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History of the 348th Fighter Group

Discussion in 'Air War in the Pacific' started by Biak, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. Sasmith728

    Sasmith728 Member

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    Sorry, I looked through all of my Father's photos and the only photo that I have of the Devils Angel 2 is the one that I uploaded several years ago. Good picture of your grandfather. W252 P-51 Devils Angel.JPG
     
  2. Sasmith728

    Sasmith728 Member

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    The above photo with the 342nd Fighter Squadron sign was taken at Itami Airfield, Japan on November 3, 1946. Personnel in the picture include: 1st row L-R: SSG Riccardi, TSGT Terry, Lt. Wayne R. Smith, F/O Lanza.
    2nd Row: Lt "Bat" Masterson, Lt. "Snake" Stapelton, SGTY Sehorn, SSG La Frano (line chief).
    3rd Ros: F/O Jim Weeks, Unknown, Sgt Bowser, Lt. Bob Shaffer
     
  3. Sasmith728

    Sasmith728 Member

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    Biak,
    Glad to see you posting some of the photos that I sent to you. I see several people asking you if the photos that I sent to you may have pictures of their relatives. I thought that I sent you several indexes to people in the photos, but perhaps I didn't. The file below is a PDF file that shows personnel in the 342nd Fighter Squadron with a cross reference of all the photos that they are pictured in. I also have a file that shows photo by photo who is in the photos and where they were taken. I tried to upload it with the one below but it is too big for me to upload. I will try again, but this should answer many questions that may come up. It is 2.4 Megabytes.

    I also thought that I sent you a file folder that contained all of the information written on the backs of photos. This information is also included in the file that I couldn't upload because of its size.

    Also, I came across another photo that may interest you. My father had about five photos framed in his office for years. Most I had already scanned in but the one of the 348th Fighter Group taken on Itami I did not have scanned in. I took it out of the frame and when I went to scan it in my Father, Wayne Smith, had written the names of many of the people in the photo (probably most from the 342nd) on the back. This was among the photos taken by a Signal Corps photographer at the end of the war on the island of Ie Shima. I think that I told you the story about them that my Father being an avid photographer, helped the Signal Corps photographer to develop copies of the photos for the many people in the photos that wanted copies. When he finished he asked my Father if he wanted the original Grafex negatives and he said sure. I still have these negatives, except for the 348th group photo. I think what happened to the negative was that he sent it to be blown up into a large photo to hang in his office and lost the negative in the process. The photo is still extremely pristine and clear. I will try to upload it but I think that it is probably also too large to upload.
     

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  4. Sasmith728

    Sasmith728 Member

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    My mistake, the index is on the 342nd Fighter Squadron, not the 348th Group. As I thought, the images are too large to post. I'll see about lowering the resolution and posting them.
     

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  5. Sasmith728

    Sasmith728 Member

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    I reduced the resolution on the index in order to be able to upload it. Enjoy!!!
     

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  6. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Yes I do have a list of names and you're right, most are of the 342nd. Sorry I haven't put the list up until now. I'll blame it on the Aging Factor.

    I'm trying something o_O HEY it worked! Rather large print but easier for older eyes to see.

    Here is another listing of the names SaSmith728 so kindly made available.

    342nd Fighter Squadron Pictures Cross Reference - Page 1.jpg

    342nd Fighter Squadron Pictures Cross Reference - Page 2.jpg

    McCard: 157,267,316,406 (McCord?)
    Frank Novak: 299,404
    Ken Paced: 234
    Roark: 157, 267
    Sharman: 404
    Stone: 453
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  7. BOB1949

    BOB1949 Member

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    For some time now I have wanted to post my dad's log book but lack of time and opportunity always have a way of complicating things. This log book was issued by the "Royal Australian Air Force" so I'm sure he started this while stationed in New Guinea. I'm not sure if he logged his New Guinea activities in real time or transcribed them from another daily, weekly or monthly log that was kept. I feel his log is pretty accurate, at least he always told me so, but some minor details may have been missed. I say "pretty accurate" because I do know he was involved in a minor accident with Lt. Leonard Leighton (KIA August 16, 1943) on August 8, 1943, this is from an official accident report of that time but it is not documented in the log book. Also, I believe some of the information was transcribed from a previous stateside log book as he has included his time with the 341St Operation Training Unit - O.T.U. stationed in Providence Rhode Island as well as 'Primary' time in Coleman Texas and an incomplete listing of his 'Basic' time at Randolph Field in San Antonio. I can tell that the log was initially lightly done in pencil then somewhere along the line he inked in the information.
    "CM" means combat missions, "CZ" means he was flying in a combat zone and the "A" stands for Slow Time, the period when the pilots 'Broke In' the aircraft prior to flying to Port Moresby, New Guinea. I plan on initially posting his Australian/New Guinea time and then post his O.T.U. time later. Each page is 1.3 MB so I'll have to do this in parts.
     
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  8. BOB1949

    BOB1949 Member

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    1st Page
     
  9. BOB1949

    BOB1949 Member

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    Apparently the file page at 1.3 MB is still to large. I'll have to figure something out.
     
  10. BOB1949

    BOB1949 Member

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    First 3 pages.
     

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  11. BOB1949

    BOB1949 Member

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    Second 3 pages
     

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  12. BOB1949

    BOB1949 Member

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    Next 3 pages
     

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  13. BOB1949

    BOB1949 Member

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    3 more
     

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  14. BOB1949

    BOB1949 Member

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    3 more
     

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  15. BOB1949

    BOB1949 Member

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    Last one. So this completes my Dad's 14 months in the SWP theater. When he returned to the USA he no longer kept the log book current but did have all of his states side fight time documented in his USAAF official papers which he had kept from the first day of his Army Air Corps fight training until he was discharged.
     

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  16. BOB1949

    BOB1949 Member

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    Sorry one more
     

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  17. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    I may have solved a mystery and placed one more piece of the puzzle.

    I have a picture of Merle standing on the wing of a P47 and nonchalantly leaning against the cockpit. Judging by the background I think it would have been on New Guinea and early on in their overseas deployment. On the back of the picture he wrote: "My Faithful Dulcy". There is also another picture of him in another P47 with the 341st squadron insignia on it's side but I believe that may have been while they were in training here in the states.
    In one of our talks I asked him if he had named any of his planes or had nose-art painted. He said that he didn't name any of his planes and when I asked about the reference to "Dulcy" he said he sure didn't remember that ! There are so many things that we'll never know and for some reason I kept thinking about "Dulcy". I recently stumbled on a 1940 film starring Ann Sothern. Curiously enough in a scene where Ann Sothern as Dulcy the main character in this comedy, inadvertently causes an aircraft engine to spew oil in the face of a prospective investor. I do know that on one mission Merle's plane developed an oil leak and completely covered the windshield and put not just a little on him as well since he would occasionally stick his head out the side to see. He told of another pilot flying beside him and lining him up to the runway : he made it back to base safely.

    Merle had a great since of humor and I have to believe the Dulcy referred to on the back of the picture is in fact Ann Sothern's character in the movie. Plus she was 'easy' on the eyes especially to a 23 year old fighter pilot.
     
  18. BOB1949

    BOB1949 Member

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    Biak,
    I think you’re right about the “My Faithful Dulcy” comment on the photo of Merle leaning against the P-47, it had to be just after the oil leak incident, makes a lot of sense doesn’t it.

    Speaking of so many things we’ll never know: I think back to the mid 1950’s and my dad would tell my brother and me so many stories about his time in the service, we were always all ears, those stories helped shape our life. Unfortunately those stories to a young boy are easily forgotten over time and I find that when I really want to hear them again it’s too late. By the mid to late 1960’s we rarely heard those stories anymore unless we asked, which mostly we didn’t.

    Looking at vintage pictures of the flight line in New Guinea it seems to me that not all planes had names or nose art but many did. In my Dad’s case he did - “Battlin Beaut” and he painted the nose art on the plane. And and I think that most, if not all, of the aircraft were shared by other pilots (perhaps with the exception of Fiery Ginger) - maybe the newer pilots.
     
  19. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Yes for the fighters until you made Squadron Co. or maybe flight leader I think you took the luck of the draw. There just wasn't enough planes to go around for everyone to have their own private aircraft. I think they did have a system where they could share a particular plane but it wasn't permanently assigned to them. At one time the 341st sqd had 90 pilots and 28 or so P47s.
    Merle told of the time when he was Sqd. Commander another pilot asked to borrow his plane. He told him "Sure, just bring it back in one piece". He was pi$$ed when his plane came back with "a bunch of bullet holes in it!"!
     
  20. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Over 46,000 views ! I guess there IS some interest in the air forces in the SWPA .

    Things are settling down on the home front and I'll try to do a better job of adding to the thread. Sometimes Life throws ya a curveball and even when you know it's coming, expect it's impact, brace yourself for the inevitable, it hits like an a gut punch.

    The names contained within this thread will live on. Recorded here will be the actions of those who fought and died fighting to preserve the Freedom of not just their Country but for the Freedom of others.
     

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