FORBES, JUDSON COX, Captain, # 0-434094, USAAF


Judson C. Forbes was born on 10 August 1918 in Clayton, New Mexico to Wiliam Hawthorne Fobes, Rev. (Baptist Church) (1881-1948) (TX), and Emily R. Forbes (1895-1977) (KY). Sibling was William H. Forbes, Jr. (1915-    ) (TX). He was married to Fern Eula (Stephenson) Barr nee Ford nee Forbes (1915-2001) on 28 June 1942 in Tallahassee, Leon Co., Florida.


He registered for the WW II draft on 16 October 1940, residing in Amarillo, Potter Co., Texas, and described himself as 6’1”, 160 lbs, with blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF as an aviation cadet in Lubbock, Texas, on 2 June 1941 while residing in Roosevelt Co., New Mexico. He was a college graduate of West Texas State College in 1938 where he played the cornet and trombone in the orchestra. He completed basic flight training and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was selected for training to pilot the B-29 Superfortress and was multi-engine rated then sent overseas to 20th Air Force in India. From there, the B-29 was sent to an advance airfield in China. On 27 December 1944, a B-29, # 42-6343, assigned to 20th Air Force, 444th Bomb Group, 678th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Dudhkundi, India, on a ferrying mission to Kwaghan, China. The B-29 was lost at about 0315 Zulu. Over Kwanghan at 13,000 feet altitude, 42-6343 was cleared to decend and to report its position every 2,000 feet. At 0310 Zulu, 42-6343 reported southeast of the airfield at 11,000 feet. The tower received no further contact. Chinese troops reported a crash about 25 miles northeast of the airfield. Air searches did not find it. A foot search early on 28 December 1944 located the crash at about the same position as the Chinese report. Chinese witnesses said the B-29 was spinning. It crashed in a small Chinese compound at the foot of a steep cliff. The B-29 was totally demolished and incendiary bombs exploded. The tail section was found ½ mile away. The remainder of the wreckage was in a small area. Nine bodies were recovered burned beyond recognition. Nothing could be found of the two other crewmen. Major Merrill F. Patrick, Operations Officer, 678th Bomb Squadron, speculated that the B-29 spun in from about 11,000 feet, the reason was unknown. The pilot had reported icing and mechanical problems may have distracted the pilot from IFR flight. The tail section separated in the tight spin. Six Chinese, three cows and one pig were killed on the ground. The highest elevation in the vicinity was less than 4,000 feet. The elevation at the crash scene was 2,500 feet, measured by an L-5 Sentinel. After recovery of unidentifiable remains in China and retrieval from burial in Hawaii, there was a two-casket group burial of the remains of 2Lt Albert N. Allen, 2Lt Bill Bryant, Capt. Judson C. Forbes, Sgt Richard F. Madje, 2Lt Robert D. Mathis, 2Lt William G. Patterson, and Sgt Frank W. Reed in the Keokuk National Cemetery, Keokuk, Lee Co., Iowa, on 16 August 1949 (Sec. D, Graves 81-82).