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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. #21

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

    Thursday, Feb. 15th We leave here tomorrow for Hamilton Field. It sure will be a relief to get out of this hole. We really took a beating on that last shipment. Those fellows went to Langley Field, Virginia for radar bombing. Mostly low altitude stuff. Sounds great!

    Sunday, February 18th Hamilton sure is a beautiful field. It’s about the best in the country, or at least the best I’ve seen. Of the crew that came here with us, some are going to Langley, quite a few are getting their own ships to fly over, but we, as usual, got another raw deal. We’ll probably be going by A.T.C.

    Friday, Feb. 23rd Arrived here at Fairfield today to get an A.T.C. ship overseas. No telling when we’ll leave exactly.

    Thursday, March 1st Still waiting here at Fairfield for the trip over. Getting to Sacramento every night. Pretty good town. Cooley’s crew left about 4 days ago and Warren and Combs were to leave this morning. We may hear something today.

    Saturday, March 3rd Alerted today to remain on the post for imminent shipment.

    Sunday, March 4th Leave this evening for Hickam Field, Hawaii in a C-54 of A.T.C. Destination on this trip is to be Biak Island in the Netherlands East Indies. Thence on to Nadzab, New Guinea.

    Sunday, March 5th Arrived at Hickam Field about 5:00 A.M. and told to remain in A.T.C. terminal to re-board ship bound for our destination. Later told to go to the transient BOQ and await orders. Released from alert and visited the city of Honolulu. Very disappointing. Narrow, dirty streets and ramshackle shops all over town.

    Tuesday, March 7th Still hanging around here and not doing much. No telling how long we’ll be here. This field sure is beautiful, though.

    Thursday, March 9th Went swimming at Waikiki Beach today and saw more of what we expected than we did in Honolulu. Nice boulevards, palm trees, and hotels. The beach isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but it was still good swimming. Ate at a nice place that looks like a private home converted into an Officers’ Club.

    Sunday, March 12th Visited Pearl Harbor today and boarded small aircraft carrier. Tried to contact Joe Flood, but no soap.

    Friday, March 17th Left Hickam this morning and went to Johnston Island. Just a small island Naval Base with an airfield for A.T.C. West from there to Tarawa and saw a little evidence of the terrific fight that took place not too long ago. Then on to Marcus and finally Biak. We gained a day (or rather lost it) on the way to Biak, so when we arrived at Biak it was
    Sunday, March 18th Biak is a pretty crummy place. Tents with no floors except the mud and it rains every night.

    Tuesday, March 20th Left Biak this morning and arrived here at Nadzab about a little after noon. We’re supposed to get in a few training flights, some ground school, and about 3 missions here. Murph went into the hospital today with a bad case of athlete’s foot and a touch of jungle rot. The tents here are a lot better than Biak and have wooden floors. We’re situated in a beautiful valley with high mountains all around and green grass and trees.

    Thursday, March 22nd Wow! We really got soaked last night. It rained like hell and the wind blew so hard it threw the rain into our cots by the bucket full. Spent most of the night bailing out the puddles in our cots. Like sleeping in the drink!

    Saturday, March 24th We heard this evening that Biak was bombed yesterday. Looks like we left there just in time. Theory is that three Japanese Betty’s came in on the tail of a transport plane and dropped the bombs. Mess hall was hit and some casualties resulted. I’ve met quite a few of the old Carlsbad gang here.

    Wednesday, April 4th Scheduled to fly today, but Murph is still in the hospital.

    Tuesday, April 10th Supposed to go on a strike today, but same condition as above.

    Thursday, April 12th Murph released from hospital today, so maybe we’ll get in our missions soon. Buck and I have been going to mass every evening and we talked Hodge and Bruni into accompanying us last night. Saw father Muldoon (swell chaplain) after mass and made arrangements for Hodge and Bruni to take instructions from him for First Communion. We went with them this morning and found Father Muldoon to be extremely intelligent in addition to being a swell personality.

    Friday, April 13th Went with the boys to listen to Father Muldoon again this morning. Heard the terrible news that President Roosevelt passed away last night. The country certainly is losing a good man in him and I can’t see Truman taking over. So far, we’ve heard nothing over the radio as to the news connected with his death. It sure is a shame that he had to pass away when his dream of victory in Europe seems to close to being fulfilled. Patton’s army is now within 65miles of Berlin and the situation there certainly looks wonderful. We’ll be listening tonight for all the details connected with the President’s Death.

  2. #22

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

    Thursday, April 19th Flew our first mission today, flying right wing in first element. Bombed Kairiru Island in the Wewak area. Carried 4 – 2000lb G.P. bombs.

    Friday, April 20th Second mission today in the Wewak area again. Target was Cape Boram gun positions. Flew lead ship in first element, using 4 – 2000lb G.P. bombs.

    Saturday, April 21st Completed third mission today which finishes us at this station. First plane out so when we took off late we missed the formation. Flew a “lone wolf” raid on gun positions near Wewak using 20 – 260lb frag bombs. We’ve had unusually good luck in all three missions.

    Tues – 24th Left Nadzab and arrived at Biak once more. Place seems to be a little better than when we were here five weeks ago. We’ve been assigned to the 13th Air Force and will go from here to Morotai (still in N.E.I.) We’ll probably go from there to the group to which we’ll be assigned.

    Monday, Mat 7th Tomorrow will make two weeks since we arrived here. Boring as hell and everybody’s bitching about getting to our outfit. Hope we leave soon.

    Tuesday, May 8th Left Biak and arrived here at Morotai this afternoon. In spite of what we expected, we’re assigned right here on the island. 307th Bomb Group, 371st Squadron. Everything points to a good deal here. V-E Day has finally arrived and talk is all of sending men from ETO out here. Now that it’s over in Europe perhaps Vin will get to go home. He was wounded in France after a couple of months and spent quite some time in the hospital, both in France + England. He expected to return to action.

    Saturday, May 12th Heard today via the grapevine that Joe Katanski was married while at Langley. Buck heard from Alice, who heard from Janet, who learned the news from Sam. Sure would like to see Joe + Gib over here. I think we just missed them at Biak.

    Saturday, May 26th Flew our first mission with the group today, bombing Jap positions on Tarahan. Took off at 10:15 + landed 20:55. Carried six 1000lb. G.P.’s B-3 position in lead squadron. After bombing we flew single ship over Tawau for reconnaissance photos. If all our missions could be like this one this whole tour would be a lark.

    Monday, May 28th Tonight at the movie we heard of a news report given by radio Tokyo to the effect that Japs from the neighboring Halmaheras had invaded Morotai and that Yanks on the island were fleeing to Tarakan. They also reported that all the bombs dropped by the Superforts on Toyko in the raid yesterday dropped harmlessly between buildings. Haw!! What fools these mortals be!

    Saturday, June 2nd Flew another mission yesterday to a new target, Labuan Island off the west coast of Borneo. Bombed buildings + installations with 100 # G.P. (30). Cloud cover at original altitude so we dropped down to 3000ft . Ran low on gas so we had to land and refuel at Zamboanga. Total flying time – 13:05 (B-3)

    Tuesday, June 5th Our mission for today was convoy cover. Rendezvoused with the convoy about an hour from base and flew cover over it for six hours. Carried 6 300lb depth charges, but brought them back. Heavy weather caused us to remain at 500 - 800 feet altitude. Flying time: 9:40.

    Friday, June 8th We received our “Baptism of Fire” today when we met heavy flak over Balikpapan on our seventh mission. Carried 24x260# FRAGS. Scheduled to fly in position B-3 again, but due to a turn-back we took over B-1 at rendezvous. Our target was (supposedly) light and medium guns, but from the way that flak burst around us at 16,000 feet I’m inclined to doubt it. Perhaps our luck has changed, since we were one of the few ships that weren’t hit. One bombardier and a camera-man in our squadron were wounded. Due to a faulty bomb-bay door we were forced to drop our bombs in the ocean. No second runs on Balikpapan!! We may get credit for a lead mission on this.

    Sunday June 10th Eighth mission today, this one covering the invasion landings on Labuan. Noticed quite a few landing craft and also Navy ships shelling the shore installations.

    Monday, June 11th Still hearing about our snafu over Balikpapan. Had to attend investigation by group and later on see Major Lawton about why I didn’t have door pins pulled so as to drop from another bomb bay. Notice posted resting the blame on me. Incidentally, coverage on Balikpapan target was zero per-cent.

    Tues., June 12th Heard today that I’ll probably lose credit for that mission over Balikpapan. Another mission to Balikpapan tomorrow, still trying for those gun positions. Promises to be pretty rough.

    Wed., June 13th Fortunate crew on this latest raid on Balikpapan A/A’s. All ships in the squadron were holed, including two little ones in our ship. Major Lawton in lead ship got a gas leak and was forced to land at Sanga Sanga. Whole crew (ours) okay.
    Letter yesterday from home stated that Vin is finally back in stateside. I’m sure glad of that. I’ve had two swell letters from him in the past week.

    Tues., June 19th Today on our 11th mission we had old 946 again and couldn’t maintain airspeed to keep in formation. We went into Cape Penadjam, Balikpapan on a single ship raid. However, due to almost complete cloud coverage, we missed the target and dropped on another part of Cape Penadjam. Crummy mission. Surprisingly enough, we haven’t seen any flak at all on these last two missions to Balikpapan, although Hodge said he spotted about four bursts on the one before this.

    Sunday, June 24th Thirteenth mission today was a pretty interesting one. Navy is hanging around Balikpapan waiting to invade with Aussie troops. They’ve been shelling the place and perhaps that’s why we haven’t encountered so much flak lately. Today our target was the mine field off-shore. Formation was changed to two-ship elements and pattern was pretty good except for 2nd element in our squadron which cut right over the target and dropped on the shore. Ginsberg didn’t fly with us on this mission. When the loading list was posted yesterday we wondered why he wasn’t on it and it wasn’t until Murph went to check with operations that Ginsberg admitted he asked to be released from the crew. He did that about four weeks ago and I think it was a damn low trick. Oh well, can’t say as I’ll miss him too much. We now have a total of 125:05 combat flying time.
    This island was bombed the night before last by Jap Betties. Right after we carried out Col. Roe’s orders to fill in all fox-holes, too. We’ve been having a couple of raw deals in being assigned to clear the shore and construct roads. Supposed to be for an inspection by Generals Wurtsmith and Kenney. MacArthur was here a couple of days ago.
    On this latest mission we searched the coast of the Celebes for the two remaining members of the 372nd crew that went down a few days ago. We saw their ship in the water, almost in perfect shape, but no sign of activity. The toughest break I’ve heard since we arrived here concerned these fellows. They lost an engine and couldn’t maintain power on another one. The whole crew was supposed to have bailed out except for the pilot and co-pilot. They made a perfect ditching and the whole crew save for the bombardier and the tail gunner were picked up by the Cat. However, the Cat cracked up on takeoff, killing the pilot and co-pilot of that crew in addition to their own radio operator. The returned members of the crew said that the last they saw of the two missing members was when they appeared to be frozen when they should have been bailing out. From that account, it looks like they went down with the ship.

    Tuesday, June 26th Boy, I hope we don’t get too many missions like today’s. The mission ran ok, but we took off at 0215, so no sleep last night. Bombed shore installations on Manggar preparing for the invasion of Balikpapan soon.

    Thursday, June 28th Eighth time over the Balikpapan area today. These last few missions have all been aimed at softening up the shore installations. We got into A-1 position today when lead ship had a faulty C-1. Another one of those 0215 T.O. jobs.

    Wednesday, July 4th Went on a shipping search today with Dixon’s crew to the southern coast of Borneo. Didn’t find anything to hit, but strafed a deserted Sugar Sog on the coast near Bandjermasin. Went to secondary and bombed the barracks area at Tandjoeng. This was my longest mission yet, including a total of fifteen hours and twenty minutes.

    Tuesday, July 10th Last night while at the show we had an air raid alert, but nothing came of it. The 372nd is guarding the beaches these nights, just in case.
    Our missions are really going to come slowly now under this new system. So far it looks as though we’ll only pull about one a week. Wish we’d move up where we could get more missions in!

    Saturday, July 14th We didn’t fly from the 6th until Thursday, 12th. Missions are really slowing down. We were on air alert over Balikpapan again, but the target was closed in, so we bombed Donggala in the Celebes in single ship elements. Met a lot of weather on the way back and a 600’ ceiling over the field.
    Lots of rumors circulating as to this latest training program. General consensus is that it’s a preparation for moving up. That will really slow down our time for getting home and everyone is pretty much P.O.’d. Wish we’ve move right now.
    A new squadron was added to the group this week – 373rd.

    Friday, July 20th Flew a mission which should have been a pip today, but it fizzed out. We were to bomb and strafe hostile natives in the Togians who turned over three of our men to the Japs. It was to be a retaliatory raid as a lesson to become friendly. We wasted so much time before bombing that we had no time to strafe. We were flying B-1 and Major Thomas flew with us. When we got disgusted after 5 dry runs we broke out of the squadron and led the second element in. Then we made another run as a single ship.

    Thursday, Aug. 2nd Got back today from a three-day sojourn at Paliran. Left here on the 31st to stage out of Palauran on a strike to S.E. Borneo yesterday. That day is designated as Air Force Day and all units of the A.A.F. were to fly. We hit the ship building yards at Pontianak. Murph didn’t fly since he’s on orders to go to C.R.T.C. at Manila. I flew with Capt. Manger in A-2. Total time was 21:55 – 4:40 to Palawan, 12:00 mission + 5:15 back.

    Saturday, Aug 4th Murph left today for C.R.T.C. at Manila where he’s to be instructor and ass’t. operations officer. I hope he gets a good deal out of it, but right now it looks like he’s taking it in the end. We’re to get Price for our new pilot. He was formerly McJuade’s co-pilot and seems to be okay. When we returned from Palawan we learned that Major Lawton, our C.O. was killed in a crack-up in Manila. Capt. Hoskit, operations officer is acting C.O.

    Monday, Aug 6th Learned today that we’re definitely headed for Okinawa in the near future. Rumor has it we’re to leave by the 13th. I just hope we can start flying as soon as we get there. If we do and continually fly regularly we may be home by Christmas.
    Today they brought a Jap hospital ship into the harbor loaded down with 1500 fully equipped troops and large stores of ammunition and supplies. They captured it somewhere near here, probably headed for the Halmaheras. Could be they expected to land here?

  3. #23

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

    Here is a newspaper clipping regarding the combat missions that 2nd Lt. Kane took part in:

  4. #24

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

    Hi Folks,

    Sorry I didn't make a post yesterday. My great uncle from Florida visited and I wasn't able tobreak away to work on the diary. I will also be away this weekend... so expect another post sometime on Sunday or Monday.

  5. #25

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

    Dont worry, you have done such a good work posting this here that you deserve some time off.

  6. #26

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

    Quote by Poromies View Post
    Dont worry, you have done such a good work posting this here that you deserve some time off.
    Thanks! I will be sure to finish the diary next week.

    In general, this project has been a lot of fun for me. The only unenjoyable part is the way my eyes feel after straining them while working on the diary for hours!

  7. #27

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

    Quote by GIZMO8Z View Post
    Thanks! I will be sure to finish the diary next week.

    In general, this project has been a lot of fun for me. The only unenjoyable part is the way my eyes feel after straining them while working on the diary for hours!
    Here ya go.......

    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Best Regards,


    [/COLOR][CENTER][COLOR=#ff0000][SIZE=3]URGENTLY LOOKING FOR: 1982 era Argentine military issue goggles. Fravida 109, and "Sanbuee" French lens type

    [/SIZE]Have a look at my 20+ (so far, work in progress) albums for lots of M1's, rare liners and other stuff, including WW2British helmets, Falklands battlefield pickup helmets and let me know what you think!

  8. #28

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

    Quote by aj4010 View Post
    Here ya go.......

    Oh wow! These work GREAT! THANKS!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #29

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

    I will be working on the diary today! Expect another post this evening.

  10. #30

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

    I apologize for the delay! I have completed transcribing the diary and I will post it tonight!

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