Fifteen B-29s and one B-29A were adapted for air rescue duty after World War II. Nicknamed "Super Dumbo" and designated SB-29. These aircraft were modified to carry an air-droppable A-3 Edo lifeboat. The primary mission of the SB-29 was rescue support for units flying long distances over water. The "Super Dumbo" retained all the defensive armament of the production bomber with the exception of the forward lower gun turret which was removed to make room for the AN/APQ-13 radome just behind the nose landing gear.
When a downed aircrew was spotted in the water, the lifeboat was released from the aircraft. The lifeboat, which descended by parachute, was equipped with watertight compartments, self-righting floatation bladders, an inboard engine, food and water.
The SB-29 remained in service throughout the Korean War and into the mid-1950s.