A2 Leather Jacket 45th Squadron Cbi 20th Aaf 55th Wing 40th Bomb Group Pow
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A2 Leather Jacket 45th Squadron Cbi 20th Aaf 55th Wing 40th Bomb Group Pow:
Direct from the Vets Family ; A2 Leather Jacket identified owner shot down over Japan and POW
sale includes Jacket, photo copy Certificate of Service and 3 original photos including one of nose art, bomber crew, and vet .Vet enlisted in San Francisco, flew with the 45th Bomb Squadron in 3 CBI campaigns , received Air medal with 2 oak leaf clusters ,DFC, Distinguished unit badge ,and asiatic campaign medal , victory medal and marksman The 45th Bombardment Squadron was activated April 1, 1941, at Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico. The five officers and 146 men were commanded by Major Giannatti. From the day of its inception until the outbreak of War the 45TH performed the usual garrison duties, also making many long distance flights over water. Some of these flights were made from Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico to Bases located within the continental United States, a distance of at least 900 miles. Others were made to U.S. bases located in the lesser antilles and the northEastern coast of South America. Occasional flights were also made to Central America and the Netherlands' West Indies. All of these flights Were performed in a routine manner and without incident. The squadron was equipped with Douglas B-18 aircraft at that time. DURING WORLD WAR II At the outbreak of WW II the squadron was placed on a continuous 24-hour alert status. From the day war was declared until the squadron moved to David, Republic of Panama on November 18, 1942, it carried out anti-submarine patrols over the Carribean with B-18 aircraft. After the squadron moved, it was equipped with LB-30 and B-24 aircraft and carried out long over-water patrols in the Pacific. On May 22, 1943, the squadron prepared for its first contact with the state of Kansas. The move to Pratt Army Air Field, Kansas was completed by July 1, 1943. While at Pratt, the 45th became the first bomb squadron to receive the brand new B-29 bomber. They claimed the first one off the assembly line on August 1, 1943. All personnel were fully trained in the new bomber by February, 1944. In March, 1944, the 45th was alerted for movement overseas. By that time, the squadron had it's full compliment of nine B-29B. Manning consisted of 85 officers and 85 enlisted men. All airplanes and men were in place in Chakulia, India, by April 18, 1944. The 45th was the first squadron in the 40th Bombardment Group to have all its airplanes in place. On May 3, 1944, the squadron sent its first plane across the "Hump" into China to the advanced base of the 40th Bombardment Group. Flying the "Hump" was a real experience after hearing so many tales of the most hazardous stretch of flying in the world. The course flown took the planes from Chakulia to Jorhat, India; to Shingbaiyang, India; to Likiang, China; to Hsichang, China; and then direct to Haingching, China, the advanced base. On May 5, 1944, the 45th Bombardment Squadron absorbed the 3d Bombardment Maintenance Squadron to form a unit totaling 174 officers and 370 enlisted men and crews into one unit The merger joined flight line maintenance personnel and flight crews into one unit. June, 1944, was the debut of the 45th in combat. After a shakedown mission over the railroad yards in Bangkok, Thailand, the squadron flew the first ever daylight B-29 bombing raid over Japan. The only other time Japan proper had been bombed was General Doolittle's B-25 raid in 1942. Combat operations during the month of August, 1944, produced proof to the enemy that the B-29 was a definite global threat. All available aircraft were divided into two substantial forces. Staging from China Bay Airfield in Ceylon, the 45th struck by night at the Pladjoe Oil Refinery located at Palembang, Sumatra. Another force staged from forward area fields in China to strike at urban areas of Nagasaki, Japan the same night. Raiding targets 4,000 miles apart simultaneously forced the enemy to face a defensive nightmare of spreading their ground and air defenses over wide areas, not knowing from which direction the next blow would fall. The mission to Palembang was commended by General Henry H. (Hap) Arnold as the longest bombing mission in the annals of the United States Army Air Force. Amidst the yearly monsoon season, in September, 1944, the 40th Bombardment Group began to initiate future plans set down by the new Commanding General of the XX Bomber Command, Major General Curtis E. LeMay. Under his command they laid plans for a 12-plane formation to increase fire power and to improve the bombing pattern. A greatly increased training program was inaugurated at Chakulia, but bombing missions continued despite the training. Two daylight raids were directed at Japanese steel-making capability in September, 1944. This time, the target was Anshan in Japan occupied Manchuria. September was marked by yet another first when the Japanese struck back at the forward staging base in China. Minor damage was done in the air raid. Also in September, the 45th bombed the Okayama Aircraft Plant destroying 80 percent of the structures in the complex. The loss of Okayama greatly limited Japan's ability to stage and maintain aircraft involved in the battle of the Philippine Islands. Perhaps the squadron's most outstanding contribution to the war effort during October, 1944, was their support of General MacArthur's invasion of the Philippines. The 45th pounded the island of Formosa on the 14th and 17th of the month. On October 20, 1944, General MacArthur landed. At the end of 1944 the 45th had seen seven months of combat operations and had participated in twenty-two missions, directed against twelve primary targets. During these hectic and trying seven months the 40th Bomb Group lost several B-29s. This loss of personnel and aircraft was felt deeply by all men of the 45th. Many things happened during February, 1945. General Ramey visited the Group for an inspection and to award well deserved medals to ground and flying personnel, ranging from the Silver Star to the Purple Heart. Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Commander of the Southeast Asian Theatre Command, visited Chakulia and was pleased to be the first Theatre Commander to be given operational control of the B-29s. In addition to several photo sorties during February, the 45th claimed credit for sinking the floating Dry Dock at Singapore and a transport which was being repaired in the dock. This dry dock, the largest in the world, was Japan's main source of repair for their larger naval vessels. April 1945 brought about the long awaited move from Chakulia, India, to Tinian Island in the Marianas. So far as the change of station was concerned, this movement was unprecedented in that it called for a flight of 3,960 statute miles, including several hundred miles over enemy territory and enemy controlled waters. Now at Tinian and under the XXI Bomber Command, operating procedures changed. The good old days were gone forever. In India the squadron had sometimes a week to ten days to prepare for a mission, now changes in dates and targets could be expected up to a few hours before takeoff. It was on 7 August that the most powerful and destructive weapon in world history was introduced. This new weapon was the world shattering atomic bomb dropped from a B-29 aircraft. Hiroshima was the first target on which this new bomb was used. Immediately after this single bomb was dropped President Harry S. Truman announced to the world the unbelievable power of this weapon that would stagger the imagination. Tokyo reported that no life remained in Hiroshima owing to the destructiveness of the atomic weapon. The exact damage resulting from the terrific explosion was not revealed; however, some reports indicated that over four square miles of Hiroshima was literally evaporated and over 70% of the cities population killed. This one bomb was equivilant to the damage wrought by hundreds of B-29 raids with average bombs. So serious was this new weapon that the Japanese called a special cabinet session as a result of the one bomb dropped on Hiroshima. At the same time the cabinet meeting was in session, Russia announced the long awaited news of her declaration of war on Japan. The world buzzed with speculation as to Japan's probable surrender with these two new and important factors being introduced. On 9 August another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki with even more devastating results than were caused by the first bomb dropped at Hiroshima. Reports indicated the second bomb to be an improvement over the first So great was the explosion from the atomic bomb that it was reported to be necessary to use a parachute in dropping the weapon, thus enabling the aircraft to outdistance the first terrific explosion area. The first experience at Hiroshima indicated that the B-29 which had dropped the bomb felt the explosion 10 miles away. It was described as being similar to an antiaircraft shell burst within 50 feet. While aircraft on the 45th were returning from a mission over Japan word came from Radio Tokyo announcing Japan 's acceptance of the Potsdam Ultimatum: V-J Day, September 2, was an outstanding event for men of the 45th. The 40th Bomb Group contributed 36 aircraft to the V-J Day celebration. Assembling over Japan, the aircraft, together With B-29s from all over the Marians, put on a magnificent power display during the signing of the official surrender terms on the Battleship Missouri. It was a long tiresome flight, but all agreed that it was Well Worth the trouble. The end of the War found the 45th Bomb Squadron two-thirds of the way around the world from the place where it had started and the records of its accomplishments were outstanding. The now weary but jubilant 40th Bomb Group had participated in 70 combat missions and had dropped a total of 9,218 tons of bombs on enemy targets. Its claims numbered 46 1/2 enemy planes destroyed, 92 probably destroyed, and 64 damaged. The cost had been 32 B-29s lost in combat, 53 men killed, 26 wounded and 134 missions. Thus temporarily ended the combat saga of the 45th Bombardment Squadron. Theirs was a record which formed one of the most colorful and unusual chapters in the history of the Army Air Force. It included the circumnavigation of the globe in bringing the war home to the Japanese people. It included the combat testing of the world's best bomber, testing in an Environment which was the ultimate in adverse conditions for both men and machines. It included the solving of gigantic problems of logistics and maintenance. It included some of the best high altitude precision bombing to be performed during World War II. And in addition it included the longest target bombing operations of World War II. The next several months following the war's end were spent rotating men and machines back to bases in the United States. by July, 1946, the 45th Bomb Squadron was in full operation at Davis-Monthan Field in Tucson, Arizona. Their mission, vital to the post-war Air Force, was training and molding a highly efficient heavy bombardment group for operation anywhere in the world.