Sister Sue bailout Oct. 14 1944. 20 miles S.W. of Hsing Ching China

B29 Aircraft, 42-6342

Ernest Turner A/C

Bill Johnson, Co Pilot

Robert Mullin, Navigator

Tom Sample, Bombardier

Clark Rauth, Flight Engineer

Elwyn “Pop” Gardner, Radio

Walter McCarthy, Radar

Paul Evans, Tail Gunner

Calvin Brown, CFC

Ted Urban, Left Gunner

Earl Rogers, Right Gunner


The following report written by Calvin Brown, December 2002


The 40th. Bomb Group was assigned a mission to bomb targets on the island of Formosa from our advanced base in China called A-1 near Hsing Ching.


We took off fully loaded with Bombs and ammunition. We were about a half-hour out when no. 4 engine caught fire. The flight engineer activated the fire suppressant system and put the fire out. We turned back to base to abort the mission. The other planes in the Group were still taking off and the tower asked that we make a swing to allow the rest of the planes to get airborne. The circle we made was about 20 miles or so. We were about 20 miles from base when no. 4 started to burn again. The fire suppressant system was used up and we could not put the fire out. Our altitude was about 600 0r 700 feet. I never did hear the order to bail out but I got into my chute and everyone in the gunnery compartment was gone. I went to the rear hatch and McCarthy sat in the hatch with his chute on. I helped him out with my boot. I sat in the hatch and watched the engine burn. Eventually the wing burned off from the engine out and went sailing away. The plane rolled to the right and I jumped. Being at such a low altitude, I pulled the ripcord as soon as I left the hatch. My chute opened in the slipstream and the way the harness was connected to the shroud lines, it hit me in the back of the head and I was out. Just as I hit the ground I came to and went out again.


 When I came to this time, there were about 8 or 10 Chinamen standing around me, laughing and giggling and pointing at me with no effort to help. After I regained my senses I gathered my chute and started down a trail and ran into Tom Sample and Capt.Turner. The plane was down just over the hill from where we were. The ammunition was cooking of from the fire. Capt. Turner told us that “Pop” and Rauth went down with the plane. They helped everyone else out and they didn`t have their chutes on. Capt Turner had a broken Jaw  because his chute just cracked and he hit the ground. “Pop had gotten off a mayday message so our base knew we were down.


 In about an hour 4 jeeps came to pick us up. Our Chaplin, Father Adler was in one of the jeeps. We stayed in China  long enough to bury Elwyn and Clark. We caught a tanker back to India and I went on sick call and was admitted to the base hospital with a severe brain concussion.


The following report written by Ted Urban, March 2, 2004 


When A/CTurner decided to abort the mission after the initial #4 engine fire, he was concerned about other B-29's flying behind us as we still were on instruments in overcast.  When he turned around and headed back to the airfield and before the fatal fire, he gave the order to salvo the bombs.  


The bomb bay doors were opened and the bombs were released.  Visual verification that the bombs were away showed that two shackles malfunctioned resulting in two 500 lb bombs dangling in the bomb bay each held by only one of two shackle hooks.  The fused end of the bombs were facing downward and arming wires were withdrawn allowing the arming process to proceed.


 A/C Turner ordered me to go into the bomb bay and mechanically release the bombs.  He emphasized to take my parachute.  I was already in full emergency gear with parachute on and emergency tool kit strapped to my belt..


As I approached the entrance to the bomb bay, I saw flames shooting by the right gunner's blister.  The right gunner yelled "plane on fire, bail out". I stepped into the bomb bay and knowing the doors were open, jumped, counted a quick 10 count and pulled the rip cord.  After one or two swings with the open parachute, I landed in a dry field with the only injury being a cut tongue. S/SGT James G. Glessner, the right gunner who substituted for an ill S/SGt Earl Rogers, landed nearby.


 We got together and he borrowed my 45 weapon proceeding to fire a few rounds into the air to alert other crew members where we were.  After a few shots, I told him to cease firing as we may need the ammunition in case we meet some Japanese sympathizers who were known to be around the A-1 airfield. 


 Shortly after, we were picked up and returned to base.