Wayne wrote nothing in his journal on November 18, 1944. He did, however, fly on a mission of six B-25Js to the Asia Group located some 80 miles north of Japanese-held Sorong.1 Meanwhile, the 100th Bombardment Squadron continued to provide air support for the Allied invasion forces at Mapia Atoll.2
Notes & Commentary
1 Five planes of the 100th Bombardment Squadron (Mission #168) attacked Miarin Island in the Asia group, 01°05N 134°20’E, at 1435 on November 18, 1944. A total of 71 general purpose 100 lb bombs were dropped; one 100 lb bomb hung up in the bomb bay and was returned to base. Approximately 10,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition were expended in strafing the island after bombing it.
Consolidated Mission Report #767, 18 November 1944. Headquarters 42nd Bombardment Group (M), 18 November 1944, microfilm B0132, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1973, frame 130.
The B-25Js of Mission #168 took off from Mar Air Field from 1335 to 1340 and recovered at Mar from 1555 to 1605.
Final Mission Report, Mission No. 168, 18 November 1944, 100th Bombardment Squadron (M). Office of the Intelligence Officer, 18 November 1944, microfilm A0576, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1972, frames 1445-1447.
Wayne flew on B-25 #029 piloted by Col. Charles C. Kegelman, Commander of the 42nd Bombardment Group. The other members of the aircrew were Maj. James B. Henson, S-3. Group Operations Officer; 2nd Lt. A. H. Marks; 2nd Lt. H. L. Wagner; S/Sgt Stanley L. Seehorn; and S/Sgt Louis H. Miller. Taking off from Mar Air Field at 1335, Wayne’s plane was the lead mission aircraft
Operations Order No. 102, 18 November 1944, 100th Bombardment Squadron (M). Office of the Operations Officer, 18 November 1944, microfilm A0576, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1972, frame 1448
2 The Mapia Islands, Pegun, Bras and Finaldo, lying northeast of Sansapor, were strategically important because they lie directly in the path of our shipping and air lanes from New Guinea to Morotai and the Philippines. These islands were used by the Japanese as observation and listening posts and undoubtedly provided valuable information on our movements from New Guinea. To prevent leaks of information on future movements from New Guinea to the Philippines it was decided to buy General Headquarters to invade Pegun Island at 0600 on 15 November 1944. Pegun Island was supposedly occupied by the 7th Company, 223rd Infantry, 36th Division of the Japanese Imperial Army, composed of 188 officers and enlisted men, and probably reinforced with a labor Battalion. Japanese armament was supposed to consist of 12 grenade dischargers, 12 light machine guns, and two heavy machine guns. Enemy capabilities of reinforcement were nil; to harass by air probable, and to attack by submarine possible but not probable. Our invading force consisted of the 2nd Battalion, 167th Infantry reinforced. The convoy and task force consisted of four landing craft infantry (LCI), 14 landing ships medium (LSM), and numbers of DUKWs and Alligators. These vessels were protected by one light Australian cruiser, one destroyer and three destroyer escorts.
When the invasion convoy was first sighted early on the morning of D-Day, the natives who remained on at Bras Village on Bras Island left the island and swarmed aboard the Naval convoy. They were profuse in their thanks for the advanced warning they’d received of the attack and reported that no natives had been killed. As was expected, most of the Japanese had evacuated Pegun Island for Bras Island which had not been attacked the day before. Consequently very light opposition was encountered on Pegun Island and a pocket of 13 Japanese who were trapped in the late afternoon committed suicide.
Historical Records and Histories of Organizations, November 1944. 100th Bombardment Squadron (M). Office of the Intelligence Officer, 1 December 1944, microfilm A0576, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1973, frames 1305 & 1307.