39th Bomb Group (VH)

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"City of La Grange" (IL)
"Low and Lonely"

B-29 44-69908

Sloppy Joe's Bar in Havana, Cuba was a very popular place
Standing L to R:
Sgt Ivan Stauffer CFC Gunner
Pvt Thomas Latta  Tail Gunner 
Sgt John Leckron  Right Gunner 
2nd Lt  Robert Shay  Radar Observer
2nd Lt Calvin Hill  Pilot
S/Sgt James Chenault  Flight Engineer 
1st Lt Jonas Rosenfeld Navigator (P-28)
Sgt William Lawrence  Left Gunner 
Capt Philllip Van Schuyler, Jr. Airplane Commander 
Front Seated at Bar L to R:
2nd Lt  Karl Rose  Bombardier
Sgt Stephen Wolski  Radio Operator 
two unnamed friends
Not pictured: 
1st Lt  Anton Edburg  Navigator

Mission 8 was a very interesting one. The target was an aircraft assembly plant on Kobe in the Osaka area on the Japanese mainland. The Wing headquarters complimented the mission saying that it was the most operationally efficient strikes to date. Captain Senger (P-21) led the formation and I his first element. This was my first work of this kind over the target. 

Conditions were such that we had to bomb by instruments in that we had undercast and overcast conditions. We had ten to twelve fighters make persistent attacks at our element, which was low, and to the right. Our bombardier Rose sent one down smoking and Tommy Latta in the tail damaged another. After that they just flew along in formation out of range and were probably radioing our speed and altitude to the ground stations. Shortly the attacks stopped and very accurate began to his our formation and we settled in on the bomb run. Some of our planes were hit severely but managed to return safely. Our damage amounted to small holes in the tail, wing fuel cells punctured and a hole in No. 2 engine cowling. After landing the other boys told us we would never know how many other close calls we had. They could see from their positions kin formation many large bursts of flak exploding under our ship. All too low to do damage." 
Submitted by Phil Van Schuyler

Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group"