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CVE airgroups & operations

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by churchill17sp, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. Hoosier phpbb3

    Hoosier phpbb3 New Member

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    Max:
    Most of my information comes from the 318th Fighter Group website, and the recollections of an 86 year-old crew chief that I am building a P-47 razorback T-bolt model in 1/48 scale for.
    He went ashore with the first wave at Saipan as they fought their way to Aslito Airstrip. Of the 85 or so USAAF ground-crew--accompanied by US Marines--only about 50 made it to the airstrip alive.
    Ross said that they armed, fueled and serviced the incoming planes under Japanese fire, and comenced operations immediately. At one point, they were attacked by Japanese and took-up arms to repell them when the Japs hit their base.
    Ross was a member of the 73rd Fighter Squadron--"the Barflies"--and working from old black & white photos, I have nearly completed his razorback #420. (The pilot was a Lt. Anderson.) I hope to deliver it to him in the next week or so. The stories he has shared with me have been incredible.

    MAX:
    If you do a search on the 318th Fighter Group, they have a photo which shows two-three large explosions off the stern of the USS Manila Bay. This photo was taken during the attack that you referred to.

    Tim
     
  2. maxs75

    maxs75 recruit

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    Hoosier,
    thanks for the info about 318th FG.
    The refueling soon after landing in Saipan is not in contrast to an earlier refuleing on the carriers.

    And if you have some 1st hand accounts, can you confirm that the 33d FS arrived some weeks after the first two?

    Best
    Max
     
  3. Hoosier phpbb3

    Hoosier phpbb3 New Member

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    Max:
    I can check with Ross, but the 318th web-site lists the (3) squadrons as being the 19th--with bare cowls and blue tail-stripe--the 73rd--white cowl and tail stripe--and the 333rd--with yellow cowl and tail-stripes.

    No mention made of the 33rd Fighter Squadron.

    A quote from the site:
    "Soon, ALL the P-47s were ashore. They went into action as soon as they could be armed and fueled."

    Based on that, it appears they were all delivered from CVEs as quickly as possible, so, no confirmation that the 33rd--or 333rd--fighter squadron was delayed in it's arrival to Saipan by two weeks. I will check with Ross the next time we speak and query him on the subject.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A last quote from the site:

    "In the pre dawn of June 26, Japanese soldiers got in and burned the P-47 "Hed up 'N Locked". Ground crews opened fire and yelled for reinforcements. Sgt. Raymond Murphy ran through a hail of fire and taxied the adjacent plane to safety. The Japanese tactic was to puncture gas tanks by bayonet and burn the planes. But they were all killed or captured and only got one plane. The same night, 300 Japanese broke through the lines and overran part of the field. Combat engineers, marines, and ground crews wiped them out. An enemy bomber managed to briefly ignite some gas drums very close to a large fuel tank. The fire was smothered by bulldozer. When it was over, the 318th had just become the first of only two Army Air Force units to fight in ground infantry combat in all of World War 2!"
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tim
     
  4. maxs75

    maxs75 recruit

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    333d FS

    Hoosier,
    The last 3 wasn't typed. It was for sure 333d FS, I just mistyped. As each FG, 318th was composed by 3 FS.

    And I finally found the following:
    From http://www.web-birds.com/7th/318/318th.htm

    Max
     

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