A B-29 (#44-61908) flying out of Okinawa went down in the Sea of Japan on
February 1, 1952, killing all of its 12-man crew. The wing of the bomber was struck by another B-29
(#42-65392) in the formation in which it was flying (a training flight), causing the planes to
crash ten miles northwest of Kadena AFB, Okinawa. There were no survivors on #44-61908, but #42-86392
landed safely with no fatalities.
The Korean War Educator is currently searching for more
information about this accident and its crew members. If any
of our readers have information about this B-29 or its crew members,
please contact Lynnita by e-mail
or telephone 217-253-4620 in Illinois.
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Fatalities - #44-61908
- Dugger, Cpl. Robert B. Jr. - (tail gunner) See Readers' Comments.
- Hoag, Capt. Eugene Maurice - (navigator) born January 25, 1922
- Lennox, Cpl. Kenneth - (CFC gunner), born February 14, 1930
- McCook, TSgt. Wade - (flight engineer) McCook was a World War II veteran who was one of only
two airmen who survived the downing of a B-17 on October 8, 1943. He was taken prisoner of war by
the Germans, returned home after the war, and reenlisted in the Air Force.
- Pitt, Cpl. Jimmie W. - (left waist gunner), born May 27, 1931
- Sedler, Cpl. Mark A. - (right waist gunner)
- Smith, Capt. Hal R. - (co-pilot), born July 28, 1919
- Sundstrom, Capt. Roy Arnold - (radar observer) He was from Custer County, South
Dakota. See Memorial section.
- Supplee, Sgt. George W. Jr. - (radar operator) A member of a different crew
with the 307th Bomb Wing, 372nd Bomb Squadron at Okinawa,
Sergeant Supplee volunteered as a radio operator on this fatal
flight. He had a brother, Tom Supplee, who later lived in
- Tabor, Capt. Marvin T. - (bombardier) Born August 1, 1915 in
Oklahoma, son of Tom and Rhoda Tabor, he was survived by a widow and
children Marvin Jr. (6), James (5), Rhoda (9 months), Elizabeth
(4) and Sue (20 months).
- Tullius, Lt. Roy C. - (pilot) He was born August 7, 1925. He married
Jean Kams, daughter of Albert and Ruth Kams, in July of 1951.
She died February 11, 2011. After Roy's death, Jean became
a nurse. She married Dr. Edwin D. Savlov in 1963 and they
had one son, Marc Haley Savlov.
- Weeks, Lt. Charles B. - (aircraft commander) He was born December 14, 1923. He was
a 1st Lieutenant in the Air Force during World War II and Korea.
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Memorials - #44-61908
Sundstrom, Roy Arnold*
[*Copied from the South Dakota Korean War Memorial internet
Roy A. Sundstrom was born June 15, 1918, in Newcastle,
Wyoming, to J. L. and Alma Sundstrom. He was the youngest of
seven children. He had six siblings, five brothers: Conrad,
Arthur, Robert, Philip, Carl, and a sister, Viola. Roy went to
school in both Hot Springs, South Dakota, and Newcastle,
Wyoming, graduating from Newcastle High School in 1935. After
completing his education, he worked in the newspaper business in
Newcastle until he enlisted in the Air Force in February of
After undergoing much training as a bombardier navigator,
Sundstrom was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He went
overseas during World War II and from August of 1944 to April of
1945, Lt. Sundstrom went on 50 missions against the Nazis while
he was stationed in Italy as part of a bomb group. For his
service in World War II, Lt. Sundstrom was awarded the Air Medal
with two Oak Leaf Clusters, EAME Theatre Ribbon, and three
After he was inactivated from the Air Force, Roy went back to
the newspaper business with his brother Carl. They first
operated the Deadwood Pioneer-Times and ran it during 1946. Also
in 1946, Roy married Mildred Armstrong on August 9 in Billings,
Montana. Carl then sold the Deadwood newspaper and bought the
Custer County Chronicle. Roy was a “contributing partner as news
reporter, advertising manager and editor” while still a member
of the Air Force Reserve. Roy and his wife had a daughter,
Sandra Sue. On May 10, 1951, Roy was called back to active
service in the Korean War at Mather Field, Sacramento,
Lt. Sundstrom was sent for re-training in California, Texas,
and Louisiana; he was promoted to Captain and then left the
United States in January of 1952 to serve as a radar observer on
a B-29 bomber in the Pacific. He participated in several bombing
missions over North Korea as part of the 372nd Bomber Squadron,
307th Bomber Wing, 12th Air Force, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. On
February 1, 1952, over an hour after leaving for a bombing
mission over North Korea, Captain Sundstrom’s B-29 was struck in
midair by another plane in their formation. His bomber was
greatly damaged in the wing area and crashed into the ocean. At
first the crew members on Sundstrom’s bomber were reported
missing in action. However, after a search located “portions of
the plane and clothing,” Captain Sundstrom and the rest of the
crew were presumed dead on February 13, 1952.
The crew members’ remains were buried with military honors at
Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri. For his service in
Korea, Captain Roy Sundstrom was awarded the Purple Heart, the
Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the
National Defense Service Medal, and the Korean War Service
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Re: Cpl. Robert B. Dugger Jr.
"I have been researching the death of my father, Cpl. Robert
B. Dugger, Jr. He was killed on February 1, 1952 when his
B-29 went down in the sea of China. It was due to
mechanical failure, though there is some indication that the
USAF listed it as pilot error. They flew out of Okinawa.
His service number was AF19387914. He is buried in a
common grave at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St.
Louis, Missouri, and neither he nor his crewmates' remains were
ever positively identified.
From other research I believe he was a member of the 372nd
Bomber Squadron. Any information I could obtain would be
helpful as my father is not listed in any archives that I can
locate, nor is my father's name or any of the others were killed
on this flight included on memorials known across the United
States for KIA of the Korean War. I think a supplemental
memorial should be erected next to the existing ones showing the
deaths of other human beings like my father that were killed
during the Korean conflict that are not currently shown because
of "political" or U.N. engagement rules or whatever that were
instituted during this conflict.
My father was a tail gunner that flew a bombing mission over
Korea out of Okinawa prior to his death with the 372nd Bomber
Wing. To dismiss his death that took place on a subsequent
training mission as being something other than non-combat
related, or "out of theater" or anything else is false.
According to my mother's (a judge's daughter and my father's
wife) investigation in 1952, the base commander was advised that
my father's plane be taken off active duty by Mr. Weeks (a
decorated World War II pilot) and several other officers.
A failed or dysfunctional airleon (?) was the reason.
Despite this input and the lack of parts, other than beer cans
available to this air wing as well as other flight squadrons,
the base commander decided to send a significant number of air
wings up in formation for a "training" flight on this particular
day." - Robert "Bo" Dugger, son of Cpl. Robert B. Dugger Jr.