Author:  Patrick Lucas  Views: 1373 
File:  Wozniak bw12-b0015-2 Bridges  Size:  195K 
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Upload: pat  Time:   2008-3-15 8:14:14 
Edited: tonystro Time:   2008-4-26 19:32:37 

 

	 

	 Capt Kenneth R.
Bridges (pilot), 491st Bomb Squadron, was killed in the crash of  'Niagra's Belle' (43-3906) on 19 January 1945. 

His aircraft was one of four on a mission to bomb the railroad bridge
at Dap-Cu, French Indo-China. Over the target his aircraft was hit
by...[Kenneth R. Bridges]

Kenneth R. Bridges


Capt Kenneth R. Bridges (pilot), 491st Bomb Squadron, was killed in the crash of 'Niagra's Belle' (43-3906) on 19 January 1945.

His aircraft was one of four on a mission to bomb the railroad bridge at Dap-Cu, French Indo-China. Over the target his aircraft was hit by automatic weapons fire, damaging the right engine and causing it to quit as well as causing a fire in the left engine. For more than and hour and fifteen minutes, Captain Bridges did everything he could to keep the ailing aircraft in the air.

Having reached a point about 25 miles into China, up the Nanshi-Ho river, and slowly losing altitude he ordered the crew to bail out. He stayed at the controls until he was sure all of the other six men had left the aircraft. A few seconds later it appeared to  the copilot, last man out, that Capt. Bridges attempted to crash land the plane. However, the attempt was unsuccessful and the craft was severely wrecked and burnt. It is unknown why he didn't bail out, perhaps he believed the plane was already to low for the parachute to work.

All of the other six crewmen, including Sgt. Thomas Mire who had been shot in the leg, were able to reach a small village. The villagers and other Chinese assisted them to make their way  back  and by  January 22nd they had rejoined American forces.

His home town was listed as Luling, Texas. Click here to see him in a crew group photo.

(above information extracted from MACR 11638)

Kenneth R. Bridges

ID: 0-750329
Entered the Service From: Texas
Rank: Captain

Service: U.S. Army Air Forces, 491st Bomber Squadron, 341st Bomber Group, Medium

Died: Friday, January 19, 1945
Buried at: Honolulu Memorial
Location: Honolulu, HI, USA
Plot: C Grave: 278

Awards: Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Purple Heart


(Image from the collection of Eugene Wozniak)



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Tag  Wozniak  | B-25 | Bridges  | KIA | 491st Bomb Squadron 


    

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