Topics - B-29 #44-87741 Crash
Andersen AFB, Yigo, Guam
December 17, 1953

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[KWE Note: The following information was found on the Aviation Safety Net website.]


The heavy bomber left Andersen AFB at 06:05 Local Time on its way back to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, via Kwajalein Island. Shortly after takeoff, the engine number two failed. The crew was able to shut it down, and feathered the propeller. On final approach to runway 07R, after passing through the last cloud layer, the pilot-in-command decided to make a go around and following a circuit before starting a second approach few minutes later.

While struggling to land the second time, he turned the B-29 into the feathered propeller at too steep of an angle, with the landing gear down, and flaps retracted which caused the bomber to lose lift and control. The aircraft banked 80 degrees to the left, and crashed in a near vertical position onto several houses located short of the runway.

Among the 16 occupants, all four crew members and five passengers were killed, seven others were injured. On the ground, ten people were killed, among them six children, and two entire families. It is still (as of 2017) the worst ever accident (in terms of fatalities) to have happened at Guam AFB.

Crew Fatalities:

  • Christopher, 1Lt. Dominick J. - navigator
  • DeBoer, 1Lt. Howard L. - bombardier
  • Larsen, 1Lt. Sophus Eddie - copilot
  • Leard, T/Sgt. Fred
  • Murray, A2C Francis L.
  • Oetgen, 1Lt. Henry G. - pilot
  • Pickrell, S/Sgt. Homer A. - gunner
  • Reilly, T/Sgt. John M. - flight engineer
  • Wagner, A3C Donald J.

Passenger Survivors:

  • Backman, A1C William J.
  • Duran, A2C Roberto
  • Graham, A2C Nelson H.
  • Jensen, A2C Robert L.
  • Newby, A2C Walter R.
  • Patton, 1Lt. Jack
  • VanDoren, A1C Donald C.

Fatalities on the Ground:

  • Kimball, Bonnie (age 11) - daughter of Capt. Stanley J. Kimball
  • Mills, Agnes - wife of Lt. Col. Benjamin L. Mills
  • Mills, Lt. Col. Benjamin L.
  • Mills, Helen (age 5) - daughter of Benjamin and Agnes
  • Mills, Margaret (age 9) - daughter of Benjamin and Agnes
  • Mills, Martha (age 2) - daughter of Benjamin and Agnes
  • Orken, Maj. Gerald A.
  • Orken, Shirley - wife of Major Gerald Orken
  • Orken, Steven (age 3) - son of Gerald and Shirley Orken
  • Orken, Vivian (age 5) - daughter of Gerald and Shirley Orken


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