|K e n s m e n : 4 3 r d B o m b G r o u p (H), 5 t h A A F|
|1st Lt "Bob" Robert A. Claycombe
Position: I flew a piper cub in College Training Detachment A Stearman in Primary A Vulte Vibrator on Basic A AT 10 in Advanced A B24 after cadets until wars end A C47 and C46 after the war ended until I went home from Korea In the National Guard I flew AT6, Navion, Beaver, and several others the names of which do not come to me now
Served: 1943-1945 in the Air Corps 1945-1962 in the Army Nat.Guard
Originally from: Indiana
Training: Biloxi, Miss., Maxwell Field for Preflight Avon Park for Primary, Cochran Fld,Macon Ga. for Basic, Moody Fld, Valdosta,Ga. for Advanced. Maxwell Fld for B-24 transition. Walla Walla Wash., Pueblo, Col.,Casper, Wy. for Phase Training with my crew which I picked up in Lincoln, Neb. ,
Citations/Medals: No medals
Planes: I have no idea
Number of Missions: One
Description of Missions:
We flew up to Japan with instructions not to drop our bombs unless fired upon. they had an experienced pilot with us and as we flew over Kure Naval Base we could wee the AA guns tracking us. He was quite nervous about that because he had been shot down--it didn't bother me or the crew because no one had ever shot at us. We flew over Hiroshima and Iwas shocked at the damage that one bomb had done. Noone fired at us and we dropped our bombs in the ocean on the way back. I told my children that I needed to fly only one mission and the Japs heard I was there and they quit.
Most poignant, sad or touching memory of the war:
I was just a kid--barely 21. I just don't have any.
Funniest or most fun memory of the war:
I guess the fun was leave and meeting pretty girls. Now as I look back I am sorry that when I was in Japan and Korea I did not take advantage of the situation. We did very little sightseeing and made few attempts to learn about the people or the country.
Any odd or strange memories from the war:
Nothing comes to mind
Most heroic thing I saw or did:
Once in Korea in the middle of the night one of the pilots went nuts and got his 45 loaded it and pulled the barrel back putting a round in the chamber. Its a sound you recognise. He was threating to shot up the barracks. One of the other pilots talked him out of it while all the rest of us cowered in our beds.
Where I was and how I celebrated when I learned the war was over:
WE were on IeShima and I suppose we had a drink or two.
How having gone to war has affected me, what comes to mind when I think of the war:
I think the war matured all of us. I went to Law school on the GI Bill and worked much harder than I had in college before the war. We were treated quite well, there wqere so many of us that none of us felt special or that we were owed anything. The first thing My buddy, Frank Mathias, and I did in Seatle, was go out on the town. As I recall I met a very lovely airline stewardess and we had a very nice evening. When I got back to the hotel room Frank was fast asleep on the floor by the door.
To future generations:
This sounds a little presumptuous for me.