498th Bombardment Group Info (1944-1946)

498th Bombardment Group Book
498th Bombardment Group Book

If you visit here please take a minute to scroll down this page to my Seeking 498th Veterans section in the hope that you may be able to provide information to relatives seeking traces of their fathers, uncles, and brothers of the 498th.

The 498th Bombardment Group was a B-29 group that was based on Saipan and operated against Japan from late in 1944 until the end of the Second World War.

The 498th was formed in November 1943 as part of the 73rd Bombardment Wing, the second B-29 combat wing to be formed. The group was originally meant to accompany the 58th Bombardment Wing to India, but that plan was abandoned in April 1944 and instead the wing was assigned to the Mariana Islands.

Saipan was captured after a battle that lasted from 15 June to 9 July 1944. Work on airfields for the B-29s began well before the Japanese had been defeated, and between 24 June and 6 August a 6,000ft long by 150ft wide runway had been completed at Isley Field. The first elements of the 73rd Bombardment Wing arrived on 24 August, and the four bombardment groups soon followed. The 498th was the first group to arrive, officially taking up residence on 6 September.

On 28 October the 497th and 498th Groups took part in the wing’s first combat mission, sending eighteen B-29s to bomb Truk. Fourteen aircraft bombed the Dublon submarine pens, with the 498th getting a quarter of its bombs in the right area. The 497th and 498th returned to Truk again on 30 October, although this time poor weather obscured the target. A third raid against Truk on 2 November was also unsuccessful.

The next target for the group was Iwo Jima, which was hit on 5 and 8 November.

On 24 November the wing carried out its first attack against Tokyo, aiming at the major aircraft engine factory at Musashi. This mission, code named San Antonio I, was very carefully planned, although bad weather on Saipan delayed it for a week from its original date of 17 November. All four of the wing’s groups were involved and 111 B-29s took off from Saipan. The Japanese managed to put up around 125 fighters, but there was only one success, when one fighter appeared to ram a B-29 in the tail. Only 24 aircraft actually bombed Musashi, with another 64 hitting other parts of Tokyo. Overall the wing lost two aircraft destroyed and another 11 were damaged (three by friendly fire).

After this first raid the wing spent the next four months carrying out high level daylight precision raids against Japanese aircraft factories. These didn’t have the expected result, and XXI Bomber Command began to experiment with low-level incendiary raids. The last of the high altitude attacks on the aircraft industry was another failed raid on Musashi on 4 March. After this General LeMay, commander of XXI Bomber Command, decided to shift to night incendiary bombing, beginning with a raid on Tokyo on the night of 9/10 March. The new tactic was a dramatic success – losses dropped as the Japanese fighter force struggled to deal with night fighting and Japan’s cities burned. The group focuses on low level night bombing for the rest of the war.

The group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations. The first came during the daytime period and was for a raid on an aircraft engine factory at Nagoya on 13 December 1944. The second was for nighttime raids against Kobe and Osaka in June 1945.

The group returned to the United States in November 1945. It was assigned to Strategic Air Command on 21 March 1946, but was inactivated on 4 August.

(Source: http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/498th_Bombardment_Group.html)

More history: 498th Bombardment Group
498th BG “The Twenty Niner” (book)


Below are some 498th BG veterans, whose families, and friends have graciously lent me pictures and names to put up on this site.

If you visit here please take a minute to scroll down this page to my Seeking 498th Veterans section in the hope that you may be able to provide information to relatives seeking traces of their fathers, uncles, and brothers of the 498th.


J. Creedon's Crew
T-square 36 “Tokyo Raiders” (25 missions)

T-square 36 “Tokyo Raiders” (25 missions)
J. Creedon (AC), W. King (CP), R.V. Thomas (N), A. McNicoll (B), F.L. Ackerman (V), C. Moden (FE), C. Cary (RO), C.N. Schultz (TG), L. Devries (RG), E.R. Jenkins (LG), D.W. Perkins (CFC)
T-36 shot-up from enemy aircraft and flak on 5 June 1945 over Kobe. After an emergency landing on Iwo Jima crew reassigned to T-33
Information courtesy of George Schultz (son of C.N. Schultz)


R.Stickney's Crew
Crew-T42, 875th Bomb Squadron

Crew-T42, 875th Bomb Squadron
H.A. Brandt*, R.C. Stickney (AC), L.E. Winslow, R.F. Thompson, J.N. Herowitz (Hurwitz?)
J.L. Boyd, J.P. Quinn, Thomas*, J.O. Merriwether, P.M. Haines (Haynes?), E.M. Zeohe (Zeone?)
T-42 Crashed in the Marianas on Anatahan on their first mission (no survivors).
*Not on fatal flight.
Information courtesy of Curt Kessler.


R.Livingston's Crew
R. Livingston’s Crew, 874th Bomb Squadron

R. Livingston’s Crew, 874th Bomb Squadron
R.A. Livingston (AC), R.D. Town, C.E. McCoy, O. Baskin, M. Melbostad, S. Cook
N. Cure, M.A. Palmer, F.J. Whitney, B.O. Hopsan, J.B. Comeaux
Information courtesy of Sue Erickson.


H.Taylor's Crew
H. Taylor’s Crew, 874th Bomb Squadron

H. Taylor’s Crew, 874th Bomb Squadron
R. Mossholder (LG), J. McDonald (CFC), R. Northrup (RN), D. Miller (TG), C. Green (RG), W. Clecker (RO), J. Damm (B), W. Blume (N), H. Taylor (AC), A. Nevotti (CP), M. Gardner (FE)
Information courtesy of Bill Blume (Son of W. Blume).


Cassady Crew
Cassady Crew, 874th Bomb Squadron

Cassady Crew, 874th Bomb Squadron


Devil's Darlin' Crew
Devil’s Darlin’ Crew, 873rd Bomb Squadron

Devil’s Darlin’ Crew, 873rd Bomb Squadron
Silk, Burton, Malone, Kossoff, Woods, Clarke, Schiffine, Osborne, Dayoff, Ritchie, Dijeweke


McClendon Crew
Lee McClendon Crew, 874th Bomb Squadron

Lee McClendon Crew, 874th Bomb Squadron
David Beckett, Paul J. Sobonya, Lee McClendon, Arthur J. Petro, James W. Bissantz, Travis P. Watkins, J. Edwin Barnitz, Edward C. Kane, Hubert C. Nalcton, Virgil L. Young, Alfred D. Peck


If you visit here please take a minute to look below in the hope that you may be able to provide information to relatives seeking traces of their fathers, uncles, and brothers of the 498th.

Seeking 498th Bombardment Squadron Vets

These are people who have e-mailed me seeking information about their 498th Bombardment Group fathers, uncles, and friends who, for whatever reason, were unable to pass on much information to their children and siblings before their deaths.

If you have any information about these Saipan 498th BG veterans please e-mail me.

1. Barbara Bernier seeks service information about her father:
498th BG, 875th Sq.
1st. Lt. Donald M. Bernier (Pilot, AM)
Box 275, Whitefish, MT (1945)

2. Elizabeth Young seeks information about her father:
498th BG, 874th Sq.
1st. Lt. Frank Mitchell, Jr. (Nav./bomb., DFC-2, AM-4, OLC)
7243 Stoney Island Ave., Chicago, IL (1945)

3. Jeffrey Dale seeks information about his grandfather:
73rd Wing, Saipan (BG and squadron unknown).
Sgt. Raymond L. Dombrzal (Tail gunner)

4. Annette Boose seeks information about:
498th BG, 873rd Sq.
Cpl. Edward Boose (Capt. Kilgo’s crew, MIA 10/27/45)
121 H West St., Norwalk, OH

5. B-29 Crew Photo
I have a photo of Crew #42 of the 875th:
Brandt; Richard L. Stickney; Landon E. Winslow; Richard F. Thompson, Jr,; Julius N. Hurwitz (Herowitz?); Jack L. Boyd; John P. Quinn; Robert J. Thomas; James O. Merriwether; Paul M. Haynes (Haines?); Edward M. Zeone (Zeohe?)
It is possible that Howard H. King and John E. Burns were at one time also on this crew which is listed as missing in action in the 498th BG record book “The Twenty Niner.”


4 thoughts on “498th Bombardment Group Info (1944-1946)

  1. My Grandfather was in the 498th BG, 873th Sq. His planes name was T Square 5 or the Joltin Josie. I would have emailed you, but your email link didn’t work. I have pictures and other information I would love to share with you.

    Like

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