April 4, 1945

Wednesday

In England, Kenneth E Cline, as the pilot of B-24 #118, completed his 8th mission, an attack on Kaltenkirchen Airfield1. At 2100 on April 3 the Group was alerted for a mission, and at 0330 on April 4, 31 crews were briefed. The mission took off at 0605. Flak was meagre and with 10/10 cloud cover no bombs were dropped. No enemy aircraft were encountered during the mission. The last aircraft of the mission had returned to Wendling by 1245.2

An element of Jagdgeschwader (JG) 7 began Me-262 operations from Kaltenkirchen Airfeild in December 1944. The Me-262s were hidden in the surrounding forest and were towed to the airfield for missions. A radar site was constructed at the airfield and a flak battery deployed. At the end of March 1945, the JG7 personnel and their Me-262s were redeployed to Brandenburg. On the evening of April 5, 1945 III Group, Kampfgeschwader (KG) 76 with its Arado AR-234 bombers3 occupied Kaltenkirchen.

After returning from the non-productive mission against Kaltenkirchen, Ken wrote his wife . . .

“I got a V-mail from Mom this noon and she said that she had just gotten word from Art and that now he’s on the sea somewhere-moving again. It was a surprise to me as well as to the folks. I really didn’t’ have any idea that he would be moving- but that’s the way security works. He had a good set-up there- its too bad he had to move out.4

After its recapture in 1944, Guam was set up as the Commander in Chief Pacific’s forward headquarters. Nimitz moved his headquarters there from Hawaii in January 1945. Supporting units moved too.5

Notes & Commentary

1“Kaltenkirchen.” Abandoned, Forgotten & Little Known Airfields in Europe. (http://www.forgottenairfields.com/germany/schleswig-holstein/holstein/kaltenkirchen-s320.html : accessed 02 April 2015).

2History for the Month of April 1945, Headquarters 392nd Bombardment Group (H), 7 May, microfilm B0445, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1973, frame 1872.

3The Arado Ar-234 was a twin turbojet-propelled bomber introduced to combat in 1944. For details regarding the Arado Ar-234 and its many variants, see William Green’s Warplanes of the Third Reich, Galahad Books, 1990, pages 49 through 58.

4 Arthur Cline, Ken’s brother and Verne’s brother-in-law, was enrote to Guam. See https://waynes-journal.com/2014/12/12/december-13-1944/.

5 Erwin N. Thompson, “Headquarters, Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet” National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form, 10 July 1986. United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service. (http://historic.honolulutransit.org/files/documents/nrhp_nom_form_cincpac_headquarters.pdf : accessed 17 March 2015). Also see, Philip A. Crowl, United States Army in World War 2, War in the Pacific, Campaign in the Marianas. Washington: GPO, 1970. p.443.

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