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The Story of The General Billy Mitchell Group

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WEST FIELD, TINIAN, MARIANAS ISLANDS


XXIST BOMBER COMMAND
JULY 1945
THE BIG PUSH HURLS ON

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468TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (VH) - JULY 1945

It was thirty-one days of Standard Operating Procedure. The month came and went with
scarcely a noticeable flurry. Not that this was a month of inactivity, for much was
accomplished, and all hands were busily occupied with our task of serial bombardment
against Japan. Rather it was the case of a high quality machine, well oiled and carefully
tended running its course with a minimum of friction.
Operationally, nine missions were run against the Japanese Empire with excellent results
all around. Losses were kept to a record low, with only one Crew and two aircraft lost.
No losses due to enemy action. The high point of the month was the Groups
performance in the missions of July 17th and 20th against Numazu and Fukui. On these
two consecutive strikes, the 468th Bomb Group attained a perfect score. 100% of all
aircraft scheduled were airborne. 100% of all aircraft airborne hit the Primary Target!
Damage achieved by the 58th Bombardment Wing against these urban areas was a record
all time high for the 20th Air Force. Brigadier General Roger Ramey expressed his
sincere congratulations in a message to all personnel of the Group. Morale was high.
Living conditions continued to improve and the Group Area began to take on a look of
permanence.
The 468th Bomb Group flew nine long-range bombing missions against the main islands
of Japan. Eight of these strikes were incendiary attacks against urban industrial areas in
the secondary cities of the Empire. One mission, a maximum effort attack was the only
daylight blow at a precision target with high explosives. This target was the Kawanishi
Aircraft Company factory at Takarazuka, Honshu.
The outstanding improvement of Julys operations over operations in June was the
increased percentage of airborne aircraft that bombed the Primary Targets; an increase
from 91% to 94%. This extremely high standard was climaxed by the performance of the
Group in the Numazu and Fukui missions, when on two consecutive attacks all aircraft
hit the Primary Target.
The real performance of any Group, however, can only be judged by one standard. That
is in the bombing results. In other words, what damage did we do to Japan and her war
effort? Here is a brief box score compiled with data available at time of writing.
Date flown

Wing
Mission#

Target

468th A/C
Bombing

Percent of
Destruction

1-2 July

21

Kure

38

3-4 July

22

Takamatsu

29

78%

6-7 July

23

Chiba

31

43.4%

9-10 July

24

Sendai

32

27.8%

12-13 July

25

Utsunomiya

30

32%

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64% of built up area,


46% of the total

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16-17 July

26

Numazu

33

89.5%

19-20 July

27

Fukui

33

84.8%

24 July

28

Takarazuka

42

77% *

28-29 July

29

Aomori

30

Unknown

Precision target

A narrative summary of individual missions follows:


Field Order 21
Kure Urban
1-2 July 1945
The first mission flown during the month was a maximum effort incendiary strike against
the urban area of Kure on the night of 1-2 July. The 468th had 40 aircraft airborne of
which 38 bombed the Primary Target at Kure, 1 aircraft bombing a Target of Opportunity
at Sukumo, and 1 aircraft jettisoning. Bombing was by radar with results reported from
unobserved to excellent. Enemy opposition was very weak as not a fighter was sighted.
The Crews reported flak as meager with a few bursts noted in the target area. The
weather was 8/10 to 10/10 undercast; this played an important part in neutralizing the
citys defenses. In addition, A/C 42 (Lt. Pafford, Pilot) flew as an RCM (Radar
Countermeasure Mission) aircraft, circling the target area for 97 minutes dropping
Rope and Chaff while jamming enemy gun-laying and searchlight radar systems with
airborne transmitters.
All aircraft returned safely with no damage or casualties to personnel.
Field Order 22
Takamatsu Urban
3-4 July 1945
On the night of 3-4 July a normal effort mission was scheduled for the Takamatsu
Urban Area. The Group had 33 aircraft scheduled and airborne. 29 aircraft bombed the
Primary Target with E-46 and M-46 incendiaries, 2 aircraft hit Sukumo, Chichi Jima, these
being Targets of Opportunity and 1 aircraft returned early due to mechanical failures.
This mission was the most costly of the month. Skookum #12 A/C 500 with Lt. Col.
Theodore H. Watson, Commanding Officer of the 792nd Bombardment Squadron as Pilot
crashed into the ocean one and half minutes after takeoff from West Field. The entire
Crew was lost with the exception of 1st Lt. Ney M. Fowler, Co-Pilot, who was picked up by
an Air Sea Rescue vessel after an hour in the water. Also aboard was Capt. Lloyd B.
James, Squadron Flight Surgeon, riding as a passenger. Needless to say, the loss was a
tremendous blow to the Group.
Returning to the execution of the mission, bombing results were adjudged excellent.
Clear weather and a good moon allowed all but one of the aircraft to bomb visually.

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The intense thermals coming up from the burning city were so severe as to shake many
of the Crews. Four Crew Members had to be medically treated because of the bouncing
around they sustained.
Enemy opposition was weak, in spite of the clear atmospheric conditions. Combat
Crews reported only 4 sightings of enemy fighters and no attacks. Anti-aircraft fire from
the city was nil to meager and inaccurate. Some automatic weapons fire was noted.
None of our personnel were casualties in enemy action.
Field Order 23
Chiba Urban Area
7 July 1945
On the night of 6-7 July, we flew our third mission against the city of Chiba. This was an
incendiary strike with 33 aircraft, a normal effort force. The 468th Bomb Group had 33
aircraft airborne of which 31 hit the Primary Target and 2 were Early Returns due to
mechanical failures. The weather in and around Chiba ranged from 8/10 to 10/10
undercast below flight level, forcing all aircraft to bomb by radar. Results were generally
unobserved, but Crews bombing later reported a general conflagration burning up
through the undercast. The Japanese failed to throw up anything resembling an effective
defense. There were no fighter attacks and what little flak seen was meager and
inaccurate. A few Crews reported some ineffective searchlight beams trying to break
through the cloud layers.
Major Charles Doc Joyce in Skookum 23 had another of his unique experiences on this
trip. Skookum 23 lost one engine before bombing, another over the target and just made
Iwo Jima after tossing out everything removable; this almost included Don Howard, the
Group Flight Surgeon and passenger!
Field Order 24
Sendai Urban
10 July 1945
The fourth mission was flown on the night of 9-10 July. The strike was an incendiary
attack aimed at the urban area of Sendai. Thirty-three aircraft were airborne with all but
one hitting the Primary Target. This aircraft, Skookum 17, was forced to jettison its
bombs and return to Tinian because of mechanical trouble. A break in the weather
(CAVU to 1/10) gave the majority of aircraft a chance to drop their bombs visually. Most
Crews reported excellent results with fire concentrated at the mean point of impact (MPI).
By the time we left the target, the smoke was up to 20,000 ft. and blowing off the city
toward the sea. The glow from Sendai was observed from 180 miles away on the return
route.
The enemy showed a bit more aggressiveness in defending this city. Crews recorded 21
sightings of enemy night fighters and one ineffective attempt to attack. Flak was
reported meager to moderate, accurate to inaccurate, with some aircraft being rocked by
heavy bursts and with two receiving minor damage. Up to 20 searchlights were seen in
the Sendai area. They were reported as effective, some aircraft being coned for as along
as five minutes. Electronic jamming and window did not appear to affect the lights. No
aircraft were lost and no casualties reported.
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Field Order 25
Utsunomiya Urban Area
13 July 1945
The next city to feel the weight of the 58th Bomb Wing bombs was Utsunomiya. The 468th
Bomb Group put up 33 aircraft in this incendiary strike with 30 aircraft bombing the
Primary target, 2 aircraft hitting Hitachi as a Target of Opportunity, and 1 aircraft an Early
Return after jettisoning its bombs.
Weather was 10/10 undercast with some of the soup at altitude. All aircraft bombed by
radar with unobservable results. There was no enemy air opposition and what flak was
seen ranged from nil to moderate.
On this mission the first ditching took place. Skookum #3, piloted by Lt. Stavin had fuel
transfer trouble on the route home. Low on gas south of Iwo Jima, he ditched his aircraft
near a convoy. Nine of the Crew was rescued from the convoy. Two Gunners were lost
by drowning.
Field Order 26
Numazu Urban Area
17 July 1945
During the night of 16-17 July came the first of our two consecutive perfect missions.
Numazu was the incendiary target. Scheduled 33 aircraft, with 33 aircraft airborne. All
aircraft bombed the Primary Target. Although the target was cloud covered with a 10/10
undercast, some of our aircraft were able to bomb visually. The extensive fires raging in
Numazu burnt a hole up through the cloud decks with heavy smoke extending over
16,000 feet.
Enemy defense was very weak. Returning Crews reported no fighter opposition with 11
possible sightings. Both medium and heavy flak was observed but in all cases it was
meager and inaccurate. There was slight evidence of a few searchlights trying
ineffectively to penetrate the undercast. To top off a perfect mission, all aircraft returned
undamaged with no casualties to our personnel.
Field Order 27
Fukui Urban Area
20 July 1945
Just two days after the strike against Numazu, the 468th Bomb Group went out and did it
again! Another perfect mission, this time against the urban area of the Japanese city,
Fukui. On the night of 19-20 July the Group had 33 aircraft scheduled and airborne, all of
which hit the Primary Target.
Results were excellent as all 33 aircraft bombed visually in weather running from 3/10 to
CAVU. Last Crews leaving the target area reported a general conflagration raging below
in the city.
There was no air opposition encountered. Two unidentified enemy aircraft were seen
between the Primary Target and Lands End. One enemy aircraft followed our aircraft
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100 miles out to sea. Nil to meager flak was encountered in the target area; two
searchlights were seen in Fukui. Anti-aircraft guns and searchlights were reported,
observed from Osaka on the run in and from Okazaki on the route out. All of our aircraft
returned without loss.
Field Order 28
Kawanishi A/C, Takarazuka
24 July 1945
On 24th of July the 468th Bomb Group flew its only precision target daylight raid of the
month against the Kawanishi A/C Co. plant at Takarazuka. The 58th Bomb Wing Field
Orders called for a maximum effort on this mission for all Bomb Groups. The 468th Bomb
Group scheduled 46 aircraft with 46 planes airborne. Of this number we had 42 aircraft
over the Primary Target. Skookum 12 (Lt. Garland) bombed in a formation with the 40th
Bomb Group, which hit the Sumitomo plant in Osaka. Three of our aircraft had
mechanical failures and returned early.
Bombing was carried out by formations ranging in altitude from 18,000 to 19,000 feet.
Major Mils, new Commanding Officer of the 792nd Bomb Squadron, flying with Captain
Keathley, led the Group into the target. Other formation leaders were Major Bores, 793rd
Bomb Squadron, Major Wedding, 794th Bomb Squadron and Major Michaliszyn of the
793rd Bomb Squadron who led the 4th or Composite Squadron. Observed results of the
bombing ranged from excellent to unobserved. Later, post strike photos showed the
plant 77% destroyed.
The Japanese Air Force failed to put in an appearance. No attacks were sustained and
the only aircraft seen were at such a distance that identification could not be made.
Anti-aircraft gunfire did give us a lot of trouble. All told, seven aircraft received major
damage from flak, nineteen received minor damage. Anti-aircraft fire was encountered at
the Assembly Point, Departure Point, Initial Point and on the run into the target. Flak in
the target area was rated as moderate and accurate with most Crews of the opinion that it
came from the Kobe and Nishinomiya Harbor areas. Three free balloons with tails were
reported in the vicinity of the Assembly Point.
Six Crewmen were wounded slightly by anti-aircraft fire. All returned safely.
Field Order 29
Aomori Urban Area
29 July 1945
The last mission was flown on the night of the 28th-29th against the urban area of Aomori.
Here the 468th Bomb Group added another first to its long string. This was the first
bombing mission in which Marianas based B-29s used Iwo Jima as a staging base for a
flow against Aomori. The target lies on the extreme southern tip of Honshu Island. With
this new use of Iwo Jima, the entire Japanese Empire is within striking distance by
Superfortress.
The Field Order called for a normal effort on this mission. In addition to the 33 strike
aircraft, the 468th Bomb Group furnished two wind aircraft and 1 Super Dumbo.
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All 36 aircraft left Tinian on the morning of 28 July for Iwo Jima. Refueling there that
night all aircraft were airborne for the mission. Both the wind aircraft and the Super
Dumbo completed their assigned jobs. Of the 33 strike aircraft, 30 hit the Primary Target,
2 hit a Target of Opportunity (Taira) and 1 aircraft was an Early Return.
Bombing from 13,800 feet, the Crews encountered weather ranging from 4/10 to 10/10
undercast with generally a clear area around the target, 16 aircraft were able to bomb
visually. Results were adjudged excellent with fires raging in Aomori. Smoke came up
to 20,000 feet and thermals were encountered that shook several of our aircraft.
Air opposition was nil. Flak ran from nil to very meager with a few bursts reported by
several aircraft. On the route in, a few bursts of anti-aircraft fire were seen at Choshi
working in conjunction with a searchlight.
The mission was executed as briefed with everything working smoothly including the
staging at Iwo Jima. All aircraft returned safely to Base and without loss.
Although the strength figures for the Group showed little change in statistical figures (1
July: 431 Officers, 1696 Enlisted Men 31 July: 445 Officers, 1678 Enlisted Men) there
were a number of changes in personnel giving a more widespread effect than the figures
would indicate:
Completion of combat tour Many of our older Combat Crews who have been with us
since the early India days reached the 35 mission mark in July and were rotated to the
Zone of the Interior. All told, 22 Airplane Commanders finished their tour along with the
majority of their respective Crews. The 793rd Bomb Squadron led with a total of 10. The
792nd and 794th Bomb Squadrons had 6 each.
Because of the unprecedented number of Crews completing their missions almost
simultaneously, the need for adequate replacements has been tremendous. Fortunately
through the foresight of Brigadier General Roger Ramey and Colonel James V.
Edmundson, the need was anticipated early enough for action to be taken. Throughout
the month we had a steady influx of new Combat Crews that have adequately taken up
the slack. 16 new Crews came into the Group during the month of July and were
distributed proportionally among the Squadrons.
Continuing the 20th Air Force policy of sending experienced Crews to the States for Lead
Crew training, the Group selected one Crew from each Squadron for Julys quota. The
Crews headed by Captain Igou, 792nd Bomb Squadron, 1st Lt. Wolf, 793rd Bomb Squadron,
and 1st Lt. OQuinn, 794th Bomb Squadron left for Muroc AFB, Muroc, CA for 30 days
training. Upon completion of Temporary Duty they will return to the Group.
The Group had a number of promotions during the month. Among the flying personnel,
Captains Wedding, Clark, Joyce, Carlton, Good and Doherty received their majorities. In
addition many First Pilots received Captaincies. In Group Headquarters Captains
Kavanaugh and Roy Sather were promoted to Majors.
Major Robert E. Mills, O-406425, was made Commanding Officer, 792nd Bomb Squadron
after the death of Lt. Col. Theodore H. Watson (KIA). Major Edgar R. Skelley, O-752215,
assumed the job of Squadron Operations Officer 792nd Bomb Squadron filling the
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vacancy created by the elevation of Major Mills to Squadron Command Officer. Captain
Aaron R. Edwards, O-1691164, became 792nd Bomb Squadron Surgeon filling the vacancy
caused by the death of Captain Lloyd B. James, O-495869 (KIA).
During the month Captain John Roundsville, Squadron Surgeon for the 794th Bomb
Squadron was returned to the United States on emergency leave.
Morale: EXCELLENT
792ND BOMBARDMENT GROUP (VH) JULY 1945
July finds the 792nd Bombardment Squadron busily contributing to the aerial blitz of the
Japanese Empire.
Nine missions were pulled this month in which this Squadron participated. Eight night
urban incendiary missions and one daylight high explosives mission were run. The
location of these targets, percentage of destruction and other details are listed as
follows:
July 2 1945, a maximum effort 58th Bomb Wing mission was pulled against the city of
Kure on Honshu Island. This was a night urban incendiary raid. Results of this mission
are 64% destruction to the commercial built-up area or 46% destruction to the total builtup city area. Kure is the site of the Naval Arsenal, a precision target of last month which
has been 70% destroyed. There was no enemy aircraft interception on this mission and
the flak was meager and inaccurate.
Aircraft
1
2
3
4
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
16
17

Pilot

Target Bombed

Gifford, C.
Smith, W.
Goeringer, J.
Welsh, T.
Wildman, A.
Hokanson, J.
Lippincott, H.
Clark, G.
Keathley, H.
Tolzmann, R.
Jackson, D.
Igou, P.
Mills, R.

Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target

Remarks

July 4 1945, a normal effort Wing mission was run against the coastal city of Takamatsu
on the northeast coast of Shikoku Island. This was a night urban incendiary mission and
was very successful being an appropriate 4th celebration. The area was 78% damaged
and destroyed. Both fighters and flak were nil. The roughest part of the mission
according to the Crews was the violent thermal from the intense fire, which tossed some
of the aircraft about when over the target. Aircraft and Pilots of this Squadron
participating are listed below:

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Aircraft
2
4
5
6
7
8
10
11
14
16
17

Pilot

Target Bombed

Smith, W.
Welsh, T.
Keathley, H.
Clark, H.
Jackson, D.
Hokanson, J.
Wildman, A.
Wallis, E.
Shafer, E.
Lippincott, H.
Igou, P.

Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target

Remarks

Early return
Primary Target
Primary Target
Early return
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target

July 10 1945, a more northern target was attacked, Sendai, located north of Tokyo and on
the east coast of Honshu. This was a normal effort Wing mission in the form of a night
urban incendiary attack. The percentage of destruction was only 27.8%, one of the
lowest for the month. Fighter interception was nil and flak was meager and inaccurate.
Aircraft and pilots of the Squadron who participated are as follows:
Aircraft
1
2
4
5
6
8
10
11
12
14
15
17

Pilot

Target Bombed

Gifford, C.
Freeman, C.
Welsh, T.
Keathley, H.
Igou, P.
Wallis, E.
Maxwell, K.
Stavin, I.
Jackson, D.
Shafer, E.
Clark, H.
Hokanson, J.

Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target

Remarks

Maj. Mills Sq. Command Pilot

Early return

July 13 1945 was a normal effort Wing raid on Utsunomiya, another town north of Tokyo
but not so far north as Sendai. Utsunomiya however is more inland than Sendai and a
little more difficult target to find. This was a night urban incendiary mission with results
of 32% destroyed. Fighter opposition was nil and flak was meager and inaccurate.
Aircraft and Pilots of the Squadron on the raid was as follows:
Aircraft
1
2
3
4
5
6
8
9
12

Pilot

Target Bombed

Freeman, C.
Pope, B.
Stavin, I.
Welsh, T.
Keathley, H.
Maxwell, K.
Lippincott, H
Hokanson, J.
Wildman, A.

Primary Target
Primary Target
Target of Opportunity Chiba Peninsula,crashed-Iwo Jima
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Target of Opportunity
Hitachi

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Remarks

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14
16
17

Shafer, E.
Clark, H.
Hokanson, J.

Primary Target
Early return
Early return

Jul 17 1945 was a normal effort Wing mission on Numazu, coastal town at the head of
Suruga Bay on the Izu Peninsula. This was a night urban incendiary mission resulting in
89.55% destruction, a new high in destruction for the 20th Air Force. Fighter opposition
was nil and flak only meager and inaccurate. Aircraft and pilots from this participating
Squadron are as follows:
Aircraft
2
4
5
6
8
9
10
11
12
14
17

Pilot

Target Bombed

Freeman, C.
Welsh, T.
Keathley, H.
Clark, H.
Wallis, E.
Hokanson, J.
Maxwell, K.
Lippincott, H
Garland, W.
Shafer, E.
Pope, B.

Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target

Remarks

July 20 1945, normal effort Wing mission on Fukui, located a few miles inland from the
north west coast of Honshu Island (NW of Nagoya). This was a night urban area
incendiary attack resulting in destroying the target 84.8%. No fighter interception and
very meager and inaccurate flak. Aircraft and pilots participating from this Squadron are
as follows:
Aircraft
1
2
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
14
16

Pilot

Target Bombed

Wildman, A.
Garland, W.
Welsh, T.
Keathley, H.
Clark, H.
Pope, B.
Risher, J.
Hokanson, J.
Maxwell, K.
Shafer, E.
Skelley, E.

Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target

Remarks

July 24 1945 a maximum effort for two Groups of the Wing (462nd-468th). This was the
only high explosives mission of the month and was a daylight attack with 1,000 lb.
demolition bombs. The specific target was the Kawanishi Aircraft Company located at
Takarazuka, about 8 miles north of the Kobe-Osaka coastline. This was a very
successful mission for 77% of the target was destroyed, this not without some cost to
our aircraft. While no aircraft was lost, twenty-six out of forty-three aircraft in the Group
were damaged, seven with major damage. In the Squadron, eleven out of fourteen
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aircraft were damaged with one aircraft having major damage. This was all due to flak.
Fighter interception was nil but some enemy fighters were sighted. The P-51s from Iwo
Jima had worked the fighters over before our run. Aircraft and Pilots of this mission are
listed below:
Aircraft
1
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
15
16
17
18

Pilot

Target Bombed

Remarks

Murphy, C.
Welsh, T.
Keathley, H.
Clark, H.
Wildman, A.
Wallis, E.
Hokanson, J.
Maxwell, K.
Lippincott, H
Garland, W.
Shafer, E.
Risher, J.
Kurtzenberger, G.
Pope, B.
Freeman, C.

Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target (Maj. Mills)
Primary Target (Sq. Cmd Pilot)
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target

Minor damage
Minor damage
Minor damage
Minor damage
Minor damage

Sumitomo
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target

Minor damage
Minor damage
Early return
Minor damage
Minor damage
Minor damage
Minor damage

July 28 1945 a normal effort mission by two Groups (462nd-468th). This was a night urban
incendiary raid on Aomori, a town located on the northern tip of Honshu Island. This is the
most northerly target ever attacked by B-29s, which in itself is something of a historical first
for the Group and this Squadron. Because of the great distance, all aircraft staged out of Iwo
Jima, which was something of a reminder of our India-China days (staging from a Forward
Base). The Group felt we were qualified what with the experience over the Hump, etc. A
further historical aspect of the Aomori mission was the fact at this time the practice was
inaugurated of warning the Japanese of what cities were to be hit before the force took off for
the target. All felt the Aomori mission a success but the damage figures were not available
during the month. Aircraft and Pilots are as follows:
Aircraft
2
4
5
6
10
11
14
16
18
12
8
17

Pilot

Target Bombed

Kurtzenberger, G.
Welsh, T.
Keathley, H.
Clark, H.
Maxwell, K.
Lippincott, H
Shafer, E.
Skelley, E.
Freeman, C.
Garland, W.
Wallis, E.
Pope, B.

Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target
Primary Target

Remarks

Wind aircraft

Radar Countermeasure (RCM) guardian Angels were sent on many of our night strikes to
orbit the area during the strike, which no doubt accounts for the encounters of only
meager and inaccurate flak on relatively important target cities. Captain Welsh and Crew
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are to be commended for their outstanding performance during the month of July. This
Crew flew all nine missions, going over all Primary Targets. This 100% record is
unequaled in the Squadron or Group.
On July 3 when taking off for the night incendiary raid on Takamatsu, on early morning of
July 4, we suffered an operational loss of aircraft on takeoff. The aircraft was piloted by
the Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Theodore H. Watson of the 792nd Bomb Squadron. The
aircraft crashed in the water about 2,000 yards off the east coast of Tinian, shortly after
takeoff. Captain Lloyd B. James, the Squadron Flight Surgeon was riding on this
mission with their Crew as an observer and was killed, as was all of the rest of the Crew
with the exception of the Co-Pilot, 1st Lt. Ney M. Fowler, who survived the crash, though
seriously injured. He was picked up by a naval rescue craft. Extensive search was
carried out for 48 hours by the Navy without results. An attempt was made to recover the
bodies of the other members of the Crew by diving, but due to the strong currents and
depth of water, this too failed.
Colonel Watson joined the Squadron as a Major in Salina, KS in 1943. He assumed
command of the Squadron in August of 1944. He was promoted to Lt. Col. In January
1945.
Captain James joined the Squadron in India, April 15 1945 as Squadron Flight Surgeon.
The remainder of the Crew was made up mostly of the old Crew of Captain Reida.
Following is a list of those who perished on the aircraft that crashed:
Watson, Theodore H.
Brown, Paul C.
Marsh, Donald E.
Trobaugh, Eugene R.
James, Lloyd B.
Mulligan, James F.
Copeland, Robert E.
McConnell, Thomas A.
Owens, Darrell D.
Nichols, Solomon T.
Petras, Michael

O-397662
O-741098
O-747042
O-863128
O-495869
12126292
19062211
20631751
37340506
34681574
11096108

Lt. Col.
1st Lt.
1st Lt.
1st Lt.
Capt.
T/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.

Pilot
Bombardier
Navigator
Flight Engineer
Flight Surgeon
Senior Gunner
Radar Observer
Left Gunner
Right Gunner
Radio Operator
Tail Gunner

Another mishap overtook personnel of the 792nd Bomb Squadron on July 19, the date of
the Utsunomiya mission. When returning from this mission, Lt. Stavin was forced to
ditch between Iwo Jima and Tinian. The ditching was carried out near a US convoy. Two
members of the Crew, though successfully ditched, were drowned Corporal Teague
and Corporal Pearce. Attached, as a part of this history is a report from the Convoy
Commander, giving details and names of the entire Crew.
Upon the death of Lt. Col. Watson, Major Robert E. Mills, serving as Operations Officer of
the Squadron, assumed command. Maj. Edgar R. Skelley became Operations Officer.
During the month, 1st Lt. Robert A. Hardin replaced Capt. Roe as Squadron Navigator and
1st Lt. Edward D. Feidler replaced Capt. Zaidlicz as Squadron Bombardier.

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There are many new faces in the Squadron, changes being due to personnel completing
missions and going state-side. New Crews are taking their places. At months end we
had 24 Crews assigned to the Squadron. The following new Crews came during the
month of July:
Kurtzenberger, George N.
Murphy, J.A.
Risher, John R.
Dargan, Henry F.

Maj.
Maj.
Capt.
Capt.

Burdick, Ross V.
Miller, Edward C.
Martin, Walter E.

1st Lt
1st Lt.
1st Lt.

The following personnel went to the States, having completed their missions:
Good, Harold W.
McCarten, John H.
Spencer, Harry Jr.
Goeringer, Jack
Tesno, Roland R.
Brown, Harold R.
Tolzmann, Raymond R.
Clark, Gordon B.
Roe, Martin D.
Richardson, James B.
West, Wallace R.
Langlois, Frank A.
Nebeker, Delbert Jr.
Shannon, Dennis P.
Barto, Joseph

Capt.
1st Lt.
1st Lt.
Capt.
1st Lt.
Major
1st Lt.
Capt.
Capt.
1st Lt.
1st Lt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
T/Sgt.

Thomas, Robert E. T/Sgt.


Blodgett, R.L.
S/Sgt.
Drake, Robert J.
M/Sgt.
Brady, John M.
M/Sgt.
Plant, Marvin F.
S/Sgt.
Loftus, James P.
S/Sgt.
Flieger, Robert S.
T/Sgt.
Patterson, Burdette T/Sgt.
Black, James M.
S/Sgt.
Klusovsky, Stephen S/Sgt.
Muraco, Frederick J. S/Sgt.
Emperor, Joseph C. S/Sgt.
Onsott, William
S/Sgt.
Howland, Charles R. T/Sgt.
Chobot, John I.
T/Sgt.

The following men were sent as eligible for discharge having over 115 points:
Heidrich, Frederick
Dabrowski, Myron

Sgt.
S/Sgt.

The following men were sent home as being over age (40 years):
McEvoy, James J.
Algood, Ralph H.
Dickins, John T.
Laing, David
White, John
Nelson, Charles W.
The following Combat Crew Members went to Muroc AAB on Temporary Duty:
Igou, Philiip
McQuary, Charles K.
Pakka, Olva V.
Rapasky, Edward A.
Brooks, James F.

Capt.
2nd Lt.
2nd Lt.
2nd Lt.
2nd Lt.

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It has been reported by the War Department that 1st Lt. Ernest A. Pickett, O-677559, a
Pilot on a B-29 on a Yawata mission in 1944 is declared a prisoner of war by the
Japanese Government. This information came to the War Department in the month of
June.
The following are promotions in the Squadron for the month of July:
Clark, Gordon B.
Wells, Thomas H.
Dughi, John J.
Freeman, Chester H.
Hill, Richard D.
Lahola, Michael
Reynolds, William O.
McQuary, Charles M.
Pakka, Olva A.
Becker, Robert E.
Rogrissart, Marcel Jr.
Ingle, Albert
Kennedy, Newton
Geddes, Robert F.
Matlock, Charles O.
Hakci, Ernest
Goetz, Paul A.
Clark, George E.
Harrington, Frederick
Bergolias, James
Ambrose, Edward J.
Anderson, Robert B.

to Major
to 1st Lt.
to 1st Lt.
to 1st Lt.
to 1st Lt.
to 1st Lt.
to 1st Lt.
to 1st Lt.
to 1st Lt.
to T/Sgt.
to S/Sgt.
to S/Sgt.
to S/Sgt.
to S/Sgt.
to S/Sgt.
to S/Sgt.
to S/Sgt.
to Sgt.
to Sgt.
to Sgt.
to Sgt.
to PFC

An Oak Leaf Cluster to Air Medal was awarded to the following personnel:
1st Lt. Robert A. Hardin

2nd Lt. Ernest J. Ahiers

Sgt. Glenn E. Teasley

The Bronze Star was awarded to the following maintenance personnel:


M/Sgt. Ralph E. Buckman
M/Sgt. Frank D. Cancilla
M/Sgt. William J. Jimenez
M/Sgt. Richard L. Linton
M/Sgt. James V. Lothian
M/Sgt. Charles J. Maffett
M/Sgt. Paul J. Marsico
T/Sgt. Raleigh W. Easton
T/Sgt. William A. Wright
S/Sgt. Homer L. Burd

S/Sgt. Rocco Doto


S/Sgt. Stephen Pawlyk
S/Sgt. Wilbur A. Readling
S/Sgt. Edward Schario
S/Sgt. Charles F. Schriner
S/Sgt. Joe H. Warner
Sgt. Frank J. Attanasio
Sgt. Charles T. Redding
Sgt. Alvin J. Starkey
Cpl. Robert H. Duffield

The morale in the Squadron, at least, can be said to have been well whetted. In July,
President Truman, in announcing the ultimatum to the Japanese, brought a keen interest
and hope to every one. Very few newscasts are missed in watching world events unfold.
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Another very interesting personal event in the Squadron was the Beer Bust by the
Enlisted Men. The rations obtainable through the Post Exchange have become more
plentiful. The Coke and beer ration has been two bottles of beer every other day and two
bottles of Coke on each alternate day. At the end of the month, the Squadron planned a
Beer Bust. The beer was purchased from the Squadron funds. The party was held in the
Squadron area on the evening of the 29th of July. The beer being cool, of good quality
and a fair supply the party was greatly appreciated and enjoyed by the members of the
Squadron. There have been numerous requests for a repeat performance.
There has been a great liking displayed for the tent life, led by the maintenance men. It
had been semi-officially announced that pre-fabs would be erected for living quarters
for the maintenance men, so immediately a petition was drawn up stating that the men
desired to remain in the tents, also giving the reasons therefore. The petition was signed
by all of the personnel and submitted through channels to proper authority. After three
days of waiting the document reappeared on the bulletin board but it had undergone a
few modifications. It then stated, The undersigned like it here and wish to remain, we
like C rations, have not and do not wish to see white women for two years and we want
no promotions. Two days later a letter, signed by the Group Commanding Officer,
James V. Edmundson was posted, stating that the matter had been taken to proper
authorities and that pre-fabs had been decided on as quarters for Enlisted men. It is
planned that the quarters be sufficiently partitioned so as to give the same amount of
privacy as obtained through living in tents.
The strength as of July 1 was 126 Officers and 529 Enlisted Men. At months end 129
Officers and 529 Enlisted Men.
July 1945 Hoped to be and much talked of, as the turning point of this war passes into
history.

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USS KERSTIN (AF34)
C/O Fleet P.O.
San Francisco, CA
13 July 1945
REPORT OF
RESCUE OF PERSONNEL OF DOWNED B-29 (NO. 3 OF BOMBER SQUADRON 792)
0500: Commencing about 0500, observed various B-29s in flight on approximate course
1590 (T); traveling singly.
0745: Observed one (1) B-29 flying at approximately 3,000 feet across convoy on an
approximate course of 2490 (T) followed by a PBM.
0750: B-29 and PBM circling on port bow. Observed outboard motor of B-29 to be out of
commission and other port motor operating with difficulty. Large letter on tail
believed to be either A or I. Crash landing imminent.
0757: Convoy Commodore ordered PC-1591 to have PC-809 proceed and stand by for crash
landing
0758: B-29 made crash landing about two points on port quarter, a distance of
approximately two miles from convoys position. PBM circling crashed plane. PC1591 and PC-809 proceeding.
0800: LSM-345 dropped out of convoy and is proceeding to scene of accident to assist in
the recovery of survivors. Remainder of convoy proceeding as before.
0801: Observed yellow life raft near downed B-29.
0803: PBM dropped what appeared to be a life raft near downed B-29. B-29 still afloat.
0811: Last visible part of downed B-29 observed to be a wing, is going underwater.
Observed what appeared to be survivors on life rafts.
0815: Three (3) ships reached the scene of the crash. PBM still circling and standing by.
0905: PC-809 steaming at full speed to rejoin convoy with four (4) survivors aboard with
none seriously injured.
0928: Received message from PC-1591, relayed by LST-734, to effect that ten (10) men of
downed B-29 were recovered. The last man recovered being given artificial
respiration, but is believed to be dead.
0950: PC-809 rejoined convoy.
1030: PC-1591 and LSM-345 rejoining convoy at full speed.
1630: PC-1591 and LSM-345 rejoined convoy.
NOTE: The pilot exhibited great skill in the manner in which he maneuvered and crash-landed
his plane.
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REPORT OF
RESCUE OF PERSONNEL OF DOWNED B-29 (NO. 3 OF BOMBER SQUADRON 792) ---cont.
WITNESSES:
SURVIVORS:
(1) STAVIN, Irvin A.
(2) LA CROSSE, Richard B.
(3) MARANTETTE. Edward M.
(4) PASQUARIELLO, Donald J.
(5) BIELSKI, Walter J.
(6) ORTIZ, Frank Jr.
(7) SILCOX, Robert B.
(8) WATERHOUSE, Robert M.
(9) GALBRAITH, Bruce S.

1st Lt.
2nd Lt.
2nd Lt.
2nd Lt.
2nd Lt.
Sgt.
Sgt.
Sgt.
Cpl.

Pilot
Navigator

O-668512
O-932025
O-2071019
O-932010
O-932058
13140416
33936489
39703280
12100924

DECEASED:
(1) TEAGUE, William A.
(2) PEARCE, William H.

Cpl.
Cpl.

14153875
13104872

Commanding Officer, USS Kerstin


(AF-34) Convoy Commodore

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793RD BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON (VH) JULY 1945
The big news this month was the rotation of our Combat Crews. During this mid-month
1945 the entire face of our Squadron has changed. With all our old CBI (China-BurmaIndia) men who have been with us since Salina, KS training days finally returning to
Uncle Sugar Able.
Although the tempo of operation has slowed down a little over the last month our rate of
destruction has been higher.
On the first of July the target was the Kure Urban Area. This was the second time we hit
Kure and we figured they were picking the 58th Bomb Wing for all the tough ones.
However, the opposition turned out to be surprisingly light with the help of the initial use
of the orbiting Angel RCM (Radar Countermeasure) aircraft. The damage to date with
poor photo reconnaissance shows 65% of the built-up area of Kure destroyed which is
highly significant as this city is one of the heaviest populated cities in Japan as high as
90,000 people per square mile. Incidentally, the Kure Naval Arsenal, the target of last
months precision attack, is rated 70% destroyed thus robbing the Japanese of their
most important Naval industrial installation. We had 13 aircraft over the Primary and one
Early Return, Lt. Wolf and Crew in A/C 32. Following is a list of the Crews participating:
Aircraft
21
22
23
25
27
28
29
30
31
33
34
35
36

Pilot
Cobb
Sturgis
Joyce
Greenwald
Serbay
Vester
Doherty
Tice
Edmundson-Carlton
Boland
Windler
Jennings
Sullivan

All aircraft numbers coded Skookum.

Again, on the night of 3-4 July, our aircraft made a night incendiary attack. This time on
an important inland sea town on Shikoku Island, Takamatsu. The best job to date of all
XXIst Bomber Command night fire strikes was done by our Wing. Takamatsu is rated
78% destroyed. Captain Red Vester and Crew in A/C 21 flew Super Dumbo on this
mission. Lt. Jennings and Crew in A/C 35 was our only Early Return with the following
eleven Crews attacking the Primary Target:
Aircraft

Pilot

22
23

Sturgis
Joyce

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25
27
28
29
30
31
33
34
35

Sullivan
Serbay
Cobb
Tice
Wolf
Weaver
Boland
Michaliszyn
McKay

Next it was up to the Tokyo Area on the night of the 6th of July to burn down Chiba, an
industrial town on the east side of Tokyo Bay, now rated 43% destroyed, our
irrepressible Doc did it again on his 37th mission. Capt. Charles Joyce, two missions
past his quota, was flying his Crew out, when over the Primary, Chiba City, he lost all his
oil in one engine, which he feathered immediately. No sooner had this been done than
an explosion in another engine caused it to lose all power. Doc was too busy keeping
Raiden Maiden in the air to feather this one and besides he was losing 10,000 feet of
altitude in a few short minutes and at the same time dodging bad thunderhead activity
over the Chiba Peninsula. In a short while they found themselves cruising over the
Japanese mainland at 1,300 ft. altitude making 135 MPH. He could get no control of the
aircraft.
Back at the Base all were feverishly sweating a message from him indicating he was
possibly going to ditch at coordinates very far off course and to the north. The next
thing we heard he had landed at Iwo Jima successfully. The story came out that when
they sent the ditching message all the Crew were at their stations and Doc decided to
give the feathered engine one try and if it did not work they would set it down. A flight
course could not be maintained and altitude and speed were fast reaching the point of no
return. Luckily the engine came back in, giving enough power to climb tediously up to
6,000 ft. and to let down slowly into Iwo Jima. To top it off, rather than spend several
days on that volcanic rock, Joyce takes off not knowing exactly what exploded in that
second engine. He returned safely to West Field, Tinian. The following Crews
participated:
Aircraft

Pilot

21
24
26
27
28
29
30
31
33
35
36

Cobb
Sullivan
Joyce
Serbay
Vester
Tice
McKay
Weaver
Wolf
Jennings
Bores

On the 9th of July the XXIst Bomber Command sent B-29s further north than they had to
burn Sendai, an important town north of Tokyo. Although the fires raged furiously, this
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city did not burn as expected with only 28% destroyed. The following Crews
participated:
Aircraft

Pilot

24
25
27
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
37

Sullivan
Greenwald
Serbay
Tice
McKay
Weaver
Boland
Sturgis
Camarena
Jennings
Vester

On the 12 of July, Utsunomiya, north of Tokyo was our target now judged 32%
destroyed. The following Crews participated:
Aircraft

Pilot

22
23
24
25
27
28
31
33
34
35
36

Sturgis
Camarena
Sullivan
Patton
Serbay
Vester
Boland
Chiles
Michaliszyn
Jennings
Tice

Numazu, just southeast of Mt. Fuji, established a new record in the XXIst Bomber
Command destruction with this important transportation city 89.5% destroyed. Eleven
Crews participated with our old colleague, Major Bob Berman, now with A-3 riding with
Captain Greenwald. The following Crews participated:
Aircraft
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
32
34
35
36

Pilot
Sturgis
Chiles
Burggraf
Greenwald-Berman
Cobb
Serbay
Vester
Boland
Caricuto
Cooper
Bores

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On the 19th against Fukui, our first target on the Japan Sea side of Honshu went eleven
Crews to destroy 84.8% of the city for the second highest percentage now on record.
This made the second perfect operational record in a row with 33 aircraft of the Group
scheduled airborne and over the Primary Target. Brigadier General Roger H. Ramey sent
the Group a letter of commendation. The following Crews participated:
Aircraft

Pilot

21
22
23
24
25
26
29
31
32
34
36

Cobb
Cooper
Caricuto
Burggraf
Camarena
Serbay
Chiles
Patton
Boland
Michaliszyn
Bores

On the 24th of July we had our only daylight precision attack against Kawanishi Aircraft
Company Plant at Takarazuka, just north of Kobe. Major Al Bores led our Squadron over
the target with Lt. Mac McComas bombing. Major Mike Michaliszyn with Lt. Plot
Plotkowski bombing led a composite Squadron over the target. The plant was rated
virtually destroyed from the strike photos and post strike reconnaissance shows total
roof area destroyed as 77% with no rating on the structural and internal damage caused
by the thousand pound bombs. The flak was moderate and accurate and with nearly
every aircraft receiving anti-aircraft damage, Lt. Camarena had to leave his aircraft at Iwo
Jima with major repairs. Lt. Burggraf and Crew in A/C 30 had to abort due to mechanical
difficulty. The following Crews participated in this mission:
Aircraft

Pilot

21
22
23
24
26
27
28
29
31
32
33
34
35
36
37

Cobb
Sturgis
Caricuto
Sullivan
Weaver
Serbay
Cooper
Chiles
Patton
Boland
Greenwald
Michaliszyn
Jennings
Bores
Camarena

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The night of 28-29 July, history was made for the XXIst Bomber Command in many
respects.
The XXIst Bomber Command was from hereon to be called the 20th Air Force and our old
XXth Bomber Command Headquarters went over on Okinawa, now as part of the 8th Air
Force.
Maj. Gen. Curtis E. LeMay had been transferred out and made Chief of Staff to Gen.
Toohey Spatz, the Chief of the new Strategic Air Forces Pacific Ocean Area. Lt. Gen.
Nathaniel Twining of the 13th and the 15th Air Forces fame took over the 20th Air Force
while Lt. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle was to command the 8th Air Force on Okinawa.
Following the explanation of the meaning of unconditional surrender to the Japanese by
a proclamation by President Harry S. Truman, Churchill and Stalin from Potsdam,
Germany, Gen. LeMay initiated a new policy of telling the Japanese beforehand the cities
that were to be burned out by the B-29s.
We were very directly concerned in the last two events mentioned above. While waiting
at Iwo Jima for takeoff, our Crews heard the radio blare out that Aomori, at the northern
end of Honshu would be one of the next targets. This came as quite a shock as our men
were counting on giving the Japanese quite a surprise by striking so far north. The
mission ran off without any considerable opposition with nine of our aircraft over the
Primary Target. Capt. Greenwald lost an engine and had to hit a Target of Opportunity at
Taira. Lt. Chiles and Crew aborted out of Iwo Jima and returned to Tinian. Lt. Boland
and Crew flew a Super Dumbo. Aircraft of the Group for the first time dropped
propaganda leaflet bombs as they flew the newly instituted position of Wind Ships.
The following Crews participated:
Aircraft

Pilot

22
23
24
26
28
32
33
34
35
36

Strugis
Caricuto
Sullivan
Weaver
Patton
Greenwald
Schobert
Hatfield-Troyer
Burggraf
Cobb

While all this was going on many of our men were leaving or sweating out orders for
returning to the United States. Our Combat Crew graduates for the month of July are
listed below:
Dean, Dexter
Teague, Homer F.
Holderby, Willard
Fauth, Howard H.
Parrock, Harry K.

Capt.
1st Lt.
1st Lt.
1st Lt.
1st Lt.

Auth, Robert J.
Brutlag, Valentine H.
Kosoglov, Joseph A.
Bluey, Theodore
Finch, Arlie E.

2008 New England Air Museum. All rights reserved.

S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.

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McCoy, J.R.
Faulkenham, Elon D.
Ray, Carl B.
Gray, Charles D.
Padgurski, Herman
Herrighty, Michael J.
Sukowaty, Herbert W.
Bentz, Kenneth F.
Shoaff, Douglas K.
Ronnquist, Nils R.H.
Garr, James W.
Scott, William P.
Warth, Frank E.
Johnson, Kenneth O.
Cole, David W.

1st Lt.
1st Lt.
1st Lt.
1st Lt.
FO
T/Sgt.
T/Sgt.
T/Sgt.
T/Sgt.
T/Sgt.
T/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.

Muir, Glenn R.
Iverson, Robert
Claypool, Chester
Compton, Harry M.
Foley, William M.
Jones, John S.
Matulauskis, John J.
Tamminen, Erik E.
Busek, John B.
Hollifield, Aulger W.
Layton, Billy J.
Smith, Benjamin F.
Johnson, Joseph M.
Tefft, Gerald K.

S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.
S/Sgt.

Being hard warriors we can expect the following Officers to return to us for Staff jobs
after 30 days leave in the States:
Carlton, Paul K.
Doherty, Thomas H.
Joyce, Charles
Saunders, Patrick H.
Roth, John H.
McKay, James E.
Urek, Paul P.

Major
Major
Major
Capt.
1st Lt.
1st Lt.
1st Lt.

Homburger, Edward C.
Hardison, Arston P. Jr.
Tice, Frederick J.
Mueller, Herbert H.
Passieu, Charles L.
Schultze, Henry F.

1st Lt.
1st Lt.
1st Lt.
FO
FO
FO

During the month many exchanges of Crews and equipment took place. 5 new Crews
were added. Returned to the States were 3 old war weary B-29s that have been with us
through many a sortie. The following aircraft returned to the Sates:
A/C 415
A/C 487
A/C 525

Jolly Roger
Bengal Lancer
Mary K

To offset this loss and bring our Squadron up to strength, the following aircraft have
been added and designated these Skookum numbers:
44-87674
44-61702
44-87659
44-61672

Skookum 22
Skookum 32
Skookum 24
Skookum 37

Many promotions have come through this month as are listed below:
Allison, Jack
Carlton, Paul K.
DAguanno, Ed
Doherty, Thomas H.
Holzhauser, Cliff
Joyce, Charles
Tyree, Jean

2nd Lt to 1st Lt
Capt. to Maj.
2nd Lt. to 1st Lt
Capt. to Maj.
2nd Lt to 1st Lt
Capt. to Maj.
Flight Officer to 2nd Lt

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Wolf, Carlton J.
Cobb, James W.
Madden, Harold D.
McComas, Don C.
Serbay, Myron W.
Sullivan, Robert R.
Syfrett, Dovie B.
Walts, Robert

1st Lt. To Capt.


1st Lt. To Capt.
1st Lt. To Capt.
1st Lt. To Capt.
1st Lt. To Capt.
1st Lt. To Capt.
1st Lt. To Capt.
1st Lt. To Capt.

The following Enlisted Men were promoted during the month:


Dewey, Donald H.
Wains, John A.
Henson, Roland E.
Paterson, Theodore A.
Mento, Natale J.
Mueller, Arthur F.
Byrum, William H.
Daniels, Lloyd M.
Berg, Alvin L.
Novak, Anthony S.
Fitzpatrick, Paul F.
Benson, Stewart A.
Prather, Willie B.
Hall, Jessie P.
Guido, Michael F.

S/Sgt. to T/Sgt.
S/Sgt. to T/Sgt.
S/Sgt. to T/Sgt.
Sgt. to S/Sgt.
Sgt. to S/Sgt.
Sgt. to S/Sgt.
Sgt. to S/Sgt.
Sgt. to S/Sgt.
Cpl. to Sgt.
Cpl. to Sgt.
Cpl. to Sgt.
Cpl. to Sgt.
Cpl. to Sgt.
Pvt. to PFC
Pvt. to PFC

Clifford, Paul B.
Ronnquist, Nils R.H.
Rennels, Robert G.
Newell, Burton E.
Rubottom, Maurice R
Bradley, Ned F.
Collins, William S.
Mundwiller, Raymond H.
Guenther, Joseph J.
Fitzpatrick, John F.
Newman, Leonard
Hatcher, Charles R.
Roach, Charles F.
Brown, John S.
Toscano, Jack H.

S/Sgt. to T/Sgt.
S/Sgt. to T/Sgt.
Sgt. to S/Sgt.
Sgt. to S/Sgt.
Sgt. to S/Sgt.
Sgt. to S/Sgt.
Sgt. to S/Sgt.
Sgt. to S/Sgt.
Cpl. to Sgt.
Cpl. to Sgt.
Cpl. to Sgt.
Cpl. to Sgt.
Pvt. to PFC
Pvt. to PFC
PFC to Cpl.

The following men were wounded on combat missions and are to be awarded the Purple
Heart:
Wounded Man

Mission

Pilot

DAguanno, Anthony E. (O-2068373)


Collins, William S. (35876569)
Rennels, Robert G. (36679413)

Takarazuka
Takarazuka
Takarazuka

Sullivan
Sullivan
Sullivan

Cause of
Wound
Flak
Flak
Flak

Two of our men received Legion of Merit Awards this month, Capt. William W. Griffing
and T/Sgt. Arlin F. Davis; a copy of their citation is attached. Lt. McKay and Crew
received a special letter of Commendation from Admiral Halsey for the excellent job they
performed in helping to search for downed Navy fliers as they struck the Yokosuku Naval
base from a carrier task force.
The 793rd Bomb Squadron tied with the 794th Bomb Squadron for the General Billy
Mitchell Flag this month but the award of the flag was made to the 794th by our Group
Commander James V. Edmundson for their almost perfect mission score. A copy of the
letter of award is attached.

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339
HEADQUARTERS
TWENTIETH AIR FORCE
WASHINGTON, DC
GENERAL ORDERS

16 June 1945

No. 9
AWARDS
I LEGION OF MERIT By direction of the President, under the provisions of the Act of
Congress approved 20 July 1942, an Executive Order No. 9260, 20 October 1942, and under
authority delegated by the War Department under paragraph 8, AR 600-45, 22 September
1943, announcement is made of the award of the Legion of Merit to the following named
Bomber Command.
Technical Sergeant ARLIN F. DAVIS, ASN 37331684, Air Corps, United States Army. For
exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services from 5 April
1944 to 10 March 1945. As Central Fire Control Mechanic, XXTH Bomber Command, Sergeant
Davis designed and perfected many devices necessary to the successful employment of B-29
type aircraft in operational missions. Outstanding among the devices designed by this
enlisted man was a computer tester, which greatly aided the pre-mission testing of the
Central Fire Control equipment, used in this airplane. The initiative, technical skill and
devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Davis, materially contributed to the operation of the
XXTH Bomber Command.
Staff Sergeant NELSON E. PUTNAM, ASN 36577712, Air Corps, United States Army. For
exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services from 1
December 1944 to 1 March 1945. During this period, Sergeant Putnam designed and
perfected modifications for a ranging device employed in the Central Fire Control system of
B-29 type aircraft, which greatly simplified the gunners procedure of adjusting the range
settings. These modifications proved so successful that the accuracy of the Central Fire
Control system considerably increased at long range encounters. The initiative, engineering
skill and devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Putnam materially contributed to the
operation of the XXTH Bomber Command.

By command of General ARNOLD


LAURIS NORSTAD
Brigadier General, US Army
Chief of Staff

OFFICIAL:
S/H.H. Hewitt
H.H. Hewitt
Lieutenant Colonel, A.G.D.
Adjutant General

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A TRUE EXACT COPY

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340
HEADQUARTERS
TWENTIETH AIR FORCE
WASHINGTON, DC
GENERAL ORDERS

23 May 1945

No. 6
AWARDS
I LEGION OF MERIT By direction of the President, under the provisions of the Act of
Congress approved 20 July 1942, an Executive Order No. 9260, 20 October 1942, and under
authority delegated by the War Department under paragraph 8, AR 600-45, 22 September
1943, announcement is made of the award of the Legion of Merit to the following named
officers:
First Lieutenant WILLIAM W. GRIFFING, O-856712, Air Corps, Army of the United States,
XXTH Bomber Command, for the exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of
outstanding services during the period of 5 April 1944 to 10 March 1945. As Ground
Electronics Officer, Lieutenant Griffing devised and developed modifications of highly
technical equipment vital to the successful operations of the XXTH Bomber Command. The
outstanding technical ability, creative talents and devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant
Griffing reflected great credit upon himself and the military service of the United States.
By command of General ARNOLD
LAURIS NORSTAD
Brigadier General, US Army
Chief of Staff

OFFICIAL:
S/H.H. Hewitt
H.H. Hewitt
Lieutenant Colonel, A.G.D.
Adjutant General

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341
794TH BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON (VH) JULY 1945
The strength of the 794th Bomb Squadron 31 July was Officers 135 and Enlisted Men 531.
Following are the serial numbers of the aircraft (B-29 type) in the Squadron:
42-24893
44-69660
42-24719
42-24892
42-24734
42-24714 DS
44-61695
42-65275
42-65279

44-70146
44-61516
44-70140
44-61674
44-70042
44-61566
44-87666
44-61681
44-61816

The total flying time for the month of July was 1864:00 hours.
Total combat time: 1656:00 hours. Training time: 208:00 hours
The 794th Squadron participated in the following missions during July:
KURE
TAKAMATSU
CHIBA
SENDAI
UTSUNOMIYA
NUMAZU
FUKUI
TAKARASUKA
AOMORI
TOTAL:

2 July 45
4 July 45
7 July 45
10 July 45
13 July 45
17 July 45
20 July 45
24 July 45
29 July 45

12 Scheduled
11 Scheduled
11 Scheduled
11 Scheduled
11 Scheduled
11 Scheduled
11 Scheduled
15 Scheduled
11 Scheduled

12 hit P.T.
11 hit P.T.
11 hit P.T.
11 hit P.T
11 hit P.T
11 hit P.T
11 hit P.T
14 hit P.T (1 E.R.)
10 hit P.T (1 T.O.)

104 Scheduled, 102 hit P.T., 1 Target of Opportunity, 1 Early Return

Our Combat Record is even finer than usual as indicated here: For 8 consecutive
missions (from 29 June to 20 July) we had a 100% score for aircraft scheduled and
bombing the Primary Target. For 12 consecutive missions (from 18 June to 20 July) we
had a 100% score for aircraft scheduled and bombing effectively (P.T. or T.O.). Our
final score is 90% for July.
Major Clarence McPherson, our CO, 17 Officers and 20 Enlisted Men received letters of
commendation from the Group Commanding Officer, Colonel James V. Edmundson, for
their part in helping maintain this fine record. That letter is quoted here:
th

The outstanding record of accomplishment made by the 794 Bombardment Squadron during
the period of 17 June to 20 July 1945, is in the finest tradition of the Army Air Forces. During the
accelerated incendiary bombing program, aimed against the medium sized industrial cities of the
Japanese Empire, your Squadron has participated in 10 bombing missions. One hundred and
fourteen aircraft from your Squadron were scheduled on these missions and one hundred
fourteen aircraft bombed the primary target. The continuous performance of perfect individual
night missions, without an abort or an early return and with every airplane effective against the
primary target is an accomplishment of which you can be extremely proud.
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These operations definitely indicate superb maintenance and inspection of your airplanes and
outstanding leadership and devotion to duty on your part in contributing to the overall
maintenance and operational efficiency of your Squadron. Without your individual hard work,
skill and untiring energy this record of your Squadron would have been impossible. The
indomitable spirit of aggressiveness shown by your Pilots and Crews by always punching
through to the assigned target would have been to no avail without the work that you, as an
individual, have done. Perfect teamwork and a tremendous amount of hard work under difficult
and trying conditions for long hours and over a protracted period of time was necessary to
establish so fine a record. It is a record that reflects great credit upon yourself, your Squadron,
th
the 468 Group and the Army Air Forces.
The effectiveness of your work has contributed, in large measure, to the war effort and the
eventual defeat of the Japanese Empire. It should be a source of gratification to you. It is with
genuine pleasure that I commend you upon your accomplishment. I am extremely proud to
command an organization comprised of men of your caliber.

The 794th Squadron was awarded the GENERAL BILLY MITCHELL FLAG for the month of
August based on their achievements during the previous month. A copy of Group Order
21, 468th Bomb Group follows:
1. Pursuant to Memorandum 200-1, this Headquarters, 30 June 1945, the respective Squadron
Standings in items of overall efficiency are listed herewith:
792
793
794
a. Highest number of flying hours per month per A/C assigned
3
1
2
(less A/C at Iwo Jima and in Service Center)
b. Most lead crew training sorties for the month

c. Most other than lead crew training sorties for the month

d. Highest number of effective sorties (combat) for the month

e. Highest number of A/C bombing the Primary Target

f.

g. Highest ratio of lead crews hitting target on daylight formations T

h. Best rating on monthly technical inspection

i.

20

14

14

Lowest number of aborts and non-effective early returns

Best rating on monthly administrative inspection

POINT SCORE
rd

th

2. Because of the tie between the 793 and 794 Bombardment Squadrons, a decision has been
th
made to award the General Billy Mitchell Flag to the 794 Bombardment Squadron for the
month of August on the basis of their outstanding Combat Performance during July 1945, in
that all scheduled aircraft were airborne and, with the exception of one aircraft with bombed a
Target of Opportunity and one Early Return, all scheduled aircraft bombed the Primary Target.
th
This record excels the other Squadrons, and the 794 Bombardment Squadron fully deserves
this award.
(signed)
JAMES V. EDMUNDSON
Colonel, Air Corps
Commanding
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THE LEGION OF MERIT was awarded to S/Sgt. Nelson Putnam during the month
although no formal presentation has been made as yet. S/Sgt. Putnam devised a new
range grip, which may replace the present range grip of the ring sight, and other
universal range grip for the other sights. It will improve tracking because only the wrist
need be used for tracking; ranging being taken care of by grip pressure. His work has
been tested and approved at Wright Field and awaits orders before it is installed. Wright
Field experts found that the accuracy of the CFC System was increased on long range
firing with S/Sgt. Putnams new range grip, because of the saving of time in sighting.
S/Sgt. Putnam also received the Purple Heart for wounds received as a direct result of
enemy action while participating in a bombing mission against Osaka, Japan, on 24 July
1945, as Left Gunner, such wounds receiving medical attention. He was flying with Lt.
Toups Crew. Cpl. Malcolm J. Carpenter, Radio Operator on that same mission, flying
with Lt. Toups, also received the Purple Heart for wounds. Flight Officer Edmund
Jachacz was wounded and is hospitalized on Iwo Jima; however, he has not yet received
the Purple Heart award.
The following Officers and Enlisted Men received indicated awards:
AWARD OF THE AIR MEDAL
Lt. James W. Allen Jr.
Lt. Raymond A. Leach
Lt. Elmer N. Tyndall
Lt. Russell Markstrom
Lt. Jack C. Shaw Lt.
Lt. John OQuinn, Jr.
Lt. James Pafford
Lt. Stanford Toups
Lt. Don Payne
Lt. Luther Ashley
Sgt. Leon Specktor
Cpl. Thomas Anderson
Cpl. Dan Chmielecki
Cpl. David A. Davis
Cpl. William H. Dunning
Cpl. Bruce W. MacDonald
Cpl. Clifford E. Craig
S/Sgt. Archie McLeish
Sgt. Robert J. Ahrens
Sgt. Ira L. Barnett
Sgt. James D. Law

Lt. James C. Buerke


Lt. Kenneth Childs
Lt. Charles I. Stevens
Lt. David R. Douglas
Edward D. Wade
FO Edward A. Kub
FO Max Koenig
FO Edmund A. Jachacz
FO Foster B. Cohan
Cpl. Jack Atanis
Cpl. Stephen J. Bednars
Cpl. Malcolm T. Carpenter
Cpl. Roy J. Dunham
Cpl. Gene R. Schroeder
T/Sgt. Herman F. Burstein
Sgt. Luther W. Cribb
Cpl. Dionicio M. Diaz
Cpl. James P. Richardson
Cpl. Phillip J. Robb
Cpl. Jose Rodriquez

Capt. John Wedding received his majority, six new Crews were added to the Squadron:
6 July 1945

10 July 1945

P
CP
N

P
CP
N

Lt. Donald E. Cutshall


Lt. Richard Hauer
Lt. Murray Brinn

Lt. John P. Neuner


Lt. Jack L. Cross
FO Chalmer Grace

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B
V
FE
RO
SG
RG
LG
TG

Lt. James Holbin


Lt. Donald D. Arden
Sgt. James J. Navina
Pvt. Sidney Hoover
Sgt. Harry Gold
Sgt. Willie Caster
Cpl. James Walker
Cpl. John Hingle

B
V
FE
RO
SG
RG
LG
TG

Lt. Jack Kukiela


Lt. James B. Butts
Sgt. Maxon Rice
Sgt. Howard Fechtmeister
Sylvester Burke
Cpl. Hale D. Hamilton
Cpl. James L. DeWalt
Sgt. Mitchell Burton

14 July 1945

18 July 1945

P
CP
N
B
V
FE
RO
SG
RG
LG
TG

P
CP
N
B
V
FE
RO
SG
RG
LG
TG

Lt. William N. Piles


Lt. Robert Taylor
Lt. Alfred Gaither
Lt. James Lamont
Lt. Joseph Boetto
T/Sgt. Ronnie Bolling
Sgt. Gerald Pritchard
Sgt. Joseph Clszekski
Sgt. Martin Benen
Sgt. Russell Barham
Cpl. Charles K. Dodd

Capt. Edwin Burt


Lt. Eugene Frazier
FO James Quirk
Lt. Charles Bostick
Lt. Robert Burton
Lt. Frank Radoczy
Sgt. Thomas S. Shearman
Sgt. Thomas Geiger
Sgt. Thomas Cloud
Cpl. Russell W. Badman
Robert Morton

19 July 1945

28 July 1945

P
CP
N
B
V
FE
RO
RG
LG
TG

P
CP
N
B
V
FE
RO
RG
LG
TG

Lt. Morris H. Raines


Lt. Kenneth W. Sauder
Lt. Allan M. Shapiro
Lt. Ronald L. McClay
Lt. Albert M Carmona
Sgt. Leonard Brewer
Sgt. Vincent C. Van Velzer
Sgt. Arthur Green
Sgt. Stanley Gangwere
Cpl. George W. McDonald

Lt. Howard Corbus


Lt. Robert Ramey
FO John Davis
Lt. Nicholas F. Jancarish
Lt. Billy Dobbs
Sgt. Karl Gilham
Sgt. Nicolas Brasino
Sgt. Frank Vogelee
Sgt. John C. Bates
Cpl. Edmund Gilman

Listed below are the combat personnel who completed 35 missions and returned to the
United States. An asterisk indicates that these men are returning to the 468th Bomb
Group after leave in the United States. Departure dates follow names:
Lt. Lawrence Rohan
T/Sgt. Louis Chester
S/Sgt. James Andrews
Lt. Winston Fisher
S/Sgt. Frank James
Capt. Harry Olson
Capt. Roy Odilon
Lt. Merle Jones
Lt. Marion King
Capt. Richard Ham
S/Sgt. Jacob Fondiler
S/Sgt. Bernard Henson

2 July 1945
4 July 1945
5 July 1945
8 July 1945
9 July 1945
9 July 1945
9 July 1945
9 July 1945
9 July 1945
10 July 1945
11 July 1945
17 July 1945

S/Sgt. L.D. Whorton


S/Sgt. August Cline
Lt. Armand Trepanier
T/Sgt. Hugh Poindexter
S/Sgt. Vernon Ode
Lt. Frederick Dischinger
Lt. Robert Feldman
Lt Charles Moresi
Maj. Gordon Eaton
Capt. Frederick Corvinus*
Maj. Boyce C. Anderson*
S/Sgt. Arthur Fredd

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2 July 1945
4 July 1945
6 July 1945
9 July 1945
9 July 1945
9 July 1945
9 July 1945
9 July 1945
10 July 1945
11 July 1945
16 July 1945
17 July 1945

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Maj. George Heneveld*
Lt. Thurston Park
Lt. Robert Ector
Capt. Robert Britton
S/Sgt. John Havey
S/Sgt. Robert Macaitis
S/Sgt. Harold Mufford
S/Sgt. Sommerville
Capt. George Barker*
Lt. Richard Stillions
S/Sgt. Domenico DeBiase

19 July 1945
19 July 1945
19 July 1945
19 July 1945
19 July 1945
19 July 1945
20 July 1945
20 July 1945
27 July 1945
27 July 1945
28 July 1945

Capt. Wendell Thummel*


Lt. Kenneth Kerr
Lt. William C. Brikey
M/Sgt. William Young
S/Sgt. Leroy Jackson
S/Sgt. William Wooten
S/Sgt. Paul Gains
Lt. Yates C. Smith
Lt. William Corbin*
S/Sgt. Harold Scott
S/Sgt. Darwin Gregory

19 July 1945
19 July 1945
19 July 1945
19 July 1945
19 July 1945
19 July 1945
19 July 1945
22 July 1945
27 July 1945
27 July 1945
28 July 1945

The first men to be released from this Squadron on the Point System were: M/Sgt.
Andrew Racosky and S/Sgt. Frank Kroboth. These men had over 115 points and a
replacement. They left on 27 July.
Two more men were released so that they might return to the United States for discharge
because of age (over 40). They are S/Sgt. George Panosh and Sgt. Joseph Conway.
These men left on the 4th of July (Independence Day!).
Lt. OQuinns Crew left APO 247 on 15 July to attend Lead Crew School at Muroc AAB in
California. They will be in training there about 30 days.
STRICTLY PERSONAL: Lt. Henry Chodacki who was hospitalized in India for a short
time before we left has fully recovered and followed the Squadron to Tinian. He is the
Flight Engineer on Lt. Volkerts Crew and arrived 11 July 1945.
Capt. John Q. Roundsville received an emergency leave to the United States and left on
16 July 1945.
Lt. James W. Allen, a Pilot with the Squadron was also returned to the United States. He
left on 14 July 1945 for medical reasons.
Capt. Keefers Crew is on Temporary Duty to Iwo Jima for the purpose of escorting
fighters. The Crew left 22 July and will be there approximately 60 days. S/Sgt. Rex
Lyons went along as an extra Radio Operator and two ground men, T/Sgt. Max Hodes
(Crew Chief) and Sgt. James J. Waller.
Bringing our July history to a finish on a happy note it may be recorded that 2 Officers
and 2 Enlisted Men from this Squadron went to Oahu, Hawaii to Rest Camp. They are:
Capt. Robert Cotton, Capt. Will A. Hielscher, T/Sgt. Robert Sawatski and S/Sgt. Elroy
Wendland. It is hoped that this policy of sending personnel to Rest Camp will be
continued and the number of men increased.

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