The 6th Bomb Group

The Planes



The 6th Bomb Group flew B-29s, including B-29As and one B-29B.  Most crews gave their aircraft nicknames, which were painted on the side of the aircraft.


Ground crewman pulling the props through on "Reamatroid" prior to the start of a mission.

Aircraft Markings

Rudder and General Markings


Feb - Mar 1945

When the 6th Bomb Group aircraft first entered service in February, they did not have a lot of decoration.  A name might be stenciled on the side and the rudder might have the old rudder markings. [See, e.g., 14] By the end of the war, all of the aircraft had the "Circle R" on the rudder. Lead aircraft had vertical stripes on the rudder. [See, e.g.,16]


Apr - Aug 1945

 

The aircraft group number (e.g. "33") appears on the front bottom and the sides of rear fuselage. The aircraft serial number is sometimes shown on the tail [See, e.g., 03, 33].

Later in the war, the aircraft were painted red on the tip of the tail and on the engine cowlings. [See, e.g., 16, 33, 35, 51, 60] This was presumably done to help the groups form up after takeoff.

Aircraft used to drop supplies to POWs after the war had POW SUPPLIES written on the bottom of the wings. [See, e.g., 33]

Nicknames and Pictures

Almost all crews gave nicknames to their airplanes.  Initially, the nicknames were just painted on the side.  [See, e.g., 14, 15a]  Later, the crews began to also decorate their aircraft with artwork, often of scantily-clad women.  In response to complaints from the home front, many Group commanders censored the pictures.  The 6th Bomb Group avoided the problem by issuing an order (below) requiring that all aircraft bear the pirate insignia.

The decoration around the pirate insignia evolved over time.  Some early examples, such as the example above, are plain.  Others show a black circle behind the insignia.  [See, e.g., 28II]  Later aircraft show a white circle behind the insignia. [See, e.g., 15a]

Initially, the aircraft nickname was simply painted to the rear of the insignia. [See, e.g.,33 and 53]  Other planes inserted the insignia in trailing red and white flames.  [See, e.g., 28II]   The final version of the insignia was fairly standardized. [See, e.g., 06, 11, 33, 40, 51, 60, 65]  However, the script used to write the names could vary. [Compare 06, 33, 65]

Artwork was improved as time permitted.  The older paint jobs were not always updated immediately.  Some crews did not get around to painting the names on the aircraft.  On any given mission, the planes could have different styles of markings.

A Sad Day

Mission Markings and Names

Mission markings were painted on the same side, with a bomb for each bombing mission flown by the aircraft. [See, e.g., 57, 65]  Kill markings were noted with a Japanese flag. [See, e.g., 57]  On "Irish Lullaby", shamrocks were used in place of bombs. On some aircraft, "milk runs" were noted with milk bottles.

The names of the current aircraft commander and crew chief were normally painted on the left side below the aircraft commander's left side window.  The names of the pilot and assistant(?) crew chief might be painted below the pilot's right side window.  The navigators name might be painted below the navigator's left side window.

See B-29s in Color.

Aircraft Listing

Below is a tentative list of the airplanes, their nicknames and commanders along with a link to a webpage showing pictures of the aircraft and the men who flew them and the men who worked on them.

The total number of planes per squadron appears to have varied from 16 to 18 planes.
 

Caution: This is not an official listing.  Over the course of the war, the aircraft nicknames changed, aircraft commanders changed, crew chiefs changed, crews changed and crewmembers changed.  The names of some of the aircraft commanders were from the listing on the mission board for the final mission - so there is a good chance that they were not the regular aircraft commanders for the aircraft.  Also, when an aircraft was destroyed, another aircraft would take over that squadron number.  I have found some duplicates, but probably not all.

Also, the ranks of the aircrew may not be entirely correct. Most are the ranks shown on the 2 Feb 1946 award of the "China Offensive Battle Star". These ranks may reflect post-war promotions.

24th SQUADRON

No. Nickname Aircraft Commander Serial # Comments
01. Ernie Pyle's Milkwagon
Uncle Sam's Milkwagon
Parks 42-93906 Destroyed May 23
Spirit of Sammy Hume 42-63535  
02. [Unknown] Ramsey, Moreno 44-61549  
03. Sharon Linn Jordan 44-70116 Lost July 19 [#66]
04. El Pajaro de la Guerra Litchfield 42-24874 aka "The War Bird"
05. Big Joe Haki, Johnstone 42-24885  
06. Irish Lullaby Cooney 42-24830  
07. Incendiary Journey Holton, Bereznoff 44-61784  
08. Bataan Avenger Jones 44-61635 Returned to Wichita in June
  Fortune    
09. - Meadows 44-69864  
10. Anonymous IV Howett 44-61688  
11.   Mutoh 42-24889 Destroyed Apr 22
Miss America '62 Alger, Henshaw 42-65281 On display at Travis AFB, SFO
12. The Wolfpack Guay 42-94063  
13. Jake's Jernt
[Some Punkins]
Schad, Hurd 44-61558
44-27296
 
14. Snooky Preston, Holtzclaw 42-24825 First B-29 on Tinian
Many crew lost Apr 7 [#20]
Patty Sue Lazin ??-?4890  
15. Blind Date/Lady's Delight Boynton 42-24759 Lost on May 23 [#43]
Shasta Schwager, Fortune 44-87734 Ditched in ocean
16. Our Lady Dawson    
Tinny Ann Berry 44-69865  
17. [Unknown] Snyder 42-24870 Lost on May 23 [#43]
  Wilson 42-24836 Flew in last mission.
18.
Lovely Lois Rodgers 44-61905  
n/a Fortunes Follies Preston 42-65347 Lost Apr 7 [#20]
08. Lucky Leven   42-93951 Involved in accident.
??. Holton's Hellions Holton    

39th SQUADRON

Note: The planes were originally assigned lower numbers - for example, planes #35 was originally #25.

No. Nickname Aircraft Commander Serial # Comments
25.     ??-?4901  
26. Tokyo Trolley Fox 42-63553 Lost May 25 [#44]
Tokyo Trolley II Treeman 44-70150  
27. Lucky Strike Lemme 42-63552  
28. Trigger Mortis Booth 42-93911 Scrapped Mar 27
Trigger Mortis II Frank 44-69744 [see #39]
29. Look Homeward Angel Ralph 44-69736  
30. Rip Van Winkle Smith 42-24868  
Son of a B-29 Richards    
31. Lady Jean Henshaw, Cunningham 42-93898  
32. Snugglebunny Smith, Jennings 44-69667 34 missions + 78 in Korea
33. Reamatroid Russell, Joslin 44-69672  
34. Patrica Lynn Burwell, Disosway 42-93901  
35. The Cultured Vulture Richmond, Crumpton 42-24901  
36. Grider Gal Besore 42-24884  
37. Anne Garry III Clay 42-63351 Destroyed May 25
Anne Garry IV Clay    
Anne Garry V George 44-87650  
38. Forever Amber II Sharp 44-61686  
39. Here's Lucky Ezell, Koser 44-69744 [see #28]
40. Myas' Dragon Catts* 42-94042 * from airplane 41
41. Forever Amber Catts 44-69839 Destroyed Jun 5 [#45]
[Unknown] Russell 44-61836  
42. Speagle Eagle Olive 44-69757  
43. -   4?-?  
44. [Unknown]      
??. Tulsa Barb Cleverdon    
??. [Unknown] Casaurang 42-24842 Lost Feb 12 [#04]
??. Do It Again Sams 42-65229 Destroyed July ?

40th SQUADRON

Note: The planes were originally assigned lower numbers - for example, planes #53 was originally #33.

No. Nickname Aircraft Commander Serial # Comments
51. Earthquake McGoon Patterson 42-24866  
52. [No Name] Triplett 44-69831  
53. Flak Alley Sally Vincent 42-24878  
54. The Peacemaker Grounds 42-24916 Lost Mar 27 [#16]
Battling Betty Comerford 44-69847  
55. Little Giant Schmid 42-93939 Lost Jul 9 [#61]
Rattle N’ Roll Bunting 44-61803  
56. Jolly Roger Russow 44-24872  
57. White Mistress Wilson 42-24776 Damaged POW mission
58. Virgin Sturgeon Scurria 44-70006  
59. Dearly Beloved
"The Ramp Tramp"
Kubicek 44-70069  
60. Tojo's Nightmare Christenson 44-70124  
61. Connecticut Yankee Bierkan 42-24783 Crash landed and destroyed
Wun Wing Lo Harp    
62. Gravel Gertie Somonian 42-24880  
63. Lady Annabelle Tucker 42-93887  
64. Banana Boat Clay 42-63551 Taxiing accident Mar.
65. Little Jeff Christie 44-69855  
66. [Unknown] Moulton 44-69825 Ditched May 26 off Iwo Jima
67. Connecticut Yankee II Bierkan 44-69980  
?? Capt. Clay   42-63514  
??. Grand Slam Neal 42-93902 Crash landed Mar 10 - All OK
??.   Steel 42-63553 Destroyed Mar 13
??. The Bad Penny Steel 42-69675 Lost Mar 27 [#16]
??. The Bad Penny II Reed 42-69840 Destroyed May 16

SQUADRON UNKNOWN

No. Nickname Aircraft Commander Serial # Comments
??. Early Bird   44-86303  
??     42-24788 MACR
??. Kinney Dalle   44-61538 MACR
  [Unknown]     Ditched off Tinian

PLANES USED IN STATESIDE TRAINING

No. Nickname Aircraft Commander Serial # Comments
  Queen of 'Em All   42-86380  
  Take It Off   ??-?6371  

After the War

Some of the planes flew in the Korean War, including "Some Punkins", "Snugglebunny", "Reamatroid", and "Connecticut Yankee II".

Decals For Modelers

Here are some decals that may help B-29 modelers. These are latter versions of the markings. The pirate design and the "Circle R" were identical for all planes. However, the flames behind the pirate could vary. Many different fonts were used to write the name. Some planes did not have the flames (only a name) and some did not have the circle behind the pirate.