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A2 Leather Jacket 45th Squadron Cbi 20th Aaf 55th Wing 40th Bomb Group Pow For Sale
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
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
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
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
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.