S/SGT. JACK HEYN
EX 3RD BOMB GROUP MEMBER
BASED AT CHARTERS TOWERS

 

PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLECTION OF JACK HEYN
of Group Photo Section, 3rd Bomb Group (L) (aka 3rd Attack Group)

 

JACK HEYN IN THE SOUTH WEST PACIFIC DURING WW2
Jack's story as told by Jack himself

 

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Jack Heyn

 

Subject:    3rd Bomb Gp. (L)
Date:             Wed, 24 Feb 1999 00:43:48 EST
From:           jonjac2@msn.com

Dear Peter;

I was a member of the 3rd Bomb. Gp. from Oct. '41 to Jan. '45. We spent ll months at Charters Towers. I had the pleasure of visiting your home town (Townsville) two or three times during that time. I got word of your web site from the son of another vet from that part of the war. Have really enjoyed your website.

Jack Heyn, W. Des Moines, Ia., USA

 

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Subject:   Re: 3rd Bomb Gp. (L)
Date:          Thu, 25 Feb 1999 00:57:28 EST
From:        
jonjac2@msn.com

Giday to you Peter;

Altho it is now approaching the bewitching hour here; If my memory serves me right, we didn't have any or our planes crash in Queensland, altho we drop a few in the Coral Sea. During the time we were in Charters Towers (C.T.).   We would fly to Moresby refuel, take on a load of bombs and pull our missions out of there. Then return to C.T. Towards the last we would send two Sqdns. up for two weeks at a time and then alternate the other two. 

Photographs? strange you should ask. I was a photographer-lab technician, with a very lenient Photo Officer that censored our mail and what we sent home. Consequently I have a very comprehensive pictorial record of my 4 years in the Air Force during WW II. Just one problem, we are new to the world of computers, and I don't have a scanner.

Stories, I could probably come up with one or two. An experience that has always stuck in my mind, and I have a nice photographic record of the trip. For our thankgiving holiday dinner (traditionally turkey) our Mess Sgt. had made a deal with some guy in MacKay to buy turkeys. So the Sgt., a cook, a truck driver and myself made the trip to Mackay in a G.I. 6x6 truck. One of always having to ride in the back end. The road to Townsville wasn't too bad, but 2 or 3 hundred miles on down to Mackay was something else. I don't
know what that road would be like today, but 57 years ago it was what we in the States would call a cow-path. Rough as a cob, and at times we weren't even sure we were on the right trail. But once we got to Mackay we had a very nice time. For some reason it took us over a week to close that deal, and I have some beautiful photographs of Mackay, before it was made a rest & recreation place.

I doubt that would be worthy of a place on your web site (oh yes it is!), but it was one of the more pleasant experiences I had in you fair country. The other was a l5 day furlough I had in Melbourne in '44; but I won't get into that at the moment. Was glad that you acknowledged my contact with you, will be checking into your web site more, just skimmed th surface last nite.

Jack Heyn, W. Des Moines, Ia., USA

 

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Subject:    Surprised
Date:             Sat, 27 Feb 1999 00:45:27 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

Peter,

Gidday again;

And once again it is approaching the bewitching hour. Things are not so crowded this time of nite, besides I am a bit of a nite person. I was mildly and pleasantly surprised to see myself on your website. When we decided to get a computer last summer, I was determined to try to locate some of my old buddies (mates, if you will) from the outfit, especially the Gp. Photo Section. To date I haven't had any luck. But I keep hoping that if I get my foot in enough doors one of them will stumble on to it, and I will make contact. With the spread you gave me, just maybe one of them will see it, I hope. When I got out of the service in '45, I put the war behind me, kept the album packed away and seldom thought of the war or looked at the album. But the biggest mistake I made was not keeping in touch with the guys who were the only family I had for 3 and half years. When we started hitting 50th anniversaries; Pearl Harbour, D-day, A-bomb and VJ-day I started doing some heavy reminiscing and thinking. Now hardly a day goes by that I don't browse thru the album and wonder about the guys who made it back, and say prayer for all those fine young men who got shot out of the sky in those B-25's and A-20's.

Thank you for letting me bend your ear (or eyes) and giving me that spot, maybe it will work fo me.

Jack Heyn

 

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Subject:    Just testing;
Date:             Tue, 9 Mar 1999 00:28:39 EST
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Giday Peter,

Once again it is approaching the bewitching hour and I am back on this infernal machine with a new toy. My dear wife, Jonnie, got me a scanner for the monster for my birthday, coming up Fri. A friend installed it by didn't how to use it. My next door neighbour coached me on how send photos with Email. He sent one to himself next door and it went thru. I sent one to my daughter, cross-town, and she says its in her computer but she doesn't know how to get it out. So I am now going to try sending one half way around the world to you. If it comes thru you will see me as I looked 57 years ago petting one of your wallabies in Charters Towers, and B-25's waiting to take off from the Charters Towers strip on a mission.

Let me know it it comes thru.  (Sure Did Jack - see below)

 

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Jack Heyn and friend at Charters Towers

 

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B-25's waiting to take off from
Charters Towers on a bombing mission

 

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Subject:    Re: No pictures
Date:             Wed, 17 Mar 1999 00:03:35 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Ginite Peter;

'Tis that time of nite again, when I get on this computerized monster and enjoy myself. I kept saying I was too old to mess with these new-fangled machines, the information highway and all that jazz. My wife, Jonnie, thought it would be entertaining to get one, and so I thought it was worth a try. I had heard that there were WW II web-sites and that it might be possible to run down some old buddies. I've got to admit in the nine months we've had it, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting into various WW II site. Tho I haven't had any luck so far running down any of my old "mates', cobbers?, I have made some interesting contact - yourself not the least of them.

"Prangs"? that's a new one on me. I don't have any pix of any in Charters Towers, tho I do have a couple good ones of crash landings coming off missions in New Guinea. Since my visit to Townsville was a matter of passing thru coming from and going to, I really didn't spend any time there to take pix. I do have one of one of your streets (wouldn;t know which) and one by the waterfront as we were getting ready to move up to Port Moresby. Also have maybe a few around Charters Towers that might interest you. I'll have to do a little browsing thru the album and see what I can come up with.

Talk (write?) to you later. Jack

 

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Subject:    I'm back
Date:             Sat, 27 Mar 1999 00:32:30 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Yo Peter;

Hope you didn't get caught in the hurricane (cyclone?) in Perth earlier this week. (I was due to catch a plane to Karratha the day the cyclone hit just south west of Karratha - I went the next day instead) Since you weren't going to be home I haven't sent you anything. I have picked out a few shots I think might interest you. Will send them 1 or 3 at a time with explanations.....

I have furnished a few photos to a web-site here in the states and to a couple guy researching to write books. I have no desire to profit from them. It is my belief that the memory of WW II is becoming too dim in too many memories. The vast majority of younger generation have no idea of what the freedoms they enjoy today cost millions of people around the world 55 to 60 years ago. I think it is imperative that those of us who are still alive do what we can to perpetuate the memory of the most devastating armed conflict in the history of mankind. If my little contribution will further that cause -- that's all I ask.

I don't know if or how you will use these on your web-site. But if you do use them, just credit them to the Gp. Photo Section, 3rd Bomb Gp. (L) (aka 3rd Attack Gp.) courtesy of Jack.

Will start sending them next week.

Jack

 

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Subject:    Re: I'm back
Date:             Mon, 29 Mar 1999 00:25:00 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Yo Peter;

This has been a hard day, when I signed off about 1:00 AM everything was fine. When I tried to sign on again about 9:00 AM this infernal machine had crashed. Had to get my friend who set it up for to start with over. We spent the best part of the afternoon trying to solve the problem. He finally had to reinstall Windows 98, so I lost everything I had in it. Had all my WW II web sites on "Favorites", so I had to scramble around getting them back on. Life does get tedious at times. At any rate I have scanned the photos back into my file and will commence to send them off, now that I know you are back. Glad you didn't get blown away by the "cyclone"

First pair of photos are the Townsville shots. The street scene was taken in Jan.'43 at the time we were shipping out for Moresby. The water front scene, same time, and is the ship that transported our ground echelon to Port Moresby.

Jack

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Subject:   Re: I'm back
Date:           Mon, 29 Mar 1999 00:47:01 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

Peter'

2nd pair are B-25 combat crews, taken early in '42 at Charters Towers before they were converted to low-level attack planes. Unfortunately I don't have a log of names. The only one I can identify is the tall fellow on the right end of the top picture. Col. James H. Davies, he was one of the pilots evacuated from the Philippines to be assigned to our Gp. in March of '42. He became our Gp. Commander, and on April ll, '42 led 10 of the B-25s and 39 crew member to Darwin. From there with the aid of auxiliary bomb-bay tanks flew non-stop to Del Monte on Mindanoa in the Philippines. They operated out of obscure fields attacking shipping and installations in the Davao, Mindanoa area. After four days the Japs discovered where they were coming from, and Col. Davies led them back to Charters Towers via Darwin loosing no planes or crew member. Since several of the pilots were evacuees from the Philippines, who had lost their planes on the ground early on, it was sort of pay-back time for them.

Jack

 

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Subject:     Re: I'm back
Date:              Tue, 30 Mar 1999 00:21:19 EST
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Peter;

Now I will give you another dose of the same medicine. Two more combat crews, incidentally all four of these were with the 13th Sq. of our 3rd Bomb. Gp.. Fair Dinkum and Baby Blitz were burned up later in a Jap air raid on Moresby and the 8 Ball was ditched in the coral sea. Here we go with another try.

Jack

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Subject:    Re: I'm back
Date:             Tue, 30 Mar 1999 00:51:45 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Peter;

As I mentioned, things did improve. As the war progressed and we moved up the north side of New Guinea on our way to the Philippines, with the use of the natural resources of the jungle, some midnite "rack-quisitions" and some Yankee ingenuity, our living conditions did improve, even to the point of electric lights. Please observe. This will be the last one for tonite, as I'm about to call it a day. I do hope that these are coming thru ok now. And I know you will keep me informed. At least I'm glad the Townsville shot were ok.

Jack

 

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Subject:     Re: I'm back
Date:              Tue, 30 Mar 1999 23:40:08 EST
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Peter;

Ok, we'll give the improved living conditions another shot and see if it works this time. One jungle plaza coming up.

Jack

 

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Subject:     Re: I'm back
Date:              Wed, 31 Mar 1999 00:14:27 EST
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Peter;

Now that I've got living quarters on the way again, I'll try another pair. The top shot is part of the convoy that transported our ground echelon from Charters Towers to Townsville. Obviously we had stopped to take a break. Some way I had wrangled a job of driving one of the vehicles, so I would be along to get some photos.

The bottom one is one of my buddies panning for gold in the Burdekin river. At one time I guess Charters Towers had been a gold-mining center. (It was a huge Gold Mining town in the last century)

There were abandoned mine shafts near town, in fact we filled three of them up with garbage from our camp area while we were stationed there. At any rate we thought we'd see if there was any gold left in that there river -- no such luck.

Jack

 

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Subject:    Re: I'm back
Date:             Wed, 31 Mar 1999 00:33:26 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Peter;

I see what you mean on clicking those thumbnails. But here comes two more for your collection. I'd call this one "Funtime", you know the old saying, all work and no play, etc etc. The top one the guys are getting in a little swimming in that Burdekin river. The bottom one is the ever present (around pay day, that is) poker game. Come pay day we broke up many a poker game to go to breakfast.

Jack

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Subject:     Re: I'm back
Date:              Wed, 31 Mar 1999 00:49:26 EST
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Peter;

There were times when we even had to work. The top one I'm photographing a defect in the tail of a plane for a U.R. report. The bottom one myself and lab crew are printing mission film for 5th Bomber Command. Our cameras were all mounted in the tail of the plane and operated electronically. When they started the bomb run the gunner would hit the switch and a 150 roll of film would roll thru the camera taking a pix every 3 or 4 seconds. Later I will send you a couple examples of the results.

It's approaching that bewitching hour again so I will finish the job tomorrow nite. There is just three more to come.

Jack

 

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Subject:    Re: I'm back
Date:             Wed, 31 Mar 1999 09:06:08 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Peter;

The top plane as I sent them is Fair Dinkum, later burned up in an air raid.  The Bottom one 8 Ball Esquire, later ditched in the Coral Sea. And here is one that didn't come thru. Will send more later in the day.

Jack

 

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Subject:    Re: I'm back
Date:             Thu, 1 Apr 1999 00:15:45 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Yo Peter;

Earlier in the day I sent a couple of mission photos with no comments. Since we live with one phone line, my Jonnie doesn't like to tie it up with the computer. Another reason why I do most of my computer activities late at nite. That and the fact that I have always been a bit of a nite person.

About the two pix, our principal targets were shipping, airstrips and air support for our ground troops; infantry and marines. The first picture was a low level B-25 coming off a bomb run at Rabaul Harbor. On that one we had to use half the bomb bay for auxilliary tanks to get there. Our first time to go there was Oct. 12, '43. We sent 18 B-25's on the mission and got 6 back. Six down over the target, six on the way home, most of those crews eventually go back to us.

The second picture is a bomb run over a strip at Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea. As you can see these planes were strictly low level attack planes. I have decided to add two more pairs to the list. They do not pertain directly to your Townsville area, but since my three year oddysee started in Charters Towers, I thought it might be appropriate to include something from the end of that odyssey.

These were taken between Christmas and New Years 1944 on a convoy from Leyte to Mindoro Islands in the Phillipines. For two and a half days we were under constant attack by Kamakazis. The navy gunners, bless their navy souls, shot 25 of them out of the sky. These three hit the water close enough for me to photograph them. But they did succeed in sinking eight ships out of our convoy. We made landfall about midmorning New Years Eve and had our equipment to the campsite by nitefall, and prepared to spend the nite under a shelter-half on the ground. I expect that was one of the best New Year Eves 1500 guys ever spent. We were just damn happy to be alive. 12 days later I got my orders for rotation back to the good old U.S. of A.

Jack

 

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Subject:    Re: I'm back
Date:           Thu, 1 Apr 1999 00:50:13 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

The Last Hurrah;

In this pair you will see me as a young man holding my weapon of choice in WW II. You will see him 52 years later taking his leisure on a vacation on the Big Island of Hawaii. On Jan. 31, 1942 we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge heading to parts unknown. We later found that we were destined for the Philippine Islands, but were rerouted to Australia, because the Philippines for the time being were a lost cause. Three years, one month and eight days later, I sailed back under that Golden Gate Bridge. There were times when I seriously doubted that I would ever see the States again. Thanx to an ever vigilant Guardian Angel and a Merciful God, I am sitting here tonite sending an Email to an unseen 'cobber', 'mate' in far off Australia.

It's been a good relationship, Peter, and I will be anxious to see your finished product, and I do sincerely hope it will help to remind younger and future generation of WW II. Let me know if any of these don't make it, and I will resend them

Jack

 

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Subject:    Re: I'm back
Date:         Thu, 1 Apr 1999 23:39:58 EST
From:       
 jonjac2@msn.com

Peter;

The silence today has been deafening.. When I didn't hear all day I worried that maybe I had overloaded your system and caused it to self destruct. Sorry that I have created a problem for you. Will hold off sending the two mission pictures until I hear from you. Have a good Easter, and maybe a break from that computerized monster will do you good. We'll be having Easter brunch after Mass with the kids and grandkids.

Take care and give me the word when you want me to resend.

Jack

 

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Subject:   Re: I'm back
Date:           Fri, 2 Apr 1999 23:58:54 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

Sorry Peter;

But the Charters Tower's Airstrip was a very primitive, spartan operation. There were no facilities as we know them today, not even a control tower. The only photos I have is one of the 13th Sq. dispersal area, and all that shows are shrubbery and airplanes, no building whatsoever. I also have one taken straight down the run way as were waiting to take off, all it shows is a long airstrip with nothing on either side but acres and acres of Q'land real estate. I will send those two shots along for what they are worth to you.

It's been a long time ago, but if my memory serves me right the take-offs were controlled with flare guns. Will also send the shipping one again tonite, and wait til tomorrow to resend the Hollandia Air Strip.

Incidentally, did the Kamakazi shots come thru? I would think they would be an appropriate bit of history of the Pacific war.

Jack

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Charters Tower's Airstrip

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13th Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group,  Dispersal area at Charters Towers

 

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Subject:    Re: I'm back
Date:             Sat, 3 Apr 1999 00:14:07 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Here comes the shipping shot, and then I'll call it a day. We are supposed to have some thunder storms tonite, and even tho I have a power surge control on the line, I always pull the plug when we've got thunder storms in the forecast.

Jack

 

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Subject:     The crews
Date:              Sun, 4 Apr 1999 00:46:55 EST
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Peter;

Tis that time of nite again, and here is the planes in order 1 to 4 No. 1 is El Equila (believe that is Spanish for the eagle) that is the one  with Col. Davies.

No. 2 is Baby Blitz, later burned up in a Jap air raid in Moresby.

No. 3 is Fair Dinkum, burned up in the same raid.

No. 4 is 8 Ball Esquire, later ditched in the Coral Sea, but the crew got back to us. In fact o one of the gunners was a tent mate of mine.

Had to go to your page to see what order you had them in and was very much surprised at what you have done with the photos, as my daughter would say "AWESOME". I really didn't expect to be so much featured. I can see nothing wrong and no amendments necessary. Only thing I might add are the two mission photos, if they can get thru to you. Am wondering if the shipping made it thru. Will send the Airstrip with this. The family will be coming to the house for desserts (sweets?) after our brunch tomorrow and you can bet I will see that they view it. I got a kick out of your charitable description "Smokies", we had a less flattering description "Crazy S.O.B.'s".

I repeat, Peter, I have thoroughly enjoyed this relationship and am hopeful that just maybe some of the old guys will stumble across the page.

If I don't get any action from this I'm just going have to assume they are either dead or not computer buffs, would prefer the later be the case. And like I said before, I sincerely hope it will be educational for some people.

Your remark in an earlier letter about things winding up in the garbage after a vets death, won't happen with the album. That goes to my oldest grandson, Dusty, and now part of it is on this amazing new media, which I will never understand, but don't mind using.

Best regards Jack.

 

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Subject:    Re: The crews
Date:             Sun, 4 Apr 1999 15:10:29 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Happy Easter;

I tried to send this after Mass this morning before we went to brunch, but right in the middle of uploading a pix I lost my AOL connection. By that time it was time to gather the family and go eat. So now I will try it again. The 0 was a typo that I didn't know how to correct without starting all over (not very bright).

I checked out the shipping photo and it came out of my file on this end ok, but it is conseravbly more yellow than the others. Don't know if that would have any bearing on it or not. At any rate I have another shot, not quite as dramatic, so will try sending both and see if maybe one will make it. so here comes the first one again.

Jack

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13th Squadron aircraft attacking Japanese shipping

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90th Squadron aircraft attacking Japanese shipping

 

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Subject:     Re: The crews
Date:              Mon, 5 Apr 1999 08:51:40 EDT
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Peter'

Both of the shipping shots were taken on that first raid on Rabaul Harbor on Oct. 12, 1943. Rabaul was out of range for the B-25's from our base at Doba Dura in N.G. It was being hit by the heavies, B-24's and , I think they still had some B-17s yet at that time. In late 1943 they upped the pressure by putting bomb-bay tanks in half the bomb bay of B-25's to give them the range to get there. The 25's with their skip-bombing tactics were more effective (witness the Bismarck Sea Battle in Mar. of '43) on shipping than were the high level planes. It was a rough target tho, as we sent 18 planes on that first mission and only got six back. Six down over the target, six down on the way home. Although most of those crews did eventually get back to us. It was also on this raid that the group got it's first, and only as long as I was with them, Congressional Medal of Honor. Maj. Raymond Wilkens.

Hope this is the information you wanted.
Regards, Jack

 

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Subject:     Finished Product
Date:              Fri, 9 Apr 1999 00:48:12 EDT
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Good evening Peter;

We inherited some of Perths nasty weather today. Central Iowa got belted with several Tornados that touched down and destroyed many barns, houses and buildings. Jonnie and I spent about an hour in the family room in the basement this afternoon. Fortunately no deaths or serious injuries.

But I'm writing, not to gi ve weather reports, b ut to compliment you on your finished product. You did a masterful job on that page and I'm sure you hav e many hours in vested in it. I sincerely hope it pays off for you.

I don't mind telling you I am a little humbled by it. I was not expecting anything like it. Have had nothing but good comments on it.

I do have a question. When I click on the thumbnail photos to get the large version, and when I close it our, I lose the web-site. Is this the way it works, or do I have a problem on my end?

If ever I can be of any help to you, just say the word.

Regards Jack

 

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Subject:     Re: Finished Product
Date:              Sat, 10 Apr 1999 00:49:00 EDT
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Good evening Peter;

It's amazing what you can get out of these infernal machines when you have the right combination. I didn't even know what those little arrows up there were for. We were signed up to take a class in computers for senior citizens last fall, but the nite it started Jonnie was in the hospital with pneumonia - had to cancel. So we just stumble along and are learning bit by bit as we go.

Had to check my files on "Baby Blitz". I don't have the original negative, but I do have a copy negative. You do lose some contrast on a copy, but it will still produce a good print. On any of the official prints in my album I don't have the negatives, just prints. following is my phone number. Area Code 515-224-4588. I expect once he gets to the states on the line that is all he will need.

Jack

 

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Subject:    Short Memory
Date:             Sun, 11 Apr 1999 00:24:38 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Good evening Peter;

Had an Email today from the brother of a pilot of a B-25 from the 3rd that died in a crash of B-24 on Mt. Bartle Frere in April '42.

Early on I had told you that I didn't remember any such crashes (prangs?). Well I got out my copy of the "Grim Reaper", a partial history of the 3rd that was sent to the printers in summer of '42. Found a paragraph I Emailed to the brother, and will also send it to you, as you may also be interested.

"The weather of the tropics was another detrimental factor that the Grim Reapers were unaccustomed to, and the elements claimed their toll of brave men at a time when they were sorely needed. Remember the crew of the Mithchell bomber that crashed on the Bartle Frere in Australia in April while trying to pierce the wall of cloud surrounding this stern, mist-shrouded mountain. Remember them for they died in defense of their country as much as those who fell to the enemy. Remember Lt. John Keeter, Capt. Glen Stephenson, Lt. Gene Tisonyai, Sgt Bill Lancaster, Sgt. George De Armond,Sgt Jimmie Morris and Sgt Jim English."

Don't know if that will be of any use to you, but I thought I'd pass it.

Sorry for the short memory.

Jack

 

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Subject:    3rd Bomb Group
Date:             Tue, 20 Apr 1999 20:57:30 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gidday Peter;

I am writing this from my daughters computer as a guest. For the third time in less than 2 weeks mine is down again. After spending an hour and half on 800 numbers and listening to a myriad of electronic voices giving ridiculous instructions, I find that it will be two weeks at least before I will get any action on it -- such is life. But I had a call from Noel last nite, and I told him I would get the photos in the mail today and let you know how long they figured it would take to get there. I sent them air mail and the postal clerk looked in her little book and said it would take four to seven days. Would you please pass that on to Noel?

Also tell him that I received his package today and was delighted. I learned things that I had forgotten and some that I didn't know. Especially that the 3rd Bomb Gp. was chosen to escort MacArthur to Japan to sign the surrender papers. Thank him, profusely, for me.. I certainly do hope he is not disappointed with the photos I sent. The quality on those that I didn't have negatives for isn't that great.

Jack

 

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Subject:     Back on line;
Date:              Sun, 25 Apr 1999 00:19:23 EDT
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Good evening Peter;

We are back on line, thanx to a new computer. We just didn't think it was right for us to have to wait so long to get any action on the damn thing. So we went up to the store where we bought it and talked to the manager we had dealt with ( the fact that Jonnie works with his wife may have had a little bearing) and told him we were bit happy with the situation. He said "bring it back and we will replace it" -- nuf said, that's exactly what we did.

Have a message for Noel, if you will once again act as courier. Tell him the money transfer came thru on the 21st, thank him kindly. Also I was not at all happy with the print of Baby Blitz we were able to get. So Monday I am going to take my print up and have them make another copy negative (the one I used was not so good) and see if we can't come up with a better print. If we get the job done, I will send it to Noel, no charge.

I've got quite a bit of Email to catch up on so will close, take care.

Jack

 

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Subject:    Re: 3rd Bomb Group
Date:             Thu, 29 Apr 1999 00:16:14 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Good evening Peter

Your website must be popular tonite. Tried to get in and got the message "site is either down, overloaded or unreachable" It's nice to be popular.

I picked up a message off the Pacific War Message board on AOL last nite from a senior in high school (somewhere) looking for a web site with photos of the Pacific War, so I Emailed him your website. Haven't heard from him.

About the two crash-(prang)-landed airplanes. They were both at Doba Dura and both from the same mission to Rabaul. That was a tough nut to crack for a long time, but it was finally neutralized.

Regards, Jack

 

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Crash landing at Doba Dura after a mission to Rabaul

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Another crash landing at Doba Dura after the same mission to Rabaul

 

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Subject:    Short Memory!
Date:             Fri, 30 Apr 1999 00:31:01 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

While looking thru a sometimes kept diary with a few photos in it, I discovered a photo I had completely forgot I had. (sure sign of approaching old age, I guess) It is a group photo of 39 of the crew members that made that mission from Charters Towers to Mindanao, P.I. in Apr. "42. I didn't know if maybe you would want to use it with that photo of Col. Davies crew with El Aguila; or if you even can at this late date. At any rate I will attach it to this and you can do what you will.

Regards, Jack

 

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39 of the crew members of the 3rd Bomb Group that made the mission from Charters Towers to Mindanao, P.I. in April 1942

 

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Subject:    Re: 3rd Bomb Group
Date:             Mon, 3 May 1999 09:02:09 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

G'day Peter;

About 5th bomber command. It was definitely a part of 5th Air Force. I do believe there was also a 5th Fighter Command. They were directly under 5th Air Force in the chain of command. We received our order from them and we delivered our mission prints to them as soon as we got them printed, usually late a nite. That being the case I'm assuming they moved up the line as we did. Until the Philippines we were always the first Bomb Gp. to move up. At Leyte the 38th Bomb Gp. leap-frogged us . That was a blow to our pride, but we dodged a bullet.

If my memory serves me right the 38th got hit in Leyte harbour and suffered some casualties. Hope this enlightens you a bit about 5th Bomber Command.

Regards ; Jack

 

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Subject:    Not really a walking encyclpedia
Date:             Wed, 5 May 1999 00:34:39 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

As for a list of 5th Air Force Gps., ask and you shall receive, individual Sqs. in the Gps. I can't help you with:

BOMBARDMENT GROUPS
3rd -- A-20's & B-25's. One of the oldest Gps. in Air Force. 8th, 13th & 90th Aero Squadrons were forerunners of the Gp. and saw action in France in WW I.

7th -- B-l7's. Moved to 10th Air Force in India in early 1942

19th -- B-17's. Came out of Philippines, returned to states in late 1942. Later returned to Pacific with B-29's in 20th Air Force.

22nd -- B-26's, B25's & B-24's

38th -- B-25's

43rd -- B-17's & B-24's

90th -- B-24's

312th -- A-20's

345th -- B-25's

380th --B-24's. Attached to R.A.A.F. to train Aussie crews on B-24's

417th -- A-20's

FIGHTER GROUPS:
8th -- P-39's, P-40's & p-38's

35th -- P-38,P-39's,P-47's & P-51's

49th --P-38's, P-40's & P-47's, Major Bong's outfit, our Ace of Aces.

OTHER GROUPS:
6th Recon. Gp.-- F-5' & F-7's

71st Recon. Gp. --B-25's, P-38's, L-4's, L-5's & L-6's

317th Troop Carrier Gp. -- C-47s

No, I am not a walking encyclopaedia of the 5th Air Force. I get my information from a very fine publication, which is a limited edition, but you might want to contact the publisher and see if it still available. I got mine about 6 to 8months ago. Following name and address:

Fifth Air Force, Second Edition
Turner Publishing Co.
412 Broadway, P.O. Box 3101
Paducah, Kentucky, 42002-3101. U.S.A.
Phone: Area Code 502-443-0121

Hope this information will be helpful to you.

Regards, Jack

 

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Subject:      The Forgotten 5th
Date:               Fri, 7 May 1999 08:33:17 EDT
From:            
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

I've been trying for 2 days to get a couple photos to you, and it seems I just can't get photos to you any more. I tried sending both with a message; it bounced, message too long. I tried sending one with a message, same thing. I finally tried sending just one photo, same thing message too long. Just don't know what the problem is.

At any rate I will explain what they were. Since you are an avid fan of the forgotten Fifth I didn't know if you were aware of the 5th Air Force Memorial Foundation. It was incorporated in 1984, but I just found out about it a year ago and joined. They have a nominal yearly dues of $6.00 and ask for a donation to the Memorial Fund. Their mission in life is to perpetuate the memory of the 5th for future generations, with memorials and monuments. They have one at Wright-Patterson Field in Ohio. Have furnished some bronze plaques for one the RAAF has in you hometown of Townsville. The biggest project is a Memorial Wall at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. It is a granite wall and on both sides are bronze plaques of the various groups and squadrons. We were in Denver last summer and I made a trip down to the Academy and got come colour photos, two of which I was trying to Email to you, but it just hasn't worked. Oh well, such is life, but I thought if you didn't know about the Foundation, you would be interested in knowing about it.

Regards, Jack

 

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Subject:      P. I., as in Phillipine Islands;
Date:               Sun, 9 May 1999 00:09:23 EDT
From:            
 jonjac2@msn.com

Hello Peter;

The 19th Gp. was sent to the P.I. in Sept. 1941 with their B-17's. On Dec. 7 (8th their time) the 93 Sq. was in Del Monte, Mindanoa on manoeuvres. The rest of the Gp. was at Clark field. In the initial Jap attack they lost most of their planes and a good many personnel. In late Dec. the air echelon with what planes they had left went to Java and operated out of there until March. At which time they moved to Aust. After evacuating MacArthur and his entourage they were rested for a short time.

Went back into combat and took part in Coral Sea Battle, missions to Rabaul. In late '42 they were sent back to the states as a training unit. April '44 were given B-29's to train in, and in Dec. '44 moved to Guam and joined the 20th Air Force.

Once again I lean on the "Fifth Air Force, Second Edition" for my knowledge. It is a great book, you really ought to look into whether they are still available. If you want, I do believe I have their phone number some where and could call them and see if the book is still available.

Regards, Jack

 

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Subject:    Are we going to get lucky?
Date:             Sat, 12 Jun 1999 23:39:33 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Do you suppose we are finally going to unearth one of the old crew? We had a Wayne Anderson, he came in with a group of replacements in 1944. He was one of two guys younger than myself, so it's entirely possible he's still alive and kicking. I'm sure most of the older guy have long since departed this vale of tears. Am going to Email Anderson and attach a group photo of the Photo Section, and see if that young fella in the 55 year old photo is his Dad. Do hope so. Thanx, so much, for forwarding the message.

Jack

 

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Subject:    We scored!
Date:             Mon, 14 Jun 1999 00:41:32 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Thanx to "Townsville at War" I have finally run one of old crew to ground. Had an answer from Patrick Anderson today, and he informed me the Wayne in the group photo was, indeed, his Dad. Was very excited a bout it, and was going to contact his Dad and get us in touch. Thanx to you and your website.

Also had another interesting contact this past week. Had an Email from Group Historian of the Third Group/Wing stationed at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska. It is the present designation of the 3rd Bomb Gp. and they are celebrating their 80th anniversary in July. He sent me a complete history of the Group/Wing (18 pages, ran out of ink the first try) from WW I to present time. It seems they were based at Clark Field in the Philippines when the vol canoe erupted a few years back. In their hasty exit a lot of the Gps. archives were lost and they have very few photographs of the Group. He is much interested in my album, but would be gone until June 18 when he would be calling me. He also found out about me from your website. Best thing I've done in years, was Emailing you that nite I stumbled onto your site. Strange that album laid in a box for damn near 50 years, ignored, now there is a host of folks interested in it.

Regards & thanx, Jack

 

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Subject:   We'll give it a shot!
Date:           Tue, 15 Jun 1999 00:16:16 EDT
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Haven't talked to the Sgt. historian yet, so I don't know about Group reunions. He did mention in his second contact that the 13th Sq. was very active with reunions. Not having kept in contact with any body, I never did know about any. About the l8 page history, I have scanned the first page and am going to try attaching it to this Email. If it doesn't take too long to upload, and you get decent quality on your end I will scan it to you a few pages at a time.

Regards, Jack

 

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Subject:     Now the last;
Date:              Thu, 24 Jun 1999 23:52:40 EDT
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter,

I will try again, lost my connection in the middle of this one. It is the last page and I trust you will find the history of the Third as interesting as I did. I had lost track of them after Korea. I have video tapes of documentaries showing the old "Grim Reapers" flying in Korea, but then I lost them. Had an Email from the Sgt. in Alaska today. He will be on detached service till Aug. but said his boss would be contacting me. Talk , write. to ya later.

Jack

 

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Subject:   Gidday Jack
Date:           Fri, 2 Jul 1999 23:55:19 EDT
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

I don't know what the powers that be had in mind when they shipped us over there. At Savannah Army air Base we had 4 Sqs. of A-20's (Hq. Sq. was also a tactical   Sq. then) Hq., 13th, 89th & 90th; and 1 Sq. of A-24 dive bombers, the 8th.

When they shipped us over they stripped us of all our senior officers and our airplanes. Our Gp. Comm. going overseas was 1st Lt. Strickland. They apparently had made no provisions for aircraft for us. When we got over there we got officers evacuated from P.I., mostly from the 27th Gp. We also got 24 A-24's that came down out of Java and went into the 8th Sq. The rest of us went begging. Fortunately the Dutch had some B-25's sitting idle in Australia. From there you've pretty much got the story right. I never did inspect one to see if it was true, but it was pretty much accepted that they all had broken locks on the hatches. At any rate I think you will agree that we did make good use of them, and the 13th and 90th racked up some pretty impressive records with the B-25's until they finally got they A-20's. It was in the summer of '42 that the Hq. Sq. lost its tactical status and became strictly a Hq. Sq. and all pilots, mechanics, armourers, etc were transferred to the other Sqs. Don't know that this improves on what you already have, except maybe the broken lock bit.

Regards, Jack

 

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Subject:   Has been a while;
Date:           Wed, 21 Jul 1999 00:09:14 EDT
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

It has been a while since I've Emailed you, and also a few days since I've checked out your web-site. Tonite I couldn't get thru to any of them. Got the message that the site was either down or overloaded, try later. Hope nothing is wrong. The reason I'm writing, I have a bit of news you may be interested in. I had told you about the old outfit, now based in Alaska, being interested in the album. Sun. Aug. 8 a T/Sgt. Historian will be paying me a visit. He will check out the album, pick out what they want for their archives, then I will take them to my local lab, have them printed or copied, and good old Uncle Sam will pay for them. It never ceases to amaze me how that album could lay packed away in box for 50 years, and suddenly come alive. I think I told you that they had been stationed at Clark Field in the Philippines when the volcano erupted, and in their hasty exit they lost most of their archives and photographs. I'm just happy that I will be able contribute something to the outfit that was my family for almost 3 1/2 years.

Just thought you might be interested in that bit of information.

Regard, Jack

 

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Subject:   Up the Broncos!
Date:           Mon, 9 Aug 1999 00:44:44 EDT
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Well T/Sgt Jim Frank, historian of the 3rd Bomb Wing showed up on my doorstep right on time today. I was worried that he might not find what he was looking for, since my album is basically a record of my life in the 3rd and not a pictorial history of the 3rd. But he seemed quite pleased with what he found, and picked out 35 photos he wants copied. He has made arrangements with my local lab, they will do the work, send them directly to the outfit, and the Air Force will foot the bill. All I have to do is act as middle man.

It is rather ratifying to me to know that some of my photos will now be in the official archives of my old outfit. They will be there for future member to see what it was like in WWII.

The Sgt. was in a B-52 outfit during the Gulf War. He did ask me a rather strange question, he wanted to know what my hours were down there. I gave him an incredulace look and said "You got to be kidding". When the planes got back from a mission that film had to be processed and delivered to 5th Bomber Command, and that many times was 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. Do you supposed they punched a time clock in the Gulf War, and maybe Kosovo?

Regards, Jack

 

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Subject:    A DAY TO REMEMBER!
Date:             Mon, 11 Oct 1999 23:50:01 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

OCT. 12, 1943, COLUMBUS DAY (here in the states) On that day the 13th & 90th Sqs. of the 3rd Bomb. Gp. (L), with the aid of auxiliary bomb bay tanks, sent 18 of their B'25's from their base in Doba Dura to the big Jap naval base at Rabaul on New Britain. Rabaul was a tough nut to crack, and that was a tough day for the Gp. Of the 18 planes we got 6 back; six down over the target and six down on the way home. Oct. 12,1943, a day to remember all those fine young men who flew off in those magnificent flying machines, in far away places, and never returned.

Regards, Jack

 

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Subject:    7 Months
Date:             Fri, 29 Oct 1999 00:00:48 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter,

Just thought I would drop you a line. It has been 7 months since you put my page on your website. My original idea was to try and connect with some of my old mates, cobbers, if you will. That hasn't happened, but, it has connected me with a dirth of sons and daughters, not only of the 3rd but also of sister outfits. I have been able to answer a lot of questions, clear up some minor mysteries for some of these off-spring. So altho I haven't achieved my original aim, I feel I have done some good for these folks. So I just wanted to thank your for making it possible. I do get a lot of good comments and feed-back on your web site.

Received Michaels "Forty of the Fifth" last week. We have both been fighting flu bugs this week so I haven't really got into it except to check out the bios on our own planes. But I do believe it is a great piece of historical literature, I told him he ought to get-together with Steven Spielberg, and do a movie on the Forgotten Fifth. Taken from the early days of air support for the ground troops that drove the Japs back across the Owen Stanleys to the escort of MacArthur to the surrender ceremonies, I do believe it would make a great movie. Oh well, we can dream can't we? Incidentally my Denver Broncos have lost their winning ways, but me and my number 2 daughter keep rooting for them.

Regards, Jack

 

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Subject:    Found it;
Date:             Sun, 21 Nov 1999 00:09:46 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

 

Gd'evening Peter;

Followed your instructions and found Bill's E-mails. I found Bill's page interesting, and I think I will contact him tonite, and introduce myself. The strange thing is, I have made contact with so many off-spring of the old outfit, but no veterans. I made contact with Wayne Anderson's son.

Don't know whether I have ever mentioned Andy St. Laurent's web site to you or not.

He started it up about 5 - 6 months ago. His Dad was in the Canadian Army in Italy and his father-in-law was in "our war". He call's his site the Italian and Pacific, the Forgotten Campaigns. He's used several of my photos, and I steered him onto your "Townsville at War" and he got a lot of good ideas from you. I will hang his cyber-link on this and you can   check it out, if you haven't already.

Regards, Jack

 

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Subject:   Celebrities
Date:           Wed, 8 Dec 1999 01:02:11 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Just messing around tonite and discovered your celebrities page. We never did see Jack Benny's group, but we did have Bob Hope's entourage and Gary Cooper and Co. Would you like some photos of same?

Regards, Jack

 

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Subject:   Celebrities
Date:            Thu, 9 Dec 1999 00:03:36 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Gary Cooper and his crew came to us in 1943 at Doba Dura. They visited the 90th Sq. line area and we got some photos of them at the time. I will Email them separately as 3 of them are 8 x l0's and expect will take a little longer to upload and download. I hope they will come thru ok. This 1st one is of Gary standing in front of the engine of one of the B-25's.

Regards, Jack

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Gary Cooper standing in front of a 90th Squadron,
3rd Bomb Group B-25 at Doba Dura

 

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Subject:   Celebrities
Date:            Thu, 9 Dec 1999 00:12:07 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

This next one will be Phyliss Brooks standing from of the shark nose of a 90th Squadron B-25 with those 50 Cal. stingers sticking out.

Regards, Jack

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Phyliss Brooks standing in front of a
90th Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group B-25

 

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Subject:   Celebs'
Date:           Thu, 9 Dec 1999 00:22:06 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

This is the three of them doing their thing. Gary Cooper singing? He did try, but he was no Enrico Carusso.

Regards, Jack

gary02.jpg (64644 bytes)

Gary Cooper and his group

 

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Subject:   Stay tuned
Date:           Thu, 9 Dec 1999 00:34:38 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

That does it for Gary's troupe, don't want to clutter up your mail box too much at one time. Will send Hope's crew at our Hollandia base tomorrow nite. Also have a shot of Judith Anderson and some lesser lights that visited us at Hollandia. She was a well-known Shakespearean actress back in the days of yore. Would you be wanting to have her also?

Regards, Jack

 

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Subject:   One more time for Gary's crew
Date:           Thu, 9 Dec 1999 00:30:50 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

These are two smaller shot. One of Una Merkle with a group of 90th Sq. Pilots. The other is of Gary with a Group of 90th Sq. pilots.

Regards Jack

 

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Una Merkle with a group of 90th Squadron pilots

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Gary Cooper and a group of 90th Squadron pilots
standing in front of "Here's Howe"

 

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Subject:   Stay tuned;
Date:           Fri, 10 Dec 1999 00:18:24 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Once again we are approaching the bewitching hour, when witches and old soldiers do their thing. Mac Arthur just faded away, get on this infernal machine. The first shot coming thru will be Bob, himself, and it is an 8x10 so will send it alone.

Jack

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Bob Hope at Hollandia

 

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Subject:   Stay tuned;
Date:           Fri, 10 Dec 1999 00:26:46 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

This is a double one of Francis Langford singing and the other is of Jerry Colona singing one of his comedy skits. I just can't put a name on the guitarist at the moment, but he was quite well known at the time. If I delved into my album and sometimes diary, I could probably come up with it if needs be.

Jack

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Francis Langford

bob02.jpg (57319 bytes)

Jerry Colona

 

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Subject:   Stay tuned;
Date:           Fri, 10 Dec 1999 00:37:41 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

This last one is of the dancer he had with him, Patty Thomas. Maybe you think that wasn't a site for sore eyes for all those jungle-bound G.I.'s who hadn't seen anything like that in months and months. Also with Patty comes a little side story that I will bore you with. Upon my return to the States in March of '45 they gave me a 21 day leave. After 3 years in the boondocks of the S.W. Pacific I guess they figured I had earned it. I spent a couple of those days in St. Louis, Mo. One nite with a young lady friend I attended a nite club where Ted Lewis and his orchestra was entertaining. After playing a few numbers, among them his famous "Me and My Shadow" routine, he introduced a young dancer who had been entertaining the troops in the Pacific areas. Who should come out but, Patty Thomas. Small world isn't it? And here she comes with no more boring stories.

Jack

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Patty Thomas

 

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Subject:    Stay tuned;
Date:             Sat, 11 Dec 1999 00:04:22 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Last nite I forgot about poor old Judith Anderson. I will tack her onto this and that completes the celebrities that visited us. she is the more mature looking gal 2nd from the right hand side of pix. I don't have the slightest idea the names of the other gals with her. They were more or less the supporting cast to Judith. To be perfectly honest, I was dispatched to photograph them in the Grim Reaper jackets, but I never did see the show. Don't remember why I didn't get to it, ones memory does get a little dim after 55 years. If I didn't have the album and my sometime diary to fall back on there are a lot of things I probably wouldn't remember. I have a hard time putting names on some of the guys in the pictures unless I had made a of notation of them. It is rough to get old, but the alternative ain't all that great either.

I do believe that these WW II web sites with there contributions from veterans and photos from albums that lay dormant for a half century are helping to rekindle an interest in the conflict. And I believe that is a good thing for the younger generations. You are doing an excellent job with yours and always seem to be adding to it. I get a lot of good feedback on your "Townsville at War". It was the son of a 13th Sq. veteran that steered me onto your site. I will be forever grateful to him. And I think all of us Pacific vets still kicking owe you a vote of thanx for what you have done for the part of WW II that was relegated to the back burner for so long.

Regards, Jack

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Judith Anderson is 2nd from the right

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Wearing their Grim Reaper jackets

 

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Subject:    Stay tuned;
Date:             Mon, 13 Dec 1999 00:12:03 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

In a message dated 12/12/1999 5:01:42 AM Central Standard Time, pdunn@st.net.au writes:

<< Gee whizz. You got all the good assignments >>

Gd'evening Peter;

I got the Gary Cooper assignment by default. One of the other guys was leaving the next day on advanced detail to Nadzab, so got the job of photographing Gary's show. He hadn't had any experience with flash Cameras, and came up with nothing. Fortunately it was a two nite stand, so the next nite I got the job, having had two years experience with flash work in high school. My last two years in school I took all the year-book photos except the formal senior portraits. Having scored on that one, the others just sorta came my way.

 

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:   The "FAT CAT"
Date:           Sat, 15 Jan 2000 00:55:28 EST
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Had an Email from Bill this evening and he said you were seeking information on the Fat Cat. Ask and you shall receive. The photos were taken at the dedication of its rebirth as a "chow-run" plane. The article is from our in house publication "The Third Strike". It is old and yellow and if it is not legible, let me know and I will Email it verbatum.

Regards Jack

Fat Cat Is Back in Commission

The joy of the mechanics, the pride of any pilot and a tribute to the 3rd Group, "Fat Cat" took to the air yesterday after long months of inactivity. With Major Henebry at the controls she flew for the first time since June 22, the day she cracked up in landing. 2200 pounds of excess weight has been removed to make more space and a heavier load possible.

The old ship's past record of 73 combat missions and 245 combat hours speaks for itself and now with her battle scars patched and a bright silver finish she will be put on the milk run to the mainland to bring in fresh food and drink for the men of this group.

The rebirth of Fat Cat was made possible through the sweat and skill of the following men under the direction of Capt. Robinson: Sgts. J.B. Chesson, H.P. Barnes, A.L. Putnam, Cpls. L.? Shippie and J. Souza, 8th; Sgt. J.?. Gerchow and Cpl V.L. Bellondi, 13th; and Sgts J.R. Leonard, C.F. Zuker, M.A. Orvon, T.I. Benson and O.J. Neal, Cpl R.C. Meister, R.C. Yager, V.N. George? and Pfc D.C. Williams, 89th; Sgts M.?. Hall and M.D. Sharpe and Cpl J.A. Owe? of the 90th Sq.

 

The following photographs of "Fat Cat" were taken in
about September or October 1943 at Doba Dura

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fat03.jpg (76534 bytes) fat04.jpg (57285 bytes)

 


 

Subject:     Noel Tunny
Date:              Fri, 21 Jan 2000 00:10:37 EST
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Wonder if you would do me a favour. I don't have an Email address for Noel Tunny, and I received a Christmas Card from him a couple days ago. It only took it 29 days to get here. Must have come by way Singapore, Bombay, South Africa, London and New York. Rather than send a conventional letter of thanx via the same route -- I wonder if maybe the next time you contact him you would thank him for me. He was still thanking me for the photo of "Bably Blitz". Glad I was able to provide it for him.

Had an Email from Bill today and he apparently tried to forward a photo you sent him, but all I got was a bunch of "Gobbledegook". He will have to try again.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:    Mortimer]
Date:             Sun, 27 Feb 2000 23:55:08 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

<< ere's the full version of Elley's e-mail.

Have you contacted Elley yet? >>

Gd'evening Peter;

This came in yesterday afternoon, but I didn't get it until tonite. Having only one phone line and some of my Jonnie's siblings in not too good health, I only get on the line late at nite. Last nite we had an overnite guest (our `16 month old great grand daughter) who shares the back bedroom with this "infernal machine". Since her bedtime is 8:00 o'clock that shuts old Dad out.

At any rate, yes I did contact her, scanned her a copy of the 90th Sq. plane coming off a bomb run at Rabaul. Did get an answer and she was quite pleased with the photo, although the fact that it was a bombing mission kind of shook her up a little, I think. I responded that bomb runs were a fact of life at that time and that is what we were there for. Also they were the cause of many of my fellow photos, tent mates and other friends flying off in those magnificent flying machines, and never returning. But the real reason I responded was to advise her of Michaels books on the 5th A.F. and especially "Forty of The Fifth". Since "Mortimer" is the first plane profiled and her Dad flew on it, I figured she would surely want a copy of it. So I gave her Michael's website address and told her I was sure he would be most happy to hear from her, since her Dad had flown on "Mortimer". It is a small world, as I lived in the Denver area for 10 years between '80 and '90, and Jonnie still has a sister out there. We lived just up the road a piece from her Littleton, made famous by the high school massacre a year or so ago. We may get out there this summer. I haven't heard from her since I sent the Email with Michaels info, so I don't know what she will do about that. If I get a favourable response, I will contact Michael and tell him about her.

How are you coming with rebuilding your Email files? If there is anything you need, just holler.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:    Website contact
Date:             Fri, 3 Mar 2000 23:47:47 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

<< A very interesting and tiring afternoon. Went from top to the bottom of this >>

Gd'evening Peter;

You must come to our Colorado Rockies and have a crack at one the "Fourteeners".

They have 53 peaks over 14,000 ft. I have a young friend who has (over the past 20 years) climbed all but about a dozen of them. In between peaks he has had 3 bouts with cancer and undergone 3 chemotherapy treatments. And he fully intends to conquer them all before he quits. Me? I have conquered Mt. Evans, closest one to Denver, where we lived for 10 years. Oh, by the way, the highest paved road in the world goes plum to the top of Mt. Evans -- me and my automobile both conquered it.

The attached e-mail me be of interest.

Also waiting in the mail box with yours was an Email from Bill telling me about the call he had. He was very excited about the prospects of getting some questions answered by this fella. Incidentally I had another Email from Elley, and she says she will be contacting Michael Claringbould about the Forty of the Fifth. When you have some spare time (ha!!!!!!) you really should read it, very interesting. Of course I guess I found it so because I can relate to so much of it.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:    Website contact]
Date:             Sun, 5 Mar 2000 00:34:02 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

<< ave a look at the following new page:- >>

Gd'evening Peter;

Very interesting, very interesting. Oh to be young and ambitious again, so I could delve into the past the way you do. Well tomorrow I will find out how out of shape I am after a winter of practically no snow to shovel and too much neglect of the stationery bike in the family room. It is forecast for 71 F and sunny (and this is most unusual in Iowa this time of year). That obviously is a call to get out in the yard. I hope to get fertilizer on, winter leaves and branches cleaned up and grapevines pruned. If I get it all done I will be beat to a frazzle tomorrow nite -- and I am out of beer in the icebox. Oh well, such is life. We've got a third of an acre to look after.

Don't know what that amounts to in your way of figuring land area -- but in mine it's too damn much. But I do enjoy working in the yard, just getting a little old, I guess.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:    Jack Heyn
Date:             Wed, 8 Mar 2000 23:59:03 EST
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

<< can you answer the question in the attached e-mail?>>

Gd'evening Peter;

No relation. There was a Colvin-Heyn Studio in Omaha in the early part of the century. I suspect it was a member of that family that took the photos referred to by Mr. Secor. Although I had sisters living in Omaha, and I got interested in photography in high school, I never got around to visiting the studio an introducing myself. But my oldest Sis assured me there was no connection. They did do excellent portraiture, as my younger Sis had them do one of her and sent it to me in New Guinea. I will Email Mr. Secor and set him straight. Thanx for fwd. the message.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:     3rd Bomb Group
Date:              Mon, 27 Mar 2000 00:04:32 EST
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Haven't been ignoring you. Was out of town last week and when we got back yesterday your message was in the mail box, along with several others from various sources. You had not sent that Email to me before. When I get caught up with some of this mail, I will contact Jim and see if he knows which Sq. his Dad was in. The name doesn't ring a bell with me, but then I didn't have personal contact with too many in the other Sqs.

Regards. Jack

 


 

Subject:    Brigadier General Walker
Date:             Sun, 2 Apr 2000 23:58:27 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

> I've received a few e-mails from the son (Doug) of your former boss and have now started a home page on him.

Gd'evening Peter,

Just checked out the new page on Gen. Walker -- very interesting. The name was familiar, but since he made his exit early in the war we didn't have too much contact with him. Don't know that he ever visited our Gp. Gens. Kenney and Whitehead were the two I remember the most, as they did visit our area. Have photos of Kenney at decoration formations and at leisure at the officers club.

Thanx for clueing me in on the new page.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:   Buried aircraft at Charters Towers
Date:           Mon, 3 Apr 2000 23:51:19 EDT
From:         
 jonjac2@msn.com

Peter > I was talking to a fellow today who states that there are hundreds of buried aircraft in an underground bunker or tunnel at your old Charters Towers airfield and at another location 20 miles or so away.

Peter > Some may be still in crates. Do you have any knowledge of how aircraft and spares etc were disposed off at the end of the war? Do you know anyone who may know.

Gd'evening Peter;

This is news to me. Sorry this is one I'm afraid I have no answers for. To my knowledge there were no underground bunkers or tunnels any where near our camps or airstrips. Judging from the experience we had digging slit trenches in that terrain, you'll need an A-bomb to dig a tunnel or anything underground. You didn't dig a slit trench in that soil, you hacked it out with a pick-axe. That was like digging in solid rock. It took four of us in the tent about 3 days to finally get one deep enough and long enough for the 4 of us.

After the Group left Charters Towers in Jan. of '43, to the best of my knowledge we never had any more contact with the base. When I left the outfit in Jan. '45 the Group was in the Philippines. Not too long before the end of the war they had moved to Okinawa and pulled a few missions to the home islands of Japan. Then they were moved to Japan and were a part of the occupations forces. So I would assume that they would have had nothing to do with the disposal of surplus materiel. And I wouldn't have the slightest idea of where to tell you to turn to.

Just one thought, you might contact Michael. He has done a lot of research on the 5th A.F., downed aircraft, etc. He might just have heard something. At present I think he might be off on one of his research treks. I have sent a couple messages the past couple weeks and have had no response. He mentioned a while back that he might be off to Guadalcanal on something. Sorry I can't be more help.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:     Brigadier General Walker
Date:              Tue, 4 Apr 2000 00:25:18 EDT
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

> Could you send me a few good shots of Kenney at the club.>

Gd'evening again;

Will have to get them and scan them into the files on this infernal machine, and then send them. Have one of him pinning medals on both Col. Rich. E. Ellis, Gp. Com. (at 25 yrs of age) and Maj. Walker, 13th Sq. Com. (at 21 yrs of age). Would you be wanting them too?

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:    Buried aircraft at Charters Towers
Date:             Wed, 5 Apr 2000 00:22:27 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

I can believe that; but I am trying him one more time tonite, as I need some info he may have to help Steve Carr run down info on his uncle. I believe it was you that steered Steve my way.

On to other subjects. I will attach three photos to this, one of the bar and two with personnel at the bar. In the second photo Gen. Kenney is 2nd from the right, not counting the guy in the background. Can't I.D. any of the rest of the guys. In the third photo Gen. Kenney is 2nd from left. Col. Donald Hall on far left with Col. James Davies (Big Jim, as Michael calls him) next to him. The guy to the right of the Gen. looks familiar, but I can't hang a name on him. Hope that come thru ok and that you can make use of them.

Will attach the two medal photos to a separate Email.

Regards, Jack

 

slug01.jpg (81239 bytes) slug02.jpg (65346 bytes) slug03.jpg (96528 bytes)

 


 

Subject:    Buried aircraft at Charters Towers
Date:             Wed, 5 Apr 2000 00:32:11 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Comes the second one. The photo of left is Col. Richard Ellis receiving medal. The other one is Maj.R. L. Walker.

 

ellis01.jpg (61107 bytes)

Colonel Richard E. Ellis( 25 year old),
Group Commander, receiving a medal
from General Kenney

walker.jpg (59191 bytes)

Maj. Walker (21 yrs of age),
13th Squadron Commander
receiving a medal from
General Kenney

 


 

Subject:    Favor
Date:             Sat, 8 Apr 2000 00:47:58 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Between my album and sometimes kept diary and Michaels amazing files we have pinpointed Lt. Prince's time and activities with the 90th Squadron. His 2 nephews and niece have been working on a project to give there Dad for Fathers Day, and are thoroughly delighted with what they have been able to come up with. Wonder if you might do me a favour, I have sent Michael 3 or 4 Emails in the last couple weeks and have had no response. One of them concerned the health of Fred Hill, one of Michaels photo providers. Wonder if you could Email him and see if he is getting my messages. Would appreciate it.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:    It finally happened!!!!!!!
Date:             Thu, 20 Apr 2000 23:52:19 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Thanx, much, for forwarding Reed's Email. Day before yesterday I had an Email from him and we have had some back and forth. After a year and half on this "infernal machine" I finally made contact with a guy from the old outfit. Thanx to your website and the page of my photos you put on it. I have had many contacts from sons, daughters, nieces and nephs, but this is the first surviving member I have heard from. Never did hear from Wayne Anderson, nor his son again. Don't have a clue as to what their problem was.

Reed is going to send me a roster of the 13th surviving members. Thanx again for what you have done.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:     It finally happened!!!!!!!
Date:              Mon, 24 Apr 2000 23:58:17 EDT
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

I'm up late every nite. I do my thing on this infernal machine between 10:30 and midnite, our time. That way I don't tie up the phone line when my Jonnie might be getting a call from one of her siblings, who are older and in poor health. I must have logged off just before you sent this message last nite.

Peter > A bit gawdy now when you go to the main page >

Gaudy? or colorful? I think we call those brilliant colors psychodelic colors over hear. At any rate they will get your attention -- sorta like rapping someone along side the head with a 2x4. I rather like them myself, I think you did good. Incidentally I got the roster of 13th Sq. survivors in the mail today -- not an Email address in the bunch. But I was surprised that there were 3 pages of them, of course the list was as of the 1998 reunion date, so it may be diminished by now. I have lost contact with Reed Tibbets, tho. Have tried 3 days in a row to Email him, and they have all bounced - user unknown. So this morning I sent him a snail-mail to see what gives.

Have a couple more in the box to answer, so will close for now

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:    Picture]
Date:             Wed, 24 May 2000 00:20:38 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Well, still no photo. I got Bill's text and pages and pages of gobble-de-gook. No mater, I received a photo of the three amigos from Bill, I expect maybe that was the one you were trying to send me. It was one huge photo and took for ever to download. Thanx for your effort.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:    Success!!!!
Date:             Thu, 25 May 2000 23:32:45 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Success, at last. This time it came thru, and no, it was not the 3 Amigos. The 3 amigos Bill sent was a photo of he and two of the pilots that his Dad had flown with. He is really pumped over the reunion he attended. Just wanted to let you know that this time the photo did come thru and thank you.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:   1st Lieutenant Abraham Soffer 0-791005
Date:       Sat, 3 Jun 2000 23:41:18 EDT
From:     
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Stuart Soffer has contacted me seeking info on his uncle.

He seems to a be a sincere young man.

Regards, Jack

 

1st Lieutenant Abraham Soffer
90th Bomb Squadron,
3rd Bomb Group, USAAF

 


 

Subject:    1st Lieutenant Abraham Soffer 0-791005
Date:             Tue, 6 Jun 2000 07:44:31 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'morning Peter;

You might be interested to know that I was able to supply Stuart with Maj. Gen.(Ret) John Hennebry's address. Had an Email from Stuart yesterday and he had talked with the Gen. on the phone, and he was going to get the photos he wants from the General. As soon as his daughter can have them copied.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:    1st Lieutenant Abraham Soffer 0-791005
Date:             Wed, 7 Jun 2000 01:05:12 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

> Wow. That's good news. Straight to the top eh?

> What rank did you get to?

I just happened to have a roster of 13th Sq. survivors from the 1998 reunion and the General's name and address was on it. Didn't see any harm in Stuart giving it a try, and it worked out. My rank? S/Sgt. And it took me two years to get it. Since there was no Table of Organization for a photo section in a Bombardment Gp., rating were mighty hard to get. I was a Cpl. for 2 years, finally made Buck Sgt. and a month later S/Sgt.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:    B-25
Date:             Sat, 10 Jun 2000 23:54:39 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

I Emailed Wheeler and gave him T/Sgt James, Gp. Historian with the 3rd Wing, Email address. He can contact him for a history of the Gp. Also Emailed Stround and have him the 13th Sq. Korean website address. They will be more apt to know about that B-25 he's looking for. Hope it will help them in their search. Have been able to help Stuart Soffer with information and photos concerning his uncle.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:    Valor-1987
Date:             Wed, 14 Jun 2000 01:05:54 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com
To:                stusoffer@worldspy.net, pdunn@st.net.au

Gd'evening Stuart;

Has been an eventful day, washed windows, mowed the lawn, and went and bought my Dad's Day-Birthday gift -- a new flash for my Minolta Maxxum 5000. Also had the plug pulled on this "infernal machine" most of the day as Central Iowa has been dodging lightning bolts a good share of the day and earlier this evening. And I see you are full of questions; will try to supply some answers.

I came across the following article. I thought you might find the content of interest. One thing is confirmed in this article is the

Interesting and pretty factual except the last short paragraph -- a complete fabrication. The 3rd was not formed in Australia. The 13th and 90th saw action in WW ONE. but was officially designated a Gp. July, 1919. They are the oldest continuous serving unit in the Air Force, and are presently stationed at Elmsforf Air Base in Alaska, having been redesignated the Third Wing. (and there is a whole another story which I will relate at another time). And celebrated there 80th anniversary last July. I received an invitation, but couldn't go and they sent me an 80th anniversary patch and coin. Nor was he the last original member of the group. Myself and several more like me spent almost another year and half over there. Don't know where they came up with that information.

Question:-Jack -did you know Major Raymond Wilkins?

Are there any photographs of Wilkins?

Is there a particular plane that is affiliated with Wilkins?

1. - only as the 8tdh Sq. Commander.

2. - only photo I have is a full length in his jump suit with a jungle background in the Reapers Harvest, beside his Cong. Medal of Honor

3. - Not familiar with his plane.


If this article is correct, Wilkins was in on the Oct. 12th 'Raid On Rabaul'.

That is correct. To the best of my memory all of our Sq. Commanders led their Sqs. on missions -- including our Gp. Commanders, Ellis had over 200 missions when I left the outfit.

Does anyone know how many planes are in a squadron? Is there the same amount of planes in a squadron that's at half strength? How many P-38's generally

We were originally an A-20 outfit and Sq. Strength was 20 planes per Sq. They left our A-20's and all of our senior officers in Savannah to pull sub patrol and form a new Group. We had a 1st Lt. as Gp. commander until they integrated the P.I. evacuees from the 27th Bomb Gp; which incidentally had been formed from the 3rd in 1940. We had a couple guys who had brothers in the 27th and they did not know their fate when the P.I. fell. For almost 2 years we flew a mixture of A-24's, B-25's and A-20's. In late '42 and early '43 we finally received a full compliment of 80 A-20's. In the summer of '44 at Hollandia we test flew the first 4 A-26's, Invader, in combat. When they got to Okinawa, they converted to A-26's, finished the war with them, and flew them in the Korean conflict. There were times during those first two years when a Sq. could only put 6 planes in the air for a mission. When the 13th got hit April 11,'42 in the Moresby raid they had 8 B-25's. The Japs burned two of them up and put 5 more out of commission. It was almost 2 months before the 13th could launch another mission. Can't help you on the strength of Major Bong's P-38 Group, as I just wasn't that familiar with fighter groups makeup.

Hope this answers some of your questions.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:    Charters Towers A-24 incident;
Date:              Fri, 23 Jun 2000 23:42:49 EDT
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Bill Swain > so ,don't know if I told you that I also sent a pic of an A-24 (or whats left of it) to Pete.....pic was taken at Charters Towers. was one of two planes involved in a mid-air.

Gd'evening Peter;

Received Email from Bill last nite with above paragraph. Just thought I would let you know (for what it's worth) that is one incident that I eye witnessed. It was early in '42 when the 8th Sq. still had some Dive Bombers (A-24's) left. The formation had just taken off, formed up and was flying past the camp area; must have been 8 or 10 memory is a bit hazy on that. At any rate that many noisy little A-24's passing over caught our attention. They were about 1000 to 1500 feet, right over us, when the last plane in the javelon-down formation got too close to the guy in front of him. His prop chewed the tail off and both came tumbling down. We were yelling at them to bail out (as if they could hear us). Three of them got out. The pilot of one did not, and he had just got back on flying status, from a medical problem. Was his first mission back. That was a hell of a way to go -- but then, there aren't any easy ways.

Since Bill had sent you the photo of one of the planes, I just thought you might like the facts behind the photo.

Regards, Jack

Collision of two A-24's at Charters Towers on 5 June 1942

 


 

Subject:    History lesson;
Date:             Sun, 25 Jun 2000 14:55:43 EDT
From:          
 jonjac2@msn.com
CC:              carlaswain@email.msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

I can't pinpoint the date of the A-24 midair collision. Since you are not familiar with the 3rd Gps. association with the A-24's I can give you a brief rundown. When I was assigned to the 3rd in Oct. '41 at Savannah Army Air Base, Sav., Ga. it consisted of 5 tactical Sqs. Hq., 8th, 13th, 89th and 90th.

All but the 8th were equipped with A-20's the 8th had A-24 Douglas Dauntless Dive Bombers. In the summer of 1942 the Hq. Sq. was deactivated as a tactical unit and became strickly a Hq. Sq. with all the Group offices. Mechanics, armourers, radio men, etc. were transferred to the other 4 Sq.s. When we were shipped overseas they left the planes and senior officers in Savannah. The planes to pull sub patrol, the officers to form a new group.

We arrived in Australia in Feb.,'42 without planes and a 1st Lt. Gp. Commander. In Feb. 1940 the 27th Bomb Group was formed from a Cadre from the 3rd Bomb Group. On Nov. 1, 1941 they sailed for the Philippines. They were equipped with A-24's, but their planes never arrived, and were diverted to Australia. Some of the pilots went to Australia to get planes, but only got back as far as Java, because of the deteriorating situation in the P.I. In March of '42 - 42 officers, 62 enlisted men and 24 A-24's were assigned to the 3rd Bomb Group stationed at Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia. They were assigned to the 8th Sq.

Apr. 1, 1942 the 3rd Bomb Group pulled their first combat mission of the WW II. Six a-24's, led by Lt. Bob Ruegg (retired as Lt Gen. of the Alsakan Command) were headed for Lae Airdrome. Lae was socked in by weather so they diverted to Salamaua. They dropped 5 bombs, a very inauspicious start for a Group that was to become one of the most active units in the Army Air Forces in WW II,

July 29, 1942 seven A-24's of the 8th Sq. left Port Moresby , led by Maj. Floyd Rogers, headed for a convoy heading for Gona. They had an escort of P-39's. Somewhere over the Owen Stanleys they lost their escort and decided to go in with out them. They encountered a host of Zeros -- one A-24 returned from that mission, Capt. Wilkins and Gunner Al Clark. Wilkins later received the Cong. Medal of Honor, posthumously, in a Rabaul mission Nov. 2l, '43.

So the mid air collision had to be in that time frame, I'm thinking it was in May, but I don't have a notation of it in any of my stuff, and the memory gets a little hazy after 58 years. One thing I am reasonably sure of is the pilot who didn't get out was 2nd. Lt Norman J. Davidson. I don't have any written verification, but the name rings a bell in this old memory.

Jack Heyn

 


 

Subject:     Curiosity;
Date:              Wed, 28 Jun 2000 00:51:46 EDT
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com
CC:                carlaswain@email.msn.com, stusoffer@worldspy.net

Gd'evening Gentlemen;

It just started raining outside. If the lightning bolts don't start I will get this finished. Curiosity got the best of me. Had to check out the June 5, 1942 entry in my sometimes kept diary. Brief entry, routine day, topped off with a movie in Charters Towers. Enjoyed the movie, didn't think much of the theatre -- didn't have a roof. In the event of rain, which is a bit rare in that corner of the earth, movies had to be cancelled. By contrast, 2 years later I went to a movie in Melbourne. That theatre did have a roof, in fact the ceiling was an artificial sky, complete with a moon and stars. When the movie started the moon was at one end of the room, when the movie ended it was at the other end. This small town Dakota boy had never seen any thing like that before.

Back to the diary, no mention of mid-air collision of two 8th Sq. A-24's. After the B-25 disaster on May 25 at Lae ( five out six planes shot down) and the several missions that had come back missing one to three planes -- it might just be that the loss of a couple A-24's locally, didn't merit mention.

The early months of the war were very costly to the Group in both men and planes. A body never did get used to the fact that yesterday you had a tent mate, today you don't have. But it soon became evident that in war-time it was a fact of life. And like it or not you accepted it.

One big advantage of being in the Air Force, as opposed to the Infantry or Marines, was that when you lost a good friend it wasn't as traumatic. He just climbed aboard one of those Magnificent Flying Machines and flew off into oblivion. You didn't share a foxhole with him in some damned jungle and see him get his head blown off with a mortar shell. He was just as dead: he would never marry a beautiful young lady; never raise a beautiful family; never celebrate a golden wedding anniversary; he would never get on one of these "infernal machines" and discuss things with total strangers half a world away -- things he hasn't discussed with anybody in over half a century.

You guys may not realize it, but you are pretty good therapy for an old man with a lot of memories -- too many of them not good memories. And for that I thank all of you. And with that I will go climb in bed with that beautiful young lady I married almost 55 years ago. The youth is long gone, the beauty will be there forever more.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:     Busy Man!
Date:              Thu, 6 Jul 2000 01:21:29 EDT
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Just got thru checking out your site and my Email page, and see that you have been a busy guy. The last time I checked it out the "Celebrity" messages and photos were the end of it. Now I see you have added everything. Sure glad I haven't let out any skeletons from the closet. How do you find time to do all this. Have also seen the midair collision page and Lt. Soffers page. Do you ever sleep?

By the way, did you see the article in the magazine of Michael's on the 13th Sq. with some of our photos? Michael was going to send me a couple copies, but they have never got here. Next week I will be going to Missouri to visit my Jonnie's brother. Living about 40 miles from him is Richard Walker, the 13th Sq. Commander being decorated by Gen. Kenney. I have been in contact with him and will be seeing him. Had hoped to have one of the magazines to take to him. In lieu of that, I had asked Michael if he could scan the lead page to me and I could take that with me. However, he must be off on one of his treks. If you happen to have the magazine article, might you scan the lead page and send it my way? Would much appreciate it.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:     [Fwd: Jack Heyn's Photo of Gary Cooper and 90th Sqd. Pilots]
Date:              Fri, 21 Jul 2000 23:57:11 EDT
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

In a message dated 07/21/2000 4:53:07 AM Central Daylight Time,

> How was your holiday?

TOO SHORT, AS USUAL!!!

Gd'evening Peter;

Thoroughly enjoyed our time away. Cut it a day short due to weather. My Jonnie's brother has a pontoon boat on one of southern Missouri's lakes which we had planned to spend the last day on. The nite before they had 6 to 8 inches of rain in the vicinity, causing some flash-flooding, and was forecast to rain most of the day. That is not weather conducive to boating. So we said our goodbyes and headed home. Did look up Richard Walker (AF Col. Ret.) my first Photo Officer and later 13th Sq. Commander. Spent a few hours reminiscing about events in the distant past.

One of the events was a B-25, by name of "Fitchs Bitch" piloted by Capt. Fitch and Co-piloted by Richard Walker, having her hydraulics shot out on a mission and coming in on her belly. When I got back I had an Email in the box from a Nichole seeking information about her father who had died in 1966, Capt. Fitch -- small world isn't it? She had seen my photo page on your website. I Emailed her a photo of the "Bitch" and her ground crew, and a page from my sometimes-kept diary with two photos of the belly landing and the names of the crew. And promptly turned her over to Walker since he knew the good Capt., and I didn't know him personally -- only as one of our pilots. Needless to say she was thrilled to get the photos.

When I close this I will send an Email to Ms. Mac Donald explaining that I did take the photo, but didn't personally know her brother. Can give her a little information about missions etc.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:     Fwd: Gary Cooper and George Howard
Date:              Sat, 22 Jul 2000 23:45:57 EDT
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Am fwd. an Email from Carol Howard Mac Donald's nephew. Thought you might be interested since (as usual) it all started with Peter Dunn's website. The belly landing of Fitchs Bitch was at Doba Dura, sorry about that. I had asked Carol to check with her brother to see if he might, just possibly, have a photo of Stuarts uncles "Notre Dame de Victore". Had an Email from Stuart and he was quite depressed from the failure of the Henebry connection. So I thought there just might be a chance Howard would have a photo since Henebry was the Sq. Com. Will let you know if the idea bears fruits.

Regards, Jack

--------------------------------------------------

Subject:     Gary Cooper and George Howard
Date:              Sat, 22 Jul 2000 18:09:37 -0400
From:            George L Howard <howardinc@juno.com>

To:                
 jonjac2@msn.com

Hi Jack,

I forwarded your picture of Gary Cooper and my Dad to my aunt Carol MacDonald, she forwarded your email to me. I will search for a picture of the airplane you need (Notre Dame etc) and if it is available make arrangements to get you a copy. Your Gary Cooper photo has been in the family album for years and just this afternoon Dad identified the participants from left to right as: Major ? , the Group Sugeon; Lt.Col. John ( Jock) Henebry; Gary Cooper ; an accordion player on the USO tour with Cooper whose name he did not recall: 1st Lt. George L. Howard. He flew as co-pilot in Here's Howe in the big November 1943 raid on Rabaul and was awarded the DFC for that mission in which they sunk a Japanese freighter. When Cooper was on tour the Group Commander called operations looking for someone to take Cooper on a flight. My Dad took him up in Here's Howe and they made a bomb run on a destroyed Japanese ship that was used for target practice off the coast, the intention being to let Cooper decide when to drop the bomb. Apparently Cooper hesitated just a little too long and signalled just after the bomb was toggled off, the target was hit but Cooper had a suspicion that it was actually dropped before his signal. Thanks for the information you provided , I will leave it to you to forward this to Peter Dunn if you think it will interest him.

Ed Howard

 


 

Subject:     'PAPPY' - not Paddy
Date:              Mon, 24 Jul 2000 01:17:27 EDT
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Ahh - this was an Email that warmed the cockles of my heart -- a subject dear to this old heart. First I have to make a correction; his nickname was "PAPPY" not Paddy.

Pappy Gunn was a legend in our Gp. He came by the moniker honestly. He was a retired 20 year Navy aviator. He was working with a Philippine airline when war broke out. The Army Air Corp commissioned him a Capt. and I guess you might say, drafted him. After some harrowing experiences in the P.I. he was evacuated to Aust. and assigned to the 3rd Bomb Gp. as Gp. Materiel Officer. He promptly started flying combat missions (including the April 11,'42 mission to Mindonao) with a bunch of pilots less than half his age. Hence, the Pappy, and he was stuck with it for the duration.

When he joined us we were woefully short of high ranking brass, it having been left in Savannah, so it wasn't long before Capt. Gunn was Col. Gunn.

All the time he was with us I was a lowly Cpl., and tho I was in his presence at times, Cpls. don't have much interaction with Cols. In fact, at 19, I'm afraid I was a bit awed by the gentleman. What with the stories that came with him and the weathered countenance his nickname could very well have been "Grandpappy".

Photographs -- that is a tough call, Peter. When he came out of the P.I. he had to leave his family, wife and kids, behind and they were interned by the Japs. He would never allow any photographs of him, nor would he allow any of the War Correspondents to write stories of his accomplishments, for fear they might get back to the Japs and go hard on his family. Knowing his circumstances they respected his wishes. I doubt that the "newshounds' of today would be that considerate. So I never had the opportunity to photograph him, and to the best of my knowledge none of the other guys did. Least ways I never saw any negatives or prints of him. There is one photo of him and General Smith in the Reapers Harvest, which I will Email to you, and there is a photo of him in the cockpit of a B-25 on his website. I will send you that address in case you are not familiar with it.

It is well documented that he spearheaded the conversion of the B-25's and A-20's from high level bombers, to low-level real mean, strafing, skip-bombing killing machines. It took just a few costly missions in both men and planes - both of which were in scarce supply in the S.W.P.A. - to convince Pappy that as high level bombers both of them were as worthless as a third tit. He worked with Jack Fox, a North Am. tech rep and most of the preliminary experimenting and testing was done at our base in Charters Towers. The actual modifications were done in Brisbane.

As low-level planes they went on to make a name both for them selves and the Third Bomb Gp. You might say the Bismark Sea Battle was their 'coming out party' and really proved their worth.

There are many stories about old Pappy, many of them actual and some of them the figment of an active imagination. I can fouch for two, and tho I don't know if you could use them on a page, I will pass them on. He had a sore finger, if memory serves me right he broke one of his little fingers. It wouldn't heal right and was dealing him a fit. He went to the Flight Surgeon with an ultimatum -- either the Surgeon cut it off or he would shoot it off. the Surgeon obliged and Pappy kept it on his desk in a jar of formaldehyde.

After he was transferred to higher headquarters he still made frequent visits to the Gp. and flew some missions with us., On one trip the only plane available for him to fly was a B-26. We had a jeep waiting at the strip for him, and when he got out the plane he said the Son-of-a-Bitch was going to sit there until somebody came to get it. On the way up, for no good reason, the plane dropped a few hundred feet. Pappy was not a high altitude flyer, and usually kept pretty close to mother earth. That drop could have been disastrous for both Pappy and the 5th Air Force that day. And the plane did sit there until somebody else flew it back.

I tried to bring up the website you sent the address of, but it wouldn't come on. So I don't know what you have done. But I will send his website address, the photo of him that is in Reapers Harvest, and a couple pages from my sometimes-kept diary that I think are relevant. All on separate Emails, as I just don't have much luck bunching things. Hope I have been a little help.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:      Re: pictures!
Date:               Mon, 7 Aug 2000 00:28:33 EDT
From:            
 jonjac2@msn.com

Gd'evening Peter;

Have Emailed Barbara, as I have had three from her. We established that her Dad would have had to been in the 13th Sq., 3rd Bomb Gp.' as he started out with them in Savannah, Ga.. Since I took that poker game photo when I was in the 13th, it is entirely possible that the arm could have been her Dads. But I had to admit the name didn't ring a bell with me, and I was not personally acquainted with him. But if she needed general information on the outfits locations and actions, I could probably answer a few questions for her. We shall see what we shall see.

Regards, Jack

 


 

Subject:     Christmas Greetings:
Date:             Fri, 22 Dec 2000 23:57:59 EST
From:           
 jonjac2@msn.com
 

WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS
WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS
WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS
AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

Jonnie & Jack

The attached card is shades of the distant past.

jh30.jpg (71724 bytes)

 

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This page first produced 26 February 1999

This page last updated 13 May 2015