New England Air Museum
William F. Seiber
William Seiber, 1944
William Seiber, 1944
Recent Address:   1107 Oak Pointe Drive, Waterford, MI 48327
Family Information:   Parents: Walter and Vergie; Siblings: Walter, Bernard, Clarine, Julia, Rubie
Hometown:   Pontiac, Michigan
Date Entered Service:   December 10, 1942
Service Number:   16160788; T132787
Bomb Group:   462nd Bomb Group
Squadron:   769th Bomb Squadron
Location of Unit:   Tinian; June 19, 1945
Missions Flown:   9
Hump Missions Flown:    
Awards/Decorations:   Air Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with 2 Battle Stars, American Theater Ribbon, Overseas Service Bar, Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Western Pacific Campaign, Air Offensive Japan
Service Schools Attended:   Pilot Flight Training Jan-Sep 1944; Radar Bombardier Oct 1944-Feb 1945;
Military Specialty(ies):   MOS 1024-Pilot, Four-Engine Aircraft, MOS 0142-Radar Observer, Bombardment
Rank Upon Discharge:   2nd Lt.
Crew Type:   Flight crew
Airplane Serial No.& Name:   Not named, but called it "Bucket of Bolts"
Were you a POW?   No
Were you interned?   No
Date Transferred from the 58th:    
Date Discharged from the 58th:   March 18, 1946
Post-WWII Military Service:    
Post-WWII Civilian Occupation(s):
I went back to school and then worked as an Automotive Engineer for Pontiac Motor Div. of General Motors Corp. until I retired in 1979.
Thoughts on the 58th Bomb Wing:
Working as a team and with each man doing his job correctly, almost every problem can be resolved. We lost a lot of young men. I was one of the "lucky ones" that returned with only a few bad scars.
I was eighteen when I graduated from high school in June 1942. I volunteered for military service in the Army Air Force on 12/10/42. I entered active service two months later on 2/18/43. I, like so many of the other "men" who were in the military service during WWII, were just "kids." After I completed pilot training and radar bombardment training, I became a member of a B-29 replacement crew. We joined the 58th Bomb Wing after they had moved to the Mariana Islands. We were stationed on Tinian. West Field was our home base. I only flew nine missions and only one as the Co-Pilot. I was the Radar Bombardier on the other eight. Most of our missions were fire bomb raids, dropping them from an altitude of 5,000 to 8,000 feet. Our longest mission was the one to Aomori on the northern tip of Honshu Island. We flew to Iwo Jima, refueled, rested for several hours then flew on and completed the mission. It was approximately 4,000 miles. Actual flying time was sixteen hours and thirty minutes. We were told that we destroyed 99.9% of the city.

We were hit with shrapnel on this raid, lost some of our systems including the hydraulic brake system. We were able to fly back to Tinian and made a so-called "crash landing" at North Field. Their runways were longer than the ones at West Field. With no brakes and with a lot of prayers we stopped just a few feet from going off the end of the runway, over the cliff and into the water. No one was hurt. Several days later, after the plane had been repaired, we flew it back to West Field. We flew the rest of our missions in this B-29 with no other problems. It was a good one, but we still called it the "Bucket of Bolts."


William Seiber, 2002
William Seiber, 2002




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