PUEBLO, COLORADO — SDV INTERNATIONAL pays tribute to Anthony Baione, the grandfather of the firm’s president, Jason Roys, at the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum. The museum recently honored the memory of Anthony Baione and his World War II crew mates who operated the Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber named ‘Peachy’.
Anthony hailed from an immigrant Italian community in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and joined the U.S. Army Air Corp as a teenager to serve his country during World War II. He remained committed to the U.S. military throughout his life, rising to the noble position Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt / E-9). Chief Master Sergeant is the ninth, and highest, enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force, considered a senior non-commissioned officer rank. The official term is "Chief Master Sergeant" or "Chief".
During World War II, CMSgt Baione met his wife, Juanita Baione, who was also serving in the Army Air Corps. Together they raised a large family and served at stations around the world following World War II and the Korean War. One of CMSgt Baione’s leadership assignments included crew chief to the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy’s plane – Air Force One.
Through the years, CMSgt Baione remained close with this crew. In fact, his crewmate Ralph DeCarlo attended Anthony and Juanita’s 50th wedding anniversary. Ralph DeCarlo, the last surviving crew member had the chance to visit Peach at the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum. The president of the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum notified SDV INTERNATIONAL‘ s President that Ralph DeCarlo passed away shortly after his recent visit to the exhibit, close to the age of 95.
The Colorado museum proudly presents the replica that was sourced from China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station in Ridgecrest, California. While the original was shot down during combat, the replica pays tribute to the crew who served our country with courage, dedication, fortitude, skill and relentlessness. The Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum repainted Peachy’s artwork, known as nose work, prior to the visit by crewmate Ralph DeCarlo.
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing, which was flown primarily by the United States during World War II and the Korean War. It was one of the largest aircraft operational during World War II and featured state-of-the-art technology. Including design and production, at over $3 billion it was the single most expensive weapons project in World War II, exceeding the $1.9 billion cost of the Manhattan Project—using the value of dollars in 1945. Innovations introduced included a pressurized cabin, dual-wheeled, tricycle landing gear, and an analog computer-controlled fire-control system directing four remote machine gun turrets that could be operated by a single gunner and a fire-control officer. A manned tail gun installation, a position held by Anthony Baione, was critical in its defense against approaching enemies fighters. The name "Superfortress" continued the pattern Boeing started with its well-known predecessor, the B-17 Flying Fortress. Designed for the high-altitude strategic bomber role, the B-29 also excelled in low-altitude nighttime incendiary bombing missions. One of the B-29's final roles during World War II was carrying out the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
A statement from SDV INTERNATIONAL’s president, Jason Roys:
“I am happy beyond words to see my grandfather’s World War II crew memorialized. I was very close with my grandfather. As a deeply religious man, he rarely discussed details of his missions, but he always showed great pride in his service to our country. And he had a strong bond with his crew. I remember talking with Ralph DeCarlo at my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Peachy’s crew fought with incredible courage. I recall a story of a time when Peachy took fire, which led to Ralph losing part of his turret, and my grandfather crawled from the tail to the belly of the plane to help pull Ralph back into the aircraft.
We are fortunate to have my grandfather’s personal journal from that period. It’s a window into those harrowing moments. I’m often struck by his articulate writing. I’m working to get excerpts of his journal to the museum to place on display for visitors to experience.
I highly recommend visiting the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum to learn about Peachy and her crew. The exhibit features a large picture of the crew with Peachy, and it’s awesome to see my grandfather in that particular picture because I’ve proudly hung that same picture on my call since I was in college. The exhibit shares the story of the kind of American heroes who have provided us all with freedom, liberty and the opportunity to pursue happiness. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to visit both of my grandparents in their resting place at the Arlington National Cemetery. God bless them all.”
– Jason Roys