Narrative History



502nd GROUP



Twentieth Air Force

Period: 7 April to 31 May 45.





I. Introduction       1
II. Voyage      
A. Preparations       3
B. The Railroad Trip       4
C. Staging Area       5
D. From Seattle to Honolulu       6
E. Honolulu to Guam       6
F. Morale aboard Ship       7
III. Building a Home      
A. First Day       13
B. Organization for Work       14
C. The Early Days       14
D. The Balance Sheet       15
E. Early Problems       15
F. Morale       18
IV. Administration and Personnel       19
V. Operations       20
VI. Supply       22
VII. Medical History       26


(a.) Arrived 315th Bomb Wing (VH), Northwest Field, Guam, APO 246, Unit 3,
     c/o Postmaster, San Francisco, California, on 12 May 1945.

(b.) Negative

(c.) Negative

(d.) Negative

(e.) Strength on Embarkation                       Strength at months end.
          14 April 1945                              31 May 1945

Officers      EM                         Officers    EM
Hq. 502nd    17      64                            12    60
402nd Sq.     6      202                             7    201
411th Sq.     6      201                             9    202
430 Sq     6      202                             7    204
29th Photo Lab.     1       20                             1     20
A.R.C.     1*          1*

*Civilian personnel

(f.) Negative

(g.) Negative




     On Saturday evening, 7 April 1945 at the Army Air Field in Grand Island
Nebraska, a review was held. At 1800 hours, with the sun sinking in the West,
officers and men of the Ground Echelon, 502d Bomb Group, in full field dress
marched past hangers and parked B-29's and B-17's and out on to the ramp of the
air field.

     At the head of the column was tall greying Lt. Colonel Thomas H. Joyce,
commander of the Ground Echelon. Behind him were virtually all of the 36
officers and 689 enlisted men of his command. Only men missing were the
eighteen who had already proceeded to the port in the advanced party. Colonel
Joyce rendered the salute to the reviewing officers, Colonel Eriksen, Base
Commander, Colonel Frank R Pancake, Deputy Group Commander, and Major Jarvis
Kingston, Group Adjutant.

     As the column turned to march off the ramp, it split in two. One group
marched directly down to waiting sleeper cars and entrained immediately. The
second returned to its area, for its train was to pull out some tow or three
hours later. It was the last formation. The movement of the Ground Echelon
from Grand Island to the theater of combat had begun.

     Six weeks later, almost to the day, another ceremony occurred. It was
early morning, Sunday, 20 May, on the northwest tip of the island of Guam.
Beginning at 0630 men of all organizations were marched down to the main square
of the 502d Bomb Group (Ground Echelon) area. They stood in a neat rectangle
before a tall tree which had been cut from the jungle the day before, stripped
of branches and bark, and erected in the center of the square. Around them
were rows of two man tents converted during the single week which the men had


spent on the island into makeshift houses and homes.

     Four officers marched from the Group and presented an American flag to
Colonel Joyce. In a clear voice which every man could hear distinctly, he
commanded, "Raise the nation's colors." The flag was raised and as it went
fluttering up in the morning breeze, Lt. Godsall, Special Services Officer,
led the entire Group in singing the National anthem, there was no brass band.

     The event was not official, for the Group is not authorized to fly its
own colors. But in the minds of the entire Group, it marked the end of the
period of initiation, when the Group had staked out its place in the jungles
of Guam and set its temporary home at least in preliminary order. It was now
ready to prepare for construction of its permanent home, and for operations.

     It is this period of transition from Grand Island Army Air Field to the
then embryonic Northwest Field, Guam, which this installment of the history
of the 502d Bomb Group will cover.









     Preparations for the movement which began with the review on the evening
of April 7, 1945, were elaborate. The supply men had been working for many
months and their efforts came to a head with the dispatch of nine Officers and
nine enlisted men to Seattle, Washington to supervise loading of cargo. These
men divided into two groups one of which went to the Intransit Depot of Tacoma,
Washington, while the other remained at Seattle. They were under the command
of Captain (then Lt.) Ivan H. Thomas, Group Supply Officer. A fuller account
of their activities before leaving Grand Island, at the port, and after arrival
in the theater will be found in the chapter on supply.

     Meanwhile, at Grand Island, Colonel Joyce, in informal talks with officers
on his staff was also making detailed plans for the movement. Within two weeks
of the departure date, staff meetings of all officers were held. The first
official document was Special Order No. 1 dated 28 March 1945. 1/

     The framework of command and the principal duty assignments were set forth
in this order. Following are the appointments made:


Deputy CO     Major Albert D Cummings 0356017 AC
Adj and Pers Officer     Capt Bartholomew M. Stevens 01549117 Ord
Asst Adj and Asst Pers Officer     1st Lt. Arthur M. Samson 0682903 AC
Security and Censorship Officer     1st Lt. Guy F. Magbee 0572481 AC
Training Officer     1st Lt. John M. Mc Means 0672148 AC


PT Officer                     2 Lt. James J Bradley 0584251 AC
Supply Officer     1st Lt. Ivan H Thomas 0560403 AC
Medical Officer     Capt H Joseph Noerling 0473918 MC
Mess Officer     1st Lt. William J Thuerwachter 0585861 AC
Provost Marshal     2d Lt. Stanley H Levin 0866567 AC
CO Hq Det     Capt Joseph Pimes 0465056 AC
Dental Officer     Capt Gisle W Newgard 0530463 DC

Troop Train # 1

Train Commander                Capt Clark Owen 0563972 AC
Train Mess Officer     1st Lt. Edward J Springer 0579326 AC
Train Medical Officer     Capt H Joseph Noerling 0473918 MC
Train QM     2d Lt. Leland B Doyle 0587136 AC

Troop Train # 2

Train Commander                Major Frank T McCormick Jr 0903708 AC
Train Mess Officer     1st Lt. William J Thuerwachter 0585861 AC
Train Medical Officer     Capt Isadore Dyer 0312884 MC
Train QM     2d Lt. William W Auxier 0588923 AC


     Both trains departed Grand Island via Union Pacific railroad the night of
7 April 1945, within three hours of each other. The troop trains traveled the
Northern route to Portland, thence to Seattle.

     Facilities on the trip were good. The trains were composed of tourist type
sleepers and troop sleepers. Most of the latter were relatively new. Food
was excellent and morale was high throughout the train ride. A contributing
factor was the distribution of candy, playing cards, and magazines. These
had been provided by Orderly Room and Special Services personnel for the


Orderly rooms and dispensaries was well as mess sections functioned during the
trip. 2/

     The first train carrying personnel of Headquarters, 502d Bomb Group, 29th
Photo Lab., and 402 Bomb Squadron reached Seattle late at night 9 April 1945.
The second train carrying personnel of the 411th and 430th Squadrons reached
Seattle on the morning of 10 April 1945. Immediately upon arrival all per-
sonnel were trucked to the Fort Lawton area.


     Staging at Fort Lawton was streamlined and summary. It did not begin
until Tuesday afternoon, 10 April. By Friday afternoon, 13 April, it was
completed. The routine lectures were attended. They included Orientation,
Censorship and Chemical Warfare. At the latter the new type gas mask was ex-

     The routine inspections were made. They included a shakedown inspection
and a weapons inspection.

     Even though the organization was at Fort Lawton, Port of Embarkation, only
four days, every man had an opportunity to take a pass into Seattle. It should
be emphasized here that throughout the movement, Group Officers from the Com-
mander down, have taken pains to give enlisted personnel of the Group as much
liberty as possible. In general, the command of the organization has had as a
prime consideration the morale of the enlisted men.

     This will be demonstrated in the discussion of the boat voyage. In the
case of Seattle special intercession was necessary to obtain passes for all
men, because the stay at Fort Lawton was so short. This was readily provided
by Colonel Joyce and his staff.

     On Saturday morning, 14 March, Headquarters 502 Bomb Group, and the 430th
Squadron entrucked for Pier # 39 and later boarded the US Army Transport, Cape


Newenham. 3/ They were to serve as guides and guards for the main body of
troops, arriving later in the afternoon.

     By evening the ship was fully loaded, and before the sun set she slipped
from her dock down into the bay. Circling the bay a few times, she lay still
until darkness closed in, and then at 1930 hours moved out into Puget Sound and
down to the ocean.


     The voyage from Seattle to Honolulu was made without incident. Aboard the
ship were ground echelons of the 502d and 331st Bomb Groups, a Transportation
Corp unit including roughly 175 colored troops constituting a Duck company , and
a small number of Army casuals.

     Most of the paper work was handled by personnel of the 331st Bomb Group, for
Lt. Colonel George B Mackey, Commanding Officer of the organization, was commander
of troops aboard ship, and his adjutant was drawn from his own group. Colonel
Joyce served as Deputy Commander. Officers drew four hour watches in the various
troop compartments during the time the ship was at sea.

     Orderly rooms functioned during the entire voyage. Squadrons were called on
to detail men for various duties including guards, KP's, assistants to the gun
crews, policing and clean-up details.

     The ship arrived off Oahu on Sunday morning, 22 April and steamed into Pearl
Harbor that afternoon.


     Steaming into the harbor, everyone was excited by the prospect of liberty,
but hopes faded when the boat tied up between two Navy APA's in the middle of the
harbor and no shore leave was forthcoming for three days.

     At last on Wednesday evening, through the persistant efforts of the troopship
commander supported by the CO's of the two groups, permission to issue six-hour passes


on Thursday, 26 April, was granted. Officers were allowed to leave the boat
Wednesday night and all day Thursday.

     On Friday 27 April the Cape Newenham sailed out of Pearl Harbor in a convoy
of five ships with D.E. escort. A large contingent of Navy casuals, including
approximately 25 chief Petty Officers boarded the ship before departure. This
addition of personnel aggravated already crowded conditions on the vessel. On
6 May she reached Eniwetok, where she lay in the bay for about 32 hours. Mail
was put off here and at Honolulu as well.

     On 7 May 1945, the ship departed in convoy of three, again with D.E. escort,
for what turned out to be the final destination of all troops aboard- the island
of Guam. She arrived at Guam harbor 11 May 1945, and the troops debarked 12 May


     Morale of the men dropped steadily after the ship left Pearl Harbor. The
decline became sharper as the days passed. The big break was the incalculable
lift the men derived from their Honolulu pass.

     This problem of morale aboard ship bound for Pacific battlefronts will grow
as more and more troops travel the long run from 'Frisco to Guam and Manilla.
The entire question as it affected this group is being discussed thoroughly here.
Good summaries of the principal gripes of the men are contained in the histor-
ical report of the Group Chaplain, 4/ and the excellent diary submitted by the
411th Squadron, 5/. Here is a brief listing of the gripes heard most often
irrespective of their legitimacy:

     a. There were only two meals plus a sandwich at noon served each day,
whereas officers and merchant crewman received three squares.

     b. There was too much difference between officers and enlisted men's
quarters. This was aggravated by the fact that enlisted men were packed into
the holds, "like cattle," to use their own expression. Both this and the food


situation were aggravated by absurd rumors. Many did not know that all but
sixteen officers slept in quarters just as crowded as those of the men.

     c. The ships stores were not well handled. It was difficult to get mer-
chandise and some items such as candy bars were sold in boxes at the beginning
of the voyage instead of being rationed so as to last the entire trip.

     d. The men felt that they were being pushed around unnecessarily. Frequently
they were ordered on deck to allow cleaning or inspection of holds, and ordered
below decks within a space of fifteen to thirty minutes to allow sweeping of
decks- an event which always evoked sardonic comment.

     The root of these gripes was of course the crowded conditions and also the
lack of any constructive work to do, either in the man's job specialty or toward
improving his living conditions. Contact between officers and enlisted men was
very slight, and there was some feeling that officers, who might have been able
to do something about matters, had reasonably comfortable quarters themselves and
had lost interest in the men. In this connection, straight forward talks from the
Squadron Commanders to the men, telling them what hardships they could expect and
some of the reasons for the situation, were helpful.

     By far the greatest blow to morale was the recurrent cases of dysentery. There
were epidemics on three different occasions, the third time especially severe. To
enlisted men this situation epitomized the lack of care for their welfare and the
unnecessary hardships they had to endure.

     In retrospect the events of the third epidemic are somewhat humorous, and the
diary of the 411th Squadron captured some of the comicalness of the scene. 6/
"This time it was more severe than before. The latrines were very inadequate and
as we were at anchor the men all took to the rail. One man came rushing to the
latrine in a desperate hurry, and with a long line ahead of him, one of the boys
told him the rail had vacancies.


He was seen a few minutes later with his rump over the rail smoking a cigar-
ette in a more or less contented attitude. One of the sailor casuals got in
a hurry and dropping his pants backed up to the rail and backed too far. He
was thrown a line and was hauled back aboard the ship. The colored boys added
to the humor of the situation by walking up and down the deck carrying a roll
of toilet paper, crying "Morning paper, get your toilet paper early."

     Much was done, however, to keep morale high during the voyage. Following
are some of the outstanding contributions:

     a. By far the greatest single factor was the six hour pass to Honolulu.
The chance to stretch their legs and get a beer plus the novelty of a "foreign"
city almost brought the individual enlisted man's morale back to where it was
on leaving Seattle. The efforts of the troop commanders in obtaining this
liberty were of greatest value in a morale sense.

     b. The library and games provided by the ship's chaplain were also ex-
tremely helpful. Card playing and reading were by far the favorite pastimes.

     c. Gun drill and practice of evasive tactics during the voyage assumed
the proportions of a "show" and were thoroughly enjoyed by all passengers
aboard ship.

     d. A single amateur show prepared by the passenger Special Service per-
sonnel was also extremely well received, even though the entertainment was at
best mediocre by any standard. More of these would have helped to keep men's
minds off the hardships they were enduring.

     e. Broadcast of news at 1100 hours was a high spot during the day. No
plans were made for orientation talks regarding background of the news. Talks
of this kind would have done much to ease the long monotony of the voyage.

     f. For the religious-minded, service aboard ship were of great morale value.


     g. Bingo games and special group recreational projects for the evening
aroused much interest

     h. One Squadron I and E Officer drew on the ships compliment and the Naval
Chief Petty Officers for special talks of interest to many of the men. Subjects
of the talks included operations of submarines, operation of torpedoes, tech-
nique of controlling battle damage to ships, naval gunnery. Many questions asked
by those hearing the talks indicated the highest interest in them. For the
gunnery talk, the naval officer in charge explained the guns on the ship demon-
strating operation of some of the parts. Ships personnel were very cooperative
and arranged a tour of the bridge and steering room.

     i. Movies shown in port were very popular, but sound was quite faint.

     j. Music played over the public address system also had its sure fire lift
on morale. It was marred by two factors: (1) Constant interruptions for announce-
ments, often trivial ones that could have waited until conclusion of the music,
and (2) limited periods of time available for music, since ships crew on night
watch were sleeping during the day. Both of these problems could possibly be
solved, the second by disconnecting the loudspeaker close to quarters of men who
were sleeping.

     In addition to the lists of helps and hindrances given above, there are
some additional suggestions for the improvement of the men's morale.

     a. One of the most important deficiencies for this movement was lack of
coordination between the ship's chaplain, who directed Special Service aboard
ship and the Group Special Service personnel. The Group Section had considered
the problem of morale aboard ship, and had even begun to gather material and make
plans for the voyage. But they were thrown off the track when they were told that


Special Services aboard ship was taken care of almost entirely by ship
personnel. Furthermore, even when the problem began to grow serious, the
program by Group Special Services and the cooperation offered ships per-
sonnel were refused in a meeting aboard ship. The result was that the
entire job was left to the ships personnel.

     The ship's Chaplain did a fair job, but his personnel and equipment
were inadequate to do an A-1 job for the number of men aboard. For example,
while the library was good, 300 additional paper backed volumes provided by
the two Red Cross Directors through their Honolulu Office circulated widely
and provided a useful supplement. The Red Cross also provided such deck
games and darts and quoits.

     a. Undoubtedly provision of recreation equipment for the journey by the
Special Service personnel of the moving unit, and close coordination between
them and Transportation Corp personnel at the port and immediately after em-
barkation would be very helpful in making a nasty voyage more pleasant for
the individual soldier.

     b. In the warm weather area, any planned system for permitting some
of the men to sleep on deck at night would be of great value.

     c. Frank talks to the men by their commanders helped greatly to improve
morale. Men endured hardships more willingly in cases where they knew the
reason why they had to do so. Contact between officers and men, especially
between officers of a given squadron and their own men, also helped to build
morale. If officers convince men that they are personally concerned with the
welfare of men during the voyage, it will help greatly to keep morale from


     d. Perhaps most important and most unsolvable is the problem of getting
mail enroute. If special post office personnel or some other means could
possibly be provided for singling out mail for transient troops, letters
might be picked up at principal depot like Pearl Harbor. This is undoubt-
edly asking for egg in your beer, but it would pay maximum dividends in good








     Debarkation from the Cape Newenham was completed by 0930 on 12 May 1945 and
by 1100 hours the two LCT's on which the men were loaded, had discharged the entire
502nd Bomb Group (Ground Echelon) on the shores of Guam. Ample transportation was
waiting and the men entrucked immediately for a long ride up the west coast of the
island to embryonic Northwest Field, which was just beginning to take shape out of
the jungle.

     As the trucks approached the field the road changed from super highway asphalt
to hard surfaced coral to rustic mud. The scenery changed similiarly from well est-
ablished, neatly laid out camps to dense jungles. Some of the men caught a fleeting
glimpse of the wing runway from the road; there was little to see except many trucks,
bulldozers, and coral carriers on an uneven ribbon of ungraded coral heaps. Even so
it was with some surprise and with some misgiving, that the men finally arrived at
their area - a fresh clearing in the jungles with rows of two men tents having nothing
but army cots on dirt floors. There were also temporary latrines and mess halls,
but to quote the Chaplain, "the spirit and attitude of the men was that this was far
better than being aboard ship on which they had been for four weeks." 7/ Tents
were assigned on a basis of two officers or three enlisted men per tent. The men
spent all the first afternoon putting army cots together and making their tents at
least temporarily livable. Even the C ration meals were a welcome novelty and there
were few complaints about them. The real high spot of the day was the evening, where
several sacks of mail were distributed. This was the first mail in almost a month,
and its effect on morale caused men to forget about any incidental hardships they
might be enduring. That night, men who had been complaining about stuffy ship holds


and how, when trying to sleep on the deck had been chased below by guards following
orders, slept soundly in open tents under clear Marianas skies.


     On the second day the job of making a temporary home in the area began in
earnest. Colonel Joyce assigned the following specific projects to each organ-

     a. The 402nd Squadron was to be responsible for procuring materials.

     b. The 411th Squadron was to be responsible for laying out the area, lining
roads and paths with coral and etc.

     c. The 430th Squadron was to be responsible for building a mess hall and
tables, putting up tents for each section, and was to be called on for other special

     d. Special Services and the Chaplains section had major jobs to do and they
worked as sections.

     Early in the first week Colonel Joyce addressed the enlisted men explaining
what had to be done. He gave a brief preview of the general plan to be followed
in accomplishing the job.


     The work progressed rapidly, in fact much faster than most of the Group antic-
ipated. There was a little grumbling from the men about the worthlessness of pick-
ing up stones in one place and moving them to another. But by far most of the men
realized that their area had been well planned, that it was clean, neatly arranged
and compared very favorable with other areas in the Wing. Most of them were proud
of it.

     The following brief diary kept by the historian will give some idea of how
much was accomplished in the first few days.

12 May, first day. Beer was served to men on a basis of one can per man per
day. It has been served six times a week almost without exception since that night.


14 May, third day. Laying out streets and paths by using coral for bordering
was completed. Mess tents erected and fresh bread was served with meals.
First full length feature-movie was shown.

15 May, fourth day. First hot meal served by heating C rations. First
telephones installed.

16 May, fifth day. Detail of men was organized to begin work of clearing the
jungle now covering permanent area assigned this group. Thus almost from the
beginning, work on the permanent area was going on. A bulldozer was obtained
for the day and used to grade parts of temporary area still not leveled, to
clear area for baseball diamond, and to provide sloping area for theater.

17 May, sixth day. First meal of B rations was served.

18 May, seventh day. Rebuilt theater was opened. There had been, however,
no break in showing of movies. Chaplains tent was now up, also officers and
service club tents. The first power was supplied to the chapel, the mess
halls and the day room.

19 May, eighth day. Showers were available for the first time. The first
full dress inspection was held. Officers mess tent was up.

20 May, ninth day. The ceremony described in the introduction of this hist-
ory was held.

     During all the time individual officers and men had been steadily im-
proving the comfort and appearance of their own tents. It was amazing how
much had been accomplished the first week.


     Perhaps the most important problem during this time was a shortage of
water. 8/ During those first few days there was only one large tank for
mess and drinking facilities, and one trailer. Water was virtually rationed
and only a helmetful per man was available for bathing.



With the installation of showers and lyster bags the situation improved, but was
not completely alleviated by the end of the month.

     A second important problem was the lack of important PX supplies, notably
cigarettes, writing paper, and soap. The Red Cross Unit, under the direction of
Charles Moran, filled in here by distributing 1000 packs of cigarettes during the
first two or three days, and 30,000 sheets of stationary through the month. Most
shortages have been temporarily relieved, but there is still a severe shortage of
writing paper.

     It is noteworthy that suggestion lists issued at Grand Island have been of
the greatest value. As a result of these, most men are supplied with personal
toilet items and many individual comforts. This has prevented a heavy demand on
the PX before it had time to move to permanent quarters and begin operating on a
credit basis. The large number of tools brought by individuals has also supplement-
ed the Supply Section tools and was especially valuable during the first three or
four days when these organizational tools were not available.


     At the end of the month the entire Group, from Colonel Joyce down to the lowest
buck private, could sit back and view its accomplishments with pride. Here are some
of the outstanding achievements:

     a. A detail under Lt. Stanley Levin had built a formal square in the center of
the area, bordered with coral and planted with patterned palm shoots. The square was
named Soynara Nippon Square, which translated means, "Good-bye Japan Square." un-
doubtedly derived from a favorite ejaculation of the officer's poker game: "Good-bye
a-- hole."

     b. Relying on the artistic bent of individual members, several sections had
built especially attractive tents, namely the dispensary, Chaplains, Group and Squad-
ron Headquarters tents.


     c. Complete mess tents with seating tables like those used in the States
were up and operating. The area was also beautified.

     d. A baseball diamond, the joint project of this Group and the 331st Group,
was completed. This was the first diamond to be set up in this wing. A volley-
ball court was also constructed.

     e. Pleasant temporary lounging facilities for both officers and enlisted
men were on the way to completion, as construction proceeded on officers and en-
listed mens clubs.

     f. Chapel services for all faiths were regular and were highlighted by a
special Memorial Day service in which Colonel Joyce delivered the sermon.

     g. Individual tents showed the widest variety of homemade improvisation.
There were homemade furniture, wash stands, showers, washing machines and porch
furniture. A favorite stunt was to attach a pup tent to the top of the tent and
extend it out to form a porch canopy. Many tents were floored with either coral
or wood. Many were given special names. Here are examples: Hotel Biltmore,
Banana Hut, Cabana Lak-a-Nooky, Tropical Inn, Bastard Manor and Paradise Lost.

     h. One sixth of the area, about 200,000 feet needed for permanent quarters
was cleared by hand of jungle growth. This was accomplished by an average daily
detail of 100 men, all volunteers, under the direction of Captain Joseph Pimes,
Site Development Officer and 1st Lt. Elmer Siemon, Assistant Site Development

     Unofficially, General Armstrong granted recognition to the work of the Group.
On his first visit to the organization shortly after the end of the month, he comm-
ended the entire area and compared it with those of other Wing units, including
those which had come a month before this Group.


     At the end of the month Colonel Joyce and his staff were about ready to write
" Finis " to the first job, that of building a temporary home. More and more they
were turning attention to the next job, building the permanent area.


     Morale has been good ever since debarkation from the boat. Principal reasons
are good food, regular mail, closer contact between officers and men, and an alert
Special Service organization and regular Chapel services for all faiths.

     Special Services has done an outstanding job. Aside from providing beer and
movies and constructing athletic facilities, they have broadcast good music through
the PA system, distributed news regularly, and moved to set up a Group newspaper.
Final account of their activities are included in their historical report, appended
to this narrative. 9

     Morale is of course not at its peak and will not reach its peak until Group
planes begin to fly over Tokyo and each man feels he is contributing directly to
the job of "keeping em flying."









     Administrative work has been simplified and paper kept to a minimum during
this period. As the Adjutant expressed it on an interview "We've operated almost
completely without paper."

     There have, however, been a few additional important duties assigned since
arrival in the theater as follows: 10/

Provost Marshal              Major Frank T. McCormick Jr.
Site Development Officer              Capt Joseph Pimes
Asst Site Development Officer              1st Lt. Elmer C. Siemon
Water Control Officer              1st Lt. Austin D. Higgins
Claims Officer              1st Lt. Bernard D. Feld, Jr.
Transportation Officer              1st Lt. Arthur W. Duffy
Engineering Officer              1st Lt. Stanley H. Levin
Grievance Officer              1st Lt. Guy F. Magbee
Duty Officer              1st Lt. Donald A. Geiser Jr.

     On 22 May 1st Lt. Edward J. Springer became Group Mess Officer. He replaced
1st Lt. William J. Thuerwachter, who became Asst Mess Officer.

     Most of the Group business is transacted orally in officer calls and meetings
of the Group Commander and his staff. Business with the Wing has likewise been
handled largely through personal contact and telephone.

     On 22 May, however, the Group began disseminating information and policies
through a daily bulletin. Among other things, the first issue announced lifting
of the temporary period of restriction in letter writing and gave out the new APO
number. 11/

     Group Memoranda have also been issued from time to time. A typical one on
Military Courtesy is appended. 12/




     Operations activity is of course at a minimum in the Ground Echelon of any
Group engaged in building its base, but despite this the 502nd Bomb Group was
able to make a direct contribution to the task of putting bombs on Japan.

     At the request of the 314th Wing, six men were dispatched to the Wing on
the 17th of May to link ammunition. Four days later, a detail of ten men under
Lt. M.H. Saunders, Ordnance Officer of the 430th Squadron, was dispatched to
the wing to fuze and load bombs. This detail has given regular assistance of
this kind in preparation for almost every succeeding incendiary raid.

     To provide similar assistance in maintenance, six (6) airplane mechanics
were dispatched to the 3rd Photo Reconaissance Squadron for thirty days detached
service. Seven (7) Lab. Technicians were dispatched to the same organization
for a months service.

     For the rest, operations activity has consisted of setting up S-2, S-3 and
Communications tents and preparation for future operations. S-2 personnel dis-
covered a landfall in incendiary bomb cases which were fitted with shelves, six
to eight inches apart, thus providing almost made to order six foot filing cases
for target charts. By the end of the month, the stacks of maps, photographs and
target charts received from Wing A-2 were almost completely indexed and filed.

     During the month both officer and enlisted personnel of this S-2 section
paid visits to the S-2 sections of Groups in operation. For example, on 23 May
all officers attended the briefing of the 29th Bomb Group and enlisted men attend-
ed the briefing of the 19th Bomb Group for an incendiary raid on Tokyo. 13/


     On 29 and 30 May, S-2 officers attended Wing Orientation classes for incoming
combat crews covering such subjects as History of XXI Bomber Command, Target
Information, Escape and Evasion, Jap Air force, Visual Bombing, and Radar Bomb-
ing. Plans are for these talks to be repeated by Group S-2 officers for incom-
ing combat crews.











     Movement to the theater was in a sense the red-letter day for the supply
activities. Their work was paramount in the Group during this period. The
entire operation of moving the equipment of the tactical Group overseas was
handled smoothly and with little loss of equipment through misplacing, theft
or damage. Problems were relatively few. They are discussed in the follow-
ing account of Supply activities based mainly on an interview with Captain
Ivan H Thomas, Group Supply Officer, and a report from T/Sgt J D Hyman, the
ranking Supply NCO.

     When the warning orders arrived on or about 1 January 1945 alerting the
Group for overseas movement, it was the green light for the Supply section to
swing into action in earnest.

     Under the supervision of Group S-4 all Supply Sections were coordinated
under two sections or teams. Sgt John Shannon was placed in charge of build-
ing the necessary boxes and crates, and T/Sgt Hyman was charged with packing
the Group's entire equipment. Assisting in this work was S/Sgt Maurice Hal-
stead whose former experience in shipping and crating was priceless.

     The 2AF packing team, came in for three days to demonstrate and start the
work and then from then on the unit carried on alone.

     Boxes were packed with equipment authorized showing on each packing list,
and unauthorized but necessary items were crammed into corners whenever poss-
ible. It was in this manner that over two tons of expendable supplies were

     All AAF packing crates after packing were cased in plywood cases, which
were assembled with screws and then banded. Each box was then marked with the
unit code number, box numbers, and coded destinations. The careful job of
crating was of course a major factor in the excellent condition of equipment


on arrival in the theater.

     In a matter of three weeks the combined crews had crated and stacked
more than 175,000 pound of equipment. This figure represents approximately
40% of the entire TO & E allotment. On 24 March 1945 the advanced party
left for Seattle to obtain the remainder of our TO & E allowances. The party
consisted of nine (9) officers and an equal number of enlisted men representing
the various sections. This party was split in two groups, one remaining at
Seattle, and the other proceeding to the Intransit Depot at Tacoma. In a
period of sixteen (16) days these two groups had received, checked and loaded
into ships over ninety (90) tons of equipment including vehicles. Failure to
obtain a duplicate shipping ticket on every item was one of the difficulties
encountered at the Port. On the whole, however, it was considered that work
at the port was accomplished very smoothly. Operations were temporarily
halted after loading and each man rejoined his unit for regular assignments.

     Aboard ship, duties were necessarily light, and the section took it
easy until debarkation at Guam. Captain Ivan H Thomas had preceded the unit
by ten (10) days, in order to prepare the area for the Group. The area had
been partially cleared by bulldozers, and Captain Thomas drew on the 16th
Bomb Group for details to set up tents, latrines, and a temporary mess hall,
and start construction of a shower system. Once the Group was temporarily
encamped and a supply tent was erected, the unloading of equipment was begun,
and at the time of writing was still in progress. The unloading and movement
of equipment from the harbor to Northwest Field became a speedy, though complex
process. Equipment was lowered into LCT's, shuttled to the beach, and then
transported to the dump for sorting. After sorting, it was again transported
by truck to the Group area. Vehicles were moved from the dock to the dump
under their own power, the driver having filled out duplicate receipts,
one to be left at the dock,


and the other to be turned in at the dump. Some drivers arrived with the
wrong slip, some with none at all, as a result an accurate inventory of the
vehicles cannot be made at this time. TAT equipment was trucked directly to
the Group, while OEL equipment was sent to the 315 Wing dump.

     Virtually all the boxes and crates withstood the pounding of the trip as
expected and arrived in good condition. Some boxes that fell into the water
remained afloat and were recovered without damage to their condition or to
the contents. After the unloading had been virtually completed, a rough tab-
ulation showed fifty (50) boxes to be missing, and several boxes showed signs
of being opened and rifled. Armed guards were placed aboard ship, on the LCT's
and at the dumps ashore, the thefts ceased immediately. Further check-ups
have recovered twenty (20) of the boxes, and an attempt to "Moonlight Requis-
ition" the drafting equipment from this organization failed. Among the missing
equipment were alarm clocks, cots, and personal items from the officers foot

     One of the problems faced by the section immediately after construction
of the area started was the difficulty of singling out the tools in the maze
of crates. Housekeeping supplies were also difficult to find, and the section
recommends that in the future such items be packed so that they may be avail-
able immediately upon arrival. Items which were conveniently handy were field
ranges and tents. Another problem is storage space. A shortage became appar-
ent when increasing amounts of TAT equipment and vehicles began moving to the
Group area.

     No accurate estimate can be made as to how equipment provided meets field
requirements until the remainder of the ships are unloaded. There are no appar-
ent lacks at the present time.


As soon as it became practical, all the squadron Supply Sections were consol-
idated into one General Supply Section under 1st Lt. Wm A Auxier and 2nd Lt.
Fred C Grobee as assistant. A consolidated Tech Supply is in process of being
set up, in charge will be 1st Lt. Wiley R Livingston.

     To date the Supply personnel has done a big job quickly, adequately, and
with high morale. However, there remains much to be done, and many obstacles
to overcome before the Group is fully prepared for operation.











     The Ground Echelon of the 502nd Bombardment Group departed AAF, Grand
Island, Nebraska aboard two trains on 7 April 1945. One Medical Officer and
two enlisted men aboard each train provided medical service while enroute.

     The organization arrived at Fort Lawton Staging Area 10 April 1945. No
serious illnesses of injuries occurred while enroute. Nutrition of the troops
was excellent.

     A small dispensary was set up for sick call in one end of a barracks.
Personnel were inspected for final shortages of clothing and equipment. The
medical processing was very superficial. However, there was no medical defic-

     The Group departed Fort Lawton Staging Area for the Seattle Port of Em-
barkation and embarked on USAT Cape Newenham 15 April 1945. Captain H Joseph
Noerling, O473918, MC, Acting Group Surgeon, Captain Isadore Dyer, O312884, MC,
Captain Gisle W Newgard, O530463, DC and WOJG Donald H Motzko, W-2112718 plus
twenty-four (24) enlisted men comprised the Medical Section of the Group.

     Quarters aboard the ship were adequate but crowded. Mess facilities
were crowded. One acute epidemic of diarrhea of about 14 hours duration occ-
urred due to faulty preparation of turkey. Nutrition of the troops was also
considered adequate.

     This organization disembarked at APO 246 12 May 1945 and occupied a clear-
ing in the jungle about three-quarters of a mile north of the airstrip designated
as Northwest Field.


     Personnel were quartered in three-man tents which were considered to be
adequate. Urinals and screened latrines had been constructed prior to the
arrival in this area.

     "C" rations were served for the first five days and proved most adequate
particularly when heated. Subsequently field ranges were installed and "B"
rations were served. Nutrition of the troops has been excellent.

     The general sanitation of the area is good. Except from a nuisance stand-
point the insect situation has been insignificant. 14/









1/    SO # l, Hq., (Ground Echelon) 592nd Bomb Group, AAFld., Grand Island,
      Nebraska, dtd 28 March 1945.

2/    Squadron Diary, 402nd Bomb Squadron, 7 April thru 31 May 1945.

3/    Par. 10, SO # 84, Fort Lawton Staging Area, Fort Lawton, Washington, dtd
      7 April 1945

4/    Historical Report, Office of the Chaplain, 502nd Bomb Group, 14 April
      thru 31 May 1945.

5/    Squadron Diary, 411th Bomb Squadron, 5 April thru 31 May 1945.

6/    Same as Document No. 5

7/    Same as Document No. 4

8/    Squadron Diary, 430th Bomb Squadron, 12 May thru 31 May 1945.

9/    Historical Report, Office of the Special Services Officer, 12 May thru
      31 May 1945.

10/   Par. 2 and 4, SO # 4, Hqs., (Ground Echelon) 502nd Bomb Group, APO 18615,
      PM, San Francisco, Calif., dtd 18 May 1945.

10/1   Par. 1, SO # 5, Hqs., (Ground Echelon) 502nd Bomb Group, APO 18615, PM,
       San Francisco, Calif., dtd 20 May 1945.

10/2   Par. 1, 2, 3, SO # 6, Hqs., 502nd Bomb Group, APO 246, Unit 3, PM, San
       Francisco, California, dtd 22 May 1945.

11/   Daily Bulletin, Number 1, 502nd Bomb Group, dtd 22 May 1945

12/   Memorandum, To: All Personnel, Subj: "No Saluting In Campaign," Hqs.,
      502nd Bomb group, dtd 24 May 1945.

13/   Section Diary, Intelligence Officer, 502nd Bomb Group, 12 May thru 31
      May 1945.

14/   Monthly Sanitary Report, Office of the Flight Surgeon, 502nd Bomb Group,
      12 May thru 31 May 1945.

               :                      ARMY AIR FIELD GRAND ISLAND NEBRASKA
NUMBER.......1 )                                 28 MARCH 1945

    1. The fol duty asgmts are announced:

Deputy CO      Maj Albert D Cummings O356017 AC
Adj and Pers Off      Capt Bartholomew M Stevens O1549117 Ord
Ass adj and Asst Pers Off      1st Lt Arthur M Samson O682903 AC
Security and Censorship Off      1st Lt Guy F Magbee O572481 AC
Training Off      1st Lt John M McMeans O672148 AC
PT Off      2d Lt James J Bradley O584251 AC
Supply Off      1st Lt Ivan H Thomas O560403
Medical Off      Capt H Joseph Noerling O473918 MC
Mess Off      1st Lt William J Thuerwachter O585861 AC
Provist Marshal      2d Lt Stanley H Levin O866567 AC
CO Hq Det      Capt Joseph Pimes O456056 AC
Dental Off      Capt Gisle W Newgard O5330463 DC

Troop Train #1
Train Comdr                Capt Clark Owen O563972 AC
Train Mess Off                1st Lt Edward J Springer O579326 AC
Train Medical Off                Capt H Joseph Noerling O473918 MC
Train QM                2d Lt Leland B Doyle O587136 AC

Troop Train #2
Train Comdr                Maj Frank T McCormich Jr O903708 AC
Train Mess Off                1st Lt William J Thuerwachter O585861 AC
Train Meidcal Off                Capt Isadore Dyer O312884 MC
Train QM                2d Lt William W Auxier O588923 AC

      O not asgd to a specific dy by this order will be subj to dy asgmt by the
respective Train Comdrs.
      All O in Ground Echelon will familiarize themselves with the applicable pro-
visions of POM, 2d Edition, 2AF POM, 14 Oct 1944 and AAF Seattle Port of Embark-
ation Information and Instruction, 1944 as Revised 25 July 1944.



                                    BARTHOLOMEW M. STEVENS,
                                    Captain, Ordnance,


      Captain, Ordnance,



7 April 1945 thru 31 May 1945

     Entire orgn, 5 Officers and 202 Enlisted Men, the Ground Echelon of the
402d Bombardment Squadron, 502d Bombardment Group along with the necessary
administrative records and overseas equipment, having processed the prior week
departed Grand Island Army Air Field via rail for a Port of Embarkation. The
following morning after departing Grand Island Army Air Field, Grand Island,
Nebraska, the orderly room personnel set up a squadron orderly room aboard the
troop train. The sick report and morning report were accomplished in the usual

     9 April 1945 at 2330 the organization arrived at Fort Lawton Staging Area,
Seattle Washington, and immediately the squadron orderly room was again set up
and the usual daily duties attained. After final processing all personnel were
authorized six hour passes and it was the duty of the orderly room personnel to
type and distribute these passes. The final processing consisted mainly of
receiving the necessary clothing and equipment, lectures on personal affairs,
and the abandon ship drill.

     14 April 1945 the entire organization, everyone present, departed Fort Lawton in truck convoy for the Seattle Port of Embarkation at Seattle Washington.
In single file the organization embarked the Army Troop Transport Cape Newenham.
Number four hold was to be the home for this organization during the entire
voyage, and the orderly room was set up in a convienient place within the holds.
Even on board ship men had to be fed which meant K.P.'s for the mess hall; men
would become ill, which meant remarks for the sick report and morning report.
Once every two days the entire ship went through the "Air Attack", "Submarine
Attack" and the "Abandon Ship" drills. Along with these duties the orderly
room personnel were given the job of taking orders from the men to purchase
supplies from the ship's store. A list of the supplies available at the ship's
store was posted and the men placed their orders between the hours of one and
three in the afternoon. These supplies were received and given out the follow-
ing morning.

     22 April 1945 the organization arrived at the Hawiian Islands and the ship
pulled into Pearl Harbor where she was tied up for four days awaiting her turn
to be refueled. When it was time to refuel, she tied up at pier 14 directly
opposite famed Hickam Field. The rumor was going around that all personnel would
receive six hour passes. The rumor originated from a good source and therefore
was no longer a rumor, but a job for the orderly room personnel who went to work
and made up six hour passes for each officer and enlisted man. The passes were
issued on the 26 April 1945 which entitled the men to visit Honolulu, Waikiki Beach,
or anyplace on the Island one wanted to visit.

     27 April 1945 the orgn was on board ship and ready to move; the Cape Newen-
ham moved out to sea at 1400 steaming westward, bound for LIRP the overseas des-

     1 May 1945 the Cape Newenham crossed the International Date Line and auto-
matically the following day became the 3 May 1945. On the 6 May 1945 she pulled
in the bay at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands. After spending a day tied up
in the bay, we pulled out and headed for LIRP, then on the 11 May 1945 we arrived


at Guam, the largest Island of the Marianas. It was at this time we received the
good news we were to debark the Cape Newenham with all equipment.

     12 May 1945 the voyage was completed except for the short ride in a landing
craft to shore. A truck convoy was ashore to take us to our area. After a long
and rough ride through the jungle we spotted a tent area. It was our new home.

     The field desk, typewriter and records were removed from the truck and the
orderly room was again in operation within a few minutes. Roll calls and details
immediately followed, the area had to be policed and cleaned up. "C" rations
comprised the three main meals, but not for long; crates and boxes were coming
in from the supply ship continuously with the field stoves, pots, pans, etc., and
we were soon eating hot meals again.

     The orderly room personnel had the job of building their own desks, tables
and chairs whenever not too busy with their regular duties. The payroll was
compiled and the organization was paid off. The mail was in and every man
received at least one; and some received as many as fifty letters. Bulletin
boards had to be set up, and signs had to be painted. Reveille is blown at
0515 and roll called at 0530. Details are formed for hauling rock
and lumber, driving vehicles, carpentry work and clearing the jungle. Everyone
pitched in and the job is very well accomplished up to this, the 31st day of
May 1945.

Office of the Chaplain
APO 246, Unit 3 c/o PM
San Francisco, California

SUBJECT: Historical Report

TO: Unit Historical Officer, 502d Bombardment Group.

     The report begins on April 14, when our group left the
Port of Seattle for an unknown destination. The attitude and
morale of the men was exceedingly good, with the high expec-
tation of getting going to a new destination.

     The boat trip was for some fair; for others exceedingly
uncomfortable. Most complaints received were those connected
with mess. One of the chief complaints resided around the
fact that only two meals were being served to the enlisted men
per day, only a sandwich being given to them at noontime, while
the officers and ship's compliment had three square meals a
day. Although regulations so stated, that two meals a day would
be given to the enlisted men, they complained as to the unfair-
ness of it.

     Another complaint was that a great distinction was made
between the place of the officer and of the enlisted man, but
I believe this was a forced issue, brought about by the uncom-
fortable and crowded conditions that were the enlisted man's,
compared to the officer's conditions. It was thoroughly agreed
by all that the conditions were not at all uncomfortable or any-
where near it. The enlisted men were crowded together as
some put it, "like cattle."

     Another complaint was that of the ship's PX. The nonavaila-
bility of materials, cigarettes, candy, and cookies, the incon-
venience of getting them, and the sloppy way that it was run.
For instance: Candy was sold by the box in the beginning of the
trip, while the last week candy was unavailable because there
was not a sufficient amount.

     Facilities for recreational purposes and the running of
programs was very poor. Hours at a time, the men just sat
around doing nothing but griping and causing themselves further


Historical Report (Continued).

     There were several unhappy situations aboard-ship, such
as the time the ship, with all the troops, was confined
to the harbor at Pearl Harbor, for five days. That was one
of the most disheartening parts of the journey. That all of
the men should have to stay aboard while shore was but a few
hundred yards away brought the morale very, very low. However,
this was boosted a bit when through the endeavors of the troop
commanding officer, arrangements were made so that the men
were allowed a six-hour pass ashore.

     This group's chaplain worked with the ship's chaplain on
the religious aspect. Services were held every evening and
twice on Sunday. Also the Group Chaplain was commentator of
the news each noon hour, the news broadcast being eagerly
sought by the men on the ship.

     As to the general conditions of the entire trip, they were
poor. Another unhappy incident was the occurance of the "G.I.'s".
This was also a blockbuster for morale, although in this several
of the unhappy incidents were rather humorous.

     Arriving at Guam, all were surprised to find that this was
our final destination and that we would debark. Coming to our
camp found nothing but a few tents to house the men in the middle
of a jungle. However, the spirit and attitude of the men was
that this was far better than being aboard the ship on which
they had been for thirty days. They immediately went to work to
fix up their quarters with all their ingenuity and genius and
have made a fine showing. Many of the boys are griping the
necessity of picking up rocks, putting them in one place;
then picking them up again and putting them in another - - of
bringing in small foliage, planting it for decorations as a
waste of time in the area they now occupy is but a tempor-
ary camp. However, it is my belief that it has not hurt them.
It has made our camp more livable and it has kept them busy and
their minds occupied.

     Morale of the men is fair at the present time, which may be
due to the fact that the men are not doing the work that they came
here to do, since the Air Echelon has not arrived as yet. Mess
facilities are fine for both officers and enlisted men, motion
pictures have been shown practically every night, for the enter-
tainment of the men, religious functions are open every night for
the men, plus Sunday services as well. Religious services have
been well attended.



April 5th      Preparation being made to depart by train to the Overseas POE.
Major Albert D. Cummings (Sq Ex Off), departed on TDY to Seattle Wash
as Advanced representative and Billeting Officer, Duration indefinite.
Departed GIAAFld at 1030.

     Organization Hq was transferred to SEPE Seattle, Wash effective
at 0001, per authority of AF 2AF Letter File 370.5S dated 29 January
1945. 4 officers and 200 EM departed by train from Grand Island Neb-
raska at 2210. Distance traveled: 79 miles. Distance traveled on the
8th: 858 miles. Distance traveled on the 9th: 726 miles. Distance
traveled on 10th: 258 miles.

9th      Unit arrived at Seattle at 1015. Unit was immediately loaded on
trucks and transported to the Fort Lawton staging area. All personnel
tuned in their weapons to the storage room and then were assigned to
barracks. The unit was immediately taken in charge by the Staging area
personnel and processing was started and continued until completed on
the 12th. Passes into Seattle were given to 50% of the personnel on
the 11th and to 50% on the 12th. All men returned on time. Many were
disappointed in the town due to the limited time allowed, to the lack
of suitable entertainment facilities, poor transportation facilities,
and the poor food and the extremely high prices asked for meals. Mer-
chandise prices were very high and quality was low, in other word it
had a "Coney Island" tinge.

     The men were saddened by the death of the President on the 12th.

14th      Pfc Willaim Fenel, a 650, was transferred to 9223 TSUTC, Ft Lawton
Wash, per par 1 SO 90 Hq Ft Lawton, due to being in the hospital and
unable to accompany the unit overseas at this time. Unit departed Fort
Lawton per par 10, SO 84, FLSA Fort Lawton Wash dated 14 April 1945, for
the Port of Embarkation at 1400. We boarded our ship, the USS Cape Newen-
ham, and embarked from Pier 39 Seattle Wash at 1930 for our overseas
destination, which at that time was "Lirp". There was the usual process
of getting settled in the hold, getting to chow, and lining the rail
watching the shore line pass from view. There were also a lot of the
men who succumbed to the bane of all dry land sailors, sea sickness!
Details, guard posts, KP, and dock details instructions, rules and regu-
lations, abandon boat drills, fire drills, all followed each other in a
maze of confusion for many.

     Many were the petty gripes of the enlisted men concerning the
treatment they were receiving, the food they were eating, the "palatial"
rooms the officers were assigned to, the "better: food that the officers
were eating, that officers were being treated like kings while the EM
were crammed like sardines in the holds. Gripes were many, due to the
fact that the loud speaker was, so it seemed to them, always telling
them to clear the deck to go below, and when they were below, to clear
the hold and go top-side. It was only human nature that a lot of men
wanted to stay on deck and when they had to go below they were griped,
and a lot of men like to stay below and sleep and read, (which some of
them would have done the whole trip if they had not been made to leave
the hold when it was being cleaned each day for the inspection), and
to the fact that the hold was so hot after we got into tropical waters.




     As to the treatment the men were receiving, it was not any differ-
ent to that received on any normal army transport, and was the result
of human nature again, for if there had been no control and no discip-
line the men would have been all over the boat in the way and making
nuisances of themselves. As to the food given to the men it was as
good, if not a little better than that received on most converted
transports. The ship had the facilities to cook it properly and there
were metal trays to eat from. However they did serve several meals
that the men did not like, but they receive the same type of meals in
regular garrison rations. There were several meals in which something
definitely was wrong with the food or with the matter of serving it,
for there was three different seiges of Disintery on the boat. As to
the officers being in better quarters than the EM, it is always cus-
tomary to assign officers to "so called staterooms" containing from
four to sixteen officers, and they were far from being palatial pal-
aces. The food that the officers received was practically the same
that the enlisted men received, the only difference being that it was
served to the officers on plates and at tables. There were three dif-
ferent types of meals served on the boat; Merchant marine, Army Officers,
and Troop mess, with the first named serving best meals and so on down
in the order given. As to the officers being treated like kings, they were
subjected to the same rules and regulations that enlisted men were, and
also had details to pull. As to the fact that EM were quartered in the
hold in such crowded conditions were not a result of the wishes of the
officers but of the policy of war department, governing the number of
men to ride troop class. Troop class conditions were much better on
the Cape Newenham than those prevailing on most transports. As to the
men going from top side to the hold and vice versa, there was reason
for it, which was not evident to a lot of the men. They could not see
the reason why they had to clear the hold when it was being cleaned each
morning; they could not see why they had to clear the deck or top-side
when the garbage detail was trying to clear the deck; they could not see
the sense in fire drills, boat drills, air attack drills of abandon boat
drill, which resulted in the "Big Wheels" being the subject of a lot
of gripes "that I wish to hell they could make up their minds as to
where they want us, in the hold or on the deck." The close confinement
from the 14th until the 25th resulted in short tempers and quick words
between everyone but no serious trouble resulted.

22d      The Cape Newenham arrived at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu at 1700, and
anchored therein. The ship was docked on the morning of the 25th and
at 1630 it was announced that officers could leave the ship for pass
into Honolulu. Passes were made out for all enlisted men to go on
pass in Honolulu on the 26th. It was a welcome relief for all the men
to get off the boat and stretch their legs and to be able to write home
of the novel experience of going ashore in Honolulu. The men who were
fortunate enough to get to Waikiki Beach enjoyed themselves, but those
that merely remained in the main part of down town Honolulu were disap-
pointed with the town for the simple reason that it was like Seattle,
prices were high, and most of the shops had the "Coney Island" tinge
again, and were obviously out to get what they could from the transient
trade. However, morale was a thousand percent improved just due to the
fact that they were able to get off the boat in Honolulu.




27th      The Cape Newenham departed from Pearl Harbor for our overseas
destination at 1300. We all returned to the routine of ship life
with the added diversion of getting two seiges of disintary. Of-
ficers and Enlisted men all suffered from it and many were the amusing
incidents that resulted, although they were not amusing to those con-
cerned at the time. There were a number of cases of men desiring to
pass a little wind and were thereby forced to do a little laundry.
Many of the men, thinking they alone were affected, sauntered down to
the latrine and were met with a waiting line. Many of the boys could
not wait in line and had several "accidents."

May 1st      The Cape Newenham crossed the International Date Line at 1759 and
as a result Monday, May 2d was only six hours and one minute long. We
arrived at Eniwetok at 0730 and lay at anchor until 1330 on the 7th
when we sailed for a new destination. On the morning of the 7th we had
another seige of disintary. This time it was more severe than before.
The latrines were very inadequate and as we were at anchor the men all
took to the rail. One man came rushing to the latrine in a desperate
hurry, and with a long line ahead of him, one of the boys told him the
rail had vacancies. He was seen a few minutes later with his rump over
the rail and smoking a cigarette in a more or less contented attitude.
One of the sailor casuals got in a hurry and dropping his pants backed
up to the rail and backed too far. He was thrown a line and was hauled
back aboard the ship The colored boys added to the humor of the situ-
ation by walking up and down the deck carrying a roll of toilet paper
saying "Morning paper, get your toilet paper early."

11th      We arrived at the Island of Guam in the Mariana Islands at 0830
and dropped anchor in the harbor. Late that evening we learned that
this was to be our new home and that we were here to stay. This ended
all rumors as to where we were possibly going.

12th      The entire ground echelon of the 502d debarked from the ship on to
barges at 0930 and were taken to shore. We then were entrucked at 1130
and headed overland to our new home. Enroute we saw many of the things
that we had read about in the papers when they were taking this island
from the Japs, such as the destroyed town of Agana. After traveling
for two hours we arrived at our new home at 1330. It consisted of a
clearing in the jungle, about 250 small wall tents, six latrines, one
mess hall, and four hospital tents. Three enlisted men were assigned
to a tent and two officers per tent. Each Squadron was given a hos-
pital tent for its orderly room. The mess hall consisted only of a
building with a rough coral floor. Chow consisted of cold "C" rations
for four days and then the cans were heated which made them much more
appetizing. Sunday 13 May was used as a day to get the tents arranged
and each man to get settled.

14th      On the 14th the Group Commander, Lt Col Joyce, assigned each
squadron certain duties to be accomplished. The 411th drew the detail
to straighten up and arrange the whole camp area. This work was started
immediately and consisted of moving two rows of tents in order to provide
a corridor so men would not knock tents down trying to go from one side
to the other. The entire camp was policed, and all trash and rocks re-




moved, walk ways and roads were outlined with coral rocks, Bulletin
boards were built for all squadrons and put up. GI cans were placed
for trash and smaller cans placed in tents to put trash in.

17th      Several men were sent to the hospital with high fevers, including
Major Cummings, they were not serious but incapacitated the men for work.
Lt Floyd D. Gleckler continued with the squadron duties until return of
Major Cummings on the 24th. During this time a report was required,
within THREE HOURS, as to the status of each man to determine his pos-
ition as to the point system for possible discharge. Due to the limited
time given to complete this detail, the report, there were a lot of mis-
takes made and a corrected report is to be made. Details for various
duties, such as boat unloading; dock loading detail (the ordnance section)
a jungle detail to clear out our permanent camp site; Warehouse detail,
numerous camp details for the comforts of the personnel. The Wing Hq
required a large number of men for details and they had first priority
on all details.

20th      Payrolls were made and the Enlisted Men were paid for the month
of April on the 20th of May. The usual quick change of money resulted
in poker games started on various bunks wherever a bunch of gambling
men happened to gather and lay their money down. Everything returned
to normal as soon as the gambling died down. All details continued
until the end of the month.

     The morale of practically all the men has been excellent. Although
a few of them do not like foreign service they have pitched in and ac-
complished the duties assigned to them. The majority of the men like
the outdoor life and have few gripes. All details have indicated the
men who can be depended upon and those who "sluff" off on their duties.
This gives a good indication of those men whom it is desired to reduce
and those men who are worthy of promotion.

31st      Pay Day.


                                    ALBERT D. CUMMINGS
                                    Major, AC

More to come

Editorial Notes:

Several photos are included in the history, but have not yet been reproduced for inclusion on this web page.

There also exists several pages of substantiating data, that have yet to be transcribed. This data consists of special orders, memorandum, report forms and copies of TWX messages. This will take a long time to transcribe and I wanted to focus on transcription of the unit history first. Hopefully, my fingers will be able to stand this.

Webpage by Larry Miller

November 9, 2006