|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|
|Tech Sgt (5 striper) James B.
Position: 275o Aerial Engineer & top turret gunner. 34 Mmissions on B-17s and 4 on B-24s. The job was grim, serious, and exciting.
Served: From pre-war to Oct. 14th, 1943
Training: I was never trained on aerual gunnery or on being an Aerual Gunery. It was on-the-job training as you went thru it.
Citations/Medals: Distinguished Flying Cross
Planes: First was "The Georgia Peach". Can't remember the rest
Number of Missions: 38
Description of Missions:
Perhaps 12 were to Rabaul. Rest were long range single recons around New Britian and New Guinea, and bombing missions to many different Jap bases and airfields, including Lae, Wewak, etc.
Most poignant, sad or touching memory of the war:
Watching Jap nightfighters shoot down our planes, including my best friend, RalphThomas. Also, watching Major Mc Cullar crash and burn on attempted take-off for a night mission from 7 mile strip.
Any odd or strange memories from the war:
Have lots of nightmares and flashbacks
Most heroic thing I saw or did:
Our pilot turned on our runing lights over Rabaul to divert ack-ack from another of our planes that loked like it was about to be shot down
Where I was and how I celebrated when I learned the war was over:
At an air base in Arizona. Laughed, cried, and drank a lot.
To future generations:
If you live thru it the memories will be with you forever. And they won't be pleasant