He graduated from the log range navigators’ school, Coral Gables, Florida, in 1940 and first assigned to Air Transport Command, Fort Dodge, Utah. He served as the navigator for General Hap Arnold flying from Australia to Washington, D.C., in 1942 and served as navigator for the transport flights ferrying Eleanor Roosevelt on her American Red Cross benefit tour. He completed advanced navigator training for the B-29 Superfortress and was sent overseas to 20th Air Force. On 4 November 1944, a B-29, # 42-6370, “Lethal Lady,” assigned to 20th Air Force, the 468th Bomb Group, 793rd Bomb Squadron, one of fifty-three B-29s, departed the airfield at Khargpur, India, on a bombing mission to Singapore Naval Base. 1stLt Eigler was the co-pilot. The B-29 was returning to its base when it crashed into the Bay of Bengal (MACR 9577). The pilot of B-29, # 42-6582, of the 40th Bomb Group, saw the crash. SSgt Albert G. Seekatz, 37494507, had the last radio contact. Searches for the wreckage and any survivors were conducted by four aircraft and one Catalina aircraft, sweep searching the area of the crash. No crewmen were found. Airmen in B-29, 42-6582, 40th Bomb Group, at 2030 Zulu, saw a B-29 explode and crash into the Bay of Bengal at 11º 17’ N - 94º 14’ E, near the Andaman Islands. On this B-29s return trip from the mission, saw red and green flares. SSgt Seekatz, radio operator aboard B-29 42-6397, received an “Urgent” call from 42- 6370 at 2030 Zulu but no following message was sent. Another B-29 crew, returning from the same mission, saw a yellow life raft with either a mast or a man standing slightly north of the noted bearing. The entire Bomber Command (20th AF) and units of the British Navy conducted a thorough search of the area for several hundred miles around the wreckage location. The search lasted several days. Nothing was found. He is remembered on the memorial wall in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. The family placed a memorial marker in the Summerville Cemetery, Summerville, Union Co., Oregon. He was awarded the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart.

JOHNSON, HARVE N., Major, # 0-402914, USAAF

 

Harve M. Johnson was born on 12 September 1915 in Hughes Co., Oklahoma, to John Monroe Johnson (1883-1973) and Nancy Elizabeth (Carrell) Johnson (1887-1972). Siblings included Elsie Carra Johnson (1906-1995), Charlotte Ann Johnson (1907-2003), Everett Newton Johnson (1909-1990), Andrew N. Johnson (1910-1983), Iva Pauline (Johnson) Muir (1912-1990), Roy Monroe Johnson (1916-1990), Ray Jefferson Johnson (1920-1994), and John Franklin Johnson (1924-2005). He attended Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma. There he played football and excelled as a student. He married Betty Mae (Crabb) Johnson (1919-1998) on 9 April 1941 in Cleveland, Oklahoma.

 

After enlisting, he was selected to train as a bombardier on the B-29 Superfortress. He earned his commission and wings. On 4 November 1944, a B-29, # 42-6370, “Lethal Lady,” assigned to 20th Air Force, the 468th Bomb Group, 793rd Bomb Squadron, one of fifty-three B-29s, departed the airfield at Khargpur, India, on a bombing mission to Singapore Naval Base. 1stLt Eigler was the co-pilot. The B-29 was returning to its base when it crashed into the Bay of Bengal (MACR 9577).