3rd Place - Empirical Faculty/Staff
During WWII, there were a number of airfields in Kansas, including Walker Air Force Base in Russell County, Kansas, that trained B-29 bomber crews. During an Army Air Force (AAF) training mission on May 5, 1945 the semi-experienced crew 383rd Bomb Group of Flight 294 experienced an external fire in engine #1. At 1500 feet the bomber turned sharply, nosed vertically, exploded on impact, and was embedded in a field at an undisclosed site in Russell County, Kansas. Within minutes 5 crew bailed out, but 8 of the 13-man crew perished, their bodies recovered, but much of the buried bomber was left on site. In 2010 a magnetometer survey was conducted to determine if any anomalies at the crash site could be used to target the B29. Initially four anomalies were detected, but no excavations took place. A 2013 reconnaissance and a 2014 survey eventually led to the detection of the B29 and subsequent excavation took place.
Copyright the Author(s)
"The Wreck of Army Air Force Flight 294,"
SACAD: John Heinrichs Scholarly and Creative Activity Days: Vol. 2023, Article 98.
Available at: https://scholars.fhsu.edu/sacad/vol2023/iss2023/98