39th Bomb Group (VH)

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Rainwater Crew

Standing L to R:
Pfc* Philip J. Novak Flight Engineer
S/Sgt Wilmer E. Latta Radio Operator
Cpl* Vernon T. Cerny CFC Gunner
Pfc* Fred Michaels Tail Gunner
Cpl* Howard Holbrook Right Gunner
S/Sgt** James W. Chipman Left Gunner
Kneeling L to R:
1st Lt Duane M. Hanson Bombardier
1st Lt William K. Harris Pilot
1st Lt Elmer William Rainwater Airplane Commander
1st Lt Robert C. Murray Navigator
2nd Lt John J. Smith Radar Observer

he above crew photo is courtesy of Sean Rainwater, Grandson of 1st Lt E. W. Rainwater, AC.; Other photos of the crew do appear in the 39th BGA scrapbooks, however they are photo copies and their quality makes them unusable for the web site. There crew desingation was "Crew 583" during B-29 training at Pyote, Texas. Accorcing to the History Narrative June 1945 by Capt Babbit, Historical Officer, this crew was designated as P-62;

The EM members of this crew do appear on the 62nd Squadron Roster dated September 1945. Ranks for Officers were taken from a 62nd Officers Roster dated 29 September 1945, provided by Hugh Roberts, Crew 41.

 Crew 62
Honor Roll 
1st Lt Elmer W. Rainwater
Airplane Commander
19 April 2008
Cpl Wilmer E. Latta
Radio Operator
27 June 2013


15 July 2024 - Add current crew photo to site courtesy of Sean Rainwater; Updated missions page; added Crew Honor to Crew 62 Main Page.

16 July 2004 - Found Rainwater Crew listed on SO-53 Lincoln Army Air Field HQ orders dated 22 Feb 1945 - *rank taken from these orders. ** Rank for Chipman found on SO 256 314th BW HQ dated 10/17/45.

11 January 2004 - Listed on GO 45 dated 26 August 1945 the names of Rainwater, Hanson appear as does a 2nd Lt John J. Smith - it is believed that John J and James Smith may be the same person as all other names on the orders have been matched to crews of the 39th. Note: dates listed are from 17 July 1945 to 8 August 1945 for all 3 men.

02 September 2002 - Sheldon Kushner and his officers shared quarters with the Rainwater Crew Officers. While he is unsure of the exact date of this crew's arrival it was toward the end of the War.

Anyone with information about this crew, please email:

62nd Sqduadron Index
Source: material found in the 39th BGA scarpbook from Wilmer E. Latta, RO; Sheldon Kushner, AC -Kushner Crew