ADAMS, GRANVILLE LUCIOUS, JR., Staff Sergeant, # 33522614, USAAF

 

Granville L. Adams Jr. was born on 16 March 1923 in Messick, York Co., Virginia to Granville Adams (1900-1967) and Mary Virginia (Evans) Adams (1903-1943) (married 1920). Siblings included Katherine Jeanette (Adams) Keithley (1921-1997), Marjorie Virginia (Adams) Smith (1925-1987), Mary Anne (Adams) Hayter (1929-1962) and Edward Evans Adams (1934-2006).

 

When he registered for the WW II draft in 1942, he worked for the N.N. Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., and described himself as 5’7”, 155 lbs, with black hair and hazel eyes. After enlistment, he was trained in the maintenance and operation of the .50 caliber machineguns on the B-29 Superfortress. He served as right waist gunner on his last day. On 20 August 1944, a B-29, # 42-6264, “O’Reilly’s Daughter,” of 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 792nd Bomb Squadron, Khargpur AAF, departed Pengshan, China, on a combat mission to bomb the steel works at Yawata, Japan. Last believed to be near the coast of China at 1930 hours. Likely lost due to mechanical difficulty with # 2 and # 3 engines. Lt.Col. Savoie was 792nd Bomb Squadron Commander. The B-29 crashed in the vicinity of Hu-To-Chen, Kiangao Province, China. Just after leaving the target, the # 2 engine began leaking oil and 50 miles from the coast of China, the # 2 engine ran away and could not be feathered. A fire came out of # 2engine and reached to the tail position was extinguished. The B-29 lost altitude to 12,000 feet and the # 2 propellar went out of control again. The bail out order was given. Everyone in the tail bailed out; no one saw the tail gunner bail out but, it is assumed he did. Up front, the bombardier, Capt. Wedel, the radar operator, TSgt Beckham, bailed out, but the remaining six crewmen stayed to try for land. Just after reaching land, the # 3 engine ran away but was feathered. Fire began in # 2 again, which made it necessary to abandon the aircraft. The remaining crew bailed out at about 7,000 feet. The B-29 crashed about 150 miles North of Shanghai, China, and about 40 miles West of the coast of China. SSgt Adams is remembered on the memorial at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines. His family placed a memorial marker in the Weston Cemetery, Poquoson, Virginia. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

HEFFERNAN, ROLLIN BERNARD, Technical Sergeant, # 6999780, USAAF

 

Rollin B. Heffernan was born on 11 November 1920 in Sugar Creek, Venango Co., Pennsylvania to Dennis Kane Heffernan (1887-1943) and Pearl Minnie (Fuller) Heffernan (1886-1959). Siblings included Murray Dennis Heffernan (1912-1980), Thelma Pearl (Heffernan) Crawford (1915-2001), Madeline May (Heffernan) Long nee Dengler (1923-2011), Gayle M. (Heffernan) Hill (1924-2009), and Kenneth Merle Heffernan (1932-2015). In 1930, his father worked as an electrician at a foundry – the United Engineering Foudry, Vandergrift, PA.

 

The 1940 census for Sausalito, Marin County, California shows him as a Private at the Fort McDowell USAAF base. After enlistment, he was trained in the maintenance and operation of the .50 caliber machineguns on the B-29 Superfortress. He served as the tail gunner on his last day. On 20 August 1944, a B-29, # 42-6264, “O’Reilly’s Daughter,” of 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 792nd Bomb Squadron, Khargpur AAF, departed Pengshan, China, on a combat mission to bomb the steel works at Yawata, Japan. Last believed to be near the coast of China at 1930 hours. Likely lost due to mechanical difficulty with # 2 and # 3 engines. Lt.Col. Savoie was 792nd Bomb Squadron Commander. The B-29 crashed in the vicinity of Hu-To-Chen, Kiangao Province, China.