from North Carolina, he had attended State College
there for a while then played semi—pro basketball
for three years. After basic training in Houston,
Texas, he was stationed at Minter Field, near Bakersfield,
California. While there, he attended Boeing School
of Aeronautics in Oakland. His three years at Bakersfield
were spent as first a ground mechanic, then line chief.
completing his training in Seattle, Dunn was one of
three selected from the class of 29 to attend flight-engineering
school in Denver, CO. After graduation there, he was
sent down to Pyote, Texas to train as engineer on
the B29. It was at Pyote that their crew was formed.
They would later be assigned to the 39th Bomb Group
as a replacement for an earlier Crew 1, which had
been involved in a tragic stateside accident.
this second Crew 1’s aircraft was mortally damaged
by flak on the Yokohama raid, only three would survive
Fred Dunn, Joseph Miller and George Tilghman. It began
to look like being a Crew 1 was not a healthy place
was in the water for three hours and forty—five
minutes with only one—half of his Mae West inflated.
He was picked up the following day by submarine along
with the other two survivors.
he returned to Guam, he was asked by Major Carpenter,
60th Sqn. CO, to engineer a crew that had grounded
their flight engineer. Its airplane commander was
named Buckley. Fred doesn’t recall the names
of others on that crew. After flying eight missions
with Buckley, he accompanied that crew back to the
States for lead crew training.
were based at Mohave Air Base in the Mohave Desert.
During their training, they were selected to fly in
formation with nine other planes over San Francisco
in a homecoming parade for General Wainwright; who
had been a longtime POW in Corrigidor. As the crew
returned to their base, they lost an engine. They
promptly feathered the prop and landed safely.
two more flights to make before completing their lead
crew training, they took off and were about six minutes
in the air, when at 6,000 feet, one of the inboard
engine’s propeller ran away. Dunn feathered
it, but within seconds the other inboard engine did
likewise, whereupon he instructed the airplane commander
to head back to base. With two inboard engines dead,
one of the outboard engines also ran away! Dunn told
the A/C to set the plane down in a dead stick landing.
One of the gunners reported that the nose gear was
not down, but fortunately it did drop just in time
to make a perfect touchdown without a scratch or dent
on the aircraft. This was the first dead stick landing
ever made in a B-29!
was Fred Dunn’s last flight. He was discharged
in Tampa, Florida on 1 January 1946.
leaving the service, he settled down in Plymouth,
Florida. His parents had also moved there. Soon after,
Fred met Bernice Bateman and they were married 4 August
1946, exactly five years to the day from his enlistment
in the Air Corps.