Boeing B-29 "Super Fortress" Bomber Aircraft
A.A.F. Serial Number 42-24791
"The Big Time Operator"
|History of B-29 42-24791 "The Big Time Operator":
This B-29 "Super Fortress" was produced by Boeing, Wichita Kansas. It was accepted by the United States Army Air Force on
17 October 1944 as B-29 42-24791, craft number 4452 under the Block 50 contract with Boeing.
After acceptance, this B-29 was assigned to the 1st Bomb Squadron (Very Heavy), 9th Bomb Group, 313th Bomb Wing, XXI
Bomber Command, 20th Air Force.
B-29 42-24791 was given the name "The Big Time Operator" and painted with the nose art of the Walt Disney character
"Donald Duck" wearing radio headphones.
B-29 42-24791 "The Big Time Operator" was flown on 46 Combat Missions over Japan from Guam and Tinian during 1945.
Her mission list includes (not yet complete as of the publishing of this page):
February 8th 1945 - XXI Bomber Command Mission 27 to Truk
March 16th 1945 - XXI Bomber Command Mission 43
March 24th 1945 - Attacked primary target, Mitsubishi Aircraft Engine Works, Nagoya
March 27th 1945 - Mining Mission Number 1
March 30th 1945 - Mining Mission Number 2
April 24th 1945 - XXI Bomber Command Mission 96, Primary Target
May 3rd 1945 - Mined Mine Field Mike
May 24th 1945 - Mining Mission 15
May 25th 1945 - Mining Mission 16
July 6th 1945 - Radar Scope Mission
August 7th 1945 - XXI Bomber Command Mission 319, Attacked Yawata Industrial Area
During 1945, the 1st Bomb Squadron rotated crews between all squadron aircraft. Because of this, not one single crew flew
the "The Big Time Operator" on every mission. Her 46 Combat Missions were flown by the following commanders:
Shenefiel - 21 missions, Pulsfort - 7 missions, St. Dennis - 5 missions, Morris - 3 missions, Durkee - 2 missions, Hutchinson -
1 mission, Reid - 1 mission, Malo - 1 mission, Klemme - 1 mission, Nighswonger - 1 mission, Prehoda - 1 mission, McMahan -
1 mission and Abbott - 1 mission.
After World War Two, B-29 42-24791 "The Big Time Operator" was flown back to the United States. She was stricken from
inventory in 1950 and transferred to China Lake Naval Weapons Station. At China Lake "The Big Time Operator" was used as
a ground target with many other famous B-29's for decades of weapons testing.
The nose section was eventually recovered from China Lake and put on display at the Edward F. Beale Museum, California
until 2001. The Beale Museum closed and the nose section was transferred through the National Museum of the United States
Airforce to the New England Air Museum, Connecticut. The New England Air Museum used the remains of "The Big Time
Operator" to restore their B-29 "Jacks Hack"
QuestMasters obtained the nose of B-29-50-BW 42-24791 "The Big Time Operator" in November 2012.
The cockpit greenhouse shown above was recovered from Omaha, Nebraska by QuestMasters for restoration of this very
|Original color photograph of "The Big Time Operator" B-29 42-24791. The name LT. W.M. BLOOMFIELD is painted behind the
pilot position on the port side of the aircraft next to the Navigator position.
Note the covered tear shaped hole to the right of the word "Time". This is where the AN-148 "Rebecca" antenna was
|B-29 Cockpit, Pilot and Navigator position, left photo.
B-29 Cockpit, Co-pilot position, right photo.
|B-29 Pilot and Co-pilot positions, above two photos.
|B-29 Cockpit nose "greenhouse", above photo.
This cockpit greenhouse was found by QuestMasters in Omaha, Nebraska in 2012. The window glass is original. The top two
sections are laminated glass. The bottom and center six sections of window are very thick plexi-glass.
The M-9 Norden Bombsight and C-1 Stabilizer were obtained for the restoration of the nose section of B-29-50-BW 42-24791
"The Big Time Operator".
|History of B-29-50-BW 42-24791:
Craft Number: 4452 Production: Block 50
Built under A.A.F. Contract Number: AC-19673-2
Contract Serial Number Range: 42-24420 through 42-24919
Gross weight 133,500 lbs. Wingspan 141' 3", length 99'.
Engine type: (4) Wright R-3350-23. Max speed 330 MPH.
Total cost $879,349 per aircraft - to include cost of aircraft, engines, propellers, and radios.
Manufacturer: Boeing, Wichita Kansas
Accepted: 17 October 1944