Z SQUARE 7, A B-29 TRUE STORY

Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 23

Home
The Z Square 7 Crew
Z Square 7 Crew Families
Z Square 7 Crew Cemeteries.
Missing Air Crew Report
Z Square 7 Crew Military Funeral
Memorial Lt Eugene M. Thomas Jr (Marion, Al)
Memorial Lt Francis X. Glacken (Cambridge, MA)
Memorial Lt Norman B. Bassett (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)
Marcia Bassett McGrattan
Memorial Sgt George P. Demers (Lynn, MA)
Memorial Sgt George P. Demers (Lynn, MA)
Peter & Lillian Demers/Charlotte (Demers) Fiasconaro
Memorial Sgt Louis A. Dorio (Clarksville, VA)
HIRE OUR VETERANS!
POW-MIA-KIA Ceremony
500th Bomb Group, 73rd Wing Honor Roll
Bill Mauldin With Willie And Joe
Father John McBride
S/Sgt Kenneth O. Eslick with Photo Album
Sgt Jesse S. Klein. 41-13180
Frank Farr & Merseburg, Germany
"Lili Marlene" The Song!
"Lili Marlene" The B-17
"Lily Marlene" The B-24
"Lili Marlene" The B-24
Ivan Fail Introduction and "Long Before The Guns And Tanks."
Ivan Fail's "Tribute to the Queen"
American Battle Monuments Commission - Cemeteries
American Battle Monuments Commission - Memorials
NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL
THE MARINE CORPS WAR MEMORIAL (IWO JIMA )
KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL
VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL
M/Sgt Roy P. Benavidez, Vietnam Medal Of Honor
Frank Farr Poetry "November 2, 1944", "Old Men And The War", " Merseburg"
Some Pictures of World War 2
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Pages Introduction
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Crew Index
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 1
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 2
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 3
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 4
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 5
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 6
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 7
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 8
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 9
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Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 11
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 12
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 13
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 14
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 15
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 16
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 17
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 18
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 19
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 20
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 21
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 22
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 23
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 24
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 25
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B29 Superfortress
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B26 Marauder
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B25 Mitchell
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B24 Liberator
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B17 Flying Fortress
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - C87 Liberator Express
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - PBM-5 Mariner
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - A20 Havoc Attack Bomber
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - C47 Transport
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - P61 Black Widow
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - A26 Invader
GIVE OUR VETERANS JOBS!!
Ivan Fail's "The Tuskegee Airmen"
Airmen Medal Of Honor Memorial
Memorial Page #1
Memorial Page #2
Memorial Page #3
Memorial Page #4
Memorial Page #5
Memorial Page #6
The Navajo Code Talkers & Native American Medals Of Honor
Ivan Fail's "D Day, The Normandy Invasion"
B-29 Crew Positions & Specifications
About The Book
C. Clayton Thompson Bookseller
Ivan Fail's "When The Mustangs Came"
Contacts
Ivan Fail "The Eighteen Wheeler's Hymn"
Awards
Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building with photo album
Ivan Fail's "Against All Odds - Mission Complete"
Ford Tolbert by Sallyann
Ford Tolbert Pictures
A Tribute to Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, USMC, The Black Sheep Squadron
Lt Halloran Eulogy for Colonel Boyington
Omori POW Camp
Ivan Fail's "A Salute To Lt. Holguin"/ "Shoo Shoo Baby"
Great Bend, Kansas B-29 Memorial
General Lemay's biography including a B-29 nose art photo album
THE GENERAL AND MRS CURTIS LEMAY FOUNDATION
March 9 and 10, 1945 Over Tokyo
Lt "Hap" Halloran on March 10, 1945
General Earl Johnson
General Earl Johnson Biography
313th Bomb Wing Mining Missions
Lt Robert Copeland, copilot, Z Square 8
Pyote Bomber Base With A Photo Album
History of "Diamond Lil" With A Photo Album
History of "FIFI" With A Photo Album
"Hap" Halloran induction Combat Airman Hall of Fame
Blackie Blackburn with a photo album
Hap's Memorable Flight On FIFI
C. Douglas Caffey, A WW2 Veteran, Book Of Poetry
C. Douglas Caffey Collection Of Poetry
Page 1
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Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
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Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
Page 25
Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
Page 29
Page 30
Page 31
Page 32
Page 33
C. Douglas Caffey on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
C. Douglas Caffey With More on PTSD
C. Douglas Caffey Memorial Day Flying The Flag
C. Douglas Caffey Saying Goodbye To America
OUR VETERANS NEED WORK!
Pearl Harbor with Photo Album
The Pacific Theater
Battle of Saipan, Mariana Islands
Saipan Medals of Honor
Battle of Tinian, Mariana Islands
Tinian Medals of Honor
Battle of Guam, Mariana Islands
Guam Medals of Honor
Battle of Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima Medals of Honor
Cpl Ira Hayes, USMC
Battle of Okinawa
Okinawa Medals of Honor
Japanese Surrender
Navy Ships At Surrender Ceremonies
Ivan Fail's "The Saga Of The Superfortress"
Ivan Fail's "The Silent Sentries"
Last Page

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This A26 Invader, 43-22441, and crew were assigned to the 97th Squadron of the 47th Bomb Group. The plane crashed on April 23, 1945 in the Italy area. On July 1, 1949, the three crew members were buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Section E81-82.

 

1/LT Fassett, Walter J          Pilot      Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

2/LTFerree, Clark R Jr  Bomb/Nav.   Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

S/SGT Lenoir, John E      Gunner    Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

 

A statement by 1/LT John P. Conroy, Ass’t Operations Officer indicates the plane took off from Pisa Airport, Italy at 2145 hours scheduled to fly a night intruder mission in the area of LaSpezia, Cremona and Turin, Italy. At 2151 hours “Muffit 226,” which was the call sign for aircraft 43-22441, called the Sector Controller, “Cooler,” and asked for the position of “Brassneck 58,” a photo-reconnaissance aircraft. “Cooler” made the position of “Brassneck 58” to be north of bombline near LaSpezia. At 2205 hours the Sector Controller overheard “Muffit 226” calling “Brassneck 58.” No contact was made. At no time after take-ff did the Sector Controller make a fix on the position of aircraft 43-22441. As of this date, April 26, 1945, no further information has been received on the crew of this aircraft 43-22441.

 

Another statement by 1/LT Leonard H. Ward states on the night of April 23/24, 1945 he was tower officer on duty at the Pisa Airfield. At 2145 hours “Muffit 226,” which was aircraft 43-22441, called in to be cleared for take-off and clearance was granted for an immediate take-ff. No further contact was made with this aircraft by the tower.

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This B25 Mitchell, 44-29770, and crew were assigned to the 69th Squadron of the 42nd Bomb Group. The plane and all the crew were lost on May 2, 1945 when they crashed at Malinau, Borneo. On August 15, 1949, the crew was buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Section E119-120.

 

SGT Burnette, Charles     Radio   Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

2/LT Butler, William G   Copilot  Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

SGT Haugen, Harry E     Gunner Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

2/LT Morse, Henry G Nav/Bomb Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

CPL Pfau, Fred B   Engineer       Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

2/LT Rankin, Charles S Jr         Pilot      Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

 

42nd Bombardment Group

 

Constituted as 42nd Bombardment Group (Medium) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Trained with B-18, B-25, and B-26 aircraft. Patrolled the west coast during 1942. Moved to the Pacific theater, Mar-Apr 1943, and assigned to Thirteenth AF. Entered combat in Jun 1943, using B-25's and operating from bases in the Solomon Islands. Attacked Japanese airfields, personnel areas, gun positions, and shipping in the central Solomons. Engaged primarily in the neutralization of enemy airfields and harbor facilities on New Britain from Jan to Jul 1944, but also supported ground forces on Bougainville and attacked shipping in the northern Solomons and the Bismarcks. Later, beginning in Aug 1944, bombed airfields and installations on New Guinea, Celebes, and Halmahera, and flew photographic reconnaissance missions, while operating from bases in New Guinea and Morotai. Moved to the Philippines in Mar 1945. Attacked shipping along the China coast, struck targets in French Indochina, bombed airfields and installations in the Philippines, and supported ground operations on Mindanao. Also supported Australian forces on Borneo during May and Jun 1945, receiving a DUC for its preinvasion bombing of Balikpapan, 23-30 Jun. Brought its combat service to an end, Jul and Aug 1945, by attacking isolated Japanese units on Luzon. Ferried troops and equipment to Manila after the war. Moved to Japan in Jan 1946 as part of the occupation force. Inactivated in Japan on 10 May 1946.

  

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 This C47, 42-23705, “Shakes All Over,” and crew were assigned to the 57th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 375th Troop Carrier Group. The plane crashed on New Guinea on July 9, 1944 with no survivors. On January 23, 1950, four cew members were buried at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Section E258-259.

                  

1/Lt Davis, Marvin        Pilot    Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

2/Lt Williford, Walter H.  Copilot   Fort Sam Houston Nat’l Cemetery    

Cpl Garnot, Vincent A      Passenger       Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery  

T/Sgt Starks, Marshall P Jr   Engineer   Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

Cpl Bogle, Gent E    Asst Engineer         Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

Cpl Ebers, Charles L.         Radio    Manila American Cemetery

Sgt Schoff, E.W.             Passenger

 

 

 Mission History
Aircraft departed Saidor Airfield, New Guinea at 0337 to transport cargo and personnel to Nadzab, New Guinea.

 

Wreckage
The wreck was located at 7,400 ASL in Saidor Gap, with seven MIA's on board. First visited by US Army AGRS in 1948.

 

Richard Leahy adds:  "I visited a C-46 44-78490 not far from this wreck in the 1970s. This Sgt left an inscription on the main door (on the outside) of this aircraft to the effect that he was working for the AGRS and that he had recovered the human remains from this site in 1948. My guess that this same man also did a partial recovery on 42-23705 at around the same time."

 

MIA Case
Three of the seven MIA's on C-47 2-23705 were recovered prior to 1950. Cpl. Charles L. Ebers was interred at the big American War Cemetery in Manila in 1950. Cpl. Gent E. Bogle, Zachary Taylor and Tech. Sgt. Marshall P. Starks, Jr. were interred in the National Cemetery in Kentucky in 1950.

 

Richard Leahy reports:
"I visited the site courtesy of
CILHI, specifically U.S.Army Captain Paul Royal and Army anthropologist Alec Christienson. I guess that they took me along to show them where it was. The locals have made no reference to anyone visiting 42-23705 prior to our arrival on Sept. 18th. This means to me that all who were alive at that time have now gone."

 

Aircraft has painted on left hand side of forward nose section; X163. Under that is the word painted diagonally SHAKES then a large depiction of a fully clad woman, then the follow on from SHAKES, the words, ALL OVER. We counted 24 half inch (50 cal) Browning machine guns which I surmise were being taken to Nadzab for repair and return. They would have been removed from either P-47s and or A-20s and or B-25s. They were (are) all fixed guns. This information was sourced for me by a very well known Aviation Historian and author, Robert Piper."

 

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This B17 Flying Fortress, 42-107012, and crew were assigned to the 407th Squadron of the 92nd Bomb Group. On April 30, 1944, the plane was shot down by a German fighter over the mission target of Lyon, France and crashed nearby. Two members of the crew were buried on September 19, 1949 at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Section E136.

 

S/SGT Powers, Willian J        Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

S/SGT Wells, John E              Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

SGT Adams, George D. Jr       Epinal American Cemetery

SGT Angelillo, James J.            Long Island National Cemetery

1/LT Campbell, John C.   Pilot    Epinal American Cemetery

SGT Magnani, George F.              Epinal Amerucan Cemetery

SGT Wemeth, Harry W.

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This B25 Mitchell, 43-4213, and crew were assigned to the 83rd Squadron of the 12th Bomb Group. On August 19, 1944 the plane crashed after encountering rough weather and intervening clouds. They were last seen about 10 miles southeast of Rangamati (?), India. All the crewmen were killed-in-action. The crew was buried on May 14, 1949 at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Section E055. 

 

SGT Ferrier, Robert A   

S/SGT Henning, Lawrence A               

S/SGT Kostanko, Alexander L                

1/LT Meazell, James M,  

2/LT Villalonga, John F       

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This B26 Marauder, 42-95921, “Old Relic,” and crew were assigned to the 494th Squadron of the 344th Bomb Group. They were shot down by anti-aircraft over Germany on February 13, 1945. On August 24, 1949, three members of the crew were buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Section E131-132.

  

F/O Boylan, Neil W        Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

SGT Hester, Otha W         Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

2/LT Yeager, Hugh L Jr,  Pilot  Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

S/SGT Bloucher, Charles Woodrow

2/LT Forden, Robert John

 

                   344th Bombardment Group

 

Constituted as 344th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 31 Aug 1942. Activated on 8 Sep 1942. Equipped with B-26's and served as a replacement training unit. Moved to England, Jan-Feb 1944. Began operations with Ninth AF in Mar, attacking airfields, missile sites, marshalling yards, submarine shelters, coastal defenses, and other targets in France, Belgium, and Holland. Beginning in May, helped prepare for the Normandy invasion by striking vital bridges in France. On D-Day 1944 attacked coastal batteries at Cherbourg; during the remainder of Jun, supported the drive that resulted in the seizure of the Cotentin Peninsula. Bombed defended positions to assist British forces in the area of Caen. Received a DUC for three-day action against the enemy, 24-26 Jul 1944, when the group struck troop concentrations, supply dumps, a bridge, and a railroad viaduct to assist advancing ground forces at St Lo. Knocked out bridges to hinder the enemy's withdrawal through the Falaise gap, and bombed vessels and strong points at Brest, Aug-Sep 1944. Attacked bridges, rail lines, fortified areas, supply dumps and ordnance depots in Germany, Oct-Nov 1944. Supported Allied forces during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945, and continued to strike such targets as supply points, communications centers, bridges, marshalling yards, roads, and oil storage tanks until Apr 1945. Made training flights and participated in air demonstrations after the war. Moved to Germany in Sep 1945 and, as part of United States Air Forces in Europe, served with the army of occupation. Began training A-26 but continued to use B-26 aircraft. Redesignated 344th Bombardment Group (Light) in Dec 1945. Transferred, without personnel and equipment, to the US on 15 Feb 1946. Inactivated on 31 Mar 1946.

 

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Sgt Clarence Harris and Pvt Robert Bohlinger were members of Company E, 307th Infantry Regiment of the 77th Infantry Division. It appears that both soldiers were killed during the battle for Okinawa. On November 4, 1949, both soldiers were buried at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Section E171.

 

                       SGT Harris, Clarence R            5/17/1945

PVT Bohlinger, Robert J           5/20/1945

 

The 77th Infantry Division landed in Hawaii, 31 March 1944, and continued training in amphibious and jungle warfare. Elements began to leave Hawaii, 1 July 1944, for the amphibious assault on Guam. Attached to III Amphibious Force, the 77th made an assault landing on Guam, 21 July 1944. After taking over defense of the beachhead, the Division drove north to seize Mount Tenjo and effected junction with the 3d Marine Division, linking the northern and southern bridgeheads, 23-29 July. It continued to drive north, and dislodged the enemy from positions at Barrigada town and mountain, 4 August, resistance ending on the 8th. With Guam recaptured, the 77th sailed for New Caledonia, but plans were changed en route and it was directed to proceed to Leyte. The Division landed on the east coast of Leyte, 23 November 1944, and was attached to XXIV Corps, Sixth Army. After a short period of training and combat patrolling in the Corps' rear, 23 November-6 December, it landed at Ipil and fought up the east coast of Ormoc Bay to seize Ormoc, 10 December. Attacking north, astride Highway No. 2, the Division secured Valencia and the Libungao-Palompon road junction. Mopping up operations continued through January 1945 to 5 February 1945. The next combat assignment was Okinawa. In late March (26-29), the Division made 15 landings, securing Kerama Retto and Keise Shima for the assault on Okinawa. Riding at sea, 1-15 April 1945, it suffered casualties from enemy suicide attacks, - and prepared for the assault landing on Ie Shima. On 16 April 1945, the 77th landed on le Shims, captured the airfield, and engaged in a bitter fight for "Government House Hill" and "Bloody Ridge." It was in this operation that Ernie Pyle was killed. On 25 April, it left le Shims for Okinawa, relieving the 96th Division, 28 April 1945. Fighting its way slowly against extremely heavy Japanese resistance, the Division, drove to Shuri in conjunction with the 1st Marine Division, occupying it 29-31 May. In June the Division covered the right flank of XXIV Corps and "sealed" Japanese cave positions. In July the Division moved to Cebu, Philippine Islands, and prepared for. the invasion (later occupation) of Japan. The Division landed in Japan in October 1945 for occupation duty, and was inactivated a few months later, 15 March 1946.

 

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"Skerby"

This B24 Liberator, “Skerby,” 44-40245, and crew were assigned to the 567th Squadron of the 389th Bomb Group. The plane was lost on March 24, 1945 at Wesel, Germany just south of Devernack. Their mission was part of Operation Varsity which was in support of Operation Plunder, the push across the Rhine. On September 22, 1949, T/SGT Eric Vollbrecht was buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Section E157.

 

T/SGT Vollbrecht, Eric W        Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

T/SGT Little, Thomas C.        Ardennes American Cemetery

2/LT Oneil. Charles O. Jr.      Ardennes American Cemetery

  

This is a witness account:  “Aircraft 44-40245 was flying at eleven o’clock in relation to the aircraft in which I was flying. All of a sudden the aircraft nosed up, turned right, pulled up and then dove nose down into the ground. The plane was intact prior to hitting the ground, and as far as I could see, was not on fire. As soon as the aircraft nosed into the ground, it exploded and was completely enveloped in flames. I am quite sure it had dropped its supplies as the bomb bay doors were closed. I saw no one leave the wreckage.”

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This C47 Liberator Express, 43-16192, and crew were assigned to the 1st Air Cargo Re-supply Squadron or the Ninth Combat Cargo Squadron of the Third Combat Cargo Group. The aircraft was lost over Burma on January 23, 1945.Two members of the crew were buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery Section E174 on September 22, 1949.

 

 Capt Green, Jack T        Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery                                                                             

2/LT Stiquel, Paul J        Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

T/SGT Ahrens, Walter C.    National Honolulu Cemetery

SGT Black, Milton R.        

CPL Crane, Charles R.

CPL Tepiew, Arnold

CPL Scodino, Henry J.

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C47, Liberator Express

Combat Cargo Background

    

    When General Joseph Stilwell was ready to begin the retaking of Burma, his forces were to fight across the northern Burmese mountains to the village of Naga.  From there they would head down the Hukawng Valley toward the Japanese stronghold at Mogaung, then they would head to Myitkyina. At the same time Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, would attack Burma from China’s western mountainous border.  British General Orde Wingate and his "Chindits" were ready to begin their push into Burma with a goal of establishing permanent areas of occupation behind Japanese lines. British General William Slim was to bring his troops from Arakan, India into Burma.  The final objective of this three pronged attack was the town Myitkyina. All these operations were to be largely supplied by air-support. These forces were initially supplied by the 1st Air Commando Group, along with the 443rd Troop Carrier Group and the 177th wing of the Royal Air Force

 

    The Japanese were also preparing two offensives, one westward into India’s Imphal Plain and the other eastward into China.  With the allies were poised to attack in three directions, logistics and supply became the number one priority.  Air-supply units such as the ATC and CNAC where stretched to their limits.  Troop carrier units and Air Commando units in Theater were war-weary after their defeat in Burma.  Theater Commander Lord Louis Mountbatten, remembering a past promise from President Roosevelt, for air support, now asked for it.

 

    To realize the total recapture of Burma, roads would have to be built from the railheads in the Upper Assam Valley, India into central Burma.   Supplying this operation and other future operations, resulted in the creation of a new type of air-supply group, whose only purpose was to be air-resupply and supply ground units in a combat zone.  The new groups original specifications were to: (1) " .. carry ground troops and auxiliary combat equipment to effective locations in a combat zone", (2) " …maintain combat reinforcements, supply and resupply units in the combat zone", and (3) " … evacuate casualties and other personnel from such zones."   To this end a maximum of four (4) new cargo groups were planned.  Seeing that these new units were to be carrying cargo into the heart of the battle, the new units were called Combat Cargo Groups.

 

    The Combat Cargo Groups were to be self-contained groups, capable of being 100% operational and always ready to go at a moments notice.  To that end, each Combat Cargo Squadron was to have an Airdrome Squadron assigned with it.   Each Airdrome Squadrons mission was to supply all tasks, including everything (from cooking to aircraft maintenance), necessary for the Combat Cargo Squadron to be self-sufficient.  Both of these groups would function as one unit.  Each of the Combat Cargo Groups was to consist of four Squadrons, each with 25 aircraft (originally C-47's).  To fly these aircraft, 25 compete crews were assigned along with 25 extra Flying Officers.

 

    The 1st and 2nd  Combat Cargo Groups were officially authorized in April 1944, and a four month training period began in May 1944. The 1st Combat Cargo Group (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Combat Cargo Squadrons) was to be sent to the CBI theater on or about August 1944.   While the 2nd Combat Cargo Group (5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Squadrons) would be sent into the Pacific to support the scattered fighting there.  Men and material were assembled and the1st and 2nd Combat Cargo Groups began their training.

 

        Airdrome Squadrons were assigned to the Combat Cargo Group in the states.  The 1st Combat Cargo Group as assigned the 344th, 345th, 346th, and 347th Airdrome Squadrons.  The 2nd Combat Cargo Group was assigned the  336th, 337th, 338th, and 339th Airdrome Squadrons

 

    By late 1943 General Stilwell had now begun his campaign in northern Burma, while General Windgate had pushed deep into Burma and was setting up bases behind enemy lines.  The Japanese too began their campaign to capture the city of Impahl and the occupation of India.  Their success depended upon the capture of Imphal.  The Japanese managed to capture communication points around Imphal and laid siege to the city and the whole Imphal Plain.  They also surrounded General Slims army, thus preventing the third prong of the Allied offensive from beginning. If Imphal fell, the door to India was wide open for Japanese occupation.  Since no existing air supply groups were available anywhere in any Theater to help relieve the siege at Imphal, it was decided to create the 3rd  Combat Cargo Group (9th, 10th, 11th and 12th Combat Cargo Squadrons).  This group would skip the training then being given to the 1st and 2nd Combat Cargo Groups.   They would be deployed immediately and would return to the United States after the situation in Imphal was ended.  The group never returned to the United States for that training.  They remained in Asia until they were inactivated in 1946.  At the same time, the  4th Combat Cargo Group (13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Combat Cargo Squadrons) was ordered into training.

    

    It was obvious the new group would see action as soon as it arrived in theater.  Supplies, parts and equipment were immediately shipped to the CBI (China-Burma-India Theater).  Orders were issued on May 8, 1944 directing personnel to report to Morrison Field, West Palm Beach, Florida to form this new group under the code name of 'Bond Project' (Project 90752).  The official indication was that this was to be a short overseas tour involving cargo operations.  All men were initially assigned TDY, to the Air Transport Command (ATC).

 

    One hundred new C-47-A aircraft were delivered to Morrison Field along with 100 experienced multi-engine rated pilots, 100 experienced multi-engine rated copilots, one whom was my Dad, 2nd Lt. William J. Bielauskas, and with 75 additional Flying Officers as a reserve.   Each aircraft was assigned a crew chief and radio operator, plus a navigator who was on loan from the ATC.   When the Aircraft finished their overwater flights these navigators would return to the USA.  Crews were assembled and shakedown flights began.  To aid the aircraft during their long flight to India a large 500 gallon fuel tank was installed in the fuselage.  Briefings were given to the crews and passengers, including survival training, and lectures on disease control.  The lectures included among other things, malaria and venereal disease.  Orders were issued on May 19, 1944 creating the aircraft flights that would fly together to India.

 

         The new group flew via the South Atlantic route to India.  After arriving in Karachi, India, the crews and aircraft were assigned to the four squadrons (9th, 10th, 11th and 12th) of the 3rd Combat Cargo Group.  To determine which squadron each arriving aircraft and crew was to be assigned was easy, the first 25 aircraft went to the 9th Combat Cargo Squadron, the next 25 aircraft to the 10th Combat Cargo Squadron and so on.  Of the 100 aircraft and crews that left the states, 96 aircraft and crews safely reached the final destination.   The crews of the missing four aircraft all arrived safely in theater.  With the Group and Squadrons now formed, the crews were briefed for their final flights to Sylhet, India, via Acra, India.  Colonel Charles Farr was assigned the commander of this new group, the 3rd Combat Cargo Group, and he had much knowledge of supply tactics and was familiar with the China-India-Burma Theater after being Commander of the 443rd Troop Carrier Group in the CBI.  Initially the 3rd Combat Cargo Groups aircraft   were serviced by the 98th, 497th and 498th Air Service Squadrons.  The 3rd Combat Cargo Groups assigned Airdrome Squadron finally arrived in theater three (3) months after the group had begun flying combat missions.

 

3rd Combat Cargo Group, Troop Carrier Ties

 

         The 3rd CCG proved to be in invaluable asset to the CBI Theater.  When its job at Imphal and Kohemia was completed it was then decided not to send the 3rd CCG home to the states for training, the On-the-Job Training the Group had received in Combat was more than adequate and the Group remained in the CBI Theater until the end of the war.  The 3rd CCG did its job, and it did it well.  Through out their time in CBI the 443rd TCG and 3rd CCG Group flew together on many occasions, both in India and China thus keeping a tie between the two Commands.

 

     Today the heraldry of the of the four Combat Cargo Groups that flew in the CBI Theater during the Second World War, lives on in the Air Force Reserve.

  

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This B24 Liberator, 42-99802, and crew were assigned to the 736th Squadron of the 454th Bomb Group. The plane was lost on April 12, 1944 over Austria. Five members of the crew were buried at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Section E274-275.

 

 SGT Graham, Olon A            Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

2/LT Hall, Harry V                  Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

S/SGT McCauley, Ernest B           Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery               

2/LT Ward, Joe B.        Pilot            Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

S/SGT Casey, Paul F               Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

2/LT Baker, John N.

S/SGT Creason, Alvin L.        Springfield National Cemetery

S/SGT Tastad, Reuben S.

S/SGT Stoffer, George R.

                     

History

Established in mid-1943 as a B-24 Liberator heavy bomb squadron; trained under Second Air Force. Deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) in January 1944, being assigned to Fifteenth Air Force in Southern Italy.

 

Engaged in very long range strategic bombardment missions against enemy strategic targets in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Balkans until April 1945. Bombed aircraft factories, assembly plants, oil refineries, storage areas, marshalling yards, airdromes, and other objectives until the German Capitulation in May 1945.

 

Most of squadron was demobilized in Italy in May 1945; returning to United States with skeleton staff. Re-equipped and redesignated a B-29 Superfortress very heavy bomb squadron, and received new personnel. Began training under Second Air Force for planned deployment to the Western Pacific Area (WPA), however Japanese Capitulation in August led to inactivation of squadron in October.

 

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