Page 8.921 Gene Whitt's WWII
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Many missing links...just scroll down for what you want to read.

 ...58th Bomb Wing Memorial Info ...Page 1; ...Page 2; ...Page 3; ...Page 4; ...The Supersonic Trainer; ...Aside;  ...A Pair of Dice as a Going Away Present; ....In the Beginning; ...St Pete and Clearwater for BasicTraining; ...Souix Falls S.D. Basic Radio and Code; ...Madison, Wisconsin Electronics and Spartan Barracks; ...Boca Raton, FL Radar, Loran, and Sand; ...Greensboro, NC Waiting for Shipment Overseas; ...Aside; ...By Air to Africa; ...Casablanca; ...Scams; ...Cairo, Egypt; ...Karachi, India; ...Karagapur and the 468th; ...Tokio Rose at Night; ...Lili Pons and Andre Kostalanez; ...Calcutta; ...Christmas Eve 1944 Air Raid; ...THE JAPANESE BOMB FUSE; ...B-25 Accident; ...The Spitfire; ...Buzz Job by Pacific Pioneer; ...Gunga Din; ...Singapore B-29 Mission; ...Leaving India on the McCrea; ...Ship Model; ...Member of the R Division; ...Meeting King Neptune; ... Melbourne, Australia; ...Townsville and New Guinea; ...Tinian; ...British Tents vs. American Tents; ...Washing Machines; ...Odometer Read-out of Position; ...We Expect an Invasion on Tinian with Empty Guns ...Tinian's Carnivorous Ants; ...Unsafe Roads; ....58th Wing Training Center; ...The Penny; ......Two Engine B-29 Returns for Landing; ... Takeoff Emergency on Tinian; ...Memories of the EDDIE ALLEN;...War's End; ...Swoose; ...Lindberg Connection; ...Last Hurrah; ...First B-29 Low-Level Fire Bombing Mission; ...Three Losses; ...Kitty Hawk; ...Little Known WWII Fact ; ...Ending the War on TerrorismHMS Rohna; ...Email to Walter of Australia, ...What Happened to 58th Bomb Wing Aircraft; ...An Account of Life on Tinian after the War; 
B-29 3350 Engines (email series); ...WWII B-29 Program; ...Why Japan  Lost the WarOperations Research

Because of the May deadline for the membership roster I am including all of my written material. I will try to get the Xerox material made into glossy photos as being more appropriate. Presume you can transcribe the 58th questionnaire into the format you want. The rest is pretty massive but some of the historical items are not of general knowledge. Use as you wish.

I have some of my Fathers WWI memorabilia that may be of interest and value. Particularly, the order of battle for his signal corps platoons during the war. He was part of the 42nd Division which I believe was commanded by MacArthur. My older son is looking for his grandfather's silver star. I also have his Sam Browne belt and shoulder strap, his gas mask and helmet. Would these items be of any value or interest to you?  (NEVER a response)

I am also sending my collection of B-29 and WWII books for you to use, as you will. I have been collecting ever since the war ended. I will include my set of 'Impact' books. I gave a considerable number of the original magazines to the Nimitz Museum as well as the original Nagasaki-Fukuoka aeronautical chart and ship plans of the USS General McCrea. You are getting full sized replicas. I have already donated to you the schematics for the APN-9 LORAN and some material related to the APQ-23. I believe much of this is 'one of a kind'.
Gene Whitt

58th Bomb Wing Memorial Info

Page 1
58th Bomb Wing Memorial
New England Air Museum
Name: Eugene Lando Whitt

Current address/street:
324 Rheem Blvd.
City: Moraga
State: CA Zip 94556

Email address:

Family Information:
Father: Lando Whitt (deceased); Mother: Neva E. Jones (Deceased)

Sons: Dr. Lee Barlow Whitt of San Diego and Terry Mark Whitt of Seattle

Hometown when you entered the Service: Mill Valley, California

Service Number: 39120199 Date you entered the Service: January 10, 1943

Service Schools attended:
Basic Training at Clearwater, FL Month/Year Jan. Feb 1943
Radio/electronics at Souix Falls, SD Month/Year Feb. Mar. Apr '43
Electronics at Madison, WI Month/Year Apr. May, June '43
Radar at Boca Raton, FL Month/Year July '43 through Feb '44
Awaiting overseas assignment at Greensboro, NC Feb. Mar. Apr 1944
Military Specialty Earned: 718 as Radar Bombardment Mechanic
Military Specialty Assigned: as Loran mechanic and Instructor
Military Specialty Assigned: as Supersonic Trainer mechanic/Operator
Military Rank Upon Discharge: Sgt.

Page 2
58th Bomb Wing Unit Assignment:
Location of Unit when Assigned: Karagapur, India
Bomb Group: 468th Squadron 793rd Squadron

Location of Unit when Assigned: Tinian Island, Marianas
58th BombWing HQ Training Center (Detached service) as Loran Instructor
Wing HQ Training Center (Detached service) as Supersonic Trainer mechanic/operator
Awards/Decorations received:
Good Con. Ribbon
Asiatic-Pacific Rib.
American Campaign Medal
Distgd Unit Citation
5 Battle Stars
2 Overseas Serv. Stripes
Victory Medal + Ribbon + Star

Page 3
58th Bomb Wing Memorial
Date transferred from the 58th Bomb Wing: 19 Nov 1945 Date Discharged: 1 Dec 1945

Post-World war II Military Service:
Date of Current Enlistment: Feb '50
8622d Bomb Tng Sq, 8604th Bomb Tng Gp (Corl)
Mather AFB, Sacramento, CA.
Air Force Reserve as basics electronics instructor.
Discharged fr the USAFR eff 7 Apr 51 with rank of Staff Sgt.

Post-World war II Civilian Occupations:
Elementary School Teacher
I was one of the first credential teachers of retarded children in California

1968 to present General Aviation pilot
Flight Instructor 1970 to present
10,600+ hours as of April 2004

Your thoughts about what your service in the 58th Bomb Wing during World War II means to you:

When in training for and while with the 58th Bomb Wing I discovered that I had an innate talent for teaching complex material and ideas. Generally, the better your grades in technical schools the longer you were allowed to remain by taking advanced courses.

I have been able to utilize my knowledge of electronics acquired while in the military service all my life in countless situations. Through LORAN, the Supersonic Trainer and two months with the Link Trainer I acquired enough knowledge about navigation, use of the E6-B, chart reading and aircraft instrument interpretation that becoming a pilot and instructor was the frosting on my cake of life.

There can be no question but that the greatest single benefit was the post-war funding of my college education using the G.I. Bill. I helped the country and the country helped me. What I learned during WWII gave me the foundation on which I came to be recognized via the internet and my web site as one of the premier sources of General Aviation knowledge.

Page 4
Further Comments:
Associated pictures, drawings and chart.

Eddy Allen background of 58th Bomb Wing Training Center Staff on site. (Sidebar Article covering the death of Eddy Allen, action of plane and reason for being at Training Center. (Gene Whitt below co-pilot's window October 1945)

1950's glossy of Supersonic Trainer being used at Mather AFB, Sacramento CA.
Life magazine picture of APQ-13 radar station in B-29
WWII Glossy of APQ-13 components and my identification of them.
Cut-away drawings of Supersonic Trainer components
Nagasaki area large-scale visual replica as another way to familiarize crews with bombing routes.
Color aeronautical chart of Nagasaki-Fukuoka with pencil marks of simulations used on trainer.
Present day picture of Gene Whitt by replica of Nagasaki's Fat Man plutonium bomb
Silver and copper inlaid statuette of King Faruk's great-grandfather's horse that was a centerpiece of downtown Cairo during the War. (Wife willing)
WWII Japanese bomb fuse with safety link and cord in place, WWII Brass E6-B, My fathers silver star and an accounting of my home coming voyage on the USS Land from Tinian to San Pedro. All of the foregoing only if my older son can find them.

The Supersonic Trainer
The story of the supersonic trainer as it related to the war with Japan has not to my knowledge been told. It was an innovative invention originated by the Navy that made it possible for radar operators, navigators, and bombardiers to see and 'fly' radar simulations over Japan and Europe without the hazard of combat flying. On Tinian, as a member of the 58th Bomb Wing Training School I was responsible for the operation and maintenance of a supersonic radar-bombing simulator.

I flew from Florida to India via North Africa in 1944 and a year later sailed by troopship to Tinian Island in the central Pacific. Several months after my arrival on Tinian, I was selected from the 468th Billy Mitchell Group, for assignment to the 58th Bomb Wing Training Center. During my year plus at the Army Air Force Radar Training School at Boca Raton, Florida I had avoided boredom by taking classes about every piece of equipment in the inventory. I was initially assigned to the Wing's school because I knew the operation and calibration procedures for the second generation of airborne LORAN known as the APN-9. For a couple of months I conducted classes for both new and old navigators of the 58th Bomb Wing. New planes arrived and were assigned to veteran crews while new crews were given older aircraft with older equipment. This meant that every navigator involved in an airplane swap would require the appropriate LORAN instruction. I encountered considerable resistance from my officer students due to the frequent failures of electronic equipment at high altitudes. Navigators proficient in celestial navigation were reluctant to place reliance on electronic boxes. At the same time the supersonic trainers arrived on Tinian, I was wearing out my welcome as a LORAN instructor. I had rubbed too many officers the wrong way by my enthusiasm for LORAN. Being a twenty years old corporal didn't help much either. Being the teacher, I was in charge of the classroom without regard of a student's rank and I took advantage of it.

When the large boxes arrived at the 58th's Training Center with the disassembled supersonic trainers I was reassigned. My new job was to take a series of rather large Tech Order manuals and assemble one of the three trainers together. It was a daunting challenge since the diagrams in the books did not always correspond with the parts in the boxes. I was in Erector Set heaven for two weeks. My trainer was the first of the three put into operation with the APQ-13 microwave airborne radar set.

The supersonic trainer was a device that enabled a radar operator and bombardier to simulate an actual radar-bombing mission over most areas of Japan. The equipment consisted of a large water tank with a control console at one end. It came with several different glass map-pairs for major target areas of Japan. I was responsible for the installation, operation, alignment, and maintenance of the trainer. There were two other similar installations in the Quonset building but my memory has it that mine was the first to become operational and the most frequently operationally ready to be used. The following is the story as I recall it.

The supersonic trainer got its name because a submerged crystal wafer was electrically vibrated briefly at a supersonic frequency that enabled the crystal to act as both a transmitter and receiver while submerged in water. The crystal is the essential part of the central station since it acts as the airplane in its movements. The crystal rotates in unison with the rotation of the plan position indicator (PPI) or scope used by the radar operator. The height of the crystal above the map was measured to be proportional to the planned bombing altitude. It was usually just a fraction of an inch above the sand terrain of the submerged map.

The power source and microsecond timing for the crystal comes from an electronic unit called the echo simulator. Just as with radar, the crystal would pause after every electrical trigger for a couple of microseconds during which time it would act as a receiver to any 'echo'. The vibrations or waves created by the crystal moved in water at 1/200,000 the speed of radar frequencies (l86,000-miles-per-second) do through atmosphere. Any surface in the water below the crystal would give reflections, as would radar pulses off the earth. The signal from the crystal was fed into receiver of an APQ-13 radar set and would give scope pictures in very close simulation as would an actual flight over Japan. Just as with the radarscope (oscilloscope) a sector-scan could be directed over an arc just in the forward direction with a heading lubber line and bomb release arc displayed over the scope picture. Variable range circles are superimposed over the display depending on the range selected. This is exactly the way RADAR works except for the scale differences.

The glass-plotting map was aligned level with and two feet above the underwater map. This plotting map has a line drawing of the underwater map with printed identification of cities, water, and islands. Beneath it was a large roll of taunt paper stretched the length of the map. Below the paper a tracking pen would plot the track 'flown', the bomb release point where the pin would drop from the paper, and bomb impact point. Navigational and bombing accuracy could be determined by reference to the paper and plotting map.

The flight simulator part of the system was about the length and width of 8 by 12 carpet and standing three feet high. A large plate glass with sand and beads carefully made to represent Japanese islands and cities was submerged about ten inches under water. The map area was covered by a shallow tank of water about 5 by 8 feet and ten inches deep. The bottom of the water tank would contain any one of several interchangeable large plate glass maps of the Japanese islands. There were several pairs identified by major cities. They were Nagasaki-Fukuoka, Kobe-Osaka, Yokohama-Tokyo, Hiroshima-Okayama, and Kyoto-Nagoya. The underwater maps reproduced the terrain and the flight simulator produced the motion of an aircraft over it.

A large console on one end of the tank made it possible to preset and remotely control the trolley system and its crystal and co-located pen as it moved over the map just as an aircraft would. Aircraft headings and speeds could be set via a system that consisted of a spinning metal disk upon which a metal ball rotated along its radius. The speed of the ball and a corresponding aircraft speed could by varied by moving the ball in and out from the center of the disk. The speed and direction dials on the control console were set according to parameters of the exercise. The voltage settings of the dials would gave a composite aircraft track combining aircraft direction, speed and the wind effect called drift. The voltages were sent via servomechanisms to a traveling crane that carried the central station made up of the underwater transmitter/receiver crystal and the tracking pen. This crane's two trolleys that were moved by pulleys as are the overhead cranes used in large steel mill buildings. The large trolley moved the length along the X-axis and the smaller trolley moved sideways along the Y-axis. One of the alignment tests used consisted of flying a circle with zero wind and once again with a wind applied.

The map design was covered with glued sand layers to represent land surface and small coated beads for cities while glass would represent water. The surface was specifically designed and tested to give the reflective radar display on the trainer's scope as would appear on the scopes of a B-29 in combat over Japan. The essence is that the scale of the underwater map, height of the crystal above the map and speed of the crystal vibrations all were calculated to be exactly proportional to the real world and to each other. Only with this proportional fit would the scope display be an accurate simulation of an actual flight over the glass maps of Japan with the appropriate radar display. As with some of the B-29s, there could be an auxiliary display with a camera to take pictures of the scope when triggered. Even less that perfect radar performance could be duplicated.

The trainer control unit was a console-type panel that allowed the technician (me) to act as pilot and wind by using dials, instruments and switches. The altimeter is from a Link Trainer and can be set to a desired proportionate altitude. Bomb control instruments include a bomb release switch and a time-of-fall timer. These cause the tracking pen to drop off the paper when bomb release occurs and the timer causes the device to shut off at the bomb impact point. The Norden sight can also remotely activate the bomb release.

The heading-airspeed controls are to the far right of the panel. The index pointer on the azimuth dial indicates true heading. The true airspeed was obtained by direct reading off a voltmeter made variable by a knob. The usual speed used was 210 miles per hour. The headings can be set and turns performed at a variable rate of turn as required by the calculated aircraft ground speed. For the B-29, the radar operators I worked with often used a Lincoln-head penny to give the required arc on their charts so I did the same on my chart. A rate-of-turn knob on the console allowed the required turns into the final course of the bomb run.

The wind control instruments were on the left side of the console and included both wind direction and wind velocity. The 100 mile-per-hour maximum speed allowed on the trainer was not adequate to represent the jet stream wind speeds that were first encountered aloft over Japan. This problem existed with the bombsight as well and accounts for a good proportion of the poor bombing results before the firebombing program commenced at lower altitudes. Below the control console are two clutch handles that released the trolley friction on the cables. This allowed the central station to be positioned manually quickly for another bombing exercise.

The supersonic trainer was able to produce a moving radar picture of a target area very similar to an actual flight over selected areas of Japan. In a few minutes it was possible to run repeated bombing problems with wind and course variables likely to occur at a given target. The actual flight in the B-29 at appropriate speeds, headings and altitudes could be represented. The wind direction and velocities could be inserted so as to require compensation both for navigation and bombing as would exist in combat conditions. The radar detectable checkpoints for the mission were pre-planned as required. The actual ground track of the aircraft was recorded on the paper sheet along with bomb release point. The trainer stopped moving at the impact point.

Wing headquarters would tell the officer in charge of the school to have the trainers set up to allow simulations over a particular map area of Japan and have it ready for training sessions by a certain day and time. At least one-day lead-time was required to change maps. I would set up the trainer and run practice alignment exercises to make sure that everything was functioning correctly. Considerable effort was required to keep the trainer leveled, cables tight and the maps aligned for each change. The glass was unframed and relatively fragile because of its size. Several people were required to remove and install the glass for any map change. On an adjacent desk was a completely operational radar set sans transmitter and a bombsight which was servo linked and moved and tracked with the radar track and bomb release angle but without any visual reference.

Usually just a radar operator would arrive but occasionally a bombardier would come to confirm the ability of the self-synchronous system to cause the radar bombing-arc to conform to the bombing angle used by the bombsight. The trainee would give me a proposed target, altitude, IP (initial point), bomb characteristics, wind conditions, and aircraft speed. I would set the console dials on the trainer to meet the desired parameters. To prepare the trainer I had to become proficient both with the E6B navigational computer, the bombsight and the operation of the radar. I still have my brass E6-B and the G.I. Hamilton watch needed to time events as they happened. Keeping a log of the exercise was a part of my job. I have no idea of what happened to these logs after the war.

The training bomb run was begun outside the IP (Initial Point) which was usually selected for ease of radar identification. The turn to the bombing run was based upon the approach speed of the B-29 and could be a rather complex computation except that the circumference arc of a Lincoln-head penny was found to do the job both simply and accurately on the aeronautical charts used.

The bomb run with the radar set required that altitude, true airspeed, wind correction, bomb characteristics, slant range to target, and ground speed be computed. Correctly done both by autopilot of the plane and the radar operator, the scope would show the terrain below with a brighter track line crossed over by a bomb-arc that would track automatically as the plane approached the target. The track line corrected for any wind blowing the aircraft off course. Bomb release was automatic at the computed release point by either the bombsight or the time-of-fall timer of the trainer. Since there was no remote control of the supersonic trainer flight simulator it was necessary for the mechanic/operator (me) to follow instructions to dial in the heading changes required to correct for wind drift.

As the radar mechanic operator of the supersonic trainer I was required to keep a log of the mission parameters to verify that the mission was performed as required. I had to set airspeed, wind, altitude, and time-of-fall into the trainer's console. I had to preflight the trainer and have it warm, calibrated, aligned and ready to perform. Once in motion I had to make heading changes and turns to new headings as directed. The top plotting map would have the mission plotted with grease pencil as planned by the mechanic. The recording pen under the paper would mark the actual track 'flown'. The comparison of the two markings was one way used to determine flight and bombing proficiency.

The entire mission start at a specific point and altitude. Once underway the radar operator is expected to use the E6-B to determine the wind direction and velocity, make the required heading adjustments to maintain the desired track and note time at specific intervals during the flight. Once the trainer was activated the trainees would sit at the radar set and view the scope as though they were actually over Japan. They could make wind and course computations as though in actual flight and request changes which I would put into the dials on the console. Thus, I performed the function of the pilot and later the autopilot. Since we were starting near the IP it would be possible to execute three or four practice runs in an hour. Most of us would stand by the trainer and watch the pen track the bomb run.

Several runs to the same target would be sequenced with the first being tutored and the later runs as either practice or test runs. The trainer allowed the radar operator to develop proficiency in radarscope interpretation, navigation and bombing when visual use of the Norden sight was not possible. When the bombardier was present the teamwork coordination required via the intercom could be readily realized. The radar operator would synchronize the movement of the scope bomb arc with the tracking angle of the Norden sight. Use of the correct terminology between the two was critical. The navigator, using an auxiliary scope could assist the radar operator in making wind corrections and navigational corrections. The initiation of turns at the proper moment was critical and a common source of error. The supersonic trainer was able to produce a moving radar picture of a target area very similar to an actual flight. In a few minutes it was possible to run repeated bombing problems with wind and course variables likely to occur at a given target.

Later supersonic trainer programs required the presence of a multi-qualified navigator-bombardier radar instructor but in my situation none existed so I was instructed to set up the trainer with a specific glass pair of maps. The targeted plan did not exist until someone walked in the door and told me the specifics of a mission. It is my belief that the accompanying aeronautical chart contains the specifics of a particular exercise. As the 'pilot' I was given a place to start, an altitude to set into the trainer, the wind direction and velocity and the true airspeed to be used. With these parameters set into the trainer the exercise would commence.

In the last two months of the war I was chosen to change my supersonic trainer over from the APQ-13 to the APQ-23. The change had to do with the radar bombing capability and not the supersonic trainer. By today's microchip standard the APQ-23 was most primitive. All input voltages were from wire-wound resistors. The readouts were on odometer type numbered wheels. The actual bomb tracking was done with knurled dials just like those on the bombsight. It was coordinated with the visual bombsight so that if visual conditions should suddenly prevail the bombsight would be tracking on target. This occurred in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Usually two very precise standard rate turns had to be made prior to entering the final bombing run.

There were several levels of supersonic trainer instruction. On Tinian the crewmembers I worked with were well-practiced in navigation and crew coordination. What was needed was becoming familiar with the change from the APQ-13 to the APQ-23. Traditionally, new crews brought over new planes. Senior crews took the new planes and gave new crews old aircraft. The operation of the radar was the same. The major differences were in the method by which the azimuth track was changed on the bomb run and how the bomb arc on the scope is controlled. The APQ-23's servomechanisms can be made to lead the Norden sight into the target as well without the APQ-13 's required oral communication. Radar operators, bombardiers and navigators had to become familiar with the change of equipment and the differing capabilities. The supersonic trainer was the most efficient use of available resources.

The significance of this changeover deserves elaboration. The APQ 13 established a basic standard for surface depiction that was surpassed only through electronic miniaturization and computerization. The APQ 23 was the very first radar instrument capable of direct electronic synchronization with the Norden Bomb sight. The APQ-23 had knurled knobs that functioned just as effectively as does the identical ones of a bombsight. Using these, a trained operator could remotely control the flight path of an aircraft and adjust the bomb release arc on the radarscope to track with the target. A Bombardiers Norden bombsight could be electrically coordinated in case the target became visual. The APQ-23 made it easy to get a direct odometer type reading of the ground speed and slant range to target. This was the first distance measuring equipment (DME) that was later adapted to the very high frequency omni-range (VOR) navigation system throughout the world after the war.

If cloud-cover were to obscure the target, the APQ 23 could control the autopilot of the aircraft, as could the Norden in visual conditions. This would correct track for drift; it could adjust the bomb release point on the target for aircraft speed. In addition to the autopilot the APQ-23 was synchronized to track with the bombsight. It could allow the bombardier to assume visual control, conditions permitting, with a minimum of adjustment. The ability to give digital distance and groundspeed was the forerunner of DME (distance measuring equipment) that is now considered standard in all but the most simple light and heavy civil aircraft. How primitive this device was compared to the electronics of today can only be appreciated by understanding that all the trigonometric functions were done by linear electric taps taken from wire-wound resistors. Limited stateside production of the APQ-23 was the inhibiting factor of its expanded use.

One of the included pictures with this presentation is of a movie set that was built in great detail of the Nagasaki area. Repeated runs a mobile movie crane were made at different altitudes to give a visual picture of what a bombing mission would have as initial point, approach, aiming point and bomb release point. This simulator would give a movie like presentation to the bombardier. Whereas, the Supersonic Trainer would give the radar operator, navigator and bombardier a hands on simulation with the radar display performing just as it would in an aircraft.

Another innovation of the APQ-23 was its ability to preset and fly an offset bombing procedure. A target that was difficult to discern on radar could be made viable by locating a nearby body of water or island. Practice mission was preset by putting the azimuth and distance from the target to the place that was radar discernable into the dials of the APQ-23. This done, it was possible to track on the scope to what was seen on the radar while the aircraft would actually fly to and bomb the target invisible to radar. This was also adapted to the VOR navigation system of today's civil aviation and called RNAV. VORs can be moved electronically to one side of and airway and the route flown well clear of other traffic.

I have no way of knowing just how effective the trainer was but my impression was that usually I was working with lead pathfinder crews. The bombardiers were quite impressed with the ability of the APQ-23 to synchronize with the bombsight so much better than the APQ-13. There was little for them to do during a training exercise since the bombsight was being remotely controlled by the APQ-23. At the end of the war there were only a few APQ-23 radar sets in operation. They probably served as 'pathfinders' who would mark the target with bombs especially designed to leave easily recognized aiming points for subsequent aircraft.

In mid-August 1983 I received a surprising letter from the Admiral Nimetz State Historical Park, located at Fredricksburg, Texas. The superintendent, Douglass Hubbard, at the museum was asking about a map of the Nagasaki area of Japan. The year before I had given Denny Pidhayny, the 58th Wing Historian some of my WWII memorabilia to send to the Nimitz Museum. I had donated a map of a part of Japan along with the plans of the troop ship General C. G. Morton, and some other pictures and papers to the Museum.

I had possession of the aeronautical chart because at one time shortly before the end of the war I had been ordered to use it to set up the supersonic trainer using that Nagasaki chart area of Japan. The chart was on display as the background of a glass-enclosed collection of memorabilia in the B-29 room until early 2002. The letter from Hubbard indicated that the chart showed multiple bomb-runs on Nagasaki. The perception is in error. The fact is there are no lines on the map that could only be related to Nagasaki. The bomb runs of the Great Artieste were made to the west and not to the northeast.

On closer analysis the 96 could be an offset bearing from the islet of Kaba Shima to Nagasaki. That and a distance of 45 nautical miles as a preset-offset into the training exercise would have allowed a simulated mission over Kaba Shima to practice on Nagasaki. This is pure conjecture on my part, as would any claim to fame.

I phoned Douglass Hubbard, superintendent of the Nimitz facility and suggested that he contact the Air Force Museum near Dayton, OH where Bockscar is on display. This was to determine the possibility that the crew of "Bockscar" might have used my supersonic trainer. At one point in time I must have installed the Nagasaki-Fukuoka map although at the time I had no way of knowing anything about the target selected for the simulated bombings. My trainer had been equipped with the APQ 23 for the last two months of the war and had been used by some crew practicing in the vicinity of Nagasaki I had no copies of the training logs I had made during the war.

The map showed a series of practice radar bombing runs none of which were similar to the one used to drop the second and last atomic bomb of WWII. We contacted the United States Air Force Museum at Dayton, Ohio in an effort to determine if the B-29 Bockscar had an APQ-13 or the APQ-23 at the time of the bombing. The data from the Air Force Museum showed that the APQ-23 was not installed until 1946, after the war. Although nothing definitive was determined it is still possible that my supersonic trainer may have been used in preparation for dropping the atomic bomb because of its innovative direct servo-linkage to the bombsight.

The atomic bombs were only to be dropped visually. Bockscar made several radar runs before dropping and missing aiming point by three miles. The last run was made primarily via radar with a very brief time of visual sighting of the target. As it was, the aircraft was so low on fuel because of its repeated runs, it initially landed on Okinawa instead of Tinian for fuel.

There were only a few APQ 23 equipped B-29s but its improvement over the APQ 13 was so great that in the mid-l950s the APQ 23 was still the standard radar used on the B-47 jet bomber. The supersonic trainer was being used for the training of the triple threat radar, navigator, and bombardier officer in the B-47. I did Air Force reserve time at Mather Field in Sacramento teaching basic electronics and saw the supersonic trainer still in use with the APQ-23.

In order to finance my education at San Jose State College in the years from 1950 to 1951 I had joined the Air Force Reserve. Once a month I would spend a weekend at Mather AFB on reserve duty where my primary duty was to teach basic electronics to enlisted men of my squadron. On several occasions I was able to have access to the training facility of the base where I recognized that the process of training the triple-threat radar operator, bombardier and navigator for the B-47 using my old friend the supersonic trainer. No pictures were allowed of our training facility on Tinian or of the supersonic trainer itself. A couple of years before Mather AFB closed I made a visit and was given some material that was declassified including a picture of the supersonic trainer in action. I don't know of any such pictures taken in the Pacific during WWII.

In the summer of 1987 I spent a day in Seattle. I visited a shop specializing in old magazines. I was looking for articles about B-29's. After I got home I looked more extensively through the August 20, 1945 issue of Life. I found a full-page pictorial of the radar display such as could be shown by the supersonic trainer or in a B-29. It was featured as one of the major technical achievements to come out of the war. Thus, years after the war, I came to know what I may have done during the war.

When the war ended I proceeded to dismantle and box the trainer for shipment back to the states. I spent my spare time in the adjacent building flying one of eight Link trainers. My instrument skills were well developed by sixty days of at least five hours a day instrument training. I recall the Link operators having pilots due to fly Stateside to McCelland Army Base in Sacramento, CA watch me fly the radio range instrument landing procedure then standard. Twenty years later I was able to afford flying lessons at age 42. I was able to utilize all the skills in navigation and instrument flying that I had acquired on Tinian. I had to unlearn some my Link skills, however. The instructors insisted that I look outside the airplane.

In April of 2002 I passed my ten-thousandth hour of logged pilot in command flight time of which about 8,300 were as a flight instructor. I have a million five hundred thousand word web site directed toward primary flight instruction and learning. See . The site is used worldwide by both new and old general aviation pilots.

I have often wondered if this device was the predecessor of all the subsequent uses of supersonic vibrations. I know it is used for cleaning delicate scientific and medical instruments. It is now used by dentists for cleaning teeth. Likewise, epoxy glues appeared too late.

A Pair of Dice as a Going-Away Present
On my post enlistment week at home my Mother took me to another bar in Santa Rosa called the "Office".  By the time I was ten I knew how to palm and finger bar-box dice to win more often that was fair but my education was quickly extended . At the 'Office' I was gifted with a pair of dice, but only after being tutored on the several variations of the same pair.  Loaded, shaved, and miss- dotted dice were available that could be switched into a game to affect the odds in favor of the switcher.  A ten-thousandths of an inch of slope on one side of a dice affects how it will roll.  A solid color dice can be drilled and lead weighted.In a given pair of dice one can have two fives and the other two twos.  Lots of sevens with no one the wiser unless they place one die on the other to see how the sevens line up. The problem I had was that my honest dice were very much in demand both on land and at sea.  Even when I was out of money, I had to stay in order to get my dice back when the game broke up.

In the Beginning
In January of 1943 I was drafted among the very first contingents of 18 year-olds called into service from Northern California. I was sworn in on Market Street in downtown San Francisco, given a week's leave and sent to Monterey for processing.

Since I had spent the past nine years in private schools and the last three of them in military schools, being in a barracks at Monterey was no big thing. However, for most of my fellow recruits this was the first time away from home and a time of great stress. The first night many of the young men were unable to sleep that by midnight the Sergeant had everyone get out of bed. We were ordered to put on only our helmet liners and overcoats and line up outside in formation. It was quite dark with a light fog/drizzle falling. He then proceeded to run us throughout the camp until all were more than ready to go to bed and be quiet.

The next morning we were issued our GI clothes but we were allowed to keep our civilian sweaters for extra warmth. Whereas everyone else was issued new clothing I was given a WWI high collar blouse or jacket. This made me a laughing stock in the group so I put on a sweater and two shirts under the blouse and went over to supply complaining that it was too small. I got a new jacket. But a light tan fatigue hat as well. This hat was so distinctive that I was easily recognized and selected for every bit of fatigue duty. I soon stole one that would not set me out from the crowd.

During our week stay at Monterey we were put through batteries of tests to determine our abilities and aptitudes. Apparently I did quite well. Since I wore glasses I did not foresee any chance of flying so I requested the tank corps. I was assigned to the Army Air Force anyway and sent by train to St.. Petersburg, Florida. Seven days later we arrived and my only memory of the trip is stopping for doughnuts in Reno, Nevada

St Pete and Clearwater for Basic Training
In St. Pete we were given additional tests by the Air Force and obstacle course exercises along the deep sand beaches for conditioning. We stayed in large beach hotels commandeered by the military.

After twelve days we were transferred to Clearwater across the bay for our basic training. My company of about two hundred were assigned to a large thirty-plus room "cottage" on the grounds of what was said to be the largest wooden hotel in the world. There were several such cottages there. For about six weeks we were given basic training consisting of military etiquette and drill. Since I was quite proficient in drill I was given the duty of helping small groups in the manual of arms and marching maneuvers.

Toward the end of the training we got to fire a few rounds with the forty-five-caliber pistol, Thompson machinegun gun and the "Grease" Gun. All of these fired the same ammunition. We fired old 30-06 Enfield rifles for medals. I qualified as Marksman, which was not very good for one who had been shooting since he was ten. During the sixth week we went on one eighteen-mile hike. The two hundred of us were followed by ambulances for those who couldn't make it. At eighteen I found it no problem but many of the older fellows had trouble.

About our third week of basic we were quarantined for ten days because of measles. We played cards and read comics to the point where we had cabin fever and fights were breaking out over the smallest things. I did win the big strip poker game in our room. We also stripped and bathed a little guy who never took a bath. He finally got discharged because he couldn't learn his left from his right.

In basic we were not allowed passes until the very end. On my pass I bought a watch which I wore all through the war. I was smart enough to get a metal watchband for it since the leather bands rotted in hot weather. I had a picture taken most notable for my sunburned nose, and made a recording, for Bert Barlow an employee of my Mothers, who had been more than a father to me.

I left Clearwater/St. Petersburg on an unbelievably old troop train that spent considerable time on railway sidings as we traveled up through the South and Appalachia. The heat for our car came from an old pot-bellied stove at one end. On occasion we were put on sidings for hours at a time during which time we could observe the local inhabitants. I was never to see people, white and black, living in such squalid conditions in any other part of the world. We had left Florida in 87 degree weather and three days later we arrived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where the night was 37 degrees below zero. Later it reached 46 below.

Sioux Falls S.D. Basic Radio and Code
The Air Force history records Sioux Falls as one of the classic hardship bases of the war. I was there for only eight weeks learning basic electricity, radio repair and code. The barracks were tarpaper-covered buildings heated by wood/coal stoves at each end. I saw the stoves get red hot while frost was on the nails overhead.

Classes were conducted twenty-four hours per day. I went to school 8 p.m. to midnight learning basics of radio circuits and the different airborne radio set operation and maintenance. Since our lunchtime was after midnight, regardless of the outside temperature we were made to stand in line outside the mess halls in below zero weather for hot soup. I always ate and never got pneumonia so something went right. Just as sunburn caused illness was considered to be 'bad-time' to be made up prior to discharge so was pneumonia.

From 1 a. m. to 5 a. m. we took radio code classes. I have seen men fall asleep with their eyes open while pretending to do code. I was never able to get beyond eight words per minute so instead of being an airborne operator I was being trained as a radio mechanic.

During my eight weeks at Sioux Falls I saw the climate go from frozen solid snow covered land; to icy roads and ditches which thawed in the afternoon only to refreeze every night; to ankle deep mud all day and frozen mud at night; to blowing black dust day and night. We were required to run in our overcoats, helmets, and gas masks to the P. E. areas and back. Just as the coldest weather ended all of our overcoats were sent to the Alaska troops. South Dakota was still colder than Alaska.

Madison, Wisconsin Electronics and Spartan Barracks
Since I had not done well in code I was sent to Madison, Wisconsin for training as a radio mechanic. Wisconsin in the spring is beautiful. Shortly after my arrival at Truax Field I was alone and asleep in the barracks when I awoke to see someone going through the barracks bag of a friend. I dove across several bunks and proceeded to give the intruder a pretty good beating. It turned out that he was a corporal from the orderly room making some kind of search for the C.O. I was taken before the C.O. and told that I needed special military training at what they called Spartan Barracks.

Spartan Barracks was a non-fenced area where the internees continued their regular schooling program but were restricted to the area at all other times. For me it was much like being in military school. We were required to clean the barracks quite frequently, follow white lines from one place to another, and sign in and out of every place in the restricted area. Actually it was somewhat better than the regular quarters. It was cleaner, quieter and for P.E. we played baseball instead of calisthenics.

I was confined for about two months in the Spartan Barracks. I did have my wallet stolen while I was there with about three months pay accumulated because we were not allowed to go to the P.X. (Post Exchange). Upon release I did get to visit Madison and one occasion hitchhiked east to the small town of Stoughton where the people were so friendly I couldn't believe it. Most of the people were of Nordic and Scandinavian ancestry and still spoke with accent. A service man must have been something of a rarity because just about every one invited me into their homes for food and conversation. It gave me a very good feeling for the area. I revisited the area about l981 and while the town was much the same I couldn't get the same rapport.

In the past three months (April 2002) I have discovered that I have a Nordic ancestry. At age 78 I have an inherited disease called Dupurenian's Contracture. This is an old age event for selected Nordics where the tendons of the palm of the hand begin to contract and cause the fingers to curl. The curling beings with the ring fingers and is progressive. As a typist I find that I must go back and repeatedly correct all the l's and s's that now appear unintentionally.

It was during this time at Madison that I discovered I had a talent for teaching. Much of what happened to you while in the training command depended upon your grades. All my years in school I had rebelled against the system, teachers, and students. I had mostly mediocre grades. At Truax if you did not do well you were most often sent to gunnery school. At that time, mid 1943, the survival rate of gunners was very low in the European Theater. I became a living example of the Chinese proverb, "He who teaches, learns twice".

My barracks mates started to come to me for explanation of material taught in the various classes. Before very long I was conducting study sessions in the barracks for about forty fellows who were reluctant to become gunners. I found that through teaching I learned the material better, too. We learned to operate most of the airborne radios and to do a very low level of radio maintenance. My grades were good enough for me to be sent to Boca Raton, Florida for radar training. In 1980, I flew into both Sioux Falls and Madison in an effort to revive old memories. All that remained at both bases were a few concrete foundations of old buildings. I was unable to find or talk to anyone who had recollection of WWII.

Boca Raton, FL Radar, Loran, and Sand
Boca Raton was and still is an ultra-exclusive area on the east coast of Florida about midway between Palm Beach and Miami. The radar training school was inland from the resort area and seemed to comprise much of the area once part of a real estate scam in the 1920's. Paved streets with sidewalks and fireplugs covered a wide area but all else was sand. The present day airport is where the old airfield used to be. The barracks area and school areas are now a large regional university. In 1980, I flew into both Sioux Falls and Madison in an effort to revive old memories. All that remained at both bases were a few concrete foundations of old buildings.) In 1995, my wife and I visited Boca Raton and again I was unable to locate or talk to anyone who knew of any place that might have information regarding the WWII significance of Boca Raton as a factor in winning WWII.

School was conducted twenty-four hours a day. The classrooms were isolated and fenced buildings scattered over the base with each building tending to be for teaching the mechanics and operation of a particular piece of equipment. Special passes were required for each building. All instruction began with the SCR 521. This was a British set that worked off of an antenna much like a horizontal TV antenna. The radarscope consisted of an eight-inch circular TV-like screen with an electronic centerline or sweep which began at the left as the location of your aircraft transmitter and any targets appeared along the sweep at distances proportional to the scale of the sweep used. It took great practice and experience to achieve successful results. Traditional 521 maintenance consisted of kicking the boxes since poor connections between the cables caused most failures.

Shortly after completing basic radar I was trained on the APQ-13 which was the standard airborne radar set of WWII. The APQ 13 used a parabolic rotating antenna from below the plane to give a 360 degree reflective view of the earth surface at ranges up to 100 miles. Since water and differing earth surfaces have differing reflective factors to the radar signal, the scope projects a view with water as dark and land surfaces in varying degrees of brightness. Objects on or near water are particularly visible. For this reason the radar was most useful for navigation. Almost as an afterthought a bombing attachment was added.

Bombing with the APQ 13 required that the target be in sharp contrast with the surrounding terrain i.e. a factory on a narrow peninsula. The radar operator had to place a bombing circle on the scope with a circular graph which electrically corrected for altitude, ground speed, bomb characteristics, and slant range. The heading of the aircraft also appeared on the scope along with a ground track which via the pilot could correct for wind drift. When the ground track line, bomb circle, and target intersected the bombs could be released. The bombing error inherent in the APQ 13 was only slightly better than looking out the window. The best use was to maintain some coordination with the bombardier and his Norden sight in the hopes than visual bombing would be possible. This process was much improved at the very end of the war.

After completing my training on the APQ-13 I was put to work with many others just building wooden walks over the sand dunes. I had a MOS (military occupational specialty) of 718 that meant that I was a radar bomb mechanic. After a couple of weeks of complete boredom I started attending classes on my own. Some very unforeseen results came from this activity. I became familiar with the operation and maintenance of the APN-729 (More about this is significant during a raid on Singapore), the radar altimeter, IFF (identification friend or foe) which is now called the transponder as used on nearly all aircraft in the world, the APN-4, the first airborne LORAN set as well as the APN-9 just coming into use. It was during this period that I found that I was able to teach technical material.

Several notable incidents occurred during my months at Boca Raton. On one occasion I was hitchhiking to Miami at night when I was given a ride by an old man. He began driving very erratically so I urged him to let me drive. Just as we entered Miami I had occasion to use the horn. The horn stuck ON and I proceeded to drive up and down the streets of Miami near midnight with the horn continuously blaring. Finally I stopped near a bunch of motorcyclists and one just reached into the motor compartment and pulled a bunch of wires to stop the horn. I have often wondered what effect the horn must have had.

On another occasion I was riding a bicycle carrying a message for the orderly room when a flight of four P-40's buzzed the field and then peeled off to land. I saw a dark round object fall from the third plane that looked like a wheel and tire. At no more than 200 feet above the ground a parachute opened and the plane spun and hit the ground. It seems that the fourth plane had pulled up so that the propeller took off the rudder of the third plane. The next day there was only a burned spot on a nearby road to show what had happened.

Throughout the war I carried with me a small metal cased Smith Corona portable typewriter. On those occasions that I was able to work in the Orderly Room as a messenger, I would obtain blank pass forms. It did not take much persuasion from my buddies to get me to type up passes to get them through the gate into town. No one could every read an officers signature anyway.

In the same vein, on the one time I went back to California on leave my Mother took me to a friend of hers who gave me a pair of dice. Those dice cost me my pay for the rest of the war. Everybody wanted to use them and I had to stay until the game ended to get my dice back.

Training schedules at this time of the year required that we go to bed at dusk and rise at dawn. On this particular occasion, one of my fellow students had taken a late afternoon nap. At dusk the entire barracks began to prepare for bed. Everyone was in some state of undress when the sleeper suddenly awoke. His startled awakening attracted the attention of everyone and it became obvious that he had no idea as to how long his nap had been. Almost as on signal the entire barracks reversed the process and began to put on clothes just removed pretending that it was morning. The farce only lasted a minute but the spontaneity of the reversal could not have been better if rehearsed.

Some of my training flights were made in a Lockheed Hudson (B-20) which was equipped with one of the very first British airborne radars known as the 521. The 521 had a straight-line sweep across the scope and used Yagi (television receiver) type antennae. The aircraft had been returned to the U.S. from Britain and still had bullet holes in it. While flying in this aircraft I learned a very important maintenance procedure. Various radar components were connected by cables that would frequently loosen or otherwise fail to make good electrical contact. 521 maintenance procedure consisted of leaning back in the seat and giving the equipment a good kick. Worked! Still works.

On one of my training flights while I was waiting my turn on radar the pilot decided to buzz a freighter. The plane was a B-34 Lockheed Ventura a fine aircraft which never quite made mass production. During the buzz I was at the ventral turret near the tail. We were only a few feet above the water when the pilot hopped the plane over the ship and down to the water on the other side. I remember seeing the ship's guns tracking us as we passed over and the water spray off the propellers as we clipped the wave tops going away.

On one occasion I was selected as radar operator for a search mission for a lost aircraft. The plane was a B-18. This was a bomber version of a DC-3/C-47. It cruised at about 90 mph. We spent the better part of a day flying over the Bahamas. I clearly remember seeing sunken ships hundreds of feet below the ocean surface. Went back to the Bahamas in 1995 and noted that the visible depth is now more like a hundred feet.

On another flight the pilot asked me if I had a radar target. I affirmed that I had a target about twenty miles ahead but that its speed was giving me difficulty making any kind of identification. No wonder, it was a blimp.

At one point we went through survival training which required that we jump off a 60' tower into the Boca Raton Country Club pool. I didn't like to jump so when my turn came I dove headfirst with helmet and full equipment. I was made to climb up again and do it right. Later we had to jump in groups of eight off the railing of a bridge across the inland waterway. I lined up with my group of eight and just as the order to jump came I looked down to see this monstrous sea creature come from under the bridge. I was already in mid-flight but I tried my best to reverse direction. It was a sea cow or manatee and harmless but quite a surprise in this situation. I later volunteered to help pull a rope across the waterway for others to use. I found that I wasn't as strong a swimmer as I thought. A 1" rope about 100' long gets quite heavy in the water.

After several months of waiting I was given leave for ten days prior to overseas shipment. I wired home for train fare and used half of my leave time just getting to California. My mother was living in a nice cottage in Santa Rosa with Tech Sgt. Tex Jones her third or fourth husband. In order to get back in time I had to fly. You could get a seat on a commercial or military plane only based on priority. My priority was relatively low as a soldier on leave so it took me three days to get from California back to Florida. I clearly remember how vast and barren the flight across Texas seemed and I was later to compare its close resemblance to my flight across North Africa.

Greensboro, NC Waiting for Shipment Overseas
A few days after my return to Boca Raton about 50 of my MOS were sent to Greensboro, North Carolina with the understanding that we were urgently needed overseas. We languished for nearly three months at Greensboro. We were generally limited to the base with little to do. We spent a great deal of time playing cards and gambling. On one pass I did meet my first instance of racism of the Southern kind. It was a drizzly afternoon and I was waiting for the bus back to camp. A couple and several teenagers joined me under the bus shelter. A young black tried to join us under the shelter and was being forced out into the rain to the "negra" bench. I intervened and told the whites just what I thought of them and their system for which I was soon to go overseas. I don't know if I made a difference in their thinking but I sure got a load off my chest.

On another occasion I was picked to be Corporal of the Guard. This meant that I took a truck and driver with soldiers all around the base on a rotating basis so that all points of entry were guarded by an armed guard. I opted to ignore 'Gate five and a half" which was a fence break in the perimeter used by those who could not get passes. I had to instruct them on the proper method of challenge, password, and approved passes. This was a twenty-four hour duty for all concerned. When the last shift went on duty I proceeded to dismiss all the other soldiers, assuming that they had served their time and would no longer be needed. The Officer of the Day found out what I had done and ordered that all guard stations be doubled. I had to go back to the barracks and get the fellows to come back again. So much for being a nice guy.

{In the December 2002 issue of the 'CBI Roundup', which writes about the CBI during WWII, there was a story about lthe sinking of HMS Rohna. The ship was sunk by a German radio controlled rocket bomb near the North African city of Oran, Algeria. The sinking resulted in the largest single loss of life on a WWII troop ship. Among the deaths was a large contingent of Army Air Force ground personnel on their way to the newly established B-29 bases in India. Thus, over fifty years after WWII I learned why I went to India in such a hurry and thence around the world.}

By Air to Africa
On very short notice we were told to prepare for shipment. We were given shots for every imaginable disease and issued new uniforms. The shots told us that we were not on our way to Europe. Fifty radar bombardment mechanics were given high priority for rail transportation to Miami, Florida. We stayed as a group in a large hotel at Miami Beach along with movie stars Pat O'Brien, Jinx Falkenberg and their USO troupe.

A large group of us spent several hours on the hotel lawn talking with O'Brien. He must have been about 45 at the time but I thought of him as an old man. He kept telling stories of his movie career. I told him that my mother had worked at the Hotel Meulbach in Kansas City and had been one of the last people to talk with Knute Rockne the famous Notre Dame football coach whose character was played in the movie by O'Brien.

In small groups over a period of several days our group of 50 began to disappear. When my time came, nine of us were taken to the airport and placed aboard a C-54. The C-54 was a large plane of that era with four engines. There is an old C-54 used as a restaurant at Rio Vista CA as of l984 and now part of the Museum at Travis Air Force Base. I am surprised at actually how small it is by present day standards. The plane could have held more than nine passengers but a large aircraft engine, probably for a B-29, made up the rest of our load. We stretched out on the floor of the plane as best we could to rest/sleep on the flight.

My next memory comes as we heard the change of engine sounds as we came in to land at Bermuda. We came in over bright blue sand/coral water and landed on a white runway just before dark. We were kept aboard the plane as it refueled and departed in something less than an hour for the Azores. The same program followed on this leg except the weather at the Azores was less pleasant. Some of the stories told by my friends on other planes were of navigational problems and engine failures that greatly extended the normal eight-hour flight. Eight hours? We remained on board again while we refueled for last leg to Casablanca.

We left the Azores for Casablanca and after a relatively short flight we landed in Africa. Our flight arrived in Casablanca about 12 to 14 hours out of Miami and we were dead tired though we had tried sleeping. As any flyer knows, once an aircraft leaves sight of land the engines go to automatic rough. (That's a joke son.)

I slept much of the day but went swimming in large earthen-sided swimming pool late in the afternoon. I went for hike around he camp after swimming and was totally surprised at how suddenly night came in the desert. I passed by an open-air movie and went in to watch. Appropriately, it should have been "Casablanca" with Bogart but it wasn't.

After the show I went out a different exit and was completely lost. The camp was quite large and mostly dark. There were lights only at the ends of the streets with fifteen to twenty barracks on each side. Hyenas were howling all around, mostly in the distance but occasionally frightfully close. Since it was after the movie, there were few soldiers about and they were just as lost as I was. All general use buildings were closed. It took nearly an hour before I figured out the barracks numbering system and located my quarters. I have never been so lost in my life.

We were given a day pass into Casablanca while awaiting transshipment. The smell of Casablanca is so distinctive that years later while walking in Sausalito CA, I remarked to my wife that something smelled like the road to Casablanca and sure enough only three shops away was a leather goods shop specializing in goat and camel items. I had no idea that smell had such extended influence on the memory.

Several interesting incidents occurred during this day. First, as soldiers we were able to purchase cigarettes for only four cents a pack up to two cartons. Items such as watches and fountain pens had value far exceeding the cost in the states. Next morning I received PX ration card and day pass into Casablanca. After my stay in Miami I had but $13. Took my card to the PX and bought two cartons of cigarettes at $.04 per pack. My card punches shows I also bought gum and three different kinds of candy. I don't smoke but early on I had found out that there was a booming black-market in Casablanca where I could make some easy and quick money.

I took the bus into Casablanca. As I walked down the main street of Casablanca with the cartons of cigarettes under my arm I was approached by an Algerian who indicated a willingness to buy my cigarettes. Since this was an illegal black market operation I did not want to sell in such a public place. We went into a corner cabaret to complete the transaction. As we entered several more buyers made their presence known. I had so many buyers that I conducted an impromptu auction and ended up selling to the bartender. A net return of 2400% by selling for one dollar a pack. This money came in very handy later on as I had only thirteen dollars on leaving Miami. Years later I saw the same corner bar on TV during the fighting between the French and the Algerians.

I do remember one aspect of the (Ugly) Americans in Casablanca was the sadistic amusement the smoking soldiers got flipping cigarette butts out into the truck traffic. They did this because the Algerians, men and children, would dart into the road to retrieve the cigarettes. Tobacco kills in many ways. Personally, I gave up smoking at age seven. I have often wondered what the liability the cigarette companies might have if held responsible for addicting those in the military. The ten-minute breaks we received all the time were called 'smoking' breaks.

Some of my friends fell victims to some interesting scams during our 24-hour stay in Casablanca. The Algerian populace was allowed to possess only American dollars used for the invasion of North Africa. These dollars were distinctive in that the seal was gold rather than blue or green. A youngster sidled up to my friend and showed him a $10 green-seal dollar and offered to trade it for six gold-seal dollars. The trade was done on the street surreptitiously to avoid notice. Down the street my friend found that for his six gold- seal dollars he had received a $1 gold-seal not the $10 he expected. A 500% loss.

Another friend went into a barbershop for a haircut where he soon sold his 25-cent pen for several dollars. An Algerian came up to him and offered to pay 3000 francs for his watch. This was about $60 and a fair price for a working condition watch. Since the watch was broken my friend expected to come out well ahead. Once again the exchange was done off the street with a folded bill so as to avoid MPs. On his way my friend unfolded the bill he had received only to discover that the manner of folding had added an extra zero. He had only a 300 franc note or $6. Perhaps a fair deal for a broken watch.

The next day twenty or thirty of us were put aboard a C-46, an aircraft somewhat noted for mechanical malfunctions, for our flight across Africa. Just as we became airborne the right engine gave a pronounced hiccup before resuming its throaty roar. It sure gets you attention. The flight over Morocco reminded me very much of my prior flight across Texas. As it got dark I fell asleep only to be awakened by a tremendous crash. The plane bounced and jerked wildly. We had "crashed" at Tripoli. Actually, we landed on a runway made of Marsten Mats. The interlocking steel plates that were used to make a useable surface over sand. Any landing sounded like a crash.

Cairo, Egypt
After refueling we left for Cairo, Egypt. I was somewhat prepared for the crashing noise the wheels made on the steel mats during the takeoff roll but became quite concerned when one of the engines again gulped momentarily just as we lifted off.

We arrived at Cairo shortly after sunrise and I was able to see the pyramids and the Sphinx quite well as we descended for landing. We were told that we would have to wait for our next flight out and that passes were available. We were cautioned about the hazards and urged to go about the city in groups. Five of us took the shuttle bus into Cairo where we wandered around the streets.

We elected to go to a nearby PX. My friend planned to buy several cartons of cigarettes to finance the purchase of a cane sword. As we left the PX about five eight to ten year-old boys came up and begged baksheesh (an almost universal plea for alms) in exchange for a service of some sort. My buddy took a swipe at one of them with a fly swatter like swagger stick. Immediately the cigarettes were knocked from his arms into the street. As fast as we picked them up one of the kids would knock them loose again. Some of the cartons broke open making the problem even worse. Finally we were able to salvage most of our packages and proceed. We were more than a block down the street when a very large Egyptian came after us carrying a boy under each arm and wanting to know what he should do with them. We saw no point in pursuing the matter and urged him to let them go. This he did while delivering a good swat on a behind.

During lunch at some type of British service club we became acquainted with a Polish soldier in the British army. He liked my friend's cigarettes as I recall. He offered to show us a native area of Cairo. We caught a streetcar and after a while we came to an area of very narrow streets. We walked through a native bazaar with a wide variety of shops. The street and shops were shielded from the sun by light cotton screens.

We came upon one street that had green garlands hanging out all the windows and the road itself was covered with deep plush maroon carpet. Green satin streamers were draped overhead and down the sides of the buildings. Green garlands decorated the doors. As we walked a large crowd began to assemble. Although the street was very narrow, both sides were soon lined two deep with onlookers. In the near distance we could hear a large number of sirens getting closer. About fifteen or twenty black motorcycles came down both sides of the carpet soon to be followed by a series of black and red limousines. It was King Faruk and his entourage.

Shortly after his passage a highly decorated Egyptian officer came up to our group and said that as Christians we were not welcome to the festivities and that we should leave. He indicated that we were intruding, as Christians, on the celebration of a Moslem holy day. King Faruok from one of the limousines had ordered our removal. The officer warned that he could not vouch for our safety and that we should leave immediately. We left. Certainly a once in a lifetime event.

My buddy and I proceeded on our quest for his sword cane. It happened that all such weapons were outlawed in Egypt. In our search we were eventually directed to an under ground passageway which contained numerous shops. The area was just like out of a spy movie. Since my mother collected horse statues, I always made a point of trying to find one any place I could. I was looking for a small horse for my mother's collection. We were having difficult because all weapons were strictly forbidden to the Egyptians by the British. We were finally directed into an underground shopping area. The kind of hidden area you used to see in the old time movies. We went to a shop that would be considered a "collectables" shop today. We were unable to get a knife for my friend. However, there was an eight pound horse that was a replica of a statue. The brass horse stood about 7" high on a 2" high base. It was quite heavy for its size. It had inlaid silver and copper. There were holes for mounting a rider and a flagstaff.

The merchant was very reluctant to sell the horse. I persisted and met his price without negotiation. I was able to purchase it for about six dollars (a lot of money to me at that time). However he refused to part with it until he had sandpapered the entire inscription in some Arabic from inside the base. He did this despite my objections. In 1995, I showed the statue to an Egyptian doctor. He identified the statue and said that it is now in the National Museum in Cairo. The statue was of a famous Egyptian ruler, an ancestor of King Faruk, who fought and conquered all areas of Europe up to Belgrade and Budapest. I believe this Muslim invasion occurred in the 18th Century.

Anyone who went to downtown Cairo during WWII has seen this statue with the bearded rider astride his horse. It was only years later that I realized the horse I use as a doorstop was a replica of the one in the city center. I have often wondered what the sanded words might have said and what happened to the figure of the rider that goes with my replica. My mother used the horse as a doorstop until her death. It has been a doorstop for the past 50 years. It is still a good doorstop.

Karachi, India
The third day we left at sunset by C-47 and crossed the Suez Canal. Shortly after crossing the Suez Canal we made a radical change in course. For political reasons we had to fly a roundabout route to Tehran, Persia without over-flying Iraq. It was dark when we landed and there was no transient mess available. We made do with candy bars. After refueling we left for Karachi, India.

The city of Karachi came closest to matching my worst memories of poverty in the United States. While waiting in troop trains on railroad sidings in Georgia, I had seen families living in pigsty homes. Karachi was very hot, dirty and depressing. The plight and conditions were certainly as bad as Georgia was. After my brief visit to the city I much preferred remaining in camp which as historic to say the least.

Of greater fascination to me was the British encampment where we stayed. The buildings were tall timbered structures with white washed stone and mud walls of one story but over two stories high to provide cooling. The walls were adobe-like and white washed inside and out. All the timbers in the ceilings were covered with the names and comments of British soldiers going back hundreds of years. I made particular note that some of them dated from the Crimean War. Their graffiti endured far better than any of mine ever will. I have often wondered if they may have been part of the famous Light Brigade 600.

I don't even remember the flight across India. I just arrived at Dum Dum field near Calcutta to be reunited with my original starting group of fifty. We were taken about eighty miles east of Calcutta to Karagapur. By now we had been traveling a week. We were tired. So tired that I have no recollection of my flight to Karagapur. I don't even know for sure the kind of aircraft or if we stopped along the way.

Karagapur and the 468th
We were taken by truck from the airport to the 20th Air Force Headquarters building at Karagapur. After a couple hours wait sitting under trees outside we were distributed throughout all the groups and squadrons of the 58th Bomb Wing of the 20th Air Force. I went to the 793rd Squadron of the 468th Bomb Group. I should have friends or acquaintances in every squadron and group.

I was apprenticed to a Sgt. Joe Barracca from near Pittsburg, PA. It was soon obvious that our schooling had done little more than to show what the sets looked like but very little about coping with the effect high altitude had on the operation of the equipment. The radar transmitters and wave-guides were pressurized to prevent electrical arcing. Failure of this pressurization was a most common reason for radar failure; second cause was deficiency in quality of electrical supply and third was vacuum tube failure.

The nature of the B-29 operation in India was very inefficient. Two to three fuel/munitions flights to China were required before a combat mission could be made. The aircraft had to initiate a 600-mile climb over the Himalayas right on takeoff. The engines had cooling and lubrication problems that were compounded by this climb. At times everyone would be involved in just getting engines changed. Since the planes were gone so much of the time or under going engine change we soon developed the worlds longest running Monopoly Game in a neighboring tent.

The tents we had were of British issue with a double roof and far superior to the GI issue we later occupied on Tinian because they had a double canopy which acted as a heat barrier and would not leak when touched. If you touched the roof of an American tent during a rain, it would leak at that spot. The base had been built by the British using WOG (Westernized Oriental Gentlemen) labor and six-foot slit trenches were on two sides and entrances on the others. Each cot had a mosquito netting and aerosol DDT bombs were issued because malaria was endemic to the region. A two-second squirt of DDT would kill every mosquito in the tent. Years later mosquitoes had to be drowned in DDT they were so immune.

While we were in India we lived in tents that were of British design. They were far superior to the In any event the missions from India had to be staged through China and the planes were gone often for about one week a month. The remaining three weeks were spent preparing the aircraft for the next month's mission out of China. On average the B-29s would need to make two "Hump" missions for every combat mission. The "Hump" missions involved flying half loads of bombs and fuel that would be off-loaded at the China bases. At the same time additional fuel supplies were being carried in C-46 and C-87 Ferry command aircraft. With the planes gone for a week into China there ample leisure time. While we were not actually confined to base there was little to do in Karagapur. The C-47 flights to Calcutta would carry only a few on leave at a time.

The Mess Hall and latrines were adobe type buildings with thatch roofs. Most of the menial work was done by WOGs. (Westernized Oriental Gentlemen). Sanitation was most primitive. The Hindu do not use paper, they take a can of water and use their left hand, the right hand is used for eating. Any work that can be done in a squatting position will be done that way, slowly.

We hired a young boy about twelve for about twenty-five cents a week to make our bunks and keep the dirt floor of the tent swept. Most of us were very embarrassed at the pay scale and paid much more in tips. The boy would take our laundry home where it was cleaned by beating on rocks. The clothing would have a residue of dirt in the seams that when worn would give the wearer 'dobe itch'. In that hot damp climate any skin irritation was most uncomfortable. I'm sure the dobe kitchen scrubber used today could trace its name back to India.

Once we needed some ice to cool beer and coke. My buddy and I walked about three miles from the base into Karagapur and bought a 50-lb. block of clear ice. We hired a small boy to carry it back to the base. Once we had lifted the block on to the pad on his head he carried it without seeming difficulty. Incidentally, ice came either clear or pink, clear ice could not be consumed and pink ice could go into drinks.

One thing of interest occurred on this walk. Shortly after we left camp we saw a man rolling sideways along the road. He had a large bent pole like a giant bow with a heavy cord holding the bow shape. Every time he rolled he rolled through the bow. When we came back with the ice several hours later he had progressed a short distance down the road. The religious significance or purpose of his trek I never did find out.

Tokyo Rose at night
Some of the planes began to come from the states with the APN 9 set. This was a marked improvement on the APN 4. During my stay at Boca Raton I had become familiar with the APN 9. The LORAN system was of limited use in the CBI and even under the best of conditions, night, would only give positions up to 600 miles. During the day it was often difficult to get any signal. I specialized in alignment of LORAN sets. I worked in aircraft belonging to all squadrons of the 468th Bomb Group most often at night due to the poor daylight performance of LORAN.

I very much enjoyed the private time opportunities working in the area of the forward upper turret of the B-29 since I could listen on the radio to Tokyo Rose while working on the LORAN. I believe I was one of the first enlisted men to know that the 58th Bomb Wing would soon be leaving India due to her radio program.

Lili Pons and Andre Kostalanez
On the very night Lili Pons and her husband, Andre Kostalanez were to give a concert on our base I was told to test and adjust the alignment of all the APN 9's in the Group. This was a great disappointment to me as I had long been a fan and admirer of Kostalanez and his music. It was necessary to hook up a gasoline auxiliary power generator to the planes both so as to have light and power to the equipment. This had to be done to every plane and kept me going until after midnight. As I was going from one plane to another I could hear the concert in the distance. Since the Loran set was in the navigators compartment right next to the radios I did listen to Tokyo Rose because she played popular music. The concert had ended by the time I finished the last plane.

I walked over to the concert area and ran into one of my friends. I told him what had happened to me. He proceeded to take me to the after concert party and introduced me to both Pons and Kostalanez. He was a near relative of Pons. I mentioned to Kostalanez that I collected his records but became embarrassed when he overwhelmed me asking about records he had made before my time. Still the evening became far more memorable than if I just gone to the concert.

About every two or three months I could get a weekend pass to Calcutta. We flew to Dum Dum on a C-47 and caught a bus to town. Most of the plush hotels and clubs were reserved for officers. I did a great deal of walking. Beggars of all kinds and deformities abounded. On one occasion police came along the street making all the people turn and face the buildings. A carriage came by with someone of such high caste that others were not allowed to look. The cattle were sacred and allowed to roam the streets. This was during the period when some wealthy people had cornered the rice market and it was not unusual to see dying people on the sidewalks.

I usually did not have very much money but on one occasion I hired a rickshaw to take me through the back streets of Calcutta. As we went down a very narrow street we came to a very small courtyard just large enough for a badminton game. One was in progress with the onlookers hanging out windows above. I told my rickshaw to stop so I could watch the game. It was obvious that soldiers or other visitors did not frequent this area. As I watched they could tell that I enjoyed the game and appreciated the finer points made. Although no one there could speak English, they invited me to play a game against the last winner, a fifteen-year-old boy who would be about the size of our twelve-year-old. I was wearing GI shoes but that was my only excuse. They oohed and aahed at my slams and placements but were obviously pleased when I was soundly beaten by the boy's soft lobs and skills at the net. A large crowd had gathered and applauded when the game was over. I certainly left with a good feeling.

Malaria in India
In 1944 I was in India.  The CBI (China, India, Burma) part of WWII was at the far end of the supply chain.  However, we always had ample mosquito netting for our beds, DDT spray for our tents and skin repellant.  The malaria problem involved careless personal habits of being out after dark without netting and repellant.  Failing to tuck bed netting under the cot pad and covers, or running out of DDT.

Christmas Eve 1944 air raid
Early in the evening of Christmas Eve l944, the air raid sirens began to wail giving about an hours warning of a Japanese air raid. When the alarm went off we left our tents and went into our slit trenches that had been dug on two sides of each tent in the area. This of may sound like a very simple process. However, for the past year these trenches had often been used as convenient urinals. It did not take very long for our stay in the trenches to become unbearable and most vowed never to make such use again. After a while the 40mm antiaircraft batteries around the air base opened up. They seemed to be firing in almost every direction. A 40mm pom-pom was about a hundred yards from us. It seemed to be firing in every direction into the starlit night but not at anything we could see. From our positions in the slit trenches we could occasionally see the Japanese bombers pass through the starlit night. I have no recollection of any tracers going anywhere near any of the enemy. On one occasion I did see a plane as it cut through the stars but no one was firing at it.

When the firing ceased many of us left the trenches. We could see the glow of fires burning about a mile away by the aircraft line. Four of us commandeered a small truck and drove to where a barracks like warehouse was aflame. I took a fire hose and proceeded to wet down the building as best I could. I later learned it was a clothing warehouse.

We were told that more planes were coming and that we should get the fire out as soon as possible. I took a hose and directed it where the flames seemed brightest. This happened to be right at the peak of the roof that was burning though. After about ten minutes a fellow came around the building to urge me to aim the hose lower since I was getting the crews on the other side wet. I kept my hose pointed lower after that. I also remember that at one point we were urged to get the fire out since it appeared that the bombers were returning.

Just as we got the worst of the flames out a soldier walked up to me carrying a 100lb bomb cradled in both arms that had failed to go off. He asked what he should do with it. One of the other fellows suggested that we put into one of the water barrels near by and fill it with water. The bomb was lowered gently into a barrel tail first and I used the hose to cover it with water. This we did very carefully, tail first but I'm not sure to this day if we did the right thing. Afterwards the four of us went back to the tent area and told them where we had been. They didn't believe us until they smelled the smoke odor in our clothes. The bomb showed no damage from ground impact for whatever reason. The bomb had not detonated because the fuse spinner was still intact with the retainer fork in place and a short piece of cotton string attached. Sometime around midnight we got the fire out and proceeded back to our tent area. Our tent mates at first refused to believe that we had gone to fight the fires but the smoke odor on our clothes soon convinced them otherwise.

I must have been quite tired in spite of the excitement of the evening. That night, for some reason, I slept on the folding cot with my right arm under me. The wooden inserts into canvas cut off all the blood circulation in my right hand. A day later I was still unable to use my fingers. I went on sick call and was sent to the Kalampur Base Hospital about thirty miles away. I remember hearing from my ward the screams of the flyers in the next ward across the way. They had been burned in a takeoff accident. Since they couldn't find anything wrong with my arm I was told to go to the hobby shop for physical therapy. I proceeded to make a Plexiglass B-29 about ten inches long as I gradually recovered use of my fingers. After about a week I was returned to duty.

We found out that the planes had been Japanese twin engine bombers. They burned a C-87, a B-24 used as a transport, and the storage barracks full of clothing. I don't know of any other damage. We were told that British twin-engine night fighters named Beaufighters had shot all the Japanese down before they could get back to Burma.

One of the characters of the 793rd Bomb Squadron 468 Bomb Group, 58th Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force, was a thin man in his thirties who occupied the tent next to mine. Together we were enlisted men based a British built B-29 airbase at Karagapur, in Eastern India. He was some grade of sergeant and I believe he functioned as a crew chief. Due to the extreme heat, uniforms that showed rank were too warm to wear in most circumstances. I have no idea as to what his name or other identifying elements might be but these anecdotes may help someone to remember and identify him.

Sometime after my return to duty I bought a Japanese bomb fuse from the sergeant. That it came from the same bomb that we put into the barrel is possible. That the fuse came from a different bomb dropped during the Christmas Eve raid is also possible. I can see no other explanation as to how the sergeant could have obtained a Japanese bomb fuse eighty miles west of Calcutta. I gave the bomb fuse to my older son living in Hawaii in the 1980s. He has since moved and tells me the fuse is somewhere in some boxes yet to be unpacked.

The sergeant owned a Monopoly set. The parts to this set were protected by all as a valued source of entertainment. A Monopoly game would be started with as many as a dozen participants. Because of the large initial group players would drop out very slowly at first. One game would actually last for weeks with the tension building along with the audience as the last few contestants fought it out. I seem to remember that the sergeant seemed to be a rather consistent finalist if not winner.

B-25 Accident
One day when we were involved in the world's longest game of Monopoly we heard an aircraft engine suddenly surge to maximum power. To give some idea of the intensity of the game, I recall when the group liaison B-25 lost an engine on takeoff and tried to circle back for landing. The one engine was holding the aircraft at an extreme flight angle while operating a full power. Such flight behind the power curve requires that the nose be lowered to gain speed. Any lowering of the nose means a crash. It flew only a hundred feet over the tent with the game in progress. Only a couple of us in the audience went outside to see the planes' difficulty and resultant pall of smoke when it crashed. The monopoly participants and most of the audience remained entranced with the game. It made it over our tent area only to crash on the other side of the hospital. We didn't bother to walk over to see the result. The pilot had made a fatal mistake in turning after engine failure on takeoff. Incidentally, the ammo dump was off the end of the runway and that may have influenced his decision.

The Spitfire
I was visiting some friends at the field I believed used by the 40th Bomb Group one time when I got to talking with a B-25 crew. They were amazed that the B-29 could carry up to 40 500lb bombs to the B-25's eight. While we were talking a sudden roar came from behind us and a Spitfire fighter came toward the long line of B-29s and did a series of S turns in and out of the tails of the B-29s before it roared off. I always wondered if the pilot ever got caught. It sure was a beautiful piece of flying.

Buzz Job by Pacific Pioneer
At one point one of the older B-29s which did not have a midwing fuel tank and a crew that had completed their missions was being rotated back to the states. The pilot proceeded to give the field a royal buzz job. On the first pass he actually had to raise the wing to miss the tower. On the second pass I understand that he came so low as to damage the propellers and had to return for repairs before departing for the states. The name of the plane might have included the word 'Pioneer' perhaps 'Pacific Pioneer' if memory serves well.

Gunga Din
The natives were not very familiar with modern technology. Sanitation was rather primitive at the mess halls. Three garbage cans contained water that was heated by gasoline that was ignited in a pipe below the cans. The pipe extended to a barrel on a platform about ten-foot high. We washed our mess kits in each can with the final one being the rinse. It was necessary to keep the barrel fueled. A very nice WOG (westernized oriental gentleman) looking much like the movie boy in "Gunga Din" once had occasion to check the fuel in the barrel. He used a match. I was on KP and heard the explosion. I will never forget seeing the boy running toward me with the entire front of him burned and raw.

Singapore B-29 Mission
Some of the longest air raids of the war took place against Singapore. They were expected to last twenty hours. One bombing raid actually sank a ship while it was in dry dock. I remember while working on a LORAN set one night, watching a naval officer working in the bomb bay putting fuses into a load of mines. Late the next afternoon the planes began to return one by one. Finally only one plane was unreported and missing. Everyone waited until we figured that it could no longer have any fuel.

I went into the radar tent and fired up APN-729 radar set. The 729 was an obsolete radar identification set that was on some of the older B-29s. It worked like a transponder except that it transmitted without being interrogated. It was easy to tell when it was installed on a B-29 because the two TV type antennas were just below the side windows of the cockpit. I picked up a return signal from about sixty miles away. I ran out and shouted that a plane was coming. All of those within hearing turned to look and some came back to resume the watch. In a few minutes the B-29 came into view. One by one the propellers seemed to slow down and stop. One after another parachutes came from the plane as it dropped lower and lower we counted what seemed to be enough for the entire crew. Still the plane came lower and seemed to land on the field.

Actually the plane's engines had run out of gas but the pilot was still trying to reach the field. He thought he was the only one aboard until the putt-putt auxiliary power unit started up in the back. The tail gunner hadn't gotten word to bail out. The plane hit short of the field but bounced over a canal and then made the runway. This 'deadstick' landing is a part of the 468th's history but the part about the 729 has never been told before.

Beer, Cigarettes and Coke
These products were of limited supply and subject to rationing.   My folks were in the retail liquor business,  A euphemism for running a bar.  In my teen years I had the dubious pleasure of swamping the barroom every morning. To this day I have never had a beer.  I had given up smoking after being caught when I was seven years old. I always traded my allotments for cokes.

Fruit Cake 
Several times my Mother attempted to send be chocolate candy or bars.  Every time it arrived so damaged by heat that it was inedible.  Finally she sent me a fruit cake.  It has been soaked in brandy to enhance its ability to survive the trip to India.  The fellows in my tent saw to it that further survival was not a problem

Leaving India on the McCrea
Shortly after Marina islands of Saipan and Tinian were captured we were told that our 58th Wing would be moved to the Pacific. Gradually we began to pack everything. One by one the planes left India, flew to China and on to our new base on Tinian. The 73rd Wing had already arrived on Tinian at the North Field. The 58th Wind was to occupy the West Field. The ground crewmen who were not flown to Tinian were first taken to Calcutta. We were to be ferried to our ships. Our ferry had little more than three or four inches of clearance above the river water on the way to the ship. Everyone was very cautious not to move too much on the ferry because it seemed much overloaded.

A big part of the Wing was loaded upon two sister troop ships the USS Generals Morton and McCrae. We left Calcutta under the escort of two destroyers. Since it would take at least ten days to get to Melbourne, Australia the doctors on board encouraged all who had never been circumcised to have it done. The big pastime, besides playing poker, was to tell risqué jokes around those who had just been circumcised to watch the pain caused by an erection. The Poker pots got larger and larger as the big winners began to play against each other. Several of the big winners jumped ship at Melbourne and tried to stay in Australia with their winnings.

Ship Model
After the second day I began to make a ship model of the McCrae and Morton. This I did using the wood off pine crates that accumulated on the fantail each day. Garbage was dumped all at once every night so as not to leave a trail. Since the two ships were identical sisters I could use the Morton to get close up details and the McCrae for overall proportion as it sailed two miles to starboard. Since I didn't have glue I Had to dovetail the parts into place.

About every five or six days a ship's officer would go through out the troop quarters to inspect. During the second inspection the officer saw my model and immediately offered me $25. This was a princely sum at that time but I turned it down. A few days later he came to me and took me to see the Executive Officer with my model. The Exec asked if I would make him a fire control model of the ship to use to show the crew where the bulkhead doors and hoses were located. The thinking was that such a model would greatly improve both the teaching and learning of ship fire control. I was certainly one of the most favored passengers on the whole voyage from then on.

Member of the R Division
He made me a member of the R-Division on the ship. This was a great opportunity since it meant that I would eat with the crew and see movies with them instead of with the troops. However, I would still have to sleep in my bunk below deck except when it was warm enough to find a clear space topside. For the remainder of the voyage, 32 days, I spent my time working in the woodshop of the ship. I had free access to all the plywood and tools I needed. I was given a set of ship plans (later donated to the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Texas) and proceeded to make an eight-foot model with removable decks as the Exec had requested. This activity greatly relieved the tedium of the voyage and I made it last for the entire voyage. After the war the McCrae was used in the Caribbean as a banana boat. It remained on the ships of the world register until 1987. A copy of the ship plans exists in the NEAM.

Meeting King Neptune
When we came to where the equator crosses the Indian Ocean the ceremony of crossing was done in the traditional manner. All who were shellbacks, having crossed the equator previously, were organized into teams for initiating the pollywogs. A pollywog, by definition, had never crossed the equator. One long deck starboard side aft was greased and groups of sixty or so pollywogs were herded down the greased deck into a barrage of fire hoses. The mass of selected bodies moved in groups of twenty through the hoses to a deckhouse where progress up a ladder was accompanied by snipping of hair by the royal barbers. The more resistance you put up the more cutting took place.

Once on top you were greeted by the royal court and taken before King Neptune. You were asked questions but no matter how you answered you were sentenced in some manner. One sentence was to partake of the royal bread. This was dough formed by flour and engine oil. You had to masticate as though in enjoyment to do otherwise meant even more being forced into your mouth and perhaps not being allowed to spit it out. You might be sentenced to kiss the royal baby's behind. The royal baby was the fattest shellback they could find. After completing your sentence you were put into the royal chair which tipped backwards off the cabin top and dumped you into the royal swimming pool. As you went into the water you were grabbed and repeatedly dunked and asked questions until you gave an acceptable answer or another body came over the cabin. When you were ejected from the pool you were an official shellback. The more you objected or fought the harder the initiation.

Since there were about 1800 troops on the ship the entire process became more and more wearying as the day progressed. The shellbacks became more and more fatigued so that the last half of the pollywogs had a fairly easy time of it. I was somewhere in the last half, not by plan but because of good luck. Those who resisted the most or tried to escape suffered the most.

Melbourne, Australia
As we sailed below the equator the weather became quite cold and it was quite unpleasant on deck as we sailed past Tasmania about twelve miles to our starboard. In a few days we pulled into Melbourne. In Australia we had our first fresh milk and vegetables in a year. It was the first time that I can remember soldiers actually volunteering for K.P. Half of the troops were given shore leave at a time. When I went ashore I first went to the YMCA and had an honest to goodness hot shower with real soap. While on ship the fresh water was on for only a few minutes a day. Usually the showers were unheated salt water. Soap as we know it is useless in salt water and even so called salt-water soap was not very satisfactory. I have always had a warm spot for YMCA since that shower.

I walked around Melbourne and found that most of the troops were patronizing the milk bars instead of the pubs for beer. I remember having milk and cookies with some friends and getting a big kick out of shocking the waitresses by using the word 'bloody' which was a terrible word to them but had no significance to us.

All my life I have been a roller skater and that evening I went to a roller rink. While skating there I met a girl who was very nice. I received letters from her back in the states for over five years after the war.

During one of my strolls around the city I went into a park and looked at a small stone building. It was built by Captain Cook and preserved as a historical monument. During this visit I initiated a conversation with a man who happened to be a Communist. He tried to convince me that all the roads of Russia were made with four paved lanes. Real B.S. but he did tell me of the history of the stone building.

Townsville and New Guinea
On the third day our ship left Melbourne without several of the big money winners. We sailed up the east coast of Australia to Townsville. This is a small isolated northeastern port without any harbor facilities except a large dock. In trying to dock the large troop transport without a tug or pilot the captain succeeded in destroying about forty feet of dock and putting a huge dent in the side of the ship. At Townsville we took aboard 600 Aussie troops en route to Lae, New Guinea. Lae had been recently secured by MacArthur's troops but when we got there men were sailing small craft in the harbor as recreation. What we saw was very green and peaceful.

After dropping off the Aussies we sailed up through the Pacific islands. I had occasion to see flying fish, a full halo around the moon at night in color and miles and miles of nothing. One morning I woke up on deck at dawn and saw ships of all kinds and sizes as far as I could see in every direction. As the sun went down that afternoon there were still ships to every horizon. We were in the Caroline Islands and preparations were underway for the invasion of either Okinawa or the Philippines. Never knew which.

When we arrived at Tinian we had to climb down the side of the ship on a landing net and time our jump into a small landing boat. This was quite a feat considering we were carrying a barracks bag with all our personal possessions. We walked from Tinian town beach up a road to a large sugar cane field maybe two miles away. We had to take our knives and on our hands and knees crawled for a half mile in a long row as we probed the ground for mines. All we found was one spider hole with a metal cover and a Sea Bee still.

Streets were laid out and we pitched eight man tents. Since we didn't have native help we didn't bother digging slit trenches. Right next to our area on the inland side was the Sea Bee camp. The lower end of our area was near the seaside cliff. It was not advisable to go walking around at night since there were still Japanese hiding in the cliffs. They would come out at night to steal food.

By the second day the Sea Bees had built a large water tower but the valve was padlocked except for one hour both morning and evening. It took about a month before the mess hall was completed. In the meantime we had to walk almost two miles for meals. Doing this for two or three meals a day meant that many of us were skipping meals. Finally, they let us take cases of C-rations if we agreed to carry them to camp. I carried my case the day after I filled my canteen cup with tomato soup only to find that the tomato I scooped up from the bottom of the pot was half a bar of GI soap. I only found out in 1995 that this was not a cooking error but a common act of Japanese sabotage.

The first months on Tinian involved getting up each morning, catching a ride to the line (where the planes were) and getting my work assignments. I worked with a Sgt. Joe Barecca (sp) and we changed, tuned, and did what was called 3rd level maintenance on the APQ-13. On Tinian, Loran came into its own and my skills with the Loran sets was frequently used by other squadrons. I was then assigned temporarily to the 73rd Bomb Wing Training School that was to serve as a model in establishing a similar school for the 58th Wing on Tinian.

British Tents vs. American Tents
While in India we were housed in British tents that were designed to provide an insulating barrier from the heat of the sun.  They were actually two tent tops one over the other with the distance between them increasing from top to bottom.  It was not until I lived in an American tent of similar size did I fully realize an additional benefit of the double layer.  It rains on Tinian.  Once the outside of a canvas tent is wet it sheds water quite well so long as it is "untouched".  Once a wet canvas tent is touched on the inside it will leak where touched.  This was a lesson my tent mates and I learned the hard way.

There were occasional efforts to improve the appearance of our squadron tent area on Tinian.  We were told to police (clean-up) the area and tighten the tent ropes to make the tents look more like tents in a row..  This was done by others but for some reason my tend evaded the tight-rope requirements.  Along came a typhoon that only brushed Tinian but wrecked havoc on the ships off Okinawa.  Dozens of tent in our area were blown down or at least rendered partially useable.  Our tent went with the flow and rocked with the wind and remained both standing and dry.

Washing Machines
Labor was cheap in India.  We paid our young tent walla twenty-five cents a week to clean the tend and make our beds.  Our laundry he would take to his mother to wash and fold.  In India, washing consisted of beating the clothing on flat rocks beside a stream or river.  In the process bits of fine powder adhere to the clothing.  He who wears clothing cleaned in this manner is quite likely to develop a scratching habit where the clothing rubs.  This is called the 'Dobe-Itch' and is most likely the origin for the name of the scrubbing pad called Dobe.

On board the troop ship the troops did not have access to the ships laundry.  The ordinary soap does not work in the salt water usually available to troops.  The alternative was to tie your clothes together on a long rope and pull it behind the ship for a few minutes.  Occasionally the clothes got washed free from the rope, as well.

On Tinian it did not take long for the more creative to design a wind driven washing machine.  Half of a steel barrel would be placed on a low wooden platform or box.  Heavy boards would be fastened on two opposite sides of the box so as to extend above the barrel.  A pipe crank shaft shaft with an off-set center piece was put between the boards.  Connect a "piston rod" so as to extend into the center of the barrel with a flat + reaching to the bottom.  On one extended end of the pipe a crude wooden propeller was fastened.  As the propeller turned it would turn the shaft and cause the wooden + to move up and down in the water.  Add water and soap-bar shavings in the morning and you would have clean clothes by the end of the day..

Odometer Read-out of Position
Shortly before I was transferred to the Wing Training Center, B-29s began to arrive with a new device to enhance situational awareness as we call it now.  Enter the B-29 Inertial position  indicator with odometer readout of longitude and latitude.  This instrument was at the navigators position and had to be preset at departure and allowed to cycle through the changes as they occurred in flight..  Never had an opportunity to speak with a navigator as to accuracy or reliability.

We Expect an Invasion on Tinian with Empty Guns
At one point during the summer of 1945 the enlisted service troops were issued carbines based upon a warning related to a Japanese attack on Tinian by means unknown.  As I recall we had the guns only a few days but never was ammunition issued.  

Tinian's Carnivorous Ants
The water situation on Tinian was critical. Large water towers had been built by the Sea Bees for showering during limited times morning and evening. The water shutoff valve was otherwise padlocked. This particular afternoon, the sergeant was asleep in his cot. For some reason I was in my tent reading. Otherwise in the entire encampment there were probably not more than a dozen men within ear shot. Suddenly, a blood curdling scream came from the Monopoly sergeant's' tent and he came out jumping, clawing at his eyes, face, body and the air.

While he had been asleep a horde of ants had crawled up the stacked munitions under his cot and proceeded to attack him en masse'. They had even entered his body openings and his eyes. While he groveled on the ground, some others and I tried to brush off the ants with some success. We got him to his feet and rushed over to the water tanks. The valve of course was locked, and it took almost twenty minutes to locate the key. I do hope others recall these events and may give the name of the sergeant who can definitively give the origin of the fuse in the preceding story.

Unsafe Roads
There was a brief period during the late spring on Tinian where the roads became relatively dangerous to travel.  Millions of green caterpillar worms began to migrate across the roads.  There were so many of them that a vehicle could easily spin and slide out of control.

58th Wing Training Center
The wing training center consisted of two barn sized Quonset huts each with a diesel-powered generator for electricity. One building was filled with eight Link trainers and the other one was empty. The first thing for me to do was to install about ten APN-4 Loran sets for instructional purposes.

It seems that many of the navigators were of two types, those who were old and experienced or newly trained. Both groups were disenchanted with Loran. The older navigators believed only in celestial navigation. Those who had used Loran mostly over land felt that it didn't do the job. A mixed group would come to me, a corporal, for instruction in the use of Loran. They would rank from lieutenant to major but without exception they resented having to come for Loran instruction and it seemed even more of them resented being taught by a corporal.

The Loran set at that time had about a 2 per cent error over the 1400-mile range to Japan. For some reason the Japanese never were able to jam Loran. Such a long flight could cross through several weather systems during which neither star shots nor drift readings could be made. Proficiency and reliance on Loran became important. The deficiencies of Loran over land were minimal over the expanses of water in the Pacific.

The Penny
When planning turns required during the bombing runs the navigators found that a short-cut to plotting the turn could be made just using the circumference if a Lincoln-head penny.  Worked!

Two-Engine B-29 Returns for Landing
Even with the bomb-load released a B-29 carried thousands of pounds of gasoline. On takeoff, a fully loaded B-29s wings would bend upwards somewhere beyond six-feet as they took the load off the wheels.  One such B-29 flew around the island of Tinian on only two engines endeavoring to make a landing rather than ditching into the Pacific Ocean.

A group of my fellow school staff members were taking a break about quarter-mile from the cliffs that surrounded the plateau surface of the island.  We heard the plane and say that it was in great difficulty.  

For those who are not into aviation, I must digress to describe an aeronautical aspect of aviation that was used but not fully used until multi-engine aircraft began flying across the ocean in WWII.  Within half-a-wing span of a flat surface the aircraft is able to remain aloft due to lower drag and increased lift.   However complex all the factors, it means that it is possible for a large aircraft to remain aloft while close to the surface but be unable to climb out of ground effect.

This particular B-29 was well out of ground-effect while over the ocean, but would benefit from ground-effect once over the edge of the cliff..  It was very similar to a home team audience wishing for a touchdown.  Had the aircraft's wheels been down it would not have made it.  Once over the cliff's edge it was able to climb a bit and make the runway a short distance inland with the wheels extended.  There were no cheers or shouts of exultation but there was a noticeable release of breath and release of tension when the plane cleared the cliff.

Takeoff Emergency on Tinian
B-29 of my wing was taking off  one night when due to engine failure they were unable to maintain altitude as loaded.  They could not  climb over a low hill of less than 100-feet off the end of the runway.  The bombs were salvoed all together just off the far end of the runway. 

Bombs on many missions were left with pins the fuses to minimize unwanted explosions until approaching the target.  These bombs did not explode.  However,  they tumbled through an anti-aircraft encampment consisting of tents with sleeping and non-sleeping soldiers.  Casualties were heavy even though no bombs exploded..  Orders were issued that henceforth an effort to turn around the hill and salvo into the ocean was required.

Memories of the EDDIE ALLEN
One morning during the summer of 1945 a half-track (the front end like a truck and the backend like a Caterpillar) came up the hill towing the hulk of a B-29 fuselage. The tail had been removed for salvage. The center section of the wing protruded just past the inboard engine nacelles. It took better part of the day to position what remained of the aircraft between the two large training school Quonset buildings. It was the remains of the "Eddie Allen" from the 40th Bomb Group, named after the famous test pilot killed in an early B-29 test flight that crashed in Seattle. At the school it was to be used as a ditching trainer.

During the last six months of WWII I was serving as a Loran instructor/mechanic. In the last two months of the conflict I served as one of three Supersonic Trainer technicians at the wing training school of the 58th Bomb wing on Tinian Island of the Marianas. At the time I had absolutely no recognition of the historical or aviation significance of this aircraft. Now, years later, I know I saw part of a great story.

The school was located in two barn-sized quonset buildings on a hill near the western edge of the island. These buildings were much larger than the barracks size in common use. They were bolted to cement slab floors. One of the buildings contained eight link trainers. The other had three Supersonic Trainers and a corner room with ten Loran sets. The LORAN corner was an after-thought because all of the new B-29s were being taken from the new crews and given to the old-timers who had 'rank'. The new planes had the APN-9 that was operationally more efficient and improved over the APN-4. The aircraft switch meant that many navigators had to be retrained for the appropriate LORAN set.

There was open space of about 75 feet between the buildings in which was located the diesel powered generator. It was usually my duty every morning to get the diesel started to give the required power to the buildings and electronic equipment. This produced 110 volt 60 cycle for the lights and 28 volt 400 cycle for the electronics. Ample room remained for the Eddie Allen.

It was my understanding that the aircraft had taken a shell hit on a raid over Japan. The shell had hit but not exploded on the main wing spar. The wing had held well enough to safely return the crew to Tinian but could no longer support the bomb/fuel overloads of war. Anyone who has ever seen the wingtips of a loaded B-29 bend upward six feet on liftoff understands this.

Beneath the pilot's window was the logo "Eddie Allen" along with almost a dozen bomb symbols and seven camels as a visual record of the aircraft's missions. The Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredricksburg, Texas has a photo of the aircraft in this position and condition. The picture was taken after the end of the war. The plane served as a backdrop for a group picture of the training school staff. I am standing directly below the co-pilots window.

The addition of the fuselage to the training school was to locate a ditching trainer at the school. There was to be no additional training staff, however. Each aircraft commander was to conduct his own training program and drill. I have no idea as to how often the Allen was used for this purpose since my time was fully occupied inside the buildings.

I have no recollection of having ever entered the aircraft. Yet, every morning for the last few months of the war and for a couple thereafter I would walk the length of the fuselage to fire up the diesel generator that provided all the required electricity for the school.

Several times a day I would pass by the nose of the aircraft. I may not have been the last but I was near the last to see the end of its service life. I was not there to see the final removal or disposition of the Allen. I don't know that I want to know. Since we dumped much of the abandoned military equipment off the cliffs of Tinian, my guess is that the same happened to the 'Eddie Allen".

War's End
After the atomic bombs were dropped there was a period of two weeks during which repeated missions were scheduled and cancelled. Some of the missions were not cancelled until well on their way to Japan. Morale dropped and there were many operational accidents. Finally all the troops were called to the open-air theaters for a lecture. An officer presented the case that at that time we were bombing Japan every four days with 800 B-29's. 200 B-29's could do the equivalent damage of one atomic bomb at that time. On that basis we were destroying one Japanese city every day. In the next month the B-29's from Okinawa would raise the total bomber number to about 2000. He further elaborated that we had dropped the only two atomic bombs we had in the Pacific region. In summary, he said that the atomic bombs effect was expected to be more psychological than military when placed alongside the actual and potential damage capability of the B-29. A couple days afterwards peace was declared. This stopped construction of a facility that was to house over 700 nurses for the hospital being built in preparation for casualties expected during the invasion of Japan.

Any one, who wanted to, was invited to fly to Japan to participate in the signing on the USS Missouri. I chose not to go because of the high operational losses of the B-29. Early on in India the operational losses of B-29s was extremely high because of engine defects and terrain problems en route to China and back. The 2800-mile flight to Japan and back before Iwo Jima was captured caused many more operational losses. Even with the capture of Iwo Jima the total losses of B-29s operationally exceeded combat losses. One such loss occurred when a B-29 took off on a maintenance flight without any means of navigation.

With the war over it was time to go home. When the war ended my trainer was no longer in demand. I dismantled it and helped crate it for shipment. For the last two months of the war I had much free time. The planes and crews flew back one at a time. Some didn't make it back. Ground crews had to wait for ships. Every G.I. accumulated points according to his length of service time overseas, and battle stars. I had 68 points but still had to wait two months before I could board a ship.

I had to report for duty every day to the school but had little to do. Since the next building had Link Trainers I spent days on end, hour after hour flying the Links. The only approach plate they used was into McCelland Field near Sacramento. At that time all instrument approaches consisted of the radio range system. The last U.S. system of this type was phased out in the late 70's. I became quite proficient in the Link and occasionally pilots would watch me fly the procedure before doing it themselves. When I took up flying in 1968 I was still able to fly better by instruments than I could visually. In April 2002 I had logged over 10,000 hours of single engine flight time.

As we prepared to leave Tinian all spare parts were placed into trucks and the trucks driven over cliffs. Millions of dollars of equipment was destroyed in this way. We were told to get our possessions out of our camp one morning and then the entire camp was bulldozed into a pile. The pile was set on fire. The most fascinating aspect of this event was the fourth-of July effects by the DDT canisters of which there were several in each tent. At that time the canister was about eight inches long and four inches through. The top was a pot metal screw cap on. As the pot metal melted in the fire the heated DDT caused the canisters to take off like rockets in every direction. They only traveled several hundred feet at most but the sheer number of them made it quite a sight.

When my turn came to sail from Tinian we had to climb from small landing boats up the landing nets on the ship. If you couldn't carry it you couldn't take it. Once aboard with most everybody on deck we sailed the four or five miles to Sampan pick up more troops. I have never seen so many people get so sea sick in such a short time.

On the voyage back we passed about 600 miles north of Hawaii enroute to San Pedro, the harbor of Los Angeles. A floating mine was spotted and the ship hove to and spent about half an hour trying to detonate it with five-inch guns, multiple twenties and rifles. Finally a launch was put out and after a few minutes the mine was exploded with rifle fire. When we landed at San Pedro a small band met us and played as we entrained for Santa Ana.

Two days later I was sent by train to Camp Beale near Marysville, CA. I was issued some new uniform parts and processed for discharge. I took a train for San Francisco but got off at Vallejo and hitchhiked to Santa Rosa and home.

Footnote on the past:
As a youngster in the early and mid 1930's I lived very close to Hamilton Field, in Northern California. I would bicycle there to visit soldier friends such as Sergeants "Spiffy" Wells and Eddy Martin but especially Corporal "Red" Varner. He was a career regular army man who served as an aviation propeller specialist. "Red' would take me through the hangers telling me about the work he did and showing me inside the aircraft. He was short and stocky with the reddest hair in the world. Aircraft at this time were mostly P-12's and somewhat later B-10's and P-26's. At that time aircraft engines were packed and shipped in crates made of 4' thick balsa wood. Thanks to "Red" I had model airplane materials coming out of my ears. "Red" took me on the ramp when the very first B-17 made its visit but I was chased off for riding my bike through the prop wash.

Years later but during the war, Readers Digest had a story about the Swoose including the part "Red" played in its historic resurrection and flight with General Bret. Shortly before I entered the service I met "Red" again. He was still an enlisted man but had been recommended for OCS. He told me of how difficult it had been salvaging the Swoose but indicated the worst of it was keeping the plane flyable once they left the Philippines. I met "Red" once again after the war. We spent a few minutes together sharing our memories of time and friends before the war.

He had married well in Marin County and retired from the military as a captain. I don't believe the marriage worked out and he died in the 50's. Now the kicker. Have your ever had a spine tingling, goose bump raising experience caused by revival of the past? I never had until I passed the nose of a stored B-17 near the B-29 Enola Gay at the Smithsonian Garber Facility. On the nose was the faded name "The Swoose". There was a relatively popular song in 1941 names "Alexander the Swoose" who was half swan and half goose.  This pretty much described the plane that General Brett flew on when fleeing the Japanese from the Philippines. On the fuselage was painted the names of the crew, including the name of my friend as Harold Varner. To those who knew him, he was always "Red". The pilot of the Swoose was Swoozie Kurtz' father. The actress was named after the Swoose

Lindberg Connection
For over ten years I flew and trained a pilot named  William (Bill) Rosso.  He owned a pristine turbo C-182.  His father had been one of the original enlisted aerobatic 'Daredevils of the Air' air show members.  He was also a mechanic at the Ryan Aircraft Factory in San Diego..  All of his memorabilia were lost in a flood.  However his claim to fame may lie in the fact that as a mechanic, he was the one who 'signed-off' on the welding done on Lindberg's Spirit of St. Louis exhaust manifold.

Last Hurrah
I will be on the North Carolina sea shore on December 17th 2003 to participate in the centennial Wright Brothers ceremony.  My older son owns a beach house at nearby Nags Head so the family will have a holiday together as well.

First B-29 Low Level Fire Bombing of Japan
Field Order #43 was the plan for the all-out fire bombing of Tokyo. The previous fire bombing of Tokyo, called Meetinghouse # 1 had been on the day of 28 February, 1945. Now Meetinghouse #2 was to take place at hight and in a completely different manner than ever before over Japan on the night of March 8, 1945.

A full effort mission such as this used over five-million gallons of fuel.  On average bombs missed their targets by five miles during the war.  Any hit within 1000' was considered 'excellent'.  I never volunteered to fly in a B-29.  More B-29 were lost operationally than in combat.  Target selection came from Washington initially and was wasteful in time and effort.  The entire war was much longer than needed due to poor planning and selection of targets not just in the CBI, but everywhere.

Subsequent to this raid until the dropping of the Nagasaki Atomic bomb, the B-29 bombers were in the next six months to effectively destroy the 180 largest cities of Japan. One medium city the size of Berkeley, CA was being over half destroyed every day.

A little know reason for the initiation by General LeMay of mid-level fire bombing altitudes instead of high level bombing altitudes was the jet stream winds that existed over Japan. See the Field Order for the first fire bombing of Tokyo. Bombing accuracy was very difficult at high altitudes because a strong head wind would give the 210 mile per hour speed a ground speed too low to track. A tailwind that would give a ground speed of over 400 miles per hour were so strong that the sight again would have difficulty tracking. The same difficulty early on made it very hard for the remote controlled machine-gun turrets to track Japanese fighters making head-on attacks. Later turrets had faster gears and four guns on top instead of just two.

At this time, February, March, I was aboard ship en route from India to Tinian with the 58th Bomb Wing ground support crews. The planes flew over from China. Initially there was considerable air crew objection to LeMay's plan. Especially not carrying ammunition. Since the 58th Bomb Wing was not yet operational the ammunition edict had no immediate effect and later on it was ignored. It was a very radical change in bombing philosophy and technique. History has proven him right.

The way to each target area of Tokyo was to be illuminated by pathfinder crews dropping specially colored bombs as target identifiers. The orders tell each of the three bomb wings their altitude, bomb load, route and time to arrive on target.

During the last five months of the war on Tinian, I functioned as a LORAN instructor for two months and then as an radar bombing simulator mechanic/operator/instructor until the end of the war. That's another story trying to find a place to be told.

The field order follows
TO: COM GEN 73rd BOMB WING 0800 8 March 1945

1.Omitted. (Enemy's situation)
2. The XXI Bomber Command will attack Urban Area of Meetinghouse with maximum effort on "D" day. Location: 3541N-13948E.

3. a. 73rd Wing:
(1) First A/C will take off at Zero Hour
(2) Offset A. P. MPI Course Force
353830N - 13953E 354254N - 1394745E 312 deg.True 2/3
Same 354205 - 1394830 312 deg. True 1/3
(3) Altitude of attack: 7000 to 7800 feet.
(4) Bomb Load: One squadron - 47 Incendiary, Clusters (schedules to be dropped first) fused instantaneous nose. Balance of squadrons - E-28 Incendiary Clusters fused to open at 2000 feet above target.
(5) Route: Base to 2500N -14300E to 2715N - 14053E to 3450N 14000E to 3519N to 14025E to 3532N - 1400430E (IP) to Target to 3350N -13953E to 3557N -14033E to Base.
(6) Altitude en route to target: 3000 to 3500 feet.
(7) 73rd Wing will dispatch two radio-homing aircraft to take off prior to main force and fly between points 3502N - 4000E and 3450N -14000E for 1 hour and 30 minutes for the purpose of transmitting homing signal to main force.

b. 313th Wing:
(1) first A/C will take off at Zero Hour
 (2) Offset A. P. MPI Course Force
353830N - 13953E 354205 - 1394830E 312 deg. True 1/3 Same 354054 - 1394832 12 deg. True 2/3
(3) Altitude of attack: 6000 to 6800 feet.
(4) Bomb Load: One squadron - 47 Incendiary, Clusters (schedules to be dropped first) fused instantaneous nose fuse.. Balance of squadrons - E-28 Incendiary Clusters fused to open at 2500 feet above target.
(5) Route: Same as 73rd Wing
(6) Altitude en route to target: 4000 to 5000 feet.
(7) The313th Wing will dispatch two radio-homing aircraft to take off prior to main force and fly between points 3502N -14000E and 3450N -14000E for 1 hour and 30 minutes for the purpose of transmitting homing signal to main force.

c. 314th Wing:
(1) First A/C will take off at Zero Hour minus 40 minutes
(2) Offset A. P. MPI Course Force
353845N - 13948E 354057N - 1394653E 338 deg. True All squadrons
(3) Altitude of attack: 5000 to 5800 feet.
(4) Bomb Load: One squadron - 47 Incendiary, Clusters (schedules to be dropped first) fused instantaneous nose fuse. Balance of squadrons - E-46 Incendiary Clusters fused to open at 2500 feet.
(5) Route: Base; 2500N -14300E; o 2715N - 14053E; 3450N 14000E; 3525N - 1395430E; Target 3550N - 13953E; 3557N -14033E; Base.
(6) Altitude en route to target: 5000 to 5500 feet.

(1) Attacking by individual aircraft with minimum interval between aircraft. Plan of attack will be for radar bombing but visual method will be used when possible. If visual bombing is done, bombardiers should endeavor to place an even distribution of bombs over Incendiary Zone #1.
(2) Intervalometer Setting: (Intervalometer is a device for spacing individual bomb release)
(a) M-47 Incendiary Clusters; 100 feet.
(b) E-46 and E-28 Incendiary Clusters: 50 feet.

End of Page -1-

(3) Calibrated airspeed of 240 MPH will be flown by all aircraft on bombing run.
(4) No ammunition will be carried.
(5) If visual release is used, the Aiming Point will be other than a conflagration previously started.
(6) All A/C not equipped with bomb bay tank will salvo immediately after intervalometer has been actuated.
(7) For this mission, pins and car-o-seals may be removed from fuses prior to takeoff.
4. No change.
5. Communications:

a. (1) Radio silence will prevail en route to target except in case of an aircraft in extreme emergency.

(2) Four special radio-homing planes, two from 73rd Wing and two from 313th Wing will proceed to pre-designated point and orbit for radio homing purposes. Designated radio planes will carry one (1) spare Liaison Transmitter and one (1) spare

Liaison Dynamotor. all radio planes will begin transmitting homing signal 20 minutes prior to arrival of main force at

designated points. (Reference Regulation 100-37 XXI BomCom). Radio Homing planes will fly designated course for one hour and thirty minutes. The most capable radio operators available will be assigned to the special radio planes. All allocation of planes, altitude, frequency, and identification signals will be: Unit Altitude Frequency Identification
73rd 24,000 424Kcs B
73rd 25,000 524Kcs C
313th 26000 230Kcs N
313th 27,000 330Kcs A

(3) Jamming tactics may be employed by enemy but one frequency of the four should remain open.

(4) Wings will pre-designate one plane per squadron as the only plane to submit a Strike Report.
(a) Special Strike Report will consist of time over target (GMT) target bombed, method of bombing, cloud coverage results obtained, fighter opposition, and flak opposition

Time T - Over Target (GMT)
Target Bombed P - Primary
Method of Bombing V - Visual, R - Radar, N - Navigation
Cloud Coverage 1 to 9 for tenths X for 10/10
Bombing Results A - General Conflagration
B - Several large fires
C - Many fire (typo)
D - Few scattered fires
E - Unobserved

Fighter Opposition
A - Heavy
B - Moderate
C - Meager
D - None

Flak Opposition 
A - Heavy
B - Moderate
C - Meager
D - None

End of Page -2-

313th Bomb Wing Field Order, issued to carry-out above Bomber Command Field Order

313th Bomb Wing
APO  247 (Army Post Office #) 

FO #10 1700 8 March 1945
Maps: S-501 Long Range Navigation Chart 1: 3,000,000
AAF Aeronauticals 1:2500,000, Sheets 378D, 389A, 389B

1. a. No change
b. Atk coordinated with 73rd and 314th Wings. 73rd and 314th Wg will take off at "H" hour and "H" hour minus 40 minutes and Atk Urban Area of TOKYO. 73rd Wg altitude en route 3000 to 3500 feet. Bombs at 7000 to 7800 feet. 314th Wg altitude en route 5000 to 55l00 feet. Bombs at 5000 to 5800 feet. 73rd Wg Atks same MPI as 505th Gp and another MPI at 354254N - 1394l65E on axis of 312 deg. True. 314th Wg Atks MPI at 354057N - 1394653E on axis of 338 deg. True. Both Wings turn right after bombing. 73rd flys same course as 313th Wg. All Wgs begin Atk at same time.

2. a. 6th, 9th, 504th, and 505th Gps with maximum force Atk and destroy Urban Area of TOKYO on "D" Day.
Primary Target :Urban area of TOKYO
Secondary Target: Same as primary
LRT : None

Take Off: Instrument; Runway No 1 - straight out 6 min; 90 deg right turn; 3 min; 90 deg right turn; back 7 min. Runway No 3 - straight out 5 min; 90 deg right turn, 2 min; 90 deg right turn; 2 min; 90 right turn; back 6 min.

Assembly: None
Formation: Ind A/C to Tgt and return

Route Out: Base; 2500N - 14300E; l2715N -14053E; 3450N - 14000E; 3519N - 14025E; 3532N -140 04' 30"E (IP); target

Pt of Climb: 3430 -14002lE
Method of Atk: By ind. A/C. Minimum interval.Tgt Elev: 183 feet.
Maneuver after Atk: Right turn away from Tgt Area.
Route Back: Target; 3550N - l3953E; 3537N - 14033E; Base

3. a. 505th Gp: Take off at "H" Hour on Runway 1
(1) Altitude en route to Tgt: 4000 feet
(2) Alt of Atk: 6400 feet
(3) Offset AP: 353830N -13953E.
(4) MPI: 3542l05N - 1394830E
(5) Bomb Load:

(a) 1st 6 A/C, 1st Sqdn: Max load M-47 Incendiary Clusters (to be dropped first).
1. Instantaneous Nose Fuse.
2. Intervalometer setting: 100 feet.
(b) All remaining A/C: Max load E-46 Incendiary Clusters.
(1) Fused to open 2500 above Tgt.
2. Intervalometer setting: 50 feet.
(6) Homing A/C: Dispatch 1 A/C, Take off at "H" minus 1-hr & 30 min, without bombs, with 2 bomb bay tanks and
750 Rnds of ammo per gun, to fly at 26000 ft between 3502N - 14000E and 3450N - 14999E for 1 hr 30 min to transmit homing signals as outlined in Par 5a. (5) (a)

b. 9th Gp: Take off at "H" Hour on Runway 3
(1) Altitude en route to Tgt: 4500 feet
(2) Alt of Atk: 6400 feet
(3) Offset AP: 353830N -13953E.
(4) MPI: 3544054N - 1394832E
(5) Bomb Load:

(a) 1st 6 A/C, 1st Sqdn: Max load M-47 Incendiary Clusters (to be dropped first).
1. Instantaneous Nose Fuse.
2. Intervalometer setting: 100 feet.

(b) All remaining A/C: Max load E-46Incendiary Clusters
1. Fused to open 2500 above Tgt.
2. Intervalometer setting: 50 feet.

c. 504th Gp: Take off at "H" Hour plus 30 minutes on Runway 1
(1) Altitude en route to Tgt: 4000 feet
(2) Alt of Atk: 6400 feet
(3) Offset AP: 353830N -13953E.
(4) MPI: 3542l05N - 1394830E
(5) Bomb Load: Maximum Load E-46 Incendiary Clusters.
(6) Fusing to open 2500 above Tgt.
(7) Intervalometer setting: 50 feet.
(8) Homing A/C: Dispatch 1 A/C, as in par. 3.a. (6) above to fly at 27000 feet.

d . 6th Gp: Take off at "H" Hour plus 30 minutes on Runway 3
(1) Altitude en route to Tgt: 4500 feet
(2) Alt of Atk: 6400 feet
(3) Offset AP: 353830N -1394832E.
(4) MPI: 354054N - 1394832E
(5) Bomb Load: Maximum Load E-46 Incendiary Clusters.
(6) Fusing to open 2500 above Tgt.
(7) Intervalometer setting: 50 feet.

Maj. Gen LeMay's Strike Report to Pentagon
Mission Number 40
1. Date: 9 March 1945
2. Code Name Meetinghouse #2
3. Target: Tokyo Urban Area
4. Participating Units: 73rd, 313th, 314th Bombardment Wings
5. Number A/C airborne 325
6. % A/C Bombing Primary 86%
   (279 Primary, 
   0 Secondary, 
   5 Last Resort, 
   15 Opportunity)
7. Time over Primary 100107K - 100400K
8. Altitude of Attack: 4,900 - 9,200
9. Weather Over Target: 3/10
10. Total A/C Lost: 14
11. Resume of Mission: 469,146,000 square feet destroyed or damages (1,080 acres -16.8 square miles).  Bombing result excellent. Twenty-six aircraft non-effective. One A/C lost to AA. One aircraft lost to Survey. Five aircraft ditched and seven aircraft lost to reasons unknown. Enemy air opposition weak. - 40 attacks, no claims. AA moderate to intense and accurate. Average bomb load 13,880 pounds. 73rd Wing, 12,857 lbs. 313th Wing, 9,673 lbs. 314th Wing (not stated) Average gas reserve 1,044 gallons.

Three Losses
For the third time in my flying life I have suffered the loss of a woman who was and will be sorely missed. Thirty-five years ago it was MaryAnn, who left Concord Tower and went to Napa. I followed her careen to

Sacramento Executive until it went non-Federal. Next she popped up on Sacramento approach and we talked again as old friends last year. She’s either retired or close to it now. I am now teaching the young son of the
airline pilot whom first ‘trained’ MaryAnn. She keeps finding ways to pop into my flying life.

My next girl friend was Ruth; I was in the tower cab some twenty years ago when Ruth was handling two parallel runways and all incoming and departing traffic. She was a controller’s controller as she never missed a call or situation for at least 15 and perhaps as long as 20 minutes. I spent the time just watching awe as she moved in-bounds to the runway and out-bounds away inter-mixing them and spacing the closed pattern traffic to make everything work as though run by a programmed computer. Never fewer than four aircraft in both patterns at the same time. I had never seen the pattern so busy before or since. She set the standard of excellence for ATC that I have seen approached but never equaled since. Shortly afterwards they came up with a new frequency so that less capable specialists could do in tandem what Ruth had done solo. She moved over to Oakland a few years back and I found out that she had become a supervisor and had married. Caught up with her early last year and found that she had two teen-age stepchildren and was once again a controller by choice. Seems happier now.

Yesterday, I had to say goodbye to Jillian. Jillian told me that it was her last day at Concord and she would be working in Columbus, Ohio. Jillian came to Concord in her early mid-twenties and is leaving after nine years. She didn’t say that she was being promoted but something is terribly wrong if she wasn’t. Jillian was the blonde that men dream of being in her convertible sports coupe while enjoying life.

Jillian has a distinctive voice, lilting, clear, precise, and always according to the book. You know, fife instead of five. Jillian made flying at Concord a pleasure. Things were becoming different in the tower with many changes in Chiefs, BRITE RADAR display, wide variations in activity thanks to helicopter activity, noise abatement complaints and threats of closure. Through all this, for nine years, Jillian remained the best and most distinctly pleasant controller personality at Concord. Although my flying activity has slowed in recent years, flying with Jillian was always something that I hoped for and enjoyed when it happened.

Ohio’s gain is California’s loss. Years, ago the airport had a manager whose departure to the Near East prompted this comment by me, "His departure raised the average intelligence and administrative level of both California and the Near East." Jillian’s departure brings no such comment from me. My flying enjoyment and that of all other flyers at Concord will take more than improved weather to erase our memories of Jillian. To Ohio, I say you are getting a jewel, a treasure to be guarded, enjoyed and returned. For me, "Jillian I wish you Bluebirds and all the rest of Keely’s song.

 Kitty Hawk 
I have decided to give an account of my trip to Kitty Hawk during the third week of December 2003. I had previously purchased five days of tickets for five. Only three of us went my daughter-in-law, wife and I. I traveled the first day but went every one of the next four days. Second day rain, next two days beautiful, 17th rain and Bush. Since there were only three of us I gave away to locals all the extras. 

My oldest son and wife have a spacious three bedroom rental home one block from the beach at Nags Head. Close but far enough back to avoid hurricane damage. They delayed winterizing the house because of our visit. Only three miles from Kitty Hawk No on street parking allowed for miles. Bus system worked well. Frequent, well spaced stops and several routes. 

Weather not a problem if you dressed both for cold/wet conditions. Every intersection had one to three police cars. About 20 entry lines like those at airports with same requirements about what you could take through the gates. Once inside there were two to three police officers or military for every doorway except those leading toward exits of the memorial park 

I found many locals who were very competent, friendly and interesting manning the exhibits. NASA was primary source of give-a-way materials but I also obtained set of five beautiful prints of the local area sights from tourism tents. Bought several pins and things to take home, nothing was cheap. Spent time going through exhibit tents. 

Flew Wright Flyer simulator. Made two perfect landings. Never got out of the sand after running out of rail. Others usually crashed into trees once airborne. Could not enter one large tent reserved for ‘invited guests’. At doorway I had an opportunity to speak for several minutes with the lady who was one of the three pilots training to fly the plane. She had flown twice while the two men had flown three times during their training.

The site has four permanent buildings. A museum of moderate size with a display replica, the two replica Wright buildings for hangar and housing, and at the far end was the new AOPA facility that served as a medical center. 

During the week there were about 20 large tents and more sturdy temporary buildings for exhibitors and food. Food lines were exceptionally long. Near one entrance is the monument hill that has gently ramped walkways to the top. I made the trip only once. Wide variety of parked aircraft and two-hour of fly-bys by aircraft of the present and past twice a day. The terrain was partially sod covered but plenty of sand. Easy walking except where flooded. The entire area had wide walks or roads with small busses you could ride on the site. Numerous on-site small 4-wheelers with security and service personnel. On my first day, in the rain only 17,500 were there. The exhibitors ran out of freebies in the first two hours. I stayed about three hours before heading home each day. Age has its limitations. 

Last year I gave the MacArthur Memorial Museum in downtown Norfolk a rare piece of memorabilia from my Father’s WWI papers. It was a 1918 typewritten field order from headquarters giving the order of battle for a Signal Corps battalion. The paper was very fragile so I had carefully made a copy so that it would not need to be unfolded again. The receipt I got from the museum archivist only mentioned the copy and not the original. I had both written and phoned about the problem. 

While at the Memorial I phoned and explained the problem again and was assured that the letter would be in the mail. Happily, the archivist remembered me and had thought I had received a proper acknowledgment. We’ll see. Saved a two-hour detour on our way to D.C.

I left the festivities early on the 17th before the flight failure because of different circumstances. I arrived at 8:00 and got through the security line by 8:30. Those who came later took much longer. 

Due to the rain I headed for the Museum which had exterior overhang that allowed you to get out of the rain and still see the runway and field. It was a bit away from the crowd area, which was closer to the monument hill. Close to nine o’clock a Coast Guard helicopter began circling the area close in. It was soon replaced by the arrival of three large army choppers that landed and shut down leaving an open space between. 

Shortly thereafter two presidential choppers arrived. At the same time an entourage of SUVs drove on to the tarmac. Reminded me of the 1944 time in Cairo, Egypt where I saw King Faruk in a similar situation. I had a great view of all this. As they loaded and drove off I decided to try to get into a better position to see the planned Flyer flight.

All at once my day changed color. With the arrival of the president security made a significant change. I had intended to move over to the Wright Flyer area but found that, even though I might enter into a building to avoid the heavy rain, I would not be allowed to exit except through a doorway that took me away from the central festivities.

 During my efforts to change position John Travolta and then the president were speaking. However, there was a problem. Due to electrical problems not all of the speakers were working. Those that did work were intermittent. I could see Travolta speaking on the screen but entire areas were unable to hear him. Applause was limited to only those areas where he could be heard. When the president came on he had the same problem. I finally gave up trying to get closer and let the security system direct me ever further toward the buses. 

Went home by bus. Got home and saw on TV that I had not missed anything. Sometimes you get lucky. We packed up the car for our trip to Washington, D.C. We drove for about three hours in light rain and moderate traffic and then it was my turn to drive.

 The freeway traffic was moving quite well when we suddenly heard a loud roar from our right rear like a very loud motorcycle. Flat tire! We were a mile from an exit so I decided to drive on the flat on the shoulder to get off the freeway. It was too cold and dusk. No place to be waiting for help. Off the freeway, I was able to drive to a tire shop right there at the light. Called Avis but could not use any brand except Goodyear. Shop put on doughnut tire and we drove couple miles to Avis to get another car. Other car smaller but would carry luggage. Went to eat and took a room for over night. Had to drop off passenger at Dulles by eleven a.m. 

Planned to visit the newly opened Smithsonian annex at the airport afterwards. Plenty of signs giving directions to museum going to airport, absolutely none on leaving. Made four stops at toll takers and stores getting no help in finding the museum. Finally drove away from airport far enough to turn back to get signs giving directions. 

Museum has 1600 car parking lot but will not be enough. Only two of the screening devices to let you in. By two p.m. there was no waiting as we left. If weather is hot or cold it will be a very unpleasant process. They should cover waiting area. Also they need signs for those leaving the airport. Most of the routes have north, south, east, west on their signs but so does California. Road signs so marked are not reliable even with a compass. Those GPS equipped rentals may be worth the money. 

Best museum ever but will soon be crowded with another hundred or so aircraft. No way tours will be able to cover the individual planes well. At Kitty Hawk I spoke with a docent-in-training that had been preparing for six weeks and was still learning. The B-29 needs its own docent, as may other situations. See my site if you are curious about the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. 

Left a bit early with intentions of driving the few miles to the Washington Navy Yard. Big mistake! It takes a long time to get across the city. We walked into the Navy Yard Museum at five minutes to four. No one at the counter so I knocked on the door to the back office. How the world changes. 

Mr. Kim Nielsen, the Director of The Navy Museum introduced himself and I told the reason for my visit. I was there because I had heard hints that the radar bombardment-training device that I had put together and operated at the 58th Bombardment Wing Training Center on Tinian was actually a creation of the U.S. Navy. A fact that the Army Air Force would ever acknowledge. 

Mr. Nielsen told me that in the recent past they had been contacted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology regarding the dearth of historical information related to technology used during the cold war. Especially missing were the operational manuals. In the early 1950s I had seen my WWII Supersonic Trainer in use at Mather AFB in Sacramento for training B-47 crew. 

In the 1980s I had obtained declassified manuals and pictures relating to the use of the Supersonic Trainer. I had brought with me some CDs of my web site but we could not locate the data because I had recently moved it to another place without establishing the required links. Still we established a contact relationship, which seems promising. I have just put in my web site the required links. I will proceed with a friend to make digital pictures of the Trainer and try to see what it takes to make a working model. With computer technology we should be able to give a reasonably display of the trainer’s capability. I look forward to seeing it.

We departed the Museum with the clock approaching five p.m. hoping to get lucky and get to Baltimore in time for a flight to Oakland. Never happened so we spent the night near the airport. We were given directions to several eating places nearby. Once again our vacation changed colors. After a wait we were seated to a meal of crab cakes and steak. Service was rather slow but the place was busy. However in mid-meal a colored couple was seated near us. 

The man was wearing a Super bowl jacket and what looked like a ring to go with it. He would have been a lineman. They waited and waited until it became obvious that they were being given the subtle but discriminatory 1950’s treatment that my wife and I had seen practiced in Texas where their race could only obtain take-out service. We did not think it still existed. Finally when my waitress appeared I remarked about the treatment being given the couple and another waitress came shortly to take their order. They had waited for the better part of an hour.

During the war in Greensboro, N.C., I had been in an overseas replacement depot waiting to be called. One rainy evening I had arrived at a bus stop with a sheltered bench for the whites and a log for the blacks. I was the first one there and a young black soon joined me. Then three young whites came and began to give the black a bad time until I intervened and told them exactly how wrong I felt about having to go to war to defend their unwarranted behavior. The black stayed. That was 1944. 

Now in 2003 I have lived long enough to see the same disgraceful behavior replicated before my wife. Only to spare her was I restrained from making a scene. I intend to press this issue in as many ways as I can for the foreseeable future. The next morning we caught the plane out of Baltimore for Oakland and arrived just before dark with our luggage intact. 

One of our suitcases had a small blue tag on the outside. Inside was a message from the Transportation Security Administration. It indicated the contents had been searched. It was raining. What did I learn from this trip? We have much to be proud of in the accomplishments of our past. We are still being haunted by the blemishes of our past. 

The country is undergoing terrible times. I wonder if what is saved of the country is going to be worth the cost of losing our constitution. In most any situation it is far better to be lucky than most anything else is. Lastly, we all will wait too long to do the things that give value to your life. 

Little Known WWII Fact 
A British homosexual known as Alan Turing was just thirty when he first came to Dayton, Ohio in 1942 to give advice to the Americans regarding their code breaking efforts. He slept on the floor of a executive’s home during his stay. Turing did not like Americans. He was a brilliant theoretical mathematician withdrawn, antisocial and often so deep in thought that he would not recognize acquaintances. 

In 1952 he was given England’s highest civilian award only to commit suicide by eating a cyanide laced apple two years later after he was ‘outed’. Yet, Turing easily ranks at the near top or even top single individual who made the greatest contribution to the winning of WWII. Turing’s insights made it possible to build a reversing electro-mechanical devices capable of breaking the 35-pound German Enigma three wheel encoder’s system..

 Turing was the ‘driving force’ behind the British code breaking team. But until almost too late his efforts to guide the Americans was either ignored or ridiculed. The American method would have required eight years to decode what the 5000 pound British Bombe (sic) decoder could do in hours if not minutes.  

The long running Anglophobia of the U.S. Navy leadership extended from the top down. It was not until some changes were made there that British ideas were accepted and applied to augment and direct the American Bombe (sic) development in the last couple of years has the information been cleared from the secrecy that the world’s leaders have maintained. Only now can we begin to realize how many different times and in how many different ways the end of WWII could have been much different. 

My question: Is the same process being repeated in 2004?. How many different ways and times are we in the throes of losing the war against terrorism? While not being told about it?

Ending the War on Terrorism
In the latter months of 1945 I was a 21-year old corporal assigned to the 58th Bomb Wing Training Center on Tinian Island of the Marianas about 1400 miles from Japan.. I was the operator/mechanic of a radar bombing simulator. The radar operator could make repeated target runs on the simulator and face simulations of winds, speeds, target-returns with bomb release and impact.

Near the end of the war I was told to install the target area map for Nagasaki on my supersonic simulator. This took several days to align and test for giving a proper simulation of a B-29 radar bombing run flight to targets in Japan. On my web site at the very end of my IFR section Pages 7.93 I tell about the Supersonic Trainer its function and use. Included is a Nagasaki WWII aeronautical chart then in use with the city located to the lower right. No practice runs are shown on Nagasaki.

It is my sense that I was as close to the actual bombing mission as anyone could be without being in the plane.  I was also living close to a very real reason that President Truman’s decision was the right one. Within sight of my tent the Navy Seabees were constructing living quarters for the 700 nurses that were to be required at the tent hospital yet to be built on this five by eight island for the planned invasion of Japan.. The potential loss of life by suicidal attacks had shown at Okinawa that the invasion of the Japanese home islands would be costly.

The United States is now facing an escalation of the present war. As it is presently being fought it is not winnable and can only become worse as with Korea and Vietnam. What is needed is a Truman type decision.

We have no friends and never will have until we act in such a way that our ability to produce terrorism is applied to the gene pool of the terrorists to such a degree that they and the rest of their potential dries up. It was this kind of thinking and action that ended WWII and could have ended all of the other ill-considered wars since that we have lost.

HMT Rohna
In late 1943 I was shipped out of my radar training facility at Boca Raton, Florida to Greensboro North Carolina. This was an overseas shipment base where you waited of an overseas demand for your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). My MOS was 718 that stood for Radar Mechanic (Bombardment) I was one of a group of fifty who were awaiting shipment. We were there with the only duties being guard duty around the perimeter fences and. KP. I had been there over two months when all fifty of us with the same MOS, were given a two weeks leave prior to going overseas. I took a train home to California and used a better part of one week just to get there. My folks footed the price of a plane ticket back or I would have spent most of the leave just traveling. It still took two day to fly back because ‘bumping’ which meant that my priority was so low that I would be taken off a flight to wait for a flight coming through where I could ‘bump’ someone else off their flight. Being Absent With (O)ut Leave (AWOL) was a court martial offense so I didn’t want to create more trouble for myself by being late.

A few days back at Greensboro saw us getting shots for every disease known and unknown, issued new uniforms and travel kits to fill our duffel bags. Then on a train to Miami, Florida where we were put up in one of the beach hotels but sans bedding, just mattresses while awaiting orders. We were housed with the movie stars Pat O’Brien, Jinx Faulkenberg, and comedian Red Buttons. Some friends and I got to sit on the hotel lawn with O’Brien for the better part of an hour just talking.

My part of the conversation was to tell O’Brien that my mother had been one of the last to talk with Knute Rockne before he was killed on a flight from Kansas City, Missouri back in the 1920’s.O’Brien was 40ish and had played the part of Knute along with Ronald Reagan in the Notre Dame football movie. He seemed old to our bunch of 20 year olds. Jinx was reserved for officers.  In a day or two the fifty of us were picked up in small groups and loaded on aircraft for unknown destinations overseas. My flight was in a C-54 with eight others and an aircraft engine. No seats just our duffel-bags for pillows. We stayed on the plane all the way to Casablanca, North Africa with fuel stops at Bermuda and the Azores. After a night and day at Casablanca we boarded a C-46 and flew to Tripoli and then by morning we arrived at Cairo just in time to see the pyramids at sunrise as well as the Suez canal.

We left Cairo en route to Karachi, India but had to fly around Iraq to get fuel at Teheran. Karachi was the most unpleasant city I visited due to the heat and desert like terrain. I did spend overnight is a British army camp that had large buildings as barracks once occupied by the famous Crimean War Light Brigade. Their graffiti was on all the timbers. I slept all the way across India only waking when we landed at Dum Dum Airport near Calcutta
Why was this titled the HMT Rohna? On November 28th 1943 the Rhona was a troopship filled with over 2000 Americans sailing across the Mediterranean near Oran, Algeria as one of 26 ships plus escorts in a convoy. They were attacked several times by German aircraft but one came by a bit later and dropped a very unusual bomb. It had wings and could be guided by radio. It hit the Rohna mid-ship and killed many as well as sinking the ship. Nearly half of the troops died from the attack. It was the first instance of such an attack.

My hurry-up arrival in India was as a replacement for one of the victims. I did not learn of this until very late in the last century over fifty years after the actual event. I first read of the sinking in the CBI Roundup then on February 20, 2005 I had occasion to view a History Channel program about the Rohna and how the sinking resulted in my arrival in India.

Email to Walter Of Australia
I went to the OddBods site and realized that just maybe I could qualify for membership. In 1943 I flew several training and anti-submarine patrols off the coast of Florida and into the Bahamas in a Lockheed Hudson. I was training on the first British airborne radar set known as the 521.  The plane had yagi antennae and more interestingly had numerous patches over bullet holes earned in English waters. It had been ferried back to the U.S. as war weary.

On my way to India, I landed at Bermuda, The Azores, Casablanca, and spent two days in Cairo. Spent a day in Karachi and nearly ten months at Karagapur about 80 miles west of Calcutta. Seven days of flying and sleeping to get halfway around the world.

Christmas eve of 1944 the Japanese made a night bombing raid on the four B-29 bases near Calcutta. We had over an hours warning and used the slit-trenches we had beside our British style tents (much better than American tents) with air conditioning double ceilings.

Unfortunately, the slit trenches had often been used as urinals and became very uncomfortable in short order. The night was cloudless and we could see the Japanese aircraft cut through the stars while the 40 mm Ack-ack seemed to be going every different way. but toward the planes. The bombing only lasted 5-10 minutes and we could see the fires burning down on the field. One was a B-24 gas tanker I believe known as a C-87 (or was it 109?) and several warehouses were lighting up the sky as well.

Three of us used the fires as an opportunity to get out of the slit trenches and commandeered a small truck to get to the fire. I grabbed a hose and began to water-down the ridgepole of a burning building full of clothing. Apparently, my water was also going over the building to get others on the far side wet. About the time I changed my hose direction a young soldier

(We were all young then) came over to me with a 100-pound bomb cradled in his arms like a baby and asked what he should do with it. On closer inspection of the nose it was easy to see why the bomb had not exploded. The retainer pin that kept the nose fuse spinner from arming was still installed with a piece of cotton string still attached. Some one suggested that we put in the fire barrel nearby. This barrel usually was water filled but now was nearly empty so I used the hose to fill the barrel with the bomb in it. Only later did I realize that this was not a viable solution. I had been fighting the fires for nearly five hours and all that was left was just smoking.

When I got back to my tent I was so tired that I barely remembered to tuck in my mosquito netting. I woke up the next morning and found that I could not move the fingers on my right hand. I had slept all night on that arm and the wooden bar of my folding cot had cut off all the circulation. It didn’t hurt but I just couldn’t move my fingers. Two days later I went on sick call and they sent me to the hospital for physical therapy. After I got back to the base a week later I was told that British night fighters had shot down all the Japanese planes. We had our doubts.

The first of the two follow-ups to this story was that after I got out of the hospital I got to talking with a soldier who just for fun took apart explosives. From him I bought a bomb fuse with the explosives removed that still had the wire fork to keep the bomb propeller from spinning along with the string tied to it. No proof that it was from the Christmas raid but where else would he have gotten a Japanese bomb fuse 80 miles west of Calcutta. Unfortunately I gave it to my oldest son a few years ago and he can no longer locate it.

The second follow up occurred about 1995 at one of my Air Force reunions in Norfolk, Virginia. I had a rental car and the squadron medical doctor asked if he could visit the area with me.  I agreed and while riding I mentioned the story about my paralyzed fingers. Surprisingly, he said he actually remembered the case because it was so unusual that he had  referred me to the Wing hospital specialist for treatment.

I do have one souvenir of my trip, I made it a practice to buy my Mother a horse every place I went. While in Cairo I had went to an underground shopping Mall and bought a brass horse inlaid with silver and copper for $25 including shipping. About two weeks pay. The base was a replica of the statue with a rider in the very center of Cairo.

The owner insisted on sanding some Arabic writing inside the base and I was afraid that he had destroyed what it said. About 1990 I had an Egyptian doctor as a guest and he was able to tell me that the statue was of a great Egyptian king , who had invaded and captured much of southeastern Europe. My mother used it as a doorstop as do I today.

During the times the B-29s were in China, those of us in India could take leave to visit such cities as Calcutta. I made several such visits and happened to meet a British soldier who was with an anti-aircraft unit in Burma. We accidentally met three times but never had more than a casual relationship. I have always wondered how he came out of the war.

Following the capture of the Marianas all the B-29s were flown to the Pacific leaving the remainder of the ground troops to take a ship to Tinian. I had a full day in Melbourne as I told you. I visited Captain Cooks stone hut in a park there and spent much of the day at a skating rink. Drank the first fresh milk and ate the first fresh vegetables I had in months. Lucky to keep my teeth.

On leaving Melbourne our troopship made a stop at Townsville where in docking without a tug we wrecked most of the wharf while making it possible for 700 Aussies (hope the term is not offensive) to board. They were only with us long enough to get off at Lae, New Guinea while we continued on to Tinian.
Hope you find this of interest,
Gene Whitt

What Happened to 58th Bomb Wing Aircraft 
129 = 100% total aircraft assigned to wing during war 

47 = 36% finished the war and flew home afterwards 
31 = 24% returned to the U.S. as war weary (No wing tanks) 
  5  =  4%  were transferred to other groups or service 
83 =  64% survived war 

20 = 16% crashed in non-combat situations (Hump or ocean) 

18 = 14% are missing  mostly outside of combat areas
  6 =   5% were known to be combat losses 
  2   =  1.5%  crashed getting to war 

An Account of Life on Tinian After the End of WWII
I remained on the Island of Tinian for two months after the end of the war.  I had spent several days in a military hospital in India for a hand problem and listened during that time of the screams of pain and anguish of B-29 crew members who had been burned in a B-29 crash landing.  Any one who wanted to could have flown back to the states in a B-29 but my recollection is that most chose to wait for a ship.

In the Quonset building next to where I worked at the 58th Bomb Wing Training Center were eight Link trainers.  The Link was the basic IFR simulator used before, during and years after the war.  It can still be see in most aviation museums with its short blue body and little yellow wings.  These were used to refresh the instrument skills of pilots who were flying back to the continental United States after the war.  The primary instrument procedure was for McCelland Field in Sacramento, CA.

The instrument procedure was a radio range system that required a pilot to fly one of four possible directional signals into the 'null'  much like the cone of silence in the Get Smart TV series.  You flew inbound on one of the directional signals and stayed centered by listening for an -. (a) on the left and a  .- (n) on the right if you were off to the right.  You got a constant tone when centered on the course.  The 'null' was a known distance and direction from the runway.  You could leave the 'null' and descend to a charted altitude much as all instrument procedures today.

With nothing to do for two months except wait, I spent a great portion of my time 'flying' the Link into McCelland.  I became so proficient that it was not unusual for me to open up the light tight canopy to find an audience looking at the red plot of my instrument approach made by the small tracking wheel on the plotting desk.

 was involved with a simulator that participated with the winning of WWII. Adjacent to my Quonset building on Tinian we have one with eight Link Trainers. With the war over I had to (chose to) wait two months before heading home. Since my Radar Bombardment simulator was no longer required I boxed it in a couple of days for shipment back to the states and used the remainder of my time 'flying' Link Trainers.

All of our Tinian B-29s were returning to McCelland AFB in Sacramento where the approach was vfr or by the Radio Range. At age 21 I was in simulator heaven. I flew the Link for several hours every day for two months. You could spin a Link and I did both intentionally and otherwise many times. The controls and were heavy and the instruments all 5" in diameter. There was usually a Link available for me to play with. on my web site you can see the timed patterns I practiced flying and when I finished I was able to see how erratic I had flown because a little wheel on the plastic table-top would show exactly where I had been. Flying a circle and coming out on a heading is not all that easy on a simulator. By the end of my two-month wait, the technicians were having others watch me fly the range. My corporal stripes were always a surprise when they raised the canopy.

Twenty five years later I took my first flying lessons and I had to be taught to look outside the aircraft. I had made models of aircraft and ships of all kinds and sizes since age 11. I knew all the aircraft terminology relating to old and later aircraft. I was trained in radio and radar maintenance and soon learned that survival depended upon how well you did in the training. Flunk out and you were usually on your way to becoming a machine- gunner. Do well and there was always another school out there for you.

There were no radar simulators until late in the war and I was fortunate enough to be the operator-mechanic of one of three in the Pacific. If you want to know more go to my web site when I have some artifacts of interest. The operational manual of the Supersonic Trainer which could transmit duplicate radar pictures on any mission over Japan. Near the end of the war I was ordered to put the Nagasaki charts on my trainer. The rest is history as shown on my web site.

B-29 3350 Engines (email series)
I was thinking that 'Tokyo tanks' were those carried in one or both bomb bays. When I examined the NEAM aircraft I was interested to see how the sides of the bomb bays were made as torsion boxes, to make up in some measure for the torsional strength lost by making the openings.

In the course of my involvement in motorcycle racing I met Jim Doyle, who flew commercial after the usual military career. He told me about making return flights in 121s on fewer than four engines - in ground effect. Therefore I think he must have flown those radar flights off Viet Nam. People at the time referred to Connies and DC-7s as "world's fastest trimotors". A former WAC exec, asked about the reliability problems of even the postwar 3350s, replied that they'd made a great deal of money from that parts business but, in retrospect, it might have been better to jack up the reliability some and make their money on repeat business instead.

In the early 1990s I had the opportunity to write a very few features for Popular Science (they seemed to value quotes more than they did explanations) and one of them dealt with flight in ground effect. At one point I found myself talking with a fellow at Draper lab, and at another I was walking into MIT's Aero & Astro libe in disguise - tweed coat and notebooks. Then I learned that I should speak to a certain Mr. Lobanov at the Russian embassy in DC. No one there had heard of him, so I dismissed it. That night about 9 PM the phone rang, and a comfortable mid-western voice said, "I hear you've been looking for Mr. Lobanov. I thought you might like to hear our side of the story". What ensued was a fascinating look into one of those "Northern Virginia Consultancies", earnestly engaged in trying to sell the US Navy on ground effects machines weighing thousands of tons - as a means of rapid power projection.

The main man in this group told me about the "Caspian Sea Monster", a 600-ton Wing In Ground effect that was to have provided a mobile basing mode for ICBMs.

"How did you come to know of its existence?" I asked, reasonably.
Without batting an eyelid, my informant replied, "National technical means". That, I am old enough to remember, was government-speak for overhead surveillance.

It was fun. I went to DC for a presentation to about 25 people. Two were Navy men, caps correctly tucked under left arms, the younger quizzing his elder; "I don't even know why we're here - what can the Russians possibly have that we don't?"

The older man used his left hand to count the ways - ground effects flight, widely throttleable liquid rocket motors, ultra-high-temperature materials..."

One of the guests especially caught my eye - dressed like a sideman from a country-western band, cowboy boots, checked shirt, pegleg pants and all. He seemed very much at ease, putting his feet up on an unoccupied chair.

Later, it was the High Speed Marine Vehicles meeting, where Prof. Rozhdestvenskii spoke on Sheila Widnall's specialty - the mathematical method of matched asymptotic expansions, which he was using as a means of modeling ground effects flows. And in the discussion afterward, there was Barnaby Wainfan of Northrop, who is a well-known advocate of the delta planform for low speed use.

Then Pop Sci had no further interest, so Popular Mechanics got the 6000-ton ground effect story and put it on the cover. I - somewhat intoxicated by my exposure to all this - went back to minding my motorbike journalism.

Boy does your account of B-29 engine problems bring back memories. Any of the engineers you seek would be in their 90's by now .I recall the move to 'crop' the cowl flaps and the accelerate before climbing both in India and Tinian.

About the latter, pilots and instructors tend to teach as they were taught. I remember while watching the '29s leaving on a mission how different takeoff procedures could be easily observed. Gradually, every takeoff consisted of acceleration on Tinian even though there was an 80' hill off the end of the runway on West Field on Tinian. The Wings would bend like 6-8 feet as they took up the load.

Even to this day, I have my students once clear of the ground to level-off and accelerate in ground effect before climbing. I was not taught this but I knew of it from my WWII days and still prefer it in my takeoff. .I presume you know of ground effect. Anyway I'll tell a WWII tale.

When we started ferrying planes to England across the Atlantic the common practice was to get high and stay high. Gradually the story got around that an aircraft could still fly as long as it remained within half a wing span of the surface despite loss of an engine. On Tinian, my Wing Training Center was near the edge of a cliff and some fields leading to the runways.

On one occasion, during a lunch break, we first heard and then watched a B-29 in distress. It had two engines feathered on one side and the others were at full power and boost. It had circled the island and was trying to get back to the runway. Everyone was leaning and lifting with their bodies and hands much as occurs during a football game. It was within 20' of the ground as it passed over the cliff and flew on to safely make the runway thet we could not see from our position. We knew he made it because there was no smoke.

I presume your reference to the Tokyo tanks. had to do with the center-wing tanks of a later vintage. In India all of the planes without the center-wing tank were being sent back to the states. Early on the 20 mm cannon were removed as well as the rubber deicing boots on the wings. (Corrected to bomb bay tanks later) The raids on Singapore were among the longest of the war as long a 20 hours. I tell about a dead stick landing by a 29 somewhere on my site, I think.
Subject: Re: About the R-3350 engine
I have read that on occasion, no net fuel was carried over to Chinese bases because the tanker aircraft - some B-29s with Tokyo tanks, plus some C-69s - might in bad weather consume more fuel than usual and have to borrow to return to India.

I have also read about aircraft too hot to touch in the proverbial noonday sun (only mad dogs and Englishmen...) and the hated Bengal Air Depot, near Calcutta, which attempted without notable success to rebuild some 3350 engines. I gather that in the absence of local rebuilding, the engines were flown out in the same supply aircraft that brought in new ones.

I was trying to remember the chemist whose name has been given to the grain-growth phenomenon that weakened 3350 exhaust valve stems exposed to prolonged heating - it is "Ostwald ripening" - the same energy conservation process that causes larger ice crystals in ice cream, kept too long near its freezing point, to grow at the expense of smaller crystals. Some materials used in early British jet engines had the same propensity and so turbine blades had to be periodically removed, solution heat-treated, and then further heat treatment to re-establish a large population of small particles. These particles, embedded in the metal crystals, acted as keys to make the sliding of one plane of atoms over another more difficult.

I would really like to know more about the teams of technicians that were supposedly sent, first to CBI, and later to the Marianas, to replace obsolete items such as cylinder and head air cooling baffles, carburetor spray bars (steel tubes about .50" diam and 9" long, with drilled holes from which the fuel sprayed, located under the throttle plates), rocker-box interconnect oil pipes (long in the works back in the 'States, and ordered into production 15 Oct 1943), plus the cowl flap modifications. I think also in late spring/summer 1944 it was decided that pilots should hold the aircraft on the ground during the take-off run (if possible) until a speed of 140-mph had been achieved - to ensure that adequate 'dynamic pressure' for cooling would be available. The worst was to begin climbing at once, which reduced airspeed while placing engines under greater heat load from high power (back home, they were testing engines with gear-driven cooling fans as a possible fix).

Flight engineers were told it would look bad if their take-off CHTs exceeded recommended maxima, so many of them simply wrote in what was desired and the facts of the matter ceased to exist - namely, that take-off CHT was often 310-340 instead of the 290 it was "supposed" to be.

Wright Aero Corp (WAC) sent out Frank Lary to CBI to write a report on B-29 operations as they affected engine performance. His report led to the practice of pulling exhaust pipes off second-row cylinders to make visual or finger inspections of the exhaust valve guide bosses and valve seats for local burning. His Report 943 called for, among other things, the use of the ducted baffles that would be supplied on aircraft soon to be delivered to the Marianas. I saw these ducted baffles on the -57 engines of the New England Air Museum's B-29. Propeller cuffs, to push more air through engine nacelles, were another recommendation. The NEAM B-29 had these cuffs as it came from the Aberdeen Proving Ground, but Ham-Stan removed them when it rebuilt the props for display (big, ugly sheet-metal affairs, retained by rivets).

The burning-away of aluminum head material from behind the exhaust valve seats and from valve guide bosses was mediated by lead oxide and high temperature - I guess the aluminum, being higher up the scale of reactivity than lead, would change places with the lead and be blown out the exhaust.

Meanwhile, back at NACA-Cleveland, with a 3350 in the Altitude Tunnel, they were discovering that they could pull guide temperatures down quite a bit by extending the boss just a bit further. They were also testing the ducted baffles. These had a spiral aluminum sheet metal U-section piece that  collected cooling air at the front of the rear-row cylinders, then spiraled around and up each cylinder to exit to the pilot's right of the deep (2.25") fins under the rear-facing exhaust ports of the rear-row cylinders. Previous to this type of baffle, nothing whatever saw to it that cooling air move
through these fins. The wrap-around of the cylinder head air baffle stopped short of them because of the presence of the push rod tube.

When I looked at the BMW 801 radial I saw that the designers had splayed the pushrod tubes more and made the valve rockers longer in order to provide clearance to permit the head baffle to wrap around under the pushrod tube and so direct air through the deep fins below the exhaust port. This BMW engine had an unsuccessful predecessor, with 18 instead of 14 cylinders. It overheated terribly and was abandoned. BMW then appear to have followed what appear to be NACA guidelines for correct design for cooling. NACA ran a project on this from 1927-37, with a good deal of P&W assistance in the form of engines and equipment. When one of the NACA's engineers visited Germany before the war, he saw that NACA publications were being widely consulted by German designers.

When I examined this rear-row exhaust port cooling detail on the postwar 3350s, I found that almost every detail of the BMW 801's design had been replicated (WAC were given a captured 801 during the war and wrote an engineering report on its design, materials, &c).

This is all a lot of pointless technological sleuthing but I have enjoyed it and learned a great deal from it.
The Korean War saved Japan from economic ruin, for there is nothing like war production to perk up commerce. I suspect it becomes like a drug, producing an economic "high" that nations have difficulty saying no to.

I worry about history. The first versions, written shortly after the events they describe, are so often glosses that present everything in black and white. Ten years later, professional historians repeat these errors, but now with footnotes. Then finally, 50 or 60 years later, people begin to find that "it wasn't that way at all", and begin to dig out the real facts of the matter. This is "safe" because most of those who were making the decisions back when, are now gone, and the rest have mostly forgotten or never knew. But the digging is fun and what is to be discovered is much more interesting than the old official stories.

One man who was a ground crewman in CBI said, describing their problems with cracking and leaking R-3350 exhaust manifolding, and with lack of spare parts, that "That summer we lived by torch and rod". I wish I knew what was in the update kits that were sent out when Arnold grounded the B-29s after so many were disabled in trying to fly across N. Africa in the spring of 1944. Were they Wright people? Were they serving Army people? Or did all that have to wait until Vic Agather's group made it over there? Wright did send a man to CBI and I have his reports here. Yet they have some of the flavor of what went on in WW I, when the British and French so tightly controlled news from the western front that they began to believe their own rosy version and to act upon it. The Wright CBI report acts as if many or most engines were running 175-300 hours, whereas other sources say that teams were constantly busy changing the top three to five cylinders in the second row, at 25 hours.

What is clear is that very high CHTs were causing creep in the metal surrounding the exhaust valve seats of the cylinders in the second row. Soon the valve and seat no longer made more than point contact, causing the valve to run much too hot. This led to changes in the metallurgy in the valve stems, leading in turn to reduced strength and early failure. Or, alternatively, the valve stuck open, since all its heat was now being carried down the stem by the sodium filling, coking the lube oil there (if there was any - this was another problem) into solid form.

Writers speak of the B-29's problems being "well in hand" by spring, 1945, but in the Korean War, in which only later-model aircraft were used (no 42-6000-series at all!) crewmen speak of regularly seeing aircraft burning at the far end of the Kadena or Yokota runways, like it was a fact of life. This was the same as was described in CBI and on the Marianas. I have collected dates and accounts of many of these accidents, which usually arose from loss of one or more engines during or shortly after the take-off run. Postwar writers repeat the old claim that "poorly trained aircrew lacked the sophistication to operate such advanced equipment", or some such rubbish. The fact is that if you had a couple of "bad ones" on your aircraft - engines whose problems stacked up to result in CHTs that soared unless they were run rich all the time with a bunch of cowl flap opening - it didn't matter how clever or experienced your flight engineer was - your were headed for low fuel, could not keep formation (formation flying was dropped mainly for this reason) and would be especially vulnerable to fighters. Everyone in those aircraft knew that the longer an engine ran hot, the more likely it was to catch fire. Talk about courage.

Yet the great majority of aircraft were able to get into the air, and some flew 40 or 50 missions and were rotated back to the US as "war-weary". Most of those then went to the drop-knife and portable smelters at Pyote. The stats say 414 B-29s were lost, only 147 of which were to enemy action. The rest went to weather, failed fuel transfer systems, icing, and the various forms of mechanical failure. Quite often that was either power loss on take-off or in-flight fire.

WWII B-29 Program
3,898 B-29s built at average cost of 639,188 a total of 1944 dollars of 2 billion, 491 million, 554 thousand, 824 dollars Should you include the costs for infrastructure, fuel, maintenance, or lives on both sides.

The aggregate cost of the B-29 program did more damage and cost more than did the atomic bomb Manhattan Program. More lives were lost in the second fire bombing of Tokyo than in both atomic bomb blasts combined. Nearly two-hundred cities in Japan were more than 50% destroyed as were as many refineries and ships. When the war ended the U.S. had over 100 aircraft carriers. Japan had four.

Why Japan Lost the War
Takeo Kurita gave a post WWII analysis as to why Japan lost the saying,

"We ran out of oil,". His ships and planes went into that action without knowing whether there was sufficient fuel to bring them back. Kurita’s ships sailed slowly to their fate, conceding surprise while attempting to conserve enough fuel to return home. The only fuel available to the Japanese ships was whatever was in their own tanks.

The Japanese had simply conceded the sea and airspace around the island to the American attackers. The reason was that the Imperial Navy had elected to conserve fuel for the final defense of Japan. Japan’s main effort was simply to struggle to preserve its dwindling levels of oil reserves.

, Japanese aircraft took off with half the energy equivalent of their American counterparts in their fuel tanks being forced to use synthetics. And aerial combat proved the disparity, with American aircraft utterly dominating the skies.

People in Japan were forced to tighten their belts even more when large amounts of garden vegetables began to be used for manufacturing lubricating oils. And even old rubber products such as tires and rain slickers were "distilled" to recover whatever oil could be had. But it was not enough. The entire project was a massive waste.

Operations Research
A relatively unknown aspect of war is a non-military factor known as Operations Research or OR. This secrecy is contained deep within the military because revelation would instantly detract from nearly all the validity resting in the medals, promotions, news stories, books and orders issued. Even Jimmy Doolittle’s raid on Japanese cities would cease to remain clearly valid as a pure military operation along with the attack on Yamamoto. In every case along with some technological elements OR made WWII’s collection of battles, fights incidents and campaigns ultimately turn and end as they did usually in our favor occasionally due to unintended consequences.

The individuals involved in OR were considered to be civilian ‘assets’ who individually were scientific specialists but collectively were selected randomly from the Rand Corporation, Massachusetts Institude of Technology, Chicago University, and even the University of California. Their talents covered physical scientists, biologists, insurance actuaries, electronics, and British technology.

The internal antipathy an repugnance of the U.S. Navy against anything British was a major inhibiting factor in the use of the use of British technology and intelligence. In 1941 the British had captured a German Inigma code machine and code book. They had given to the Americans the microwave (magnetron) radar, degaussing to disable magnetic mines and torpedoes as well as the design of the Rolls Royce Merlin aircraft engine. Most importantly Dr Turning the homsexual treated shabbily by the British and even more so by the United States who made it possible for use to reverse engineer the German codes.

Operational Research probably existed without that name since the beginning of time. OR brought improvements in materials, construction and applications. To the military of WWII, Operations Research existed only to come up with suggestions for changes in the way military activities were being conducted in anticipation of more desirable results.

The two examples above are minor actions with OR giving them a thumbs-up as worth the effort. 13 tons of B-25 bombs scattered among as many Japanese cities was not going to be significant as retaliation for Pearl Harbor. But it did result in a recall of the very best aviation defense units from Rabaul back to the Japanese home islands. The situation in the Guadalcanal and the South Pacific soon changed for the better.

Doolittle did his own Operations Research to show that it was possible to take a loaded B-25 from an aircraft carrier though only carrying four bombs. Lindbergh taught engine operating settings and fuel conservation skills that significantly extended the range to several different types of WWII fighter aircraft in the Pacific theater of war.

Despite tremendous political opposition, OR was able to have Charles Lindbergh spread his aeronautical skills throughout the South Pacific for a grand total of 50 combat missions. His training combinations of altitudes, power settings, and fuel adjustments allowed the planes to extend their range for an additional 100 miles beyond what Yamamoto was led to expect.

Operations Research grew from a perceived need by a VERY few specialized scientists who collected trained minds from other specialties and asked them to adapt what they knew to military situations.

When the 8th Air Force initially studied their bombing results they used visual reports by debriefing those saw the bombs hit, followed by photo-analysis of pictures. Of three formations one might hit the target, one would miss by five miles and the next would miss by 25 miles. Very difficult to prove which was which.. Civilian analysts were not allowed to fly combat missions. OR requested that at least one aircraft in every formation have a camera taking a picture of the target and bomb impact with OR getting at least one picture.

With the advent of this photographic evidence various Air Force units began to keep baseball type scoring records of their bombing results for comparison with other units.

Competition raised its ugly head and bombardiers were judged based upon the percentage of bombs that fell within 1000 feet of the target. The historic use of the intervalometer used to keep bombs from hitting each other midair also spaced the bombs all over the place. This ‘safety’ measure was historic before bombs had nose fuse propellers that had to spin free before the bomb was ‘armed’

The safety of an unarmed bomb was always amazing to the unfamiliar. I have stood by as 500 and 1000 pound bombs without fuses were being kicked off the back of a 6 x 6 truck to the ground four feet below and allowed to roll and bump into each other..

Even though nothing ever happened during this process, I usually found something elsewhere to do what I had to do. At one point during the war I obtained a Japanese bomb fuse with the powder removed but the metal fork that kept the fuse propeller from spinning. The fork had a cotton string attached which was supposed to be pulled free with the fork when the bomb was released. For some reason this string and fork was never pulled so the bomb never exploded when dropped. There was a ‘crazy’ in a tent near mine who took great pleasure in disarming various kinds of munitions. I bought the fuse from him for a couple of dollars. On release the fork was pulled free to release the propeller to unscrew itself from the fuse and allow the impact to explode the fuse and the bomb.

Word had it that Army Air Force regulations required that the intervalometer release of bombs was ‘required’. One group commander went to Operational Research or analysis as it was known at the time and asked if there was anything that he could do to raise his rating on the bombing scoreboard as well as expediting the end of the war.. He was told to salvo his bomb loads along with the bomb release of the lead bombardier. The result was a remarkable improvement and this information was initially kept secret from other commands until all the other commands went to OR and were let in on the secret. Interestingly, the desire for improved bombing effectiveness and a quicker end to the war was begun by an airman who wanted to hook up with his pre-war Danish girl friend. You can date the time history of bombing pictures by the type of release shown.

Philip Morse said, "Just as in any other introduction of science into some new field, we had a lot of opposition from {military} management, which was upset and worried and, in general, opposed to a bunch of questionable characters intruding on their field and their prerogatives; this is something that one runs into all the time. We also had our difficulties in dealing that data, in finding the proper data, and in organizing its flow to us. This, of course, is typical in any Operations Research job, particularly when jumping into a new field."

American OR began with the Navy. A naval squadron was searching the East Coast during WWII. The OR group found that searching through sighting/damage/sinking reports were not productive. The Navy was initially hesitant to share the information with the OR civilians. The members of the OR group flew anti-sub missions so they could check what the submarines were using and doing to sink our ships so successfully. We were well on our way to losing the Battle of the Atlantic until OR became involved.

It is important to note that the Navy had a way to letting the Marine Corps to be assigned older aircraft, antiquated electronics, and less operational money during WWII and all subsequent wars. It was the Marine use of antiquated equipment that made them able to step up to every new occasion with ability to deliver electronic detection and photo intelligence well before any other service. Read J.T. O’Brien’s book, Top Secret to get the full story.

More importantly we began to ‘read’ their reports back to German Naval Headquarters. By comparing the German reports with what the OR group were seeing and reporting an analysis became possible. When a sub reported damage it usually included other information that allowed analysis. Even more so when compared with U.S. Navy reports.

Based on this analysis adjustments were made on the relative reliability of position reports and sightings. Additionally we made adjustments on depth charge settings. It is also pretty certain that the Germans were using their form of OR for planning as well. Such as the snorkel and radar detection .

Operations Research results in suggested solutions. Often the advice is no changes just keep doing what you are doing.. The situation may be critical and require a "Quick Fix".

This is the usual military solution but could be an OR solution as well. All depth charges were set for the 75 foot depth the standard for destroyers. OR recommended 25 feet and the German reports of being shaken by depth charges nearly ceased. What a difference 50 feet of water cushion makes to a submarine making reports..

General Curtis LeMay made several tactical and strategic changes in procedures in his conduct of operations without ever having given credit where it was deserved. Initially in Europe the 8th Air Force would take evasive maneuvers both from enemy aircraft and flack. LeMay ordered that aircraft on the bombing run were to fly straight and level until bombs were released.

Later he even required that all bombs be salvoed in unison with the lead aircraft of a formation. What he never said was that he was following advice from a group of civilian mathematicians who were using plans based upon mathematical probability. The expectation being that an increase in damage to the enemy justified the presumed increase in exposure.

LeMay must have made use of a similar group of advisors when he took over the B-29 operations in the Pacific. Previous commanders had aircraft difficulties and, bombing accuracy problems most of which were related to traditional expectations. Almost all of the previous raids had required continuous climbs to altitudes over 20,000 into winds often over 100 knots using explosive bombs with unsatisfactory results. The climb to altitude over-heated engines, reduced bomb load and limited range.

The 1945 arrival of LeMay and OR in the Pacific brought dramatic changes in the war.  Once again OR had to revisit all the concerns that occurred in the Atlantic. New models to fit the collected information giving acceptable data leading to a new word called implementation. OR gets rapid feedback about a failure of the implementation. The civilian group involved in evaluating Operations Research had LeMay on their side.

Operations Research moves to Guam where we hear from Hugh Miser who said, "As the low man on the totem pole, when I was sent out there, I decided that I would take with me 4000 pounds of personal baggage, which consisted of some half a dozen desk computers, some drafting equipment, and copies of the Chemical Rubber Mathematical Tables which had values for e to the minus x square over 2, and such goodies as that contained in them".

The Navy requested that the Marianas’ B-29s help locate the ships of the Japanese, particularly the large ships. The problem was to discern the kind and size or the ship from 20 to 30 thousand feet. Using the angle readings of a bomb sight and a home made slide rule made by the group specific to the problem, Operations Research was able to determine the length of a ship. It was the creation of this mission specific slide rule that gave Operations Research the desired quick fix.

At some point of the war the B-29s were interested in warning civilian populations that a particular city was soon to be a target. The military planned to utilize empty oil barrels loaded with leaflets. The idea was to drop the barrels and have them explode at pre-selected altitudes. The problem was that there were no tables existing to show how a barrel-bomb would fall. Operations Research was called upon to develop an effective distribution. Some practice runs on small islands in the Marianas were used to make the required tables. Rota, a small island near Tinian was used for several such programs.

The Operations Research receptivity by the military administration was always based on hopeful suspicion. The military concern was that OR was trying to take their authority or that lives are at risk it is difficult to find reasons behind military behavior one you eliminate money. Each new Operations Research simulation situation breeds the same search for certainty of results where no certainty exists. Could it be money or personalities? Operations Research is much like poker where the personalities on the other side must be weighed into the probability situation. Ed Paxton would say the same as would Dr. Neuendorffer.

During last months of WWII, I was transferred at the Wing Training Center from a LORAN instructional position into the maintenance and operation of a innovative radar bombardment simulator. My MOS, (military operations specialty) was 718 for radar bombardment. This device made it possible to simulate the radar depiction of a bombing mission over any part of Japan including aircraft control, winds, bomb run, release and impact. This device was the highest technological level of simulation reached during WWII and was still the standard used five years later in Korea.

The beauty of this simulation was that the program used the people who would be in the aircraft doing on the simulator just what they would be doing on the actual mission. Only the radar operator and bombardier were required to be present. The last WWII simulation utilized the Nagasaki chart and Nagasaki latitude but a nearby city as the practice target. It‘s on

Under LeMay, the second fire bombing of Tokyo there was a total reversal of the bombing process based upon some scientific insight given to him by his civilian operational research council.. I have in my possession an Operational Research paper that shows that the group had scientifically discovered that a bombing mission on the city of Tokyo would be significantly more successful if a number of operational changes were made. The requirements for the aircraft greatly increased the risk when viewed from traditional operations as follows.

Instead of ammunition for the machine-guns an increased load of incendiary bombs would be carried. There would be no formations flown each plane would fly and drop on an individual basis.. All bombs were to be dropped just downwind of an existing fire but never in a salvo.. Flight altitudes would vary from 4000 to 9000 feet. I have a copy of the WWII Field order of this mission and its requirements. Not all of the orders in the Field Order were fully obeyed by every Bombardment Wing, Group, Squadron or plane.  (Personal second-hand knowledge)

Not having to climb added significantly to engine reliability and increased fuel reserves.  Japanese anti-aircraft weapons had been studied and found to have a midlevel altitude below which their heavy guns were less effective and above which their low level weapons were less effective. Also Japan was exceptionally weak in having night fighting aircraft capability and numbers. 

What we have is a military situation where the replacement General (LeMay) is willing to risk his career on the information from a new Operational Research group. The Group in Europe had worked well for him and so had the Group on Guam come up with a winner.  It was not the General’s military staff but a collection of civilian mathematicians. But we'll never hear it from the military.

Today, any credibility Operations Research has is based upon what appears to be quick fixes. The success base of past quick fixes gives breathing room and leverage to try things in a new field using a group of willing and knowledgeable experts in unrelated fields. They are to enter untried areas of need using a specific set of methods or techniques called Operations Research. A very common element of OR was to have the researcher actually fly the mission as a civilian. W, J. (Jack) Ewton was one such.

An interesting side note regarding the Iraq situation.  The insurgents have killed hundreds if not thousands on our side using their short range rockets into our vehicles.  The Israeli's have a defensive weapon that intercepts and destroys these rockets with a 98% success rate.  We have a major industrial company trying to develop such a weapon that has successfully prevented our use of the Israeli weapon by our forces.  Why?

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