Tuesday, April 23, 2013

WWII Veteran and Volunteer Celebrates 90th Birthday

On April 16, the Museum was pleased to announce the 90th birthday of WWII veteran and Museum volunteer, Charles G. Chauncey, 1st Lt Army Air Corp, “GOIN’ JESSIE” B-29 Pilot and Airplane Commander. Chauncey recently celebrated by returning to fly one of the few remaining B-29 bombers.

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress Bomber was the largest aircraft of World War II and was called "the greatest U.S. gamble of the war." On the morning of March 10, 1945, the B-29 crew, flying “GOIN’ JESSIE,” participated in what is now considered the deadliest bombing mission against any Axis countries of WWII.  This action packed event occurred over the heart of Tokyo, and was the very beginning of the incendiary bombings that were to hit 70 Japanese cities by war’s end.

Chauncey wrote, “Our B-29, we named ‘GOIN’ JESSIE,’ was the 704th B-29 built here in Wichita in late 1944.  Our crew picked it up at the Herrington, Kansas Army Air Base.”

“You might be interested to know there are two meanings for ‘GOIN’ JESSIE.’ First, it means going fast... Thus our fast, mean looking rabbit nose art. Second, in the Southern states, it can also mean a ‘loose woman!’ We didn’t know this at the time, so the art work is very tame, if you know what I mean, so maybe it‘s lucky for you and us, we didn't know about the latter terminology.”

Chauncey is a long-time supporter and volunteer at the Museum of World Treasures. More history and personal accounts of the crew of “GOIN’ JESSIE” can be found at Chauncey’s website.

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