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39th Bomb Group (VH)

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B-29 # 42-65373
4

P-42 in formation
Photo courtesy of Col. Michael Dickey, grandson of Sgt Howard V. Dickey, 61st Camera Tech. (2005)

Crew 42
Photo Courtesy of Richard Kelso, son in-law of Lt. Col James H. Thompson (2003)

L to R Front Row:
F/O Maurice E. Long Radar Observer
F/O William G. Joyce Pilot
Capt Donald Q. Hopkins Airplane Commander
F/O Kenneth E. Durham Navigator
F/O Maurice J. Powsner Bombardier
L to R Back Row:
S/Sgt Thomas G. Ulrich CFC Gunner
Sgt Kenneth Colli Right Gunner
M/Sgt Gerhard J. Kuehler Flight Engineer
Sgt Justin J. Patsey Left Gunner
S/Sgt Edward J. Mose Radio Operator
Sgt Raymond E. Barczak Tail Gunner

Update:

27 Feb 2010: Received an email from Mike Barczak identifying his Uncle Sgt Raymond Barczak in the above crew photo. As a result this leaves one man unidentifed and one remaining name - so it is probably S/Sgt Edward Mose. We know Mose was lost with rest of his crew - however there is no verification that is him in the photo.

20 July 2006: Lew Jackson, CFC Gunner, Crew 45, identified Justin Patsey in the above photo as he shared a hut with him while the group was in Salina, KS at Smokey Hill Army Air Field.

25 August 2005:

The MACR (Missing Air Crew Report) regarding the loss of this crew is: 148333

This document has been obtained - however other than listing the memebrs of the crew, where they took off from and the aircraft they were flying - the report tells no additional information. As a matter of fact tells less than was published in the group's history "History of the 39th Bomb Group WWII".

MACR # 148333 can be viewed and printed by clicking here

Note: The above document is a PDF therefore you will need a PDF Viewer. You can download Acrobat Reader by clicking here


On the night of 19 June 1945, 123 Guam based B-29's Bombed the City of Shizouka. More than 2000 Japanese were killed and 60 percent of the city was destroyed.

Two of the aircraft did not return with the others. One was Crew 42 of the 39th Bomb Group and one from the 29th Bomb Group. They collided and crashed near the Abe River, about 150 miles south of Tokyo. A Japanese citizen Mr. Ito found two surviving crewmen and tried to help them. These two men died of their injuries so Mr. Ito buried the two flyers at a Shinto Shrine at the base of Mt. Sengen and gave them a Shinto burial. This act took great courage because it was the violating the military law; all enemies, dead or alive were to be turned over to the authorities. For this act, Mr. Ito was labeled a traitor and forced to live in disgrace until the war's end. Following the war, Ito built a monument to the Japanese citizens killed in that raid and wanted to erect one for the airmen who lost their lives. He needed to inscribe their names, and according to his religion, the matter had to be resolved within thirty (30) years. The efforts to get the names began a warm and strong relationship between the Japanese and the Americans that still continues today.

Mr. Ito became a Buddhist monk and continued a ceremony at the monument annually with the help of Dr. Sugano. When Ito died, Dr. Sugano was entrusted with the "Blackened Canteen" recovered from the crash site and used in the ceremony for over twenty years. From this canteen whisky was poured on the headstone of the monument.

In January 1995, Harry Mitchell, President of the 29th Bomb Group Association was contacted to by Dr. Sugano to aid in locating family members of the two crews. John B. Colli, brother of Kenneth Colli, Crew 42, and Mrs. Margaret Delago, wife of John Pauciloski of the 29th Bomb Group were located by Mr. Mitchell and his wife. These four were invited to Japan as the guests of Dr. Sugano to attend the 1995 Joint Memorial Service in Shizuoki City 17 June. Col. Michael G. King, Vice Commander 374 th Airlift Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan. Many other U.S. dignitaries attended.



Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group"; Charles Smith, Radar P-44; John Colli, nephew;
Julie Smith, Ulrich Family, Mike Barczak, nephew