TRIPLE TS – AN UNLUCKY B-29 PILOT IN RANGOON

Posted on December 21st, 2016 by:

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TRIPLE TS – AN UNLUCKY B-29 PILOT IN RANGOON

By Sgt. Dave Richardson

YANK Staff Correspondent

INDIA—Among American POWs released when the British captured Rangoon, 1st Lt. Robert E. Derrington enjoys a rare though dubious distinction.



rangoon b29 superfortress india

A B-29 Superfortress of the 444th Bomb Group in India

Derrington, whose home is in Detroit, Mich., left Miami last Nov. 25 as pilot of a B-29 bound for the 20th Bomber Command. He arrived in India on Dec. 11. Three days later, on Dec. 14, he went along as an observer on a mission over Rangoon. The plane was hit and Derrington had to bail out with the rest of the crew. That night he was in a Japanese prison camp—only 19 days after leaving the States and three days after arriving overseas.

“I’ve got three claims to a TS card,” Derrington says. “Although I spent four and one-half months in a Jap prison camp, I have yet to earn my first six-month overseas bar. Although I’m a B-29 pilot, in five months overseas I haven’t logged a single hour at the controls. And in all this time overseas, I’ve never seen a letter from home.



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