STAUFFER, ORNELL JAMES, Captain, # 0-428386, USAAF

 

Ornell J. Stauffer was born on 24 January 1916 in Berne, Adams Co., Indiana, to David D. Stauffer (1891-1958) and Ida (Lehman) Stauffer (1892-1971). Siblings included Eveline V. Stauffer (1913-1914) and Betty Mae (Stauffer) Ingraham (1921-1996).

 

He enlisted in the USAAF as an aviation cadet at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, on 17 March 1941. He earned his commission and wings after flight school and was multi-engine aircraft rated. He went on to extensive flight training in the B-29 Superfortress. When his crew was assembled, they flew the B-29 to India and then to an advance airfield in China. From there they flew missions in China and over Japan. On 20 August 1944, a B-29, # 42-6368, “Calamity Sue,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 794th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pengshan, China, on a bombing mission of the iron and steel works at Yawata, Kyushu, Japan, from 26,000 feet altitude. It was last sighted over the target and had been struck by parts of an enemy fighter. B-29 42-6368 was flying in # 4 position of a four-ship diamond formation. Lead B-29, 42-6334, was struck head-on by an enemy fighter and exploded. A piece of the wreckage struck the tail (vertical stabilizer) of 42-6368, separating it. 42-6368 was last seen in a spin over the target (MACR 9685). TSgt Dansby wrote that there was a report of six parachutes from 42-6368. Dansby bailed out at about 3,000 feet. He believed that the others who were able to bail out included Newman (at about 14,000 feet) and Shott (at about 20,000 feet). Capt. Dexter C. Dean of the squadron informed reporter of this. Three were in the POW prison camp in Japan. Dansby was kept in solitary confinement for four months then was sent to the Tokyo Omari POW prison camp. Col. Carmichael Richard was brought to the POW prison later. When the war ended, there were about 150 B-29 crewmen who were in the Omari prison camp. Some remains recovered from bural in Yokohoma, Japan, were indistinguishable and were buried in a two-casket grave in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky (Sec. E, Graves 91-92). These included Karlovich, Keelan, Martin and Stauffer.

Capt. Stauffer and his dog

Capt. Stauffer and his crew