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Hot!B-29 crash FL April 1945

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Paul
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2011/09/24 12:47:19 (permalink)
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B-29 crash FL April 1945

I am researching a B-29A that crashed  in the Gulf of Mexico on a training flight from the 326th AAF Base Unit at MacDill Field FL 100 miles SW of Key West on April 24, 1945. It was aircraft 42-93922 piloted by 2Lt Daniel (or David) R. Ahern. The flight instructor was Lt. Cecil C. McKinney. Both men, and crewman (Cpl William L. Phillips) along with most of the crew were killed in the crash but according to one report 2 crew members were rescued the next day when they were spotted by US Navy Blimp K-54 which directed rescue ships to the survivors. I have the Aviation Flight Log Book belonging to Harris H. Reed who was a crewman on the K-54 that day. It was commanded by Lt. Campbell. Reed's log entry reads: "Sighted B-29 survivors - Directed transport & assisted in rescue".
 
Some sources say the pilots first name was Daniel and others say David. There does not appear to be a MACR on this crash or at least none of the indexes I have consulted list one.
 
If anyone has a copy of "Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945" I would appreciate a lookup of this accident. I know it is included in that book because I found one brief excerpt on the www. It says: "... were: 2Lt. Daniel R. Ahern, pilot; 2Lt. Anthony Laskow, co-pilot; lLt. Cecil C. McKinney, B-29 instructor; 2Lt. James V. Reams, radar operator; SSgt. ..."
 
Thanks, Paul

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    Lucky Partners
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    Re:B-29 crash FL April 1945 2011/09/24 13:06:52 (permalink)
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    Paul,
    Tony Mireles book, Fatal AAF Aviation Accidents in the US, say the pilot's first name was Daniel.  There would not be a MACR for this accident, it would be covered in an Accident Report.  The Accident Report can be obtained from a number of sources including this link: http://www.aviationarchae...2-93922&Submit4=Go
    Anything else you want beyond the pilot's first name?
    Hal
    Paul
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    Re:B-29 crash FL April 1945 2011/09/24 13:46:20 (permalink)
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    Hal,
     
    If you could supply the names of the entire crew and which 2 crewmembers survived I would appreciate it. Also does the account in "Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945" mention the blimp?
     
    Thanks, Paul
    Lucky Partners
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    Re:B-29 crash FL April 1945 2011/09/24 15:26:06 (permalink)
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    Paul,
    Survivors were Bombardier, 2Lt John H. Matthews and Navigator, 2LT William L. Jiler.  Says they were rescued the next day but does not mention a blimp.  But remember this is just a synopsis of the report, not a word for word copy, so there may have been a blimp.
    Crewmembers missing or drowned were:
    Pilot, 2Lt Daniel R. Ahern
    Co-Pilot, 2 Lt Anthony Laskow
    B-29 Instructor, 1Lt Cecil C. McKinney
    Radio Operator, 2Lt James V. Reams
    Engineer, SSGT Erwin W. Beck
    Radio Operator, Sgt Thomas P. Proffitt
    Gunner, Cpl Bob L. Smith
    Radio Operator, Cpl William L. Phillips
    Engineer, Sgt Louis T. Kapusta
    Radio Operator Instructor, TSgt Quincy L. Zickafoose
    Tail gunner, Cpl James C. Spears
     
    Hal
    Paul
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    Re:B-29 crash FL April 1945 2011/09/24 15:33:22 (permalink)
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    Hal,
     
    Thanks. I have a couple other irons in the fire, but if they do not pan out I will buy the Accident Report.
     
    Paul
    Herb Harper
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    Re:B-29 crash FL April 1945 2011/09/24 17:56:01 (permalink)
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    ALL:
     
    You do NOT have to PAY for accident reports. Contact  AFHRA at maxwell AFB, AL.
     
    Contact Archie.Difante@maxwell.af.mil  Tell him "Herb sent me"

    Herb Harper
    Anthony J. Mireles
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    Re:B-29 crash FL April 1945 2011/09/24 22:17:33 (permalink)
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    Paul,
     
    I probably would have mentioned the blimp if it was indicated in the accident report.  I'll be looking at film soon, so I 'll have a look and see. 
     
    Just send for the accident report from Maxwell AFB; write to the AFHRA at Maxwell (tell them Herb sent you). 
     
    Good luck with your research. 
    TonyM.  
      
      
     

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    .
    .
    Anthony J. Mireles
    FATAL ARMY AIR FORCES AVIATION ACCIDENTS
    IN THE UNITED STATES, 1941-1945
    www.warbirdcrash.com
    Lucky Partners
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    Re:B-29 crash FL April 1945 2011/09/24 22:26:18 (permalink)
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    Herb Harper,
     
    That's good news, but it certainly wasn't what they told me the last time I ordered an Accident Rerport.  Perhaps something has changed.
     
    Hal
     

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    Herb Harper
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    Re:B-29 crash FL April 1945 2011/09/25 12:05:53 (permalink)
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    I have never had any problem ordering AN accident. It appears that they DO have limits on the number reports they will accomadate. Likewise with MACRs; they will send one or two at a time, but not volumes at one time. I know they are short on personnel and finances and they have many, many request they try to fill.
    Just order the accident report for that one aircrafy serial number.
     
    Herb

    Herb Harper
    Paul
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    Re:B-29 crash FL April 1945 2011/10/04 09:16:22 (permalink)
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    To TonyM
     
    I have a copy of the incident report from the blimp squadron chronology from U. T. Dallas and here it is:
    Blimp squadron 21 chronology, P. 15
    "25 April 1945
    The K-54, while enroute from NAF San Julian to NAS Richmond, was ordered to proceed to position 23-29N 83-01W and search for survivors of a crashed B-29. The airship arrived at this position at 1520Q, when at 23-28N 83-02W, sighted a survivor in a yellow Mae West life jacket. The position was marked with fluorescens slicks and a nearby DUMBO (PBM) notified on voice radio. The PBM advised a nearby cargo vessel of the survivor and the vessel put over a whale boat which rescued the man. Much debris, including an aerial kit for life raft, oxygen tank, emergency ration kit, a 4 x 2 foot green box with yellow printing believed to be a navigator's box, and 2 empty inflated life jackets, were located and marked by the airship."
     
    Although this report only mentions 1 survivor Reed's log mentions "survivors" (plural) and the accident report apparently lists 2 survivors.
     
    I have requested the accident report from Maxwell via email, but have not received a reply to my email of 9/24.
     
    Paul
    Paul
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    Re:B-29 crash FL April 1945 2011/10/04 19:00:29 (permalink)
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    Update: I just got a reply from Maxwell on my email request for this B-29 accident report. They have copied it and wanted a mailing address. So it took 10 days. I only requested 1 report. I think that is good fast work.
     
    Paul
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    Re:B-29 crash FL April 1945 2014/01/11 14:02:24 (permalink)
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    I am researching this accident too.  Any chance of posting the accident report.
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