Just before they hit the water, he put the turbos full-on to pull over trees ahead. A power approach was made until a seond or so before impact. He planned to make initial contact with bull rushes at lake edge so this might cushion the impact and prevent bounce. There was no bounce or jerk upon impact but the B-29 slowed rapidly but not forceful enough to pull anyone from their seats. No one was injured during the 1005 Zulu crash. After the B-29 stopped, they exited immediately. The front lower turret had given way and the front compartment was sinking rapidly. There were heavy gas fumes. They pried open the life raft doors and inflated both rafts. Waller and the navigator wet o shore and left the engineer and radio operator to guard the B-29, which was slowly sinking. Ashore, Waller was met by natives who provided tea and food. A student named Mihr Lalsahah spoke English. He said they were at Khama and he would arrange boat transportation to the nearest raildroad. Waller, Sgt. Carter, Lt. Russell and Lt. Tuttle walked with Lalsahah to Matkhola, about 20 minutes from Khama. Lalsahah arranged for a boat to take them to the railroad at Karoid, which would cost 10 rupees. He offered Lalsahah money but was refused. Lalsahah said he was delighted to be of service to American airmen who were helping India. Lalsahah made arrangements for the Pakundia police to guard the B-29 until someone returned to destroy it.

 

They arrived at Karoid and the railroad 4 hours later and went to Kurmitola. He informed 20th AF Bomber Command of the accident details. He was told to await instructions. The next day at 1100 hours Major Burns arrived in a B-25 Mitchell bomber and decided to bomb the ditched B-29. Two bombing runs were made, dropping 8 500-pound bombs, with unsatisfactory results. Arrangements were made for the Kurmitola airfield Service Group to send a salvage crew to destroy the B-29. Waller and the B-25 crew returned to the airfield at Piardoba.

 

2ndLt David E. White reported that he bailed out and saw four other parachutes while descending. They went into the overcast and he lost track of them. He descended below the overcast several hundred feet from ground level and he saw the entire area was covered with water. He loosened his paracute harness and had unstrapped one leg and was unstrapping the other when he hit the water. He had no diffilculty getting free of the parachute. He undid the jungle kit and it floated to the surface. There was a boat about a hundred yards away and he called for help. They ignored him (or did not hear him) so he put the jungle kit under himself and began swimming. No other crewmen landed near him. He swam about 200 yards to a bamboo pole sticking up in the water and hung on to it. He pulled himself up and saw more boats. When he called for help, they rowed to him. He could see a parachute some distance away and he used gestures to get the natives to row to it. They pulled the parachute from the water but no one was in the harness. They searched for quite a while and saw another parachute. Before they got there, another boat’s natives pulled a man from the water. They rowed to a small island, about 100 by 40 feet in size and which had five native huts. The natives were extremely tall with mongoloid features and wore chin whiskers. They were very friendly and gave him leaf cigarettes. Two hours later, a boat brought Lt. Hammond and Sgt. Huisjen. White opened his jungle kit and found a compass filled with water and useless. The second compass worked after being drained. He gestured to take them west. The natives did not understand. A native from a nearby island arrived who spoke a few words of English. White pointed toward the west and made train noises. He shook his head and said, “No.” He repeated “police station.” The three airmen got in this native’s boat and about 2 ½ to 3 hours later, they arrived at a larger island and the village of Tahirpur. Territorial police took them to their headquarters.