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  #21  
Old 6th January 2018, 05:38
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

The B-29s based in the Marianas did six "training" missions against Truk and 2 missions to Iwo Jima in November. There are 3 Truk missions shown on the fold3 list for the 497th and the two Iwo missions. I don't think there are any "missing" Truk missions for the 497th as I believe all the bomb groups in the Marianas flew some training missions to Truk so the other 3 Truk missions were probably flown by other groups.

Nov 24 was the first raid against Japan (Tokyo) by units in the Marianas.

The fold3 record shows Thumper did one Truk mission, and one of the two Iwo missions that show in the 497th fold3 record. It then flew the first Japan mission on the 24th and that seems to be what the nose art shows.

There were still B-29s in India and China during this time and raids were conducted against Singapore, Burma and Thailand by Calcutta based planes and planes from Chengtu, China conducted raids against Kyushu, Japan and Shanghai, China.

The fold3 gaps may be more like a plane not shown for a particular mission date rather than the whole date is missing for the group. I think this "spreadsheet" was possible done by people interested in the 497th possibly they are connected with the 497th website or some earlier associated site. As you note it is not an official record.
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  #22  
Old 6th January 2018, 06:45
Frank Olynyk Frank Olynyk is online now
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

The Long Haul, the 497th's unit history published in 1947, is on line, and can be downloaded at http://digicom.bpl.lib.me.us/ww_reg_his/106/

It has a mission list near the back of the book. It shows a single mission in the November gap period. On November 10 a single B-29 flew a reconnaissance mission to Tokyo at 32,000 feet. So in this case the problem is not with Fold3. One would have to go back to the original sources to see if this was Thumper.

Enjoy!

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  #23  
Old 6th January 2018, 14:55
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

Frank,

That could very well be the "missing" Tokyo mission for Thumper (and Haynes) that shows in the first row of mission nose art bombs . In the newspaper interviews Haynes was giving at the time of the bond tour, Haynes mentions a mission ( or maybe missions) which were done by a single plane (Thumper) to work out fuel loads, bomb loads, etc. for missions to Japan. The time frame seems about right.

Searching for Haynes in the book there are 14 hits. An interesting one is that on Feb 2, 1945 (or Feb 1 on another page) Haynes transferred to the 73rd Bomb Wing. Thus if he flew more missions after Feb 2, we need to look elsewhere for them. He (later?) became Deputy Commander of the 499th Bomb Group. Thus his 27 Jan 45 mission to Tokyo in Thumper was his last mission with the group. Now the question becomes what happened to "his" crew in the 497th that returned with him to the US.. They obviously completed their tour but with who, maybe Haynes "co-pilot" got promoted to AC?


I will see if these "clip" options on the newspapers site works so that anyone can view them (or if they are only for paid members).

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/1631...06_aug_45_war/


https://www.newspapers.com/clip/1631...rns_june_1945/


UPDATE, I started to try and track the men in the photo and some of them that I could find were in the 499th not the 497th. We know Thumper stayed in the 497th. Now the question is did Haynes crew stay or did some of them move with him. Or.... is this a crew or part of a crew that flew with Haynes in the 499th. The plot thickens.... ;-)

Last edited by RSwank; 6th January 2018 at 23:00.
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  #24  
Old 9th January 2018, 12:43
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knusel knusel is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSwank View Post
... The fold3 missions show only 4 Tokyo missions for Haynes (to Musashino which is Tokyo), on 24 Nov, 27 Nov, 29 Nov and 3 Dec, so there seems to be an "extra" Tokyo mission flag on Thumper. (A missing fold3 mission perhaps).

Next, fold3 shows a mission to Iwo Jima on 8 December which was aborted, so no mission flag. This is followed by two missions to Nagoya flown by Haynes. One kill on the 13 Dec mission and 2 kills on 22 December (they also show on the Thumper photo).

Next a mission to Musashino-Tokyo with 1 kill on 27 Dec 44.
Haynes flies to Nagoya on 3 Jan and Osaka on 9 Jan. Then to Nagoya on 14 Jan with 2 kills.
To Nagoya on the 23rd of Jan. Then, on 27 Jan, Haynes flies the 6 kill mission to Musashino-Tokyo. ...
Good morning RSwank,

that means piloted by Haynes THUMPER claimed 12 kills, right ?

Michael
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  #25  
Old 9th January 2018, 13:48
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

So it would appear.
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  #26  
Old 10th January 2018, 17:43
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

Good afternoon RSwank,

is it known if the other B-29's he piloted shot anything down ?

Michael
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  #27  
Old 11th January 2018, 04:53
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

Michael,

There is a spreadsheet of the 499th missions which downloads directly from this link:

http://www.exciteableitalian.com/73r...issions_FP.xls

You can search for Haynes and get a list of all the missions he flew in the 499th. There 18 missions showing him as either pilot or co-pilot (two of them are aborts). The first mission is 10 Feb 45 and the last mission is 25-26 May 45. (After his bail-out at Iwo Jima, he flew two more missions.)

The list shows the V code and serial number of the plane, plane name, date, target and pilots. Unfortunately no kills are recorded so it does not answer your question. It may be possible to use the information given to find kill info but that may not be on-line.

Of interest perhaps is it shows (after he transferred on Feb 2, 1945 from the 497th) he started flying missions very quickly. He also did not fly in a preferred plane. With only a couple of plane repeats he flew in different planes most of the time.
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  #28  
Old 11th January 2018, 21:42
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

Good evening RSwank,

that looks very much as if Haynes flew 15 missions in 497. BG and 18 missions in 499. BG for a total of 33 PTO missions, doesn't it ?

Michael
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  #29  
Old 12th January 2018, 14:04
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

For both bomb groups we are looking at compiled lists, not original documents, so it is possible some missions were missed. We strongly suspect the 497th list missed one mission Haynes flew in Thumper. It shows in the nose art of the plane and it appears in the BG's post war history book. So adding that in gives the 15 mission count. I think that is correct.

The two aborts noted in the 499th list might be more problematic. Normally an aborted mission did not count, but there "may" have been special circumstances where an aborted mission could be counted. (Although if that happened they probably would not mark the mission as an "abort".)

Aborts were a problem with B-29s. In mid-January 1945 for example, abort rates were 23% per mission (many caused by engine failures). By July 1945, they were down to around 7%. Engine life had been extended from typically 200 hours to 750 hours.

Joe Baugher has a summary of the B-29 offensive from the Marianas here: http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_bombers/b29_10.html
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  #30  
Old 12th January 2018, 18:48
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

Good morning RSwank,

I we assume that Haynes flew 15 THUMPER missions and the 6-kill-mission was his last of these then he would have flown the first 15 missions depicted on the plane's well-known nose art. That would include 13 aerial kills.

Kind regards,

Michael
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