Z SQUARE 7, A B-29 TRUE STORY

Home
The Z Square 7 Crew
Z Square 7 Crew Families
Z Square 7 Crew Cemeteries.
Missing Air Crew Report
Z Square 7 Crew Military Funeral
Memorial Lt Eugene M. Thomas Jr (Marion, Al)
Memorial Lt Francis X. Glacken (Cambridge, MA)
Memorial Lt Norman B. Bassett (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)
Marcia Bassett McGrattan
Memorial Sgt George P. Demers (Lynn, MA)
Memorial Sgt George P. Demers (Lynn, MA)
Peter & Lillian Demers/Charlotte (Demers) Fiasconaro
Memorial Sgt Louis A. Dorio (Clarksville, VA)
HIRE OUR VETERANS!
POW-MIA-KIA Ceremony
500th Bomb Group, 73rd Wing Honor Roll
Bill Mauldin With Willie And Joe
Father John McBride
S/Sgt Kenneth O. Eslick with Photo Album
Sgt Jesse S. Klein. 41-13180
Frank Farr & Merseburg, Germany
"Lili Marlene" The Song!
"Lili Marlene" The B-17
"Lily Marlene" The B-24
"Lili Marlene" The B-24
Ivan Fail Introduction and "Long Before The Guns And Tanks."
Ivan Fail's "Tribute to the Queen"
American Battle Monuments Commission - Cemeteries
American Battle Monuments Commission - Memorials
NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL
THE MARINE CORPS WAR MEMORIAL (IWO JIMA )
KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL
VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL
M/Sgt Roy P. Benavidez, Vietnam Medal Of Honor
Frank Farr Poetry "November 2, 1944", "Old Men And The War", " Merseburg"
Some Pictures of World War 2
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Pages Introduction
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Crew Index
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 1
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 2
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 3
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 4
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 5
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 6
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 7
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 8
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 9
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 10
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 11
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 12
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 13
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 14
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 15
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 16
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 17
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 18
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 19
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 20
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 21
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 22
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 23
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 24
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 25
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B29 Superfortress
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B26 Marauder
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B25 Mitchell
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B24 Liberator
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B17 Flying Fortress
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - C87 Liberator Express
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - PBM-5 Mariner
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - A20 Havoc Attack Bomber
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - C47 Transport
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - P61 Black Widow
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - A26 Invader
GIVE OUR VETERANS JOBS!!
Ivan Fail's "The Tuskegee Airmen"
Airmen Medal Of Honor Memorial
Memorial Page #1
Memorial Page #2
Memorial Page #3
Memorial Page #4
Memorial Page #5
Memorial Page #6
The Navajo Code Talkers & Native American Medals Of Honor
Ivan Fail's "D Day, The Normandy Invasion"
B-29 Crew Positions & Specifications
About The Book
C. Clayton Thompson Bookseller
Ivan Fail's "When The Mustangs Came"
Contacts
Ivan Fail "The Eighteen Wheeler's Hymn"
Awards
Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building with photo album
Ivan Fail's "Against All Odds - Mission Complete"
Ford Tolbert by Sallyann
Ford Tolbert Pictures
A Tribute to Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, USMC, The Black Sheep Squadron
Lt Halloran Eulogy for Colonel Boyington
Omori POW Camp
Ivan Fail's "A Salute To Lt. Holguin"/ "Shoo Shoo Baby"
Great Bend, Kansas B-29 Memorial
General Lemay's biography including a B-29 nose art photo album
THE GENERAL AND MRS CURTIS LEMAY FOUNDATION
March 9 and 10, 1945 Over Tokyo
Lt "Hap" Halloran on March 10, 1945
General Earl Johnson
General Earl Johnson Biography
313th Bomb Wing Mining Missions
Lt Robert Copeland, copilot, Z Square 8
Pyote Bomber Base With A Photo Album
History of "Diamond Lil" With A Photo Album
History of "FIFI" With A Photo Album
"Hap" Halloran induction Combat Airman Hall of Fame
Blackie Blackburn with a photo album
Hap's Memorable Flight On FIFI
C. Douglas Caffey, A WW2 Veteran, Book Of Poetry
C. Douglas Caffey Collection Of Poetry
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 16
Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
Page 25
Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
Page 29
Page 30
Page 31
Page 32
Page 33
C. Douglas Caffey on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
C. Douglas Caffey With More on PTSD
C. Douglas Caffey Memorial Day Flying The Flag
C. Douglas Caffey Saying Goodbye To America
OUR VETERANS NEED WORK!
Pearl Harbor with Photo Album
The Pacific Theater
Battle of Saipan, Mariana Islands
Saipan Medals of Honor
Battle of Tinian, Mariana Islands
Tinian Medals of Honor
Battle of Guam, Mariana Islands
Guam Medals of Honor
Battle of Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima Medals of Honor
Cpl Ira Hayes, USMC
Battle of Okinawa
Okinawa Medals of Honor
Japanese Surrender
Navy Ships At Surrender Ceremonies
Ivan Fail's "The Saga Of The Superfortress"
Ivan Fail's "The Silent Sentries"
Last Page

Ivan Fail

b-29takeoff.jpg

AGAINST ALL THE ODDS- MISSION COMPLETE

(Courtesy of the Iwo Jima Marines and their Navy and Coast Guard Comrades)

The blood soaked island of Iwo Jima had been wrenched by force from Japanese hands.

So our crippled bombers returning from strikes would have an emergency haven to land.

At a cost of 26,000 Leatherneck casualties, including 6,800 killed in action ---, IN 36 DAYS --, "bloody Iwo" was in American control.

The price had been blood, heartbreak and pain, the Marine Corps had paid a terrible toll.

Surabachi was now an "American flag pole", as the Stars And Stripes waved from the mount.

A poignant reminder to all of the world that war takes a toll too awesome to count.

But now the bombers, shot up and crippled ---, or disabled by mechanical failure ---, had some hope of reaching a strip.

And that meant fewer "missing in action" ---, fewer ditching’s at sea --, and most important --, fewer heartbreaking "one way trips".

That meant fewer War Department telegrams ---, or dreaded knocks upon the door.

That was the "gift" to American airmen ----, and their families ---, the ULTIMATE "gift" from the "guys in the Corps".

Now the Superfort crews could continue their job in a quest to bring an end to the war.

That was the mission OF every mission, the job they were trained and "engineered" for.

A classic example of the skill and the courage that was common among the crews of these ships,

Was "highlighted" by a lone Superfort --, struggling to make it to the emergency strip.

Crippled with three engines out -, the lone engine labored at maximum power.

In the pilot seat an exhausted "kid", was counting the minutes that seemed more like hours.

As he fought the controls he was thinking ahead, could they make "Iwo" by stretching their glide?

With the laboring engine set at full power he knew what would happen if it coughed and died.

In the ocean below the hungry sharks waited, that's the reality of a ditching at sea.

And if they survived would they be rescued, or "missing in action" would they always be?

The lone engine labored to keep them aloft, the dead engines were "dragging" the opposite wing.

Holding full rudder to counter the yaw, what EXTRA challenge would the next minute bring?

This is what's called "just sweating it out", while doing your best to simply survive.

Would "Lady Luck" and that overworked engine get them to "Iwo" and keep them alive?

At last off of the nose Iwo Jima appeared, a safe haven at last IF "Lady Luck" smiles.

But with the bomber losing more altitude each inch of ocean seemed more like a mile!

And Iwo appeared a million miles distant, yet just off the nose and just up ahead.

There was one chance and ONLY ONE CHANCE, do it right first or they would be dead!

A B-29 in perfect condition can challenge the skill of most any man.

Less "forgiving" than the B-17, bigger ---, more cumbersome --, and "hotter" to land!

Crippled with only one engine , the odds of a landing – -, and survival ---, were "daunting" at best the crew understood.

BUT the pilot up front had brought them this far -, in spite of the odds -, he HAD to be good!

A straight in approach, no room for mistakes, --, single engine – --, maximum power ---, FULL opposite rudder to counter the yaw,

And on the island Marines were observing, it was hard to believe the scene that they saw.

Three feathered props on the Superfort's wings, one engine alone was propelling the "ship".

The Leathernecks held their breath as they watched, could the struggling bomber get to the strip?

The B-29 was not engineered to fly on one engine the Leathernecks knew.

Yet here was a poignant exception to "law", three engines were "dead" but the Superfort FLEW!

Controlling decent with only one engine, yet holding some altitude, a priceless "insurance".

Was testing the nerve and skill of the pilot, aircraft response and "engine endurance"!

The thundering engine was howling in protest, yet it was still keeping the plane in the air.

If only it lasted on final approach with enough air speed for the pilot to flare.

And as the drama was being played out, in the minds of observers admiration was stirred.

Though crippled and struggling to say in the air, this Superfort was still a magnificent bird.

The thoughts and the hopes of each witness observing were focused upon the Superfort's crew.

They couldn't "reach out" and lend them a hand, "wishing them well" was all they could do.

And they were aware each crewman aboard had families and friends who were far from these shores.

And only luck and the skill of the pilot would spare them "that telegram" or "knock on their door".

Closer and closer the crippled plane limped, as the Leathernecks "willed it" to safety ashore.

These "heroes of Iwo" recognized valor, a "comrade in arms" in the nightmare of war.

At maximum power the struggling engine was "tugging" the Superfort to safety ahead.

The pilot intent on a one shot chance, one minor mistake and they would be dead.

At last the crew had hope of survival, that survival and safety was now in their reach.

As the giant bomber lined up on the runway, lowered the wheels and passed over the beach.

Then a perfect landing in view of the circumstance, the Leathernecks cheered the miraculous feat.

Uncommon courage and the skill of an Artist had "chalked up another "mission complete"!

Ivan L. Fail

 

Note: About 6 years ago a long time friend and WWII Marine who made the Guadalcanal, Guam and Iwo Jima invasions told me that he watched this aircraft fly over on only one engine but he never learned it’s ultimate fate. Although I didn’t land on Iwo Jima until exactly 11 years after his "D-Day" landing on Iwo -, I was able to tell him that the bomber had made a safe "one engine landing" that day because I had read about it in a story about this epic battle.

Send an email to Ivan Fail

sendemail.gif

previous.jpg

top.jpg

next.jpg