Recollections of an RB-29 crew in Japan

Hawaii & Engine Failure

Our departure from Kwajalein was uneventful. As we cruised through the night, heading for Hawaii, it was with considerable effort that we remained wakeful enough to tend to our machine and our course of flight. I can recall taking turns for brief naps with Merle and was most thankful when my turn came and I could check out in my chair for a cat nap.

Morning arrival. Pearl Harbor
in view on approach.
Daylight found us with one of our two sick engines beginning to falter. Jim, our engineer, nursed it along until it was obvious that its continued operation would become more of a hazard than a help. We shut it down and feathered the prop, proceeding on to Hickam on three engines — praying that they would all do their part to get us safely on the ground. And so they did.

Whatever pessimistic thoughts we may have had, the side of optomism told us that we had a few days vacation coming up in Hawaii. Not having a regular B-29 maintenance facility at Hickam, we imagined it would take them some time to get our engine changed.

Landing safely, they pulled the aircraft into their maintenance area and went to work. In the meantime the crew broke up into tourist groups and began a fast tour of nearby amenities to include the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and beach facilities. This respit was short-lived for, within 24 hours, we were notified that the aircraft was ready for a test hop. It passed all checks with flying colors and we were soon on our way to the mainland.

Royal Hawaiian Hotel view
Beach view
A great sky view


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