Black Tuesday

  John Wagenhalls writes: "I spent most of 1951 stationed at Kadena, assigned to the 370th squadron of the 307th Bomb Group. I returned to the US on the first day 0f 1952. During my tour of duty I flew approximately 50 bombing missions to Korea. Several missions were flown from Japan as we would leave Kadena during periods of typhoons. 
     "One of the missions that I flew was October 23, 1951, the so called  'Black Tuesday Mission . . .  I was flying as Bombardier in the #2 position in C Flight and Peter Dempsey was the Aircraft Commander. . . From the battle damage we sustained it would be the most likely position in the formation. The bomb doors on the right side of the aircraft were shattered from cannon fire, while those on the opposite side suffered only minor damage. I was able to wire the pieces of the bomb bay doors in the up position sufficiently to allow us to fly the aircraft back to Kadena.
      "Fortunately no one aboard the aircraft was injured in the melee. During and after the attack it seemed that  the B29s were scattered, as not one of the flights remained intact. It was almost as if each airplane was on its own since at least one aircraft from each flight was destroyed almost immediately in the first attack. The firepower effectiveness was severely reduced as, basically, no formation still existed. I believe we were the first crew to reach Kadena from
Korea that fateful day. If the MiGs would have to continued their attack they could have shot us all down."

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