USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Iron Shillalah
B-29-25-BA 42-63519

497th Bomb Group

Iron Shillalah

Delivered to the USAAF on 8 December 1944, this Bell Atlanta built Superfort was assigned to 869 Bomb Squadron. It was flown on a regular basis by the crew of Lt Wolff but, to date, only its missions flown during March 45 have been recorded.

George Wolff took it to Nagoya on the night of 11-12 March and was subjected to attacks from Japanese fighters on six occasions. One engine was shot out and half of one aileron as well as another engine faltering. Wolff called for fighter protection and managed to get back to safety. It was patched up and flew another night mission to Kobe four days later. On 18 March Wolff's crew again sustained damage which knocked out #4 engine.

One month later on 18 April, "Iron Shillalah" was flown by another crew to attack the airfield at Tachiari. Lt Jack Bussell had two engines shot out by fighters. After limping back, the B29 was ditched 15 miles off Iwo Jima. Only 3 of its crew were rescued, eight men died.


© Ray Bowden 12 August 2022