100th Bombardment Squadron – July 1944

The 100th Bombardment Squadron flew its final combat mission of the North Solomons Campaign on 7 July 1944 when it flew its 77th mission of the campaign. The Squadron went on rest leave on 8 July when it left Stirling Island for the Russell Islands, i.e., Banika Island, where it was attached to the 390th Squadron for maintenance and service. On 24 July, the 100th Squadron returned to Stirling on orders.

The Squadron strength at the end of July consisted of 90 officers, 1 warrant officer, and 372 enlisted men. During the month, 21 Air Medals and Oak Leaf Clusters were awarded.

During July, the 100th Bombardment Squadron flew five medium altitude missions and dropped 144,000 lbs of 500 lb general-purpose bombs on land targets. All of the missions were flown against antiaircraft artillery (AA) installation at Tobera Airdrome near Rabaul. There were no losses in action. Weather visibility was excellent on one mission, good on two, fair on one and poor on two. The five missions were led by Lt. Sunderman, Lt. Frick, Capt. Hedlund, Capt. Wolfendale, and Major Henson, respectively

Summing up the end of the campaign in the Solomons, the Monthly Unit History1 of the 100th reported:

Operations. On 7 July 1944 the 100th Bombardment Squadron flew its last mission participating in the North Solomons Campaign and Allied Campaign against New Ireland and New Britain. The first mission was flown on 30 January 1944 and was directed against the airdrome repair shops and supply dumps in the area between Sulphur Creek and the Seaplane Base located just north of Lakunai Airdrome on Rabaul, New Britain. The 77th and final mission flown by this squadron was directed against AA Target “D” northeast of Tobera Airdrome.

The entire personnel of the organization feel justly proud of the record they have made in this campaign. Every section of the squadron has contributed in achieving this record. Much can be said for those directly responsible in making this fine record possible. Their untiring effort and hard work kept the men working at peak efficiency at all times to establish a record unequalled in any other squadron in the 42nd Bombardment Group. It might be pointed out that the 100th Squadron was the green and untried unit in the Group when it entered combat. The record achieved is more impressive because of that fact and the entire personnel is quite proud of the results of their efforts.

We are soon to operate on a new battlefront and under the guiding hand of Major Henson2 every effort will be made to eclipse our past excellent performance.

Camp Life. Due to our pending movement, things at present are in quite a turmoil. Every one is busy packing equipment and personal gear. It’s anyone’s guess as to what our new location will be like. Stirling has been our home for many months but everyone is ready to leave and go on to new and greater conquests. We know our new location will not be as pleasant as this one has been but then Stirling was no bed of roses when we first set foot on it.

We have quite a supply of PX items to take along with us so our morale should not suffer very much. To date morale has always been good and has never presented a problem.

Notes & Commentary

1 100th Bombardment Squadron (M) Historical Report, 1 July 1944 – 31 July 1944, Office of the Commanding Officer, 1 August 1944, microfilm B0576, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1972, frames 1010-1013.

2 James B. Henson.

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