SSgt Chester Arthur Johnson, Jr
Tokyo Military Prison Fire
73rd Bomb Wing Mission 42
The four pages of 73rd Bomb Wing Mission 42 contain documents from
the 73rd Bomb Wing Mission Report (236 pages) and the 499th Bomb Group
Consolidated Mission Report (20 pages).
Each mission flown by the Bomb Wings would have three mission numbers:
XXI Bomber Command
In these pages you will find:
The 73rd Bomb Wing consists of four Bomb Groups
In these pages you will see B-29s of the 499th Bomb Group designated
Captain Will Latimer flew most of his missions on V-23
During January 1945 the 73rd Bomb Wing established Wing Control.
These blackboards have become my gold standard when resolving discrepancies within and between mission documents.
You will notice that the Blackboard does not have any B-29 Serial
TSgt Louis Vance was the only man with the Latimer crew to survive the war. The Mansell POW database lists him as being at the Ofuna POW Camp. The last document on this page is from MACR 14237 and contains a statement by TSgt Vance of what took place over the target. It is of interest to compare his comments with observations from other B-29 crews that appear in pages that follow.
The columns at the top of the Blackboard list the Aircraft Tail Number, time of Take Off ( TO), Time of Landing (LAND), ABORT, Aircraft Commander (PILOT), and REMARKS.
Two B-29s were lost on this mission and each has a ------- in place of Landing Time with the word MISSING in the Remarks column.
In the ABORT column those B-29s that did abort have an X while those landing at Iwo Jima are noted with IWO
The second document is a list of Landing Times for each aircraft with the last four digits of the Serial Number in parentheses. Finding the complete serial number involves finding a book or online reference that has this information. My choice has been Bob Mann's book THE B-29 SUPERFORTRESS.
In order to match the times in this document with those on the Blackboard it is necessary to convert from Local Time to Greenwich time.
TIME LANDED AT SAIPAN
MISSING AIR CREW REPORT 14237