He registered for the WW II draft on 30 June 1942 and described himself as 5’7”, 125 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. After enlisting, he was trained in the maintenance and operation of the radio equipment on the B-29 Superfortress. He and his crew departed for China in August 1944. On 7 December 1944, B-29, # 42-6299, “Humpin’ Honey,” of 20th Air Force, Pardoba India, 462nd Bomb Group, 770th Bomb Squadro, departed the airfield at Kuinglai, China, on a bombing mission to Mukden, Manchuria. Over the target, at 0122 Zulu, an enemy aircraft crashed head-long into the B-29, killing all but two of the crew on board (MACR 10125). SSgt Beckwith reported that the first unusual condition that was noticed in the B-29 was the disappearance of about 20 feet of the left wing. The B-29 seemed to fly straight and level for a while then started to spin to the left. SSgt Huss, Sgt Ruddy and Beckwith prepared to leave the gunners compartment to bail out. During this, Beckwith called on the interphone to the pilot to inform him of the damage to the left wing. There was no acknowledgment or answer. After the spin began, the alarm bell started to ring. Before he was able to completely fasten his parachute, he passed out from lack of oxygen. Before, he passed out, Sgt Ruddy entered the radar compartment. When Beckwith regained consciousness, he was out of the B-29 in a free fall at about 4,000 feet altitude. Only his arms were through the parachute straps, not his legs. He did not believe he had time to fasten the chest and leg straps so he pulled the rip cord and stayed with the parachute. After the parachute opened, he noticed that parts of the B-29 falling around him. He believes he saw the tail section hit the ground. They landed near a Japanese guard house, so did not have any chance to practice escape and evasion. He is remembered on the memorial wall at the Manila American Memorial Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. The family placed a grave and marker in the Dawson Cemetery, Dawson, New Mexico. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

ROTH, HERBERT H., Sergeant, # 15353855, USAAF

 

Herbert H. Roth was born on 28 October 1923 in Toledo, Lucas Co., Ohio, to Ferdinand Roth (1881-1955) (Trencsen, Hungary) and Hilda Y. (Herzog) Roth (1897-1999) (Czechoslovakia). Siblings included Mildred Blanche (Roth) Blackstone (1921-1980), Barbara E. (Roth) Treuhaft (1931-    ), Felix Roth (1935-    ), Judith “Judy” Renee Roth (1938-1988). In 1940, his paternal grandmother, Lina Roth (1859-1955), lived with them. He was a graduate of Thomas A. Devilbiss High School. In 1946, his parents, 1911 Potomac Drive, Toledo, OH, recorded him as a missing Jewish serviceman.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF at Camp Perry, Lacarne, Ohio, on 23 November 1942. He trained in the maintenance and operation of the radar equipment on the B-29 Superfortress and earned his crewman wings. He and his crew departed for China in August 1944. On 7 December 1944, B-29, # 42-6299, “Humpin’ Honey,” of 20th Air Force, Pardoba India, 462nd Bomb Group, 770th Bomb Squadro, departed the airfield at Kuinglai, China, on a bombing mission to Mukden, Manchuria. Over the target, at 0122 Zulu, an enemy aircraft crashed head-long into the B-29, killing all but two of the crew on board (MACR 10125). SSgt Beckwith reported that the first unusual condition that was noticed in the B-29 was the disappearance of about 20 feet of the left wing. The B-29 seemed to fly straight and level for a while then started to spin to the left. SSgt Huss, Sgt Ruddy and Beckwith prepared to leave the gunners compartment to bail out.