He registered for the WW II draft on 16 October 1940 while a student aricultutal engineer. He described himself as 5’10”, 150 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. After enlistment, he received extensive training as a flight engineer on the B-29 Superfortress, a complicated task which required knowledge of the electrical and mechanical features of the B-29, all monitored in flight from an impressive array of panels of dials, flow switches and sensors. On 8 September 1944, a B-29, # 42-6234, “My Assam Dragon,” assigned to Dudhkundi, India, of the 20th Air Force, 444th Bomb Group, 679th Bomb Squadron, departed Kwanghan airfield on a combat mission to Mukdon, Machuria, was attacked by enemy fighters and damaged. There were several hits which caused the aircraft to depressurize and damaged the rudder cable. No one was wounded. With the rudder cable severed, they began to lose altitude over the Gulf of Chile. The pilot ordered the crew to prepare to bail out but that he was going to try to make land first. The pilot told the crew that 2ndLt Moore, 1stLt McCrary, 1stLt Porter and TSgt Smreck had bailed out without orders about 30 to 40 miles before they reached the coast. None had been wounded and were wearing “Mae West” life preservers. He is remembered on the memorial at the Manila American Cemetery & Mausoleum, Philipines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. The family placed a memorial marker in the Summit View Cemetery, Guthrie, Oklahoma.

SMRECK, JOHN PAUL, Technical Sergeant, # 15016176, USAAF

 

John P. Smreck was born 24 May 1917 in Ohio to Andre Smreck (1884-1945) and Christina Smreck (1887-1924). Siblings included Mary (Smreck) Yarnell (1906-1989), Anna (Smreck) Pavlik nee Kmet (1908-2008), Andrew Charles Smreck (1913-2002), Katie (Smreck) Weirath (1915-2006), and Helen (Smreck) Karas (1921-    ). He was married to Mabel A. Smreck, 721 Moore St., Toledo, Ohio.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF at Fort Hayes, Columbus, Ohio, on 2 January 1941 and had completed one year of college. He received trainig in the maintenance and operation of the radio equipment and interphone on the B-29 Superfortress. On 8 September 1944, a B-29, # 42-6234, “My Assam Dragon,” assigned to Dudhkundi, India, of the 20th Air Force, 444th Bomb Group, 679th Bomb Squadron, departed Kwanghan airfield on a combat mission to Mukdon, Machuria, was attacked by enemy fighters and damaged. There were several hits which caused the aircraft to depressurize and damaged the rudder cable. No one was wounded. With the rudder cable severed, they began to lose altitude over the Gulf of Chile. The pilot ordered the crew to prepare to bail out but that he was going to try to make land first. The pilot told the crew that 2ndLt Moore, 1stLt McCrary, 1stLt Porter and TSgt Smreck had bailed out without orders about 30 to 40 miles before they reached the coast. None had been wounded and were wearing “Mae West” life preservers. He is remembered on the memorial at the Manila American Cemetery & Mausoleum, Philipines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.