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Crew of 869th B-29 Superfortress 42-24598 “Waddy’s Wagon” (lost 9 January 1945)
Courtesy of [u/Captain-Cliche](https://www.reddit.com/user/Captain-Cliche) last time this was posted:
The crew of B-29 Superfortress 42-24598 “Waddy’s Wagon”, 20th Air Force, 73rd Bomb Wing, 497th Bomb Group, 869th Bomb Squadron.
Born September 4, 1916, in Ponca City, Oklahoma, Walter “Waddy” Young was, from the beginning, bound for great things. Throughout his high school years, Waddy was succesful both academically and on the field, and in 1938 he was chosen as an All-American in ’38 by various papers and, more notable, Gartland Rice. Soon after, Waddy was picked up by the Brooklyn Dodgers and entered the professional scene.
Though, he didn’t remain in the spotlight for long; in his second professional season, Waddy enlisted in the Army Air Force. He was promptly sent east, serving as anti-submarine patrol in New York, Newfoundland, and Great Britain, accumulating more than nine thousand combat hours.
Still, Waddy wasn’t ready to give up the fight. He decided to volunteer for the B-29 Program, and ended up as a captain stationed on the Mariana Islands. One of “Waddy’s Wagon’s” most famous escapades occurred on January 9, 1945; “Waddy’s Wagon” and 72 other B-29s were ordered to bomb the Nakajima Aircraft Engine Factory near Tokyo. The mission went awry when the Japanese resisted, and the plane to “Waddy’s Wagon’s” right was rammed by a kamikaze fighter. Waddy continued undeterred, bombed the target, and turned back to assist the stricken plane. They crew of “Waddy’s Wagon” threw blocks down to signal where the downed plane landed.
“Waddy’s Wagon” and its crew disappeared without a trace 10 miles east of Choshi Point, Japan, while it was protecting B-29 Crew A-46 (the crew that was rammed by the Kamikaze fighter). A search plane was dispatched, but after combing the area, there was no hint as to what might have happened. It is thought to have been shot down during the Nakajima mission.
No word on what happened to the crew of A-46 either unfortunately.
They had portable headphones back then?
Scrolling through quickly, I am ashamed to admit I thought this was a still from Con Air.
The bombardier hucking bricks is such a nice touch.