Tuesday, August 18, 2015

On this day

On this day, 70 years ago, the last American casualty of WWII was killed in action.  Sergeant Anthony Marchione, of Pottstown PA.

He was in a B-32 Dominator reconnaissance flight flying over the Japanese capitol to confirm that the enemy was complying with its surrender statements.  There were still some bushido warrior hardliners in the enemy military and they went up to oppose any encroachment on sacred Nippon until brought to heel by the Emperor's loyalists.

But we didn't know that at the time.  All the USA knew was that and American had been killed by the Japanese after the stated acceptance of surrender terms.  What to do?  Well, a surrender delegation was due the next day in Manilla.  If they failed to arrive that would be telling.  They came, and hostilities did not need to be renewed.


In other news.  I have been a military aviation all my life, and I had never HEARD of the B-32 until yesterday.  It was a parallel design to the B-29 Superfortress in case that project was an unworkable fiasco.  It looks like they kluged the B-17 and B-24 together and then kicked that up a notch.   Only 118 were built. 


ASM826 said...

There's a new book out on this story. One of the fun facts is that the last B-32 had been held for a Air Force museum, but they didn't want it and it was scrapped. No B-32s exist.

Tam said...

"I had never HEARD of the B-32 until yesterday"

Really? I are dissapoint, NJT. *shakes head sadly*

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I KNOW! I feel great shame.