New England Air Museum
John R. Birch
 
Recent Address:  

N81 W13139 Country Terrace Lane, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

Email:  

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Family Information:  

Parents: Frank and Marion

Hometown:  

Milwaukee, WI

Date Entered Service:  

December, 1942

Service Number:  

O-766403

Bomb Group:  

444th

Squadron:  

676th

Location of Unit:  

Tinian (June-October, 1945)

Missions Flown:  

2 training missions (not credited); 8 combat missions (1 aborted); 1 "mercy" mission (ditched)

Hump Missions Flown:  

 

Targets:  

Utsonomiya, Namazu, Fukui, Osaka Nava Base (aborted), Tsu, Hachiogi, Toyokawa, Hikari, Sapporo (mercy mission)

Awards/Decorations:  

Air Medal, Purple Heart, WWII Victory Medal, Presidential Unit Citations (2), Theater Ribbons

Service Schools Attended:  

Ranking Field-Tulare, CA Aug-Sep 1943;
Merced Army Air Field-Merced, CA Oct-Nov 1943;
Williams Army Air Field-Chandler, AZ Dec 1943-Feb 1944

Military Specialty(ies):  

MOS 1093-Pilot B-29 VHB, MOS 1055-Pilot, Single Engine (Instructor)

Rank Upon Discharge:  

1st Lt.

Crew Type:  

Flight crew

Airplane Serial No.& Name:  

42-24873 Snuffy, 42-24720 Fu-Kemal-Tu

Were you a POW?  

No

Were you interned?  

No

Date Transferred from the 58th:  

October, 1945 (I think)

Date Discharged from the 58th:  

January 16, 1946

Post-WWII Military Service:

Promoted to Captain in Air Force Reserve. Ended service in reserve about Nov 1958.

Post-WWII Civilian Occupation(s):

Architect, Civil Engineer

Thoughts on the 58th Bomb Wing:

The most meaningful months of my life.

Comments:

Co-pilot of plane ditched off of Iwo Jima on mercy mission. Entire crew survived. Promoted to Airplane Commander after end of hostilities. Transferred to 509th Bomb Group before returning to U.S.

"The War Years" an excerpt from "Reminiscing: The Life of John Birch" is available in 58th Bomb Wing Memorial Collection.

 


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