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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 98405
Last updated: 27 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:792nd BSqn /468th BGp USAAF
Registration: 42-6271
MSN: 3405
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 11
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Lo Shan, Henan Povence, Xinyang Prefecture -   China
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:Kharagpur Airfield, West Bengal, India
Destination airport:
Boeing B-29-5-BW Superfortress 42-6271: Delivered to USAAF 19 December 1943. Departed Smoky Hill AAF, Kansas for CBI (China-Burma-India Theater of Operations) 13 April 1944. Assigned to 792nd Bomb Squadron, 468th Bomb Group, Kharagpur, India 5 May 1944. Named ‘Hellin’ Helen’

On 7 June, 1944, while on a routine cargo mission over the "Hump" (south-eastern Himalayan Mountains) Major James Pattillo and crew in 42-6271 were forced to bail out. The bail out occurred near Lo Shan, China. The cause was basically due to a runaway propeller. The propeller could not be feathered, and soon all the oil was used up in attempting to feather the propeller. Nine members of the crew were rescued in five days. The body of Sgt. E.H. Tidy was found floating in a river 3 miles from the scene of the accident two days later. The remaining member of the crew (Lt. G. Matthews) has not been located and is still MIA, presumed KIA.

1st Lt. R.L. Cournoyer, reported that, as he floated down, the airplane started to dive straight at him. The airplane passed so close that his chute was deflated momentarily by the prop wash. He further stated that 42-6271 did two chandelles, dove straight for the ground for about 3,000 feet, pulled up and finally dove to the ground. 42-6271 was completely demolished.

James Pattillo’s Statement: "Bail out due to dragging runaway prop almost 200 miles without getting it slowed down, being above clouds over three hours with Navigator unsure of position and losing 7,000 feet with emergency power on remaining engines, still sinking into what appeared to be mountains. The crew of 42-6271 bailed out in a relatively straight line with a river winding below which we weren’t aware of because of the clouds beneath us.

Pattillo bailed out with three engines running at emergency power, therefore, when his hands left the aileron controls 42-6271 started turning into the dead engine, once he stopped holding the nose, it dropped and 42-6271 went into a diving turn to the left, airspeed then started building up. Airspeed finally became so high that 42-6271 started climbing, after climbing slightly it started into a second dive and kept this up until it hit the ground.

Crew of 42-6271:
Major James Pattillo – Airplane Commander
2nd Lt. Geoffrey Matthews – Co-Pilot – MIA (presumed KIA)
2nd Lt. Donald V. Irby – Bomb Aimer
1st Lt. Richard M. Cournoyer – Navigator
First Officer Ralph M. Roberts – Flight Engineer
2nd Lt. Robert M. Humphrey - Radar Operator
Sgt. Eric H. Tidy – Rear Gunner - KIA
Sgt. Claude F. Frey - Tail Gunner
Sgt. Henry G. Brogden - Chief Fire Control
Sgt. T.M. Keegan – Radio Operator
Sgt. Stephen M. Klusovsky - Lower Gunner


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Related books:

Revision history:

05-Jun-2017 16:51 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
05-Jun-2017 16:52 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
23-Mar-2020 15:41 DG333 Updated [Operator, Operator]

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