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News Item: The Journal News: Purple Heart medal awarded to Spring Valley, NY airman in WWII lost, found.
https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/rockland/spring-valley/2021/11/02/purple-heart-awarded-spring-valley-soldier-wwii-lost-
found/8574669002/
I was intrigued when I read this news story. A lost medal recovered. As with reading an article about Staff Sergeant
John Hogan, a recovered MIA airman from the air battles over Germany, I thought I might try to find out some more info
about this medal’s recipient, Staff Sergeant Stanley H. Boorman. Right off, I learned he was a radar operator on a B-29
Superfortress bomber with the 891st
Bomb Squadron, 497th
Bomb Group, 73rd
Bomb Wing, 20th
Air Force flying from
Saipan to attack Japan.
Searching for images like a crew picture, I was startled to see at the top of the page the famous picture of Captain
Walter “Waddy” Young and his crew posing in front of their B-29, “Waddy’s Wagon”. Was Boorman a crew member?
No, he turned out to be a member of 1st
Lieutenant Benjamin Crowell’s crew flying in a B-29 named “Miss Behavin”.
Crowell, Boorman and Young were members of the 497th
and they were all lost on the same mission on January 9, 1945
to the Nakajima Aircraft Factory in Musashino, Japan, near Tokyo (MACR 11220). Crowell and Young both had previous
assignments in Europe flying long-range patrol missions and had gotten reassigned to B-29’s.
Shortly after bombs away, they were attacked by Ki-44 Tojo fighters of the 47th
Sentai (Squadron) of the Japanese Army
Air Force. Crowell ‘s aircraft was rammed near the target by two Tojo fighters, which forced him to ditch in the ocean.
Some accounts state that the Japanese fighter hit their bomber in its number 2 engine, which is on the left side of the
aircraft. If this was Crowell’s aircraft, Boorman’s radar station would have been on the left side of the aircraft closer to
the tail so this would have put him in the path of parts of the disintegrating fighter.
Young had slowed the group in an attempt to help Crowell keep up but ordered them to press on when they lost sight of
him. Young, true to his dedication to the team from being an All-American football player for Oklahoma’s 1939 Orange
Bowl team and playing for two years in the NFL before the war, turned back to help protect his friend Crowell. Neither
aircraft nor any of their crewmen were ever seen again (Young MACR 10908).
A unique record from the Japanese side of their actions that day exists. Amazingly, a photo exists of Sergeant Masami
Yuki of the 47th
Sentai ramming a B-29. An unknown photographer from the famous newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun,
was at Yuki’s Narimasu airfield, pointed his camera to the sky and caught the moments after Yuki hit one of the several
B-29’s that were rammed. Yuki was killed, but his body was recovered near his victim’s engine.
Crowell’s crew photo is shown on page 217 (below), of The Long haul: the story of the 497th Bomber Group (VH), a unit
history published in 1947 (link). No names are listed, but Boorman may be center back row and Crowell kneeling center.
Undated photo of Boorman
“Miss Behavin” nose art on page 201 of The Long Haul. Where Boorman sat in the B-29 as a Radar Operator (link)
Young’s crew on page 152 of The Long Haul. A recently colorized version of the famous picture of
Young’s crew posing by “Waddy’s Wagon” (link)
Asahi Shimbun photo of SGT Yuki’s Tojo fighter
moments after hitting a B-29. (link)
A Ki-44 of the 47th
Sentai
Photo of the presentation case for SSG Stanley H. Boorman’s Purple Heart medal and high school photo that was
installed at Spring Valley Highs School in November 2021. Photo credit to Mark Vergari of the Journal News.

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SSG Boorman Purple Heart found research.pdf

  • 1. News Item: The Journal News: Purple Heart medal awarded to Spring Valley, NY airman in WWII lost, found. https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/rockland/spring-valley/2021/11/02/purple-heart-awarded-spring-valley-soldier-wwii-lost- found/8574669002/ I was intrigued when I read this news story. A lost medal recovered. As with reading an article about Staff Sergeant John Hogan, a recovered MIA airman from the air battles over Germany, I thought I might try to find out some more info about this medal’s recipient, Staff Sergeant Stanley H. Boorman. Right off, I learned he was a radar operator on a B-29 Superfortress bomber with the 891st Bomb Squadron, 497th Bomb Group, 73rd Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force flying from Saipan to attack Japan. Searching for images like a crew picture, I was startled to see at the top of the page the famous picture of Captain Walter “Waddy” Young and his crew posing in front of their B-29, “Waddy’s Wagon”. Was Boorman a crew member? No, he turned out to be a member of 1st Lieutenant Benjamin Crowell’s crew flying in a B-29 named “Miss Behavin”. Crowell, Boorman and Young were members of the 497th and they were all lost on the same mission on January 9, 1945 to the Nakajima Aircraft Factory in Musashino, Japan, near Tokyo (MACR 11220). Crowell and Young both had previous assignments in Europe flying long-range patrol missions and had gotten reassigned to B-29’s. Shortly after bombs away, they were attacked by Ki-44 Tojo fighters of the 47th Sentai (Squadron) of the Japanese Army Air Force. Crowell ‘s aircraft was rammed near the target by two Tojo fighters, which forced him to ditch in the ocean. Some accounts state that the Japanese fighter hit their bomber in its number 2 engine, which is on the left side of the aircraft. If this was Crowell’s aircraft, Boorman’s radar station would have been on the left side of the aircraft closer to the tail so this would have put him in the path of parts of the disintegrating fighter. Young had slowed the group in an attempt to help Crowell keep up but ordered them to press on when they lost sight of him. Young, true to his dedication to the team from being an All-American football player for Oklahoma’s 1939 Orange Bowl team and playing for two years in the NFL before the war, turned back to help protect his friend Crowell. Neither aircraft nor any of their crewmen were ever seen again (Young MACR 10908). A unique record from the Japanese side of their actions that day exists. Amazingly, a photo exists of Sergeant Masami Yuki of the 47th Sentai ramming a B-29. An unknown photographer from the famous newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun, was at Yuki’s Narimasu airfield, pointed his camera to the sky and caught the moments after Yuki hit one of the several B-29’s that were rammed. Yuki was killed, but his body was recovered near his victim’s engine. Crowell’s crew photo is shown on page 217 (below), of The Long haul: the story of the 497th Bomber Group (VH), a unit history published in 1947 (link). No names are listed, but Boorman may be center back row and Crowell kneeling center. Undated photo of Boorman
  • 2. “Miss Behavin” nose art on page 201 of The Long Haul. Where Boorman sat in the B-29 as a Radar Operator (link) Young’s crew on page 152 of The Long Haul. A recently colorized version of the famous picture of Young’s crew posing by “Waddy’s Wagon” (link) Asahi Shimbun photo of SGT Yuki’s Tojo fighter moments after hitting a B-29. (link) A Ki-44 of the 47th Sentai
  • 3. Photo of the presentation case for SSG Stanley H. Boorman’s Purple Heart medal and high school photo that was installed at Spring Valley Highs School in November 2021. Photo credit to Mark Vergari of the Journal News.