February 21, 1924 (New York, NY) – July 12, 1945; 21 years old
Last local address: 3 Lakeview Drive, Norwalk
Enlisted on December 2, 1942
Service number O-708948
462ND BOMBER GROUP (VERY HEAVY), 770THBOMBER SQUADRON
Awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart Medal
Kingston High School (NY) Class of 1941
From The Norwalk Hour January 8, 1945
Mr. and Mrs. Max Solomon of 71 Osborne Avenue received their first letter on December 3 from their son Lieutenant Norman Solomon, who is a bombardier and radarman on a B-29 Superfortress in the 20th Air Force and is stationed somewhere in India. Lieutenant Solomon has been overseas for two months and has seen quite a bit of action. He wrote one of his missions took him on a bombing raid over Mukden, Manchuria (China). They flew rather high and the cold was intense Norman sad. He said he didn’t know if he was scared stiff or frozen stiff. During one of Lieutenant Solomon’s missions, he landed at a base somewhere in China. He said that there were no chop suey or chow men to be had. In fact, says Lt Solomon, “I don’t think they even know what it is.” Instead Norman and his crew rounded up several ducks and had the Chinese mess boy kill and cook them, Chinese style. The entire crew voted that it was the best duck they had ever eaten, all except Lieutenant Solomon who wrote: “Mom makes the best duck ever.”
From findagrave.com: B-29 #44-69966 took off from Tinian Island along with other B-29’s on a bombing mission over Nagoya, Japan. Before arriving at their target, they were attacked by a Japanese fighter which disabled their #3 engine. Multiple parachutes were seen to leave the B-29 and 10 of them became POW’s of the Japanese. The B-29 was seen to crash into the Iseno Bay, Japan on May 14, 1945.
Out of a crew of eleven, ten survived the crash and were imprisoned at the Ofuna Camp near Yokohama. Six of them were executed on July 12, 1945. Two died while a POW (Gentry & Reynolds), one was declared missing (Labadie) and two survived the war (Orr & Miller).
Airmen who became missing from B-29 #44-69966:
Labadie, Paul ~ Cpl, Right Gunner, MI
Airmen who were executed while POW’s from B-29 #44-69966 on July 12, 1945:
Howell, Evan L ~ Cpl, CFC, IN
Johnson, Jerry W ~ Cpl, Radio Operator, LA
Manson, Carl H, Jr ~ Cpl, Left Gunner, CA
Prichard, Benjamin W ~ Cpl, Radar Operator, VA
Sherman, Dean H ~ 1st Lt, Pilot, MT
Solomon, Norman ~ 2nd Lt, Bombardier, CT
Airmen who died while POW’s from B-29 #44-69966:
Gentry, Edward R ~ Cpl, Tail Gunner, TN
Reynolds, Theodore C ~ 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot, NH
Airmen who became POW’s from B-29 #44-69966 and survived the war:
Orr, Robert C ~ 2nd Lt, Navigator, CA
Miller, Lloyd C ~ T/Sgt, Engineer, MO
Buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, Section 82, Site 1E. The reason he is named on a group headstone is because when soldiers were killed in close proximity to each other they were unable, at that time, to identify them separately and interred their remains together in one grave. He was originally interred overseas and was later repatriated on November 21, 1949.
Jefferson-Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, MO; Section 82, Site 1E.