RON DUPAS COLLECTION
No. 9004. Boeing 345 B-29B Superfortress (44-84063) US Army Air Forces "The Wolf Pack"
Photographed at Tinian Island, Marianas, 1945, from Leo Kohn via Dan Shumaker, source unknown

Boeing 345 B-29 Superfortress

03/15/2017. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "During WW II it was found that Boeing could not carry the full load of the B-29 Superfortress production. Bell Aircraft and Glenn L. Martin were then selected to produce the long-range heavy bomber at newly constructed Government financed plants. The Bell plant was located in Marietta, near Atlanta, Georgia, and the first employees arrived at the plant in March 1943 and production of the first bomber began in the following October. The first two aircraft were delivered by the end of 1943.

Bell-Marietta was the sole manufacturer to produce the B-29B variant which was powered by four 2,200hp Wright R-3350-51 engines and had its armament reduced only to the tail guns (aimed and fired automatically by an AN/APG-15B radar fire control system). Maximum speed of the B-29B was increased to 364 mph (586 kmh) at 25,000 ft (7,620 m).

The Bell-Marietta had 673 USAAF serials allotted, in the end 358 B-29s, 310 B-29Bs and a single XB-29G were produced. The latter was an additional B-29B that was converted to a test bed for General Electric jet engines. At the end of the war, the plant was shut down and four unfinished B-29s were scrapped, three B-29s and one B-29B.

The pictured aircraft was delivered to the USAAF on July 23, 1945 and assigned to the 24th Bomb Squadron, 6th Bomb Group and was operated in the south-east Asia war theater. Soon thereafter it was assigned to the 4141st Army Air Force Base Unit for storage at Pyote AAF in Texas. Established in 1942 as a training facility for initially B17 and later B-29 crews, Pyote AAF became a storage facility on November 15, 1945. A few years it also became a reclamation facility and 44-84063 was reclaimed on June 24, 1954."

Created June 30, 2009