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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 192689
Last updated: 29 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B29 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing B-29 Superfortress
Owner/operator:869th BSqn /497th BGp USAAF
Registration: 42-24772
MSN: 4433
Fatalities:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 11
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Enotoshinden, Kokubunji-cho, Kitatama-gun, Tokyo -   Japan
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:USAAF Base A-14, China
Destination airport:
On 9 January 1945 the 73rd BW USAAF sent up 72 B-29s for the fifth attempt at knocking out the aircraft engine factory of Musashino, near Tokyo (Target 357). Again, heavy clouds and poweful winds interfered with precision bombing. 18 B-29s made it over the primary target and were forced to bomb by radar - unsuccessfully. 34 others attacked secondary targets, the Japanese reporting bombs in the cities of Yokohama, Fujiwasa and Numazu. Japanese fighters of 47 and 244 Sentai IJAAF and 302 Kokutai IJNAF intercepted the raid and several pilots made ramming attacks. Six B-29s were lost. US reports attributed the cause of loss of three of them to enemy fighters, the other falling to "operational difficulties".

2nd Lt Tange Mitsuyuki of 244 Sentai was killed in a ramming attack. His Ki-61 crashed at Kdaira-Cho, west of Tokyo. WO Sato Gannoshin, who witnessed the attack, stated:
"The B-29 was flying as "Tail End Charlie" at the right end in an eight-aeroplane formation. Tange smashed into the left outside engine from straight above. The B-29s wing was covered with flames, and it disintegrated. After crashing into a field, the bomber burned for half-an-hour."
2nd Lt Takayama Shoichi may also have clipped this bomber north of Musashino. He baled out safely from his Ki-61.

Their probable victim was the B-29 42-24772 of 869th BS, 497th BG. Other B-29 crew reported being at 30,000 ft when two ’Tojos’ came in from 12 o’clock high and severely damaged ’772, flown by Maj Joe Baird. It dropped out of formation and fell about 3,000 ft, then was lost from view in the clouds. The bomber then broke in two parts in the air. The tail section of the B-29 fell in Nonakashinden, and fuselage in Enotoshinden, Kokubunji-cho, Kitatama-gun (present Kokubunji-shi), Tokyo, and burned fiercely. All 11 crewmembers were killed. 10 bodies were buried in the cemetery of Kyohoji temple in Enotoshinden. 1 unknown crewmember bailed out and landed near the Army Technical Experimental Plant in Kodaira-cho (present Kodaira-shi), Tokyo, but soon died and was buried in the cemetery in Ogawashinden.

Crew (all killed):
Maj Joe P Baird (aircraft commander)
1st Lt Jesse C Jones, Jr. (pilot)
1st Lt John E Richards (navigator)
1st Lt Joseph Boltan (bomb aimer)
2nd Lt John H Dunholter (flight engineer)
Sgt Richard D Fair (central fire control gunner)
T/Sgt Winfield Levonas (radio)
Sgt John G Deitz (left waist gunner)
Sgt Febo F Cardinali (right waist gunner)
Sgt John Tsatsopoulos (tail gunner)
S/Sgt Harold W Wagner (radar operator)


2. “Osprey Aviation Elite Units 5: B-29 Hunters of the JAAF”, by Koji Takaki and Henry Sakaida
3. "Japanese Army Air Force fighter units and their aces 1931-1945", by Ikuhito Hata, Yasuho Izawa and Christopher Shores. ISBN 1-902304-89-6

Related books:

Revision history:

09-Jan-2017 14:18 Laurent Rizzotti Added
11-Jun-2017 00:44 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source]
22-Mar-2020 19:07 DG333 Updated [Operator, Source, Operator]

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