Dedicated to Don Smith; Tail Gunner, "Satan's Angel"
(676th / 679th Sq.)
Born in Nfld. 2/2/22, and moved to Mass. in late summer of '25. I grew up in Lynn, Mass. and was an apprentice tool and die maker with GE there. I requested that they stop obtaining deferments for me in the fall of '42. So, I got drafted and was lucky to get into the Army Air Corps. After going to gun turret school at Lowery AFB near Denver, I continued in Power Turret Central Fire Control maintenance school at Lowery. Upon graduation, most us were to become top gunners in B-29s. When a request came into the office where I was working while awaiting assignment in Salina, KS. for a top gunner to go to Great Bend, KS. I asked to be the one to go. When I got there I found that there was no top gunner position open and I was offered a tailgunner's spot temporarily if I wanted to go overseas with the Group. So that's how I, a 6-footer, got into the tail spot.
- Don Smith, 09/06/2004
(c) Guido Ransleben
Myself and Glen Raker, our top gunner
Tom Payne, radar operator - "hatching eggs"
Jim West, right side gunner
Old maintenance crew in front of Satan's Angel, but I don't know any of their names
Don at Red Cross Building on Base
This one showing the insignia also displays the bombing missions and the number of trips over the "Hump" which is what we called the Himalyan Mts. Those trips involved hauling gas and bombs to China in the Chengtu Valley, where they were accumulated until we had enough of each to make a bombing run. The first two were to Anshan and to Mukden in Manchuria, a bit north of the Yellow River (I think), just west of a small peninsula jutting southward. Each of those missions lasted 13 to 14 hours. I did a lot of singing to myself back in the tail and sometimes pretended I was broadcasting a radio show. I also did quit a bit of vomitting in a small Whitman's chocolate can I had in there for that purpose and or to urinate in. I really needed a bigger can!
Satan's Angel over the "Hump"
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