June 17, 1944

Saturday

We loaded the bomb bay racks of our ships with baggage1 and took off for the Russell Islands and a long awaited rest leave2. 21 missions in and nerves drawn a bit tightly.

Are wondering if we’ll get to go to Sydney for a nine day rest. Rest camp having been changed from Auckland New Zealand to Australia.

Got settled in our barracks in the 75th Squadron area.

Notes & Commentary

1 Instead of bombs hanging in the bomb bay, they had their B-4 bags, duffel bags, and other luggage.

2 The 75th Bombardment Squadron, commanded by Capt. Merrill W. Longwell, departed Stirling Island, the forward base of the 42nd Bombardment Group, for its rear base at Banika Island in the Russell Group, Solomon Islands. The 390th Bombardment Squadron, which had conducted training and rested at the rear base replaced them, officially, on 18 June.

42nd Bomb Group Historical Report for June 1944. Headquarters 42nd Bombardment Group (M), 1 July 1944, microfilm B0131, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1973, frame 1658.

Wayne had been on Stirling Island for 56 days. He arrived there without an assignment as a replacement gunner/armorer on April 23. (See https://waynes-journal.com/2014/04/21/april-22-1944/.) While on Stirling, he appears to have flown on a B-25 which had “108” as the last three digits of its serial number. (See https://waynes-journal.com/2014/05/02/may-3-1944/.)

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3 Responses to June 17, 1944

  1. Pierre Lagacé says:

    I am always expecting a notification about another post on this blog.

    As a student of WWII history I always learn something new even if some entries seem not that much interesting to someone who stumbles on this blog then goes away.

    People don’t know what they are missing…

    Like

    • a gray says:

      Some weeks ago, a follower of Wayne’s Journal left the following comments:

      These journal entries are so amazing. It is definitely like a serial on the radio. Wayne’s stories are wonderfully personal and open.

      This continues to be an amazing story. The language and the descriptions are so clear and articulate. The notes and commentary add a lot to the adventure. As always, thanks again.

      It is like a serial presented in bits and pieces. It is a continuing story of anyone who served on an island in the South Pacific with no way to leave and no where to go, with no contact other than other soldiers. It is like the stories of Eugene Sledge and others–long periods of boredom followed by times of extreme danger. There is also the unknown. Aircrews disappear in thunderstorms or simply lost in the sea. No one knows what happened . . . There is also the waiting for the next mission.

      Like

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