forming Crew 50 at Salina, Kansas we flew B-17 and B-29s
locally. During one of our training flights in a B-17
at Salina, a fire developed while starting the No. 3 engine.
Jesse Ausborn, our flight engineer, got out of the plane
and called up to the cockpit when he backed into the No.
2 prop killing him. Sgt David G. McCoy was his replacement.
flew to Batista Field, Cuba for training. Hot as heck
during the day, but nice and cool in the evening. We did
get into Havana for one day of sightseeing. Guards around
the base were from Puerto Rico and did not speak much
English. Flying back to Salina we stopped in West Palm
Beach one night and in Memphis one night.
Cpl Cloice Gene Tarn replaced Sgt Richard S. Wildman in
the CFC position. Crew 50 went to Topeka, Kansas to pick
up our plane. 2nd Lt Leon Tomberg, bombardier went to
hospital with pneumonia and was replaced by 2nd Lt Robert
flew to Silver Spring Army Air Corp base at Washington,
D.C. for the ceremony of renaming the field to Andrew,
dedicated to the memory of General F.M. Andrews (an advocate
of aviation). He had been killed in a plane crash in Iceland.
Mrs. Andrews was present. General Barney Giles was the
speaker. After the ceremony we took off and buzzed the
field with a P47 escort flying close beside, then on to
Mather Field in California with a stopover at Topeka to
pick-up our baggage.
off for Hawaii, about 500 miles out developed an oil leak
on #2 engine (over the wing) forcing a return to Mather
Field, Took approximately 10 days to locate and replace
engine, on to Hawaii and then to Guam.
"General Andrews" was so dedicated by General Arnold in
memory of Lt
General Frank Maxwell Andrews. General Frank Andrews
had been one of the great pioneers of the Eighth Air Force
in England. In the flight over the Atlantic, he was killed.
As a tribute to this outstanding man, the U.S. Army Air
Forces had named a superfortress for him and the strike
at Kushira on 27 April 1945 was officially designated
the General Andrews Mission. This mission resulted in
the loss of its most famous plane. [View document] [pdf version]
attack on Kushira was the "General Andrews" first combat
mission. She made assembly at Tenega Shima and went over
target in formation with other planes of the 39th Bomb
Group. Trouble developed at the time of bombs away and
bombs would not go out. The aircraft had been hit by anti-aircraft
fire, and an engine was afire by a white phosphorus bomb.
Soon after, enemy fighters viciously attacked the plane.
With No. 1 engine burning furiously and the bomber-losing
altitude, an attempt was made to get far enough away from
the Japanese coast to ditch. The endeavor proved unsuccessful
when the fire destroyed part of the wing and it began
to disintegrate. The "General Andrews" went into a violent
spin and crashed into the ocean about 25 miles off the
enemy coast. Buddy B-29's and Navy Dumbo airplanes saw
survivors in the water, but only three of the crew's eleven
were picked up by the Submarine GATO SS 212.