N A R R A T I V E   H I S T O R Y

of the

5 0 2 N D   B O M B   G R O U P   ( V H )

(July 1944 Installment)

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

  I N D E X

 
Organization - -- -- -- - Page 1
Personnel - -- -- -- - Page 1
Supply - -- -- -- - Page 2
Training - -- -- -- - Page 3
Facilities - -- -- -- - Page 4
Morale - -- -- -- - Page 5
Photographs - -- -- -- - Page 6-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Organization

      The 502nd Bomb Group (VH) was activated at Davis Monthan
Field, Tucson, Arizona, 1 June 1944 per General Order 68 dated
31 May 1944; Headquarters 2nd Air Force.

      The subordinate units of the Group consist of the 402nd
Bomb Squadron, 411th Bomb Squadron, 430th Bomb Squadron and the
29th Photo Lab, Bomb Group, all Very Heavy, and all activated
under the above mentioned General Order.

      The Group was ordered to Dalhart Army Air Base, Dalhart,
Texas, without troops, per 2nd Air Force Letter 370.5 G dated
5 June 1944(1). Until this time all personnel already on the
base were assigned to the Base Section A pending arrival of the
organization, and transferred to the 502nd Bomb Group (VH) per
Special Order 190, paragraph 2, Headquarters Dalhart Army Air
Field, Dalhart, Texas, dated 9 July 1944. (2)

      Lt. Col. E.R. Farley assumed command of the Group per
Genral Order 1, Headuarters 502nd Bomb Group (VH), Dalhart,
Texas, dated 9 July 1944. (3)

      First Special Orders issued by the Group were cut 10
July 1944. (4)

      The enlisted personnel present were assigned to Squadrons
per Special Order 2, Paragraph 2, Headquarters 502nd Bomb Group
(VH), Dalhart, Texas, 11 July 1944 (5) under temporary Squadron
Commanders while awaiting the assignment of the permanent CO's.

PERSONNEL

      Upon arrival and initial organization at Dalhart, Texas,
the first Morning Report submitted 9 July 1944 showed 11

-1-


Officers and 82 Enlisted Men.

      The end of the reporting month, 31 July 1944, the Morn-
ing Report showed 35 Officers and 402 Enlisted Men, although
the actual count for duty was 23 Officers and 349 Enlisted
Men. The difference being due to Leaves, Furloughs and De-
tached Service.

      The Group has at present 10.7 percent of its authorized
Officers and 4.2 percent of the authorized enlisted personnel.

      The most noticeable shorage of personnel is within the
clerical classifications of enlisted men. With the large a-
mount of paper work required in a newly activated Group this
clerical deficiency is very apparent. However; by temporar-
ily employing all enlisted men with knowledge of office rou-
tine, the efficiency and quality of administrative work had
been very high.

Supply

      Upon arrival at this station office equipment and sup-
plies needed for administration were very scarce and unob-
tainable within normal time. As the 502nd Supply Officer sta-
ted, the difficulty was not with the supply facilities them-
selves, but rather with their lack of information as to the
reporting date, numbers, and types of organizaiton to be
set up on this Field. Desks, filinig cabinets and typewri-
ters were finally obtained when other Very Heavy Groups moved
off the field. However; until their departure the shoratge
was acute. In order to meet inspection standards Army Regula-

-2-

tion binders are needed badly. They are now on requisi-
tion from Air Corps Supply. S-2 materials were obtained
for training and Orientation from the Alamogordo Air Base.

Training

      Upon arrival into the Group all men are screened for
any deficiencies in requirements as set up in AAF Letter
50-18, regarding Minimum Military Training Requirements for
AAF Enlisted Personnel. When enough deficiencies in any
one subject are uncovered to warrant scheduling a class it is
done so at once, and when completed the men are given credit
for same in their permanent records as directed by the above
mentioned AAF Letter 50-18.

      The main handicap to the present ground training prog-
ram is the shortage of EM available for training, in that
those on duty are very fully occupied with administrative de-
tails. This condition will automatically clear up when more
of the Group personnel appear for duty.

      The Dalhart Base Ground School facilities are being u-
tilized for all of the training except Articles of War, Med-
ical Lectures, Orientation and Physical Training, which are
in turn handled by the Group's own qualified personnel.

      The man hours of training supervised and completed by
the 502nd Bomb Group Training Department follows:

-3-

SUBJECT          MAN HOURS COMPLETED

Close Order Drill       1862
Art. of War        327
Phys Tng       1726
Safeguarding Mil Inform        446
Mil Discipline        156
A/C Recogn       1082
Chem Warfare        297
Clothing & Eqmt        247
Orientation        203
Med Lect        293
Org of Army        149

Facilities

      The existing facilities for training are considered
inadequate by this Group. Classrooms of the Base Ground
School are entirely too few, even with the limited number
of Groups here and with the limited personnel in each Group
at this stage of training. By the time the Group reaches
strength classes will be entirely out of proportion to avail-
able classrooms. During these hot summer months the venti-
lation in the class rooms is abominable, making it practical-
ly impossible to keep the men comfortable and thereby atten-
tive. Base Ground School authorities are aware of this com-
dition and claim to be taking steps to improve the deficien-
cy

      Barracks for the EM are considered adequate except for
shelves and clothing racks. These items are being built in-
to the barracks by the Group carpenters under supervision of
the Squadron Commanders. Barracks are available for future
expansion.

-4-

Morale

      The morale of this Group is extremely high. Lt. Col.
Farley, Group Commander, outlined the policy of the Group in
a meeting with the first Officers assigned, stating that from
the background of his experience with other units that this
Group would concentrate on continuous and intense training
fundamentals. "By this means," he further said, "are devel-
oped a high unit cohesion, high unit morale, and soldiers
trained to take care of themselves and their equipment under
combat conditions." This policy, we feel, is entirely respon-
sible for the Groups state of morale in that the men have lit-
tle time for idle thought which is a primary factor in unit
dissatisfaction.

      Softball teams have been organized for recreation and
the stimulation of Squadron and Group spirit. The teams at
this writing have yet to lose a game thereby giving the Group
a lions share of publicity amongst the other Groups on this
field.

      A fully equipped day room is available for the enlisted
men to complete with pool tables, table tennis, reading material,
radio, divans and coke machines.

      Planned and supervised outings for the enlisted men
have been arranged for coming off duty periods to futher
carry out the Group Commander's policy of fully occupying
the men's time.

-5-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      The first personnel of the 502nd BOMBARDMENT

GROUP (VH) is shown in the following pictures. The

titles shown are those that the men held at that

time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-6-

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 transcibe and I wanted to focus on transcription of the unit history first. Hopefully, my fingers will be able to stand this.


Content 2005, Larry Miller

October 25, 2005