incident I do remember, was that on the way out, we picked up a
new B29 in Nebraska. We hought there was something wrong with an
engine during the first flight out, and reported that fact when
we stopped over in California. Also, as I got out of the plane after
landing, I sprained my ankle and reported that. I believe that they
probably thought we were trying to avoid going overseas, and assigned
the plane to another crew. Maybe, it was just my sprained ankle.
We found out later that that particular plane crashed at sea during
the flight to Hawaii, and everyone was lost.
were assigned another plane, I don't believe it was P36, as I
vaguely remember that we were a bit chagrined at giving up a new
airplane after we arrived in Guam, for one that had already seen
service, P36. As I remember, everything on our raids was routine,
for I think about 23 or 28 missions -- that is nothing outstanding
in my mind, except for a bomb hangup, with an upper one falling
and resting on a lower hungup bomb. We were worried about them
breaking free after the bomb bay doors were closed and breaking
the door latches. That would have compromised our fuel usage if
we couldn't keep the doors shut.
we descended to about 10,000 feet and could depressurize, I made
two trips into the bomb bay area on the narrow catwalk along the
sides, first to see what the trouble was, (the release trigger
missed the release lever) and again to get a long screwdriver
to release the hungup bombs by pressing the release lever with
was recommended for and received the Distinguished Flying Cross
for that. Oddly, I hate heights, like on a ladder, or roof of
a building, but have no trouble in an airplane. Though, with my
toes protruding over the edge of the catwalk with the ocean in
full view directly below, I made sure I held on tightly and carefully.
Though wearing a parachute and life vest out there did cross my
mind, they would have been too bulky, and I also thought of accidentally
having the rip cord pulled and being yanked out. Besides, what
would I do out there floating in the Pacific, given that I was
not a swimmer?
Hyman Blumenstock passed away 31 August 2002