Pilot Joesph Dubinsky flew the B-24 #44-40731 "'Til Then" with crew #49 on numerous combat missions with the 866th Bomber Squadron on the 4949th Bombardment Group, 7th US Army Air Force. A veteran of 38 combat missions in the South Pacific and on the Japanese homeland, he and his crew flew one of the first missions from Angaur in November, 1944. They were part of the first 494th BG B-24 raid on China (Chiang Wan Airdrome near Shanghai) from Okinawa on 17 July, 1945. Two B-24's were shot down on that mission, with harrowing stories of capture, evasion, and rescue.   He witnessed numerous B-24 losses including the 494th's first combat loss on BG mission #38 when he was the left wingman to Lt Winnar and Capt Rowe on 2 January 1945. On that day, Rip Snorter was hit by flak and lost near Clark airfield while bombing Clark Airdrome in the Philippines. Dubinsky was not aboard 'Til Then the day it was lost, but all his men survived the 18 May crash during a check-ride at Angaur. 

Original members of the 4949th, Dubinsky's and Turek's crews were granted 10-day leave in Sydney, Australia, upon the return of Don Marvin's Taloa crew. Due to transportation problems, Dubinsky's men were unable to return until until 25 March, after 34 days. Turek's daughter has a photograph that shows the men enjoying their R&R; it appears to have been taken on a sailboat in Sydney Harbor. 

On 28 July, 1945, he piloted Taloa, which had been previously crewed by Donald Marvin and his men. Initially, Joe Dubinsky was thought to have died in the crash of the Taloa, or when parachuting from her. However, the work of Shigeaki Mori reports that eyewitnesses saw that Dubinsky survived that day. 

The loss of Dubinsky and his crew was learned by his brother almost immediately after the mission. From the  494th BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H) HISTORY WW II [1]

JOE DUBINSKY’s brother was on a Navy ship in the harbor near our base at Yontan, and used to come up the hill with baked goods from the ship’s Mess. That evening ZASLOFSKY and I were sitting on our “porch” and up comes JOE’s brother...I said to ZAS...’You go tell him’. I’ll never forget that.

”I briefed this mission. There were dozens of news photographers and reporters....more than I had ever seen before. But I’ve never seen one foot of this film...probably because it was a very poorly conceived mission.
— Edwin C. Halter, 866th BS, 494th Bombardment Group (H)



David H. Rogers, LTC USAFR Retired Navigator; Alvin Sigler, LTC USAF Retired Pilot; Charley F. Wilcox, Retired Bombardier; includes selections of text and photos from Briton Martin’s History Published in 1947.  Converted to digital images on CD-Rom by Charley F. Wilcox Retired Bombardier in the year of 2004. Copyright 1996, 1997, 2004, 494th Bombardment Group (H) Association, Inc; Provided by James Leddy.