Eskildsen, Chodacki saw World War II from B-29 Superfortress

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Bombs that fell from Jack's Hack and eight other B-29 bombers on Aug. 14, 1945, onto Japanese naval arsenals at Hikari are believed to have broken the back of the Japanese Navy and placed an exclamation mark after Victory In Japan Day, Aug. 15.

Niel Eskildsen, 86, of Bull Shoals and Henry Chodacki, 91, of Mountain Home put their lives on the line for each other, their country and fellow crew members on Jack's Hack, the bomber that flew 20 combat missions during World War II against targets mostly on mainland Japan.

Jack's Hack, named in honor of its late pilot, 1st Lt. Jack Volkert, was based on Tinian in the Mariana Islands and flew against Japan from May 11 to Aug. 15, 1945.

Eskildsen and Chodacki learned early in their tours what was likely to be in store for them and the 20th Army Corps' 58th Bomb Wing they served. They had trained through most of 1944 for work on the B-17 at Clovis (N. M.) Army Airfield and had experienced the loss of one entire 16-man crew during a B-17 training flight crash in the days before the arrival of the first B-29 Superfortresses there.

Training for combat with the B-29 soon began....

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