USAAF Nose Art Research Project


A.B. Davis High School, Mount Vernon
B-29A-50-BN 44-61813

We have been unable to locate any photograph of this aircraft.
If you have any further information on its crew(s), mission details or pictures/documents relevant to this (or any other aircraft) we would be pleased to receive copies.
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This was the last of four bombers to be funded by the sale of War Bonds and Stamps by pupils and staff at A.B.Davis High School, Mount Vernon, New York. The four bombers were each of a different type to be purchased by war's end. The first was a B17 Flying Fortress, another was US Navy bomber (possibly a Helldiver or Corsair assigned to VB-83 or VBF-83 on the USS Essex) and another was a B24J Liberator.

This B29 survived hostilities and was converted as an F-13A for reconnaissance and mapping duties based in Japan. The serial number, according to the news report ended in #813.

By November 1948, the Superfort had accrued a total of 1049 flying hours - of which 150 hours was combat flying. It was, at that time, assigned to the 31st Reconnaissance Squadron based at Yokohama. Numerous flak patches recorded the scars of combat by then but the plane's guns has all been replaced by cameras.

A newspaper article yields the plane's number as #813 so the full serial number is believed to be 44-61813 which was assigned to 31st Recon Sqn in Japan and if this is correct the B29 had previously been assigned to 444BG, carrying the title "Pacific Princess". After its conversion for photo work it was re-named as "Over Exposed" and continued in service until the Korean conflict. On 9 November 1950, taking photos over the Yalu River it was attacked by Russian Mig 15s and severely damaged. After limping back to Johnson AFB, on its final approach it suddenly nosed into the ground killing all but one crew man. The sole survivor was the tail gunner, Harry Laverne, who had shot down one of the Mig 15s to become the first enlisted man to shoot down a Mig from and B29.

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© Ray Bowden 13 July 2024