This is what the 500th Bomb Squadron was doing in Aug., some 75 years ago:
1-21 August, 1943: All B-25s of the 345th Group were sent to Townsville, Australia to be modified into strafers This modification removed the bottom turret and the hand-held guns in the nose. The nose "greenhouse" was rebuilt to hold four fixed forward-firing 50 caliber machine guns. Two 50 caliber side-pack machine guns were added to each side of the fuselage just aft of the cockpit. These guns were ail fired electrically by a switch on the pilot's control wheel. Another modification was the addition of an automatic K-21 camera K-21 on the underside rear fuselage aimed downward at 45 degrees and controlled by the pilot or turret gunner. Provisions were also made to load a special honeycomb bomb rack for 23-pound parafrag bombs.
25 August, 1943: The 500th flew its shakedown stafer mission sending eight B-25s to hunt barges along the coast of Bostrem, Bay, near Alexishafen, New Guinea with no significant results observed.
1 August. 1944: A 500th patrol mission to the north coast of Ceram Island (Netherlands East Indies) yielded a small freighter, several sailboats and some barges. About 50 minutes outbound on the mission 2/Lt. Roland F. Moyers pulled out of the six-pine formation, turning back for home and trailing a wisp of smoke from his right engine. The plane never made it to home base at Biak, apparently going down at Geelvink Day without a trace.
5 August, 1944: Three Japanese bombs exploded near the 500th Squadron revetment area during the predawn darkness. One of them flung burning fragments onto the wing of a B25, setting fire seeping fuel from one of the gas caps. Sgt Raymond G, Paul's quick action was instrumental in putting out the fire, preventing major damage. Shrapnel holed four B-25s of the 500th, but they were quickly patched with tape.
9 August, 1944: On a raid of Wastes Day (Halmahera Island), the 500th claimed its planes sank three small transports.
11 August, 1944: On a mission to Halmahera, the 500th Commander, Major Keith Dougherty, was on his 70th and last mission. Flying with Dougherty was a stateside two star general who was along as an observer, Dougherty, searching along the coastline, spotted a group of six barges, which appeared to be leaded with ammo and troops, He took his group of six B-25s in toward these targets and raked them with machine gun fire, then pelted them with 500 pound bombs. Three barges carrying ammo exploded and three others were sunk, with Dougherty being credited with four of them. With two 500 pound bombs still remaining, Dougherty then attacked a midget sub. His first bomb missed the sub, but the second exploded very close to the sub. This proved to be a great show for the general.
14-15 August, 1944: The 500th attacked Ternate (Halmahera area), damaging the post office and government buildings
16-21 August, 1944: Missions were flown to widely separated targets in the Halmahera Islands area, with the 500th (and the 501th) knocking out several Japanese bombers and fighters; at Miti Airdrome.
24 August, 1944: Unable to locate a Japanese convoy, which had previously been reported, Capt. Max Mortensen, leading the 500th aircraft, turned back and headed for Lambeh Strait near the tip of the Northwest Celebes. Enroute, the 500th encountered a small freighter and sent a bomb clear through the vessel, knocking a large hole in the hull at the water line. B-25 s of the 501st then raced in for the kill and blew it to pieces.
28 August, 1944:Major Keith Dougherty departed for the States and Capt. Max Mortensen assumed command of the 500th Squadron.
14 August, 1945: Aircraft of the 345" Group were grounded, sitting out a typhoon in the le Shima area.
5 August 1945: The 500th joined the rest of the 345th Group, along with the 38th Bomb Group and units from the 7th Air Force, in an all out attack on the town of Tarumizu on the shore of Kagoshima Bay near the southern tip of Kyushu (Japan). This site was important in that available Intelligence indicated it was the site of a rocket-propelled suicide plane factory.
6 August, 1945: In searching for shipping off the coast of Korea, the 500th attacked a gunboat, sinking it with direct hits. The B25 piloted by 2/Lt Harold Lorenz was hit by ack-ack fire, and cartwheeled into the water near the gunboat and exploded. Two other small freighters were attacked and sunk later in the mission
8 August, 1945: In a sweep of shipping, the 500th and 499th caught a corvette under a full head of steam, racing for safety in Tsu Shima Harbor. But the ship fought back valiantly and damaged several aircraft. Available intelligence later decided that the vessel was probably sunk
On the way home, 1/Lt Paul E. Kent made a run on a small ship anchored along the Korean coast, sinking it with 500 pound bombs. However, on the bomb run his B-25 received flak damage to the rear fuselage, tail and right engine. He was unable to maintain altitude for the trip home. He was, however, able to reach a rendezvous area where he tried unsuccessfully to make contact with the sub that was supposed to be on "lifeguard duty." Kent, was then forced to ditch his aircraft during which his kneecap was shattered and the copilot (1/Lt Byrd W. Goodson) suffered a fracture. The navigator, 1/Lt Harry S. Chused, helped the two injured men from the aircraft before it sank. The "lifeguard sub" soon found the men and picked them up. Next day, the injured men. were transferred to a hospital ship at Okinawa.
9 August, 1945: Aircraft of the 500th struck the radar and radio station at Danjo Gunto, a small island at the southern entrance to the straits of Japan. a radar screen was destroyed and two radio towers were hit. Return fire damaged two of the aircraft, knocking out the hydraulics in one, causing it to have to make a crash landing upon its return to home base.
10 August, 1945: During a Search in the Sea of Japan area, the 500th got two more small vessels and a lugger and damaged several others in their 10-plane sweep.
11 August, 1945: Aircraft of the 500th and 498th squadrons damaged several buildings at the factory at Aburatsu (Kyushu).
12 August, 1945: A 500th B-25, piloted by Capt. Eugene J. Parker, failed to make the rendezvous point at dawn and disappeared mysteriously.
13-14 August, 1945: In an atmosphere of continuing rumors that the Japanese were ready to "throw in the towel", the last combat missions were flown by the 500th and other squadrons of the 345th Group.15 August, 1945: The 500th and 499 squadrons each had six aircraft in the air by 0530 heading out for a search and destroy mission. At about 0800 they received the following message - "Return to base immediately, hostilities have ceased."