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. The crew were:
Pilot Capt. Judson C. Forbes 0-434094
Co-Pilot 2ndLt Robert D. Mathis 0-826245
Navigator 2ndLt Albert N. Allen 0-809736
Bombardier 2ndLt Bill Bryant 0-811543
Engineer 2ndLt William G. Patterson 0-864004
Radio Cpl Harold Rhode 13080605
Senior Gunner Sgt Frank W. Reed 17145354
Right Gunner Sgt Robert C. Sloan 17127775
Left Gunner Sgt Richard F. Madje 13567257
Tail Gunner Sgt Edward W. Stube 16141354
Radar Sgt Robert E. King 3301909
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. There was no evidence of sabotage.
Capt. Forbes father, Rev. William H. Forbes, wrote the chaplain requesting information. Letters were forwarded to the address of 512 N. Taylor St, Amarillo, TX. Some were returned. A condolence letter, returned, had been mailed to Mrs. Fern S. Forbes, the wife of Capt. Forbes at 601 W. Pierce St, Amarillo, TX. The correct address was 601 N. Pierce St, Amarillo, TX.