On 12 July 1945, about 135 hours, "K time", Aircraft B-29B, 42-63603 of the 16th Bomb Group, 16th Bomb Squadron, was lost at sea. Of the 10 crew members on board, 7 were killed in action. Those seven were:

1Lt Milford A. Berry, Aircraft Commander
1Lt K. Warren Rollins, Navigator
2Lt Irving W Ameringer, Radar Operator
Sgt Morton Finkelstein, Flight Engineer
Sgt Robert E. Lynch, Radio Operator
S/Sgt Harold I. Schaeffer, Right Scanner
Sgt Philip G. Tripp, Tail Gunner

Remarks or eyewitness statements:

Crew #22, of the 331st Bomb Group, 315th Bombardment Wing, sighted Lt Milford A. Berry's plane on the water and continued to search for the mission personnel until relieved by Dumbo. several survivors were sighted, by the Dumbo, and a LCI was dispatched to pick up the personnel, which resulted in the rescue of three crew members.

Weather Report: 5-6/10 cumulus base 1500 ft; 10/10 Altostatus Base 11000 ft. Visibility 17 (?) mi - red to and 8 miles in showers altemeter setting 29.80, surface wind East 16 knots.

Narrative Report from the Air Sea Rescue Report, 24 July 1945; 7. Narratvie Report:

a. History of Trouble: The aircraft acted properly during take-off (1904K) and climb. After leveling off at 6200 ft., ROM was reduced by No. 1 remained at 2400. The Airplane Commander reduced the RPM of No.1 to 2000 with the feathering button. Almost immediately howerver it increased and went wild. The Airplane Commander hit the feathering button but it had no effect, so he pulled the throttle back, told the Bombardier to salve the boms and headed for Guam. ON the turn, No. 3 started building up and again the feathering button was ineffective. The Airplane Commander gae the order to prepare to ditch. Almost immediately, No. 4 ran away and the order to bail out was given. The altitude was about 4500 ft, and the aircraft was deopping at aobut 1000ft per minute. The Pilot took over the plane while the Airplane Commander fastened his parachute and one man life raft. The Pilot rang the alarm bell and called the left scanner and tail gunner on interphone.

b. Preparation for Bailout: The bombs had been salvoed and the doors closed. Each man fastened his parachute and hooked on his C-2 raft. The Bombardier opened the bomb bay doors. The pressure bulkead was opened by the Radar Operator or Navigator.

c. Radio Procedure: (not transcribed)

d. Bail Out:
(1) Exit through Forward Bomb Bay.
The Navigator and Radar Operator went out first (order unknown), and their chutes were seen to open by the Bombardier who was third out. The Radio Operator hesitated but left sometime between the time the Bombardier and Pilot bailed out. The Pilot was next out and saw one chute open just before he left the airplane. With the exception of the Airplane Commander, the front of the airplane was clear when he left, and the altimeter indicatd 500 feet. No difficulty was experienced in leaving the hatch. The Bombardier and Pilot put their hands along the edge of the bulkhead door and dove out in one motion.

(2) Exit through Rear Bomb Bay.
The Right Scanner had been briefed to bail out first and was fully geared and ready to go. The Left Scanner motioned hime out but he (Right Scanner) "looked blank." The Left Scanner then asked him to step aside so he (Left Scanner) could go out, thinking that by so doing the Right Scanner might gain confidence. The right Scanner stepped aside, still mute, and the Left Scanner dove out the pressure bulkhead door. The Right Scanner was never seen to leave the airplane.

(No further transcription of the Air Sea Rescue Report)

Three crewmembers were to survive:
2Lt James Trivette, Sr., Pilot
1Lt Rex E Werring, Jr., Bombardier
Sgt CLarence N. Nelson, Left Scanner

Webpage by Larry Miller
September 1, 2011