He was trained in the maintenance and operation of the .50 caliber machineguns on the B-29 Superfortress. He was assigned the tail gunner position on the day he died. 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). 1stLt Shott was captured and a POW of the Japanese from that date to 29 August 1945. He was separated from service in 1947 (active duty) and from the U.S.A.F. Reserves in 1955. 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, 23 August 1949 (Sec. E, Graves 91-92). These included Karlovich, Keelan, Martin and Stauffer. After recovery from Japan, his remains were buried in the New Saint Joseph’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, Bloomingdale, Pennsylvania.
His brother, Patrick L. Bonner, born 24 September 1917, served in the U.S. Army (Service # 0-828128 (Enlisted # 13124298) from 3 February 1943 to honorable discharge 22 October 1945 (at Greensboro, North Carolina) and was verseas between 26 October 1944 to 19 August 1945. He died 4 July 1995 and is buried in the All Saints Cemetery, Wilmington, New Castle Co., Delaware (Sec. 9, Row 31, Lot 10, Grave 1).
His brother, James F. Bonner, born 11 September 1918, served in the USAAF, Service # 13051905, from 12 January 1942 to honorable discharge, a Corporal, on 29 October 1945 at Gowen Field, Idaho. He was overseas from 26 February 1942 to 15 March 1944 and 19 May 1944 to 14 December 1944. He died 5 June 1997 and is buried in the New Saint Joseph’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, Bloomington, Carbon Co., Pennsylvania. He wa a member of theSummit Hill American Legion, the Summit Hill Fire Co., and Lansford American Veterans.
His brother, Thomas E. Bonner, born 26 March 1924, served I the U.S. Navy (Service # 9218510) from 3 July 1944 to honorable discharge a Seaman First Class on 25 February 1946 in Bainbridge, Maryland. He saw sea duty from 10 January 1945 to 19 November 1945. He graduated from Summit Hill High School in 1946. He retired from General Motors after 29 years employment. He died 11 Mach 2007 within two days of his wife, Marian E. (Betty) Bonner, and is buried in the Our Lady of Grace Cemetery, Langhorne, Pennsylvania.