The B-29 was totally demolished and incendiary bombs exploded. The tail section was found ½ mile away. The remainder of the wreckage was in a small area. Nine bodies were recovered burned beyond recognition. Nothing could be found of the two other crewmen. Major Merrill F. Patrick, Operations Officer, 678th Bomb Squadron, speculated that the B-29 spun in from about 11,000 feet, the reason was unknown. The pilot had reported icing and mechanical problems may have distracted the pilot from IFR flight. The tail section separated in the tight spin. Six Chinese, three cows and one pig were killed on the ground. The highest elevation in the vicinity was less than 4,000 feet. The elevation at the crash scene was 2,500 feet, measured by an L-5 Sentinel. After recovery of unidentifiable remains in China and retrieval from burial in Hawaii, there was a two-casket group burial of the remains of the crew in the Keokuk National Cemetery, Keokuk, Lee Co., Iowa, on 16 August 1949 (Sec. D, Graves 81-82).

PATTERSON, WILLIAM G., Second Lieutenant, # 0-864004, USAAF

 

It would be appreciated if familial information could be provided. After enlisting, William G. Patterson began flight training. He was selected to be trained for the important assignment of flight engineer on the B-29 Superfortress. To do so meant an exhausting amount of study of the electrical and mechanical parts of the B-29, then the allies preeminent bomber. In flight, the engineer monitors an array of dials and sensors and is ready to adjust when needed fuel flow, oil flow, fire control and other vital tasks. He earned his commission and wings. . On 27 December 1944, a B-29, # 42-6343, assigned to 20th Air Force, 444th Bomb Group, 678th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Dudhkundi, India, on a ferrying mission to Kwaghan, China. The B-29 was lost at about 0315 Zulu. Over Kwanghan at 13,000 feet altitude, 42-6343 was cleared to decend and to report its position every 2,000 feet. At 0310 Zulu, 42-6343 reported southeast of the airfield at 11,000 feet. The tower received no further contact. Chinese troops reported a crash about 25 miles northeast of the airfield. Air searches did not find it. A foot search early on 28 December 1944 located the crash at about the same position as the Chinese report. Chinese witnesses said the B-29 was spinning. It crashed in a small Chinese compound at the foot of a steep cliff. The B-29 was totally demolished and incendiary bombs exploded. The tail section was found ½ mile away. The remainder of the wreckage was in a small area. Nine bodies were recovered burned beyond recognition. Nothing could be found of the two other crewmen. Major Merrill F. Patrick, Operations Officer, 678th Bomb Squadron, speculated that the B-29 spun in from about 11,000 feet, the reason was unknown. The pilot had reported icing and mechanical problems may have distracted the pilot from IFR flight. The tail section separated in the tight spin. Six Chinese, three cows and one pig were killed on the ground. The highest elevation in the vicinity was less than 4,000 feet. The elevation at the crash scene was 2,500 feet, measured by an L-5 Sentinel. After recovery of unidentifiable remains in China and retrieval from burial in Hawaii, there was a two-casket group burial of the remains of the crew in the Keokuk National Cemetery, Keokuk, Lee Co., Iowa, on 16 August 1949 (Sec. D, Graves 81-82).

RHODE, CHARLES HAROLD, Corporal, # 13080605, USAAF

 

Harold Rhode was born on 20 June 1916 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Julius Rhode (1882-1948) (some data reflects birth of 1873 but naturalization papers are affidavits – deemed accurate ) (born in Linkitz, Kovna Guberniia, Lithuania (Russia) – emigrated 20 November 1900 - naturalized) and Sarah Gitel (Hillman) Rhode (1895-1952) (born in MD). A brother was Albert Rhode (1917-1963) and a sister was Sylvia Hilda (Rhode) Dubin (1920-1988). In 1920-1930 his father owned a factory making trunks. Sylvia Rhode attended West Philadelphia High School and graduated in 1937. Her ambition was, “to have my cake and eat it too.” Sarah Rhode owned Rhode’s Dress and Fur Shop, Atlantic City. His name is shown on his father’s naturalization documents.