The creation of ASHF is also a story of how the Internet can be employed in remarkable ways to bring people together, both the living and the deceased, creating a forum which fosters unique relationships, honors heroes and uses their experiences to help others. 
​   Between 2010 and 2020 the research effort on "Sky-Scrapper" and other B-29's in the 497th Bomb Group would connect the people who formed its Board and establish the goals we work to attain.  

   We are a unique family. 
   On the ASHF Board, we have been honored to have B-29 WWII veterans, "Sky-Scrapper" crew family members and the greatest authority and author on the B-29. There's a former Marine who served in Afghanistan and for JPAC searching for and returning the remains of service persons gone missing back to WWII. There are Board members who have volunteered to assist in outreach or create the website and videos we will offer to enlighten and inspire.  The photos below are of some of this family.

   ASHF was established in memory of the 497th B-29 Bomb Group in WWII. The B-29's in the 3 squadrons of the 497th were marked with an A on the tail followed by a square and then the number of that B-29 related to its squadron.

   The squadrons usually had 15 to 18 B-29's attached to each. The B-29 veterans I have had the pleasure to meet from the 497th always mentioned their planes by a name or as "A Square..." . In the 1940's being referred to as "a square guy" meant someone who was honest, traditional and loyal.

   The service personnel we honor and assist are all of that and more!

   ASHF also has Board members who came our way through my knowing them as friends, co workers and colleagues in the architecture trade.  I met Board member Joe Hamer during a business appointment a few years back. He was involved in architectural product sales and specifications. It was during that first encounter I knew he had to be on our Board.  He's not a man who talks too much about himself, but that's never stopped me from wanting to learn more. This former Marine has an amazing resume of service.        He's filled his years with accomplishments. 

See the photos and info below about the remarkable Joe Hamer.

All of our ASHF Board members bring unique talents, experiences, skill sets and a passion to serve our efforts. 


   Armed with a "Sky-Scrapper" crew list found among his papers, I was able to locate and contact Michele Garvin, the daughter of Bob's "Sky-Scrapper" Air Commander, John Garvin. I'm near San Francisco and she is in Boston.  Michele's Mom had saved an incredible collection records, photos, albums. newspaper articles and more of John Garvin's long and distinguished service in the National Guard, Army, Army Air Force and the US Air Force which he was active in until the early 1970's. Among the materials was the complete story of the 3 "Sky-Scrapper's".  

   Michele shares the passion to put the unique stories into lasting narratives and create something important and meaningful with them. She is a gifted attorney and generously covered all the costs to incorporate ASHF and attain our 501(c)3 non profit status. She serves as ASHF Board Secretary.

Why are we called

A Square Heroes Foundation?

​A Square 9 "Sky-Scrapper II"   2/19/1945


   Bob Mann spent decades researching what happened to every B-29 ever built.  His books  offer a wealth of vital information and have made him the premiere expert on the history of B-29's. 

   He provided our website with an invaluable master list tracking thousands of B-29's.

Books by Bob Mann

501 (c) 3 non profit organization honoring  the  497th  B-29  Bomb  Group  of  WWII  by  providing  recognition,  preservation and  facilitating  outreach  for all  the  members  of  our  Armed  Services.

Early 1943 - Future B-29 gunner Private 1st Class Sid Bolin in Amarillo, TX during Army Air Forces Technical School Training

ASHF Photo Archives

A Square 9 "Sky-Scrapper"  11/27/1944

March 2010 - May 2013

   Served as a Team Leader for (9) recovery/investigation missions throughout the world to account for Americans still missing as a result of our Nation's past wars. Served as a Recovery Team Leader for five operations conducted within the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. These missions included: The People’s Republic of China between July 2010 - June of 2012, Corsica, France from September 2012 – November 2012 and the Republic of the Philippines from January 2013 – February 2013.

March 2016 - Pahrump, NV

ASHF Board members: Mark Maloy and B-29 Historian Bob Mann

ASHF Photo Archives
   The photo that started it all -  ​July 17, 1945   Isley Base, Saipan  "Sky-Scrapper III" crew after their final mission of the war​.

   On Memorial Day 2010, I became curious about a B-29 and crew photo I was fixing up to frame. My Uncle Bob Maloy  was in the picture (crouching- second in from the right) and barely recognizable. I'd found it in a box of old photos at my parents home in 1978. At that time, I blew it up and sent a copy to Bob but we never discussed it. On that 2010 Memorial Day while I was touching up the photo, I noticed the B-29 didn't have the name  "Sky-Scrapper" on it as I had thought for years - but it read: "Sky-Scrapper III"  Why III, I wondered? What happened to the other two? Finding the answers began a journey that led to the formation of this Foundation. It would also prove that the hardest test Uncle Bob ever gave in all of his years as a history teacher would be about him.

ASHF Photo Archive

Late June 2010 - The search begins with Bob's records and photos sent by Aunt Edith Maloy from her home in New York state. They would be scanned, restored and preserved to become part of the ASHF Archive.

A Square 9 "Sky-Scrapper III"  early 1945




May 2012 - ASHF Board members Sid Bolin and his wife Mary Bolin.   ASHF Photo Archive

   Sid is featured in two videos in our website Tributes section.  "Crisis Over Kobe" and  "B-29 Gunner's Life on Saipan told 70 years later". The stories they tell reveal what a fun, brave and truly remarkable man Sid Bolin is. 

   An injury cut his baseball career short. After completing his Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice,           Joe joined the Marines.   That's Joe in full gear above on the left in Afghanistan.

February 2008 - March 2010

   First Lt. Hamer USMC served as the Battalion Logistics Officer supervising the Motor Transport, Maintenance Management, Supply, Embarkation, and Ordnance sections, ensuring a high level of tactical and technical competence.  This included a Combat Deployment to Afghanistan on a Police Mentoring Team. Trained and mentored the Afghan National Police by leading over 90 combat patrols

   Below are the tail photos of the 3 "Sky-Scrapper's". The stories behind these B-29's are told in the "Sky-Scrapper" section of the website.

Spring 2012 - (Left) Michele Garvin shows Mark Maloy some of the remarkable Garvin collection covering her father's service and the stories it contains attached to the 3 "Sky-Scrappers".  The materials were scanned and are part of our archives.  (Right)  Michele Garvin, Mark Maloy and Mary Beckman. Mary's father Charles worked on the radar used on bombers like the B-29 in WWII. After he died his incredible collection of military books was given to me. We later dedicated the library ASHF created at the Martinez, CA VA hospital in his name.

Spring 2012 - ASHF Patron Saint Edith Maloy being video interviewed about Uncle Bob.

Current ASHF Board of Directors:
Mark G. Maloy, President
Michele Garvin, Secretary
Chris Gardini, CFO
Board: Eric Egner and Joe Hamer

Founding Board members who have since passed away:  Jean Allen, Sid & Mary Bolin, Robert Mann and Bernie Mulloy

Right out of High School Joe signed a professional baseball contract with the Minnesota Twins and played two seasons of baseball.   ASHF Photo Archives

   Bob's wife, my Aunt Edith, championed the work to find out about his war service and she sent me the records he'd saved from his time in the AAF and in the Air Force Reserves. For someone who didn't talk about the war, he had kept a collection of records and photos that were invaluable in the effort I undertook.