B-29 Superfortress in New Zealand 1945 Jul 7, 2019 19:58:13 GMT 12
Post by emron on Jul 7, 2019 19:58:13 GMT 12
1. Tail insignia - A denotes 497th Bomb Group, 73rd Bomb Wing. Circle E denotes 504th BG, 313th BW.
2. Commanding Officer of 313 BW was Brigadier General John/James Hubert Davies DSC, who held that command Apr 1944 to Aug 1945 and had been based at Saipan since late 1944.
3. Photo 2 is that of 42-24623 (A 21) of 497 BG, taken probably in early Feb 1945.
4. Photos 1 & 4 are of the same aircraft, understood to be 42-63536 (Circle E 5). Photo 3 seems to be an earlier photo of the same aircraft.
Problem is, according to various records, 42-63536 was lost over the Pacific while on a bombing mission to Japan, night of 25/26 May 1945. Clearly it could not have been in NZ in July 1945...so perhaps someone got their dates wrong? Further more, it had changed squadron (now 792 BS) and group (now 468 BG), and had been renamed Mammy Yokum. Further research required...
Like you I’ve had no luck in finding the serial number for this B-29 with tail code Circle E 5.
As well as the 11 members on Cornwell’s crew lost on 44-69970 over Yokohama was observer Col J.T. Connally.
From the 504th Bomb Group Assn:
“Col James T. (Jungle Jim) Connally; Father of the 504th BG of B-29s. created and commanded the group and was killed flying with them out of Tinian, over Japan in 1945. He flew B-17s with, and commanded the celebrated 19th BG in Indonesia after Pearl Harbor and the 9th BG in Florida doing R&D on bombers and bombing. He was a member of Gen. Lemay's staff at the time of his death.”
So more than one reason for the nose art to be retained by Brigadier General Davies as a tribute to those recently lost.
Jim Connally Jr can be contacted at the 504th Bomb Group Association and I’m sure could provide more answers and perhaps have details about the purpose and significance of Davies flight to NZ.