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The Complete War Diary of 2nd Lt. John J. Kane Jr. B24 Bombardier in the Pacific

Article about: Tuesday, Aug 7th Heard reports today of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Japan. From all indications it seems to be terrific and should lead to an early end to the war. Wednesday, Au

  1. #11

    Default Re: The Complete War Diary of 2nd Lt. John J. Kane Jr. B24 Bombardier in the Pacific

    Wow, this is really interesting. You have done good work, I am looking forward for the next post!

  2. #12

    Default Re: The Complete War Diary of 2nd Lt. John J. Kane Jr. B24 Bombardier in the Pacific

    A large post will be made sometime this evening. I would be posting them a lot quicker, but the photo uploader is not cooperating with me.

    If a moderator can take my pictures and upload them to the proper posts in order, I'd really appreciate it!

  3. #13

    Default Re: The Complete War Diary of 2nd Lt. John J. Kane Jr. B24 Bombardier in the Pacific

    brilliant joe,thanks for taking the time to write all this up,ill be reading this whilst the euro's is on in the back ground

  4. #14

    Default Re: The Complete War Diary of 2nd Lt. John J. Kane Jr. B24 Bombardier in the Pacific

    Wednesday, June 16th Arrived here at 5:30 A.M. Some sand-hole. Hot as hell. Hot as hell. Hot as hell. Hot as hell. Routine: Drill, lecture, P.T., movies.

    Saturday, July 3rd Drew packs today and hiked 9 miles to the rifle range. Bivouacked over-night in pup tents. Eaten by mosquitoes.

    Sunday, July 4th Celebrated a real Fourth of July by having qualifying tests with revolvers. Didn’t do too bad. Hiked back to camp at night.

    Monday, July 5th Told we were on the alert to ship out. Thank God. K.P. three times in this hole.

    Tuesday, July 6th Ship tomorrow morning!

    Wednesday, July 7th Boarded day coach this afternoon. Told on the train we’re going to Johnson City, Tenn. Hell!! Here we were with high hopes of going up north!!!

    Thursday, July 8th Arrived at the college tonight about 11:30. Up at 6:00 A.M. tomorrow. Begin school Monday.

    Monday, July 12th Started school today. Studies pretty interesting. P.T. here seems a little tough at first. Cross-country runs.

    Monday Aug. 9th Started in class “B” today. We thought we were going into “C”, but found out differently. Will skip “C” for “D” the end of the month. Studies now include geography, history, math, 3 hours of physics. Can run these cross-countries a lot easier now on P.T. Ran from the college into town Saturday. To see group “E” off to Nashville. We’ll be on our way there in about 3 months.

    Monday, Sept. 6th Entered class “D” today and find work still interesting except for a couple of jerks for teachers. Still have Dunn + Huddle for 3 hours of Physics a day. Shell for Geography. However Carson (Trig.) is great. Swell teacher, swell man. No more History.

    Sat., Sept. 11 Went to a dance in Kingsport tonight. Really had an enjoyable time. As usual, “Pin-Up” sounded off in front of the mike. What a jerk and show-off.

    Tues., Sept. 28 Fell down front steps in front of dorm today kidding around with Jake Dovchess. Went on sick call for bruised ankle. Sent to hospital for X-Rays. No fracture. Excused from drill and P.T. for a few days.
    This is our last week of studies. We start flight Monday. They’re taking a couple of more guys out of our class to fill up “E” group. Max Long and Red Joyce are leaving. They go Saturday. Here’s wishing them luck!!

    Thurs., Sept 30th Went on sick call this morning, as per direction of Doctor on Tuesday. Ankle still pretty badly bruised, but not so painful. Doc told me that I had probably ripped a few ligaments or tendons, thereby dislocating the bones. He gave me a pair of crutches and told me not to take any unnecessary steps. Hell, I feel like a jerk on those sticks. Used them to go to class in morning to and from noon chow, then discarded them. I’m to see the Doc again Monday morning. Oh yes, pay day to-day.

    Friday, Oct. 1st Decided not to go to town on account of bum ankle. I think this is the first Friday I stayed in. The town is dead, but going in helps to break the monotony. Sure hope my foot is okay for flight Monday. This group that’s leaving is shipping out in trucks to Nashville. I’m still afraid of that place.

    Monday, Oct. 4th Went up for the first time today. Boy, it’s great!! Instructor is Mr. Richards who can be pretty snippy and sarcastic, but I guess the instructor makes no difference. The moment that landing gear lost contact with the runway was one of the greatest sensations of my life. I sure hope I make pilot at Nashville!

    Tuesday, Oct. 5th Went up again today and really handled the controls plenty. Flew rectangular course and approach and landing. Tonight’s the first time I’m to go on that broadcast as a result of Jim Goble’s “frame – up”.

    Wed. Oct. 6th Up again. Taxied, took off, flew rectangular course, climbing turns, coordination gliding turns, approach and landing.

    Thurs., Oct. 7th Up again. At this rate we’ll have to go back to classes.

    Wed., Oct. 13th Completed flight today and not too hot. I hope this doesn’t count too much at Nashville, as my marks were pretty low.

    Wed., Oct. 20th Completed C.A.R. today, so our schedule now includes nothing 1st period, study 2nd (supposed to be code) Spherical Trid 3rd, study 4th (supposed to be code), then lunch. Afternoon schedule is drill 1st, games 2nd, P.T. 3rd, drill and back to the dorm.

    Sunday, Oct. 31st Well, it certainly has been a racket here this past month. One more week to go, then that damn Nashville! Here’s hoping. We’ve had quite a bit of fun during the past few weeks and I’ve met a hell of a lot of swell guys.

    Sat. November 6th Today’s the day we leave for Nashville. Still plenty skeptical!

    Sun., Nov. 7th Arrice in a hell of a rainstorm about 3:30 this morning. The place looks a lot like Traux, only worse. Now to wait for those tests.

    Sat., Nov. 13th Took mental today. Lasted from about 7:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. and from 1:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. What a test!! I guess we took about 20 different tests and no one finished anyone of them. They included math, mechanical aptitude, map reading, instrument reading, and quite a few other subjects, including about 500 silly questions on fears, likes, dislikes and other physiological exams.

    Mon., Nov. 15th Took psychomotor tests today. Just like a penny arcade. Only thing remaining now is physical exam.

    Thurs., Nov. 18th Took physical yesterday and today, Everything okay except 5pounds underweight. This was marked up by the flight surgeon, so no worry on that account.

    Mon., Nov. 22nd Wow! All the standards have been raised and they’re washing men out right and left. This sweating out classification is the toughest thing so far. Was-outs include some of the swellest fellows from our class from J.C. – Bob Griswold, Jim Lewis, Pete Kalenack, Lober, Henry, Grossman, Hall.

    Wed., Nov. 24th Well, I made it, even though it is bombardier! I may get a chance to still get pillow if I qualified. We’re to be processed Friday.

    Friday, Nov. 26th Went for interview today and was told that I qualified for all three, but my bombardier rating was higher. I could have insisted on pilot, but figured it would probably be best to settle for bombardier, so “bombs away” it is!!! Received cadet hat and a few additional items of clothing. At last I’m approaching the status of a cadet. May get to go to Santa Ana for pre-flight. It sure is getting cold here!!!!

    Saturday, Dec. 11th Bombardiers put on the alert today. The talk around here is all of Santa Ana. Looks like my hope of a Christmas furlough is really lost now.

    Tuesday, Dec. 14th Well, we leave at 6:00 A.M. tomorrow. Here’s hoping it’s Santa Ana!

    Thursday, Dec. 16th Well, some surprises! We arrived at Tyndall Field this afternoon. We’re to take a six weeks course in arial gunnery. We’re the first cadets to come straight from Nashville. Most of the others already had pre-flight and the rest are washed-out pilots. Barracks here are pretty nice – concrete, heated, divided into rooms.

    Saturday, Dec. 18th This morning we got the score on our status here. They washed out about 15% of the cadets her for dropping below the average. Wahed out-bombardiers from here usually get assigned to squadrons and units at P.O.E. as K.P.’s or some other kind of a lousy job. This would be a hell of a place to finish.

    We start school at 7:00 A.M. Monday. Work promises to be very interesting, but no cinch.
    I sure hate to spend Christmas here. It really gets a guy down to keep thinking of home at this time of the year. The weather here had been plenty cold for the so-called “sunshine state”.

    Monday, Dec. 20th Started school today. Plenty interesting, but actually no cinch. Field stripped the .50 caliber machine gun this morning. By the end of the third week we’ll have to completely dismantle and assemble the gun blindfolded.
    Went to the range this afternoon and shot skeet with the 12 gauge shotgun. Shot a stinking 10 for 25!

    Tuesday, Dec. 21st Worked on the Martin gun turret this afternoon. Plenty interesting.
    Seems as though all we can get on the radio these days is Christmas carols. Sure makes me homesick this time of the year.

    Sat. Dec. 25th (Christmas) This is positively the bluest Christmas morning I’ve ever seen. Went to midnight mass at the Post Chapel last night and it was jammed. There were about 1000 in a chapel seating 350. Heavy rain this morning, adding to the general melancholy atmosphere.

    Mon., Dec. 27th Went to town Christmas afternoon and got a hotel room with Neslon, Gedemer, + Paisley. About the only thing to do over the week-end was to attend the movies, so attend we did.
    Got Christmas package from home today. They’ve sure been swell and generous ever since my first day in the Army. Also got $5.00 in a card from Sally. She’s sure been swell too.
    Last edited by GIZMO8Z; 06-13-2012 at 01:39 PM.

  5. #15

    Default Re: The Complete War Diary of 2nd Lt. John J. Kane Jr. B24 Bombardier in the Pacific

    Last edited by GIZMO8Z; 06-12-2012 at 09:47 PM.

  6. #16

    Default Re: The Complete War Diary of 2nd Lt. John J. Kane Jr. B24 Bombardier in the Pacific

    Sun., Jan. 2nd 1944! Spent a very quiet New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day. Take blindfolded phase check on the caliber .50 either Monday or Tuesday. I’m a little skeptical about that, so I sure hope I get by it okay.

    Tuesday, Jan. 4th Phew! Got by the phase checks okay with a 95. Passing grade was 90, so tat mark isn’t as high as it seems.

    Wed., Jan. 5th Went on moving base range today, firing at the discs from a truck going about 25 mph. Stayed there for two hours, then to turret firing with the shot-gun for two hours. This afternoon we spent four more hours on the malfunction range. Went to Waller Trainer tonight from 6:30 to 7:30 to practice tracking planes with a machine that simulates the “kick” of a caliber .50.
    Signed the pay-roll last night.

    Tuesday, Feb. 1st Well, we got our first set of wings today. Graduated as full-fledged aerial gunners. Now, on to pre-flight. From all indications, it looks like Maxwell Field from here.
    We’re now living in tents in Skunk Hollow. It’s an easy life, since we have no reveille and just hang around all day.
    Bob Edwards and a lot of the old gang are at Maxwell now.

    Thursday, Feb. 10th Well, we leave here tomorrow, most likely headed for Maxwell Field. We’ve been just hanging around now for twelve days, when we could just as well have been home. Wild stories circulating about the strictness at Maxwell, so I guess we’ll have to get on the ball again for the next nine weeks.

    Friday Feb. 11th We arrived here at Maxwell Field tonight about 9:30 in the coldest weather I’ve experienced since the morning we left Nashville. All over we heard cries of “Look proud, Mister, you’re at Maxwell now!” The place is about the most beautiful Army Post I’ve ever seen, but they sure rub in the old C.S. It’s tough sometimes to take orders from some of these Cadet Officers, especially the young kids who think they’re Eagle Scouts.

    Saturday, Feb. 19th Well, it’s not so bad afterall, except that we’re kept plenty busy.Academic classes are pretty easy and P.T. isn’t too tough. Our Cadet Officers don’t seem to be too bad, either in comparison with some others, except for about 2 of them.

    Saturday, Feb. 26th Either we’ve broken down Maxwell’s fabulous reputation or else it was all a lot of baloney, but it doesn’t seem much tougher than any other post.
    I’ve seen quite a few of the old J.C. gang, including Derryberry, Landess, Childress, Chapman, McKee, and a few others. Saw Bob Edwards today when I went for my booster shots. He’s been in the hospital for about 9 days here.
    Received a letter from Bob Griswold recently from an A.P.O. address. He certainly got a lousy deal when he went out to Denver after washing out at Nashville.

    Tuesday, March 21st Went out to the range to fire the .45 automatic for record today. Qualified with a score of 73. I like that gun, but it’s tough to handle.
    First open post comes next Saturday night + Sunday and as usual, I had to pull guard duty then. All the other fellows in the room have it tomorrow night.
    Very quiet St. Patty’s Day last Friday.
    A few men from our squadron shipped out to a B-29 school for bombardiers. Rumors of more shipments in the near future.

    Thursday, March 23rd Had flight line guard from 4:00 to 6:00 A.M. What rain! A few barracks floors were flooded and the place in general is sopping! Oh for a furlough!!!!!!!

    Saturday, April 15th We completed pre-flight school on Tuesday and had most of Wednesday off. However, we started school again on Friday morning. Three classes: - gas engines, code, and navigation. Anything to keep us busy. Schedule only calls for classes for five days. Rumors of shipping on next Saturday, but nothing definite yet. We really got a scare this past week when 12 men from our squadron were re-classified to pilots. However, they’re taking volunteers now, so those 12 may not have to go.
    Letter from home this past week said that Vincent has been inducted and is in the infantry at For McClellan here in Alabama – poor guy! Mike Wagner entered the Navy during the past few days.

    Wednesday, April 19th Completed these extra five days of school today and our fate is still doubtful. Almost positive we’re not going to ship now, but what the hell are we going to do while we hang around here? No more pilot detachment classes, so we’ll probably be left with details.

    Tuesday, May 2nd Moved to pilot detachment today. No classes, few details.

    Wednesday, May 3rd We start a new schedule tomorrow. One class a day and two hours of P.T.

    Friday, May 19th Rumors of bombardier shipment to leave next Tuesday. Been having a pretty good time in Montgomery these last couple of weeks. Visited Hilda’s, Gunns’, have an evening picnic tomorrow night and drive to Selma Sunday.

    Monday, May 22nd Shipping orders came in today. We leave for advanced bombardier school in Carlsbad, New Mexico on Wednesday. At last, after six weeks of hanging around doing nothing. Plenty of 44-K men shipping with us.

    Saturday, May 27th Arrived in Carlsbad this morning in the middle of nowhere. Camp is pretty small, but not too bad. Food’s terrific! Steaks for dinner today. We hear all kinds of stories about how tough the course is, so I guess it’s not going to be a cinch. However, others have made it, so we at least have a chance. Start school Monday.

    Sunday, June 11th After two weeks here, it’s not too bad, but class work is slightly rugged. Took two exams so far, nothing too spectacular in the way of grades. Class graduated from here yesterday. Eighteen more weeks and we’ll be there, I hope. It sure sounds good anyway. So far we’ve had enough school classes in M-Series Bombsight, Bombing Theory, Bomb Instruments, Bomb Racks + Shackles, C-1 Auto-Pilot and Trainers. Trainers are pretty good. Saw the town of Carlsbad last night and came to the conclusion that I won’t be going broke here.

    Tuesday, August 15th Well, long time no write. We did plenty of bitching waiting anxiously to start flying, but the thrill soon wore off and now it’s work. At present we’re dropping combat bombs, having finished our quals about two weeks ago. My final C.E. was 171. Jimmy Jordan my bombing partnet got the lowest C.E. in the flight (144) and may be scheduled for the bombing meet.

    Ground school consists mostly of navigation and today we started weather – as complicated a subject as we’ve ever had the displeasure to study. We should finish our bombing in the next two weeks and then start those damn navigation missions. Lt. Harman, our instructor, has been pretty swell, but we won’t have him for navigation flying. We’ll fly with the new special navigation section, which makes things a little more rigged. They’ve now started the practice of elimination on navigation, which was never done before.
    The war in Europe has certainly been running swell since I last wrote here. The initial invasion was a success, and after a slow start, they’re rolling towards Paris now. We heard rumors in class today of a new invasion force in Southern France. Looks like the Japs for us!

    We’ve been having some pretty enjoyable week-ends in Carlsbad and even several good nights during the week. Sleep sure takes an awful beating, tough, especially on the nights we fly until 2:00 or 3:00A.M.

    Just six more weeks to go and then perhaps home. Hope we don’t get “the shaft” like class 44-11 did. Half of them had to report within 48 hours to Lincoln and then probably R.T.U.
    Fred Hintze now has an A.P.O. Johnny Monte ready to leave, I guess. Both of them are buck sergeants. Mike Wagner now in the Navy and completed Radar school in Florida.

    Friday, August 18th One of the worst things that’s happened since I entered the service occurred last night when Billy Lane, Red Johnson and Zielinski were killed in a crash. It was a hell of a night and no one knows the complete story as to what happened.
    Friday, September 29th Well, tomorrow’s the big day we’ve all been looking forward to. We’re to graduate in the morning and as soon as we clear the field we can take off for home. We have a ten day delay enroute to Lemoore, California were we’ll be assigned to a B-24 crew. The ten days won’t allow us much time at home, but it sure will be good to get home even for that short time after these twenty months. Most of the old gang have been commissioned but a couple made F/O. We’ll never know how the hell they pick who’ll be commissioned and who’ll be appointed. I think they pull the names out of a hat.

    Monday, October 23rd Well, we’re at Lemoore which isn’t a bad field and although it’s pretty lonely ni it’s location it’s very easily accessible to L.A. Gib, Joe and I had a hell of a swell time coming out here on “The Chief”. What a train! It was a rip-roaring trip and the perfect finale to those 2 ½ days at home. I sure hated to leave good old New York again, since there’s no telling when we’ll see it again. It was terrific seeing everyone, though and I just wish it could have been longer. Everyone is still the same, which means great.
    We met a woman on The Chief who’s husband is a movie actor and she invited us to their Hollywood home for a week-end. We just came back after spending Saturday night and Sunday there. They sure are swell people and showed us a wonderful time all through Hollywood. Hope we get to visit the Kennedy’s again.
    I’ve been assigned to a crew and have a swell pilot and co-pilot: Murphy and Buchanan. They’re both great guys. The navigator is Ginsberg. We have a few classes here but expect to ship out to phase training soon. Four possible places to go: March Field, Walla Walla Muroc and Tonopah. From what we hear of Tonopah I’d sure like to stay clear of that place. March sounds great, since it’s near L.A.

    Saturday, October 28th It was bound to happen. Here we are at Tonopah, as isolated and barren a place as anyone ever saw. Not one inch of vegetation for as far as you can see. Tonopah itself is just a ghost town, formerly a mining center. We should be here for almost three months to work as a crew.
    Wednesday, December 27th Just got back from a holiday in L.A. over Christmas. Arrived back yesterday after leaving here Saturday. I went with Joe’s crew in Tinker’s car and Joe and I spent the week-end at the Kennedy’s. It was the next best thing to going home and we had a swell time.

    Thursday, Jan. 25th Well, we took another raw deal. Nineteen crews from our section left today for Hamilton Field and we’re left. Although we’re finished our requirements. We’re supposed to take a fourth phase of training now and that will mean plenty of high altitude bombing. They’ve been scheduling us for quite a few 20,000ft. missions.

    Our Crew:
    Pilot -----Murphy (2nd Lt.)
    Co-Pilot ----- Buchanan (F/O)
    Navig. ----- Ginsberg (2nd Lt.)
    Bomb. ----- Kane (2nd Lt.)
    Engineer ----- Kennington (Cpl.)
    Radio Op. --- Hinkel (Cpl.)
    Arm Gunner – Hodge (Cpl.)
    Nose Gunner --- Kai (Cpl.)
    Upper Gunner --- Brum (Cpl.)
    Tail Gunner --- Grayson (Cpl.)

  7. #17

    Default Re: The Complete War Diary of 2nd Lt. John J. Kane Jr. B24 Bombardier in the Pacific

    Joe, your enthusiasm and energy that you have for this project is amazing !!!! I look forward to reading more of this journal !!!!!! Your hard work is well worth the benefits this thread holds for all of us. Thank you !!!!!!

  8. #18

    Default Re: The Complete War Diary of 2nd Lt. John J. Kane Jr. B24 Bombardier in the Pacific

    Thanks! I am having a lot of fun "getting to know" 2nd Lt. Kane. I am sitting down to do some more typing right now!

  9. #19

    Default Re: The Complete War Diary of 2nd Lt. John J. Kane Jr. B24 Bombardier in the Pacific


  10. #20

    Default Re: The Complete War Diary of 2nd Lt. John J. Kane Jr. B24 Bombardier in the Pacific

    Good morning!

    I worked on the diary for what seemed like forever last night. I am now into the "meat" of 2nd Lt. Kane's service in the Pacific. So, in the next post you can expect some diary entries on combat, and also diary entries about some important events that took place in 1945.

    I think I have a better grasp of 2nd Lt. Kane's handwriting than I first assumed, but there are still some funky names of Pacific Islands that I am stumbling on. For example, Balikpapan. If you fine ladies and gentlemen find any mistakes that I've made, PLEASE point them out!!

    Also, I noticed that some of the pictures I took for part 2 are a little blurry. I will take replacement pictures in the near future.

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