MOORHEAD, JOSEPH A., JR., Staff Sergeant, # 35561375, USAAF
Joseph A. Moorhead, Jr., was born in 1921 in Illinois to Joseph A. Moorhead (1900-1979) and Flora Etta Ann (Bohen) Moorhead (1901-1990). A sister was Alberta Ann Moorhead (1920-1995)
He enlisted in the USAAF in Indianapolis, Indiana, on 7 October 1942. He was trained in the maintenance and operation of the .50 caliber machineguns on the B-29 Superfortress. He was sent overseas to 20th Air Force, India, then to an advance airfield in China. On 7 December 1944, B-29, # 42-6390, “Gallopin’ Goose,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 794th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pengshan, China, on a bombing mission of the enemy iron works at Mukden, Manchria. Capt. Parrish was the pilot in command. 1stLt Roseland was the navigator. SSgt. MacIsaac was the senior gunner. SSgt. Moorhead was the left waist gunner. It was last seen at 0210 Zulu over the target. Enemy fighter collided with B-29, 42-6390, over the target. SSgt. William Wooten, a gunner in another B-29, reported: The enemy fighter came at them and Wooten fired at it at about 400 yards. The fighter’s right engine started smoking and burning. Wooten saw the canopy fly off. It started down then pulled up and slipped under B-29 # 42-6390 and hit the left horizontal and vertical stabilizer and the parts broke away. Wooten saw one parachute come out of 42-6390 before it crashed. Japanese pilot Sergeant Shinobu Ikeda reported intentionally ramming 42-6390. He was able to bail out and survived. TSgt Arnold G. Pope managed to bail out and was the sole survivor. He saw the B-29 crash and saw no other parachutes. A typed report stated “Mukden aircraft factory receives another barrage from B-29s, who made a daylight attack on 7 Dec 1944. Superfortresses met their greatest aerial opposition on this mission, destroyed 26 Jap fighters, probably destroyed 13 more and damaged 24. Mukden was previously hit by the 20th Air Force on 28 July 1944. Due to indistinguishable remains recovered in China, a group burial was completed in the Rock Island National Cemetery, Rock Island, Illinois, on 25 August 1950, (9 sets of remains – 9 caskets – Barbour, Clarke, Collins, Lopez, MacIsaac, Moorhead, Roseland, Turner & Walters) using nine graves (Sec. D, Graves 264, 265, 266, 298, 299, 300, 332, 333, 334 with marker placed on 265).