DAVIS, WAYNE L., Corporal, # 11043242, USAAF

 

After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained in the operation of the radar equipment and was receiving training in operational flight. He earned his crewman wings and 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. Corporal Davis was wounded. King, Salisbury, Metzger, Dilioway, Davis and Vavra bailed out and saw the B-29 roll over twice as it went down.

VAVRA, HAROLD G., Technical Representative

 

Harold G. Vavra was born in 1915 in Cedar Rapids, Linn Co., Iowa, to Frank Vavra and Carrie (Jansa) Vavra. A brother was Paul Vavra (1921-    )

 

He worked for a company, as a production engineer, which produced the radio equipment for the B-29 Superfortress. He was in India monitoring radio operation. 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. Corporal Davis was wounded. King, Salisbury, Metzger, Dilioway, Davis and Vavra bailed out and saw the B-29 roll over twice as it went down.

 

His brother, Paul H. Vavra, born 5 January 1921, served in the U.S. Army, First Lieutenant, # 0-516801, from 9 April 1943 to 8 June 1946.

TARR, GEORGE R., Technical Representative

 

George R. Tarr was in India monitoring the operation of equipment on the B-29 Superfortress in operations. He was married to Eleanor G. Tarr, who in 1944 resided at 2931 Chase St., Denver, CO, and in 1948 was a key-punch operator for the Veterans Administration and resided at 3019 West Denver Place, Denver, CO. George Tarr was killed while a passenger on the B-29. 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. Corporal Davis was wounded. King, Salisbury, Metzger, Dilioway, Davis and Vavra bailed out and saw the B-29 roll over twice as it went down.