"City of Galveston's" radio communication was limited
to our plane therefore, all messages from the doomed bomber
to the rescue vessel had to be relayed to it through us.
the meantime, Capt. William Barthel, Navigator; 2nd Lt
Donald A. Gerth, Pilot; S/Sgt Wilbur A. Pickens, Radio
Operator; and Lt Oscar Price, Bombardier, aboard P-13,
went into the front bomb bay in an effort to close the
doors. Their emergency efforts were to no avail.
the radar observer, 2nd Lt Waring L. Lynch, and the two
side gunners, Sgt Gerald Carroll and S/Sgt Lowell A. Ellison
and replacement tail gunner S/Sgt Richard Vanden Heuvel,
worked unsuccessfully to repair the heavy damaged rear
bomb bay doors.
Daniel T. Robinson, the CFC Specialist remained on intercom
to relay orders and a look out for enemy fighters. In
the meantime, S/Sgt George L. Mantak, Flight Engineer,
continued to nurse the two remaining engines.
continued to shepherd the mortally wounded B-29. Silent
prayers asked that Ed's ETA and heading for the submarine
would be accurate. There were twelve lives on the line
and there would be no time for hit or miss searching.
A submarine in the vast Pacific is only a speck size target.
An error of even a fraction of a degree would mean missing
the "City of Galveston" at less than 2000 feet, the crew
began to jettison equipment and supplies in a desperate
but losing effort to stay in the air.
as Col. Mundy and Capt. Miranda had concluded they could
wage the battle no longer, Bob Spaulding of P-5 spotted
the rescue vessel dead ahead. Did it ever look beautiful!
Miranda and Mundy directed the stricken plane upwind of
the sub and ordered the crew to bail out.
glanced at his watch and remarked that our ETA was right
on the button. Ed Edmundson had performed a commendable
job of navigation.
crew went out in rapid succession. When the last man had
cleared, both Col. Mundy and Capt. Miranda abandoned the
aircraft at less than 1000 feet about the water. The plane
rolled over to the right, then plunged into the sea and
exploded. The first 10 men landed close together: some
floating nearly onto the deck of the submarine. Mundy
and Miranda splashed down further away because of their
they bobbed in the water-awaiting pick up, two fighter
planes suddenly swooped downward toward the floating airmen.
Col. Mundy recalls that he jumped from his dinghy into
the sea expecting he would be strafed. Just as Crew 5's
gunners were about to open fire on them, someone notice
the stars and bars of the Army Air Force. They were friendly
P-51s. We had been told in briefing that there wouldn't
be any fighter cover so the sudden emergence of the Mustangs
had taken us by surprise. They never know how close they
come to being blasted by one or more of our trigger-happy
gunners. Col. Mundy stated afterwards that the diving
P-51s had deserved a burst or two. It turned out that
the Mustangs were looking for navigational escorts back
to Iwo Jima. Another B-29 took them under their wing back
"City of Galveston" crew were rescued by the
USS PINTAO, SS387, commanded by Commander Raymond Budd
out of Hawaii. P-5 lingered until the last man was picked
up and then it too turned east and headed for home.
USS PINTADO was heading out on Patrol and the next day
they transferred the "City of Galveston" Crew
to the USS TIGRONE as she was ending her partol and
headed back to Pearl Harbor.