A portion of Wayne’s entry in his journal for November 25, 1944 is missing. What exists of the entry details a water landing of a B-25 near Middleburg Island off the coast of Sansapor, New Guinea. Middleburg was the site of a fighter base and located about a mile or so off the coast. About the same distance north of Middleburg is Amsterdam Island.
. . . . Chord put out the fire, opened the bomb bay and salvoed their bombs. Straight for home, at about six of altitude. Called Middleburg for emergency landing. Couldn’t keep altitude, so landed between these two bases in the water. Just before the ship hit the water a swimmer looked up and said “Look at that P.T. boat go” and then as he saw the distinctive B-25 tail.
On the first bounce as they hit, Klock1 wasn’t properly braced, so got a skinned scalp and a bad a bang. He got out of the escape hatch, shouted and didn’t hear an answer so tried to climb on the wing to see if he could get the major and colonel out. Split his Mae West in so doing and the plane sank under him. As he bobbled to the top, he saw the major and colonel in the rubber raft and caught a loose oxygen bottle for support until they hauled him aboard.2 All’s well that ends well, you see.
And now it’s time to close for the day and write to Bonnie! So long for a while.
Notes & Commentary
1 S/Sgt. G. R. Klock.
2 Plane #126 was forced to make a water landing off the coast of Amsterdam Island on 25 November 1944 and sunk in a few minutes. No personnel lost.
Monthly Intelligence Summary, 1 November to 30 November, 100th Bombardment Squadron (M). Office of the Intelligence Officer, 1 December 1944, microfilm A0576, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1972, frames 1340 – 1341.