42-6308 - "Feather Merchant" - 45th Bomb Squadron - Delivered to the USAAF on 1/19/44 - Model B-29-10-BW - Departed Pratt for India on 4/2/44 and arrived at Chakulia, India on 4/12/44.

42-6308 retuning from the
August 20, 1944, Yawata mission with heavy flak and fighter damage crashed after crew bailed out over China.

42-6308 enroute to the target was hit by flak off the
China coast and the CFC was wounded. 42-6308 continued to the target and had ascertained that the lower front turret was inoperative due to mechanical malfunction. As 42-6308 approached the target some 25 to 30 enemy fighters could be seen in the area and the flak appeared very heavy. A good bomb run was made unmolested by fighters but through heavy and accurate flak. As 42-6308 was making a turn away from the target flak hit #1 engine in two places and knocked out all fuel and oil quantity gauges, cowl flaps and oil cooler position indicators. At the same time flak hit the horizontal tail surface and the crew reported seeing several pieces fly off. AC Grubaugh stated that he immediately tried the controls and they appeared normal. Number 1 engine continued to put out power and did not appear to be seriously damaged.

At about the same time 42-6308 was hit by flak it was also attacked by several single engine fighters. With both lower turrets inoperative 42-6308 was unable to repel the attacks and the enemy fighter riddled her with bullets from below. Hits were scored in the mid section which knocked out the fuel transfer system and radar. The bullets shattered the rear pressure door into the bomb bay, knocked out the CFC sighting station. The crew immediately went on oxygen. 42-6308 ran into weather over
China, terrific thunderstorms and started losing altitude at 500 feet per minute. AC Grubaugh gave the orders for the crew to bail out. Two crewmembers were KIA, the CFC who died of his wounds before bail out and it is believed that the Tail Gunner never bailed out.

With the help of the Chinese the surviving crewmembers reached Lachokow, advance base of the Fourteenth Air Force.


Capt. Boyd Grubaugh - AC
1st Lt. Charles Thornsberry - CP
1st Lt. Walter Kusian - N
2nd Lt. Jacob Fairman - B
2nd Lt. George Williamson - FE
S/Sgt. Lawton Patterson - RO
Sgt. Elwood Renshaw - R
S/Sgt. John Hause - CFC - KIA
Sgt. Richard Lunt - LG
Sgt. Ike Barnes - RG
T/Sgt. Roy Hontz - TG - KIA