Newsweek Journalist William T. Shenkel



During 15 to 16 June 1944, a 20th Air Force, 58th Bombardment Wing, 468th Bomb Group, 792nd Bomb Squadron, Kharagpur A.A.B., India, a B-29, # 42-6231, departed the airfield at Pengshan, China, and was lost. The crew was killed in action.


                                          Pilot                             Major Kenneth L. Akins                     0-392729

                                          Co-Pilot                       2ndLt Floyd E. Lund                           0-751167

                                          Flight Engineer            2ndLt Timothy J. Barrett                     0-860718

                                          Bombardier                  2ndLt Salvadore Munoz Jr.                  0-746737

                                          Navigator                    1stLt Paul R. Aeh                                0-687135

                                          Radio Oper-Gunner     Sgt Norvel G. Robertson                     18138011

                                          Senior Gunner             Sgt Homer B. Pack Jr.                          19084029

                                          Left Gunner                 Sgt Meil (NMI) Witcher                       34446672

                                          Right Gunner               Sgt Sidney (NMI) Gilman                    12194369

                                          Radar                           Sgt Arnold H. Mann                            12096479

                                          Tail Gunner                 SSgt William H. Sorenson                    13042828


The bomber on the Yawata, Japan, raid, crashed into a mountain about 100 miles north of the Pengshan, China. No bombs were found in the wreckage, thus it was returning from its mission when it crashed. The crash occurred at 1450 Zulu, 11 miles northeast of Kiangyu, China, on 15 June 1944. The bomber crashed into a sheer cliff and exploded. There were 19 aircraft in the attack on Yawata; 42-6231 was the 17th bomber to depart on the mission. Departure was normal. Between 1345 Zulu and 1415 Zulu, a series of position plots were received from an unidentified aircraft on the Chinese Warning Net. These placed the aircraft well north of the plotted course. The last report was 115 miles northeast of Pengshan. All these reports were in line with this crash. No attempt to contact the aircraft was made because it was unidentified. On 20 June 1944, a search party reached the crash wreckage; the Chinese found the radio operator’s log which contained the last three digits of the aircraft number “##-#631. Weather was not a factor in the crash.