Wednesday, September 28, 2016

89) April 1945-- Activities of the 9th Fighter Squadron

9th FS Unit History - April 1945

"April will no doubt go down on record as one of the most productive months in the history of the 9th Fighter Squadron insofar as sorties flown, bomb tonnage dropped, and damage to the enemy ground forces is concerned. The Flying Knights devoted nearly all their efforts to tactical ground support work on Luzon, dropping, in one month, a tonnage of bombs greater than the total previous commitments since activation. The actual figures, 293 tons of demolition bombs and 68 165-gallon bombs of napalm."

"The second large group Officer's party was held in the club on the evening of the 11th with a larger attendance of nurses than previously. Music was furnished by the 86th Fighter Wing Orchestra and Manila-side whiskey was sold at the bar for the sum of sixty centavos per drink. Guests at the party included seven members of the VH Squadron 4, the "Playmate" boys of the Naval Air Force. The following night, the Enlisted Men of the 9th held another party of their own in the spacious EM Club next to the Squadron Orderly Room. A successful bridge-busting mission at Santiago was flown on the 12th. Two direct hits were scored and completely destroyed the bridge."

"Friday, the 13th. The world was shocked by the news of our Commander-in-Chief's sudden and unexpected death. With the U.S. forces only 57 miles from Berlin and American landing ever closer to the Japanese homeland, it was evident that the President had died on the eve of victory for the country he was "First Man" for over twelve years. The news was received in t he squadron about 0800 on the morning of the 13th and an immediate confirmation was requested from the 308th Bomb Wing before any such serious "Rumor" could travel far. Unfortunately, the "rumor" was fact and all personnel in the organization were stunned by the news. If the Japs hoped the demise of the "Chief" would effect the efficiency, they were doomed to bitter disappointment; all scheduled missions were completed in good order."

"In the period 1st to 20th of April, a maintenance percentage of 86.8% was attained by the Engineering Department under the direction of Captain Davidson, squadron Engineering Officer. This was accomplished with a 30% shortage of enlisted personnel and a 50% shortage in tools and equipment, under the stress of continual daily commitments of twelve to sixteen planes, operating off of a rough, uneven, metal strip, hard on landing gear and tires and exposed to constant, fine blowing sand and salt spray, and scourge of carburetors. Incidentally, the percentages for February and March of this year were 85.2% and 80.9% respectively. The difficulty in obtaining parts and replacements was also an obstructing factor to the high record, and transferring parts from one ship to another, or plain "scrounging", played an important part."

"On the 26th personnel could be seen carting all varieties of chairs to the reserved area for members of the 49th at the new theatre stage just completed at the west-end of the ball park. The event: "This is the Army", the famous Irving Berlin, all G.I., show opened at 2000 hours and for one and one half hours, thousands of people crowded the grandstand and vigorously, sincerely, applauded one of the finest pieces of entertainment the 9th has yet seen. Just winding up an 18-month tour around the world, "This is the Army" was the largest show to play in the vicinity of the 9th since Bob Hope's show on Biak and can well sustain its fame and well-deserved reputation on a top-notch performance. Some of those "girls" were really beautiful! Five minutes after the final act, with the crowd well dispersed, a Red Alert was sounded which lasted for about twenty minutes. This was the first alert in many weeks and couldn't have been timed better to cause the least trouble."

"A softball league was established the previous month and the various teams were battling it out on the diamond. In the typical game between the "Rams" (9th Officers) and the Sparks (9th E.M.), the game was a close, hard, match bringing a rally by the Rams in the last inning but not enough to bring them on top. Final score: Rams- 6, Sparks- 7. The "Red Noses", enlisted men of the ninth, were leading the league."

---Ken Clark’s Unit History posted on

  1. Franklin Delano Roosevelt ( Jan. 30, 1882- April 12, 1945) The unending stress and strain of the war literally wore Roosevelt out. By early 1944 a full medical examination disclosed serious heart and circulatory problems; and although his physicians placed him on a strict regime of diet and medication, the pressures of war and domestic politics weighed heavily on him. On March 30, 1945, Roosevelt went to Warm Springs, Georgia, to rest before his anticipated appearance at the founding conference of the United Nations. On the morning of April 12, Roosevelt said, "I have a terrific headache." He was to never speak again. The doctor diagnosed that he had suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Roosevelt's death was met with shock and grief across the U.S. and around the world. At a time when the press did not pry into the health or private lives of presidents, his declining health had not been known to the general public. Roosevelt had been President for more than 12 years, longer than any other person, and had led the country through some of its greatest crises to the impending defeat of Nazi Germany and to within sight of the defeat of Japan as well.--Wikipedia
  2. This Is The Army--Irving Berlin’s all-soldier show was written by Berlin to be a wartime morale booster. It was first performed on Broadway in 1942 and then made into a movie in 1943. In early 1944, Berlin took his performers to do the show in London and other locations in the British Isles. From Britain they went to North Africa, Naples and Cairo. From there they traveled to the South Pacific, performing in New Guinea, the Philippines, Guam, Okinawa, Iwo Jima and then Hawaii.--Wikipedia
  3. Napalm Use in WW 2 Video: Click this link

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