1945: Man Dangles from B-29 During Bombing of Tokyo
Sgt. Krantz Dangles from B-29
A Lucky Escape During the Bombing of Tokyo
During one of the high-altitude raids over Japan from Saipan, one gunner had a lucky escape.
It was on a raid in February 1945 that Sgt James Krantz was blown out of the B-29 American Maid when his observation blister was shot away. Home made straps he had designed saved him from plunging to death and he dangled for 15 minutes over Nagoya before his fellow crew members could pull him back into the ship.
An alert aerial photographer, Captain John Bartlett, in another B-29 snapped the now-famous picture of the plucky gunner hanging from the American Maid while the fighting went on about him.
”The Japanese Chamber of Commerce had done a good job. They gave us a very hot reception.”
“We were struck by two win engine Jap fighters that rushed our tait. The tail gunner called up and said on of his fingers had been shot off but he dropped his cap over the blood stained stub on the floor and shot down one of the planes. The second one came in and blew the waist gunner out of the ship along with his gun-set. We were 27,000 feet up at the time and the temperature was about 45 degrees below zero. Krantz lost a few fingers from frostbite but other than that he came out all right.”
– Capt John D. Bartlett