QuickCheck: Did an American bomber crash in Rembau during World War Two?


OVER the years, a claim has been floated online that a Boeing B-29 Superfortress – the same type of strategic bomber that dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – crashed in Rembau, Negri Sembilan near the end of World War Two.

Did this really happen?

VERDICT:

TRUE

The B-29 named the "Postville Express" crashed in Rembau on Jan 11, 1945 after it was attacked by Japanese fighters as it was returning to its base in Kharagpur Airfield in India. Its crew had been given a bombing mission to attack the Japanese-held King George VI naval dock in Singapore.

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According to information available on the website PacificWrecks as well as an account by Postville Express pilot Major Donald Humphrey, three of its 11-man crew were declared missing or killed shortly after the crash.

The three are the bomber's co-pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Robinson Billings as well as its navigator Captain CA Hansman and its tail gunner, Staff Sergeant RE Spratt.

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Another four crewmembers were captured by the Japanese and were released upon Japan's surrender, while another four managed to evade capture with the help of local guerrillas in British Malaya.

However, one of the four – Capt Hansman – went missing on Feb 14, 1945 while the other three survived WW2.

References:

1. https://pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/b-29/42-24704.html

2. Humphrey II, Donald J. "DJ". 8 Miraculous Months in the Malayan Jungle: A WWII Pilot's True Story of Faith, Courage, and Survival

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