STORY UPDATE – Warbird Radio Presents – The B-29 Mystery

B-29 Small

 

WARBIRD RADIO – On this episode of Warbird Radio Presents we work to solve a B-29’s mysterious past.  Inside the Warner Robins Museum of Aviation is B-29, 44-84053.  From the outside, 44-84053 is just an ordinary late war B-29, it’s on the inside where the mystery begins.

Unexplained seats in the aft section of the fuselage and missing records (prior to 1955) set the stage for something secret.  Was 053 part of a special forces unit post war or was she a member of a covert mission during WWII?

Find out this week on Warbird Radio Presents – The B-29 Mystery.  For a complete update on the evidence we’ve discovered since the original broadcast, just keep reading.  Thanks for taking a look!

DOWNLOAD OR PLAY THE PODCAST AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

QUICK LINK:   Museum of Aviation


 

STORY UPDATE (01/30/15):  Since broadcasting this story in 2010, Warbird Radio.com has confirmed 44-84053 was most likely used for Psychological Operations post World War II.  It’s secret mission would have been to deliver agents behind the Iron Curtain in Europe.  With help from a retired USAF Colonel (who doesn’t want us to print his name) and some clever research, it was discovered 053 has a high probability of being part the Air Resupply and Communications Service.

Documented in Apollo’s Warriors – United States Air Force Operations During The Cold War, B-29’s configured like 053 were operated by the 582nd Air Resupply and Communications Group from RAF Molesworth.  In a strange twist of fate the B-29’s that were retro-fitted for this mission were stored and re-configured at the Robins Air Force Base depot in Warner Robins, Georgia before departing for Molesworth.  Today, 053 rests on the same property.

“The required number of bombers were soon pulled from the mothball fleet at Robins AFB, Georgia, and restored for duty,some with fuselage markings still showing the number of combat missions flown over Japan.  These modifications included removing all guns for self-defense, saving those in the tail turret, and installing a “joe hole” in the former aft-belly gun turret space for parachutists to exit.  Resupply bundles would hang like clusters of melons in the bomb bay to be dropped like bombs as the plane passed over the drop zone.” – Apollo’s Warriors

Some clues to 053’s past are still highly visible.  After careful examination around wheel wells and bomb bay doors,  black paint chips still remain.  The “joe hole” can clearly be seen in the aft belly turret and many other clues have helped lead to this hypothesis.

NOTE:  At this point, the only way to definitively solve the mystery would be confirmation by a crew member or photo of 053 in action.  So naturally, we’re working on that now (grin).  We have located some very clear documentation supporting our theory but before going to print we’re going to get the full story.  If you have any thoughts, we’d love to hear from you!

Matt Jolley
Warbird Radio.com

CONTACT: matt@warbirdradio.com

QUICK LINK:  Apollo’s Warriors

PHOTO GALLERY

In Memory of Lt. Col. Edward J. Saylor – Doolittle Tokyo Raider

WARBIRD RADIO – We’re sadden to learn Lieutenant Colonel Edward J. Saylor, one of the 80 brave men known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, has died.  Lt. Col. Saylor passed away quietly at his home in Washington State around 11:00am on Wednesday January, 28th, 2015.

Warbird Radio spoke to Tom and Catherine Casey, long time friends and managers of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, who confirmed Mr. Saylor’s passing.  The Casey’s said: “We are truly saddened at the passing of Lt. Col. Ed Saylor, engineer of Crew 15. We are also very proud to have known and spent so much time with him. We will miss his sense of humor, his smile and his dedication to the legacy of Doolittle Tokyo Raid.

Lt. Col. Saylor requested there be no funeral or military ceremony.  His final wishes were simple, to be buried beside his wife.  If you’d like to honor the memory of Lt. Col. Saylor, he asked that you make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, a Quick Link has been posted below.

FYI:  Our final interview with Mr. Saylor has been edited and posted below for your enjoyment.  His story is truly unique and one seldom shared.  God speed Mr. Saylor.

QUICK LINK:  Wounded Warrior Foundation

From The Archive – Check out the weapons bay of an F-102!

WARBIRD RADIO – A few years ago we had the chance get up close to an F-102 under restoration at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia.  Here’s a look at some of the images we captured.  What’s unique about these images is seeing the weapons bay(s).  This is a seldom seen vantage point we thought you’d enjoy.

 PHOTO TOUR

Mid American Flight Museum – The Texas Warbird Report – 9pm (EASTERN)

TexasWarbirdReport-SkyKingWARBIRD RADIO – Scott Glover from the Mid American Flight Museum joins Zane Adams on the next Texas Warbird Report – Tuesday 1/27/15 at 9pm (EASTERN).  Scott and his Mt. Pleasant based museum has been quietly building and impressive collection of warbirds and other vintage aircraft over the last few years.

The collection includes a B-25 (the former Pacific Prowler), an A-26 and the centerpiece C-47 “Sky King”, a WWII combat veteran of Operations Overlord and Market Garden.  Join us for a peek into this new and growing north Texas museum.

QUICK LINK:  Mid American Flight Museum

STUDIO LINE:  478-787-4768
SKYPE: warbirdradio
EMAIL:  info@warbirdradio.com

C-45’s Can’t Fly Upside Down??? – Matt Younkin – Warbird Radio LIVE! – Ep 552

MattYounkinWARBIRD RADIO – Air show aviator Matt Younkin joins Matt Jolley on this week’s Warbird Radio LIVE!  Mr. Younkin is the masterful aviator who not only flies an aerobatic demonstration in a World War II vintage cargo plane, he also regularly flies the Commemorative Air Force’s B-29 FIFI.

 

Tune in and call in with your comments or questions this Tuesday night (1/27/15) at 8pm (EASTERN).

We’ll also check in with the guys from Warbirds News for a look at this week’s warbird headlines.  For more information on Matt Younkin and Warbirds News just click on the Quick Link posted below.

Photo courtesy Ricardo von Puttkammer.  Thanks Ricardo!

QUICK LINKMatt Younkin’s Website
QUICK LINKWarbirds News

STUDIO LINE:  478-787-4768

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