James W. Smith

BODART, NEUMAN A., Staff Sergeant, # 36271155, USAAF


Neuman A. Bodart was born on 24 August 1921 in Wisconsin to Alex A. Bodart (1885-1963) and Leona (McCaux) Bodart (1886-1973). Siblings included Eunice M. (Bodart) DeKeyser (1911-2010), Mina (Bodart) Schlels (1913-2003), and Leona Marie (Bodart) Johnson (1916-2005). He was married to Stella B. Bodart, 52 North Laird St., Green Bay, Wisconsin (1942). In 1941, he was employed as a press operator by Northwest Metal Products Co., and resided at 1214 Cherry, Green Bay, Wiscon-sin, with his family. His father was an electrical contractor. His sister, Leona M., was employed as an operator for Wisconsin Telephone. His sister, Mina, was employed as a bookkeeper by Gamble Stores.


He enlisted in the USAAF in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 2 October 1942. He was extensively trained in the maintenance and operation of the radar equipment on the B-29 Superfortress. He was sent overseas to 20th Air Force. On 7 December 1944, a B-29, # 42-6389, “Party Girl,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 792nd Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pengshan, China, on a bombing mission of the steel works at Mukden, Manchuria. 2ndLt Sybesma was the co-pilot. B-29 42-6389 bombed its target and was on the return leg of its flight to the airfield near Nancheng, about 1 ½ hours out of Pengshan. The formation leader advised 42-6389 to descend and the B-29 was last seen making a 180º turn to its left to begin the descent procedure. It encountered icing conditions and climbed. It crashed soon afterwards. Cheng Queng Lih, village leader, and Shen Fo Chen said that at about 1800 hours, 7 December 1944, a loud explosion was heard and there was a fire atop Mt. Hawo. On 8 December, the villagers climbed to the South side of Mt. Hawo, where the crash site was on an almost vertical side. They reached the wreckage after a climb on 10 December at 1200 hours. Found part of tail section that was olive drab. The wreckage burned after the crash. They found the bombardiers manual in a tree. Ten bodies were found and buried there. The bombardier’s manual had name: 1stLt Bugher, John A. (spelling blurred). He was a crewman of 42-6389. The loading list included 1stLt Calvin L. Lyons, 1stLt Waldo R. Schneider, 1stLt James W. Smith, 1stLt John A. Bugher, 2ndLt Lawrence Syresma, SSgt Newman Borhart, SSgt Joseph Micchiche, SSgt William R. Jackson, SSgt Sisto A. Algieri, SSgt Laurence A. Fink and SSgt Russell W. Peters. After recovery of his remains from China, he was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Alloez, Brown Co., Wisconsin, in 1948.