Obie Jenkins was born on 9 March 1917, the son of Decator Casper Jenkins and Bessie Humphrey.
He died on 14 April 1945

First Lieutenant
499th Bomber Group,  878th Bomber Squadron

Aircraft B-29-42 with serialnumber 42-24644 departed from Saipan, Marianas Islands on a combat mission to Tokyo, Japan. The aircraft with eleven crew members was not contacted by radio after the take-off.
T/Sgt Louis T. Vance parachuted from the damaged plane, and had been evacuated to the United States and stated: Enemy fighter fired two bursts into number four engine and vicinity which ignited the engine and also punctured a fuel cell directly behind number four engine. This happened about 1:00 A.M., 14 April 1945. We were flying in a course going from Tokyo to Choski Point. At the time of bailing out we were approximately 40 miles inland. Everyone had ample time to bail out before the ship exploded in mid-air. To my knowledge no one was injured prior to bailing out. Captain Will F. Latimer Jr. and Staff Sergeant Chester A. Johnson Jr. were reported to have been in Tokyo jail.

Pilot, Capt Will F. Latimer Jr.
Radar Obs., S/Sgt Irvin C. Ellingson
Co-Pilot, 1st Lt Obie Jenkins
Radio Operator, S/Sgt Chester A. Johnson, Jr.
Navigator, 2nd Lt Charles A. Lundevall
Bombardier, 1st Lt Ralph X. Muhlebeck
Engineer, 1st Lt Neal A. Sheridan
Left Gunner, Sgt William W. Sutherland Jr. C.F.C.
Gunner, T/Sgt Louis T. Vance
Tail Gunner, Sgt Walter E. Walk
Right Gunner, Sgt John W. Gunner

The Knoxville Journal,  15 July 1949
Funeral services for First Lt. Obie Jenkins, son of Mr. and Mrs. Decator C. Jenkins, Maryville, who was killed in action in Japan in 1945, will be held at First Methodist Church in Maryville. The Jenkins family had been informed the body of Lieutenant Jenkins was temporarily interred in a military cemetery in Yokohoma, Japan. The young officer was killed when a B-29 Superfortress of which he was co-pilot, was shot down while returning from a bombing mission over Tokyo. He had only five more missions to make before returning to the United States, when his plane was shot down. Before entering the service, Sept. 21, 1942, Lieutenant Jenkins attended University of Tennessee to study mechanical engineering. He also was an employe of the Aluminum Company of America. He graduated from Everett High School in 1935, and from Maryville College in 1939. He was active in sports and athletics while attending the schools.

Pictures from Maryville College Yearbook 1939

  • Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Date of birth:
  • 9 March 1917
  • Date of death: 14 April 1945
  • County: Blount
  • Hometown: Maryville
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 499th Bomber Group, 878th Bomber Squadron
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Grandview Cemetery, Maryville, TN
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar VI, Bottom Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Obie Jenkins

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