XVIII. NAGAGHULI & MOKELBARI – July 1944
1. Organizational Changes::
During the month officer strength of the squadron increased
During the month officer strength of the squadron increased from 56 to 64 while the enlisted strength increased from 234 two 236. The increase in officer strength was due to the assignment of nine new pilots namely 2nd Lts. George T. Booth, James W. Foltz, Carl N. Franklin, Edward E. Joseph, Paul A. Harold, Jack W. Moore, Calvin H. Reasoner, Jr., Spencer A. Price and Fred W. Miller. Sgt. Fobes, who came with the squadron in September, 1942, is accepted as a candidate for Officers Candidate School, and no sooner had the news come through then he was on route via air to the states. We wish him every success in his new assignment.
Operations during the month are up a little over those of the previous month, but monsoon conditions continued to curtail them considerably. They are referenced in the following tabulations:
Operational missions combat 847.8 hours flown; sorties 176; bombs dropped 6 tons; AMMO expanded 59,650 rounds
The principal missions flown were sweeps over the enemy airfields at Loiwing, Lashio, Shwebo, Onbauk and in the Mandalay area. All of such missions represented our furthest penetration yet into enemy territory with the missions flown to the Mandalay area entailing a round-trip of more than 500 miles. No enemy air opposition was met on the sorties although intense but inaccurate anti-aircraft fire was encountered particularly in the Lashio area. On the mission flown on July 11, 1944 Lt. Rogers strafed a camouflage enemy fighter plane located in one of the revetments on the Lashio aerodrome. The plane was left smoking and is claim as damaged. On the mission of July 15 to the same target a large gas oil dump was hit and completely destroyed
Familiarization and training flights continue to occupy much of the time of the pilots. In the latter part of the month a flight of four planes under Lt. Adair was sent to and has been based at the recently constructed field at Tingkawk Sakan in northern Burma. Another flight comprising eight planes and all the pilots and personnel formally stationed at Mokelbari were also sent to Dergaon and in the future will operate out of the field located there.
During the Month there were 24 planes assigned to the squadron. Of these 84.1% were in tactical commission during the months.
The successful air operations carried on by the units of the 5320th Air Defense Wing again came in for commendation by the higher headquarters. A copy of such commendation is annexed as Appendix 33.
3. Combat with Enemy Aircraft:
No contact with enemy aircraft was had during this month.
4. Awards and Decorations
During the month awards were made to the pilots of the squadron as follows:
FIRST OAK LEAF CLUSTER TO THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS
Capt. James H. Darden
Capt. Charles G. Whitley
1st. Lt. Philip R. Adair
1st. Lt. Phillip A. Coll
1st. Lt. Edward C. O’Connor
SECOND OAK LEAF CLUSTER TO THE AIR MEDAL
lst. L.t. Robert D. Bell
FIRST OAK LEAF CLUSTER TO THE AIR MEDAL
lst. Lt. Sherry Dare
1st. Lt. Raymond B McReynolds
1st. Lt. Williom C. Nall
lst. Lt. Edward C.O’Connor ( Big Okie)
1st. Lt. John M. Matulevicz
1st. Lt. James F. May, Jr.
1st. Lt. Robert L. McCarty
1st. Lt. James P. Smith
1st. Lt. Donald P. Taylor
1st. Lt. Theodore M, Tracy
1st. Lt. Raymond A. Witort
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS
1st Lt. Ralph E. Rhodes
1st Lt. Austin F Freeman
1st Lt. Fe1ix H. Jones, Jr.
1st Lt. Frank D. Parsons
1st Lt. Dodd V. Shepard
1st Lt. Fred S, Evans
1st Lt. John Makar
1st Lt. James P, McGuire, Jr.
1st Lt. George J. Seifert
1st Lt. Stephen R. Wheaton
THE AIR MEDAL
2nd Lt. Joel Martinez (Missing since June 14)
2nd Lt. William H. Cutler
2nd Lt. Thomas J. O’Connor, Jr. (Little Okie)
2nd Lt. Thomas J. O’Connor, Jr. (Little Okie)
July brought to Nagaghuli some of the best entertainment of our stay in India. Thanks to Capt. Lennon we had one of our best run of movies and in addition the presentation of the “Yard Bird” in “Hey Rookie”. Another high spot was a ping pong exhibition put on by Cpls. Gerald “Chubby”Aronson and Robert Beck, 1941 and 1942 Pacific Coast Champions respectively. Tee match was preceded by the finals of singles and doubles tournament run among the personnel on the base. In close matches Pfc. DeMatto of the A/A Battery stationed at Nagaghuli took measure of Cpl. Baldwin, while in the final of the doubles Sgt. Nunes and Cpl. Wilshire proved too formidable a team for Sgts. Gatts and Sullivan.
On July 24 a beer party with ice, but not enough of it, peanuts and donuts, the gift of the Red Cross and cheese the contribution of Sgt.Soamby’s culinary department, turned out to be a great success. Thanks are to Lt. Roylance and Sgts. Banta, Gatts and Sommers who helped make the affair possible
Promotions during the month brought a Majors gold leaf to Capt. Upson’s shoulders and silver bars to Lts. Milton, McGuire and Seifert. Also seven well-earned promotions were recorded to enlisted men
6. In memoriam:
Since June 14, 1944 2nd Lt. Joel A. Martinez has been reported as missing. On that date Lt. Martinez departed by transport for detached service as air-ground liaison officer with the British forces operating in this theater. The transport has not been heard of and all personnel are believed to be lost.
An appropriate letter of condolences was sent to the next of kin and it is the squadrons wish that a copy of this letter be appended to this history as appendix 35.