Joe Bailey Whitener Crash
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Sgt. Joe B. Whitener

Air Force, Sgt. Joe B. Whitener, 21-year-old San Matean killed Sunday in a B-29 crash in Japan, had been in action in the Korean war since May, his mother, Mrs. C.W. McCormick of 864 Howe St., said today.

The young flight engineer on the bomber, which carried eight other crewmen to their deaths when it hit an airport building while attempting a landing in bad weather after returning from a mission in Korea, joined the Air force in 1948, after serving three months in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Before being sent to the Far East, he had served in Germany at the time of the Berlin air attack.

Sgt. Whitener, who was born in Spur, Tex., moved to San Franciso with his family in 1947 and to San Mateo two years later. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of San Francisco.

He had hoped to return home early next year to marry his fiancee, Miss Billie Roykin, a student at Texas Technological College whom he had known since childhood.

His stepfather, C.W. McCormick, a Navy warrant officer, is serving aboard the cruiser U.S.S. Los Angeles in Korean waters.

In addition to his mother and stepfather, Sgt. Whitener leaves a sister, Mrs. James T. Lingg of San Francisco and a niece, Brunetta Lingg, also of San Francisco.

Source: The Texas Spur, 1951

Courtesy of Lillian Grace Nay

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