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  #1  
Old 15th October 2006, 17:53
keith A keith A is offline
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Highest scoring B-29

Which crew scored the most aerial victories flying B-29s? I believe several crews claimed more than 5 victories over Japan 1944-1945.
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  #2  
Old 18th October 2006, 23:26
JACK COOK JACK COOK is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

I believe it was the crew of "Thumper" but I don't remember the score somewhere around 15 or so.
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Old 15th November 2017, 07:58
Edward L. Hsiao Edward L. Hsiao is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

Gentlemen,

It would be very interesting to know about individual B-29s scoring 10 or more kills during the Pacific war especially over Japan.

Edward L. Hsiao
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Old 15th November 2017, 15:27
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knusel knusel is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

Good afternoon Gentlemen,

very interesting issue.
I think the top B-29 gunner was a guy named John Sutherland who allegedly shot down 5.

Cheers,

Michael
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Old 15th November 2017, 15:54
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

There are several newspapers articles about Thumper at the time. It was the first B-29 the complete its tour and return to the US for war bond tours. The 22 July 1945 St Louis Dispatch has an article and picture of the plane. It is hard to make out the mission bombs and kill flags in the photo, but the article says it is the only surviving plane from the original 120 planes in the 73rd Bomb Wing. The plane completed 40 bombing missions. Members of it crews were credited with 26 Japanese planes and 19 probables. During is fighting career it has flown over 175,000 miles and dropped over 600,000 lbs of high explosives and fire bombs. The plane had been "hit" over 100 times according to one article. Another article mentions 10 flak holes. It is not clear how many different crews flew her. On the tour was the first pilot that had flown her, Col Robert E Haynes and apparently the crew that flew her home.

It does appear that at some point the way the mission bombs and kill flags were painted was redone. Some of the early photos show the "named" mission bombs with flags sticking out of the bombs for kills and Thumper riding each bomb. One of those photos shows Thumper with six kill flags on one bomb (Tokyo) along with perhaps at least 1 purple heart.

Early nose art: https://twitter.com/wwiipix/status/913127724579000321

The war bond photos in the newspapers seem to show 4 rows of 10 bombs and the kill flags in rows of 5 in a separate section of the nose. Cannot tell if the bombs still have target names on them. I would guess some clearer photos exist somewhere.

Last edited by RSwank; 16th November 2017 at 14:00.
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Old 15th November 2017, 17:57
Luftwaffle8 Luftwaffle8 is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

B-29 GUNNER
ACES OF THE 20TH AIR FORCE!
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  #7  
Old 15th November 2017, 21:04
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knusel knusel is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSwank View Post
...Members of it crews were credited with 26 Japanese planes and 19 probables. ...
Good evening RSwank,

can you tell me the names of the pilots who flew that B-29 in combat ?

Cheers,

Michael
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Old 15th November 2017, 22:01
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

I'll see if I can find some of the crews. Col. Haynes flew 25 missions in Thumper (according to one article). Haynes was an airline pilot and Lockheed test pilot before the war. He joined the RCAF where he flew Wellingtons then on to the 8th AF flying B-17s, (some 78 European missions according to one article). Haynes then went to the 497th were he flew "50" missions in the Pacific. Thumper arrived in the Pacific on October 18, 1944 and returned to the US in early June 1945. The bond tour may have started in July, as one article mentions the crew got a 30 days leave when they returned to the US.

It is interesting to read the various newspaper articles about the tour, as there are different bits of information (hopefully facts) in each one. One article says that the crew flying the plane was the first complete B-29 crew to return to the US after having flown 30 or more missions. At other stops on the tour there is often some local connection. One stop talks about one of the ground crew (a local boy) who was an engine mechanic for the plane while it was based at Saipan.

As an example of how the "facts" get confused, some articles put Haynes' missions as 75 in Europe and 33 in the Pacific. Haynes himself made a distinction between bombing missions and other missions he flew (such as lifeguard or weather missions), so that might be part of the confusion. Another article says he flew 108 combat missions, which could be 75 + 33.

Another "fact" in one write-up says that Thumper was the first B-29 to fly over Tokyo. I believe the first B-29 over Tokyo was a recon ship "Tokyo Rose" on November 1, 1944. It was flown by Ralph D. Steakley. (The plane was named after the flight.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_Nove...tie_over_Japan
The photos were so good that some were used until the end of the war.

Thumper was one of the planes on the first bombing raid over Tokyo, November 24, 1944.



Update 1: Found another pilot. Captain Charles C Fishburne, Jr. of Darien GA. The line in the newspaper that mentions this says he was the pilot for a "majority" of Thumper's missions. Now if Haynes flew 25 in Thumper and the plane flew a total of 40 then this "fact" does not quite fit. (Part of the confusion may be how the Thumper missions were counted, 40 actual bombing missions vs total missions flown (which may have been 50 or so). )

An interesting odd fact about Fishburne is that he was the first pilot to bomb Tokyo in the new year of 1945, according to several newspaper accounts in January, 1945.

Update 2: Found another pilot J. M Campbell. There is an account of one his crew here:
http://www.497thbombgroupb29.org/per...ld,%20Carl.pdf

Searching for A-21 in the above shows 9 missions (two of them were weather missions, not bombing missions).

Last edited by RSwank; 16th November 2017 at 14:16.
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Old 16th November 2017, 10:45
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knusel knusel is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

Good morning Ed,

very interesting.
Do you have a photo of Charles Fishburne ?
Or can you tell me if gunner John Sutherland was part of the "Thumper" crew ?

Michael
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Old 16th November 2017, 14:56
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Highest scoring B-29

I believe John Sutherland was in the 499th BG, part of the Chester Marshall crew. Thumper was in the 497th BG. Here is an excerpt from a book by Marshall.

http://b-29.org/73BW/chester-marshal...-marshall.html

In the crew photo for V-27 (Mary Ann) at the top of the page. John Sutherland is mentioned as the tail gunner and is credited with 5 victories.
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