Wayne’s journal is silent on November 2, 1944. He went on a mission and didn’t return to Mar Air Field.
During the afternoon, 57 B-25s from the 42nd Bombardment Group conducted a search for enemy shipping and naval forces in the Mindanao Sea. The 75th and 100th Bombardment Squadrons each contributed 12 aircraft to the mission while the 69th, 70th and 390th Bombardment Squadrons contributed 11 each. The 42nd Bombardment Group’s B-25s rendezvoused with one squadron of P-38s from the 18th Fighter Group and one squadron of P-47s from the 35th Fighter Group at Cape Salauan on the Mindanao Sea. The fighter squadrons flew high cover. The search was conducted from 8,000 feet between 1443 and 1515 with negative results.1
Not sighting any naval activity in the Mindanao Sea2, the various squadrons bombed Japanese airfields at Matina, Liganon, Daliao and Sasa on the island of Mindanao on the return to Morotai. The mission aircraft reported considerable highway traffic on the north side of Mindanao.
This was the 42nd Bombardment Group’s first foray into the South Philippines. Its mission was to destroy naval forces and shipping which had been reported in the Sulu Archipelago attempting to reinforce and resupply Japanese forces on Leyte Island.3
In support of this mission, the 100th Bombardment Squadron took off from Mar Air Field at 0500 for Morotai Island. For this mission, Wayne flew as a crew member of B-25J #012. The pilot of the aircraft was 2nd Lt. T. Stonesifer with the remaining crewmembers consisting of 2nd Lt. L. B. Alger, 2nd Lt. N. R. Darling, and Wayne’s friends S/Sgt. Stanley L. Seehorn and S/Sgt. Louis H. Miller.4
The Squadron took off from Morotai Island between 1050 and 1100 after being briefed on the mission and having their aircraft refueled. After negative search results in the Mindanao Sea, the 100th Bombardment Squadron retired to Morotai, bombing Daliao Air Field at 1556 on the way. Unfamiliar with Mindanao, they initially reported having bombed Libby Air Field. Only slight, inaccurate, medium caliber antiaircraft artillery fire was encountered during the bombing run. The Squadron recovered at Morotai between 1612 and 1618.5
Notes & Commentary
1 Consolidated Mission Report #674, 2 November 1944. Headquarters 42nd Bombardment Group (M), Office of the Intelligence Officer, 4 November 1944, microfilm B0132, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1973, frames 14-16.
2 The Mindanao Sea, now called “Bohol Sea”, is located between Visayas and Mindanao in the Philippines. “Bohol Sea.” Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohol_Sea : accessed 31 October 2014), but also see “Mindanao Sea.” Zamboanga.com. (http://zamboanga.com/philippines/mindanao_sea.htm : accessed 31 October 2014).
3 Historical Records and Histories of Organizations, November 1944. Headquarters 42nd Bombardment Group (M), 9 December 1944, microfilm B0132, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1973, frames 5-9.
4 Operations Order No. 88, 100th Bombardment Squadron (M). Office of the Operations Officer, 2 November 1944, microfilm A0576, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1972, frame 1608-1610.
5 Final Mission Report, Mission No. 141, 2 November 1944, 100th Bombardment Squadron (M). Office of the Intelligence Officer, 2 November 1944, microfilm A0576, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1972, frames 1606-1607.