42-6370

 

On 4 November 1944, a B-29, # 42-6370, “Lethal Lady,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 793rd Bomb Squadron, one of fifty-three B-29s (two were lost), departed the airfield at Khargpur, India, on a bombing mission to Singapore Naval Base. The B-29 was returning to its base when it crashed into the Bay of Bengal (MACR 9577). The crew were:

 

                                              Pilot                             Col. Ted S. Faulkner                0-21593

                                              Co-Pilot                       1stLt Maurice E. Eigler            0-805796

                                              Navigator                    Major Robert T. Arnoldus       0-412133

                                              Bombardier                  Major Harve M. Johnson         0-402914

                                              Radar                           1stLt Harry H. Peterson          0-862249

                                              Engineer                      F/O Edward J. Kennedy         T-192545

                                              Radio                           Sgt William Glibbon                36559274

                                              Senior Gunner             Sgt Ward Miller                       11079089

                                              Left Gunner                 SSgt Buster Westbrook                        38293607

                                              Right Gunner               SSgt Hubert B. Gruber            18216279

                                             Tail Gunner                 SSgt Emerald T. Queen           34243386

                                              Passenger                     War Correspondent John J. Andrew

 

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.

 

An investigation report read:

 

Message # CRA 19440, 11 Nov. 1944, from Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces in India-Burma theater reported the crew missing in action about 75 mileseast of the Adaman Islands.

Message # CRA 19550, same addresser, noted war correspondent Andrew was not subject t the MIA Act as a civilian. An explosion in mid-air was observed about 75 miles east of the Adaman Islands by another B-29. Eight mintes, 2050 Zulu, later wreckage was seen in the water and a light about ¼ mile from the wreckage. Another B-29 saw a fire at sea at the same location at 2122 Zulu. Searches by B-29s and Catalinas from 6 Nov. through 11 Nov. 1944, as well as allied submarines in the area, found no evidence of life near or on the objects in the water. Observations were made from 1,000 feet altitude.