Today in History – June 6, 1945 – “Dauntless Dotty” crashes into the Pacific 40 seconds after takeoff.

6 June 1945 – “The Boeing B-29 Superfortress that led the first B-29 raid on Tokyo on 24 November 1944, 42-24592, named “Dauntless Dotty”, of the 869th Bomb Squadron, 497th Bomb Group, 73rd Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force, departs Kwajalein at 0306 hrs. for the second leg of a ferry flight back to the United States, commanded by Capt. William A. Kelley, of Tifton, Georgia. Forty seconds after takeoff, the aircraft strikes the Pacific Ocean and sinks, killing 10 of 13 onboard instantly. Co-pilot 1st Lt. John Neville, of Bradley, Illinois, tail gunner S/Sgt. Glenn F. Gregory, of Waldron, Illinois, and left gunner S/Sgt. Charles McMurray (also spelled McMurry in one source), of Memphis, Tennessee, are thrown from the wreckage and are recovered by a rescue boat after some 45 minutes in the water.”(1)

Top L-r: Lt Wm Kovach- navigator, Lt John Neville- co-pilot, Lt Wm Kelley-pilot, Lt Karl Stammerjohn, engineer, Lt Roy Shanklin-bombardier. Bottom Row L-R: Ssgt Thurman Walling-RG, SSgt Al Desimone-radio, TSgt Glenn Jones-CFC gunner, SSgt Charles McMurry-RG, SSgt Glenn Gregory-TG, SSgt Otto Pence-radar operator

“Especially tragic was the death of Pft Lowell Spivey of Windsor, NC, a passenger who had received a ride in the B-29 so he could go back to the US or Hawaii to be assigned to “non-hazardous” duty. Private Spivey’s two brothers had been killed in action in other war theatres and he was being taken out of the forward area in accordance with a War Department policy that states that when only one member of a family in the armed services survives, he may elect to transfer to a noncombatant duty.” (2)

“The wreckage of the Dotty and the remains of the ten men who were trapped inside her when she sank have never been located. The wreckage is believed to be at a depth of approximately 6,000 feet. A search for the lost airframe by the National Underwater and Marine Agency Australia has been proposed.”(1)

Source: (1) Wikipedia; (2) WayBackMachine

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