Shootdown # 4
On October 7,1952, an RB- 29 was shot down by Soviet fighter aircraft in the vicinity of Hokkadio Japan. This was the first hostile encounter between U.S. and Soviet aircraft in this area. According to the U.S Air Force, ”the Soviets admitted firing on the B-29 but denied any knowledge of the fate or whereabouts of the eight crew members.” The United States sent a protest note to the Soviet government on
September 25,1954, asking for $1,620,295.01 in compensation. The U.S. government accused the Soviet government of capturing and retaining U.S. airmen from the downed RB -29. The U.S. government concluded and charged that some or all of the crew of the B-29 successfully parachuted to the sea at approximately the position where the aircraft hit the water—The United States government concluded and charged the Soviet government’s patrol boat did pick up items of interest to the Soviet government, as well as survivors still alive and bodies of other crew members, if dead.
The crewmembers were carried by the USAF as missing until November 15,1955, when their status was terminated by presumptive findings of death. In November of 1992, the family member of one of the crew member, John R. Dunhan,
Received word from the Pentagon that “Dunham, a navigator, was killed when his airplane was shot down over the Sea of Japan and crashed in the waters claimed by the Soviet Union.” The story of his remains, and how they were found is another story in itself. The bottom line is that, Captain Dunham’s remains were returned home to the U.S. (where they belong) and he was given a proper burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
The crewmembers of the B-29 lost 1952 were:
Captain Eugene M. English
Captain John R. Dunham
First Lieutenant Paul E. Brock
Staff Sergeant Samuel A. Colgan
Staff Sergeant John A Hirsch
Airman 1st Cls Thomas G. Shipp
Airman 2nd Cls Fred G. Kendrick
Airman 2nd Cls Frank E. Neail III