WESTBROOK, PAUL LYNN, Second Lieutenant, # 0-746775, USAAF
Paul L. Westbrook was born on 27 January 1915 in Tampa, Florida, to Luther Washington Westbrook (1886-1967) and Winnie Davis Warren (Whitehurst) Westbrook (1892- ). Siblings included Marvin Warren Westbrook (1909-1970) and Louise (Westbrook) Ritter (1922-2007). Louise passed away 24 February 2007 and is buried in the Mission Burial Park North, San Antonio, Texas.
In 1943 his mother lived at 601 ½ Mildred St., Montgomery, Montgomery Co., Alabama, survived by three children and grandchildren. He attended Alabama Polyrechnic Institute, Auburn, Alabama, and graduated in 1938.
He registered for the WW II draft 16 October 1940 while working for the U.S. Border Patrol and described himself as 5’11”, 182 lbs, with black hair and brown eyes. After he enlisted, he was selected as an aviation cadet and then further selected to be trained as a navigator for the newest USAAF very heavy bomber, the B-29 Superfortress. He earned his commission and wings. 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. After recovery from China, his remains were buried in the Montgomery Memorial Cemetery, Montgomery, Alabama, in 1948.