Sunday, August 15, 2010

Two B-29 Bomber Crewman Meet in Idaho Falls

Marshall Dullum's crew in Korea. Marshall is front row, second from left.
Dean's crew, India. 1944-45.

Marshall and Dean and a model of the B-29. Marshall commented that if he and Dean could find two more old B-29 crewmen, they could form a new crew.

On August 13, 2010, two bomber boys who flew in the B-29 Superfortress met each other for the first time in Idaho Falls. I have known Marshall Dullum for three or four years, but only recently found out about Dean . Marshall trained in bombers in WWII, but did not fly combat. He did, however, fly in the Berlin Airlift and in the United Nations peacekeeping action in the Middle East. He flew combat missions in a B-29 during the Korean War, near the end of the period when the 29 was used as a combat bomber. Dean flew in B-29s during WWII. He first trained crews in 1942 and 1943 in B-17s and B-24s, and was one of the first to train in the new B-29, which he says is the best of the three by far. Dean flew with the 20th Air Force in Asia. A flight engineer who had mechanical aptitude, he was responsible for keeping the mechanical components of the 29 working in flight. His crew "flew the Hump" over the Himalayas 25 times. The crew took off from a secret base in India, flew over the Himalayas--or, if the weather was good---through the Himalayas, threading its way between the jagged peaks. They landed at another secret base in China, and then took off to bomb Japanese-occupied areas in East Asia. Dean remembers that on a clear day you could navigate your way across the Himalayas by following the carcasses of crashed aircraft on the mountains below.


Happy Warriors said...

Hi, great blog like what you are doing.

I am looking for people to contribute written tributes to USAAF WWII veterans. If you 'd like to take part please get in touch. I don;t have any B-29 tributes yet.


r morris said...

I'd be interested.

Happy Warriors said...

Great. Could we edit a 200 word version of this post perhaps? Let me know.