COLLINS, DWIGHT ELMO, Staff Sergeant, # 14149196, USAAF
Dwight E. Collins was born 20 July 1921 in Brevard, Transylvania, North Carolina, to Solothel Pinckney Collins (1863-1955) and Bessie Flora (Pittillo) Collins (1878-1963) (married 1 January 1899, NC). Sibling included Olga Collins (1903- ), Estey Aberdeen (Collins) McCall (1905-1992), Leota Collins (1909- ), Jenett M. Collins (1910- ), John Pinckney Collins (1913-2001), and Thelma (Collins) Morgan (1918-2011). For a decade or so, he lived at 32673 Oak Hill Lane, Gravois Mills, Missouri. In 1994, he lived at 5107 Santa Rosa Court, Cape Coral, Florida.
He registered for the WW II draft 16 February 1942 and described himself as 6’, 160 lbs, with blond hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF at Camp Croft, South Carolina, on 25 August 1942. He was trained in the maintenance and operation of the radio equipment on the B-29 Superfortress and earned his crewman wings. On 11 November 1944, a B-29, # 42-6237, assigned to 20th Air Force, Kankulia, 40th Bomb Group, 25th Bomb Squadron, departed Pengshan, China, on a bombing mission to Nanking, China. At 0206 Zulu, the B-29 reported the # 4 engine was on fire when still over the target. After parachuting, he evaded capture and with the aid of Chinese guerillas, made the trek back to his base. He was repatriated and returned to the U.S. Transferred to 128 USAAF Base Unit, Greenville Air Base, SC (11 Jun ’45).