He did not believe he had time to fasten the chest and leg straps so he pulled the rip cord and stayed with the parachute. After the parachute opened, he noticed that parts of the B-29 falling around him. He believes he saw the tail section hit the ground. They landed near a Japanese guard house, so did not have any chance to practice escape and evasion.


SSgt Huss wrote that he believed he and Beckwith were the only survivors. Neither knew how they got out of the B-29. They thought the B-29 exploded or broke open at the blister section; the fire control room, where they were. During his interrogation by the enemy, he was told that a badly injured crew member had been shot. He did not who this was or if it was true. When he and Beckwith were liberated, they found a box of flier’s clothing, including the Mackinaw and winter flying boots that Gwaltney was wearing. Both bore Gwalney’s name plate, which probably indicates the enemy may have found and disposed of his body. Other item was the back parachute that belonged to Sgt Roth as he found Roth’s record card in the same box. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the Manila American Memorial Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. The family placed a memorial veteran’s marker in the Immanuel Memorial Cemetery, Rumney, New Hampshire. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

O’DONNELL, FRANK RICHARD, Second Lieutenant, # 0-808885, USAAF


Frank R. O’Donnell was born 13 March 1920 in New York to Frank R. O’Donnell (1892-    ) (NY) and Julia O’Donnell (1901-    ) (NJ). Siblings included Edith Ann (O’Donnell) Cook (1923-2009), Genevieve O’Donnell (1925-    ), Jane M. O’Donnell (1928-    ) and cousin Patricia Gordon (1932-    ). In 1930, his father was a stockbroker. The Great Depression lasted from 1929 to mid-1933 and produced the end of the gold based monetary standard (Exec. Order # 6102, 5 April 1933), the Civilian Conservation Corps (31 March 1933), the Works Progress Administration (8 November 1933 – 1934) and the end of Prohibition (5 December 1933). In 1940 his father was a W.P.A. timekeeper and Frank Jr. was a gas station attendant.