PICKETT, ERNEST ARMOND, First Lieutenant, # 0-677559, USAAF

 

Ernest A. Pickett was born on 16 October 1918 in Cow Creek, Douglas Co., Oregon, to James William Pickett (1892-1961) (OR) and Bernice (Morrison) Pickett (1896-1964) (OK). Siblings included James Eugene Pickett (1916-    ) (OR), Robert “Bobbie” Pickett (1922-    ), Lloyd Pickett (1925-    ). In 1920 his father was a steam engineer for a saw mill. Living with them in 1930 was a first cousin, Gerald Pickett (1922-    ). He was married to Rowena Faye (Gedney) Pickett (1923-2015) in 1943.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Portland, Oregon, on 14 April 1922. He completed basic and advanced flight school and was assigned to the B-29 Superfortress. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to 20th Air Force in India then to an advance airfield in China.  On 20 August 944, a B-29, # 42-6408, “Reddy Teddy,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 792nd Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pengshan, China, on a bombing mission of Imperial steel works at Yawata, Japan, and upon dropping their bombs, at 1645 hours at 26,000 feet, was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire and was lost. Most of the crew survived. B-29 42-608 was seen to received direct hits from enemy anti-aircraft fire over the target and went into a dive. Parachutes were seen. 2ndLt Roberts suffered traumatic amputation of right leg. Kennard and Roberts were dragged through the streets by civilians and beaten. He died in a Japanese hospital. 1stLt Pickett suffered severe burns and was grossly mistreated by the Japanese. Lt. Rewitz suffered burns. SSgt Bishop heard Japanese interrogators questioning SSgt Kazarian. Subsequently discovered that Lt. Pickett, Lt. Rewitz, Lt. Humphrey, F/O Kennard, SSgt Armstrong and SSgt Kazarian were imprisoned in the POW camp in Japan. After liberation as a POW, he received medical care and was separated from the service on 21 August 1946. He died 7 September 1999 in Eugene, Linn Co., Oregon, and is buried in the Gilliland Cemetery, Sweet Home, Oregon.

REWITZ, WILLIAM ROBERT, First Lieutenant, # 0-751195, USAAF

 

William R. Rewitz was born on 25 May 1921 in Irma, Alberta, Canada, to Henry Rewitz (1896-1950) and Glenna Mae (Lybarger) Rewitz (1904-1936) (married in 1920, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). He had two sisters, Isabelle Mae (Rewitz) Van Lieu (1923-1989) (Canada) and Beatrice June (Rewitz) Stephens (1927-1998) (Canada). In 1940 he was living with an uncle, Buryl B. Lybarger (1911-1968) (OH) and his family. He was married to Anna Rose (Balistirri) Goodman nee Rewitz (1920-    ), whom in 1943 lived at 21 E Reed St, San Jose, California, and they were married in Cochise, Arizona, on 17 July 1943.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF on 12 October 1940 in Fort Lawton, Seattle, Washington. He completed basic and advanced flight school and was assigned to the B-29 Superfortress. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to 20th Air Force in India then to an advance airfield in China.  On 20 August 944, a B-29, # 42-6408, “Reddy Teddy,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 792nd Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pengshan, China, on a bombing mission of Imperial steel works at Yawata, Japan, and upon dropping their bombs, at 1645 hours at 26,000 feet, was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire and was lost. Most of the crew survived. B-29 42-608 was seen to receive direct hits from enemy anti-aircraft fire over the target and went into a dive. Parachutes were seen. 1stLt Pickett suffered severe burns and was grossly mistreated by the Japanese. Lt. Rewitz suffered burns. After liberation as a POW from the Omori POW Camp (Ofuno), Tokyo, Japan, he received medical care and was separated from the service. He died 12 November 1965 and is bured the Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, California (Sec. 2C, Grave 1023).