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342nd Fighter Squadron, "Scourgers", New Guinea Edition

Discussion in 'Book Swap' started by Letum, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. Letum

    Letum New Member

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    I have a copy of a yearbook or photo book from my grandfather's library. While he did serve as a pilot in the Pacific, he does not appear in this book, so I was hoping to send it to someone that will appreciate it.

    It has no date that I have noticed, other than the description in the foreword of "The following pages attempt pictorially to reveal the life of our Squadron during its first year as a combat unit in New Guinea and the Southwest Pacific Area."

    The book is dedicated to Col. Neel E Kearby, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, after his death.

    This book is mostly photographs, with a few short paragraphs about Sydney, some Combat reports, and a few bio's on various personnel. It is probably about 250 to 300 pages long. It includes a roster of Officers and Enlisted.

    I would like this book to go to someone for whom it has some meaning, otherwise I will look into giving it to a college library, such as the Texas A&M military science collection.

    If you are interested, please reply to the topic.
     

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  2. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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  3. Letum

    Letum New Member

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    While it does have about 20 combat reports (very short paragraphs by different pilots) and there is one or two "In Memory of", it does not include any real list of lost pilots or planes. This is more of a up beat, photo yearbook type publication, and not an official report.
     
  4. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    If you do not get a response from any family members I would be interested also. I have been gathering information on the 348th FG and would be willing to post the entire contents here on WW2f.

    My Uncle would have known many of the people in the book (see 348th FG thread) and I may be able to flesh out a few more stories from him.
     
  5. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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  6. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Joined ownership Fred ! :)
     
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  7. mwallace13

    mwallace13 New Member

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    Hello,

    I am researching my grandfather's time in New Guinea during the war and have just discovered this publication. He is Lt Wallace. If you have the book, or know how I might access a copy electronically, I'd love to see what pictures or accounts of him I can find.

    Thanks so much.
     
  8. mwallace13

    mwallace13 New Member

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    Hello,

    Do you still have the yearbook in your possession? I've just learned of its existence and figured out that my grandfather, Lt Wallace, is likely included. He was a member of the 342nd in New Guinea. I would love to see what images/accounts of him might be included.

    Thanks so much.
     
  9. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Hello mwallace13, Welcome to the ww2f .

    Letum dropped out of sight nearly as fast as he appeared I'm afraid. It happens sometimes. I tried to contact him but no joy.

    If you can give us some info' on your grandfather I'll do some digging. When was he in the Group? Full name and service number would help but first name and middle initial will get me started.

    Biak
     
  10. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    I've found this so far:

    2Lt. William P. Wallace from Roanoke Virginia was awarded the second Oak Leaf cluster to the Air Medal around June 1944.
    Also credited with 2 enemy aircraft shot down as of beginning 1945.
    Returned to the US on leave after 18 months in theater early 1945.

    I'll keep digging.
     
  11. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Another snippet from John Stanaway's "Kearby's Thunderbolts" page 84 & 85.

    February 3, 1944, after leaving Wewak area B-24 bomber escort. About 5 miles west of Wewak at 22,000 feet.

    "Lt. Malcolm Rand got on the tail of one Tony that was trying to dive away from the area and fired until the pilot jumped and opened his silvery-white parachute. Lt. Bill Wallace approached another Tony from the rear and the Japanese pilot tried to escape by diving. Wallace fired a few bursts and convinced this Tony pilot to also abandon his fighter and take to his parachute."

    "After Wallace had pulled up from his combat with the other Tony he looked around to clear his tail. He could see Lt. George Davis on the tail of yet a third Tony."
     
  12. mwallace13

    mwallace13 New Member

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    Biak,

    Thanks so much for your research! These accounts line up with the stories my dad remembers.

    His full name was William Paul Wallace - he went by Bill.
    1st Lt, number AO00799682

    As I recall, he was with another group before the 342nd. Stationed in California, perhaps? The story goes he took a plane out hot-dogging one night and ended up having to ditch it in the water. As punishment he got sent to the Pacific while the rest of his group went to Europe...!

    I'd love to find a copy of the Scourgers book on the 342nd. We have a couple photos of him with his plane, but I have a feeling there are a lot more of him in the book that we've never seen.

    Again, really appreciate your research and please let me know if you come across any more info. And apologies for my intermittent reply - I'll try and check back with this forum with more frequency.
     
  13. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    I have a few CD's from the AFHRA ( Air Force Historical Research Agency) containing the history and various other information on the 348th FG. I'll pull up the 342 sqd. and see what I can find within the history. Not a problem with the time lag, sometimes Life just gets in the way. I've been meaning to get back to updates on the thread and know full well the time constraints.

    If you're interested you can contact them here for copies;
    600 Chennault Circle, Maxwell AFB 36112
    ph# 334-953-5834 or www afhra af mil
    Don't forget to put in the "dots" :D

    I called to find information on the 348th fighter group and they went above and beyond nice. Great group of folks.
     
  14. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Quick update,

    Lt . William P. Wallace joined the 342nd in December 1943.
    Just in time for some interesting missions in the Wewak area.

    Feb. 3, 1944
    Flying close cover for B-24 strike to the Wewak area, 16 planes of the 342nd encountered 7 Japanese fighters, 3 definitely destroyed - 1 each by Lts. Rand, Davis and (Wallace - one Tony), and another probably destroyed by Capt. Dunham.

    During the month Lt. Wallace was awarded the Air Metal for operational missions performed and also an Oak Leaf cluster to the Air Medal. (It generally took several months for commendations to catch up to previous accomplishments)
    General Orders No. 82, 11 February 1944 Award of the Air Medal
    Second Lieutenant William P. Wallace, (0799682), 342nd Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, Air Corps, United States Army. For operational flight missions from 1 October 1943 to December 1943. Home address: Mrs. John C. Wallace (Mother), 1141 So. Jefferson St., Roanoke, Virginia.

    December 1944 Tacloban
    On the 10th of Dec. providing day cover for L.C.M.'s, which were transporting reinforcements to the Ormoc Bay area of Leyte, a morning flight of four sighted a Dinah which was destroyed by the flight leader Lt. Wallace.
    On January 10th, 2Lt. William P. Wallace of Roanoke, Virginia, was appointed Flight Leader of "A" Flight when Capt. Robert H. Knapp left for temporary duty with the Fifth Fighter Command.
    Second Lieut. William P. Wallace was awarded the third Oak-Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal during the month for 42 operational flights from February 9th, 1944 to June 22nd, 1944.

    March 1945
    One other pilot, 2nd Lt. William P. Wallace, made ready to return to the United States and was relieved and transfered from the organization for that purpose. Lt. Wallace, of Roanoke, Virginia, had been with this squadron for 18 months and saw action in New Guinea and in the Philippines. He has destroyed 2 enemy planes and holds the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters.

    This appears to be the extent of items relating to Lt. Wallace. If I run across more I'll add.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  15. mwallace13

    mwallace13 New Member

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    This is fantastic! Thank you so much for posting your findings!


    I live in the DC area. My parents came up for a visit this weekend and we went to the Udvar-Hazy museum at Dulles. (Lt. Wallace is my dad's father -- he passed away in the late '80s before I had a chance to really get to know him). It was really special for us to see a P47 up close together and imagine him flying all those missions. The bravery of those guys is astounding.

    Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  16. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Glad to help.

    Was the P47 in Col. Kearbys paint scheme with "Fiery Ginger" on the side? It was sitting under the Enola Gays nose when I was there in 2010.
     
  17. mwallace13

    mwallace13 New Member

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    The P47 model they have on display still sits under the Enola Gay (quite an awe-inspiring sight) but I believe it's a different plane than they had when you were there. This one was used as a trainer and has a checkerboard pattern around the nose.

    Republic P-47D-30-RA Thunderbolt

    Seems that the "Fiery Ginger" model may have been moved to the museum in Dayton.
     
  18. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    My brain isn't what it use to be and you're right about the P47. I was off a year also it was 2011. I was thinking there was a plaque with info on Col. Kearby's mission where he earned the Medal of Honor flying a P47 but probably got it confused with the one trip I've been able to make to the AF Museum in Dayton.

    It was way back in, I'll say the late 90's just to give myself some wiggle-room, when I saw the P47 in the "Fiery Ginger" scheme on a visit to the Air Force Museum with my Uncle who flew with Col. Kearby's Group. He was able to step inside the ropes and we took a picture of him standing under the nose next to the propeller.
     

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