The month of June
continued to see additional improvements in living conditions. Although the rainy season
[photo-1][photo-2][photo-3] had set in again, drainage ditches had been improved and additional ones dug so that the
area wasn't quite the quagmire it was during the rainy season experience in February and
The morale of the troops was greatly enhanced by the resumption of "Fat
Cat" trips to Australia. By authorization from Headquarters, Thirteenth Air Force, the 13th Emergency Rescue Group is
permitted to make weekly trips to Australia to purchase fresh meat, eggs, vegetables,
fruits and milk. One of the most appreciated items is the fresh milk - something that some
of us have not tasted since leaving the States fourteen months ago. With a breakfast menu
of fried eggs, toast, milk, and oranges or pears there is no trouble in getting the men up
in the morning for chow. For the noon and night meal, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and
lettuce make a palatable salad especially when topped off with a dash of mayonnaise and
augmented by the piece de resistance of roast beef or steak.
Interests in the enlisted men's club seems to have lagged and construction has come to a
standstill. Whether the original plans were too elaborate or the lack of desire and
interest on the part of the men is the cause of this has not been determined but steps are
being taken to revive interest so the club can be completed. The Officer's Club is slowly
whipping into shape and while it is quite a way from being entirely completed, work is
going steadily on.
The excitement created by the advent of Individual Service Credit Scores in May has waned
quite a bit. It is still the daily topic of conversation and the source of many a nightly
"bull session", but the general attitude is one of watching and waiting to see
what is going to happen. This is probably due to the fact that so far the Squadron has not
sent any men home under the plan and thus without concrete evidence, it has lost some of
its paramount importance. Combat crews continue to be returned to the States. Under the
provisions of the WD Circular 372 and during the month six officers and three enlisted men returned
to the States. Reports are coming back that many of these are already civilians again.
During June two additional B-17 combat crews joined the
organization, bringing us closer and closer to authorized
& E strength. Two B-17 "Flying Dutchmen" aircraft were assigned to the squadron, but as yet no ground
maintenance crews for the aircraft have arrived. It is rumored that they are also in the
theatre and will be assigned shortly. However, until they do make their appearance it
means that the present ground crews for the PBY's must also maintain the B-17's which
makes for more work and longer hours. In addition to the B-17's, five PBY Catalina's
and one P-38 were assigned. The "Cats" are replacements for the original planes
flown over from the States which are either worn out or have met with disaster.
is assigned to the Commanding Officer of the 13th Emergency Rescue Group but maintained
and serviced by personnel of this squadron as the Group was not authorized any mechanics.
The number of rescues by the Squadron continued to mount daily. At the end of the month
we had reached a total of 525 men,
60 of whom were picked up in June.
Evacuated 1 wounded soldier from Balaboc Island to Puerta Princessa,
||Rescued 2 P-38 pilots
from the 41st Fighter Squadron.
||Rescued 2 crewmembers
from a downed L-5 Sentinel assigned to the 25th Liason Squadron.
18 June -
||Rescued 12 men from a
PB4-Y that was forced to crash-land due to low fuel.
||Picked up 4 crewmembers
from a PNJ who were forced to ditch due to losing an engine.
||Rescued 7 men of VNB-611
which was forced to crash land when on a low level skip bombing run,
a bomb damaged one engine and the plane quickly caught fire.
||Rescued 4 men from a
ditched B-24. Squadron OA-10A 44-33885
was lost when attempting to take off, hit a swell, broke apart and
catapulted into the sea. 2 crew from the B-24 that had been picked
up were lost along with our Navigator 2nd Lt.
William E. Thornton.
25 June -
||Rescued 6 crewmembers
from the 71st Bomb Squadron, 38th Bomb Group when their B-25 was
damaged while on a bomb run and ditched in the sea near a U.S.
||The 2nd Emergency Rescue
Squadron was chosen to fly General Sir Thomas Blamey and party from
Morotai to Brunei Bay, Borneo.
Members of the Squadron were
awarded the Distinguished
Flying Cross, Air Medal,
(and OLC) in the following orders: