FITZPATRICK, JOHN THOMAS, Technical Sergeant, # 6916890, USAAF
John T. Fitzpatrick was born on 17 March 1919 in Davenport, Scott Co., Iowa, to Thomas Bernard Fitzpatrick (1889-1967) (IA) and Mary A. (Weidinger) Fitzpatrick (1892-1978). Siblings were Thomas Henry Fitzpatrick (1917-1918), Kathleen Ellen (Fitzpatrick) Murphy (1921-2000), Mary Louise Fitzpatrick (1927- ). The 1940 census shows him serving as a Private, U.S. Army, assigned to 17th Air Force Headquarters Squadron, Ewa, Honolulu, Hawaii.
After enlisting, he trained in the maintenance and operation of the .50 caliber aerial machineguns on th B-29 Superfortress. On 20 August 1944, a B-29, # 42-6334, “Gertrude C,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 794th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pengshan, China, on a bombing mission of Yawata, Japan. It was rammed by a Japanese fighter over Yawata and exploded in mid-air. Lt.Col. Clinkscales was leading a four-ship formation when his B-29 was rammed by an enemy fighter over the target at Yawata, Kyushu, Japan, and the B-29 disintegrated in the air. Lt.Col. Humphrey, flying 42-6279 in the # 3 position, said the fighter climbed into the B-29 and impacted so that the fighter’s right wing stayed embedded in 42-6334. The remainder of the fighter catapulted in flames over Lt.Col. Humphrey’s right wing. 42-6334 burst into flames and disintegrated. The unidentifiable remains of crew members were buried in a single-casket group ceremony at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri (Baker, Castleberry, Clinkscales, Fitzpatrick, Himadi, McHenry, and Richardson) (24 September 1949 – Plot 79, Grave 508).