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The Jolly Rogers: 90th Bombardment Group in the Southwest Pacific 1942-1944

Добавлено: 7-01-2014, 08:48
The Jolly Rogers: 90th Bombardment Group in the Southwest Pacific 1942-1944 (Schiffer Military History)
By Jules F. Segal

Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd 1997 112 Pages
ISBN: 0764302582
PDF 137 MB

Activated at Key Field, Mississippi, April 15, 1942. the Jolly Rogers, as they were later to become known, had no planes or pilots, and consisted of a cadre of two officers and 73 enlisted men. The ground crews, having no equipment, spent their time drilling. One month later, they were transferred to Barksdale Field, La., Shangri-La of Army Air Bases.
The wheels began to turn. LB-30's Hew in, later lollowed by Consolidated B-24 Liberators. Personnel streamed in. Combat men from all over the United States reported for duty. Pilots from Randolph and Kelly Fields. Air mechanics from Shepherd Field, Tex. Armorers from Lowry Field, Denver, Colo. Gunners from Las Vegas, N.ML Clerks from Fort Logan, Colo. Radio Operators from Chanute Field, 111.
At the helm of the ]olly Rogers were Lt. Col. Eugene P. Mussett, Capt. Robert B. Savage, 1st Lt. A. C. McDonald. Staff Officers were Major Marion D. Unruh, 2nd Lt Samuel E. Lumpkin, 1st Lt. George Wilson, Capt. James King, 2nd Lt. Roger Lindsey, 2nd Lt. James McAnally. 2nd Lt. Lee Petty.
Unit flight leaders were Captain Paltison, later succeeded by 1st Lt. Roy L. Iayior; Major Arthur H. Rogers, later to become one of the most distinguished figures of the Jolly Rogers; Major Margrave; Captain Delbert Hahn; and Captain Harry J. Bullis, another future top man.
The men of the Jolly Rogers, most of whom spoke with the drawl of Dixie, were teachers, toolmakers, students, surgeons, wool salesmen, engineers, accountants, editors, draftsmen, lawyers, coaches, linesmen, farmers, ball players, missionaries. Out of this cra/.y quilt of civilian backgrounds, Barksdale Field training forged the beginnings of the professional Air Corps Jap steamroller.
The next move was to Greenville, S.C. The two B-24's of the advance echelon were the first bombers ever to land on the Greenville runway. Because of the widely dispersed areas of the airfield (just in case), the standing joke of the day was getting a three-day pass from one unit to visit a friend in another.
More personnel from Air Force schools, including the first navigators and bombardiers, joined the Jolly Rogers at Greenville, during intensive flight training and cross-country hops. Here we acquired "Ace" Dunmore.
and swapped twenty undersized pilots for twenty six-footers. Then the aerial gypsies moved again to Henry Ford's Willow Run Bomber plant at Ypsilanti, Mich. Goal of the Willow Run Plant—one complete B-24 every hour.
The men who were to fly and mainkun these huge airbirds trained beside the workers who built them. The EM's all lived, slept, and worked in one vast hangar. More personnel flocked into the Jolly Rogers, to be greeted by Major Rogers' brusque query, "What the hell can you do?" Key officers who signed in were 1st Lt. Roger B. Keeney, Capt.' Robert S. Holt, 1st Lt. Roy Dye. Capt. William Doeller; 1st Lt. Taylor relieved Captain Hahn.
Two weeks at Willow Run, and the Jolly Rogers went-westward ho. on trains travelling four different routes, leaving the air echelon behind temporarily. At Califomuis Camp Stoneman, the rumors started flying as campaigns for Government insurance policy and pay allotment began. New items of clothing and equipment were issued. Then pistols and rifles, which were choked in cosmoiine. taking two days to clean. Slings were put on upside clown, the hangar was bathed in grease, and the ordnance inspection resembled a Keystone comedy.
In a week, everything was loaded and ready to go. Wearing full field equipment and carrying their barracks bags, the Jolly Rogers filed up the gangplank on board a transport so sea-weary it had carried American troops to battlefronts in another war twenty-five years before. On September 4th, 1942, the Jolly Rogers were officially overseas.

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