On 29 July 1944, a B-29, # 42-6274, “Lady Hamilton II,” of the 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 795th Bomb Squadron, departed Pengshan, China, on a combat mission to bomb the enemy steel works at Anshan, Manchuria. The B-29 was last seen and contacted by radio at about 0225 Zulu near Chiensien, China. Enemy fighters fired on it and it had mechanical trouble. The crew were:
Pilot Capt. Robert T. Mills 0-1699063 KIA
Co-Pilot 1stLt Einar A. Moe 0-682890
Navigator 2ndLt Rodney M. Scandrett 0-810354
Bombardier 2ndLt Edward W. Peterson Jr. 0-739205
Radio-Gunner SSgt Joe Goodfriend 14136532
Radar Sgt Richard F. Wehrle 36427681 KIA
Senior Gunner SSgt F. S. Walker 36576724 KIA
Right Gunner SSgt Theodore W. Lehman 32172262
Left Gunner SSgt Jay W. Moyer 33332663
Tail Gunner Sgt Benjamin C. Ridgway 38273091
Flight Engineer 2ndLt Walter E. Rollins 0-550849
The last to have contact by radio were SSgt Whorton, SSgt M.R. Joyce, Sgt W. Glibbon, MSgt G.P. Arnell, and SSgt D. Shoaf.
1stLt Moe reported that the crew he specified (Scandrett, Rollins, Goodfriend, Moyer, Lehman, and Ridgway) returned to base in China on 12 August 1944 after bailing out on 29 July 1944, near Chenchien, China. Capt. Mills’ parachute opened. He may have been injured bailing out and it is possible he is being hidden. It is unknown whether he was killed. The senior gunner, SSgt Walker, was still in the B-29 when it crashed. He was off the interphone and did not communicate with others. Sgt Wherle was prepared to jump and had time. He likely bailed out over the railroad tracks near Chenchien and may have been captured. The B-29 was seen to crash. The B-29 had developed engine trouble 3 ½ hours out and # 2 had to be feathered. Fighter attacks ruined the oil system, caused damage to the central fire control system, two propellars were shot off, and three turrets were inoperative. They were informed at a temple, by the Chinese, that 3 crewmen, Capt. Mills, Sgt Walker and Sgt Wherle, were dead but they received conflicting reports.
2ndLt Peterson reported that they took off at Cheng Tu and the crash occurred about 1000. On the bombing mission, they were attacked by enemy fighters and hit by anti-aircraft fire at about 20,000 feet. An elevator was lost and three engines were damaged. The bail out order was made at about 15,000 feet. They were forced to bail out. The front compartment crew had to wait to jump because the landing gear woul not go down. Whe it did, they bailed out at about 3,000-5,000 feet. Sgt Walker was last seen near the right & left gunners as they jumped. He was not seen again. Sgt Wherle was last seen going to his escape hatch. No one saw him again.