METZGER, ROBERT J., Staff Sergeant, # 37390075, USAAF

 

Robert J. Metzger was a son of George Metzger (1884-    ) (born in St. Louis, MO), who played for the Cincinnati Reds Baseball team from 1908 to 1915. After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained as an armorer and gunner, responsible for the maintenance and function of the weapons on the B-29 Superfortress (except bombs) and earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. He was a left waist gunner. On 28 November 1944, a B-29, # 42-24706, “Windy City II,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 794th Bomb Squadron (of which Lt.Col. Hennin was Commander), departed the airfield at Kharagpur, India, on a training flight over Halliday Island and return. He was the radio-gunner. The # 3 engine was losing power, then caught fire. The Kidde system (fire surpression) was activated and the fire was under control. The electrical system was deactivated. SSgt Metzger was sent to turn on the “putt-putt” (small generator) and did so. As it was activated, the entire right wing exploded. King, Salisbury, Metzger, Dilioway, Davis and Vavra bailed out and saw the B-29 roll over twice as it went down. SSgt Metzger was wounded. He was awarded the Air Medal.

DILLAWAY, GEORGE LINCOLN, Staff Sergeant, # 11017139, USAAF

 

George L. Dillaway was born on 12 August 1920 in Massachusetts and enlisted in the USAAF in Lowell, Massachusetts, on 7 October 1940. After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained as an armorer and gunner, responsible for the maintenance and function of the weapons on the B-29 Superfortress (except bombs) and earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. He was a tail gunner. On 28 November 1944, a B-29, # 42-24706, “Windy City II,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 794th Bomb Squadron (of which Lt.Col. Hennin was Commander), departed the airfield at Kharagpur, India, on a training flight over Halliday Island and return. He was the radio-gunner. The # 3 engine was losing power, then caught fire. The Kidde system (fire surpression) was activated and the fire was under control. The electrical system was deactivated. SSgt Metzger was sent to turn on the “putt-putt” (small generator) and did so. As it was activated, the entire right wing exploded. King, Salisbury, Metzger, Dilioway, Davis and Vavra bailed out and saw the B-29 roll over twice as it went down. SSgt Metzger was wounded. He was awarded the Air Medal.

WILSON, ROBERT J., Second Lieutenant, # 0-2061422, USAAF

 

Robert J. Wilson was born in 1922 in Pennsylvania to James Wilson (1900-1947) and Selina (Edwards) Wilson (1899-1970). A sister was Jane Isabel Wilson (1931-1999).

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Ohio on 15 January 1943. After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained as a bombardier for the B-29 Superfortress. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 28 November 1944, a B-29, # 42-24706, “Windy City II,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 794th Bomb Squadron (of which Lt.Col. Hennin was Commander), departed the airfield at Kharagpur, India, on a training flight over Halliday Island and return. The # 3 engine was losing power, then caught fire. The Kidde system (fire surpression) was activated and the fire was under control. The electrical system was deactivated. SSgt Metzger was sent to turn on the “putt-putt” (small generator) and did so. As it was activated, the entire right wing exploded. King, Salisbury, Metzger, Dilioway, Davis and Vavra bailed out and saw the B-29 roll over twice as it went down. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A memorial marker was placed in the Manasota Memorial Park, Bradenton, Manatee Co., Florida. He was awarded the Air Medal.