The 6th Bomb Group

#14. Snooky


Thanks to Anita Preston Schaezler, daughter of Cpt Clark Preston, A/C.

The Airplane

Snooky was the first B-29 to land on Tinian. Snooky was first flown by Cpt Clark Preston and his crew, and was named after his daughter Anita Preston. Tragically, Cpt Preston and many of the crew members were lost on April 7, when they were flying a replacement aircraft that had just arrived from the states. Following this accident, Snooky was then flown by another crew, names unknown.

Photo courtesy of Anita Preston Schaezler

The Air Crew

The air crew for this aircraft was Crew #2414:

Cpt Clark A. Preston (A/C)*
2/Lt Donald T. Goodwin (Pilot)*
2/Lt Lloyd E. Rinne (Navigator)*
2/Lt Albert N. Hett (Bombardier)
T/Sgt Eugene M. Arms (Engineer)*
Sgt Donald J. Parker (Radio)*
Sgt Edward E. Birsner (Radarman)
Sgt William P. Ford (CFC)
Sgt Thomas F. Wipperman (R Gunner)
Sgt John A. Douglas (L. Gunner)
Sgt Marcos S. Duran (T Gunner)*

* These six crewmembers died on 7 Apr 1945 while flying a replacement aircraft.  See "In Memoriam".

Crew #2414, the original crew of "Snooky"
Photo courtesy of Anita Preston Schaezler

The above appears to be the first of the two pictures since the name "Snooky: has not yet been painted on the side.

Standing - Left to Right:
Kneeling - Left to Right:

Crew #2414, the original crew of "Snooky"
Photo courtesy of Anita Preston Schaezler

Standing - Left to Right: S/Sgt Sherman E. Spraggins (?), Crew Chief, ___, Brig. Gen. John Davies (?), Cpt Clark Preston (A/C), ___, ___, ___, ___.
Kneeling - Left to Right:

This picture may have been taken on March 27 and Snooky may have been the lead plane on the first mining mission (another first for the crew).  According to Maj. John S. Chilton, "Mines Away":

On the first night of the mining campaign, Brigadier General John H. Davies flew in the lead B-29 to guide his four groups of the 313th Bomb Wing to begin the disruption of Japans most vital waterways.

In Memoriam

John Alan "Jack" Douglas of Seminole, Fla. died Feb. 5, 2002.  He flew over 30 missions as a left gunner with the 24th Squadron.  In April 1945 Douglas was one of the four survivors when a B-29 commanded by Capt. Clark A. Preston exploded and sank shortly after takeoff on a mission from Tinian.  "Jack was very sentimental about the 'grand adventure' he survived," said Gloria Douglas, his wife of 59 years.  Awarded the Purple Heart, Douglas was the last remaining Snooky crewmember.  He later worked in graphic arts, and helped produce the April 1996 and January 1997 newsletters.  [6th Bomb Group Association Newsletter (July 2002), p. 5]

The Ground Crew

The Crew Chief for "Snooky" was S/Sgt Sherman E. Spraggins.