REPORT ON THE 38TH BOMB GROUP REUNION
IN OCTOBER 2000

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visits since 15 November 2000

 

The following Press Release was prepared by David J. Gunn <pappygnk@juno.com>:-

 

WW II 38th BOMB GROUP REUNION ATTENDED BY COUNTY VETERANS

The 38th Bomb Group reunion, October 2-6, was attended by four San Diego County veterans. David Gunn of Valley Center, Tom Kirby and Bill Royalty, Jr., both of San Diego, and Jackson Settles of Escondido, renewed friendships with more than 200 former comrades and their wives during the four day event in Las Vegas.

The group, known as the Sun Setters, entered operations from northern Australia in 1942 against Japanese air bases, oil production facilities, ground forces, supply and training depots, and anything that moved on the water from New Guinea to Japan itself. Flying at treetop levels and strafing their targets before releasing their bombs, was their primary tactic from mid 1942 until the war ended in 1945.

Capable of carrying a bomb load exceeding 2000 pounds, their B-25 Billy Mitchell bombers were also armed with up to 14 forward firing .50 caliber machine guns. Additional bomb bay gas tanks enabled carrying out missions to more distant targets.

The 38th Bomb Group was made up of the 71st, the Wolf Pack, 405th, the Green Dragons, 822nd, the Black Panthers, and 823rd, the Terrible Tigers, bomb squadrons and supporting companies.

The B-25 Mitchell is remembered as the plane Jimmy Doolittle's men flew to bomb Japan in April 1942 after taking off from the Navy carrier, Hornet. This was the first bombing of the Japanese homeland during WW II.

The 38th Bomb Group veterans association meets every two years for reunion and distributes a news letter three times a year. The 2002 reunion will meet in Colorado Springs, CO.

Other veterans of the Sun Setters living in San Diego County include Harry Begg of Solana Beach, Jules Fish of Bonsall, and Ralph Pizza of Escondido. Veterans of the group or those interested in this group may contact David Gunn at (706) 749-3769.

 

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 Peter Dunn 2002
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This page first produced 15 November 2000

This page last updated 02 April 2002