TOP
usaflag.gif
39th Bomb Group (VH)


Advanced Search - [Search Tip: Use " " for better search results ex. "John Q. Doe"; "City of ..."]
"City of Redfield"
"Forever Amber"
B-29 # WD 44-70079
5


Crew 51 was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) (per GO 42 Section XXV, dated 23 August 1945 Issued by HQ 20th AF) for their participation in aerial flight 22 June 1945 - Mitsubishi aircraft plant at Tamashima, Japan. The citation reads as follows:

"For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 22 June 1945.These individuals were members of the combat crew of a B-29 aircraft based in the Marianas on a strike against the important Mitsubishi aircraft plant at Tamashima, Japan. Enemy anti-aircraft fire was the first encounter at the assembly point From the inital point into the target area, their formation was subjected to heavy caliber anti-aircraft fire and vicious and agressive attacks by enemy fighters, some of which dropped phosphorous bombs. Despite these difficulties they maintained their bomber exactly on the briefed heading to the objective without taking evasive action. At Tamashima, where the enemy's defenses were highly concentrated, they released the bombs with such outstanding accuracy that 100 percent of them fell on the target with devastating effect. Later reconnaissance photographs revealed that as a result of this one mission eight-five percent of this new and vital Japanese aircraft plant was destroyed. The courage and skill displayed by those veterans of repeated missions against the Japanese homeland together with their outstanding airmanship in carrying out an important assignment reflect the greatest credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

Captain THOMAS A. WACHT. (then First Lieutenant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Airplane Commander.

First Lieutenant ROBERT J. BRASHEARS, (then Second Lieutenant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Bombardier.

First Lieutenant SHELDON E. ELLIOTT, (then Second Lieutenant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Navigator.

First Lieutenant JAMES O. KIRK, (then Second Lieutenant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Pilot.

First Lieutenant DAVID P. SHAFFALO, (then Second Lieutenant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Radar Observer.

Technical Sergeant HAROLD L. MITHELMAN, (then Staff Sergeant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Flight Engineer.

Technical Sergeant JAMES T. ROBERTSON, (then Staff Sergeant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Central Fire Control Gunner.

Staff Sergeant LOUIS C. HARPER, Air Corps, United States Army, as Radio Operator..

Sergeant DENNIS C. MURPHY, (then Corporal), Air Corps, United States Army, as Right Gunner.

Sergeant LEO F. BAKER, (then Corporal), Air Corps, United States Army, as Left Gunner.


Source: GO-42 Sec 25, HQ 20th AF, dated 23 Aug 1945; James O. Kirk