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Interesting B-29 Photo

Discussion in 'Air War in the Pacific' started by George Patton, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    A few days ago I finished reading "Whirlwind", Barrett Tillman's book about the strategic bombing of Japan. In one of the later chapters he described an air gunner who dangled outside a B-29 after his observation bubble was blown out. He hung there for several minutes before being pulled back in, and amazingly only suffered from frostbite.

    Surprisingly, I came across this photo of the incident on Fold3 this morning.

    [​IMG]

    The caption on the back reads (note: this is copied verbatim, so I'm keeping 'jap' in it as it shows context):

    "This remarkable photograph, taken on a Boeing B-29 strike over Tokyo, Japan shows Sgt. J. R. Krantz, Hickory Point, Tenn., a waist gunner on a 21st Bomber Group Superfortress, dangling from his plane five miles up in the air over the Jap capital. Blown from his gun blister when it was destroyed by Jap interceptor fire, Sgt. Krantz hung for nearly fifteen minutes by one leg fastened in a safety strap before the crew managed to pull him back into the plane. Upon regaining consciousness on the way back to the B-29 bases at Saipan, Krantz told his crewmates he had, while hanging outside the airplane, confirmed one enemy fighter shot down by the B-29 from which he was hanging. Sgt Krantz is now in a rear base hospital being treated for frost bite."

    For more information on the B-29 ("American Maid"), refer to this website: Jack Bartlett and the American Maid - 73 BW
     
    Otto, Gromit801, Slipdigit and 5 others like this.
  2. buk2112

    buk2112 Member

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    Thanks for providing this pic and post.:salute: I read this book a few months months back and found it very informative and enjoyable. The story of Sgt. Krantz is one of those remarkable personal accounts that keep me glued to WWII. Thanks again,

    Randy
     
  3. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Nice picture, Alan. Guess I'll have to read the book now.
     
  4. Marmat

    Marmat Member

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    Now that's what you call explosive decompression!
     
  5. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    I like the
    "Upon regaining consciousness on the way back .............while hanging outside the airplane, confirmed one enemy fighter shot down by the B-29"

    Talk about keeping your wits & dedication!
     
  6. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    He probably didn't have anything else to do at the time. ;)

    That is a great pic & story! Wish I had seen it when it was originally posted. Better late than never, I guess.
     
  7. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Reminds me of the Airliner pilot who was sucked(pushed) out of the pilot seat and his foot stuck on the dash...the crew grabbed him but couldnt pull him back in...he too had frost bite...interestingly the worst problem was breathing...the air coming on at hundreds of miles an hour (and the height to a lesser extent) prevents breathing...so one has to angle the head so that one breathes the "disturbed" air, created by ones own body! Good story...better picture.
     
  8. SymphonicPoet

    SymphonicPoet Member

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    Wow! Just . . . wow! Incredible story.
     
  9. PA.Dutchman

    PA.Dutchman recruit

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    I saw this on TV, the maintenance man replaced all the window shield bolts with the wrong size, he should have confirmed the size however the company cut staff and he was under pressure to get the jet back in the air.

    The story told how nearly all Jet Window Shields seal from the INSIDE AND AS PRESSURE BUILDS THE WINDOW SEALS COMPLETELY.

    This model passenger jet used an metric bolts from the OUTSIDE of the window shield. The installer replaced all the bolts when he compared a wrong size bolt. All the wrong diameter bolts blew outward the higher the jet went and sucked the pilot out the window except for the foot they held on to.

    The crew told they thought the pilot was dead however if they pushed him out of the window and let go they believed his body might fly back into a engine so they held on to him.

    After the plane landed was when they realized he was alive, no one could believe he was alive and they almost pushed him out except for his body possibly hitting an engine.

    I was on our companies SAFETY TEAM FOR 34 YEARS. There is series of these documentaries where they investigate plane crashes etc. Nearly everyone was due to some large company cutting staff, etc to save money. I told the men I worked with I will never fly after watching these investigations of airline crashes all caused by cutting staff and costs.
     
  10. KrantzFam

    KrantzFam New Member

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    This is actually my great grandfather Sgt. J. R. Krantz. He went on to live an amazing life after this and only recently (2013) passed away!
     

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  11. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Wow! Glad you found this forum. Welcome.
     
  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Welcome to the forum KrantzFam!

    I hope you stay awhile and share some of your great grandfather's stories, as a lover of all things B-29, I would love to here them.
     
  13. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I second Takao's request. Thanks for stopping by a posting the photos.
     
  14. Kristin Strong Moore

    Kristin Strong Moore New Member

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    KrantzFam my Uncle, Russell Strong was also on this plane, from what we know he was on this plane when it was shot down by the Japanese and he was in A POW Camp. He was tortured and murdered on the last day of World War II. Would love to speak to you about your great grandfather and his memories. My uncles name was in The Stars and Stripes story and we beleive he was one of the men that helped to pull your great grandfather back in the plane.
     
    Otto likes this.
  15. Kristin Strong Moore

    Kristin Strong Moore New Member

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