A.V.G. SUCCESSORS MAKE EXISTENCE SAD FOR JAPS
Since the activation of the fighter group, replacing the A.V.G. July 4th, two pilots have distinguished themselves as Aces. The first pilot to achieve this signal honor was Captain Baumler of a Fighter Squadron. Captain Baumler brought down his fifth plane (a Japanese I-97II) south of Hengyang on September 3rd. He had previously destroyed seven Axis planes while in Spain.
The second officer with the distinction of becoming an ACE was Colonel Robert Scott, Commanding Officer of the 23rd Fighter squadron. Colonel Scott was credited with his fifth plane when, after he had completed a mission, saw a twin-engine fighter, immediately made an attack and looking back saw it go down in flames.
Several former A.V.G. pilots who are now continuing their excellent work with the Air Corps. are creeping rapidly toward their goal of five. Although nearly all of these officers have more than enough planes to qualify, those with which they were credited during service with the A.V.G. cannot be counted for their ACE rating. Such officers and numbers of planes to their credit since July 4th are as follows: Major David L. Hill - 3; Major Edward F. Rector - 2; Major John G. Bright - 2; Major Charles W. Sawyer - 1.
The following pilots have one confirmed victory: Lieut. John D. Lombard, Capt. Edmund Goss, Lieut. Dallas A. Clinger, Lieut. Mark A. Mitchell, Lieut. Mortimer D. Marks, Lieut. Martin S. Cluck (deceased), Lieut. Thomas R. Smith.
Master Sergeant John W. Brewer was able to shoot down a Japanese I-97II while acting as a member of a ground crew during an attack.
These figures account only for aircraft shot down and confirmed, and do not allow for aircraft which have been damaged.
Even though forced to operate for the first two months with a small number of aircraft that were badly in need of repair, this group has been able to establish a record of at least six enemy planes destroyed for each one of our own lost or damaged.
|HER BUMPERS ARE IN THE SCRAP - Joining in the nationwide scrap metal drive, film star Rita Hayworth has sacrificed her auto bumpers. Her example is said to have influenced some of the public to do likewise.|
|THE HALT, THE LAME AND THE BLIND! - The air corps asked for 36 green eye shades and the S.O.S. sent them the eye patches seen above. It affected some of the boys' subconscious causing them to tap about with canes and sit in the halls with tin cups. Doreen Palmer is leading Pvt. Nicholas Bruno and T/Sgt. Robert C. Gifford.|
|THEM BUMS - It is traditional in the Army to always refer to an MP with the proper descriptive adjective before his name. MP's are used to it and accept it as part of the cross they must bear. Here we have 1st Sgt. James W. Pierce issuing instructions to T/5 James F. Ballentyne and T/5 Paul J. Courtney who are about to go out on patrol.|
|MUTUAL ADMIRATION - MP's are called upon to do many varied jobs in India. They not only must walk the streets at night to keep overly exuberant GI's out of trouble but they must protect United States Army property. During the recent disturbances in India concern was felt that excited groups of Indians might molest Army property. Such was never the case and judging by the grins on the Indians' faces as they gather around smirking MP's, the whole thing became a mutual admiration society.|
|JEEP PATROL - During daylight hours a lot of patrolling is done in Jeeps. In this way much wider areas may be covered and the Jeep has now become one of the foremost means of apprehending violators of speed regulations. In all large American stations speed laws have been posted for Army trucks and sedans.|
|HEADIN' FOR HOME - In some areas buses are provided to transport soldiers between outlying camps and towns. Again the M.P. is called on to supervise these movements and make sure everything is done strictly according to Hoyle - or do you get what we mean? - The primary function of the Military Police, however, is one of protecting American soldiers from possible "enemies" and even at times from themselves. The M.P. has a hard row to hoe and is generally a pretty good guy. There is lack of motor transportation in India due to gasoline scarcity. Many camps are too far from town to take tongas, so buses run on regular schedules for our soldiers. All photos by T/5 Nicholas Lyseczko.|
|HOLLYWOOD HANDICRAFT - They're using the same tricks to publicize new movies back home. Leslie Brooks, Jinx Falkenburg and Kay Harris are the pretty gals. The press agent says the name of the picture is "Lucky Legs."|
WE SWOOP AT DAWN
The pilot strode into the evening gloom.
From the hooded light of the operations room.
He looked long and hard at the cloud flecked sky.
There was a telltale twinkle in his clear blue eye
As he said to his crew scattered on the lawn,
"String your hair girls, we swoop at dawn."
We filled our tanks, and each man checked his gun
For to-morrow's party would be no fun.
The ship was made ready, and the rest of the night
Our sleep was disturbed by dreams of the flight.
It is always so when brave men fly,
Not a pleasant thought, "To-morrow, I may die."
No matter how many missions a man may fly,
He never gets over being afraid to die
It's a funny old feeling, hard to explain
You tighten all up from your toes to your brain,
Your stomach's all empty, and your face feels drawn
When you hear the old cry, "We swoop at dawn!"
We were awakened at three by a sleepy O.D.
And had a foul breakfast of sourdough and tea.
Then off to the briefing in a loaded-down truck
Where some simple dodo tells us, "If you have luck-
You'll sink a carrier and bomb a 'drome
You'll all be heroes when you get back home.
But the man who went out into the morning cold
Thought not of medals and heroes bold
Most likely the thought of their girls and their homes
And the hell they'd give those yellow gnomes
For causing the war, the pain and the strife,
And for taking away the best years of their life.
The roar of the fans was like a beautiful song,
We'd be in the air now before very long.
The pilot gunned the engines - We began to roll.
We picked up speed as the props took hold
The big ship labored, the air filled with sound,
"Wheel up" cried the pilot, "We're off the ground."
We joined formation - buzzed the field below,
It's a fine old custom in the Air Corps, you know,
Then away on course, it was lovely to see-
Nine big ships in flights of three.
Up over the mountains and soon we were gone
Right on schedule - at the break of dawn.
The leader looked at his watch and noted the time,
He adjusted his throttles and started to climb
He then glanced back at the men on his wing,
The weather was stinking - The usual thing.
But we closed up tight and pushed right on through
'Til we finally broke out in the upper blue.
We continued to climb for well we knew
If we went in low, our chances were few
So we went in high-way up in the blue.
Proud to be the lads who take them through.
If this old war has got to be
As long as I last - it's combat for me.
Though I'm afraid each time, and I swear it's the last,
And my breath comes in jerks, and my heart beats fast,
I'd rather do my bit up here in the blue
Than sit on the ground like some jokers do.
I'm doing my part and none can say
"He takes the war the easiest way."
Now we're over the target, and my heart skips a beat,
The altimeter's pushing thirty thousand feet
The bomb bays open and the run is begun
This time it's for keeps and not for fun
Then over the interphone calm and clear
"Bombs away" is the cry from the bombardier.
Watch them fall - the boom has been lowered
"Good work, old man, it looks like we scored
So pour on the coal and close the doors
We're proud of this job - my work and yours."
The engines turn over in an endless moan
As we make a steep bank and head for home.
The ack-ack's not bad - it's way down below
But that's not what we fear the most from the foe
"There they are!" You can see they're coming up fast.
The Zeros are coming, they've caught us at last.
They're fast little or more,
But we're ready and waiting, we'll even the score.
Pass after pass from above and head-on
But our gunners are good and they put them to scorn
It's a long running fight, and the stakes are high.
It's bombers versus fighters and someone will die
We tighten formation, and all I can think
Is, "Jesus, I'd hate to go done in the drink."
It's all over now - they've had enough
Forty minutes of hell and the going was tough
The top gunner's happy, he got two of the Nips
But the side gunner's dead the tails full of rips
We'll make it back if the engines hold out,
But we'll miss the side gunner, the big country lout.
It's always that way when a good man goes west,
We miss him most who knew him best
He lived with us, fought with us, gave us his all.
he died to save us - he was right on the ball
He stuck by his guns, his aim was true
But for his last bursts we'd all have been through.
So we come back home in the late afternoon
Through weather and ice and it's none to soon
The gages read low when we get there at last
Thank God we're home - We were sweating that gas.
He sets her down - a good landing that.
And he's tireder than I am. I'll bet you my hat.
The big ship slows down and rolls to a stop
The ambulance is there and so is the doc
"It's no use, fellow - he's gone, you see
He gave his all for the crew and me,
So handle him easy and send a cable through
He died for his country like he'd have wanted to."
So we'll all go to town and get drunk as a skunk
And try to forget war and fighting and bunk
It's been a rough day but cheer up, lad
We have to-morrow off, so it's not so bad
Then by the time your hangover's gone.
We'll be ready again to "Swoop at Dawn."
- Capt. John W. Carpenter III
LINSI MINES SMASHED - At left is the photographic proof of what happened to the Linsi mines when the China Air Task Force attacked them as reported in last week's Roundup. The main target was the power station shown sending up white smoke in circle 1. The dense clouds of black smoke (circle 2) are from a mine head struck by our bombs. The columns of smoke rose 10,000 feet into the air. Note the smoke shadow on the left.