He enlisted in the USAAF in Camden, New Jersey, on 3 September 1941. He completed flight school and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was selected for advance instruction to pilot the B-29 Superfortress. He and his crew departed for assignment to 20th Air Force in India on 10 April 1944 and to the advance airfield in China 19 April 1944. In addition to flying “the Hump,” the 468th Bomb Group B-29 aircraft bombed the enemy in Bangkok, (Siam) Thailand 5 June 1944, mined enemy shipping lanes near Saigon (French Indochina – Annam), Vietnam, and bombed enemy targets in Burma, Siam, Annam, Shanghai, China, Formosa (Taiwan) and Japan. The 468th Bomb Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its bombing raid on 11 August 1944 of the iron/steel works, Yawata, Japan. B-29 # 42-6362 flew 27 bombing missions before her last on 21 November 1944. B-29, 42-6362, made a heavy-weight take-off at night without landing lights. Airborne, it climbed to about 200 feet, and slowly descended until almost out of sight from the ATC tower. It then made a sudden climbing turn to the left, climed to about 300 feet, then made a diving turn into the ground. It burst into flames when it crashed. The tail gunner was able to escape through his hatch and suffered third degree burns on his scalp and hands. All others were killed. Investigation revealed the B-29 had flown into four trees which were about 35 feet high. His remains were buried in the National Memorial of the Pacific in Hawaii, on 27 February 1949 (Sec. O, Grave 123). He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

Harry Maisch; H.S.

WHITELEY, OSBURN EARL, First Lieutenant, # 0-738523, USAAF

 

Osburn E. Whiteley was born on 14 July 1916 in Idaho to Joseph Earl Whiteley (1882-1965) and Amanda (Stevenson) Whiteley (1885-1971) (married 15 December 1909 in Utah). Siblings included Blanche (Whiteley) Sheffield (1918-2006), Mary (Whiteley) Salisbury (1923-2010), Winslow Beck Whiteley (1910-1995), Joyce (Whiteley) Jacobsen (1931-2011), Helen Amanda (Whiteley) Taylor (1912-2005), John M. Whiteley (1925-2012), Alicebeth (Whiteley) Ashby (1914-2004).

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 16 October 1940 in Oakley, Cassia Co., Idaho, and described himself as 6’, 165 lbs, with black hair and brown eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF as an aviation cadet at Gowan Field, Idaho, on 25 March 1942. He completed flight school and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was selected for advance instruction to pilot the B-29 Superfortress. He and his crew departed for assignment to 20th Air Force in India on 10 April 1944 and to the advance airfield in China 19 April 1944. In addition to flying “the Hump,” the 468th Bomb Group B-29 aircraft bombed the enemy in Bangkok, (Siam) Thailand 5 June 1944, mined enemy shipping lanes near Saigon (French Indochina – Annam), Vietnam, and bombed enemy targets in Burma, Siam, Annam, Shanghai, China, Formosa (Taiwan) and Japan. The 468th Bomb Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its bombing raid on 11 August 1944 of the iron/steel works, Yawata, Japan. The 468th Bomb Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its bombing raid on 11 August 1944 of the iron/steel works, Yawata, Japan.