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Re: Special Ops and the Namsi Raid
> I ran this by a friend of mine who does AF research, here are his comments.
<< Concerning the message you received from LTC John N. Duquette he mentions
> the 307th Bomb Wing. The message left by M. Dean Keller mentioning Gerald
> Emmett Johnson says Johnson was in the 19th Bomb Wing. There was another
> Johnson with the first name of Johnny Menlo who was with the same outfit as
> Gerald Emmett Johnson and was listed as MIA on the same day and presumed
> dead on the same day. I do not know if they were in the same plane.
Good point on the 19th Bomb Wing--I missed that. You get so close to something and you miss some important details. Futrell's, The History of the United States Air Force says the 307th Bomb Wing flew the mission so I went down the road assuming all the squadrons came from that wing. Thanks for pointing that out.
The three squadrons involved were the 370th, 371st and 372nd Bomb Squadrons (total of nine B-29s). My notes on the airplane Gerald Emmett Johnson [371st] was on are as follows:
Aircraft 045, 371st Bomb Squadron
Aircraft Commander: Capt. Robert M. Krumm
Disposition: Shot down by MiG-15s 23 October 1951. Crash landed on mud flats of Korea Bay.
Crew: 12 Men
GALLANT JAMES ALVIN AF15295553 USAF Cpl E4 MIA
HAYS MELVIN BLAINE AF39192109 USAF A1C E3 MIA
HORNER JOHN JOSEPH AO-1911849 USAF 1Lt O2 MIA
HUDSON LAURENCE HAROLD AO-2092806 USAF 1Lt O2 MIA
JOHNSON GERALD EMMETT AF13337205 USAF A1C E3 POW
JOHNSON JOHNNY MENLO AF18012759 USAF MSgt E7 POW
KRUMM ROBERT MITCHELL AO-804464 USAF Capt O3 MIA
MARSHALL ISREAL JR AF14353049 USAF A2C E2 KIA
MCADOO ERNEST ROBERT AF13337425 USAF Sgt E5 MIA
NUTTING JOHN MAINARD AO-685703 USAF Capt O3 KIA
OSBORNE JESS ALEX JR AF13351603 USAF A1C E3 POW
POYNOR CON FOLY AO-725476 USAF 1Lt O2 MIA
Narrative: According to the navigator on Capt Fogler's aircraft diary, “@ 0944 just before bombs away the Migs came in and on first pass (at bombs away) they knocked out #2 & 3 men out…” I believe the “three men out” the navigator refers to are A1C Gerald E. Johnson, Flight Engineer Johnny M. Johnson and A1C Jesse A. Osborne. They were the only three crewmen of Krumm’s B-29 listed as POWs. That they became POWs implies that they parachuted over land shortly after bombs away, and were held with other prisoners who later identified them by name during debriefs of fellow POWs after the prisoner exchanges of Little Switch and Big Switch. They apparently died in prison camp, as their bodies were not returned. If we assume Keller’s email is accurate, then I believe aircraft 045 crashed in the mud flats of Korea Bay. Three bodies were found at the crash site. POW/MIA/KIA records indicate Capt. John M. Nutting, A2C Isreal Marshall, Jr., from Krumm’s aircraft were declared KIA on 10 December 1951. This implies that their bodies were found less than two months after the raid—on the mud flats of Korea Bay as Keller suggests? The status of all other MIAs from the Namsi mission were not changed to KIA until December 1953 and February 1954—over two years later and after the prisoner exchanges of Little Switch and Big Switch. The third body found on the mud flats cannot be unidentified from records that I have. What of the remaining seven MIAs? That they were not found with the wreckage of 045 implies that they bailed out. That the wreckage was found on mud flats and that no bodies of this crew were recovered from the water, implies that these crew members bailed out over land and captured. That no record of them occurs in returning POW debriefs implies that if they survived bail out, they did not survive long enough to make it to a POW camp. If we continue the trail of logic, one could conclude that North Koreans executed them shortly after capture. Keller’s email provides supporting evidence for this conclusion.