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Dear Ms. Fisher,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1941 - 1983 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that include the deck logs of the USS Bering Strait (AVP-34) for July 19, 1944, through June 30, 1945. We check the logs for February 10 and February 11, 1945. On these days, AVP-34 was assigned to an air sea rescue station and rescued one aircrew on February 10 and a different crew on February 11. The aircrew on the 11th consisted of eleven crew members of “B-29 Plane #242-824 from Tinian Island, 483th Squadron, 505th Bombing Group, 21st Bombing Command, of the 7th Army Air Force.” This information matches what was written about the Homing Bird in The B-29 Superfortress Chronology, 1934-1960, by Robert A. Mann. The log lists the recovered aircrew by name and rank. If you provide us with your father’s name, we’d be glad to check the log to confirm that he is listed.
The deck logs are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2). The staff at College Park will be pleased to make these records available to you or your representative in the Textual Research Room located at 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, near the University of Maryland--College Park campus. The Textual Research Room (Room 2000) hours are 8:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. The RDT2 consultation room hours are 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. No appointment is necessary. Prior to your visit, please consult the College Park website at https://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/college-park/.
Or you may contact RDT2 via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to order digital reproductions of the log.
My father's name is Harry W Wing (Jr) and the pilot was Melvin Cash. There were 11 rescued (no loss of life). The story I have is that they were rescued approximately 16:00 on 11 Feb 1945. If you can confirm he's listed on that rescue then I can come in and review the records in person and I'm assuming I can then request copies?
I live close enough to drive to NARA College Park.
2 people found this helpful
Dear Ms. Fisher,
Thank you for posting your follow-up request on History Hub!
We examined the deck log of the USS Bering Strait (AVP-34) for 11 February 1945 again and discovered a discrepancy in the log: Although the log states that there were “Eleven survivors taken taken aboard the starboard gangway” when it goes on to list the survivors taken aboard for passage, it only lists ten people. 1st Lt. Melvin G. Cash is listed, however there is no listing for Harry W. Wing. The log provides other details about the timeline of the discovery and rescue of the crew, with the rescue itself lasting from 1605 to 1615. The entire log for the day is two pages, of which one page provides details about the recovery of the crew.
The staff of the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) will be pleased to assist you or your representative with requesting these records for viewing in the Textual Research Room located 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, near the University of Maryland--College Park campus. The Textual Research Room (Room 2000) hours are 8:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, except legal holidays. The RDT2 consultation room hours are 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except legal holidays. No appointment is necessary. Prior to your visit, please consult College Park websites at https://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/college-park/, https://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/self-service-copying.html, and https://www.archives.gov/research/start/getting-started.pdf.
There may be records concerning this incident in the Army Air Force unit records. During this time period, the 505th Bombardment Group was assigned to the 313th Bombardment Wing. We searched the Air Force History Index and located consolidated mission reports of the 313th Bombardment Wing for February 1945. The microfilm reel number for these records is C0141. We also located an additional 68 sets of records created by the 313th Bombardment Wing. in 1944 and 1945. To view these records after you have clicked on the link provided, please click on the specific PDF icon. In the PDF listing, the IRISREF is the microfilm reel number and note the FRAME and FRAMELST numbers for the location on the reel. If the reel number begins with A, B or C, the microfilm may be viewed in the Microfilm Reading Room at the National Archives in College Park. The microfilm will need to be retrieved from the stacks. The RDT2 staff can assist you with requesting the microfilm.
If the reel number begins with D - Z, the microfilm is still security classified and RDT2 will not be able to make the reel available to you. The original paper copy from which the film was created is still in the custody of the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) and has been declassified as will be any general orders or unit histories of the units not included on the microfilm. For access to these records, please contact AFHRA, 600 Chennault Circle, Building 1405, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL 36112-6424. You also can submit reference inquiries via the contact form on their website.
You may be interested to know that the rescue of 11 crew members of the B-29 “Homing Bird” is also mentioned on the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships entry for the USS Bering Strait, although no names of individual crew members are given. We also located an oral history interview of Melvin Garvin Cash where he describes the incident and states that 11 crew members were rescued, however he does not list individual names in the segment that we viewed.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!