42-6359

 

On 7 December 1944, B-29 Superfortress # 42-6359, “Vixen,” assigned to 20th Air Force at Piardoba, India, 462nd Bomb Group, 770th Bomb Squadron (Very Heavy), departed its forward airfield at Kuinglai, China, on a mission to bomb the aircraft construction and iron works at Mukden, Manchuria (China). Weather conditions were bad and visibility poor, requiring IFR flight rules throughout the mission. At about 0422 hours Zulu, it was last seen near Sianfu, China, low on fuel at last contact. Its crew were:

 

                                               Pilot                             Capt. Gilbert E. Johnson                      0-725307

                                               Co-Pilot                       2Lt Eldon J. Campbell                         0-808850

                                               Navigator                    1Lt Alton J. Laumann                           0-11011209

                                               Bombardier                  2Lt Franklin C. Sherman                     0-673820

                                               Flight Engineer            2Lt Smith L. Williams Jr.                    0-557347

                                               Radio Operator            Sgt John F. Jones                                 12170327

                                               Radar Observer           2Lt Leonard Lichard                            0-863015

                                              Command Gunner       Sgt George F. Corton                           15130428

                                              Right Waist Gunner     Sgt George M. Peacock                       16086732

                                              Left Waist Gunner       Sgt Roland C. Diorio                           32624821

                                              Tail Gunner                 Cpl Robert L. Ziegler                          16155741

 

The witness who last saw 42-6359: Capt. Harold R. Ebbeler, 0-367116. He reported that his B-29 and 42-6359 was in the same element on the mission. He heard Capt. Johnson call the lead aircraft and state he was going to have to land at an airfield enroute and refuel. 42-359 stayed in formation as it entered overcast. The aircraft lost visual contact with one another and had to fly IFR. It was in the area of the Tsinglung Range and the Wie Ho River. There was no further contact with 42-6359.

 Next-of-kin were listed as:

                               Capt Johnson 0-725307          Mrs Hilda E Johnson, W, 901 Brundage Lane, Bakersfield, CA

                               2Lt Williams Jr. 0-557347        Mrs Annebelle Williams, W, 1264 So. Hicks, Los Angeles, CA

                               2Lt Campbell 0-808950           Mr Monroe Campbell, F, Hunter, OK

                               1Lt Laumann 0-101909           Mr Joseph Laumann Jr., F, Cologne, Minn.

                               2Lt Lichard 0-763015              Mrs Elsie Lichard, M, 854 No. Christiana Ave, Chicago, IL

                               2Lt Sherman 0-673820             Mrs Iris A Sherman, W, 410 Congress St., Denton, TX

                               Sgt Diorio 32624821               Mrs Eliza Diorio, M, 2114 Glebe St., Bronx, NY

                               Sgt Peacock 16806732             Mrs Frances A. Peacock, M, 1516 Gull St., North Kalamazoo, Mich.

                               Sgt Jones 12170327                 Mr. Ellsworth Jones, F, 17 Elm St., Glena Falls, NY

                               Sgt Corton 15130428              Mr. Frank S. Corton, F, 10200 Edgepark Drv, Garfield Heights, OH

                               Cpl Ziegler 16155741              Mrs. Hazel Huhrt, M, 2664 S. Burrell St., Milwaukee, Wisc.