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Origin of the B-29 Superfortress "Raz 'N Hell" (Korean War)


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#1 DoubleT

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 08:53 PM

This text was shared with me by Mr. Hugh Chaney--bombardier of #521746 during the Korean War. I'm posting it under it's own thread for the purpose of ensuring this information is not lost/obscured by time--Tim

 

Tim,
Thanks for your quick response, so I will get busy with some background. I am well acquainted with the bird in your message; RAZ 'N HELL First let me give you some background on my career. I was a dual rated officer i.e. pilot and bombardier. I was happy as a pig in clover in 1950. I was stationed on Okinawa flying C-54's back and forth from Oki to Japan hauling food supplies etc. In late June my squadron commander called me in and said "Chaney you are now a bombardier in the 19th BG" ( they were called groups then)
 
I was assigned to a crew commanded by Lt Dan Henshaw and the bird was THAT'S IT. I was a pretty hot bombardier and a short time later I was assigned to a lead crew commanded by Capt. David A. Austin. I completed 69 missions and was rotated home. Rotation was done individually then as opposed to the complete crew system in Europe in WWII.
 
Eglin Test Center had been experimenting with controlled bombs called RAZON because they were radio controlled in both range and azimuth by looking through the bombsight..That is how the name RAZON HELL came about. My crew was selected to try then out. A Eglin engineer flew with us and documented the results which weren't all that favorable. I did fly one of them into the end of a mountain tunnel and have strike photos to prove it. RAZON bombs were written off and before long we were selected to drop the TARZON. That was a 12000 pound mutha designed to knock down a bridge from a half mile away. We made a drop on the bridge between China and  Korea near Pyongyang. We were at a disadvantage because we had to approach the bridge at a 90 degree angle which makes for damn little error.
 
We were not allowed to overfly China. The ideal angle to attack a bridge is at a 33 degree angle which allows for more error in aiming. Another crew was selected to drop the TARZON and on a mission with the crew commanded by the group commander; Col Payne Jennings. The bomb would not release over the target so the Col decided to fly it back to Oki. This was a disastrous decision because on the way back the ship was using so much fuel hauling an extra 12000 pounds they crashed in the ocean an even though every bird  was ordered to fly low and search for survivors. Not one piece of debris was found.
 
You can see by the bombs painted on the nose we were hit by flak and fighters fighters several times. That MIG was one piece of flying perfection piloted by Russian pilots. On one mission a sizeable piece of flak penetrated the pilots sliding  window and hit the co-pilot. He was bleeding pretty good and I was elected to be his doctor. I got out the medical kit stopped the bleeding and gave him a shot or morphine. He doesn't remember much after that.
 
I had to open one part of the survival kit and discovered that the gold coins supposed to be used for barter if you were shot down were missing. Subsequent investigation proved someone had stolen the coins from every kit. Upon arrival at Oki a gunner got to shoot off the red flare (wounded on board) and did that ever alert all the emergency crews and equipment. I am pleased to report my patient survived and lived to fly again.
 
I was surprised at the technical information about the B-29 props.  All I knew I  hated to push those blades through several times before boarding and starting the engines , never did ask why just Yes Sir git er done.
 
Guess I have rambled on enough so will mail this.  At my age I am prone to typing errors so please overlook them.
Sincerely, 
Hugh

 


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