factory.

E-mail Contacts
Bernie Greene
bgreen2@optonline.net

Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group"