November 25, 1944

Saturday

A portion of Wayne’s entry in his journal for November 25, 1944 is missing. What exists of the entry details a water landing of a B-25 near Middleburg Island off the coast of Sansapor, New Guinea. Middleburg was the site of a fighter base and located about a mile or so off the coast. About the same distance north of Middleburg is Amsterdam Island.
_____________________________

. . . . Chord put out the fire, opened the bomb bay and salvoed their bombs. Straight for home, at about six of altitude. Called Middleburg for emergency landing. Couldn’t keep altitude, so landed between these two bases in the water. Just before the ship hit the water a swimmer looked up and said “Look at that P.T. boat go” and then as he saw the distinctive B-25 tail.

On the first bounce as they hit, Klock1 wasn’t properly braced, so got a skinned scalp and a bad a bang. He got out of the escape hatch, shouted and didn’t hear an answer so tried to climb on the wing to see if he could get the major and colonel out. Split his Mae West in so doing and the plane sank under him. As he bobbled to the top, he saw the major and colonel in the rubber raft and caught a loose oxygen bottle for support until they hauled him aboard.2 All’s well that ends well, you see.

And now it’s time to close for the day and write to Bonnie! So long for a while.

Notes & Commentary

1 S/Sgt. G. R. Klock.

2 Plane #126 was forced to make a water landing off the coast of Amsterdam Island on 25 November 1944 and sunk in a few minutes. No personnel lost.

Monthly Intelligence Summary, 1 November to 30 November, 100th Bombardment Squadron (M). Office of the Intelligence Officer, 1 December 1944, microfilm A0576, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1972, frames 1340 – 1341.

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6 Responses to November 25, 1944

  1. Kevin Schinnell says:

    My father served as a gunner-engineer with the 70th Squadron, 42nd Bomb Group in New Guinea during this timeframe. At nearly 91 years old he is finally willing to discuss some of his experiences in the South Pacific and I’m very hopeful that by sharing Wayne’s Journal with him he will provide us with even more insight…Thanks for doing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • a gray says:

      Wayne’s Journal should provide you with names of air fields from which the 42nd Bombardment Group operated or which they attacked. The Journal may also give you some idea of the men’s living conditions that you can speak with him about. The simple things of life . . . living in tents, where they took showers, what was eaten . . . often unlock memories that are surprising. What is your father’s name and when did he serve with the 70th Bombardment Squadron?

      Like

      • Kevin Schinnell says:

        My fathers name is Donald Schinnell (S/Sgt) and I believe that his service in the S. Pacific was between 1944 and the end of the war. One of the few stories he told was of their mission on VJ Day. They were on a bombing/strafing run when the news of Japan’s surrender came over the radio. His pilot instructed him to ‘find something wrong with the aircraft, and they would land in Manila for repairs’ which turned out to be quite an experience in itself. My dad recalled the mission being over 10 hours and if my memory of his recollection is correct, it was to somewhere in present day Vietnam. Last Thanksgiving I sat down with him and reviewed ‘The Crusaders. A History of the 42nd Bombardment Group’ which brought back many memories for him. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to be on the receiving end of his memories again tomorrow. Presently I don’t have many names to share but he has mentioned a pilot nicknamed “Dutch” that tended to fly so low that the aircraft would return to base with reeds and cattails hanging from it.

        You are truly providing an amazing service to the history of, and the families of those who served in the South Pacific. I am looking forward to knowing Wayne more! Happy Thanksgiving . . .

        Like

  2. suchled says:

    If you ever doubted that you were doing something fantastic then the comment by Kevin is ample commendation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mustang.Koji says:

    If I were you, I would be going nuts thinking about the missing page(s)!

    Like

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