PERIOD: July 1945


a) 14 April 1945, at Northwest Field

b) Mission to Petroleum Center at Kawasaki on 12-13 July.

Crew 28: Bailed out because of three runaway propellors shortly
after take-off
Missing or killed: First Lieutenant Milford A. Berry,
Airplane Commander; First Lieutenant K. Warren Rollins,
Navigator; Second Lieutenant Irving W. Ameringer, Radar
Operator; Sergeant Morton Finklestein, Flight Engineer;
Sergeant Robert E. Lynch, Radio Operator; Staff Sergeant
Harold I. Schaeffer, Right Scanner.
Killed: Sgt Phikop G. Tripp, Tail Gunner.

Crew 32: disappeared without trace during same mission.
Missing or Killed: First Lieutenant James C. Crim, Air-
plane Commander; First Lieutenant Richard W. Labadie,
Pilot; First Lieutenant Lester E. Farrer, Navigator;
First Lieutenant Ralph B. Wanger, Bombardier; Second
Lieutenant Robert E. Champ, Jr., Radar Operator; Corpor-
al Frederick L. Stumpf, Flight Engineer; Corporal Ken-
neth H. Seymour, Radio Operator; Corporal Charles L.
Beale,Left Scanner; Corporal Otha Luttrell, Right Scan-
ner; Corporal Gerald D. Bonne, Tail Gunner.

c) Negative

d) Negative

e)   1 July 1945:  327 Officers, 1,568 EM.
    31 July 1945:  327 Officers, 1,564 EM.

f)   1 July 1945:  43 B-29s.
    31 July 1945:  40 B-29s.

g) Two B-29s lost operationally.


CHAPTER                                                                       PAGE

A NEW LEADER ................................................................ 3

THE COMBAT RECORD ........................................................... 4

    A Summation ............................................................. 4

    First Results ........................................................... 5

    Maruzen ................................................................. 6

    Maruzen Revisited ....................................................... 6

    Utsube Revisited ........................................................ 7

    Kawasaki ................................................................ 8

    Kudamatsu Revisited ..................................................... 8

    Amagasaki ............................................................... 9

    Ube ..................................................................... 9

    Kawasaki - but another target ...........................................10

    Shimotsu ................................................................10

CASUALTIES ..................................................................12

    Crew 28 .................................................................12

    Crew 32 .................................................................12

THE OPERATIONAL RECORD ......................................................14

    In Retrospect............................................................14

    Navigation ..............................................................14

    Bomb Loads vs. Gasoline .................................................15

    Radar Bombing ...........................................................16

    The Gunnery Problem .....................................................18

    A New Method of Briefing ................................................19

COMBAT MAINTENANCE AND SUPPLY ...............................................21

    General Problems ........................................................21

    Engineering .............................................................21

    Radar Maintenance .......................................................24

    Radar Countermeasures ...................................................25

    Armament ................................................................25

    Ordnance ................................................................26

    Personnel Equipment .....................................................27

    Camera Section ..........................................................27

    Tech Supply .............................................................28

    Quartermaster Supply ....................................................28

    Motor Pool ..............................................................29

ADMINISTRATION AND MORALE ...................................................31

    A New Phase .............................................................31

    Construction ............................................................32

    Adjutant's Section and Unit Personnel ...................................32

    Mess Facilities..........................................................33

    Information and Education ...............................................34

    Improved Field Exchange .................................................35

    The Medical Section .....................................................36

    Ground Crew Briefings ...................................................36

BIOGRAPHICAL ................................................................37

    Richard W. Kline ........................................................37

PICTURES ....................................................................39

LIST OF DOCUMENTS (ORIGINAL ONLY) ...........................................49

DOCUMENTS (ORIGINAL ONLY) ...................................................51



      The greatest change in the in internal life of the 16th Bombardment Group
(VH) was announced simply and undramatically in the afternoon of 16 July.
Lt. Col. Castellotti, acting as Group Commander1 in the absence of Col. Gur-
ney who had returned to the United States on an emergency leave, called a
meeting of all officers at 1600 on that date.

      "As of 1330 this afternoon, I assumed command of this organization
permanently," Lt. Col. Castellotti announced. "Col. Gurney will not be back.

      "Where he is going, I cannot tell you. But I can tell you that we have
lost a hell of a fine officer. As far as his policies in training, organi-
zation and discipline are concerned, they shall remain the same."

      Lt. Col. Castellotti praised the work that had been performed by the
Group staff. "The job you have done in the short time you have been here
is marvelous," he siad, adding that he expected to receive the same cooper-
ation that had been tendered to Col Gurney.

      But he added that there was "some evidence" of friction between the
staffs of the Group and the 315th Bombardment Wing (VH). He warned that
he expected the "fullest cooperation" between the two organizations based
upon the realization that the Group was NOT a self-sufficient mechanism.

      Another important change announced at the meeting was the transfer
of Lt. Col Collier H. Davidson to the 315th Wing Operations and Training
section.2 His job as Group Operations officer was to be assumed by Major
Zed S. Smith III, who had been assigned to this organization on the same

      On the following day, Col. Gurney was assigned to 315th Wing Head-

* See Biographical Section, 1st installment of Group History


quarters4. But on 21 July, Lt. Col. Davidson was reassigned to the 16th
Group as Deputy Group Commander5, filling the vacancy left by Lt. Col.
Castellotti's assumption of command.


     A Summation

      By the end of July, the 16th Group could boast of 11 missions of
which nine had taken place during the month. The organization could now
look back upon a combat record from which a few general conclusions could
be drawn.

      All missions were flown on a wing basis and the exact achievements
of the Group were difficult to determine. Therefore, the narrative ac-
counts in this history assess damage only in terms of damage inflicted by
the entire wing.

      Every target attacked during the month was a petroleum target. Wing
officers informed the Group verbally that the wing had been assigned the
mission of knocking out the enemy's petroleum supply by pinpoint, radar

      Prior to a mission, Group briefing officers attended a meeting at
the wing where all pertinent information on the strike was thoroughly dis-
cussed. These meetings formed the basis for the briefing of the combat

      The Group, in July, flew 251 6 sorties and dropped 2,109.2 7 tons of
bombs on enemy targets. The bombing effectiveness was estimated at 94.4 8
per cent. The disposition of the bombs was as follows: 1,892 9 tons on brief-
ed targets; 70.7 10 tons on other targets and 146.5 11 tons jettisoned.


      The performance of Group aircraft was very good considering the dif-
ficulties encountered by the engineering section. Of the aircraft schedul-
ed to fly during the month, 96.4 12 per cent were airborne.

      Two aircraft were lost, taking with them 17 combat crew members.** Four-
teen aircraft were damaged 13-- most of them suffering only minor troubles from
anti-aircraft fire.

     First Results**

      On 6 July, the Group learned of the results of its first Empire bomb-
ing mission -- the attack on the Utsube River Oil Refinery at Yokkaichi on 26-
27 June. A photo-interpretation report revealed that 539,330 square feet, or
30 per cent, of the roof area in the target had been destroyed or damaged.14

      The units receiving the heaviest damage, according to the report, were:
the hydrogenation units; the reported tetraethyl lead unit; the possible
reported oil drum manufacturing unit; the probably by-products processing
unit and an unidentified unit related to the refining process. In addition,
ten small by-products tanks and one large crude oil storage tank were de-

      The results of the second mission, which had bee flown against the
Nippon Oil Refinery at Kudamatsu on 29-30 June, were not so good. In fact,
the total damage to the target was estimated at five per cent.

      Photo-interpretation revealed that a refinery unit convering about
45,000 square feet had been destroyed, together with two small storage type
buildings and one small by-products tank.15

*  See Chapter on Casualties on Page 12.
** See June installment of history for
    narrative report of these missions.



      On the night of 2 July, the Group, together with other units of the
315th Wing, attacked the Maruzen Oil Refinery at Shimotsu, one of the most
important petroleum targets in Japan.16 Of 20 Group aircraft scheduled for
the mission, 19 were airborne and all bombed the primary target. Other
groups supplied 21 airplanes for the mission.

      Only meager, inaccurate flak was encountered and no effective search-
lights were seen. Six enemy aircraft were sighted by they offered no re-

      Returning crew members brought back accounts of "tremendous explo-
sions" in the targe area and "black, breathing smoke" arising to 10,000
feet. They were optimistic and expressed the belief that they would not
have to return to the target.

      But photo-reconnaissance later demonstrated that only 10.35 per cent
of the target had been damaged.17 Meanwhile, another mission against the same
target had already been run.

     Maruzen Revisited

      On the night of 6-7 July, the groups of the 315th Wing revisited the
Maruzen Oil Refinery18 for what was to prove their first great triumph. The
16th Group, lead personally by Colonel Gurney, supplied 31 aircraft for the
60-plane attack.

      No aircraft were lost and crew members returned with accounts of flames
so intense that they "burned a hole through the cloudss" over the target area.
Reconnaissance proved that they were correct and that the Maruzen Oil Refin-
ery was destroyed by radar pinpoint bombing which equalled any pinpoint


visual bombing ever performed in this theater.

      Damage to the total roof area of the plant was estimated at 79.1
per cent and damage to the tank storage area at 88.5 per cent.19 One out
of six refinery units escaped damage but all other installations, includ-
ing two bridges connecting different sections of the plant, were either
damaged or wiped out.

      Only a few inaccurate flak bursts were reported and again the en-
emy fighters that were seen did not attack. No searchlights succeeded in
coning Group aircraft.

     Utsube Revisited

      The Utsube River Oil Refinery came in for its second pasting on the
night of 9-10 July.20 The 16th Group supplied 29 aircraft for this mission
and two were forced to land at Iwo Jima on the return trip.

      The mission was notable for offering the first exchange of fire with
the enemy. Lt. Maurer's B-29 was attacked by an enemy fighter which came
in firing and did not break off the attack until he had pressed into a very
close range. The tail gunner on the B-29 fired approximately 125 rounds at
the Japanese interceptor but made no claims.

      Other enemy fighters made passes at our aircraft on the same night
but did NOT open fire. Flak was meager to moderate and one B-29 was hit,
suffering a small hole in the vertical stabilizer. Searchlights worked ef-
fectively over the target and coned several bombers.

      Photo-reconaissance later revealed that the refinery was addition-
ally damaged to the extent of 20 per cent of its roof area.19 The greatest
amount of destruction was in the tank storage area.



      On the night of 12-13 July, the 315th Wing attacked the Kawasaki
Petroleum Center, located between Tokyo and Yokahama in the most heavily
defended area of Japan.22 The 16th Group provided 27 aircraft for the
strike and two were lost -- one ditching north of Rota and the fate of the
other remaining unknown at the date of this writing.

      Despite the heavy defenses surrounding the target, anti-aircraft
was meager and inaccurate and only a few, very unagressive, fighters
were seen. It was thought that the heavy cloud coverage over the Empire
hampered the enemy's efforts to fight back.

      Total damage to the Petroleum Center was later estimated at 27.6
per cent of the total roof area.23 The greatest amount of damage was in-
flicted upon the warehouse area belonging to the Standard Vacuum Oil Co.
and the Rising Sun Petroleum Co. and to the refining area of the Nippon
Oil Co. The "Center" was a joint project shared by the three companies.

     Kudamatsu Revisited

      The second attack against the Nippon Oil Refinery at Kudamatsu
was made on the night of 15-16 July.24 The 16th Group furnished 30 aircraft
for this strike of which one was a weather ship that bombed the Ube Coal
Liquefaction Company after performing its mission of sending back a wea-
ther broadcast.

      Enemy opposition to this attack was slight. Flak was reported as
meager to nil and three Japanese fighters made passes at our B-29s but
did not open fire. There were no losses but three bombers were forced to
return to Northwest Field without bombing the target because of mechani-


cal difficulties.

      The cumulative effect of the two missions left the target vitru-
ally destroyed or damaged of 85 per cent of its original oil tank capa-


      The next mission was performed on 19-20 July against the Nippon Oil
Refinery and Tank Farm at Amagasaki, located between Osaka and Kobe in a
heavily defended area.26 The 16th Group supplied 29 aircraft for this mis-
sion and all bombed their target.

      Despite the heavy flak potential in the area, the bombers survived
safely and all returned to base. There was a considerable amount of anti-
aircraft fire but it was poorly directed and, in the main, inaccurate.

      Photo-reconnaissance revealed that 48 structures had been destroy-
ed or damaged in the raid, including a major portion of the synthetic pro-
duction facilities.27 But the petroleum refinery was almost untouched.


      The Ube Coal Liquefaction Co. at Ube, on 22-23 July provided the
next target.28 This was an important production center and the 16th Group
provided 30 aircraft for the mission of which 26 reached and bombed the objective.

      Enemy defenses around this target were light and no damage was suf-
fered, although two aircraft were forced to land at Iwo Jima on the return
trip. Two B-29s aborted and returned to base early and two others bombed
targest of opportunity on the Japanese mainland.

      In this strike, 31 structures were damaged but a considerable part


of the refinery was left in operations.29

     Kawasaki-But Another Target

      On the night of 25-26 July, the 16th Group encountered the tough-
est opposition of its combat career up to that time. The mission was
directed against the Mitsubishi-Hayama Refinery Complex at Kawasaki30 and
the Group was scheduled to provide 32 aircraft for the operation.

      The final tally showed that 29 Group aircraft attacked the primary
target and one bombed a target of opportunity. One airplane was scrat-
ched and another aborted after take-off.

      Anti-aircraft ranged from moderate to intense and five Group air-
planes were hit. All five returned to base suffering only minor damage.
Three enemy aircraft made passes but one did not open fire and none in-
flicted damage.

      The defenders of Kawasaki put on a first class fireworks display
with rockets and at least two fiery balls hanging in the air. Searchlight
activity was intense as the Japanese took full advantage of a clear night.

      The petroleum installation, one of the four largest in Japan, was
destroyed or damaged to the extent of 34 per cent of its total storage
tank capacity and 17 structures were destroyed or damaged.31


      The final mission for the month took place on the night of July 28-
29 and was directed against the Shimotsu Oil Refinery at Shimotsu.32 The
Group was scheduled to provide 25 aircraft but four were scratched at the
last minute and no substitutes were available.

      Opposition was practically nonexistent despite a few enemy fighters


which made passes but did not open fire. Anti-aircraft fire was meager
and generally inaccurate but a few close bursts were encountered.

      Crew members were optimistic about the results and said that fires
started by the attack were the brightest yet encountered. Their optim-
ism was justified by the reconnaissance report which showed that 75 per
cent of the tank capacity; 90 per cent of the gasometer capacity and
69 per cent of the roof area had been destroyed.33 The Shimotsu Oil Refin-
ery had been erased from the priority target list.



     Crew 28

      The 16th Group suffered its first casualties on the night of 12-13
July while it was attacking the Petroleum Center at Kawasaki. The first
men to be lost were on Crew 28, commaded by First Lieutenant Milford A.

      Shortly after take-off, Number one propellor began to run away and
would not respond to the feathering button. When Lt Berry attempt-
ed to turn to head back for base, he encountered similar trouble with Num-
ber three and four propellors.34

      The crew was give the order to bail out but only three were rescu-
ed. The body of the tail gunner, Sgt. Philip G. Tripp, was recovered the
next morning. As his parachute was unopened and he was burned about the
hands and face, it was assumed that he had been unable to leave the air-

      The rescued: Second Lieutenant James Trivette, Pilot; First Lieu-
tenant Rex E. Werring Jr., Bombardier; Sergeant Clarence N. Nelson, Left

      The missing: First Lieutenant Berry, Airplane Commander; First
Lieutenant K. Warren Rollings, Navigator; Second Lieutenant Irving W. Amer-
inger, Radar Operator; Sergeant Morton Finklestein, Flight Engineer; Ser-
geant Robert E. Lynch, Radio Operator; Staff Sergeant Harold I. Schaeffer,
Right Scanner.35

     Crew 32

      The fate of Crew 32, commanded by First Lieutenant James C. Crim, was


completely unknown. they took off for the Kawasaki mission and have not
been heard of to this date.

      The missing: First Lieutenant James C. Crim, Airplane Commander;
First Lieutenant Richard W. Labadie, Pilot; First Lieutenant Lester E.
Farrer, Navigator; First Lieutenant Ralph B. Wanger, Bombardier; Second
Lieutenant Robert E. Champ, Jr., Radar Operator; Corporal Frederick L.
Stumpf, Flight Engineer; Corporal Kenneth H. Seymour, Radio Operator;
Corporal Charles L. Beale,Left Scanner; Corporal Otha Luttrell, Right
Scanner; Corporal Gerald D. Bonne, Tail Gunner.36



     In Retrospect

      Upon the basis of the 11 missions that had been run, key personnel
of the Group were able to draw some general conclusions on operational pro-
blems. Every section now had a fund of experience upon which it could draw.

      Lt. Col. Davidson, in an interview for the history, summed up the pro-
blems which had been encountered and, for the most part, solved. Most of
these problems, he pointed out, centered around the fact that stateside
training had been performed on a squadron basis whereas the combat missions
were being performed on a wing basis.

      "The main problems of the air crews centered around the development
of coordination and cooperation in flying as a group with other groups,"
he said. "Flying back in the states was performed on a squadron--or even
an individual--basis."

      He listed six specific problems of the early flights:

      (a) Landing at proper intervals on the runway.

      (b) Proper taxi procedure on the runway.

      (c) Discipline in taking off at proper 30-second intervals.

      (d) Discipline in flying over the target as briefed.

      (e) Taking off with heavy loads on relatively strange runways.

      (f) Navigation by Loran.


      Loran navigation was one problem which confronted the organization
as soon as it began flights to Japan. Group navigators had received little



or no training in the system while they were in the United States.

      The group had been issued Loran charts during the early stages of
its training but at that period the requisite stations for their use had
not been established. Furthermore, synthetic trainers had not been avail-
able, either at Fairmont Army Air Field or at Borinquen Field in Puerto

      But Loran navigation was extremely important in negotiating the vast
distance of the Pacific over which the Group must fly to reach its targets
on the Japanese islands. Therefore, Maj. Ammerman, Group Staff Navigator,
instigated a program to thoroughly familiarize all crew navigators with the

      Loran charts were available and classrooms were set up in tents. By
the end of July, there were only two navigators who had not taken and pass-
ed proficiency checks in the operation of the system and they were to be
checked out early the following month.

     Bomb Loads Vs. Gasoline

      The heavy bomb loads assigned to the stripped aircraft of the Group
also caused considerable concern. A policy was established whereby a B-29
on its first Empire strike would carry 27 X 500 lb GP, on its second and
third strikes 32 X 500 lb GP and from there on 36 X 500 lb GP.

      To offset these heavy bomb loads, 6,785 gallons of gas were allow-
ed for the aircraft carrying 27 X 500 lb bombs. Those carrying 32 X 500 and
36 X 500 were loaded with 6,485 gallons. A proposal was considered and tried
of reducing the fuel load to 6,285 gallons for a 36 X 500 bomb load but it


was discarded after two missions.

      Those heavy loads required considerable care on the part of air-
plane commanders but they managed successfully to get their B-29s off the
ground and into the air.


      Discussing the various difficulties, Lt. Col. Davidson said:

      "All of those problems have been licked. They were problems only
because this organization did not fly together as a group in the states."

      He cited as an additional problem the need for a considerable a-
mount of radar training after the Group had arrived on Guam. During the
training period at Fairmont and Borinquen, the organization had lacked
sufficient maintenance personnel to keep the APQ-7 in constant operation.
Therefore, radar operators did not receive all the experience that was de-

      "For people who have had next to no radar bombing experience, our
first few missions were very good," Lt. Col. Davidson said. "At Maruzen*
we actually outdid ourselves. Right now our bombing is good and we are
doing a good professional job. The only thing we need to bring ourselves
up to A-1 condition is more experience and we are getting that every three

      Capt. Redfield, Group Staff Radar Operator, said that the main pro-
blem encountered had centered around lack of experience with bombing. Very
few radar operators had ever dropped bombs before coming to this theater of
operations, he pointed out. "And the few who had dropped bombs had dropped
*  See narrative account of Maruzen Mission on Page 6


10 bombs from a B-24 instead of a B-29," he added.

      "So at first, due to lack of experience, we did not always kill
drift too well and teamwork was not too good," he said. "But now that
we are past the first few missions, we are settling down to steady, com-
petent work."

      Captain Redfield said that in two respects combat use of the APQ-7
had proven less difficult than had been anticipated in the United States.
Group Training had been based on the assumption that bombing would take
place at altitudes of 30,000 feet.

      Actual operation had demonstrated that use of the APQ-7 at extreme-
ly high altitudes was hampered by low temperatures. Therefore, the radar
section was somewhat relieved by decisions to bomb from 16,000 feet or less.

      But the tortuous nature of the Japanes coast line proved even more
helpful than the medium and low bombing altitudes. Practically every tar-
get selected for the Group proved to be highly distinctive--giving a good
radar scope presentation.

      "We can do our best synchronizing at point where land contrasts
with water," Capt. Redfield said. "All of our targets have been coastal
targets and because of the distinctive Japanese coastline, it is usually
easy to determine our location when coming into the Empire."

      Despite maintenance difficulties*, the radar scope camera had prov-
ed an invaluable instrument, he continued. Originally, it had been con-
sidered merely an aid in training radar operators to identify their tar-

*  See section on Cameras in Maintenance Chapter on Page 27.


      But shortly after the organization arrived on Guam, the 315th Wing
Photo Interpretation section was given an opportunity to exploit a techni-
que of plotting radar bomb tracks. In effect, this consisted of determin-
ing the course of an aircraft over a target by study of scope photos which
were taken during the bomb run.

      There was considerable skepticism as to the accuracy of this techni-
que but the skepticism was quickly dispelled after a few missions. In every
instance, predictions as to bombing accuracy made on the basis of the radar
bomb plots were proven by actual damage assessment photographs.

      This technique solved the problem of determining the course but left
unsolved the problem of determining range. Experiments were begun with a
tiny light which would show up in the scope photographs as an exclamation
point when bombs were released but early results of this device were incon-

      To ensure accuracy under conditions of radar bombing, a standard pro-
cedure was established for target study prior to each mission. Regular
classes were scheduled for each target and conducted by Capt. Redfield and
Capt. J. O. Clark, S2 Target Officer.

      All radar operators and bombardiers were required to attend these
classes. The target and all possible checkpoints that might show up in
a radar scope were thoroughly discussed and the crew members present were
tested by having them draw from memory maps of the target area.

     The Gunnery Problem

      The Group was fortunate during the course of its first 12 missions
in that Japanese fighter pilots proved singularly unagressive. Only three
were reported as having fired on Group aircraft and only one was sufficient-
ly accurate to inflict damage. In the latter case, the damage was minor and


no one was wounded.

      It was evident that the enemy was unaware of the limited defenses
of the stripped B-29 as he attempted to take no advantage of this factor.
Only one attack was made in a region not covered by the tail gun. But Lt.
Meahger, Group Gunnery Officer, pointed out that "if the Japanese find out
that we are stripped down, we may suffer some losses."

      The inadequate performance of the APG-15* was the greatest problem
faced by the gunnery section. As the instrument refused to perform proper-
ly on mission after mission, tail gunners felt a growing lack of confidence
in its capabilities.

      "This lack of confidence will have to be combatted once that set is
in operation," Lt. Meagher said. "The set would give our gunners a great
advantage over the enemy in night encounters if we could only solve the
maintenance problem.

      It was believed that part of the difficulties encountered with the
APG-15 were due to lack of knowledge on the part of the gunners. Therefore,
a series of classes were scheduled by Capt. Lawernce J. Israel, Group Elec-
tronics Officer, on the operation of the set while in the air.

      There were no problems involved in the operation of the guns. The
first 10 missions in which the Group engaged resulted in an operating ef-
ficiency of 96 per cent.

     A New Method of Briefing

      The 16th Group was the first in the wing to have the U-V method of
briefing installed. As described in last month's history, this consisted
of the use of ultra-violet lights and flourescent paint which could be clear-

*See section on Radar in Maintenance Chapter on Page 24.


ly seen under conditions of total darkness.

      The briefing method was greeted enthusiastically by the crews despite
the heat caused by the necessity of sealing doors and windows to shut out
the light. They said it was considerably simpler to concentrate on the in-
formation presented by the new method.



     General Problems

      The difficulties of maintenance on guam soon resoved themselves in-
to two major problems--the climate and nature of the island and the irregu-
larity of deliveries of spare parts. Constant improvisation was required
to meet conditions which could not possibly have been anticipated during
the training period in the United States.

      The dampness and heat required continual checking for rust and mold.
And the hard coral, just a few inches under the top soil, produced some un-
expected complications.

      A considerable amount of rain fell during the month and the area
could, at times, be described as a sea of mud. Roads were either covered
with an inch of slime or submerged under water.

      Problems of supply became less acute as deliveries to the island in-
creased. In general, this could probably be traced to the fact that back
orders were beginning to stream in. Nevertheless, there were still short-
ages which were critical.

      Despite these problems, maintenance and supply managed to keep the
Group aircraft in the air and were able to meet commitments.


      A maintenance problem which caused considerable concern was an epidem-
ic of engine backfires which had not been encountered during training in the
United States. The situation became so acute that a special procedure for
checking engines was adopted.

      Captain Lewis D. Town, Acting Group Combat Maintenance Officer, in
an interview for the history, described backfires as a "dangerous condition."


He siad they "cause considerable internal damage to the engines and induc-
tion fires."

      "The cause is mechanical difficulties which do not show up during
ground operation," Captain Town siad. "After a reported backfire, inspec-
tion may reveal several sources of trouble, namely sticking or warped val-
ves or pistons burnt due to detonation, busted push rods, cam followers dam-
aged, ignition troubles such as spark plug points welded together or burned
out, bad distributers or bad magnetos and carburetor trouble."

      Under the standard operating procedure which was established, Captain
Town personally met every returning aircraft and questioned airplane com-
manders on the incidence of backfires. Where a backfire was reported, a care-
ful check was made of the engine.

      The incidence of backfires was reduced at least 50 per cent by this
procedure but the problem still persisted. Major Walker, Group Flight Test
Enginer, said there was a theory that the climate was responsible for the
condition. He added that it was a factor encountered by all tactical air
force organizations on Guam.

      Captain Town said that the engineering section lacked a certain a-
mount of information on Group aircraft because it had not pulled the first
25-hour inspection at Herrington, Kansas. He expressed the opinion that some
of the difficulties might have been avoided had the Group been granted full
responsibility for the B-29s as soon as they were delivered.

      Fortunately, no induction fires were started by the engine backfires
and group engineering personnel said this was almost miraculous. They ex-
plained that there were few instances in which a backfire did not lead to a
dangerous situation.


      The section also discovered that the heavy rains which fell on Guam
were invariably followed by magneto drops. Tests disclosed a drop in en-
gine efficiency after each heavy shower.

      This problem was solved by the simple expedient of running up the
engines after each rain. The practice was adopted as a standard operating

      But the difficulties presented by hard, unsurfaced coral were not
so easily solved. For a considerable period of time, the only black top
on Northwest Field was on the flight strip.

      The coral cut tires and hard chuncks kicked up by the airplane wheels
damaged the surface of the radar wing. The damage required constant main-
tenance and the only apparent solution was the application of black top to
parking areas and to the apron. But black top would not be available un-
til August.

      The engineering section labored under the handicap of insufficient,
and in some cases inadequate, equipment. Captain Town said there was an
"acute" shortage of maintenance stands. The Group was allowed one and one-
half per airplane and he said that at least three per aircraft were needed.

      But an even more pressing need, he explained, was the M-5 mainten-
ance stand which was designed especially for maintaining the B-29. The
Group had only one of these stands and a minimum need, he siad, was two
per airplane. He added that he had been unable to learn whether this item
of equipment was authorized for the organization.

      One unxpected shortage was a tug for towing trailers and other equip-
ment around the line. No tugs were authorized for the Group so jeeps and


other unsuitable conveyances were pressed into service.

     Radar Maintenance

      The diffuculties of maintaining the APG-15 were intensified during
the month because the electronics section lost a major portion of its per-
sonnel. In the United States, 15 men had been borrowed from the radar
countermeasures section to maintain the set.

      It was decided to return nine of the 15 men to RCM work as the need
for countermeasures against Japanese radar became pressing. The remaining
six were assigned to a schedule of classes which left them little time for
maintenance work on the APG-15.

      The classes were conducted, on a wing basis, by Dr. Vance J. Holdam,
of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who had been the designing en-
gineer on the APG-15. He was brought to the theater to solve the mainten-
ance difficulties of the set which had been encountered by every group in
the 315th Wing.

      Dr. Holdam launched a series of experiments to determine the source
of the trouble. He expressed the opinion that in at least a few cases there
had been poor installation of the set at the modification center.

      Captain Israel set up a standard alignment procedure which imporved
the efficiency of the APG-15 to a certain extent but again this did not
solve the problem. The shortage of maintenance men made it impossible to
determine the extent of the improvement.

      Maintenance of the APQ-7 was considerably more satisfactory and con-
sisted, to a large extent, of improving the operation of the set. By a
careful aligment procedure, the range of the instrument was increased from
60 to 87 miles.


      Experiments with various types of dope and shellac finally produc-
ed an answer to the weathering which had damaged the radar wing. The elec-
tronics section doped airplane fabric on the leading edge and this offered
adequate protection.

      The heavy rains complicated maintanance considerably. Practically
all small parts were subject to deterioration and had to be stored in a
heated box.

     Radar Countermeasures

      During the early part of the Group's history on Guam, the RCM sec-
tion had been almost inactive. Its personnel was assigned to duties on
other radar projects--particularly maintenance of the APG-15.

      But missions over the Empire demonstated the need for adequate
countermeasures against Japanese radar controlled searchlights. Toward the
end of the month, the section was put to work on the problem.

      Up to that point, the only countermeasure which had been employed
was the dispensing of "rope" by hand over the target area. In a few in-
stances, crew chiefs had installed "home made" dispensers in their air-

      The RCM section obtained and began to install the type A-1 chaff
dispenser. In addition, it made plans for installing radar jammers--
either the APT-1, the APQ-2 or the ARQ-8. The latter set had been design-
ed especially for use in the Pacific and the other two had been used in


      During the last 10 days of the month, the armament section received
an adequate supply of badly needed equipment. This included enough B-7


shackles to equip 36 aircraft and 50 C-6 bomb hoists.

      The Group, during its early operations, had been equipped with the
B-10 shackle which the armament section considered unsatisfactory. It
could not be used at all with incendiary bomb loads and Captain Louis No-
vak, Group Armament Officer, believed that it left far too many bombs of
other types hanging after bomb release.

      Only a few C-6 hoists had been available and a large percentage of
these were continually undergoing repairs. For a while, the section had
come close to facing the arduous task of cranking bombs into the bomb bays
by hand.

      Captain Novak said there was a "critical" shortage of bombsight
maintenance personnel but that no relief ws in sight for at least a mon-
th. He said he needed 15 men for the job and had only nine.

      In addition, he said, the section needed an air conditioned vault
for the storage of bombsights. The vault had been built and an air con-
ditioner obtained but personnel was lacking to install and maintain the


      The ordnance section encountered few major problems and spent most
of the month making improvements to its equipment and area. There was suf-
ficient personnel available to undertake quite a bit of experimentation.

      The metal tracks upon which bombs were placed prior to loading in
the bomb bays proved heavy and fatiguing to handle. Therefore, wooden
tracks were built which proved fully serviceable and far less tiring to
work with.


      A few minor modifications were installed on the bomb loading trucks
including a guard to prevent men from mashing their fingers under the rol-
lers on the overhead trolley.

     Personal Equipment

      Lack of adequate storage facilities continued to plague the person-
al equipment section. Tentage did not offer sufficient protection against
moisture for parachutes and Mae Wests and there were several instances of
deterioration despite the most careful supervision.

      There was no indication that more adequate facilities would be pro-
vided in the near future even though the section had been promised a stor-
age quonset.

      One unexpected problem was the use of first aid kits, stored in the
aircraft, by line maintenance personnel. Mechanics suffering from minor
cuts found it more convenient to open one of the kits for its bandaids and
iodine swabs than to report to the dispensary--a considerable distance from
the line.

      First aid equipment was provided in the engineering office but even
that did not solve the problem as the parking area was quite some distance
from the office.

     Camera Section

      The problems of the camera section centered around maintenance of
the O-5 Radar Scope Camera--a recent development. No one in the section
had even seen a model before leaving the United States and no tech orders
could be located.

      Lt. Fred Graham, Group Photo Officer, expressed the opinion that the


camera was completely unsatisfactory and would never be efficient even
though certain modifications might improve its operation. He recommend-
ed use of another type of camera, such as a modified 16-mm motion pic-
ture machine.

      The O-5 scope camera, he explained, depended upon perfect syn-
chronization of 11 electric relays--a difficult mainenance problem under
overseas conditions. Furthermore, he added, the film gate had a bad tend-
ency to jam when emulsion swelled in the heat of the weather.

      The section had devised a few modifications, he said, but none had
proved sufficient to solve the major maintenance problems.

     Tech Supply

      The tech supply section found itself unable to obtain needed quan-
tities of certain spare parts. It could not meet the requirements of set-
ting up a 10-day supply level.

      The principal shortages were in small but vital items. They includ-
ed 1/16" cotter pins, sump plug gaskets, two amp fuses, bulbs for bomb re-
lease lights and bulbs for tail lights.

     Quartermaster Supply

      For the first time since it had been on the island, the quarter-
master supply section was able to draw its full allowances of office equip-
ment. Deliveries to Guam had increased and the increase was reflected
down to the groups.

      It was planned to close down the utilities section at the end of
the month. This section had served a useful purpose when the Group was
in a construction phase and some central pool was needed for lumber, paint
and other construction materials.


      Lt. Willson, Group Quartermaster Supply Officer, said he planned
to divide the remaining lumber and paint equally between the Officers
Mess, the Enlisted Men's club and the theater. These three projects had
been proposed and construction would probably begin the following month.

      A change was made in the laundry setup during the month. The
quartermaster laundry assigned the Group a quota of eight men to a bar-
racks bag. Lt. Willson pointed out that this would make the laundry easi-
er to handle for his section which was responsible for picking up the bags
and delivering them to the laundry, but that it could also lead to con-
siderable confusion.

     Motor Pool

      The motor pool encountered a series of difficulties which could be
traced directly to the climate of Guam. In most cases, the problems had
to be solved by a trial and error method.

      One of the most serious of these involved the oil level to be main-
tained in gear boxes. It was soon discovered that the level which had been
mnaintained in the United States caused wheel seals to burst on Guam.

      The oil expanded because of excessive heat and the omnipresent mud
clogged vent holes. Under such circumstances, something had to give and
the wheel seals were the weakest part.

      This would not have been serious in the United States where wheel
seals could easily be replaced. But there was an acute shortage of repla-
cements on Guam.

      Lt. Whitman, Group Transportation Officer, consulted organizations
which had been stationed on Guam for a considerable period of time. Upon


their advice, he lowered the oil level and the problem was solved.

      Batteries were also seriously affected by the climate. The motor
pool voltage regulators were set according to stateside specifications.
Under climatic conditions on Guam, the batteries overcharged and acid
leaked out on the plates speeding up the corrosion process.

     Corporal Rober Mayhew, a motor pool mechanic, solved this pro-
blem by improvision a voltage regulator out of a hacksaw blade and a coil
spring. His device permitted voltage to be set for any desired need.

      The tropical heat caused flexible tubing on mufflers to burst
and operation of vehicles was a noisy process. The motor pool studied
various diagrams and eventually devised flexible tubing out of old bomb
fuse cans.

     Adequate maintenance of tires presented a very serious problem--
especially as replacements were hard to get. The heat and bad roads caus-
ed tires to burst frequently and, since they were made of synthetic rub-
ber, they could be irreparably ruined if a vehicle ran even 20 yards on
a flat tire.



     A New Phase

      The month of July was characterized by Major Hopsak, Group Execu-
tive Officer, as "the end of the construction phase and the beginning of
the operational phase" of Group life. It is in that light that most of
the administrative and morale problesm should be considered.

      The Group, upon its arrival at Northwest Field, had been greeted
by an expanse of almost virgin jungle. As has been noted before, the
only construction that had been unertaken prior to its arrival was the
erection of two latrines and the clearing of a relatively small area.

      For two and one-half months, Group personnel were absorbed almost
completely in a construction program which, in view of limited facilitities
and lack of trained workmen, presented serious difficulties. Every activ-
ity was dominated by the necessity of creating the minimum facilities for
operation as a tactical unit.

     This meant that men were diverted from their normal duties, given
a hammer, saw, a handfull of nails and a blueprint and told to go to work.
The effect on morale was depressing as very few were adequately trained in
construction work.

      But by the middle of July practically all the major construction
had been completed and meanwhile the Group had become operational. Many
men had already been transferred back to their normal duties and others
were bing returned as rapidly as possible.

      The organization was able to sit back and survey prefabricated
barracks, quonset huts, mess halls and administrative buildings which
had been completed and were already in use. As a result, it was possi-


ble to plan leisure time activities and to relax from the former strict
regime of work.


      Plans were drawn up and submitted for the construction of an Of-
ficers' club, and Enlisted Men's club and a theater. These were to be
built from scrap lumber and dunnage and the material remaining from the
utilities section of supply was to be divided equally between the three

      The theater had become a necessity as motion picture performances
in the outdoor arena were hampered night after night by heavy rains.
Plans for the two clubs were selected from a series submitted by aspir-
in Group architects. All were to be built by the officers and men in
their off-duty time.

     Adjutant's Section and Unit Personnel

      The basic administrative sections of the organization functioned
normally during the month and there were few untoward incidents. A 20th
Air Force inspection team examined the books and files on the last few
days but their report has not been submitted at this writing.

      Officer evaluation forms were submitted on 11 July and 25 officers
were recommended for Regular Army commissions. On 20 July, 35 officers
were recommended for promotion.

      The unit personnel section was made responsible for submitting re-
commendations for citations and awards on on July 12, 19 and 26, Air
Medals were recommended for 354 officers and enlisted men who had com-
pleted the required number of missions. In addition, 125 officers and
enlisted men were recommended on 26 July for Oak Leaf clusters to the Air



      One administrative problem which threatened to become ticklish at
a later date centered around crews where some of the men were accumulat-
ing more missions than their fellow crew members. In some instances, the
enlisted men of a crew had flown more missions than their officers as the
former had been assigned to fly with staff while their own was

      The understood policy was to schedule the missions in such a way
that all the crew members would reach the figure of 35 at the same time.
It was felt athat it would be bad to split crews by sending a few home on
rotation while the rest stayed behind for two or three more missions.

      Therefore, every reasonable attempt was encouraged to "level off"
the mission accumulated by each crew.

     Mess Facilities

      As the month progressed, rations drawn by the officers and enlist-
ed messes became steadily poorer-particularly in the absence of fresh foods.
Fresh vegetables were almost completely lacking and an increasing quan-
tity of canned meats were served.

      Captain Malbin, Group Surgeon, said the diet was adequate from a
nutritional standpoint but that it was very unattractive and that the lack
of fresh fruits and vegetables was probably leading to lowered appetite
and morale. But there was little possibility of the situation improving
as shipments of fresh foods to Guam were decreasing.

      The mess halls were hampered by a lack of lumber to construct need-
ed facilities. Drains, duckboards and cupboards were lacking and could
not be improvised.


      The mess began baking cakes and doughnuts in the middle of the
month and these items proved very popular. The men had become very tired
of a steady diet of canned fruit and hard candy as a dessert.

      The problem of lunches for the combat crews remained unsolved. All
that the mess hall could provide for the flights was sandwiches and occa-
sionally some fruit or candy. Crews were very dissatisfied at the prospect
of long, 14-hour flights with only sandwiches to eat.

      Food warmers were available but it was decided that they could not
be used until separate kitchens had been established for the preparation
of food. The medical section said there was too much danger of food poi-
soning to risk use of the warmers without a special setup.

     Information and Education

      The Information and Education section of the Group opened an inten-
sive program of off duty education which was very successful. Correspond-
ence courses were offered through the United States Armed Forces Institute
and regular classes were offered in tents in the Group area.

      The correspondence courses attracted 145 men who enrolled--the major
ity in business subjects. Approximately 150 men attended the classes held
in the area but this number fluctuated as it was impossible to schedule
the classes for a time when everyone was off duty.

      The I and E section was able to ofer Bookkeeping and Accounting;
Advertising; Physics and Auto-mechanics. The classes were well attended
and there was little difficulty in finding instructors competent to teach
the courses.

      A series of off-duty discussions of current affairs and internation-
al problems were also held but these did not prove very popular.


      The Group weekly newspaper--The Gecko--was expanded to six pages
but it was published every week in the fear that each edition would be the
last. Mimeograph paper was carefully rationed and there was never a guar-
antee that enough would be available for publication of the organ.

      The Director of Field Services, Strategic Air Forces, complimented
the I and E section on its War Information Center which he termed the best
designed in the Marianas Islands. He rquested that a stencil be cut show-
ing the design and the dimensions for general distribution throughout the

     Improved Field Exchange

      A great improvement in the operations of the Field Exchange was not-
ed throughout July. This improvement consisted largely of ability to place
a greater stock upon the shelves and offer the men necessities which had
previously been unobtainable.

      When the Group had first arrived at Guam, the island had not been
prepared for the influx of troops and the early FX rations had been drawn
from the stocks of other units. But as back orders began to catch up with
the organization, this was no longer necessary.

      By the end of the month, there were supplies of coca-cola, fruit
juice, toilet articles, cookies and candy available. Howerver, the FX
was NOT able to supply the almost frenzied demand for laundry soap and

      In addition, the special services section ran a series of activ-
ities such as softball tournaments, and volley ball tournaments. In addi-
tion, plans were made for boxing and horseshoe contests.


      Early in the month, a beer party was thrown for all the men in which
an unlimied supply of beer was made available. This came from unused ra-
tions. It was believed that the men badly needed some kind of a party to
break the monotony of their routine of hard construction labor.

     The Medical Section

      Captain Malbin said in an interview that the health of the Group dur-
ing the month was good. The epidemic of diarrhea was a thing of the past,
he added, as most of the men who were susceptible had had their attack and
acquired the necessary immunity.

      The supply situation had improved, he continued, and medical needs
were now coming in on a dependable basis. With the possible exception of
an outbreak of dengue fever--a remote possiblility--he foresaw no health
problems in the Group.

     Ground Crew Briefings

      In important morale effect was felt in the briefings for ground
crews held after take-off on each mission. Ground personnel were given
the complete plan for the attack as it had been outlined to the combat crews
earlier in the day.

      At the conclusion of each mission, a written summary was posted on
special bulletin boards to cover results. All possible information was
given to the maintenance personnel.

      This program unquestionably stepped up the morale of men who had
been engaged in the dull routine of administrative work and mainenance
and who had little idea of the mission. Attendance at the ground crew
briefings was voluntary but averaged approximately 300 men per session.



     Richard W. Kline

      Richard W. Kline, Commanding Officer of the 15th Squadron, was born
in Haskell, Texas, 11 July 1915. He received his early education in Okla-
homa City where he attended the University for two years.

      In 1938, he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point
and graduated in 1941. His first army assignment was to a flying school at
Tulsa, Oklahoma

      His advance flying taining was taken at Randolph and Ellington
Fields in Texas and then he was assigned to Gowen Field at Boise, Idaho,
as a pilot. Until early in 1943, he was stationed at various western Army
Air Fields, including Tucson, Arizona, and Muroc Lake, California.

      In March, 1943, he was sent to Panama where he flew on anti-submar-
ine patrol. He was assigned to the Galapagos Islands for eight months and
then returned to Panama where he held the position of Assistant A-3 in the
6th Bomber Command.

      During this tour of duty, he was promoted to a majority and on 6
June 1943, he was sent to Command and General Staff School at Fort Leaven-
worth, Kansas, where he atteded the 19th course. Following his graduation,
he was sent to the redistribution center at Atlantic City, New Jersey, and
then to the Combat Crew Replacement pool at Headquarters, Second Air Force.

      Major Kline was assigned to the 16th Group as Air Inspector, a posi-
tion he held until 1 March, 1945. On that date he assumed command of the
15th Squadron, succeeding Major Garland who had been transferred to the
European Theater of Operations.


      Major Kline is married to the former Doris G. Kruger, of Queens
Village, New York, and has two children.


Pages 39 through 48 contain ten photographs of activities around the base.

       List       of      Documents

 1/ G.O.#4, Hq. 16th Bomb Gp., APO 182, c/o Postmaster, San Francisco, Calif.,
     dd 11 July 1945.
 2/ S.O.#85, Par. 8, Hq. 315th Bomb Wing, APO 182, c/o Postmaster, San Francis-
     co, Calif., dd 16 July 1945.
 3/ S.O.#85, Par. 10, Hq. 315th Bomb Wing, APO 182, c/o Postmaster, San Fran-
     cisco, Calif., dd 16 July 1945.
 4/ S.O.#86, Par. 1, Hq. 315th Bomb Wing, APO 182, c/o Postmaster, San Fran-
     cisco, Calif., dd 17 July 1945.
 5/ S.O.#49, Par. 1, Hq. 16th Bomb Gp., APO 182, c/o Postmaster, San Francis-
     co, Calif., dd 21 July 1945.
 6/ Comparison of Tactical Operations of Bombardment Groups in the 315th Bom-
     bardment Wing for Month of July.
 7/ Ibid.
 8/ Ibid.
 9/ Ibid.
10/ Ibid.
11/ Ibid.
12/ Ibid.
13/ Ibid.
14/ Flash Report No. 315, C.I.U., XXI Bomber Command, APO 234, c/o Postmaster,
     San Francisco, Calif., dd 6 July 1945. (Confidential)
15/ TWX, AIMCR 5308, BomCom XXI, Subject: Photo Interpretation for 3PRM 317,
     To: ComAF 20, dd 6 July 1945. (Secret)
16/ Mission Summary, Hq. 16th Bomb Gp., Office of the Intelligence Officer,
     APO 182, c/o PM, San Francisco, Calif., dd 3 July 1945
17/ Damage Assessment Report No. 142, C.I.U., 20AF, APO 234, c/o Postmaster,
     San Francisco, Calif., dd 21 July 1945. (Confidential)
18/ Mission Summary, Hq. 16th Bomb Gp., Office of the Intelligence Officer,
     APO 182, c/o PM, San Francisco, Calif., dd 7 July 1945
19/ Op. Cit.
20/ Mission Summary, Hq. 16th Bomb Gp., Office of the Intelligence Officer,
     APO 182, c/o PM, San Francisco, Calif., dd 10 July 1945
21/ TWX, AIMCR 5535, BomCom XXI, Subject: Photo Interpretation 3PRM 331,
     Flown 10 July 1945, dd 10 July 1945. (Confidential)
22/ Mission Summary, Hq. 16th Bomb Gp., Office of the Intelligence Officer,
     APO 182, c/o PM, San Francisco, Calif., dd 3 July 1945
23/ TWX, AIMCR 6222, ComGenAAF 20, Subject: Photo Interpretation 3PRM 355,
     Flown 25 July 45, dd 26 July 1945. (Confidential)
24/ TWX, AIMCR 5725, BomCom XXI, Subject: Mission Numbers for Empire Strikes,
     Night of 15-16 July, 1945 To: BomWg;s 313, 315, dd 15 July 1945. (Secret)
25/ TWX, AIMCR 5360, ComGenAAF 20, Subject: Photo Interpretation for 3PRM 385,
     Flown 7 August 1945, To: ComGenUSASTAF Guam, dd 8 August 1945. (Secret)
26/ Mission Summary, Hq. 16th Bomb Gp., Office of the Intelligence Officer,
     APO 182, c/o PM, San Francisco, Calif., dd 20 July 1945
27/ TWX, AIMCR 6048, ComGen 20, Subject: Photo Interpretation for 3PRM 345,
     Flown 22 July, To: ComGenUSASTAF, dd 22 July 1945. (Confidential)
28/ Mission Summary, Hq. 16th Bomb Gp., Office of the Intelligence Officer,
     APO 182, c/o PM, San Francisco, Calif., dd 23 July 1945
29/ TWX, AIMCR 6275, ComGenAAF 20, Subject: Photo Interpretation for 20 AF
     5WRM 383, To: ComgenUSASTAF Guam, dd 27 July 1945. (Confidential)


30/ Mission Summary, Hq. 16th Bomb Gp., Office of the Intelligence Officer,
     APO 182, c/o PM, San Francisco, Calif., dd 26 July 1945
31/ TWX, AIMCR 6338, ComGenAAF 20, Subject: Photo Interpretation, 3PRM 362
     Flown 28 July 1945, To: ComgenUSASTAF Guam, dd 28 July 1945. (Confidential)
32/ Mission Summary, Hq. 16th Bomb Gp., Office of the Intelligence Officer,
     APO 182, c/o PM, San Francisco, Calif., dd 29 July 1945
33/ TWX, AIMCR 5338, ComGenAAF 20, Subject: Photo Interpretation 3PRM 387
     Flown 7 August 1945, To: ComgenUSASTAF Guam, dd 7 August 1945. (Confidential)
34/ Extract Copy, AAF Form Report of Major Accident, Section M-Description of
     the Accident
35/ Air Sea Rescue Report Number One, Hqq. 315th Bomb Wing, APO 182 c/o Post-
     master, San Francisco, Calif., dd 24 July 1945. (Confidential)
36/ S.O.#43, Pars. 2 & 3, HQ. 16th Bomb Gp., APO 182, c/o Postmaster, San Fran-
     cisco, Calif., dd 14 Jyly 1945.
37/ Inventory of Crew Sortie Credits by Crew Position, dd 31 July 1945
38/ Perspective view of I & E display, board issued by 16th bomb Gp., APO 182,
     c/o Postmaster, San Francisco, Calif.



                       16TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP
                       APO 182, c/o Postmaster
                      San Francisco, California

GENERAL ORDERS                                     11 July 1945
NUMBER       4

                        ASSUMPTION OF COMMAND

      Under the provisions of paragraph 4, AR 600-20, the undersigned hereby
assumes command of the 16th Bombardment Group during the temporary absence

                                    ANDRE F. CASTELLOTTI
                                    Lieutenant Colonel, Air Corps


Original History has copies of special orders referenced in list of documents in this location, but skipped in this transcription....


                       315th BOMBARDMENT WING
                       APO 182, c/o Postmaster
                      San Francisco, California

SPECIAL ORDERS                                     17 July 1945

      1. COL (1093) SAMUEL C. GURNEY JR., 020753, AC, (W), is reld of asgmt
and dy with Hq 16th Bomb Gp, APO 182, and asgd to Hq 315th Bomb Wing, APO 182.
c/o PM,San Francisco, Calif., GMT will be utilized. TND PCS.
AUTH: XXI BC Reg 35-23, dtd 20 Feb 45,EDCMR 17 Jyly 1945.


OFFICIAL                            LELAND S. STRANATHAN,
                                    Colonel, Air Corps
                                    Chief of Staff.

      1st Lt., Air Corps,
      Asst Adjutant.


5   CG 20th AF
10  Each Group
5   O concerned
1   Each Section this Hq
1   201 file each O concerned

                               6-13 Incl.

For Month of: July 1945






Number of Acrft on Hand3691783831291059
Number of Acrft Scheduled2606526154640
Scheduled Acrft Failing to Take-off17219139
Number of Acrft Airborne2516525755628
% of Acrft on Hand - Scheduled70.4%36.5%68.1%41.8%60.4%
% of Scheduled Acrft - Airborne96.6%100.0%98.4%100.0%98.1%
Total Combat Sorties Flown2516525755628
Total Combat Sorties Planned2859028590750
% of Planned Sorties Flown88.0%72.2%90.1%61.1%83.7%
Number of Acrft Bombing Primary Target2266023652574
Number of Acrft Bombing Other Targets615012
Number Completing Other Type Missions506011
% of Airborne - Bombing Primary Target90.0%92.3%91.8%94.5%91.4%
% of Airborne - Effective94.4%93.9%96.1%94.5%95.0%
Number Due To Mechanical Failure16212131
Number Due to Personnel Error or Failure40015
Number Due to Flight Conditions  1 1
Number Dut to Enemy Action   11
Number Due To Other Reasons 3  3
Tons on Primary Target1892.0471.02007.5389.14760.4
Tons on Other Targets70.
Tons Jettisoned146.532.290.418.4287.5
Tons Unknown   8.08.0
     Total Tons Dropped2108.2513.02163.4432.25208.8
% of Total - Dropped on Primary Target89.7%92.0%92.8%91.9%91.4%
Number of Acrft Lost20013
Acrft Lost Per 100 Sorties Flown.8001.82.48
Number of Acrft Damaged14311129
Acrft Damaged Per 100 Sorities Flown5.584.624.281.824.62
Number Killed10001
Number Missing16001026
Number Wounded00022
     Total Casualties Incurred17001229
Casualities Incurred Per 100 Sorties Flown6.770021.824.62




TO   : COMAF 20




      A-2'S (ROUTINE) (T TO GPS)

AIMCR 5308


      *       *       *






      *       *       *


1st Lt., Air Corps


                        HQ., 16th BOMBARDMENT GROUP
                               APO #182, c/o PM
                         San Francisco, California

                                                             3 July 1945

      (No specific information concering the raid that was made last night
may be mentioned in personal correspondence. Personnel of this group in
their letters home may say only that this organization has raided the main-
land of jJapan and that opposition was weak or whatever the case may be. The
date, type of attack, weather, tactics, name of target and success of mission,
are prohibited subjects. The following summary is solely for the information
of members of the group and may NOT (repeat NOT) be cited in letters.)

                    MISSION SUMMARY

      Aircraft of the 16th Bomb Group struck for the third time at the main-
land of Japan last night and left the area surrounding the Maruzen Oil Refinery
at Minoshima a roaring sea of fire.

      "We won't have to go back there again", crewmembers agreed.

      One navigator said that he saw an area of five square miles which was
"completely in flames", with black "breathing" smoke arising to 10,000 feet.
He added that there were "tremendous explosions" in the target area which
seemed to come from storage tanks bursting from the heat as well as from

      Opposition to the raid was practically nonexistant although some meager
and inaccurate flak was reported. A few enemy aircraft were sighted but they
made no attacks.

      The Maruzen Oil Refinery is an important enemy installation which produces
aviation gasoline and petroleum for the Jap navy. It has not been previously

      Twenty aircraft of the 16th Group were scheduled for the mission but one
did not take off because of turbo and exhaust malfuntions. Some of the crews
reported precision instrument malfunctions which forced them to bomb visually--
aiming at the fires whose glow penetrated a heavy undercast.

      The extent of the fires can be judged by the fact that the glow did
penetrate a practically solid undercast.


Editorial Notes:

Several photos are included in the history, but have not yet been reproduced for inclusion on this web page.

There also exists several pages of documents, that have yet to be transcribed. This data consists of special orders, memorandum, report forms and copies of TWX messages. This will take a long time to transcibe and I wanted to focus on transcription of the unit history first. Hopefully, my fingers will be able to stand this.

Content 2005, Larry Miller

October 25, 2005