|Death: ||Jun. 16, 1944|
Major Akins perished when U.S. Army Air Corps B-29-1-MO Superfortress #42-6231 crashed into a mountain in China while returning from a mission. He was with the 794th Bomb Squadron, 468th Bombardment Group.
Major Kenneth L. Akins was the pilot of B-29 serial 42-6231. The plane was lost on 15 June 1944 on its apparent return trip from the night mission to Yawata, Japan.
Accident happened at 1450Z eleven miles northeast of Kiangyu, China on 15 June 1944. Pilot and ten crew members were killed when aircraft crashed into side of sheer cliff and exploded. Mission was combat strike against Yawata from Pengshan. There were nineteen aircraft in the attack with subject aircraft being the seventeenth to take off. Takeoff appeared normal in all respects, as stated by qualified B-29 pilots who were observing takeoffs from the control tower. Between the hours of 1345Z and 1415Z, a series of position plots were received on an unidentified aircraft from the Chinese Warning Net. These plots placed the aircraft well north of course, if returning to Pengshan. Last report was 115 miles northeast of Pengshan. All reports were in line with scene of accident. No attempt was made to contact this aircraft by radio because its identity was unknown. On 20 June 1944 a search party reached the scene of an aircraft accident, reported by the Chinese and found the radio operator's log which contained the last three digits of subject aircraft serial number. The Board has not sufficient evidence to determine the cause or to fix the responsibility of the accident. Weather was not a factor.
This was the first B-29 combat mission to Japan. The above aircraft probably reached the target and was returned to base when it crashed, in view of the fact that no bombs were found in the wreckage.
[Contributed by A. Schutte]
MAJ, US ARMY AIR CORPS
Fort Smith National Cemetery
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Record added: Feb 25, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 264559
Aircraft Commander of B-29-1-MO Superfortress #42-7231. With the 468th Bomb Group|
Added: Aug. 14, 2012
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Added: Jan. 27, 2011
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