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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 98461
Last updated: 7 December 2021
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Date:07-JAN-1945
Time:00:29 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B29 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing B-29 Superfortress
Owner/operator:444th BGp /678th BSqn USAAF
Registration: 42-93871
MSN: 7277
Fatalities:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 11
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Dudhkundi,12 miles SE of Jhargram, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal -   India
Phase: Take off
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Dudhkundi,12 miles SE of Jhargram, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal
Destination airport:USAAF Base A-1. Hsin-ching Airfeld, China
Narrative:
Boeing B-29A-5-BN Superfortress 42-93871: Delivered to the USAAF 21 September 1944. Modified to F-13A for photo recce operations. Assigned to 678th Bomb Squadron, 444th Bomb Group. Departed CONUS (CONtinental US) and arrived in India 16 December 1944. Re-Assigned to Flight C, 1st Photo Reconnaissance Squadron (VH), CBI (China-Burma-India Theater of Operations).

With 444th BG, 678th BS when crashed on takeoff at Dudhkundi Airfield, 12 miles SE of Jhargram, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal, India, January 7, 1945. The official USAAF accident report states in pertinent part:

"Aircraft number 42-93871 was cleared from this station to participate in a photographic mission en route to an advance base in China. The airplane completed what appeared to be a normal takeoff. Minutes after the aircraft became airborne it crashed in a rice paddy area free from trees and brush.

Trees on the edge of the clearing bear evidence that the aircraft struck the tops of them before crashing into the paddy area. The aircraft was immediately enveloped in flame and completely destroyed. All crew members perished in the crash."

The board found the cause of the accident to be undetermined; however, they did state that the most probable cause was that the flaps were raised before sufficient airspeed and altitude had been gained."

Aircraft was destroyed, and all eleven crew on board were killed:

2nd Lt. Benjamin Cohn, Navigator
2nd Lt. Henry W Haines, Co-Pilot
2nd Lt. William A Williams, Photo Navigator
S/Sgt. Albert J Becker, Jr, Flight Engineer
Corporal Edmund F Anzalone, Photographer/Camera Operator
Corporal Stanley R Jackunas, Radio Operator
Corporal Howard W Lashbrook, Left Gunner
Corporal Eugene L Lowe, Crew Chief
Corporal Robert W Macchia, Right Gunner
Corporal Samuel B Scott, Tail gunner

2nd Lt. William A Williams was buried in India until after the war, when his Aunt Olivia requested his remains be returned home for burial. He was re-buried at Saint Johns Lutheran Cemetery New, San Antonio, Texas. S/Sgt. Albert J Becker, Jr was returned from India for reburial at Fort Sam Houston on April 12, 1949.

NOTE: Some sources give the crash location as Chakulia Airfield, Purbi Singhbhum district, State of Jharkhand, but this incorrect, as the official accident report (see link #7) confirms

Sources:

1. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1942_5.html
2. http://www.444thbg.org/678thsquadron.htm
3. http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbasn.asp?offset=26925
4. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56133103
5. http://www.cbi-history.com/part_vi_1st_photo_sq.html
6. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/77273448
7. Declassified official Accident report: http://www.cbi-history.com/documents/flight_c_swick_accident_report.pdf


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
30-Jun-2017 02:12 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
30-Jun-2017 02:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
22-Mar-2020 19:06 DG333 Updated [Operator, Operator]

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