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Wednesday, November 11, 2015


VETERAN'S DAY SALUTE--WWII Veteran Richard Vanden Heuvel shows medals, his photo as a 19-year-old Army B-29 tail gunner and the ripcord handle he saved as a memento of the day he and 11 of his fellow crewmen bailed out into the Pacific Ocean from their crippled bomber.   They were rescued by the crew of an American submarine 70 miles off the coast of Japan in early summer 1945.  All air crew members survived.  A Navy crewman filmed in color the bailout, the B-29 crashing into the ocean and the scenes of the rescue.  The film was lost for 65 years before being found and shared with Vanden Heuvel by Channel 9 News in Denver. 

This story is now five years old, but in honor of Veteran’s Day it is worth reposting.  It is a story of a remarkable rescue of 12 members of a severely damaged B-29 bomber, who bailed out over the Pacific Ocean in 1945 and were all saved by the crew of an American submarine.

A Denver television station came across the vintage film and was able to find a member of the crew, a then 19-year old tailgunner, who is still living. 

In the replay of the film (that sat in the trunk of the sailor who took the footage) the tail gunner recognized himself and his fellow crewmen, who were plucked from the ocean 70 miles off the coast of Japan.

Here’s the link:

Recovered lost footage of a U.S. Navy submarine rescuing all 12 crew members of a shot down B-29 bomber.

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