39th Bomb Group (VH)


Flight Engineer's

purplhrt.gif [The Purple  Heart]

with 1

br_oak2.jpg [Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster]

Unit Citation
and Awards

arpuc.jpg [The Presidental Unit Citation]

Oak Leaf Cluster

Service Awards
apcm.jpg [The Asiatic-Pacfic Campaign Medal]

with 1

star1.gif [Bronze Star]

wwiivic.gif [The Victory Medal, World War II]

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F/O Fred N. Dunn
Flight Engineer

Fred Dunn enlisted in the Air Force on August 4, 1941.

Originally from North Carolina, he had attended State College there for a while then played semi—pro basketball for three years. After basic training in Houston, Texas, he was stationed at Minter Field, near Bakersfield, California. While there, he attended Boeing School of Aeronautics in Oakland. His three years at Bakersfield were spent as first a ground mechanic, then line chief.

After completing his training in Seattle, Dunn was one of three selected from the class of 29 to attend flight-engineering school in Denver, CO. After graduation there, he was sent down to Pyote, Texas to train as engineer on the B29. It was at Pyote that their crew was formed. They would later be assigned to the 39th Bomb Group as a replacement for an earlier Crew 1, which had been involved in a tragic stateside accident.

When this second Crew 1’s aircraft was mortally damaged by flak on the Yokohama raid, only three would survive Fred Dunn, Joseph Miller and George Tilghman. It began to look like being a Crew 1 was not a healthy place to be.

Dunn was in the water for three hours and forty—five minutes with only one—half of his Mae West inflated. He was picked up the following day by submarine along with the other two survivors.

When he returned to Guam, he was asked by Major Carpenter, 60th Sqn. CO, to engineer a crew that had grounded their flight engineer. Its airplane commander was named Buckley. Fred doesn’t recall the names of others on that crew. After flying eight missions with Buckley, he accompanied that crew back to the States for lead crew training.

They were based at Mohave Air Base in the Mohave Desert. During their training, they were selected to fly in formation with nine other planes over San Francisco in a homecoming parade for General Wainwright; who had been a longtime POW in Corrigidor. As the crew returned to their base, they lost an engine. They promptly feathered the prop and landed safely.

With two more flights to make before completing their lead crew training, they took off and were about six minutes in the air, when at 6,000 feet, one of the inboard engine’s propeller ran away. Dunn feathered it, but within seconds the other inboard engine did likewise, whereupon he instructed the airplane commander to head back to base. With two inboard engines dead, one of the outboard engines also ran away! Dunn told the A/C to set the plane down in a dead stick landing. One of the gunners reported that the nose gear was not down, but fortunately it did drop just in time to make a perfect touchdown without a scratch or dent on the aircraft. This was the first dead stick landing ever made in a B-29!

It was Fred Dunn’s last flight. He was discharged in Tampa, Florida on 1 January 1946.

After leaving the service, he settled down in Plymouth, Florida. His parents had also moved there. Soon after, Fred met Bernice Bateman and they were married 4 August 1946, exactly five years to the day from his enlistment in the Air Corps.

The Dunns are blessed with a daughter and two sons and eight grandchildren. He and his sons work the family owned citrus grove and nursery located about 14 miles outside of Orlando, on Highway 441.

Fred N. Dunn passed away 20 Feb 2005 at 0235 hrs surrounded by his family.
Burial:Greenwood Cemetery, Apopka, Florida 26 Feb 2005

Bernie Greene, Bombardier, Crew 31 wrote the a tribute in memory of his friend and comrade - [Click here]

Replacement Crew 1 Main Page
60th Squadron Crew Index

Replacment Crew 52 Main Page
62nd Squadron Crew Index
Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group"