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39th Bomb Group (VH)


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Joint Memorial Service in Shizuoka City
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Stone Monument at (Plot E 29) Zachary Taylor National Cemetery Louisville, Kentucky for the Two Crews Lost at Shizuoka



On the night of 19 June 1945, 123 B-29's bombed the
City of Shizuoka. Two aircraft collided and did not return.
One was Crew 42 and the other was this 29th Bomb Group, 52nd BS Crew


Everdon Crew From 29th BG, 52nd BS
Photo Courtesy of Joe Chovelak, 29th BG Historian

Standing L to R:
#2 - 1st Lt Waldo C. Everdon, Airplane Commander; 2nd Lt Edwin A. Rodeheffer, Jr., Navigator; # 5 2nd Lt John J. O'Conner, Bombardier

Other members of the crew yet to be identified in the photo:
F/O Tim Arhutick - Pilot
Sgt Ernest D. Bergeron - CFC Gunner
F/O Monroe M. Cohen - Radar Observer
Cpl Herbert A. Kellogg - Radio Operator
Sgt John Puciloski - Right Gunner
Cpl William B. Stockburger, Jr. - Flight Enginner
Cpl John W. Cameron - Left Gunner
Cpl Arthur J. Morretta - Tail Gunner
2nd Lt Newton Earle Towle, Jr. - Pilot (acting as Aerial Observer)

Update:

6 Sept 2010: Thanks to Wade Rugg for identifying Rodeheffer (29th BG photo) Rodheffer and Rugg's father went through Navigational Training together.

1 June 2007
: The above crew positions of the 29th BG crew were added per 29th BG's "Record of Aircraft # 44-69881" provided by Joe Chovelak 29th BG Historian via Dan Baker.


2006 Joint Memorial Service in Shizuoka City

The following was addressed by Jerry Yellin, WW 2 veteran
and P-51 pilot over Japan from April 7, 1945 through August 14, 1945

I came here today to remember and honor the memories I have of 16 young fighter pilots, one who was only 19years old,  who I knew and flew with who were killed in the air war over Japan.

I came here to remember and honor the memories of the 23 B-29 crew members who were killed in a mid-air collision over Shizuoka on June 20, 1945.

I came here to remember and honor the memories of the 2000 citizens of Shizuoka who were killed by the bombs dropped on them by B-29’s from Guam.

I came here to remember and honor the memories of the 500,000 American service men and women who were killed in World War 2.

I came here to remember and honor the memories of two million Japanese soldiers and civilians who were killed in World War 2.

And I came here today to remember and honor the memories of the 53 million citizens of the world who were killed in the war between the years 1937 and 1945.

All of those who were killed fulfilled the pure purpose of war, to kill your enemy.

To kill your enemy is the direct opposite of the pure purpose of life, which to me is to connect with all of Nature, with all of Humanity for we as humans are all the same in the eyes of Nature and in the eyes of sensitive, thinking people throughout the World.

I came here today to honor the memory of Mr. Fukumatso Itoh who recognized that in 1945 when he arranged the burial of his enemy alongside of his countrymen and began this joint Japanese/American tradition.

And I came here today to honor Dr. Hiroya Sugano who carries on this hallowed tradition of honor and respect for all people. Soon all of the veterans of World War 2 will be gone. It is my hope that our legacy will be one of Harmony with all of Nature and Unity between all of Humanity

Thank you very much.


Jerry Yellin
Jerry Yellin - Shizuoka - 17 June 2006

Shizuoka Memorial Group 2006

Jerry Yellin pouring whisky over the momument
16 June 2006

Dr. Hiroya Sugano (left), Colonel Paul J. Montgonery, Vice Commander , 374th Airlift Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan and Jerry Yellin holding the blackened canteen found at the crash site and used in the ceremony
16 June 2006

Jerry Yellin on the pathway to the Memorial
16 June 2006

2001 Joint Memorial Service in Shizuoka City

Taken: 16 June 2001 Shizuoka City Memorial
Photo Courtesy of Isao Arai

1995 Joint Memorial Service in Shizuoka City

canteen.jpg
Blackened Canteen Found at Crash Site and Used in Ceremony. Newspaper articles shown in the background

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Harry Mitchell, President of the 29th Bomb Group Association, pays respects in Tokyo's Arakawa Ward. Remains of other airmen who died when their plane crashed during a 1945 fire bombing run are interred there. One of Harry's best friends was lost 10 March 1945. This was the main reason for Harry's return to Japan



Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group";Isao Arai; Jerry Yellin