Submarine rescues B-29 Crew


By the end of World War Two, the Army Air Forces and the Navy had combined to institute a remarkably effective Air/Sea rescue service. If your bomber was hit over Japan, but could make it back to the water, you stood an excellent chance of being recovered. Heck, a major impetus for invading Iwo Jima was to provide an emergency landing site for damaged B-29s.

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2 responses to “Submarine rescues B-29 Crew

  1. Grandpa Bluewater

    There was also an SSN who rescued a B52 crew that crashed enroute Guam, coming back from unloading on N. Vietnam. They did it in a hurricane. USS Barb, a Permit class SSN out of Pearl Harbor.

    No film, but a nice article in…the Reader’s Digest. For some reason the New York Time sunday supplement didn’t tell the story.

    The number of Marines killed on Iwo Jima and the number of AF aircrew lives saved by emergency landings there are pretty much a wash. The sky blue and silver uniform bunch should be more respectful of our beloved Teufelhunden, than some of them sometimes are.

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    • Yeah, the numbers are pretty much a wash. But it was important to eliminate Iwo as a Japanese fighter base, and provide a base for P-51s to operate as escorts.

      I suspect that while casualties were expected to be high, they didn’t expect them to be as high as they were. Iwo wasn’t the first time the Japanese had ceded the initial landings and gone for an attrition campaign, but it was the most effective display of that tactic to that time.

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