This is what the 500th Bomb Squadron was doing in June, some 75 years ago:

5-17 June, 1943: The 500th ground echelon arrived at Port Moresby, New Guinea and set up camp together with the 498th Squadron and Headquarters. The 500th soon had things ready at Jackson Drome (7-mile) and waited for its air echelon to arrive from Australia. When the aircraft did arrive, the first missions were to drop supplies to the Aussie infantry positions in the Salamaua, New Guinea area. During this period, the 500th experienced a good share of red alerts as a result of Japanese bomber visits to the Port Moresby area.

27 June, 1943: The 500th continued its supply-drop missions to Aussie infantry positions in the Salamau area. On one of these missions, 1/Lt Lee A. Ow,  Jr. misjudged a turn and disappeared in a cloud. It was later leaned that Owl's. aircraft had crashed near Boli killing the entire crew. This was the first of an inordinate number combat losses (within the Group), which the 500th would experience during the war.

30 June, 1943: 500th B-25s bombed Japanese positions near Bobdubi, about five miles from Salamaua.

6 June, 1944: The 345th Group commander, Colonel Clinton U. True, led 13 B-25s of the 500th and 501st to Biak, Where they attempted to attack some tanks seen by ground forces near Borokoe Airdrome. After three passes, the planes pulled away without seeing a specific target. However, the ground controller reported that the bombs landed "right on the button."

7-8 June, 1944: The 500th became the first of the Group's squadrons to go into action against Japanese positions near Sorido Airdrome on Biak.

10 June, 1944: The 500th and 499th escorted A-20s; to Wewak.

11 June, 1944: The 500th lost "PANNELL JOB" which crashed near Nadzab while on a training mission, killing 1/lT Ray Pannell and two others aboard,

12 June, 1944: Again the 500th drew A-20 "escort duty" to Wewak.

15 June, 1944: Staging out of Hollandia, Keith Dougherty in MARY JO led B-25s of the 500th, together with other 345th squadrons, on strikes in the Jefman and Samate areas on the extreme northwestern tip of New Guinea. The Rough Raiders left five Japanese twin engine bombers and one fighter damaged or destroyed on Samate and on Jefman shot up six fighters and two bombers with their nose guns. AA fire was fierce over Jefman and one burst blew off the wing tip of BOOM BOOM, piloted by Lt. Roland Thomas.

30 June, 1944: Elements of the 500th still staging out of Hollandia, flew its only combat mission during the last two weeks of the mouth hitting Kamiri Airdrome in support of the allied landing on Noemfoor Island.

June 1945: During the early part of the mouth, the weather was very bad over Formosa, resulting in a sharp decline in combat missions. Although a few strikes were flown against Japanese troop positions on Luzon, most of the rest of the time was devoted to an intensive training program.

2 June, 1945: As was often the case, ground-support missions produced results which could not be measured. However, on this date, near Ipil (Luzon), a ground observer at the site of an attack by a dozen B-25s of the 500th (and 501th) reported 81 Japanese soldiers killed, nearly 50 wounded and a large cache of rice destroyed.

15 June, 1945:  The 500th participated in one of the most important missions of the month, when two dozen Group aircraft attacked targets on Okaseki Airdrome in Northen Formosa. As the 500th B-25s swept across the airfield, strewing parafrags in their wake, one of the flight leaders was hit by enemy fire. 1/Lt James J. Geyer and his four crewmen died when they crashed and exploded in a rice paddy near the airdrome.

22 June, 1945: The 500th (and 501th) were sent on a mission up the Chu Chiang River on the Asia mainland to strike shipping between Hong Kong and Canton, China. They found no large ships, but had a field day shooting up junks and other small craft on the river.


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