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Subject:     5th Air Force
Date:              Thu, 10 Jun 1999 08:57:40 -0400
From:              "-hal" <>

You have a very nice site and its too bad my father isn't alive to see all these nice web sites that are on the net. He always wanted to go back and Im sure he has by now! If you would like your link added to my web page ( let me know Peter and I will add you.

All my best

-hal Lake



Subject:    Which Bomb Group
Date:             Tue, 28 Dec 1999 09:43:23 -0500
From:              "-hal" <>

My father was in the 380 Bomb Group, 531st Squadron, He was a Darwin, Aus Long Strip and from what I have gathered moved to the Philippines in some point in time.

If you want any more info then that I cant help you.




Subject:    Which Bomb Group
Date:             Wed, 29 Dec 1999 06:26:12 -0500
From:              "-hal" <>

I dont know if you saw this on my web site but it is posted there This is signed by George Kenny to my dad. My father won the air medal.

- hal


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Letter from Lieutenant General George C. Kenney



Subject:    Lost b-24
Date:             Thu, 13 Jul 2000 16:33:28 -0400
From:              "-hal" <>

Here is a story about Beautiful Betsy a B-24 lost, You might have seen this, it's from the Australian Post Nov 28. 1985.



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Subject:    Did I Send This To You?
Date:             Tue, 19 Dec 2000 15:37:46 -0500
From:              "-hal" <>

A person send this to me I cant remember if I send this to you or not but thought you might like to read it.

This was sent to me thru e-mail. This is the rest of the story that my fathers was writing about in his bomb run mission. Here is the
rest of the story for the 21 Sept mission, as found in the history of the "Flying Circus,"titled THE BEST IN THE SOUTHWEST-THE 380th BOMB GROUP IN WORLD WAR II by GLENN R.HORTON JR

"21 Sepember 1944. Laha was the primary target as Circus crews again found Ambon Bay shrouded in 10/10 cloud cover. Tired of wasting their bombs on Timor, most of the crews dropped on ETA rather than try to find some secondary target. As they stooged around above the thick overcast, the Japanese sent up a barrage of defensive fire that was supplemented by the addition of heavy caliber guns positioned around the north end of the runway. One radar directed shell exploded near 42-73799 "Male Call" sending a white hot shard of shrapnel into the waist area. The 531st plane shuddered from the concussion, but continued its flight as if nothing happened. Inside the waist, a different story was unfolding for both of 1/Lt. James L. Brasfield's gunners lay on the floor bleeding profusely. The single piece of metal that penetrated the fuselage went through S./Sgt Clarence L. Newton's calf and them ended up in S/Sgt Edward M. North's thigh. When neither man responded to an interphone call the pilot sent back his navigator Donald E. Haven and bombardier Stephen P. Resko, to check out the situation. They found the wounded men going into hemorchagiv shock. Using the fresh First Aid knowledge they had gained the night before from a class by 531st Flight Surgeon Capt. Irving Glass, they turned the situation around.

The other 531st bombers received damage but no caualties from the unexpected flak.

The 380th Bomb Group was composed of the 528th, 529th, 530th, and 531st Squadrons.



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And below is what my father wrote.

July 11, 2000

This story was found by my mother while looking thru my fathers desk. This is a true story of his account of an actual bombing mission:-

On the shores of Ambon bay
Where the flying Zeros play
And the flak comes up like thunder
Out of LaHa cross the bay.

World War 2 Aussie song to the tune of


We were stationed at Batchelor Field about 50 miles from Darwin Australia in the Northern Territory.

At that time a very small town, Today 70,000 people live there. This town is as far north as a person can go in the continent of Australia. When you leave the town you are immediately in the Australian Outback. The Japanese bombed this city at the start of World War 2 causing the Australian Government to move the citizens to other places in the south. At the time that I was there only Australian, American Military Personnel were in the area.

Darwin was also the first stop for General Douglas McArthur in his escape route from the Phillpine Islands.

My crew and I were members of the 380th Bomb Squadron, We also had the 528th Bomb Squadron, the 529th and the 530th. All of us were participating together in Bombing Raids against the Japanese forces. We were flying in B-24 Liberator bombers. The objective of the 380th Bomb Group was to carry out the task of protecting the southwestern flank of our drive towards the Phillippine Islands.

By the time September 21, 1944 arrived, my crew and I had 15 missions under our belt, and were no longer the green crew that had arrived from the United States in the latter part of June. On the 20th of September, Our crew drew an assignment to go on a strike against the center of enemy air strength in the southern Celebes. I did not know it at the time but this area is also the center of the so called Spice Islands. At the briefing, We found out a number of things. First we were told to stay away from Ambon town on our approach with the B-24 bombers. For some reason they had more Anti-Air craft guns than the air strip at LaHa air drome. We were supposed to make one pass, drop our bombs and head for home. Also a Captain Garrison who had come down from Headquaters was to lead this mission. Our Pilot,  Lt Brasfield, who usually lead our missions was moved to wingman. Due to this move, Capt. Garrisons Radio Operator was responsable for all Radio transmissions.

This moved me back to a postion on the belly guns, a postion that I usually did not occupy. At the briefing we found out we were supposed to take off at 202130, rendezous with 12 planes of the 528th and 530th Bomb Squadrons. Consquently the next day we took off as briefed and made our way in formation to the target area led by Capt Garrison. Weather over Ambon bay and the Target Area interfered with a direct run over the target so Capt Garrison took all of the planes right over Ambon Town which he was not supposed to do, All hell broke loose. The Anti Aircraft fire was terrible, by the time we reached the air strip of LaHa, it was worse. We could not drop any bombs due to the cloud cover. We were at 16,300 feet, over 3 miles high in the air. Capt Garrison turned again and made another run at the air strip but again headed over the town again. And again we were subjected to more flak than I had ever seen the Japs throw at us. And again we could not drop any bombs but we could see 10 to 15 unidentified airplanes parked on the strip. We could not drop any bombs, so Capt Garrison turned with the squadrons following him and headed over Ambon town with our planes still following him. I guess the Japs threw all the Ammo they had at us. There were black puffs of smoke all over the place. By the time we reached LaHa air field, it was again worse but we let the bombs go this time. Three of our planes were holed by flak. I was setting on Ammo can when this burst came through the side of the airplane catching one of my waist gunners in the upper thigh and the other in the leg taking some flesh with it. The way I was sitting, had the burst been a second faster, it would have hit me in the stomach.

So I was really lucky. They called this Anti-Aircraft fire, intense, heavy and accurate and they were so right You can always tell when the fire is close the sound is real sharp. The black puffs that you see without sound are not near the plane.

My father never finshed the story. This story was tucked away under his desk and was found by my mother 2 years after he had passed away. I wished he had finished the story.



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This page first produced 13 July 2000

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