November 1, 1944

Wednesday

Wayne made no entry in his journal on this day.

Wayne Gray mission - newspaper cliping0001On November 1, 1944, Wayne flew on a 2½ hour, two-plane shipping sweep to the Sorong-Cape Noejew area. The mission had orders to hit any available targets of opportunity. He flew on B-25J #013 piloted by 1st Lt. Kenneth E. Miller. Also on the plane were 2nd Lt. H. W. Mahnke, 2nd Lt. Ralph Stem, Pvt. C. Lambert, and Wayne’s close friend, S/Sgt. Stanley L. Seehorn. The second B-25J, plane #015, was piloted by 1st Lt. O. G. Emery. The crew of #015 consisted of 1st Lt. W. D. Newlon, 1st Lt. Lutes, Cpl. G. L. Winkler, S/Sgt J. L. Thurston, and Sgt. James R. Higgins, one of Wayne’s tent mates.

According to the final mission report1 and the narrative combat report2, the mission aircraft departed Mar Air Field at 1135 and 1140. Each aircraft carried four 500 lb. general purpose bombs plus a full load of .50 caliber machine gun ammunition.

Less than a hour after takeoff, the mission found one SC craft3 and three type “A” (Army) Japanese landing craft4 anchored in a small bay 1½ miles southeast of Cape Noejew. Two attacks were made from an altitude of 60 feet. Lt. Miller’s attack was at 1215 which was followed by Lt. Emery’s attack at 1224. Lt. Miller dropped four 500 pound general-purpose bombs. One scored a direct hit, disintegrating one of the landing craft with the others walking northerly close to the shore with no observed results. Lt. Miller also strafed the SC vessel as well and the landing craft. Lt. Emery strafed the three landing craft, two of which were thoroughly riddled while the third was observed to have been hit.

At 1245 during a run along the southeast coast to Cape Noejew, Lt. Emery came upon and strafed six small barges. His tail gunner shot a Jap running toward land on a jetty. Two other jetties were strafed as well. He started what appeared to be and oil fire as thick as black smoke rose to 500 feet. At 1300, Lt. Miller strafed the same six barges strafed by Lt. Emery. Both attacks were made at an altitude of 60 feet. Difficulty was encountered in making approaches because of the uneven terrain east of Cape Noejew and the location of enemy gun positions.

In the course of the four attacks, Lt. Miller dropped four 500 lb. general-purpose bombs and expended approximately 2,000 rounds of ammunition. Lt. Emery dropped no bombs but expended 3,500 rounds of ammunition.

Heavy and accurate antiaircraft artillery fire coming from Cape Noejew was felt during these attacks. Lt. Emery’s plane picked up three hits, one in the nose and two in the tail.

The mission aircraft recovered at Marr airfield at 1350 and 1352 respectively

Notes & Commentary

1 Final Mission Report, Mission No. 140, 1 November 1944, 100th Bombardment Squadron (M). Office of the Intelligence Officer, 1 November 1944, microfilm A0576, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1972, frames 1612-1613.

2 Narrative Combat Report, 1 November 1944, 100th Bombardment Squadron (M). Office of the Intelligence Officer, 1 November 1944, microfilm A0576, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1972, frame 1611.

3 For information regarding Imperial Japanese Navy SC-class vessels, see “No.1-class auxiliary submarine chaser.” Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No.1-class_auxiliary_submarine_chaser : accessed 31 October 2014).

4 The “barges” attacked were most likely Daihatsu Class Japanese landing craft which played a significant logistical role in the South Pacific. It is reported that 85% of all Japanese landing craft were of this type. “Daihatsu Class, Japanese Landing Craft.” The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia. (http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/D/a/Daihatsu_class.htm : accessed 31 October 2014)

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6 Responses to November 1, 1944

  1. gpcox says:

    What a time the men had in and around New Guinea! It is great that this history has been preserved.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Do I understand that four 500lb bombs were dropped from 60 feet. Quite a daring feat! I’ve seen you access mission reports from Maxwell airforce base on a number of posts, do you get these online or do you visit the records office. I’d be interested to see why was available. Thanks Andy.

    Like

    • a gray says:

      The documents that I reference are located on CDs that I purchased from the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA), 600 Chennault Circle, Maxwell AFB, Alabama 36112. http://www.afhra.af.mil.
      .
      The CDs contain images from microfilmed copies of the original documents. What you see on the CDs is the same image that you would see on a microfilm roll. Some images are good; some are very difficult to read. The CDs, though, are infinitely more convenient than microfilm in that you can view them on your computer rather than having to have access to a microfilm reader.

      You can access an index of available documents at http://www.airforcehistoryindex.org. The index may take a bit of time to learn how to use, but it will come with time. The CDs, the last time I purchased one, are $30.00 each, including postage. Once your order is sent in, they will usually arrive in two or three weeks. They are pricey, but where else can you access the original records?

      And yes, the records state that four 500 lb. bombs were dropped from 60 ft. Since these documents were prepared and read by those who participated in such activities, I have no reason to doubt them.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for the information. I believe I have come across this site before myself but will certainly take a look and see what’s there. The information is incredible. Thanks for the link.

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  3. Mustang.Koji says:

    I cannot imagine how you must have felt reading that newspaper clipping, sir… And whose beautiful handwriting is it? Indeed, your family IS proud.

    Thank you for that footnote on the Daihatsu craft. I have never ventured into looking at such matters; it is an odd feeling to read about a craft my uncle may have landed in on a beach…

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