MEEKS, PAUL R., First Lieutenant, # 0-808875, USAAF


Paul R. Meeks was born on 4 October 1919 in Ohio to Chales Letsche Meeks (1889-1946) and Mamie E. (McDonough) Meeks (1881-1961). He attended Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and earned a B.S. in Business. A brother was Donald Joseph Meeks (1914-1989).


He completed extensive training as a bomber pilot and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was selected to pilot the B-29 Superfortress. On 21 November 1944, a B-29, # 42-6278, “Acid Test,” of the 20th Air Force, 462nd Bomb Group, 770th Bomb Squadron, Piardoba, India, departed the airfield at Kulainglai, China, on a bombing mission to Omura, Japan. It was fired upon by enemy aircraft over the target aircraft assembly plant at Omura, Japan, at about 0802 hours. Capt. Abranovic reported that they had just left the target and were making a right turn when a B-29 was reported spinning to the ground from an altitude of about 22,000 feet. Lt.Col. Sullivan reported that B-29 #278 was out of control and entered a spin after a fighter attack over Omura, Japan, and that it passed under his B-29. Capt. Johnson reported that an enemy fighter attacked and #278 went out of control, turning to the left and nearly colliding with # 389. He saw the B-29 to their left going down in a vertical spin to the right. His gunners reported the B-29 still spinning at about 5,000 feet below them before sight of it was lost. No parachutes were seen. He and his crew are remembered on the memorial wall of the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines, and on the Tablets of the Missing, Hawaii.