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Bombs Away! A History of the 70th Bombardment
Squadron (M) in early World War II

Bombs Away! A History of the 70th Bombardment Squadron (M) in early World war II

 

  Contents
Dedication
Acknowledgements
Introduction   1
 
1: Pre-World War II   3 Early Beginnings; Training; Jackson Army Air Base; B-26 Difficulties
 
 
2: Pearl Harbor   9 Declaration of War; Savannah Sub-Patrol; Christmas Dinner 1941; Practice Bombing
 
 
3: Moving Out   13 Jackson to San Francisco; Ground Echelon Shipment; Air Echelon to Patterson; Navigator Assignments; New B -26B MAs; Red Letter Day; Status Report; Patterson Field to McClellan; Long Range Fuel Tanks; Liaison Officers; Hamilton-Hickam Flights; Kipapa Gulch; Battle of Midway; Ground Echelon; Christmas-Canton-Fiji Flights; Durbin Evans Crash; Christmas Island; Canton Island; Fiji Arrival
 
 
4: Fiji - Our South Pacific Home   35 Description; Inhabitants; Life Style; Tropical Rainstorm; Sambeto Village; Dispersal Area; Coconut Joe; Training; Torpedoes; Aircraft Loss; B-26 Armament; Skip Bombing; Social Diversion and Morale; General Arnold Visit; Command and Administration; Fiji Revisited
 
 
5: Guadalcanal and Combat Operations   51 Background; November 14-15 Missions; Torpedo Decision; Low Level Attack (Sharp); Callaham Crew Loss; Mysterious Island; November 18 Mission; Aircraft Loss (Fiji); Back to Guadalcanal; Lyman Eddy Shootdown and Rescue; Behling Crew and Aircraft Loss; Guadalcanal Living Conditions; Japanese Bomber; Outdoor Movie; How We Operated; Mission Briefings; Mission De-briefings; Weather; Pierced Steel Planking (PSP); Night Skip Bombing (Stef); Japanese Flying Boat (Sharp); Dick Thorburn's SNAFU Mission; Return to Fiji; Another B-26 Loss; Summary; Horrors of War; 42nd Bomb Group; Disposition of B-26s; Key Officer Promotions; Rotation to U.S.
 
 
6: B-25 Combat Operations   79 Extension of Squadron History; Russell and Stirling Islands; Key Personnel; Continued Combat; The Rabaul Bastion; Vunakanau Mission; Para-frag Bombs; Mission Report No. 74; Letter of Commendation; Ground Echelon; Pennsy Group; An Inglorious Return; Tribute to Ground Echelon
 
 
7: The Medical Story   95 Assignment and Duties; Ship Travel; Fiji; 42nd General Hospital; Guadalcanal and Combat; Going Home
 
 
8: Lest We Forget   103 In Retrospect - Major Leroy L. Stefonowicz
 
 
Epilogue   107 After the War; Reunions
 
 
Photographs   109
 
Appendix   151
 
Selected Bibliography   165
 
Name Index   167
 
Subject Index   171
 
Introduction
 
History cannot be more certain than when he who creates the things also narrates them.
Vico
 
 
This is the story of the 70th Bombardment Squadron, a lone squadron of the U.S. Army Air Corps, which flew its B-26 aircraft "island hopping" across the Pacific, and which fought the early months of World War II, as a separate Squadron, from Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

This is also the story of the Ground Echelon of that Squadron which served with distinction, under adverse conditions, for twenty-five months on various remote islands of the South Pacific.

How did a single, land-based squadron of Army bombers operate in wartime across the vast Pacific, under U.S. Navy operational command and without the customary Group Headquarters and specialized field and depot support units?

This history traces the Squadron from its inception in January 1941 through the Declaration of War and the early part of World War II. The sequence will be chronological. The story will involve pre-war activity, operations in the U.S. subsequent to Pearl Harbor, activities in Fiji and combat operations from various remote islands in the South Pacific.

The story is being written in 1998 - over fifty years later. While some recollections may grow dim or distorted with the passage of time, there are certain vivid and unique events in the history of all human endeavor which remain indelibly inscribed in memory and, seemingly, compel recording.

A determined effort will be made to depict historical events as accurately as possible - to separate fact from fiction. In this effort, however, we are reminded of a quote from Winston Churchill that, "History will treat me kindly for I intend to write it." To paraphrase the Churchillian expression and transpose it to our story, it might be said that, "History will treat us kindly for we intend to write it."

The centerpiece of this history consists of a number of personal narratives and diary entries, detailing various events; vivid recollections and lasting impressions of Squadron survivors - those who were there at the time. As names and ranks are mentioned, they will be addressed as we knew them then.

 
 
1: Pre-World War II
 
Historic continuity with the past is not a duty, it is only a necessity. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
 
 
Early Beginnings
 
Our pre-war history involved an inseparable mixture of men, machines and the circumstances of the domestic and international situation prevailing at that time. Official records reflect that the Squadron was "Constituted 70th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 20 November 1940. Activated on 15 January 1941."'

In its earliest days, the 70th Bombardment Squadron consisted of one officer, Lt. Leroy L. Stefonowicz,2 and nineteen enlisted men. The following are the recollections of our first Squadron Commander, relative to our beginnings:

 
 
"The history of the 70th Bomb Squadron began in early 1941 when it was activated as part of the 38th Bomb Group and was housed in a farm house on the edge of Langley Field, Virginia.

Our Group Commander was a man named 'Swede' Larson, not our Harold V. (`Swede') Larson, but a Westside T. Larson.

The three squadrons of the 38th Bomb Group were the 69th, 70th and 71st. Each squadron had one officer: Second Lieutenants Doerr, Bacon and Stefonowicz. Lieutenants Doerr and Bacon were subsequently killed while flying the B-26.

At the time of our beginning, the war in Europe was being won by the Germans. President Roosevelt and his advisors in Washington reasoned that we might be drawn into the war, and whether we were or not, it would be best to be ready. A big expansion of the military began.

The Army Air Corps was run from Washington by Major General 'Hap' Arnold at that time. There were no Air Divisions, no Wings, no numbered Air Forces, just the Chief of the Air Corps and a few groups of bombers, fighters, and some squadrons of reconnaissance type airplanes. If the Air Corps was to strengthen and expand, new units had to be formed, hence the genesis of the 38th Bomb Group and the 70th Bomb Squadron."1

 
 
1 United States Air Force. USAF Historical Division. Air University. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force; World War H. Edited by Maurer Maurer. [Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama] (Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1969), 258.
2 Now Colonel Leroy L. Stefen, U.S. Air Force (Retired).
 
 
Author
 
The Harold V. ("Swede") Larson mentioned above is the author of this history. I was assigned to the 70th Bomb Squadron from the 22nd Bomb Group as a Second Lieutenant on 15 May 1941, two months after my completion of the Army Air Corps flying schools at Randolph and Kelly Fields in Texas.
 
 
Training
 
In defense of the pre-war Army Air Corps, and in an effort to be as objective as possible, it must be said that training, in one form or another, was a continuous peace-time effort. For example, the cadres of officers from the 22nd Bomb Group, reassigned to the 70th Bomb Squadron of the 38th Group at Langley Field, Virginia, namely Lieutenants Stefonowicz, Sharp, Eddy, Callaham, Larson and Boden, had received training, in varying amount, in the following categories:

Air-to-Air Gunnery - This was conducted over the Atlantic using a flexible .30 caliber machine gun, firing out of a B-18, against a sleeve target towed by another B-18. Bombardier Training - The ground "training aid" for the super-secret Norden bombsight rolled across a concrete floor inside a hangar. It was designated an A-2 Bomb Trainer. The device is perhaps best described as a miniature oil derrick, or steel scaffold about 12-14 feet high, mounted on wheels, battery-powered, with a platform on top which carried the student, the instructor and the Norden bombsight. Pilots (student bombardiers) "thumbed" the bombsight, and the motorized, movable scaffold was thereby directed, at a snail's pace, across the hangar floor toward the "target." Not like flying, but it worked! Practice Bombing - After graduating from the hangar training, pilots were given the opportunity of actually riding in the nose of the B-18s and dropping bombs. The real-life target was Plum Tree Island off the Virginia coast, near Langley Field. The bombs were the 100 lbs., sand-filled, sheet metal variety with a small spotting charge that enabled the airmen to see what they hit. The pilots were elated when they hit anywhere near the target. The objective, of course, was not to produce a bombardier, but to have the pilots become more aware of a bombardier's problems.

Small Arms - The pilots were given small arms training using the Colt .45 caliber pistol and were encouraged also to shoot skeet at a designated local skeet range.

Formation Flying - Occasionally, pilots participated in large formation flying using all squadrons equipped with B-18s at Langley Field. This could involve 15-18 ship formations over the field on special occasions.

Transition Training - Pilots were in absolute awe of the early B-26 "straights" when they began arriving from the Martin plant outside Baltimore. Compared to the slow, underpowered, tail-dragging B-18, it was not unlike strapping oneself into a rocket ship. The B-26 had its problems, as all new production aircraft have, but transition from the B-18 to the B-26 moved ahead cautiously, geared to the aircraft production availability. There was a certain challenge involved and a distinct "macho" image associated with getting checked-out in the B-26.

Indoctrination Training - The general procedure in all of the squadrons of the 22nd Group in the pre-war era at Langley Field was for the Squadron Commander to assemble the officers of the squadron early each morning in a hangar, and for the CO, who was generally a Major (and next to the Almighty himself) to indoctrinate the "troops." This could and did take a variety of forms - everything from lectures on Army Regulations and the avoidance of political activity to quizzes on infinite details of the B-18. For example, "Lt. Boden, what is the bomb load of the B-18?" or "Lt. Larson, what are the operating frequencies of the radio compass?" The officers stood in a semi-circle, around the CO at "parade-rest" while this went on. It was a no-nonsense, serious business.

Relative to the growth of the Squadron, we learn from official records that on the 15th of May in 1941, seven flying officers bearing the rank of Lieutenant (Sharp, Eddy, Larson, Boden, Hawkins, Jones and Griffith) were assigned as a nucleus officer cadre for the 70' Squadron.

 
 
Jackson Army Air Base
 
Further growth and the first deliveries of B-26 aircraft to Jackson is reflected in the information below provided by our Squadron Commander:
 
 
"Next came a move to Jackson, Mississippi, where we operated for a few months with one airplane, a B-18. More people were assigned to us including our first navigators. Then, in the summer of 1941 we began to get the new Martin B-26. Pilots who flew it said that the B-26 was the hottest airplane they ever flew. It was a new airplane, not thoroughly tested, and was being flown by inexperienced pilots."4
 
 
A Jackson, Mississippi newspaper carried the following account under the headline, "WORLD'S BEST BOMBERS ASSIGNED AIR BASE":
 
 
"First of 49 of Uncle Sam's fastest and most effective bombing planes - the new Martin B-26 - arrived at the Jackson Air Base this week, assigned to the 38th Bombardment Group, under Lt. Col. Robert D. Knapp, a unit of the Third Bomber Command under General Bradley ... The first of new arrivals ... piloted here by Major Fay R. Upthegrove, Executive Officer of the 38th Bomb Group, who with his crew brought the ship here from Langley Field in little more than three hours. Two other B-26s arrived this week and delivery of the remaining 46 is expected at the rate of three a week"
 
 
4 Stefen, Leroy L. Letter, January 1996.
 
 
B-26 Difficulties
 
Notwithstanding the above "upbeat" newspaper article, the situation was not all wine and roses relative to the B-26. The real-world situation regarding these early B-26s is captured by Colonel Stefen as follows:
 
 
"It quickly gained the reputation of a dangerous airplane. Such slogans as, `One-a-day in Tampa Bay,' resulted from a large number of accidents at the B-26 training base at MacDill, Florida. We had our share. John Doerr and his crew were killed when they lost an engine on take-off at Jackson. Tom Bacon was killed while service testing the B-26 at Wright-Patterson."6
 
 
There were three primary sources of difficulty. The first involved the very early aircraft delivered to Langley without combat configuration, particularly without the powered top turret. The absence of this equipment brought on a "weight and balance" problem, a noseheavy condition on landing which, in turn, caused several nose-gear collapses. This was a temporary condition, however, solved by loading sand bags in the rear of the fuselage to compensate for the weight of the missing turret.

The second problem had to do with the relatively short wing span (65 feet) of the early aircraft, which gave rise to an exceptionally high "wing loading" which, in turn, necessitated high take-off speeds and high approach speeds for landing. On the subject of approach speeds, a retired wartime WASP ferry pilot is quoted as saying the B-26, "had the gliding capability of a piano."' (The WASPs were Women Air Force Service Pilots.)

A third source of problems related to the huge, four-bladed Curtiss electric propellers which had a nasty inclination of going into "flat pitch" on take-off for no reasons apparent to us at that time.

Flat pitch is a term applied to the individual blades of a controllable pitch propeller when the angle of the blades is rotated to a flat position. It is the opposite of a "feathered" position in which the blades are lined-up parallel to the airstream. In a flat position, the blades no longer "grab" air effectively and power is lost. The condition was sometimes called "runaway props" and "prop overspeed." Whatever the term used, the result was that the entire 4-blade assembly would overspeed at a crucial time because the individual blades were not in the proper angular pitch to produce thrust.

The fact that flat pitch or runaway props occurred just after lift-off, when maximum power was needed, produced serious and often fatal consequences. The cause was later found to be associated with excessive use of the aircraft batteries in starting engines and other ground operation. The propeller control mechanism on early aircraft was driven by battery power, and with drained batteries on the take-off roll, anything could and often did happen.

s Clarion Ledger, Jackson, Mississippi, 14 November 1941, 10.
6 Stefen, Leroy L. Letter, January 1996.
7 Goddard, Don B., "The Lady Was a WASP," (Andrea Shaw), Ruralite Magazine, September 1991, 10-11.

 
 
In the B-26B MA, which was ultimately assigned to the 70th Squadron, the prop control mechanism was driven by the generators, and the 12-volt electrical system was replaced by a 24-volt system. Additionally we were provided gasoline-powered EPUs (external power units) to be used in starting engines and miscellaneous ground operation. Insofar as can be reconstructed, these modifications were effective. The 70th Squadron lost no aircraft due to propeller flat pitch; however, this exact problem caused three forced landings between Baer Field, Indiana and Sacramento, California for Bill Griffith's aircraft (17550), which will be reported later.

Most pilots greatly admired this aircraft for its speed and its power while, at the same time, they treated it with the deep respect it demanded. It has been said, regularly, that the B26 was "terribly unforgiving" for the least neglect, carelessness or incompetence. This is true; however, it could spoil your whole day, even when accorded its due respect. We looked at it as a challenge.

In July 1941, Major Flint Garrison took command of the 70th Squadron and three nonflying officers were added to the list of personnel. They were Lieutenants Wilburn, Baucom and Glover. On the 25th of the month over fifty draftees were assigned to the Squadron, part of the first group of Selective Service men to be assigned to a tactical Air Corp unit. Subsequently, in October 1941, microfilm records reflect that Lieutenants Morrison, Sherlock, Sethness, Treat, Martin, Miller, Smith, Evans, Durbin and Washington were assigned to the Squadron, followed shortly by Cadet Navigators Viens and Schaper. Following closely on the heels of the above officers, eighteen other Lieutenants were assigned. They were Lieutenants Otis, Saul, Haynes, O'Connor, Ray, Rudolph, Thorburn, Van Story, Hahlen, Perry, Reardon, Cushing, Quinn, Lindsay, Huggs, Neeld, Mitchell and Patterson.'

Under Major Garrison at Jackson, I was designated as Adjutant of the 70'h as an additional duty. In this capacity, my job was in the so-called Orderly Room. Here, I learned about the Morning Report, Sick Report, Squadron Fund, Bulletin Board and Pay Table from Sergeant Hathorn, who was then our First Sergeant. Major Garrison insisted on a neat and tidy bulletin board, but the most interesting function for me was the Pay Table. Before a pay day, my duty involved going to a downtown Jackson bank, armed with a caliber .45 pistol, and with some trepidation, bringing back sacks of money to pay the troops. I remember well at some pay tables being required by "higher authority" to read certain "Articles of War" which had to do with desertion. One of these articles stated, "shall suffer death or other such punishment as a Courts Martial may direct." It was an awesome thought and made a person gulp! The redeeming feature of the Adjutant's job was that it enabled me to associate names with faces among the Squadron's enlisted personnel.

For flying time, I flew co-pilot for Major Garrison in the old B-18 - that is, when the weather was good and he needed the "time."

In summary, during the Summer and Fall of 1941, a Squadron strength of approximately three hundred men was brought together from all walks of life. The total was divided roughly into forty officers and two hundred-sixty enlisted men.

As a generalization, the Squadron could be characterized as a group of citizen-soldiers, except that it had a group of approximately forty senior non-commissioned officers, of many years service, who formed the core of its maintenance, supply, transportation and other support or administrative functions. Draftees from the Selective Service System composed the vast majority of the enlisted ranks, including a large group from the State of Pennsylvania.

e Squadron records in microfilm at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

 
 
2: Pearl Harbor
 
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Santayana
 
 
Declaration of War
 
The New York Times of Monday, December 8, 1941 carried the following banner headline:
 
 
"JAPAN WARS ON U.S. AND BRITAIN MAKES SUDDEN ATTACK ON HAWAII HEAVY FIGHTING AT SEA REPORTED"'
 
 
President Franklin D. Roosevelt on December 8 addressed a joint session of Congress, asking that a state of war be declared between the United States and Japan in the following historic quote:
 
 
"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a day which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan"..."I ask that Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire."2
 
 
After a period of time, it began to become clear that the Japanese, at Pearl Harbor and in other attacks in the Pacific and in the Far East, had in just a few hours, destroyed more than 500 U.S. and British aircraft, and had either sunk or badly damaged all eight of the U.S. Pacific Fleet's battleships in Pearl Harbor. They had gained control of the skies and seas across a quarter of the earth's surface. Further, in the coming weeks they would largely extend their control from the borders of India to the central Pacific and from Alaska to the northern coast of Australia.

Stationed in Jackson, Mississippi, we were stunned! Prior to the attack, very few of us had even heard of Pearl Harbor, or knew where it was. To say the least, a period of frenzied activity followed, marking December 1941 as probably the most memorable turning point in the history of the Squadron.

In the words of Colonel Stefen, "When the war began in December 1941, we were `knee deep in inexperience,' as the saying goes. But we were at war, and were scheduled to go to India to fight the Japanese."'

Hectic effort and confusion dominated practically all activity at the Jackson Army Air Base. A story told by Lyman Eddy, who was "Officer-of-the-Day" on December 7, will illustrate the confusion. Lyman, affectionately known as "Moose" because of his huge frame, had decided that the proper thing to do, under the circumstances, was to cluster all of the base aircraft together on the parking apron under the control tower, surround them with lighting, and double the guards. Why? Because, he reasoned, that the primary threat to the air base was sabotage of the aircraft by Japanese "infiltrators." His actions were reversed that same night by Lt. Col. Knapp, the Group Commander, who ordered that all aircraft be dispersed to the far corners of the base and that the lighting be removed in order not to present an attractive target for a Japanese air attack on the base - an air attack on Jackson, Mississippi!4

'New York Times, 8 December 1941, 1.
2 Roosevelt, Franklin D. Message to Congress, 8 December 1941.

 
 
Savannah Sub-Patrol
 
On 9 December 1941, the aircraft and crews were sent to Savannah, Georgia with other squadrons of the 38`h Group for coastal search and anti-submarine patrol duty. It turned out to be somewhat confusing and certainly uneventful. The 70'h neither saw nor sank any submarines. The mission was called off after a few days and everyone returned to Jackson. Official records blandly state, "Operated from Savannah, Georgia 9-14 December 1941."s

Christmas Dinner 1941

The 70h Bombardment Squadron enjoyed a sumptuous Christmas dinner at the Jackson Air Base in December 1941. The dinner menu itself provides an unexpected historical reference document in that besides the menu, it lists all officer and enlisted personnel who were members of the Squadron at that time. The personnel listing and the menu are both attached to this history in the Appendix at page 153 and 154.

We have recently learned from Frank Nemeth that he and Michael Bobovsky cooked the turkeys for our big dinner. In Frank's own words, "Bobovsky and I cooked fifty-two turkeys for the Christmas Dinner. It was some job, but we were complimented by Major Garrison for a job well done." Frank continues his story, "When we arrived at Fiji, I asked to be taken out of the mess hall. I wanted to work on airplanes. I became a mechanic, and in 1943 was crew chief on the B-25s. We had a good bunch in the 70`h Bomb Squadron. All of us got along well." 6

Before leaving the subject of the 1941 Christmas dinner and the listing of attendees, an important point must be made. The listing of personnel on page 153 is not in any sense a final listing of the 70' Bomb Squadron's personnel deployed to the South Pacific. Numerous shifts of personnel, both in and out of the Squadron, took place regularly and frequently. For example, our bombardiers and our ultimate group of navigators were yet to be assigned.

So, there we were in Jackson, Mississippi, partially manned and partially equipped one full year after activation, with a war going on and weighted down with innumerable problems.

Practice Bombing

Before moving on we must say that in writing a history we learn something new almost every day. Until now, most Squadron members had been under the distinct impression that no one had ever dropped a bomb or fired a shot out of the B-26 prior to our being deployed overseas. It now seems that one person did some bombing out of a B-26, and that it was in the early days at Jackson, Mississippi. That person was Pfc. Callie N. Hall, an enlisted bombardier. He has provided the following information:

  "I flew three practice missions out of Jackson, Mississippi with Lt. John Washington as pilot and Lt. Dick Thorburn as co-pilot in B-26s. On the first two, on the 13th and 15th of January, 1942, we made dry runs, but on the third, which was on the 16th, we took 100 lbs. practice bombs. We actually dropped some of these on sand bars in the middle of the Mississippi River. T/Sgt. Darel Snyder was the head of the Armament Section, and after first checking out 45s, we checked out the Norden bombsight.

We only had enlisted bombardiers in the 70th in the beginning. Some of them were Tom Hendrix, Ferrel P. Lawrence, Frank L. House, Walter B. Haynes, Callie N. Hall, and others I can't seem to remember."7

7 Hall, Callie N. Letter, 5 February 1996.

 

s Stefen, Leroy L. Letter, January 1996.
'Eddy, Lyman H. Communication, 18 February 1996.
s United States Air Force. USAF Historical Division. Air University. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force; World War H. Edited by Maurer Maurer. [Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama] (Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1969), 259.
6 Nemeth, Frank. Letter, January 1996.

 
 
3: Moving Out
 
The first qualification for a historian is to have no ability to invent.
Stendhal
 
 
Jackson to San Francisco
 
About January 18, after much confusion, many orders, counter-orders and amendments, the 70th Squadron, as part of the 38th Group, received orders for overseas shipment, completed packing for movement and left shortly thereafter by troop train for the San Francisco Port of Embarkation - destination unknown, but rumored to be India or Burma.

Personnel changes continued. Just prior to movement to San Francisco, Lieutenants McMurdy, Lindsay, Quinn, Neeld, Perry, Cushing, Mitchell, Hahlen and Patterson were transferred out of the Squadron. Also, Lt. Col. Upthegrove relieved Lt. Col. Knapp as Commanding Officer of the 38th Bomb Group. More important to the Squadron, on January 24`h, Major Garrison was relieved of his command of the 701' Bomb Squadron and Lt. Stefonowicz became the Squadron's Commanding Officer once again. This was a welcome change and well-deserved. "Stef" was a natural leader. He was greatly respected, thoughtful in his decisions and always mindful of the Squadron's welfare.

After a four-day troop-train journey, the Squadron camped-out in San Francisco's "Cow Palace", and the officers ensconced themselves, initially, in the Fairmont Hotel on the top of Nob Hill.

Ground Echelon Shipment

On January 29, the Ground Echelon composed of three officers, Captain Shockley (the new Adjutant), Lieutenant Palmieri (our new doctor), and Lieutenant Schmedes, plus two hundred and four of the Squadron's enlisted men boarded the U.S. Army Transport Tasker H. Bliss, but did not sail until January 31 for a destination, still rumored, but not officially known.

The 70th Squadron, however, was not alone on the troop ship. One thousand twenty-one officers and men of the 38th Headquarters units and ground echelons also boarded the Tasker H. Bliss.

At this point, clarity requires that a distinction be made between the Air Echelon and Ground Echelon. The Air Echelon consisted essentially of those who manned the various aircrew positions in the aircraft plus essential ground personnel, such as crew chiefs and specialists necessary to perform minimum essential daily "organizational" maintenance on the aircraft. The Ground Echelon consisted of all other personnel assigned the squadron, such as supply, maintenance, administration, medical, ordnance and other support functions. The convoy carrying the group to Australia was the earliest to make the non-stop run across the Pacific. Leaving San Francisco 31 January 1942 when the enemy was advancing rapidly south and eastward, the ship was pitifully unprotected by present-day standards. The original destination, by now established as Rangoon (railhead to the Burma Road), was under attack while the 70th was at sea, and the destination was altered to Brisbane, Australia.   The report cited below contains a well-stated, descriptive summary of the journey in which William J. Talley (Bill) of the 70th writes amusingly about life aboard the freighter:

 
 
"Life on the boat was marked by undulating stomachs, endless chow lines, PX lines, barber lines, water lines, and worry lines, The trip from San Francisco to Australia was on the SS Tasker H. Bliss, a recently converted freighter belonging to the American President Line, and formerly known as the President Cleveland. It was not designed to carry as many of us as were loaded on there, so it was unbelievably crowded ... below decks, sleeping area, latrines, etc. We were told we were going to Rangoon, Burma, and were told later that we got diverted to Australia, because the Japanese had invaded Burma, and were closing in on Rangoon. I know a lot of us slept on deck, and the sun would come up on the same side that it had gone down on the evening before. We were dodging submarines, and the captain would do a 180 regularly ... the primary reason for taking 26 days. Several fellows were glad they had bought a box or two of candy bars in San Francisco, as the hardboiled eggs got a little tiresome after a while. The second Sunday at sea the cooks decided that we were going to have turkey and dressing ... with ALL the trimmings, for our main meal. The turkeys had been in the reefer too long ... but they got cooked and served before anyone seemed to realize that they were completely spoiled. Our resident artist, that drew cartoons regularly for the cover of our newsletter, drew a cartoon of a cook throwing the turkeys overboard, with the shark surfacing and throwing one back at him."'

' Talley, William J. Letter, 19 January 1996.

 
 
Air Echelon to Patterson

With the Ground Echelon at sea, and in order to maintain the chronological sequence, our story now turns to the adventures and mis-adventures of the Air Echelon.

The Air Echelon of the 38th Bomb Group had been ordered to San Francisco on or about January 19, 1942, as indicated earlier. The Ground Echelon had shipped out on 31 January, but the Air Echelon was held up in San Francisco for about six weeks while somebody, somewhere, was trying to figure out what to do with us. The Air Echelon had no inkling of what was going on, what was in store for them, or when it might happen. We were told to make a daily check of a bulletin board and roster mounted in the Fairmont Hotel for any information pertaining to us, and initial by our name. That's it, except that the pilots were required to get their flying time, which was accomplished by flying BT-13 aircraft at Moffett Field, several miles south. As time passed, some officers moved from the expensive Fairmont to other hotels or apartments in downtown San Francisco.

With the war on, San Franciscans were extremely cordial and hospitable to all men in uniform. On many occasions during the stay, one found that one couldn't pay for a meal in a restaurant or a drink in a lounge because somebody had already picked up the tab - generally anonymously. Very often people would shake hands, clap us on the back, offer words of encouragement, and tell us to go get those "- - Japs," or something similar. The theme of the day, it seems for everyone, was "Remember Pearl Harbor." We were anxious, even eager, to go - but where, when and how?

A decision was finally made by headquarters that the Air Echelon, instead of moving by sea, was to report to Patterson Field near Dayton, Ohio to receive new production B-26s, specifically the B-26B MA, and undergo further training. It is important to note that training in this case consisted primarily of learning to take off and land a "hot" airplane. It did not include combat applications of the B-26, such as dropping bombs, firing the guns or combat tactics. In fact, there were no available aerial gunnery or bombing ranges in the area. Even with the limited training, we had fatal aircraft accidents. On the evening of 20 March, Lt. Hawkins, Lt. Van Story, Lt. Rux and Sgt. Morgan were killed in the crash of a B-26 during a night flight. Then the next day, a second calamity occurred. On a ferry mission from Patterson Field to Jackson, Mississippi, Lt. Jones and Sgt. Gemein were killed and Lt. Huggs injured in the crash of an aircraft on which they were passengers.

The training, such as it was, continued, and in April 1942, the command of the 38th Bomb Group changed again from Lt. Col. Upthegrove to Lt. Col. Lewis, and seven more navigators were taken into the squadron at Patterson. They were Lieutenants Burns, Drewyour, Honett, Lewis, Snodgrass, Sullivan, and Winemiller.

Navigator Assignments

The assignment of additional navigators to the squadron was both piecemeal and hectic. Everything was urgent! Other navigators, including Lieutenants Soles, Ryder, Koch, Hufstedler and Lunquist joined the squadron. We know that three of these latter navigators were from the Pan American School in Coral Gables. W. Roger Soles, one of the Pan Am graduates, reported the following sequence of events relative to their assignment:

 
"Our trip to San Francisco to find you guys (70th Squadron Officers) was an interesting one. We were commissioned in Florida on January 17, 1942, and held on the alert for three or four days while the Army tried to decide what to do with us. After all kinds of rumors, we were given orders to report to the Air Force Combat Command in Jackson, Mississippi, with normal travel time of about three days. On the night we were to report in Jackson, I and several others had driven downtown and decided to go into a restaurant I knew (Primo's) before we reported in. As soon as we walked in, Primo gave us each a bag meal and told us to report to the base immediately. When we got to the base, they told us that you people had already gone to San Francisco and they had chartered airplanes to take us.

I don't believe we were in Jackson more than an hour before we were on a Delta DC-3 - transferring to Braniff - to American - and into TWA to San Francisco. Each airline flew only its permissible route. Nevertheless, everything worked like clockwork until we arrived in San Francisco. There was no one to meet the flight and we couldn't find you. After calling around, someone sent a telegram to the Office of the Chief of the Air Corps, asking where is the 38th Bomb Group? The reply was immediate: `The 38th Group is at Langley Field, Virginia.' We knew better, so we kept hunting and found you fighting the war at the Fairmont Hotel."

 
 
New B-26B MAs

The new production B-26B MAs we received at Patterson Field were the short wing (65foot) version, equipped with two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-41, twin row, radial engines developing 2,000 horsepower each. The propellers were huge, four-bladed, electrically controlled types made by Curtiss. Our B-26Bs were from a production run that retained the large propeller spinners and the small carburetor air intake vents on the engine cowlings. They also incorporated an improved 24-volt electrical system, and were configured to carry armor plating and considerably more armament. Our armament consisted of a powered top turret with twin .50 cal. machine guns; a flexible twin .50 cal. mount in the tail; single flexible .50 cal. mounts at each "waist" position and a single .30 cal. mounted on the centerline of the nose compartment. Our maximum bombload was considered to be eight 500 lbs. bombs or a total of 4,000 lbs. The aircraft was also configured at the factory to carry a 2,000 lb. torpedo, slung externally, below the fuselage, with bomb-bay doors closed - all arranged for release by the pilot. More on the subject of torpedoes later. A total of thirteen aircraft were authorized and assigned to the Squadron as unit equipment.

A diary entry from Lt. Conrad A. Ray (Connie) at this time is most interesting: "May 16. General Wolfe and some Colonels arrived here to make the arrangements for our moving out. He gave us a big pep talk. We are to take B-26Bs over. It seems that the 26s had their baptism of fire in Coral Sea and made good."'

Red Letter Day

May 20, 1942 was a red letter day. We were detached from the 38th Bomb Group and, at that point, the 70th became an individual Squadron, destined to go to war as a separate unit. When fully considered, and when viewed in retrospect, the implications of deploying a single.

2 Soles, W. Roger. Letter, 3 November 1995.
3 Ray, Conrad A. Diary 1942-1943. Lt. Ray's diary is cited extensively throughout this history by including the reference to the diary in the narrative rather than the repeated use of footnotes.

 
In this new status as a separate Squadron, Captain Stefonowicz was still in command with Captains Sharp, Eddy and Callaham in command of "A," "B," and "C" Flights, respectively. The 38th Bomb Group, however, prior to the detachment of the 70th Squadron, had issued Special Order Number 19, dated May 7, 1942, which assigned the following 2nd Lieutenants (bombardiers) to the squadron:
 
 
John E. Criswell   Joseph Feldberg

William H. Moore   Leonard M. Feldman

Russell E. Cooke   Edward H. Fredrick, Jr.

Charles A. Coon   William T. Freeman, Jr.

Elmer A. Deblitz   Jack T. Gillis

Merlin C. Douglass   Milton J. Golden

John P. Ellis   Abraham Wilensky

 
Bill Freeman, listed above, appended a handwritten note to the order stating that all of the above bombardiers graduated from Midland, Texas on 30 April 1942, joined the Squadron on 7 May and departed for the South Pacific on 17 and 18 May. That's the way it was done!

In other assignments at about the same time, Captain Callaham and Lieutenants J. D. Ryder and McNeese were transferred to the Squadron, along with Lt. Dulac, our Armament Officer.

Status Report

It might be of historical interest to provide readers with a report summarizing the state of preparedness of the 70f Squadron in May 1942:

 
 
• We were in a declared war and in the words of our Squadron Commander, "...the war in the Pacific was going badly with the Japanese taking one group of islands after another to cut Australia off from communications and supplies from the United States. The war was being fought mainly by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines."

• We were a separate Squadron unit, without a Group Headquarters. Again, in the words of Colonel Stefen, "The leaders in Washington decided that the U.S. Army should make a contribution and decided to send two individual Squadrons of the 38th Group to the Pacific to help stop the Japanese advances through the islands. The plan was for the 69 `h to go to New Caledonia and the 70`h Squadron to go to Fiji."4

• The bombardiers had only recently been assigned at Patterson Field, and had no experience or training in our assigned aircraft.

• The navigators, also recently assigned, were well-trained in navigation, but had no experience in long overwater flights or in our new-production B-26 aircraft.

A decision had already been made that the B-26 could and should be flown from California to Hawaii, instead of being disassembled in California, deck-loaded and shipped to Hawaii, as in the case of the 22nd Bomb Group.

• The pilots and co-pilots were young reserve officers, mostly recent graduates of flying school, without combat training in the B-26 or experience in long over water flights. Their average age was twenty-two.

• The Squadron had no tactical training or crew training involving employment of the B-26 in combat situations.

• With only one individual exception, discussed earlier, it can be said that no one in the 70th Squadron had ever fired a shot or dropped a bomb out of the B-26 prior to our being deployed to the South Pacific. Patterson Field had no bombing or gunnery ranges and, in fact, had no runways. The entire take-off and landing area was sod - and in rainy periods, mud.

 
 
Although we harbored some doubt about flying a B-26 the 2,400 miles to Hawaii, we saluted and turned to the task.

' Stefen, Leroy L. Letter, January 1996.

 
 
Patterson Field to McClellan
 

Given the above situation relative to personnel and training, and having been equipped with thirteen new production B-26B aircraft, the Air Echelon was ordered to California to prepare for deployment overseas. Long range fuel tanks had been installed at Patterson Field and from the diary of Connie Ray, we have description of the fuel load at that time.
 
 
"May 18. Out to the field at dawn but ships are not ready to go. They are all new B-26Bs which are arriving rapidly day by day. As soon as they arrive they are checked, inspected and filled with auxiliary tanks for the long hop. Our ship is #41-17569 - all our own. I am flying with Miller, navigator Styler and radioman Savitski. The plane is full of gas tanks and I am busy examining the fuel transfer system. It holds 1,837 gallons, and will have a gross weight of over 36,000 pounds. I dread that first take-off loaded. Max (Miller) banged fuselage taxiing. Being repaired tonight. Ready to leave tomorrow."
 
 
The aircraft were to be flown first to Baer Field near Ft. Wayne, Indiana to take advantage of the long, paved runway at that airfield. From there, the plan was to fly to McClellan Field, near Sacramento, both as a test of the long range fuel tanks installed at Patterson and for additional work on the aircraft. A diary entry from Connie Ray provides details on the long Ft. Wayne-Sacramento flight.
 
 
"May 21. We took off at 1005 for Sacramento, California and it wasn't hard to get the ship off the ground. All went well with the whole flight. Started out in formation. We flew according to the maximum range chart for a test leading to the ocean hop. We varied manifold pressure and rpm as the
 

MOVING OUT   19 load lightened, using gas most economically. The ship flies in a stalling attitude - hard to keep to range data. Ran into instrument weather at Des
 
 
Moines and lost the formation. Griff sat down with broken oil line. Dodged squalls all the way into Cheyenne. I transferred all fuel. I flew the ship over the last half of the flight - very rough from Salt Lake on. Used much gas climbing over the mountains. Navigated by radio compass that worked well. Hit one down draft and dropped 1,000 ft. in valley. Sweated out the fuel. On landing approach, the fuel warning lights came on. Landed at 2135. Total time in air was 11 hrs. + 30 min. and burned 1,599 gallons of gasoline. Capt. Callaham and ourselves only ones to make it. Griff and Smitty forced down enroute."
 
 
Applying arithmetic to the above data we find a fuel consumption of 139 gallons per hour - an important figure.
 
 
On this same flight from Baer Field, Indiana to Sacramento, California, however, propeller troubles plagued Bill Griffith's aircraft and caused three forced landings enroute. Bill's co-pilot, Mark Treat, has provided a narrative of their problems.
 
 
"Our B-26, 41-17550, flown by Bill Griffith, pilot and Mark Treat, copilot, navigator Don Sullivan and radioman George Snodgrass, left Baer Field, Indiana to fly nonstop to Sacramento, California on 21 May 1942. We had three forced landings enroute, all caused by runaway propellers.

As we approached Des Moines, Iowa, the props weren't holding rpm, power was fluctuating, so we landed. Supposedly they were fixed by the next day, so we flew on toward McClellan Field, Sacramento.

On the next leg our most harrowing problems occurred in the mountains east of Ogden, Utah. While flying at about 10,000 feet, the props started fluctuating, we started losing power and altitude. As we got down to between 8,000 and 7,000 ft., still not getting ready to bail out, we went through a pass and there in front of us was an airfield. Bill made a descending turn and landed on the very end of a runway. The field wasn't even on our map. We learned in Base Ops that it was Hill Field, Ogden, Utah. Supposedly they fixed the electrical system and prop controls that night and the next day we went on to Sacramento. Same problem on that flight, props ran away as we descended to land.

A couple of days later they told us we had only one 12-volt battery for power and they fixed it so we'd have 24 volts from now on. Our flight to test the fix before flying to Hawaii was a 45 minute flight to Hamilton Field."

'Treat, Mark G. Letter, 2 July 1997.

 
 
Long Range Fuel Tanks
 
 
While at Sacramento, the armor plate and guns were removed from the aircraft to save weight. This equipment was later flown to Hawaii in LB-30 aircraft and re-installed. Also, because of calculations made, still another 125 gallon fuel tank was installed on the floor of the aft section of the fuselage. Entries from Lt. Ray's diary explain the additional fuel:
 
 
"May 27. Results of range test today showed too low a margin of safety in case of headwinds.

May 31. Planes in hangar last few days having extra tanks installed. Guns and armor plate removed to lighten. Our ship out today to leave tomorrow."

 
 
From a wartime pocket notepad made by Thomas W. Moore, a radio operator on one of the aircraft, we are able to reconstruct the aviation gas fuel load for the flight to Hawaii, including the tank installed at Sacramento, as an unbelievable total of 1,962 gallons. With the wings and fuselage loaded with fuel, the result was a flying gas tank! Converting the 1,962 gallons to pounds at approximately 6.7 pounds per gallon, the total is 13,145 pounds of fuel and a gross weight near 37,000 pounds. Quite a load for a short-wing B-26.
 
 
Liaison Officers
 
Prior to this, two officers were sent to Hamilton Field (near San Rafael, California) to assist in preparing for the overseas movement. Lt. Charles B. Lingamfelter (Brownie) represented the 69th Bombardment Squadron and Lt. Harold V. Larson (Swede) represented
 
 
the 70th Bombardment Squadron. Their orders were to report to a Lt. Col. Huglin and a Major Montgomery who had been sent to Hamilton Field and to McClellan Field near Sacramento by General Arnold to coordinate and expedite the movement of the 69th and 70th Squadrons overseas.
 
 
In brief, Lieutenants Lingamfelter and Larson served as liaison officers between the representatives of the Chief's office and their respective squadrons, in assisting in arranging for the numerous administrative and equipping details involved in their departure - everything from official orders to tin helmets and external power units ("put-puts") for the aircraft. It resembled a present-day POM (preparation for overseas movement), except that it was far less comprehensive. Time was of the essence.
 
 
The over-riding concerns of the pilots at this time were whether there was sufficient fuel to reach Hawaii, and whether the installed fuel transfer system would, in fact, do the job. The system involved a complex set of cross-feed, by-pass and check valves, designed to enable transfer of fuel from the various tanks to the mains and from there to the engines. If and when the various valves were set correctly, fuel was transferred by an electrically-driven pump from one tank to another and finally into the mains. In the event of an electrical failure, we were provided with a wooden-handled, hand-powered "wobble pump" for emergency fuel transfer.
 
 
MOVING OUT   21 Would the system really work, particularly in the crucial area beyond the "point-of-noreturn?" Testing was essential before leaping off over the broad Pacific. The following is an account by Lt. Gilbert G. Smith (Gil) of his test flight up and down the West Coast, after having had his long range fuel tanks installed:
 
 
"When we took off from Baer Field at Ft. Wayne, Indiana, I had less than 10 hours as pilot of the B-26. I checked my Form 5, and I also had about 40 hours of co-pilot time. While we were at McClellan, I got another 12 1/2 hours on a fuel consumption check between Bakersfield and Redding."6
 
 
Hamilton-Hickam Flights
 

After having the final long range tanks installed, the thirteen aircraft were flown to Hamilton Field near San Rafael, California for the incredibly long flight of 2,400 miles to Hickam Field in Hawaii.
 
 
Secret Operations Order No. 109a, dated 1 June 1942, issued by Headquarters, Air Force Ferrying Command,' ordered the Air Echelon to "Proceed in the following military aircraft at the proper time from Hamilton Field, California to Hickam Field, Oahu, T.H., to report to the Commanding General of the Hawaiian Defense Command, thence to proceed by military or commercial air by route designated by the Commanding General to Fiji to report to the Commanding Officer thereat for further orders."
 
 
The above order, in its entirety, is reproduced on pages 155-157 of the Appendix. The order lists the four aircrew members for each aircraft (pilot, co-pilot, navigator and radio operator) plus the serial number of each of the thirteen aircraft.
 
 
A few days prior to this, on 22 May, three aircraft from the 69`h Bomb Squadron (our sister squadron) took off for the flight from Hamilton to Hickam. According to the records of the 69`h Squadron, Captain Collins, Lieutenant Long and Lieutenant Watson piloted the three planes. The flight lasted thirteen hours. At the time, we at Hamilton Field were unaware as to whether their flights were successful, undoubtedly due to security restrictions. Two of the pilots, namely Captain Collins and Lieutenant Watson arrived in Hawaii in time to participate in the Battle of Midway. This historic event will be discussed in some detail later.
 
 
The date set for departure of the 70`h Squadron was 2 June 1942. A determination was made that the mission should be flown separately by Flights "A ," "B," and "C," taking off at intervals, and that each flight should be assigned an Air Transport Command navigator who had previously made the flight to Hawaii. The schedule called for very early morning departures to take advantage of all possible daylight.
 
 



6 Smith, Gilbert G. Confirmed by letter, 27 March 1996.
 
7 Air Force Ferrying Command was redesignated as Air Transport Command on 20 June 1942.
 
22   MOVING OUT The pilots in the three flights were as follows:
 
 
Flight A   Flight B   Flight C Sharp Eddy Callaham Cressy Boden Griffith Morrison Martin Miller Washington Durbin Smith
 
 
Our Squadron Commander at that time, Captain Leroy L. Stefonowicz, flew with "A" Flight, as the thirteenth aircraft - in this case, a lucky number. All fuel tanks were "topped off' during the cool of the night and Master Sergeant Arthur Jolly, our Line-Chief, was overheard reporting this fact early in the morning to Captain Stefonowicz.
 
 
Also, a very conscientious Major Montgomery, along with Swede Larson, stationed themselves alongside the take-off runway. Major Montgomery, stop watch in hand, clocked the take-off roll of each aircraft and was later heard to say, very profoundly, "Well, they're off." Speaking of take-offs, every aircraft used the entire runway length, and pilots raised their landing gear as they climbed by slowly, in a tail-low attitude over San Francisco Bay. Whew!
 
 
The account of Captain John F. Sharp, "A" Flight Commander, relative to the flight to Hawaii is reproduced below:
 
 
"As `A' Flight Commander, I was to lead the first flight of 5 B-26s to Hawaii. Major Montgomery, in charge of dispatching all aircraft, assigned a 2nd Lt. navigator to my airplane because he had been there once, and `knew the way.' I was happy with Nathan Koch, my regular navigator, and he had everything laid out and ready to go. This new kid insisted on swinging the compass again, so on the way back to the field I flew under both bridges and he was so mad at me he told Major Montgomery he wasn't going to fly with me. Well, the old man made him go anyway and just past the `point of no return,' Koch came to me and said this guy is way off course by at least 400 miles. I checked with the other navigators in the flight and they confirmed it. I immediately relieved the new kid and put Koch back in charge. He gave me one helluva big course correction and brought us into Hickam. This is what gave us the long 14 hours + 5 minutes flight time to Hickam."s
 
 
Another account of the flight to Hawaii is told by 2nd Lt. Gilbert G. Smith of "C" Flight: "On our flight to Hawaii we had our own navigator and Cal (Walt Callaham) had an ATC navigator. We flew loose formation (Callaham, Griffith, Miller and me). We used half our fuel load (960 gal. internal and 1,000 gal. in bomb bay tanks) during the first third of the trip. We weren't at
 
 
all sure that we would have enough fuel to make it. At the calculated mid'Sharp, John F. Letter, 5 December 1995.
 
 
MOVING OUT   23 point, Cal said that he was going on, but if anyone wanted to turn back, it was
 
 
O.K. with him. I figured if Cal could make it, I could. None of us turned back, but as we got further along the route, all of our 70th navigators said, `We're way south off course.' When we got within about 200 miles south of Hilo, we could pick up the radio signal and we were way south of course. In fact, we would have gone at least 100 miles south of Hilo. Instead of approaching Hickam Field from the N.E., we would have come from the S.E. So, we landed at Hilo (I had 200 gallons left) and flew on to Hickam. My greatest amazement was seeing all the burned-out hangars at Hickam and the sunken ships and destruction at Pearl Harbor. It was devastated."'
 
 
Information from Captain Lyman H. Eddy, our "B" Flight Commander, remarkably parallels the experience of the other flights. Lyman was also assigned a Transport Command navigator for the flight. When arriving within radio compass range of Hawaii, he noted a large 20-30 degree deflection of the needle to the left, indicating, disturbingly, that they were well off-course. Lyman turned the problem over to Lt. Roger Soles, his regular crew navigator, who had been `following' the Ferry Command navigator. Roger made necessary corrections, and brought the flight in, right on target. to
 
 
We have additional interesting information about this flight from Connie Ray's diary. He writes as follows:
 
 
"June 2. Up before daylight, had breakfast and went to the ship. It was ready to go. "C" Flight took off first and assembled over the Golden Gate. We were well out to sea when sun came up. First part of the flight over an overcast. The ship was running perfectly. Flew on AFCE (automatic flight control equipment) in loose formation. It was my job to handle gas and take instrument data. I was busy. The weather was good all the way. Began to tire soon. Our sandwich lunch and black coffee wasn't so good. Navigator kept track of course by DR (dead reckoning) and sun shots. Griff was running low on gas and was getting worried about making it. He sweat it out with Cal over the radio. Last part of the trip very tiring. Saw nothing but water and clouds. Saw Hawaiian Island in distance and changed course for Hilo because of Griff. That island with high volcanoes looked good. Gassed at Hilo after 13 hrs. + 40 min. flying. Hard to believe where I am. The sea is pretty blue, no familiar vegetation, an active volcano. Came in on radio compass to tune of `Aloha.' Took off for Hickam right away."
 
 
It should be noted that the distance from San Francisco to Hilo, Hawaii is ninety miles shorter than the distance from San Francisco to Hickam.
 
 
We are fortunate also in having an account of the Pacific crossing written by James B. Story (Jim) of the 69th, which was our sister squadron.
 
 

9 Smith, Gilbert G. Confirmed by letter, 27 March 1996.
 
'° Eddy, Lyman H. Telcon with Harold V. Larson, February 1996.
 
24   MoviNG Ou r
 

"As aircraft modifications were completed, we flew cruise control flights up and down the San Joaquin Valley using power settings recommended by weight and balance officials. As I recall, it was 167 mph for the first 500-800 miles, then increase speed to 180 mph When these practice flights were completed, the aircraft were ferried to Hamilton Field, the departure point for the flight to Hickam. Experienced ATC navigators who had previously made the flight and `knew the way' were assigned each flight.
 
 
On June 2nd, the 69' and 70th Squadrons began launching flights of four beginning at 5:30 a.m. The weather was foggy and an indefinite ceiling of 500 feet. With the fuel load, our main tires appeared to be half inflated which added to our take-off roll. As we lined up on the runway, we used all the runway including the extension to give us a wee-bit more runway. The sensation of the take-off is one I'll never forget. It appeared we would never get lift-off speed necessary for flight. But, fortunately we did as we struggled in the air and cleaned up the aircraft before entering into the overcast. However, we popped out at about 1,000 feet. We could see the Golden Gate Bridge and we flew between its stanchions as our point of departure for Hawaii.
 
 
In our flight of four, two aborted due to maintenance problems and the two of us continued on as planned. As I recall, we flew at an initial altitude of 6,000 feet and a power setting to maintain the 167 mph. However, it was soon evident that this was too slow for our initial weight. As the aircraft continued to mush, we increased power to maintain altitude and speed. The attitude of the aircraft made the auto-pilot useless. Our fuel consumption ran higher than planned and as the flight progressed we became concerned that we had sufficient fuel to make Hickam. We were briefed at Hamilton that if someone went down enroute, don't be a hero and try to help out as you might not make it either.
 
 
Beyond the point of no return, it was also not evident to the other flights ahead of us that they had enough fuel for the flight. One of our 69th pilots announced on the air that he was low on fuel and wouldn't make it, `but I'll keep on going as long as I can!' Silence followed, then a voice came on the air, `and what other choice do you have, Waddie?' One flight from the 70th Squadron with an ATC navigator aboard found themselves 100 miles south of Hilo, and diversions were made to that Island after 12:40 flight time.
 
 
From May 22nd to June 10`h, both squadrons ferried 26 Marauders from California to Hickam Field without a single mishap. However, we arrived in Hawaii with less than twenty minutes of fuel left. But all thirteen of us made it and all thirteen of the 70' Squadron made it. It had not been done before and it was never tried again !9911
 
 

" Story, James B. Letter, 16 May 1996.
 
MOVING OUT   25 One final item relative to the Hamilton-Hickam flights is reported by Tom Moore, radio operator on Eddie Morrison's aircraft. He recalls that:
 
 
"Aircraft #117574 piloted by Cressy and Sherlock had to be the longest flight to Hickam, because they had to wait for Stef and Sharp and Ed Morrison in #117564. We were definitely out of fuel! In fact, Morrison was threatening to land on one of those beaches and had, in fact, opened the bomb bay expecting John Burns and I to jump. No way! John and I were scared spitless seeing all that water and decided to ride out the crash if Morrison put the aircraft on the beach ... That trans-Pacific flight proved some things about Irene (#117564). She was the slowest aircraft, the biggest gas guzzler and had the sweetest radio equipment in the Squadron. Both engines quit when we entered the taxi-way at Hickam. I thank you, Stef, Sharp and Cressy for letting Morrison go in first. 9912
 
 
In a recent Squadron contest to determine who had the longest flight time between California and Hawaii, verified by Form 5s, we learned that the "winner," by-a-nose, was John Sherlock, who logged an official flight time of 14 hours and 10 minutes. Stef and John Sharp were "runners up" in that they both logged 14 hours and 5 minutes on that historic flight.
 
 
Flight times varied but were generally in the range from 12 1/2 to 14 hours. Splitting the difference in flight times and assuming an average of 15 minutes fuel remaining in each aircraft, calculations show an average fuel consumption near 151 gallons per hour and average airspeed of 185 miles per hour.
 
 
Colonel Leroy L. Stefen, our Squadron Commander, recalls the flight with the words, "We made it from Hamilton to Hickam but just barely. When we got there we had just a few more minutes of fuel left."" Captain Eddy, the "B" Flight Commander is quoted in a video interview as saying, "All thirteen of the 70'' made it, and all thirteen of the 69`h made it. It was a miracle." 14
 
 
There are a number of reasons for writing this history - an important one is to give long overdue recognition to those heroic aircrew members in the 69f and 701h Squadrons who accomplished this hazardous and unparalleled mission. Insofar as official records are concerned, very little or no mention was ever made of their achievement, nor were any commendations of any sort ever made for that flight. This writing, therefore, should be considered as a recognition and commendation for their exemplary courage and a job well done.
 
 



12 Moore, Thomas W. Letter, 3 February 1996. 13 Stefen, Leroy L. Letter, January 1996.
 
 
14 Eddy, Lyman H. Video-recording made by the B-26 Marauder Historical Society, Orlando, Florida, October 1991.
 
 
26   MOVING Ou'r Kipapa Gulch
 
 
After our arrival in Hawaii, the Squadron was placed on alert status at Kipapa Gulch, an airstrip high in the hills of Oahu. As indicated earlier, some of the 69' Squadron had already arrived and some of the 70`h had diverted their flight plans to land at Hilo, and did not arrive on Oahu until 4-5 June. These dates are important since the Battle of Midway took place during the period June 4, 5 and 6. The 70P Squadron was not directly involved in the Midway battle, but was alerted to stand-by for an "imminent attack" on Hawaii by a huge Japanese fleet. Historians report that Admiral Yamamoto's force consisted of some 350 ships and 100,000 officers and men.   .
 
 
Battle of Midway
 

Numerous books and articles have been written in detail relative to the Battle of Midway. Without any doubt, it was one of the turning points of the Pacific war. The headline of the New York Times on June 6, 1942 reported, "SEVERE DAMAGE INFLICTED ON JAPANESE FLEET IN BATTLESHIPS, CARRIERS, CRUISERS, TRANSPORTS; FOE RETIRES FROM MIDWAY; BATTLE CONTINUING."is
 
 
Word of the battle, of course, reached the 70'' Squadron in Hawaii. It is of great interest to read the diary entry of Lt. Ray, also dated June 6, regarding the participation of four B-26s in this historic sea battle:
 
 
"June 6. The remaining flight of the 70' arrived today.   Making the record of the flight of the Squadron from Patterson Field here without putting a scratch on a plane. However, in the Battle of Midway, Watson with
 
 
Whittington and Schuman were lost in combat. Two of the 26s that returned were badly damaged. They left to get carriers behind Navy dive bombers, which arrived at target a few minutes before them. 95% of these planes were shot down. 26s encountered Japs before the target. This is when two ships were lost, Collins and Villnes and other plane came in low, released and went on over, 10 feet over the water. Both made hits and sub followed up with 3 more. For 45 minutes after, Zeros gave them running fight. They are excellent fighters. So fast they make pass after pass at 26s even though they were pulling over 70" Mercury at over 300 mph indicated. Bullets went whole length of Collins' ship. He had no casualties, but made crash landing at base with hydraulics shot up. They continually dodged tracers from planes and ships, going up when below and down when above. On other plane, a 20 mm shell blew turret and gunner out. The tail gunner was badly shot up in legs. Co-pilot went back to attend their injuries and manned tail gun. While these Zeros pulled alongside, and pilot yelled on interphone for gunners to get him, interphone was out, but they finally ran away from Jap when speed gained in his dive finally dissipated. They made their attack through encircling ring of all types of Jap war vessels. As Collins came over, forward gunner poured constant fire into flight decks. Smoke just poured from gun on 15 New York Times, 6 June 1942, 1.
 
 
MOVING OUT   27 up into pilot's compartment. We need more guns there, for that one scattered
 
 
the men on carrier decks. This battle is an important victory for U.S. All four carriers, couple battleships, couple cruisers, several destroyers and troop transports may be considered lost. They were forced to turn about with remaining units. Our Navy, in running fight, should increase the toll of enemy ships and planes. Uncle Sam sent us the best and gave us the best possible chance. We will do the rest."
 
 
At this point, we wish to commend the aircrew members of the four B-26 aircraft which took off from Midway on June 6 to attack the aircraft carriers and battleships of this huge Japanese Task Force. Consider for a moment the courage of these crews of land-based Army aircraft engaging an enemy fleet at low altitude, with torpedoes! The opposition was fierce and the odds for survival were incredibly small. Two of the B-26s were from the 69th, our sister squadron, and piloted by Captain Collins and Lieutenant Watson. The remaining two aircraft were "holdovers" from the 22nd Bomb Group deployment and were flown by Lieutenants Muri and Mayes. Of the four B-26s, only two returned (Collins and Muri) and their aircraft were so badly damaged that they never flew again.
 
 
How did we maintain our aircraft on a remote airfield in the hills of Oahu when our Ground Echelon was at sea and we had only the flight crews? It wasn't easy at first, but our situation improved later when crew chiefs, specialized maintenance personnel together with the special tools and equipment, were flown from California to Hawaii by LB-30 aircraft. An LB-30 was, in effect, a B-24 bomber converted to carry passengers and cargo. One of these LB-30s, taking off toward the mountains at Hamilton Field, crashed and burned in the foothills, causing the death of some of our experienced maintenance personnel. Records indicated that those tragically lost were Sergeants Alex Mazeikas, John Pilarcik and Joseph Kulis plus Pfc. Walter B. Haynes.
 
 
Swede Larson and Brownie Lingamfelter, still at Hamilton Field, visited the crash site the evening of the crash and again at dawn the following day. It was a horrible scene with charred bodies everywhere - two were seen in a crawling position on the hillside. Swede had talked to Sergeant Pilarcik and others that afternoon about their scheduled flight. Nothing could be done at the crash site that night because of the intense heat - the entire hillside was ablaze with fuel from ruptured gas tanks. In fact, the bare earth was still burning in some areas the following morning. Official records indicate that the LB-30 lost two engines on take-off and the pilot attempted a 180° turn from the hills back to Hamilton.
 
 
During the alert at Kipapa Gulch, Lieutenants Lingamfelter and Larson rejoined the 69th and 70th Squadrons respectively, having arrived by LB-30 from Hamilton Field. Kipapa Gulch was the Squadron's first experience at what might be termed true "field conditions." We lived in old barracks and pyramidal tents, ate at field kitchens, used our mess kits for meals, waved off the flies, and washed dishes in two garbage cans - one filled with hot soapy water, and the second with hot rinse water. The food, of course, left much to be desired. But, we had work to do and there was the constant threat that the Japanese fleet might yet be on its way to invade Hawaii. We received training on torpedo tactics and filled the days completely with loading ammunition, loading and unloading bombs, practice bombing runs and regular aircraft test flights.
 
 
28   MOVING OUT
 

The following is an extract from the diary of Connie Ray, however, which indicates that the living situation for some was not bad at all:
 
 
"June 8. Our ships were dispersed over Oahu Island today to remain on the alert for enemy. Most of "C" Flight was sent to Wheeler Field. We came once around the island looking it over good. Our quarters are what used to be the Hostess House. It looks bare with windows blacked out, etc., but the furniture is nice. Tile bath rooms and divans make it pretty nice. Pineapples and bananas are growing in the back yard."
 
 
Another entry the following day reads:
 

"June 9. We have a complete combat crew on our plane now. It is as follows: Pilot Lt. Miller; Co-pilot myself; Navigator Lt. Brinskelle; Bombardier Lt. Ellis; Radio Operator Sgt. Savitski; Engineer Sgt. Hanson; Turret Gun Cpl. Lawrence and Tail Gunner Pvt. Smith. It is a good gang and I think we will work well together."
 
 
Ground Echelon
 

Chronologically, we should now pick up the story of our Ground Echelon which had arrived in Australia by freighter and had been taken to a race track outside Brisbane. The story of the Ground Echelon's travels and experiences at various places in Australia is told by William J. Talley (Bill) who was a member of the group.
 
 
"A lot of you (70th Squadron personnel) got in some New Zealand R & R time, so you didn't miss the Aussie experience totally, but there are a few things I'd like to tell you about. Twenty-six days on the Tasker H. Bliss, two meals a day, mostly hard-boiled eggs, and we disembarked in Brisbane. We were taken to the Doomben Race Track ... very famous, still operating today, so I'm told by Aussies. Tents had been put up in the infield, but we had to walk a few blocks to an Aussie installation to get fed. As we approached the mess hall, late on the first afternoon ... kitchen outdoors ... we encountered this terrible smell, and couldn't figure out what it was. We soon learned it was mutton, being cooked and served for supper. I don't recall what we got by on, but we sure didn't try to eat that mutton. Couldn't get past the smell, and it was swimming in about six inches of grease. One of the disadvantages of the Lend Lease program, as we were supplied with LOTS of mutton during our stay in Australia, AND while in Fiji, but it was sure wasted on our bunch of beef eaters."
 
 
After Brisbane, Bill Talley continues that they were herded aboard the Tasker H. Bliss and, on 3 March, they departed for a five-day sea voyage to Melbourne. On 8 March, the Tasker H. Bliss pulled into port at Melbourne where trains were waiting to take them to the Gold City of Ballarat. Arriving in Ballarat in the evening, all men were soon billeted in private homes belonging to the Ballarat citizens. After eight most pleasant days of living in private homes, all were moved into a recently established tent camp miles from town.
 
 
MOVING OUT   29 "The first night we were in town, Tokyo Rose 16 welcomed the 70`b Bombardment Squadron to Ballarat on her radio broadcast that ALL the Aussies listened to. The Aussies were almost panicky anyway, especially
 
 
those in the north, like around Brisbane, because she was telling them regularly that they were next on the invasion list, after New Guinea. So just our presence gave the Aussies some comfort. They discovered a transmitter in the basement of a home in Ballarat not long after that, by which a couple that had returned to Australia from consular duty in Tokyo was transmitting news of troop movements, etc. to Japan. I assume they strung them up later, but we never heard.
 
 
After about six weeks in Ballarat, we got on a train and headed for Wagga Wagga, where there was an RAAF base. In those days, at least, the gauge of the railroad tracks changed at the state lines, and we had to change trains in Albury, on the line between Victoria and New South Wales. Some of us walked down into the center of town, while waiting for the train from NSW to arrive. It was about 9 a.m., and some ladies were out in front of a shoe store, washing the windows and polishing the brass. They were young and attractive, so we decided that we needed to make their acquaintance and walked toward them. When they saw us coming, they ran into the store. We followed them, naturally, to see what had caused them to run. They were all (three) sort of cowering in the back of the store when we came in, but we continued to try to get them into conversation, even pretending to be interested in buying some shoes. Their boss came out of his office and laughed at the situation. When we asked him why they ran from us, he replied, `After all, fellows, you are the first Yanks they've ever seen, and all they know about Yanks is what they read in the Melbourne papers.' There had been some serious misbehaving written up recently.
 
 
We went on to Wagga Wagga, a nice RAAF base and a nice friendly little town. They were bringing in planes that had been shot up around Darwin and we were assigned the task of dismantling them. All of us worked on them, not just the mechs, and it was interesting. After about a month there, we got back on a train and went to Brisbane, where we picked up some armament at a depot outside of town, and got on a ship bound for Fiji. Not many of you ... in fact, possibly only a few of us are still living, who will remember the SS Bataviat'...a little Dutch freighter out of Java, that took us from Brisbane to Lautoka, Fiji.   Quite a grubby little scow, but not a bad trip ... especially
 
 


's A Los Angeles native, Tokyo Rose (Iva Toguri de'Aquino) was tried for treason in a Federal court and convicted of a lesser charge of "undermining U.S. troops' morale." She was sentenced to 10 years in prison. At her trial she insisted that she was only one of at least 20 "Toyko Roses" who broadcast messages to enemy troops for the Japanese govemment. U.S. National Archives. The Record, September 1995, 10.
 
 
" The Crusaders: A History of the 42"d Bombardment Group (M) identifies the name of the Dutch steamer as the Cremer at page 26.
 
 
30   MOVING OUT
 

compared to the one on the Tasker H. Bliss. As I recall, we dropped the 69' off in Noumea, before going on to Fiji.""
 
 
Christmas-Canton-Fiji Flights
 

After a month on the alert in Hawaii, the Air Echelon received orders to move on. The schedule called for take-off on 1 July for Christmas Island on the first leg of the islandhopping to Fiji. Again, these hops were to be made separately by Flights "A," "B," and "C." A diary entry by Connie Ray describes his experience:
 
 
"July 1. Up early and went down to the ship. It was all loaded and in shape. All of "C" Flight took off. Because of light wind and heavy load, we just made it into the air. It was my closest take-off. Headed out to sea. Griff turned back for unknown reason. After seeing nothing but water for hours, we hit Christmas Island and landed there. It is the perfect South Sea island - low, sandy and covered with palms. The men there are very much alone and were eager to hear from outside. We carried several sacks of mail to them."
 
 
"A" Flight did not fare as well. First, Lt. John M. Washington had just received orders transferring him out of the squadron, and Lt. Harold V. Larson (Swede) was assigned as pilot of Washington's aircraft for the flights to Christmas, Canton and Fiji. Other members of this crew were Lt. Richard M. Thorburn, co-pilot, Lt. Everett R. Lewis, navigator, and Cpl. George T. McGraw, radio operator. Swede Larson and Dick Thorburn were later to become the Squadron Operations Officer and the Squadron Engineering Officer, respectively of the 70'b Squadron.
 
 
"A" Flight scheduled its take-off for 3 July, a day of tragedy. Lt. Fred W. Durbin, loaded with fuel for the flight to Christmas Island experienced a right engine fire shortly after becoming airborne and crashed off the end of the runway, along the Oahu coastline. The take-off and crash were witnessed by Swede Larson and Dick Thorburn, who were in an aircraft immediately behind them in take-off sequence. As we flew past the column of smoke, Dick shouted, "My God, that's Durbin!"
 
 
Durbin-Evans Crash
 

We are very fortunate in having the full story of the accident for our history as written by the pilot, Lt. Durbin, who survived, as did Lt. Dick Evans, the co-pilot.
 
 
"As for the crash at take-off on July 3, 1942 at Hickam Field, the only part I don't remember is flying through air without a plane under me.
 
 
After taxiing out to the runway, I tested the mags and took off. When we were about 150 feet in the air, flying at about 150 mph, Dick Evans shouted that the right engine was on fire. As you know, we had full wing tanks plus
 
 
full front bomb bay tanks. There was no way that the plane could stay in the air at that speed and at that height, so I headed for the shallow water at the 's Talley, William J. Letter, 19 January 1996.
 
 
MOVING OUT   31 beach off Barbers Point. While losing altitude, trying to find a landing site, feathering a propeller, adjusting trim tabs, and telling Dick to pull the fire
 
 
extinguisher ring all at the same time, we proceeded to self-destruct by hitting a camouflaged, steel-girder look-out tower which tore off the left wing. That contact ejected both Dick and me out of the plane, and I was unconscious during my unsupported flight from plane to ground. However, I immediately became aware of what had transpired. I tried to get up but my arm would not support me - it was a compound fracture. As I tried the limbs, I found that they were fractured, and that I still had 1501bs. of armor plate strapped to my back. The whole seat tore loose from the deck when I was thrown out.
 
 
Military personnel, stationed nearby, arrived shortly after. I remember one of them asking me if there were bombs on board - and I gave him a negative response. I was lifted onto a stretcher and taken to a nearby first-aid station where I was given morphine to deaden the pain which hadn't even come yet. The trauma had been too severe. I was placed in an ambulance and taken to Tripler General Hospital. I remember just what was said as they backed up to the emergency entrance! `We don't want him here.' At the time, I thought that they didn't want to waste time on someone who wasn't going to make it. But that wasn't quite the reason - almost but not quite! Tripler was full of casualties from the Pacific theater - and they had opened an auxiliary hospital by taking over Farrington School, which is where they took me.
 
 
While in the operating room, I was barely conscious from the pain killers I had been given, but I remember 6-8 doctors standing around the operating table deciding what course of action they should follow. I didn't find out till later what the problem was. I had not only broken arms and legs, hip, shoulder, ribs, ankle bones, etc., but also had second and third degree burns from gasoline that exploded at the time of the crash. As a result, they couldn't splint-cast or wrap the bones. So they put me in a bed for a few days to find out if I was going to make it - and giving me morphine.
 
 
In the meanwhile, the broken bones in my right leg had so injured the blood vessels to my foot that gangrene had set in. My doctor, Col. Spitler, would come into my room and stick a needle into my foot and ask if I felt it. At first, I thought I did, but after about the third day, I said no. He asked me if he should take my leg off, which I thought was a `funny' question - but I had such implicit faith in him that I said, `Whatever you think, Doc,' - and that was that.
 
 
During the first two or three weeks of my hospitalization, Lt. Winemiller would come to visit me frequently. I know that some who read this are going to say that's impossible since he was a member of my crew and did not survive the crash. Not so! The day before we were to take off, several of the Squadron went to Waikiki. Winemiller rented a surf board and went out several hundred feet from shore. About the time he thought he had enough
 
 
32   MOVING OUT
 

sun, he started for shore. Unfortunately, the tide had turned, and he couldn't make any headway. After paddling on his stomach on the board for 5-6 hours, he was so badly sunburned with blisters, that he was hospitalized, and was scrubbed from the mission. I think his replacement was Lt. Brinkskelle.'9
 
 
Without going into any more of the events during hospitalization, suffice it to say that six months were spent in Hawaii, six months at Letterman General Hospital in S.F. and one and a half years at Bushnell General Hospital, Brigham City, Utah."'
 
 
As a matter related to the Durbin-Evans crash, aircraft B-26B number 41-17584, their aircraft had been purchased by public-spirited citizens of the city of Philadelphia and christened the Liberty Bell in a formal ceremony April 20, 1942 at the Martin plant in Baltimore. The purchase price, paid in full by patriotic citizens, is quoted in a Philadelphia newspaper as $178,116.23, which amount was sent as a check to the U.S. Government. Insofar as can be reconstructed at this time, the aircrews for the flights to Christmas Island, Canton Island and to Fiji were as represented in the chart on page 158 of the Appendix, which appears to have been made up just before the take-offs for Christmas. The crews on these flights did not include the bombardiers listed. There were also other last minute changes not reflected in the chart. Swede Larson was substituted for Lt. Washington in aircraft #41-17576 and according to Lt. Ray's diary, their Radio Operator Savitski took sick and did not make that flight. There may have been other last-minute changes also. The remaining twelve aircraft continued with their island-hopping flight without further loss and essentially without incident. It may be useful to the reader to provide brief descriptions of these islands.
 
 
Christmas Island
 

Even though billed as the largest coral atoll in the Pacific, with an area of 140 square miles, the land area was only 94 square miles - a small target in the broad Pacific, after about 7 1/2 hours of flying. In a reversal of the American holidays, Dick Thorburn and I spent the 4'b of July on Christmas without either fireworks or a Santa Claus.
 
 
Canton Island
 

Canton is an isolated atoll with an area of about 3 1/2 square miles. Within its narrow pear-shaped ring of land is a lagoon more than 8 miles long and 4 miles wide. Stunted vegetation grew on the island and there were some coconut palms. Beautiful, in one sense, but desolate. Canton is in the Phoenix Group of islands approximately 280 miles southeast of the Baker and Howland island area where Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared in July 1937 (sixty plus years ago) on their planned round-the-world flight.
 
 

'9 Both The Crusaders: A History of the 42"d Bombardment Group (M) and Squadron records in microfilm at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama report that Lt. Winemiller and Sgt. Arnold were killed in the crash and that Lieutenants Durbin and Evans were seriously injured.
 
 
20 Durbin, Fred W. Letter, 30 January 1996.
 

MOVING OUT   33 For the flights to Christmas and Canton, we used the main tanks and auxiliaries in the wings (which totaled 962 gallons), plus two bomb-bay tanks of 250 gallons each, for a total of 1,462 gallons. The flight route and distances from Hickam Field in Hawaii to Christmas Island, Canton Island, Fiji, Espiritu Santo and Guadalcanal are outlined on page 159 of the Appendix. Also shown is Midway Island northwest of Hawaii.
 
 
Fiji Arrival
 

There were occasional delays due to tropical storms, but the last of the 70th Squadron's aircraft completed the journey to Fiji on July 9, 1942. Finally, the Ground and Air Echelons of the squadron were united with much back-slapping and handshaking. We were together on Viti Levu, the main island in Fiji and our new home away from home.
 
 
Connie Ray's diary tells the story of his flight from Canton to Fiji in the following entry: "July 3. Off early again. Passing through the doldrum area we hit very
 
 
bad weather. The black, formidable clouds worried me. AFCE" dicked-up and gave us a big pushover, dumping tools, ammunition, etc. all over the plane. Max2 tore up a finger turning it off and getting control. Landed at Nandi, Fiji O.K. The islands are pretty from the air with mountains and green reefs off shore. Our long, lost ground crew was waiting and there was much hand shaking. We have a nice field here and a new camp is under construction for us."
 
 
s' AFCE, automatic flight control equipment (auto pilot). 22 Lt. Harold G. Miller (Max), Pilot.
 
 
PERSONNEL OF 70TH BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON (M) AFCC MAJOR FLINT GARRISON, JR.. COMMANDING
 
 
IST LIEUTENANTS
 
Leroy L. Stefonowies   Clyde A. Glover   George E. Baucom   L•man H. Eddy   John F. Sharp   John S. Shockley
 
-   2ND LIEUTENANTS
 
Robert C. Boden   Edward D. Sethness   Harold G. Miller   John C. Reardon   Louis P. Lindsay   Robert F. Quinn
 
Harold V. Larson   John L. Sherlock   Edward H, Morrison   Richard M. Thorburn   Paul F. McMurdy   Robert J. Hahlen
 
Roger C. Jones   Mark G. Treat   John H. Washington   James P. Van Story   Thomss M. Mitchell, Jr.   Edward C. Huggs
 
William E. Griffith   Gilbert G. Smith   Arthur L. Cushing   Louis Saul   Robert D. Neeld   James O. Rudolph
 
Paul F. Hawkins   Fred W, Durbin   Thomas O'Connor   Conrad A. Ray   Kicky D. Patterson   Wilfred O. Viens, A/C
 
Richard S. Evan s   Arthur. W. Martin   Richard T. Otis   Paschal M. Haynes   Tom Perry   Morris H. Schaper, A/C MASTER SERGEANTS
 
 
Cupshy, Edward   Curtis, Clark H.   Harrison. George E.   Jolly, Arthur FIRST SERGEANT
 
 
Hathorn, Elva S. TECH SERGEANTS Ackerbloom, Harry W.   Gemetn, Richard F   Hewitt, Andrew J.   Williams, Rex
 
Dusing, Lawrence M.   Gouker, Carl D.   Tanley, Ray C. STAFF SERGEANTS
 
 
Baginski, Steven A.   Hahn, Harry A.   Langdon, Roy V.   Melcht, James W. Jr.   Rydsewskk Frank   Tsetse]. Kenneth R.
 
Beegiq Waller J.   Lads, Stanley   Maselkas, Alex   Moor@. James P.   Samples, Robert L.   Thompson, Ray M.
 
Buchholz. Richard S.   Langdon. Richard   McCall. Herman M.   Rowland. Pierce B.   Snyder. Darel R.   Thrasher, Marshall D. SERGEANTS
 
 
Calhoun, Vincent E.   Hanson. Gillis W.   Jones, Richard A. Jr.   Knife. Joseph E.   Lyle. Perry   Rogers. Leon R.   Taylor, Roy C.
 
Evan*, Charles H.   Honaker, Willard C.   Kerekonieh, George   Lefnart, John R.   Morgan, Robert W.   Selling, Archsinaas C. Jr.   Wiggins. Elite H.
 
Galford. Earl W.   Jennings. O'Byrae E.   Kososky. Andrew R.   Lesko. Joseph B.   Pappas. Leo F.   Senseubaeb. Robert W.   Worsham, Albert L. CORPORALS
 
 
Arnold. Benjarnta A.   Bsik. Paul J.   Ellis. Charles L.   Kurovsky, Joseph T.   Pilareik, John M.   Still, Willie C.   Yakaski, Paul J.
 
Bachert, Norman K.   Casper. Robert W.   Honaker, Chester D.   Miller. James M.   Ramsey. Coleman D.   Welch. Joel J. Jr.   Yanushefski, Michael P.
 
Be:eg, John   DeWitt. Gilbert R.   Jenco. Matthew E.   Onderdonk. Wilbur H.   Savitski, Leo J.   Whitlow. William S.   Zelenlak, Boris B. PRIVATES FIRST CLASS
 
 
Beasley, Jack L.   Cooper, Claude W.   Gray, Donald J.   McGraw, George T.   Perdue. Willian H.   Selinsky, Edward
 
Brown, Marvin D.   Danford. Harold J.   Haynes. Walter B.   McKelvey, Herbert   Pierson,. Edward F.   Swetnick. Arthur M.
 
Buffalo@. Kenneth B.   Danish. Ward E.   House, Frank L,   Mixon. George E.   Poorman, Harry T.   Talley. William J.
 
Bunn. Ernest L.   Fields, Carroll B.   Howard. Dempsey C.   Nay, Robert F.   Rateliff, Carl H.   Taylor, Earl W.
 
Cable, Charles A.   Fields. Walter Jr.   Koucouthakle. Gust   Nemeth. Frank   Rittle, AlbeN E.   Thompson, Earl A.
 
Calhoun, John C.   Ford, Lenard L.   Lawrence, Ferrell P.   ' '   Nicholson. Wm. A. Jr.   Roberts, Archie T.
 
Claytor, Elwood F.   Franklin Marion R.   Marsh, William J.   Osborne,.Carson A.   S'~lor, Jack E.   Timmons. Charles E.
 
Collier, Donald N.   Glover, 4eorge W.   McClure, John W.   Peeler, Julian C.   Sc warts. Raymond A.   Westbrook. Frederick C. PRIVATES
 
 
Adams, James A.   Cogswell, John F. Jr.   Hall, Collie N.   Lewallen, Albert B.   Moore. Thomas W.   Sullivan, Odis L.
 
Anthony, Jesse O. Jr.   Collins. Earl C.   Hallman. Carl T.   Lovett. Jack   Oraeh, Michael   Terry, Homer E. Jr.
 
Bailey, Jack E.   Calton. George W. Jr.   Harold. Ramona   Lucas. Emil   Bannock*. Edison J.   Walden, J. B.
 
Baylis. Charles E.   Cooper. James L. Jr.   Harrison, Aaron M.   Lunsford, John W.   Schmidt. Thomas H.   Wallace. Harry K.
 
Belcher. Frank H.   Daniel, Thomas W. Jr.   Hendrix. James T.   Lyons, John A. Jr.   Servis. Nevelle L.   White. Francis H.
 
Blackwell, James E.   Davis, George M.   Hillhouse, Marion L.   Maxwell, Aubrey K.   Severson, Leonard A.   Wilhite. Ralph H.
 
Bossier, Edwin J.   Falkner, Felix L.   Holbrooks, John C.   McLendon. Hugh C.   Smart, John J. Jr.   Williams. Arlelgh J.
 
Butler, Bruce E.   Fltnn, Robert E.   Kennon. Ferris A. Jr.   McMillan, Woodrow W.   Smith, Robert E.   Wise, John F.
 
Cameron, Harry R.   Gentry William A. Jr.   Kidder, Robert M.   Miller, Herman S.   Snodgrass. George T.   Wrighood, Alma B.
 
Campbell, James H.   Goes. Leicester B.   Kirkeby. Jack F.   Moak, Jermone   Sosseman, Malcolm V.   Wt. Frederick H.
 
Clack, Clifford H.   Grimes. LeVoyda   King, Jimmie   Montgomery, Andrew J.   Sparrow, Nathan F.   Yates.   ilbur O.
 
Cobb. Joe S.   Haley, Woodrow H.   Lavender. Clarence A.   Moors. Julian M.   Strickland, James H.   Yauorsky, Walter J.
 
Adomaitis, Joseph F.   Bockorlek, John J.   Downey. Joseph F.   Heffner, Harry L.   Prensky, Abe   Shimcheck, Anthony Jr:'
 
Andrukltis. Charles W.   Bogachineki, John J.   Easan, Thomas J.   Herring. Lester L.   Pupke, John J.   Shimel, Irvin
 
Babco, Andrew H.   Bracey. Chester J.   Edwards. Louis S. Jr.   Keefer. Curtis J.   Rafferty. Richard B.   Shotaberger, LeRoy R.
 
Barrett. Leonard J.   Cope. Edward B.   Fedorke. Joseph A.   Kremkau, Paul L.   Rebok. William E.   Siegler. Irwin J.
 
Baun. Leonard H.   Corty, Floyd L.   Garber. Michael F.   McDonald. Joseph W.   Reeger. Emerson   Smith, James E.
 
Blackwell, Charles A.   Cwik, John H.   Garbinaki, Michael   Nace. Norman M.   Robinheit. Scott T.   Smith, John N.
 
Brickell, Harry R.   Davis, William G.   Garrity. Stephen J.   Owen. Robert C.   Shaud, Russell C.   Stett, John T.
 
Bobovsky, Michael   DiMauro, James A.   Gilbert. Cyril J.   Philson. Roy H. Jr.   Shirk, Elmer   Tierney. John
 
Troy. Howard C.   Wagner, Robert L.   Washuta, John   H L L
 
Official Record of the 70th Bombardment Squadron'
 


Lineage. Constituted 70d' Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 20 November 1940. Activated on 15 January 1941. Inactivated on 10 May 1946. Redesignated 70`' Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 February 1953. Activated on 25 February 1953.
 
 
Assignments.   38`'' Bombardment Group, 15 January 1941; 42nd Bombardment Group, 26 February 1943-10 May 1946. 42nd Bombardment Wing, 25 February 1953
 
 
Stations. Langley Field, Virgina, 15 January 1941; Jackson AAB, Mississippi, c. 5 June 1941-19 January 1942 (operated from Savannah, Georgia, 8-14 December 1941); Doomben Field, Australia, 25 February 1942 (air echelon remained in US until 2 June 1942); Ballarat, Australia, 8 March 1942; Amberley Field, Australia, c. 20 April 1942; Fiji, 23 May 1942 (air echelon stationed at Hickam Field, TH, 2 June-c. 8 July 1942; operated from Espiritu Santo, 14-18 November 1942, and Guadalcanal, 9 January-4 February 1953, 16 August-20 October 1943); Russell Islands, 22 October 1943; Stirling Island, 20 January 1944; Hollandia, New Guinea, 14 August 1944; Sansapor, New Guinea, c. 24 August 1944 (operated from Morotai, c. 22 February-13 March 1945); Puerto Princesa, Palawan, 26 March 1945; Itami, Japan, 31 January-10 May 1946. Limestone AFB, Maine, 25 Feb 1953
 
 
Aircraft. B-18, 1941; B-26,1941-1943; B-25, 1943-1945. B-36,1953-1956; B-25,1956
 

Operations. Antisubmarine patrols, c. 9-14 December 1941; combat in South Pacific, 15 November 1942-February 1943; sea-search missions, March-August 1943; combat in South and Southwest Pacific, 16 August 1943-21 July 1944, 5 September 1944-14 August 1945.
 
 
Service Streamers. None.
 

Campaigns. Antisubmarine, American Theater; Guadalcanal; China Defensive; New Guinea; Northern Solomons; Bismarck Archipelago; Western Pacific; Leyte; Luzon; Southern Philippines; China Offensive; Air Combat, Asiatic-Pacific Theater.
 
 
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation; Balikpapan, Borneo, 23-30 June 1945. Presidential Unit Citation: [1942]. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
 
 
Emblem. In front of, over and beyond black clouds a blue and white hawk with red tongue, and yellow beak, eye and feet, carrying a red aerial bomb in each foot. (Approved 15 June 1942.)
 
 

' United States Air Force. USAF Historical Division. Air University. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force; World War 11. Edited by Maurer Maurer. [Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama] (Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1969), 258-259.
 
 
Bibliography
 
The Army Air Forces in World War II. Men and Planes. vol. 6. Edited by Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1983. c1955 by The University of Chicago.
 
 
Ballard, Robert D. The Lost Ships of Guadalcanal. Toronto: Madison Press Books, 1993.
 
 
Birdsall, Steve. B-26 Marauder in Action. Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal, c 1984. Burns, Alan Cuthbert. Fiji. London: H.M. Stationery Office, 0963.
 
 
Center for Air Force History. Pacific Counterblow: The I1 `'` Bombardment Group and the 67'` Fighter Squadron in the Battle for Guadalcanal. (Wings at War Series. No. 3) Washington: The Center, 1992.
 
 
Coggins, Jack The Campaign for Guadalcanal: A Battle that Made History. New York: Doubleday, c 1972.
 
 
Combat History of the 70d' Bombardment Squadron (M). Microfilm. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
 
 
The Crusaders: A History of the 42°d Bombardment Group (M). Baton Rouge, LA: Army and Navy Pictorial Publishers, 1946.
 
 
Freeman, Roger A., Trevor J. Allen, and Bernard Mallon. B-26 Marauder at War. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, c1978.
 
 
Fuchida, Mitsuo and Masatake Okumiya. Midway: The Battle that Doomed Japan. The Japanese Navy's Story. Edited by Clarke H. Kawakami and Roger Pineau. New York: Ballantine Books, c1955.
 
 
Havener, J. K. The Martin B-26 Marauder. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Aero, 1988.
 

Henry, John. A History of the 38`'° Bombardment Group (M) November 20,1940 April 21, 1946. Manhattan, KS: Military Affairs/Aerospace Historian Publishing, c1978.
 
 
A History of the Martin B-26 Marauder in World War II. Baltimore, MD: The Glenn L. Martin Company, 1943.
 
 
Lippincott, Benjamin E. From Fiji Through the Philippines with the Thirteenth Air Force. San Angelo, TX: Newsfoto; Distributed by Macmillan, New York, c 1948.
 
 
McComas, Terence. Pearl Harbor: Fact and Reference Book. Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 0991.
 
 
166   BIBLIOGRAPHY
 

Mendenhall, Charles A. Deadly Duo: The B-25-B-26 in World War Two. Osceola, WI: Specialty Press, 0981.
 
 
Miller, Thomas Guy. The Cactus Air Force. New York: Harper & Row, 1969.
 

The Official Guide to the Army Air Forces: A Directory, Almanac and Chronicle of Achievement. New York: Simon and Schuster, 0944.
 
 
Prange, Gordon William. Miracle at Midway. New York: McGraw-Hill, c1982.
 

Rust, Kenn C. and Dana Bell. Thirteenth Air Force Story ... in World War II. Temple City, CA: Historical Aviation Album, c1981.
 
 
Squadron Records in Microfilm at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
 

Sunderman, James F. World War II in the Air. The Pacific. New York: Bramhall House, c1962.
 
 
U.S. Air Force. USAF Historical Division. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Edited by Maurer Maurer. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1983. First published in 1961.
 
 
U.S. Air Force. USAF Historical Division. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force; World War II. Edited by Maurer Maurer. [Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama] Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1969.
 
 
Veterans of Foreign Wars. Pictorial History of World War II. vol. 2 The War in the Pacific. c1951.
 
 
Name Index
 


Andrukitis, Charles W., 43   Feldberg, Joseph, 17, 44, 107
 
Arnold, Gen. Henry H., 3,20,45-46,104   Feldberg, Judy, 107 Feldman, Leonard M., 17, 58 Bacon, Tom, 3, 6   Fredrick, Edward H., 17
 
Baucom, George E., 7   Freeman, William T., 17 Beam, Walter, 80
 
 
Behling, Lincoln E., 66, 74, 75, 76   Gadd, l" Lt., 82
 
Bernstein, Meyer, 80   Garbinsky, Michael, 108
 
Blackburn, 15 `. Lt., 82, 86   Garrison, Flint, 7, 10, 13
 
Bobovsky, Michael, 10   Gemein, Richard F., 15
 
Boden, Robert C., 4, 5, 22, 39, 52, 59, 61, 75, 76, 101, 102   Ghormley, Vice Adm. Robert L., 47
 
Boswell, Capt., 82   Gilbert, Cyril J., 108
 
Bracey, Chester J., 53   Gillis, Jack T., 17, 53, 55, 74
 
Bradley, Brig. Gen. Follett, 5   Glover, Clyde A., 7
 
Brinskelle, Edward J., 28, 32   Golden, Milton J., 17
 
Brisick, Edward, 82   Gray, Richard, 58
 
Burns, John K., 15, 25   Griffith, Kretie, 53, 107
 
Griffith, William M., 5, 7, 19, 22, 23, 30, 52, 53, 54, 60, 73, Callaham, Walter L., 4, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, 53, 58-59, 60, 61   75,107
 
 
Campbell, Harold C., 87
 
Carlson, I" Lt., 82   Hahlen, Robert J., 7, 13
 
Churchill, Winston, 1   Hall, Callie N., 11
 
Clack, Clifford H., 39-40   Hanson, Gillis W., 28
 
Coconut Joe, 38-39   Harmon, Maj. Gen. H. R., 81, 88, 101
 
Collins, James F., 21, 26, 27   Harmon, Maj. Gen. Millard F., 47, 52
 
Cooke, Russell E., 17   Hathom, Elva S., 7
 
Coon, Charles A., 17, 63, 64   Hawkins, Paul F., 5,15
 
Cope, Edward B., 81, 108   Haynes, Paschal M., 7, 76
 
Corty, Floyd L., 37, 38   Haynes, Walter B., 11, 27
 
Cressy, Barton W., 22, 25, 57, 61   Headrick, Omar, 75, 101
 
Criswell, John E., 17   Hendrix, James T., 11, 53, 54
 
Curtis, Clark H., 46, 90   Honett, Eugene L., 15
 
Cushing, Arthur L., 7, 13   House, Frank L., 11, 58 Howard, Jasper W., 46 Daugherty, Jean, 80   Hufstedler, Samuel R., 15, 58
 
Davis, Lt., 65, 66   Huggs, Edward C., 7, 15
 
Davis, William D., 80   Huglin, Lt. Col., 20 Davis, William G., 90, 91, 108
 
 
Day, Richard A., 45, 80,   Jolly, Arthur, 22, 45-46, 80, 90
 
de'Aquino, Iva Toguri, 29n 16   Jones, Jimmy, 55
 
Deblitz, Elmer A., 17   Jones, Roger C., 5, 15 DiMauro, Jim, 108
 
 
Doerr, John, 3, 6, 96   Kabrud, Harley, 80
 
Doerr, Robert, 61, 64   Kittle, Herbert S., 61
 
Douglass, Merlin C., 17, 46, 47, 100   Knapp, Robert D., 5, 10, 13
 
Drewyour, Charles S., 15, 46, 47, 100   Koch, Nathan E., 15, 22, 59
 
Dulac, Henry, 17, 43, 44, 80   Kuhn, 1" Lt., 82
 
Durbin, Fred W., 7, 22, 30-32, 53, 99   Kulis, Joseph E., 27
 

Earhart, Amelia, 32   Larson, Harold V., 3, 4, 5, 7, 20, 22, 27, 30, 32, 38, 67,
 
Eddy, Lyman H., 4, 5, 10, 16, 22, 23, 25, 52, 59, 60, 61,   69,107
 
62-65,74,75,76,101,107   Larson, Signe E., 107
 
Eddy, Ruth, 107   Larson, Westside T., 3
 
Edwards, Louis S., 89-91, 92, 108   Lawler, John E., 58
 
Eliasha, Chief, 48-49   Lawrence, Ferrel P., 11, 28
 
Ellis, John P., 17, 28   Lewis, Everett R., 15, 30
 
Evans, Richard S., 7, 30, 31, 53, 99   Lewis, Millard, 15
 
168
 

Lindsay, Louis P., 7, 13   Sayger, Omer, 64
 
Lingamfelter, Charles B., 20, 27   Schaper, Moms H., 7
 
Long, Lewis C., 21   Schmedes, Lt., 13
 
Lunquist, 15   Schmidt, Thomas H., 43
 
Lynch, David W., 80   Schuman, 26 Schuster, William, 71 Martin, Arthur W., 7, 22, 63, 77, 78   Sethness, Edward D., 7, 67
 
Mayes, Herb, 27   Sharp, Betsy, 48
 
Mazeikas, Alex, 27   Sharp, John F., 4, 5, 16, 22, 25, 41, 42, 48-49, 56-58, 59, 60,
 
McCain, Rear Adm. John S., 47   67,72-73,76,78
 
McGraw, George T., 30   Sharp, Savell L., 80
 
McMurdy, Paul F., 13   Shaw, Andrea, 6n7
 
McNeese, William R., 17, 58   Sherlock, John L., 7, 25, 44
 
Merritt, Howard N., 80   Shockley, John S., 13, 98
 
Miller, Harold G., 7, 18, 22, 28, 33, 75, 77, 102   Sifert, George, 80
 
Mitchell, Thomas M., 7,13   Smith, Doris, 108
 
Montgomery, Andrew J., 20, 22   Smith, Gilbert G., 7, 19, 21, 22-23, 41, 42, 53, 55-56, 60, 71,
 
Moore, Thomas W., 20, 25, 92-93   77-78,108
 
Moore, William H., 17   Smith, Pfc. (Tail Gunner), 28
 
Morgan, Robert W., 15   Snodgrass, George T., 19, 53
 
Morris, Robert J., 82, 86, 88   Snodgrass, Okey W., 15
 
Morrison, Barbara E., 107   Snyder, Darel, 11, 80
 
Morrison, Edward H., 7, 22, 25, 38, 40, 53, 61, 62, 102, 107   Soles, William Roger, 15-16, 23, 62-66
 
Muri, James, 27   Spencer, Howard G., 46 Spitler, Col., 31
 
 
Nace, Norman, 108   Stefen, Dorothy, 107
 
Neeld, Robert D., 7, 13   Stefen, Leroy L., 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 13, 16, 17, 22, 25, 38, 41,
 
Nemeth, Frank, 10   42,43,45,48,57,58,61,67,68,69,70-72,76,77,
 
Noar, Homer H., 80   101s103-105,107
 
Noonan, Fred, 32   Stefonowicz, Leroy L. See Stefen, Leroy L. Story, F/O, 82
 
 
O'Connor, Thomas, 7, 46, 47, 100   Story, James B., 23-24
 
Ogden, Melvin C., 80   Stott, John, 108
 
Otis, Richard T., 7, 46, 47, 100   Styler, 18
 
Owen, Robert C., 90, 91, 108   Sullivan, Daniel B., 15, 19, 53, 76
 

Palacios, Pasqual C., 42, 43, 45   Talley, William J., 14, 28-30, 42-43, 45-46, 107
 
Palmieri, Joseph F., 13, 73, 90, 94, 95-102   Tanley, Ray C., 46
 
Patterson, Nicky D., 7, 13   Thorbum, Richard M., 7, 11, 30, 32, 74-75
 
Paxton, Capt., 82   Treat, Jan, 53, 108
 
Perry, Tom, 7,13   Treat, Janette Ann, 53
 
Pilarcik, John, 27   Treat, Mark G., 7, 19, 53-55, 58, 59, 66, 74, 75-76, 108
 
Prensky, Abe, 38, 80   Trone, William T., 80, 86 Troy, Howard C., 46, 91, 108 Quinn, Robert F., 7, 13   Twining, Maj. Gen. Nathan F., 47, 104
 

Ramsey, Coleman D., 46   Upthegrove, Fay R., 5, 13, 15 Ray, Conrad A., 7, 16, 18-19, 20, 23, 26-27, 28, 30, 32, 33, 38,40,43,45,46-47,52-53,58,59,60--61,73-74,75,   Van Story, James P., 7, 15
 
77, 100, 102   Van Schaick, 15` Lt., 82
 
Reardon, John C., 7, 102   Vicellio, Henry, 38
 
Risvold, F/O, 82   Viens, Wilfred O., 7
 
Roosevelt, Pres. Franklin D., 3, 9   Villnes, Colin O., 26 Rowland, 15` Lt., 86
 
 
Rudolph, James O., 7   Washington, John M., 7, 11, 22, 30, 32
 
Rux, Lawrence J., 15   Watson, William S., 21, 26, 27
 
Ryder, John D., 17, 75   Wattenbarger, 15` Lt., 82
 
Ryder, Robert W., 15   Weatherford, 46 Westbrook, Frederick C., 80 Saul, Louis, 7   Whittington, Leonard H., 26
 
Saunders, LeVerne, 61   Wilburn, 7
 
Savitski, Leo J., 18, 28, 32   Wilensky, Abraham, 17, 41, 57, 107
 

Wilensky, Martha, 107 Wilhite, Ralph H., 64, 65 Williamson, Charles M., 80 Wilson, Harry E., 77 Winemiller, William J., 15, 31, Wolfe, Maj. Gen. Kenneth B., 16 Yamamoto, Adm. Isoroku, 26
 
 
Subject Index
 


5' Air Force, 77   Australians, 28-29, 97
 
13' Air Force, 47, 48, 77, 78, 88   automatic flight control equipment (AFCE), 23, 24, 33
 
3' Bomber Command, 5   aviation fuel, 55, 56, 57, 58, 60, 62, 70 22' Bomb Group, 4, 5, 18, 27
 
 
38' Bomb Group, 3, 4, 5, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17   B Flight, 16, 21, 22, 23, 25, 29, 30
 
42°' Bomb Group, 52, 61, 77, 79   B-17, 56, 57, 59, 61, 70
 
69' Bomb Squadron, 3, 17, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30,   B-18, 4, 5, 7
 
40, 77, 98   B-25,46,76,77,78,88,93
 
aircrew losses, 66   combat operations, 79-94
 
combat losses, 26, 27   conversion, 77
 
70'° Bomb Squadron, 1, 3-4, 5, 7-8, 77, 80, 86, 88, 104   in Coral Sea battle, 41
 
activation, 3   transition training, 80
 
characterized, 8, 17-18   B-26, 5, 6, 15, 70, 88, 92, 93, 96, 103
 
official record, 163   accidents, 6, 15, 96
 
personnel changes and growth, 5, 7, 8, 13, 15, 16-17, 30,   in Coral Sea battle, 16
 
80   B-26s in Midway battle, 26-27
 
personnel listing, December 1941, 153   B-26/P-39 collision, 46-47, 48-49, 100
 
strength, 8   B-26B MA, 15,18
 
unit equipment, 16, 77   armament, 16, 20,41-42
 
See also air echelon; aircraft inventory; aircraft losses;   configuration, 6, 7, 16, 40, 42
 
aircrew losses; ground echelon; movement overseas   crew positions diagram, 162
 
71s' Bomb Squadron, 3   disposition, 77
 
75'° Bomb Squadron, 77   Baer Field, IN, 7, 18, 19, 21
 
390'' Bomb Squadron, 77, 86   Baer Field-McClellan Field flights, 18-19
 
70'° Fighter Squadron, 38, 54   Baga Island (Solomons), 61
 
42' General Hospital, 73, 99   Ballarat, Australia, 28, 29, 97
 
390' Ground Echelon, 80   Barbers Point, HI, 31
 
821" Engineers, 90   basketball, 44, 90, 91 Batavia (Dutch freighter), 29 A Flight, 16, 21, 22, 30, 57   Battle of Midway, 21, 26-27, 41, 74
 
AFCE (automatic flight control equipment), 23, 24, 33   Behling shoot-down, 66,73-74
 
Air Echelon, 13-15, 18, 20-25, 27-28, 30, 32-33, 78, 80   Betty bombers (Mitsubishi), 67-68, 83, 84
 
See also Baer Field-McClellan Field flights; Christmas-   bombardiers, 11, 17, 32, 39, 69, 74
 
Canton-Fiji flights; Hamilton Field to Hickam Field   bombing missions, 39, 52-61, 70-72, 74-75, 81, 82-87
 
flights; Patterson Field to McClellan Field flights   briefings, debriefings, 69
 
Air Force Combat Command, 15   See also skip bombing; targets
 
Air Force Ferrying Command, 21   bombloads, 16, 68, 69, 82
 
air raids, enemy, 55, 67, 68, 70, 91, 101   bombs, 42, 48, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 71, 72, 74, 75, 81,
 
Air Transport Command, 21   83,88
 
aircraft damage, 26, 27, 57, 73, 75   boredom, 44, 91, 92, 99
 
aircraft inventory, 16, 40, 47, 61, 62, 66, 70, 75, 76, 80   Bougainville (Solomons), 48, 68, 70, 71, 74, 79, 80, 81
 
aircraft losses, 27, 30-32, 40,46-47, 62, 66, 75, 76, 96, 98   raid, 59, 61
 
aircrew losses, 27, 46-47, 58-61, 75, 101   Brisbane, Australia, 14, 28, 29, 41, 66, 97
 
aircrews, replacement, 78, 79   BT-13, 14
 
airplane tire changing, 90   Buin (Solomons), 68, 76
 
Albury, Australia, 29   Buka (Solomons), 81
 
alerts, 25, 26, 27, 39, 43, 46   bures, 37-38, 98, 100
 
Amberley Field, Australia, 41   burial, 49, 100
 
anti-aircraft fire, 58, 62, 69, 85   Burma, 14
 
anti-submarine patrol, 10   Bushnell General Hospital, 31
 
Army Special Service Detachment, 44   Buttons. See Espiritu Santo artillery, Japanese, 53, 55, 67, 70
 
 
Atabrine, 73   C Flight, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 30, 58, 60
 
ATC navigators, 21, 22, 23, 24   Cactus. See Guadalcanal
 
Atlanta (cruiser), 51   Cactus Air Force, 56
 
Auckland, New Zealand, 101   Cactus bombers, 51
 
Australia, 14, 17, 28-29, 41, 42, 45, 66, 77, 95, 97   Callaham crew loss, 58-61
 
172
 

camp sanitation, 95   flight times, 25
 
campsites, 35, 37-38, 98, 99   food, 14, 27, 28, 43, 44, 53, 65, 70, 95, 96, 99, 101, 104
 
Canton Island, 32, 33   forward-firing guns, 41, 42, 88
 
Cape Gazelle, 82, 85   foxholes, 52, 53, 54, 67, 68, 70, 103
 
Carney Field, Guadalcanal, 77, 80   friendly fire, 53, 54, 55
 
casualties, 6, 31, 99, 100   Ft. Wayne, IN, 18-21
 
Choiseul (Solomons), 80   fuel consumption, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25
 
Christmas dinner 1941, 10-11, 153-154   fuel load, 18, 20, 22, 24, 33
 
Christmas Island, 30, 32, 33   fuel tanks, 18, 20, 21, 22, 33
 
Christmas-Canton-Fiji flights, 30, 32-33   fuel transfer system, 18, 20-21 coast watchers, 65, 66, 73
 
 
Coconut Joe, 38-39   General Arnold visit, 45-46
 
Colonial Sugar Refining Company, 35   Golden Gate, 23, 24, 93
 
COMAIRSOLS, 47   graves registration, 49
 
COMAIRSOPAC, 47   Grayback (submarine), 65
 
combat crew organization, 158   Gredner Island, 82, 85, 87
 
positions, B-26, 162   Ground Echelon, 13-14, 27, 28-30, 33, 46, 78, 79, 80,
 
COMGENSOPAC, 47   89-94,95
 
Command Air Solomons, 47   ingenuity and improvisation, 45, 90, 93, 103
 
command and administration, 4718   Guadalcanal, 33, 37, 41, 47, 48, 51, 56, 57, 66, 79, 88, 101,
 
Commanding Officer's message, 103-105   103,104
 
commendation, 81, 88   combat operations, 51-78
 
COMSOPAC, 47   First and Second Battles of, 51, 53, 57
 
Coral Sea battle, 16, 41   Japanese invasion of, 56, 57
 
Corsairs, 86   guns, 16, 41-42, 88 Cow Palace, 13
 
 
crashes. See aircraft losses, aircrew losses   Hamilton Field, CA, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27
 
Cremer (Dutch steamer), 29n17   Hamilton Field to Hickam Field flights, 21-25, 26
 
cross-training, 39   Hawaii, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 33, 53, 98 Hawaiian Defense Command, 21
 
 
dead reckoning, 23   Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, 51, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58,
 
Des Moines, IA, 19   67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73, 79, 88
 
dispensary, 99, 100   runway, 69-70
 
dispersal area, Fiji, 38, 40, 46   Henderson Field and the "Slot," 160
 
ditching site, Calaham crew, 58, 59, 60   Hickam Field, HI, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 33
 
Doomben Race Track, Australia, 28   Hiei (Japanese battleship), 51
 
draftees, 7, 8, 89, 93   hiking, 90
 
dugouts, 53   Hill Field, UT, 19
 
See also foxholes   Hilo, HI, 23, 24, 26
 
Duke of York Island, 85   hits, 52, 55, 61, 69, 72, 73, 76, 83-84
 
Durbin-Evans crash, 30-32, 99   hospital ship, 100 hospitalization, 31-32, 73, 100 Enterprise (aircraft carrier), 51   hunting party, 43 Espiritu Santo (New Hebrides), 33, 48, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57,
 
 
58, 59, 60   identification, friend or foe (IFF), 54
 
EPUs (external power units), 7, 20   Irene (B-26B, #117564), 25 Isa Lei, 36
 
 
F4F, 51
 
F4U, 82   Jackson Army Air Base, 5, 10, 15, 89, 95, 96
 
Fairmont Hotel, 13, 14, 15, 16   Japanese destroyer, 71-72, 76
 
Farrington, School, HI, 31   Japanese flying boat, 72-73, 76
 
Fiji Islands, 17, 21, 29, 30, 33, 35-49, 62, 69, 73, 75, 76,   Japanese invasion, Guadalcanal, 56, 57
 
97, 99, 103   Japanese landing barges and parties, 52, 53
 
description, 35-37   Japanese shipping, 40, 74, 76, 80
 
Fijians, military service, 37   Japanese Task Force, 26, 27, 48, 51, 54, 57, 72
 
first aid station, 31, 97   Japanese tanker, 70-72
 
First Battle of Guadalcanal, 51, 53, 57   Japanese transports, 51, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58
 
First Rabaul Mission, 81   Japanese troops, 53, 55, 56, 57
 
fishing party, 43-44   John Doerr Air Force Base, 96
 
flat pitch, 6, 7   Juneau (cruiser), 51 flight records, 38
 
 
flight route and distances, 159   Kahili (Solomons), 80, 81
 
173
 

kava, 35, 48, 98   New Guinea, 29
 
Kawanishi flying boat (Mavis), 72-73   New Hebrides Islands, 58, 59, 60, 100, 101
 
Keravia Bay, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86   See also Espiritu Santo
 
Kia Ora, 101   New Ireland, 87
 
Kipapa Gulch, 25, 27   New Zealand, 28, 101
 
Kirishima (Japanese battleship), 51   Norden bombsight, 4, 11, 75
 
Koli Point, Guadalcanal, 68   Noumea. New Caledonia, 30, 47, 77
 
Kolombangara Island (Solomons), 76, 80   November 14-15,1942 Mission, 52-61
 
KreJan (B-26B, #17550), 53   November 18, 1942 Mission, 61
 

landing barges, Japanese, 53   Oahu, HI, 26, 28, 30
 
Langley Field, VA, 3, 4, 5-6, 16, 46   Officers' Club, 38,98
 
Latouka, Fiji, 27, 97, 100   Official Record, 163
 
LB-30, 20, 27, 41, 78   Ogden, UT, 19
 
Lesson Point, 85   on-the-job training (OJT), 39, 68
 
Letterman General Hospital, 31   Operations Order No. 109a, 155-157
 
Lexington (aircraft carrier), 40, 92   outdoor movies, 68 liaison officers, 20
 
 
Liberty Bell (B-26B, #41-17584), 32   P-38,51,59,61,68,75,82
 
liberty ships, 92, 93   P-39,38,40, 52, 64, 66
 
life rafts, 59, 61, 63, 64, 65, 66, 74   P-39/B-26 collision, 46-47,48-49, 100
 
life vests (Mae Wests), 63, 65   P-61,67
 
Lister bags, 98   package guns, 41, 73
 
living conditions and housing, 27, 28, 37-38, 66-67, 104   Pan American School, FL 15
 
barracks, 27, 37, 97, 100   parachute drop, 65, 66
 
private homes, 28, 97   parafrag bombs, 81, 82, 83, 88
 
Quonset huts, 77, 97   Patterson Field, OH, 15, 16, 17, 18, 26
 
tents, 27, 28, 37, 66, 91, 99   Patterson Field to McClellan Field flights, 18-19
 
Lockheed Hudson aircraft, 38, 40, 65   pay table, 7
 
Lyman Eddy shoot-down, 62-66, 74, 101   PBY, 59, 61, 64
 
Pearl Harbor, 9-11, 15, 23, 40, 45, 96
 
MacDill Field, FL, 6   Pennsy Group, 89-92
 
Mae Wests (life vests), 63, 65   Pennsylvania, 8, 89, 90, 93, 107
 
malaria, 66, 70, 73-74, 76, 97, 100, 103   Philadelphia, PA, 31
 
malfunctioning of equipment, 74, 83, 87   pierced steel planking (PSP), 55, 69-70, 73
 
Martin plant, 5, 32   Pistol Pete, 67
 
Mavis (Kawanishi flying boat), 72-73   pilots, 4-5, 7, 14, 18, 20
 
McClellan Field, CA, 18, 19, 20, 21   Plum Tree Island, 4
 
medical care, Guadalcanal, 101   practice bombing, 4, 11
 
medical story, 95-102   Praed Point, 85
 
Melbourne, Australia, 28, 97   President Cleveland (freighter), 14, 96
 
mess inspection, 96   propellers, 6-7, 16, 19, 58, 59
 
Midway battle. See Battle of Midway   See also flat pitch; runaway propellers
 
Midway Island, 27, 33   PSP (pierced steel planking), 55, 69-70, 73
 
Mission Report No. 74, 81, 82-87   Punch Bowl Cemetery, HI, 49 Mission Reports, 81
 
 
missions. See bombing missions; search missions;   R & R, 28, 101
 
reconnaissance missions; targets   RAAF Base, Australia, 29, 97
 
Moffett Field, CA, 14-15   radio silence, 39, 55, 86
 
morale, 43-45, 99, 101   Rabaul, 79, 81, 88
 
movement overseas, 13-14, 20-25, 28-29, 32-33, 96   rainstorms, 37, 58, 60
 
movies, outdoor, 68   Raluana Point, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86
 
Munda Air Field, 62, 64, 66, 67, 69, 70, 76, 80   Rangoon, B urma, 14 rats, 91
 
 
Nandi airfield, Fiji, 33, 38, 42, 44, 53, 55, 78, 99   reconnaissance missions, 70
 
Nandi Bay, 47, 100   recreation, 43-44, 68, 90, 91, 100, 104
 
Nandi Village, 97, 100, 101   Red Cross, 44, 53, 94, 101
 
navigation errors, 22-23, 24, 58   refueling, 62
 
navigators, 5, 7, 11, 15, 17, 39   Rekata Bay (Solomons), 66, 74, 76
 
Navy torpedo maintenance unit, 40, 56   Rendova Island, 63, 64, 65, 66
 
New Caledonia, 17, 47, 48, 76, 78, 98   replacement aircrews, 78, 79
 
New Georgia Island (Solomons), 62, 80   rescues, 59, 61, 65-66
 
174
 

reunions, 107-108   torpedo tactics training, 27, 39, 40
 
rotation to U.S., 78, 79, 92-93, 94, 101   torpedoes, 16, 27, 40, 42, 48, 51, 53, 55, 56, 57, 71, 103
 
Royal New Zealand Air Force, 38   replaced with bombs, 52, 55, 56
 
runaway propellers, 6-7, 19   training, 4-5, 18, 27, 39-40, 43
 
Russell Islands (Solomons), 78, 79, 80, 91   See also cross training; on-the-job training; torpedo
 
map, 161   tactics training; transition training trains, Australia, 28, 29, 97 Sacramento, CA, 7, 18, 19, 20   transition training, 5, 15, 39, 80
 
St. George Cape, 83, 87   Tripler General Hospital, 31
 
St. George Channel, 83   troop train, 13
 
Sambeto Village, Fiji, 37, 45, 48   troops, Japanese, 56, 57, 76
 
San Cristobal (Solomons), 60   Tulagi (Solomons), 56
 
San Francisco, CA 13, 14, 15, 16, 23, 96   turkeys, Christmas dinner, 10
 
Santa Isabel Island (Solommos), 73   turkeys, tainted, 14, 96 Savannah, GA, 10
 
 
SBD, 51, 52   vaudeville show, 43
 
School of Aviation Medicine, 101   Vella Lavella Island (Solomons), 61, 80
 
Seabees, 73   Viti Levu, Fiji, 33, 35
 
search missions, 39, 70, 72   volleyball, 44, 100
 
Second Island Air Command, 46, 47, 48   Vunakanau (Rabaul, New Britain), 81, 82-87
 
Secret Operations Order No. 109a, 21   Vunakanau Mission, 81, 82-87 Selective Service System, 7, 8
 
 
shelling, 53, 54, 55, 65, 70   Wagga Wagga, Australia, 29, 97
 
ship travel, 14, 28, 29, 92, 93, 96, 97, 102   Warangoi River, 82, 85
 
shoot-downs, 61, 62-66, 73-74   war, declaration, 9
 
Shortland Harbor (Solomns), 68, 79   war, horrors of, 76
 
sick call, 99   Washing Machine Charlie, 67, 70, 89, 91, 101
 
Simpson Harbor, 85, 86   water, safe drinking, 90, 98
 
skip bombing, 39, 41-42, 70-72, 74   water purification, 98
 
slit trenches, 91   water supply, 95, 98
 
See also foxholes   weather, 58, 60, 69, 83, 87, 100
 
Slot, the, 70, 75, 160   weight and balance, 6, 24
 
snafu mission, 74-75   Wheeler Field, HI, 27
 
Solomon Islands, 47, 52, 53, 56, 59, 70, 74, 75, 77, 79, 80,   wing span, short, 6, 16, 20
 
89, 93, 100, 103, 104   Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, 6 Special Order No. 19, 17
 
 
squadron offices, 38   Zeros, 26, 61, 62, 70, 71, 72, 75 Stirling Island (Solomons), 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 86, 91, 92
 
 
map, 161
 
strafing, 41, 68, 81, 83, 84, 86, 87, 88 submarine war patrol, 65-66
 
 
See also anti-submarine patrol Tafligar, 85
 
 
targets, 79
 
Japanese airfields, 62, 76, 81, 82-87 Japanese harbors, 58, 61
 
 
Japanese seaplane base, 76 Japanese shipping, 40, 74, 76 Japanese tanker, 70-72 Japanese transports, 51, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58 Japanese troops, 56, 57, 76
 
 
See also Kolombangara Island; Munda Air Field; Vunakanau Mission
 
 
Tampa Bay, FL, 6 tanker, Japanese, 70-72 Tasker H. Bliss (troop ship), 13, 14, 28, 30, 96 Tassafaronga Point, 52
 
 
TBF, 52, 59, 72 Tokyo Rose, 29 Tontouta Airport, New Caledonia, 75 Torokina, 82, 83, 86
 

 

 

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