The following information about Hoxies Hoax was submitted by Lance Hoxie, son of Thomas Hoxie:
Captain Thomas Hoxie was an aircraft commander in the 9BG, headquartered at Fairchild AFB in Spokane, WA in 1950 when the group was deployed to the Far East. Captain Allen (Tommy) Thomas, a member of the Hoxie’s Hoax crew, was also rated as a “pilot.” Hoxie and Thomas took turns as aircraft commander on missions, with the other serving as co-pilot.
During an early mission to Korea, Hoxie’s Hoax (serial #44-61923) was lead aircraft in the attacking squadron with Thomas Hoxie in the left (A/C's) seat. At some point over the Japan Sea (on the way to the bombing run) Hoxie’s Hoax lost an engine, dropped out of the formation and began a return to its base. In order to maintain altitude, the bomb load was salvoed over the Sea. One 500 lb bomb hung up in the racks. While attempting to release the bomb, it detonated either within the bomb bay or immediately beneath the belly of the plane.
The five who survived, including Hoxie and Thomas, salvaged a raft (no one knows how it got out of the plane, since it required a human effort to do so) and spent 36-48 hours at sea before a Japanese fishing vessel picked them up near Dojo Island.
Lance Hoxie wrote, "While official records may not comment on this, I recall that Dad indicated that they were never sure whether the bomb explosion was a result of a defect or that it had been sabotaged prior to the mission," adding, "The last plane on the mission, allegedly saw the explosion, broke radio silence and notified the authorities. When the message was received in the radio shack, a Reuters reporter was there and immediately sent the report out. It was received by the Grand Rapids, MI newspaper (my Dad’s home town) and published before my Dad’s parents (our grandparents) were officially notified. The title of the article in the newspaper was something to the effect of “Hometown Hero Missing in Action.”
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