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 )

(August 1944 Installment)








Organization      Page 1
Personnel           1
Academic Training           2
Field Training           4
Maintenance           7
Reviews           7
Morale           7
Medical           8
Field Orders-402nd Squadron          10
Field Orders-411th Squadron          11
Field Orders-430th Squadron          12
Photographs          13








      Organizational status of the 502nd Bomb Group (VH)
remains the same as reported in the initial Unit History Re-
port for July 1944. The subordinate units included in the
Group follow:

           402nd Bomb Squadron (VH)
           411th Bomb Squadron (VH)
           430th Bomb Squadron (VH)
           29th Photo Lab, Bomb Group (VH)

      No changes in subordinate units have taken place and
the Group's location remains at Dalhart Army Air Field, Dal-
hart, Texas.

      The Mission of the Group remains OTU for Very Heavy


      The end of the reporting month found the Group with
87 Officers and 604 Enlisted Men. This gives the Group 26.2
percent of the authorized Officers and 25.6 percent of the
authorized enlisted strength. However, at this time only 72
Officers and 393 Enlisted Men were present for duty, the bal-
ance being on furloughs, leaves, DS, etc.

      The 1st of August 1944, Lt Col Robert C. McBride assumed
command of the Group, succeeding Lt Col E.R. Farley, present
Executive Officer. Col McBride assumed command per General
Order 2, Headquarters 502nd Bomb Group (VH), Dalhart, Texas,
dated 1 August 1944. (See Exhibit 1, in Supporting Documents

      On the 15th of August 1944 Col Kenneth O. Sanborn was
assigned to the Group per Special Order 222, Headquarters


Second Air Force, Colorado Springs, Colorado, dated 12 August
1944. col Sanborn will join the Group at AAFTAC, Orlando,
Florida after a delay in route. (See Exhibit 2)

      Lt Col Frank W. Iseman, Jr., was assigned duties as Group
Operations Officer, 7 August 1944 per Special Order 25, Head-
quarters 502nd Bomb Group (VH), Dalhart, Texas of the same
date. (See Exhibit 3)

      Key personnel of the Group, with duties and positions
held at this time of writing, follow:

      McBride, Robert C.      Lt Col      Group Commander
      Farley, Estley R.      Lt Col      Executive Officer
      Cram, Edwin S.      Captain      Group Adjutant, S-1
      Cohen, Harold A.      Captain      Statistical (Group)
      Greenleaf, Abbot H.      Captain      S-2
      Iseman, Frank W. Jr.      Lt Col      S-3
      Bicknell, Guthrie      Captain      S-4
      Welch, John J.      Major      Group Flight Surgeon
      Cummings, William H.      Major      CO, 402nd Sq
      Neibur, Clarence H.      Captain      Exec. O., 402nd Sq
      Barnthal, Carl E.      1st Lt      Adjutant, 402nd Sq
      Boyd, Frank E.      Captain      CO, 411th Sq
      Barter, William J.      Captain      Exec. O., 411th Sq
      Gleckler, Floyd D.      1st Lt      Adjutant, 411th Sq
      Booth, Robert E.      Major      CO, 430th Sq
      Cummings, Albert D.      Major      Exec. O., 430 Sq
      Miner, James D.      1st Lt      Adjutant, 430th Sq
      McHugh, John J.      2nd Lt      CO, 29th Photo Sq


      This Group is striving to get all basic training com-
pleted at this Field before the movement is made by the ad-
vance echelons to Grand Island, Nebreaska, and the Air Ech-
elon to AAFTAC, Orlando, Florida.

      The requirements set up in AAF Letter 50-18, titled
"Minimum Military Training Requirements for AAF Enlisted Per-
sonnel for Assignment Overseas" are being complied with.

      The man hours of training completed for the Period


from 1st of August to 31st August 1944 follows:

      Close Order Drill       1841
      Hq Administration School        232
      Supply School         24
      Transportation Administration        438
      Camouflage       2359
      Organization of the Army         98
      Mess School         40
      Manual of Arms        204
      Interior Guard        966
      Map Reading        880
      Chemical Warfare       1878
      Physical Training       1845
      Armament       2492
      Communications        660
      Engineering       1746
      Orientation       1271
      Aircraft Recognition       1502
      Sanitation       1740
      First Aid       1741
      Safeguarding Military Information        294
      Articles of War        292
      Marches and Bivouacs       1708
      Night Operations        804
      Obstacle Course        402
      Bomb Disposal        796
      Care of Clothing and Equipment       1274

      The facilities of Detached Service Schools are being
taken advantage of as the EM Specialists become available.
The following is a list of the respective schools to which
men have been sent during the month of August:

      B-29 School, Seattle, Washington       26 men
      Wright Engine School, Patterson, N.J.        6
      On-Line Training for B-29, Pratt, Kan.       11
      Wright Engine School, Amarillo, Tex.       21

      Two Officers from the Group were sent to the Air Officers
Course for Anti-Aircraft Artillery at Camp Davis, North Car-
olina, and reported a very well conducted school. The course
proved not only very interesting, but also extremely inform-
ative with regards to AA tactics against Bombardment opertations.
(See Exhibit 4)



      Three Officers from the Group were also sent to an
Engineer's Camouflage School at March Field, California
for a practical course in Camouglage. (See Exhibit 5)

      An On-the-line training program for B-29 Mechanics has
been set up on this Field in charge of the Group Engineering
Officer, and all men having completed their Basic Training
in the MOS group applicable are made available for this job
and aid to technical school training. This type of instruc-
tion and practice on flyable aircraft will stand in good stead
when the Group is assigned a quota of its own ships at a
later date.


      The Bivouac training area for the Fleld at Dalhart is
located in the mountainous regions of Yankee, New Mexico,
approximately 125 miles from the Field. Due to the varied
types of terrain found there it is very well adapted to field

      The advance detail left the Field 24 hours in advance
of the main body to reconnoiter and prepare the sites for
occupation. Due regard was made for camouflage possibilities
and drainage slopes in the area. These precautions were
evidenced later as very worthwhile, particularly so when the
mountain downpours made every effort to wash away all signs
of civilization. The advance detail messed with the per-
manent party Enginers until arrival of the main body of troops.

      Upon arrival of the main truck convoy from Dalhart Air
Field previously appointed traffic guards dispersed the ve-
hicles and men to their respective positions.


      Camouflage discipline was enforced at once to conceal
vehicles, tracks, pup tents and supply dumps. Personnel were
assigned from the squadrons for security measures against
attack. Slit trenches and foxholes were dug for all person-
nel and camouflaged so successfully that an infiltration
party from the Engineers did not even locate the area until
the following day.

      A Bivouac Training Unit, or School, was set up in an
adjacent area and during the 5 days allotted for field train-
ing the following subjects were covered by all men present:

Camouflage    4 hours    Set up in area conceal vehicles
Chemical Warfare    2 hours    Agents and chemical first aid
Extended Order Drill    2 hours    Preparation for marches
Obstacle Course    2 hours    With explosive charges
Bomb Disposal    2 hours    Introduction, evacuation, protection
Chemical Warfare    2 hours    Identification and protection
Field Sanitation    2 hours    Including medical recommendations
Malaria Control    2 hours    And other disease bearing insects
Mapping    2 hours    Compass problem in field
March    4 hours    Security, Gas, Ground, Air Attack
Chemical Warfare    2 hours    Decontamination
Bomb Disposal    4 hours    Destruction, demolitions, booby traps
March    4 hours    To new airdrome, defense and attack
Night Operations    4 hours    Infiltration by Engineers
Break Camp    4 hours    And preparation of Convoy back

      Gasoline stoves were used for cooking purposes whenever
a hot meal was in order. Six meals alltold, however, were
made up entirely of "K" rations and "C" rations in order to
indoctrinate the men on their possibilities and instill con-
fidence in the diminutive packages. It is needless to say
that all food and edible supplies taken on the Bivouac were
wholeheartedly consumed. The combination of the high altitude
rough terrain, and physical exertion gave no cause for finnicky

      The night operations consisted of attacks simulated by the


Engineer's Detachment along with scouting parties and infil-
tration movements designed to simulate battle conditions as
much as possible with the safety of the men in mind. Charges
of TNT were laid and discharged electrically, along with smoke
bombs and flares not only to give a realistic skirmish but to
instill discipline at a time when confusion is the line of
least resistance.

      The permanent party of Engineers in the mountain area are
to be highly commended on their preparation, cooperation, and
assistance in making the Bivouac highly successful. Their
instructions in infiltration, movement under live fire, and
the well planned obstacle course will live long in the minds
of the men undergoing the treatment. The obstacle course, with
its charges of well placed TNT, and the directed fire of cal-
ibre 30 machine guns placing their tracer projectiles only
slightly over the bodies of the creeping men will serve to
advantage in later combat theatres.

      Morale of the group on Bivouac was exceptionally high.
This can be attributed to the excellent planning by the
Officers in charge and the interesting program set up. All
the men took an active part in the program and it being of an
extremely practical nature, they realized its usefulness. Also
after having considerable training on the base in various
ground schools the outdoors proved a welcome respite--despite
the hardships of the rugged existence.

      A total of 338 Enlisted Men and 43 Officers took part
in the Bivouac Training.

      Field Orders for the Bivouac, written by the separate


Squadrons concerned, are included at the end of this folder.


      In that this Group has no aircraft assigned there is
no maintenance problem and no in-commission status or per-
centages to report.


      During one of the weekly Saturday morning reviews
and inspections the Group was honored by the presence of
Col Guy F. Hix, coordinator of the B-29 program at this
Field. It has been the Col's policy to pick one outstanding
soldier from each VH Group. However, at this inspection,
despite personal quizzing and minute inspection, his choice
could be narrowed down to only seven men. The 502nd feels
justly proud of this inspection record considering the num-
ber and quality of VH Bomb Groups in training at this base.


      Group morale continues very high. This can be attrib-
uted to the intensive training program set up and the con-
tinuous emphasis on discipline as outlined by the Group
Commander, Lt Col Robert C. McBride, in an address to the
personnel of the 502nd.

      The Colonel's policy, broken down into three main
points, consists of: Being a good soldier; Forming a frat-
ernity amongst Group Personnel; and Passing the word, or
"Boosting the outfit at every opportunity." Said Col McBride,
"In my estimation, the description 'A Good Soldier' is one
of the highest compliments a man can receive." He further


stated, "Building a mutual trust amongst members of an org-
anization helps enlisted men and officers attain a high de-
gree of dependability in the exection of their duties."

      The unique aspects of a B-29 Group, along with the ex-
cellent publicity given the Very Heavy outfits gives the men
an inward feeling of being in an important position. This
is rightly so in that the majority of the men are here with
the goup due to their previous records and excellent qual-

      This faith and job-knowledge of their positions, along
with mutual trust and confidence between officers and men,
further bears out the soundness of the Group Commanders policy.
Espirit-de-Corps is the obvious result.


      The Medical and Sanitation facilities of the Group,
under the direction of Major John J. Welch, Group Flight
Surgeon, are well co-ordinated, with no immediate problems
at hand.

      Meals are being served in the Consolidated Mess where
the sanitation is considered satisfactory. Weekly inspections
have show trays and dishes generally clean.

      The physical inspection of troops by Medical Officers
is being accomplished during the physical examinations for
overseas duty. No new or old cases of venereal disease were
detected during the last months examination.

      General physical condition of the command is good, with
only 25 men temporily disqualified for overseas duty. These


unqualifications consist of dental, eyeglasses and such minor
defects that are under correction at this time.

      The Monthly Sanitation Report is included in the Support-
ing Documents folder as Exhibit 6.











Bomb Squadron (VH)









To accompany F.O. No. 1

      1. All sections of the gound echelon will establish opera-
tions immediately upon arrival at Yankee air strip in positions
selected by the advance party. Traffic guards will meet the
convoy and direct each sections to its assigned area.

      2. All vehicles, equipment, and personnel will be dispersed
and concealed. Slit trenches will be prepared for each individual.

      3. Security measures against ground attack will be determined
by the advance party and necessary personnel drawn form the various

      4. Black-out, fire, gas attack regulations will be published
at Yankee air strip.

      5. Field sanitation measures will conform to Medical S.O.P.

      6. Anti-aircraft defenses will not be provided in the early
stages of occupation of Yankee air strip.

      By Order of Captain MORSE:

                           CLARENCE H. NIEBUR
                           Captain, Air Corps
                           Executive Officer


        HARRY C. BEAM
        2d Lt., Air Corps


FIELD ORDER )                                    16 August 1944
NO. 1       )


         a. (The Enemy)

         b. (Friendly Forces)

      2. MISSION

         The 402nd Bomb Squadron will move to Yankee, New
Mexico, and from this landing strip will destroy enemy air
bases and facilities at Walsenbure, Denver and La Junta,
and will destroy the supply lines leading to La Junta and


         a. The air echelon will remain alerted at Dalhart
Airmy Air Base under command of the operations officer and
will be prepared to fly to Yankee advance landing strips.

         b. An advance party consisting of the executive
officer, in charge, medical officer, S-4, and camouflage
officer, and eight (8) enlisted men will proceed to Yankee
air strip and prepare the site for occupation by the ground
and air echelon.

         c. All sections of ground echelon, less personnel
in the advance party, commanded by the Adjutant will move by
truck convoy to Yankee air strip and prepare installation and
facilities for operations.


         See Administrative Annex Nos 1 and 2.


         a. Convoy Schedule:

            (1) Advance party will precede main body by
twenty four hours.


            (2) Main body departs Dalhart Army Air Base at
            0700 20 August 1944.

            (3) AConvoy halt at 0900 20 August 1944

            (4) Resume Convoy 0915 20 August 1944

            (5) Halt Convoy 1115 20 August 1944

            (6) Resume Convoy 1130 20 August 1944

            (7) Arrive at Yankee at 1300 20 August 1944

         b. Route of March: Dalhart Army Air Base East gate
to Dalhart jct of 87 (US Higfhway) to Raton, New Mexico
Turn right at Raton via dirt road to Yankee.

         c. CP will be at head of convoy.

         d. Communications by motor messengers.

         By order of Captain Morse:




                HARRY C. BEAM
                2d Lt., Air Corps


ADMINISTRATIVE ANNEX No. 1                                    17 August 1944
To accompany F.O. #1


      1. PERSONNEL

         Capt Neibur-----Executive Officer--in Command
         Capt Noerling---Flight Surgeon
         2d Lt Ronshausen-S-4
         2d Lt McHugh----Camouflage Officer
         9 E/M
           2 each--Flights A-B-C
           1 Sanitary Corpsman
           1 Medic
           1 Mess

      2. EQUIPMENT

         a. All equipment except rations needed for 5 days
            squadron operations. (See Annex #2 )

         b. Vehicles
            1-Staff Car (on arrival at Yankee returns to DAAF
            Motor Pool
            2-Trucks (on arrival at Yankee 1 truck returns to
            DAAF Motor Pool
            1-Water trailer


         a. Time of departure--0800 19 August 1944
         b. Water trailer will be filled at Raton enroute to


         a. Advance party rations with permanent party pending
            arrival of the main body.

         By order of Captain Morse:


  OFFICIAL:                    CLARENCE H. NIEBUR
                               Capt., Air Corps
                               Executive Officer


           HARRY C. BEAM
           2d Lt., Air Corps


ADMINISTRATIVE ANNEX No. 2                                    17 August 1944
To accompany F.O. #1

      1. SUPPLY

         a. Rations:
            (1) Supply point - DAAF QM
            (2) Ration truck will depart Bivouac area at 0700
                for daily rations with driver and one detail
            (3) Emergency "K" ration will be furnished for
                three meals. Sunday noon, and thursday noon
                other "K" ration meal will be on march.
            (4) One Day "C" rations will be used if available
                otherwise only "A" rations.
         b. Squadron Supply

            (1) All squadron supplies except rations will
                accompany the advance party. (See Annex No.1)
            (2) Gas will be obtained from the Texaco station
                at Raton as needed.
            (3) All supplies will be stored in dispersed area
                accordance with S.O.P.
         c. Ammunition

            (1) One Hundred rounds (loc) each of .45 cal and
                .30 cal Carbine will be sufficient Ammunition.
            (2) To be used only in case of emergency by the
                C.O., Executive Officer and Provost Marshal.
            (3) Ammunition to be stored in care of Provost


   a. Casualties:

      (1) First Aid Station will be located in camp area
          near first bend of road up the mountain.
      (2) Hospital cases will be delivered to the
          hospital at Raton until able to be moved to
          DAAF hospital by ambulance attached to troops.
      (3) Mess kits and Field kitchen and area will be
          inspected as Medical Officer sees fit.

   b. Burial

      (1) Will be in accordance with S.O.P.
      (2) Raton cemetary will be used.


   a. (1) Sufficient camouflaging netting will be
          secured from Group Supply.
      (2) Maintain camouflage discipline at all times.
      (3) Will select all paths, roads, disposal areas,
          storage areas and any other installation that
          requires camouflaging.
      (4) In case of emergency all natural material
          will be used for camouflaging.

   b. Photographs

      (1) Photographs will be taken of the general area
          so as to check the success of the camouflage.
      (2) Photographs will if possible be developed in
          the field.


   a. Equipment:
      Advance Party
      (1) 1 Jeep, 3 Officers, 1 EM-Driver-Mattocks, Charles B.
          1 1 1/2 Ton Truck, 1 Officer-Driver-Nelson, Peter F.
          1 2 1/2 Ton Truck, 9 EM, Kitchen Supplies, Gen.
          1 Water trailer.
      (2) Main Body
          1 jeep with 2 Officers and 1 EM.
          5 2 1/2 Ton Trucks with 80 EM (16 each)
          3 1 1/2 Ton Trucks with 27 EM (9 each)
          1 Ambulance. Driver-Oehring, Ray T.

   b. (1) Advance Party
          a. The 1 1/2 ton truck will be loaded Friday 18
             August 1944 under the direction of Lt.
             Ronshausen, the squadron supply officer.
          b. Trucks and Jeep will be in front of Building
             138 at 0745 on Saturday 19 August
          c. Advance party will leave Dalhart at 0800 on
             19 August 1944.
          d. These two vehicles will remain at the bivouac
             site. (Jeep and 1 1/2 ton truck)
          e. The 2 1/2 ton truck will return to Dalhart after
             unloading the equipment at the Bivouac area.
          f. The water trailer will be connected to the
             supply truck.
      (2) Main Body
          a. The convoy will form at 0630 on Eastwick Ave
          in front of Building 135 Sunday 20 August.


          b. The convoy drivers will be briefed on the march at
          0645 20 August. Drivers of the 2 1/2 ton trucks will
          be: Clendenen, Yockel, Dagenhart, and McMann.

1. The time and duration of halts.

2. How to handle themselves and their equipment in event
   of an air raid.

   a. Should there be space to drive the trucks off the
      road on both sides they will alternate right and
   b. Should there be space only on one side they will
      keep as dispersed as possible.
   c. Signal upon apprehension of an enemy aircrraft will
      be a series of long blasts on the horn of the truck
      perceiving the aircraft.

C. Convoy will leave at 0700 Sunday 20 August.

   1. Order of march will be:
      3 1 1/2 ton trucks.
      5 2 1/2 ton trucks.
   2. Convoy halt at 0900.
   3. Convoy resume march at 0915.
   4. Convoy halts for lunch at 1115.
   5. Convoy resume march at 1145.
   6. Convoy halted at Bivouac area at 1300.

D. Route followed will be:

   1. Leave DAAF from East Gate.
   2. Enter Dalhart on U.S. Highway 54.
   3. Leave Dalhart on U.S. Highway 87 heading west.
   4. Follow U.S. Highway 87 to Raton.
   5. Take dirt road from Raton to Yankee Bivouac Area.

E. Capt MORSE will be in charge of the convoy.

F. The Jeep, the 5 2 1/2 ton trucks and the 3 1 1/2 ton trucks
   will return the same way to Dalhart.Route followed will be:

           By order of Captain Morse:


  OFFICIAL:                    CLARENCE H. NIEBUR
                               Capt., Air Corps
                               Executive Officer


           HARRY C. BEAM
           2d Lt., Air Corps








Bomb Squadron (VH)









FIELD ORDER                               15 August 1944, 1700

NO.       1


         a. Enemy forces have advanced to a line, from Trinidad
on the north, extending southeast to Barela, generally following
the track of the C & S Railroad. This advance to within 50 miles
of our base, Yankee, is considered a major threat at the rail center
of Raton. Consolidation of enemy forces with attempts at further
advancement up the C & S Railroad can be expected immediately.
Enemy tactics in this advance have consisted primarily of armored
unit thrusts supported closely by low level air attacks.

         b. Our forces in defense of Morley, 40 miles to the
north, consist of the 126th Infantry Division, the 165th Infantry
Division, the 54th Artillery Division. This squadron, the 411th,
and the 402nd Bomb Squadron, operating from a forward landing
field located at Yankee, New Mexico, is to furnish tactical support
of our defensive forces at Morley.

           Aviation Engineers have done everything possible to
reconstruct the damage done to the runways and installations at
Yankee. The field has been under constant observation and bomb-
ardment by the enemy. Insufficient attention has been give to
camouflage. However, with the assurance that the landing field
will be fully repaired within four days under a fighter cover
furnished by the 501st Fighter Group, located at Wootten, this
squadron will move forward to occupy the Yankee Field.

    2. MISSION

         The 411th Very Heavy Bombardment Squadron will proceed
from this base, Dalhart, Texas, to Yankee, New Mexico. Operations
from the Yankee field will commence immediately with the primary
mission of destroying enemy air bases at Walsenburg, La Junta,
Aguilar, and enemy supply depots at Mustang and Orland, in tactical
support of our defensive units at Morley.


         A. The air echelon will remain alerted at Dalhart AAB
under command of the operations officers and will be prepared to
fly on notice to the Yankee field.

         b. An advance party consisting of the camouflage
officer, the squadron executive officer, the flight surgeon,
S-4, and 11 ennlisted men will proceed to Yankee Field by truck
and will prepare the site for occupation by ground and air echelons.

         c. All sections of the ground echelon, less the
personnel of the advanced party, commanded by the squadron comm-
ander, will make a daylight movement by truck convoy to Yankee
field and prepare the field for operations.

* Briefing for all personnel of the ground echelon will be held
in Bldg. 83, 1500, 18 August 1944.


       See Administrative Annex No. 1


       a. March Schedule

         (1) Advance Pary will precede main body by 24 hours.

         (2) Main body departs Dalhart AAB....0700 CWT 20 Aug.

         (3) Rest halt........................0900 CWT 20 Aug.

         (4) Resume march.....................0915 CWT 20 Aug.

         (5) Rest halt (Dinner K Rations).....1100 CWT 20 Aug.

         (6) Resume march.....................1130 CWT 20 Aug.

         (7) Arrive Bivouac Area..............1230 CWT 20 Aug.

       b. Route of March: Dalhart AAB main gate to Jct.
routed 87 and 54, then to N.M. on Hwy. No. 87 to Texline to Clayton
to Des Moines to Capulin to Raton, then to N.E. on dirt road to
Yankee and bivouac area.

       c. Command Post will be at the head of the column.
Mobiel Aid Station will be at the tail of the column.

       d. Convoy communications will be by motor messenger.

                          By order of Captain BLYD:


                                    WILLIAM J. BARTER,
                                    Capt., Air Corps,
                                    Executive Officer.


AAB Dalhart, Texas

                                          15 August 1944.


Administrative Annex
   Field Order No. 1















Bomb Squadron (VH)






























      The following photographs were taken from 1 August

1944 to 31 August 1944. They show the major events that

have taken place during this period.











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 2006, Larry Miller

May 17, 2006