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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. #31

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

    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, Aug 8th After listening to a lecture last night on possible internment in central Russia when we start operating out of Okinawa we learned today that Russia declared war.

    Thursday, Aug 9th Everything happens to me! I was called out of the tent this morning at 10:30 and told to report to Capt. Nesbitt in Group S-1 in regards to shipping to C.R.T.C. I didn’t want any part of this, but it seems as though I’ve been roped into it. I’m to go there with some pilot from the 424th to work as a team on some new type of radar bombing known as “SHORAN.” Just now when we had the chance to complete our missions and get home soon, I hate to leave the outfit. I can’t think of one thing in favor of going there. I was supposed to ship out after noon chow today, but due to delay in getting cleared and transportation we’re going to Manila on a navigation training flight in a 372nd ship. Just heard this morning that our crew is eighth in line for return to the states too and crews are going to start leaving as soon as their replacement arrives.

    Friday afternoon, Aug 10th Arrived here and no one seems to know the story. All we hear is that we’re to take the SHORAN course and then teach it to incoming crews. There are only six such teams making a total of 12 men. There’s one 24 crew besides ours and the rest is comprised of B-25 crews.
    Murph is in the same barracks I am and says that new crews won’t start arriving here until about a month and a half.

    Friday night, Aug 10th WOW!!! The most sensational news yet! The whole of Clark Field here is in an uproar over Japan’s proposal to accept surrender under the Pottsdam agreement provided the emperor is allowed to remain in power. Now starts the real sweating out! There’s no telling what our status will be should the war end now.

    Sunday, Aug 12th Latest report on the surrender is the paper sent to Japan by the Allies stating that Hirohito must take all orders from the Allied commanders if Japan surrenders. The big thing now is waiting for Japan’s reply to see whether the war goes on or it’s all over. Everyone’s on pins and needles as the same report comes over the radio about every half hour. They say that yesterday all planes on the line were alerted and refitted with baggage racks, ready to fly occupation troops into Japan. Sure wish definite word would come, one way or the other.

    Monday, Aug 13th Still no word from Japan!

    Tuesday, Aug 14th Still no official word, although Domei reports that surrender has been sent through Switzerland.

    Wednesday, Aug 15th

    THIS IS IT!!

    Went down to the line this morning to take first SHORAN hop and we heard over the radio that the Japanese surrender has arrived in Washington and an official announcement was made by President Truman that the Japs have enumerated each point clearly, accepting all phases of the Pottsdam Terms of unconditional surrender.


    This SHORAN equipment is damn accurate, but a little complicated at first.

    Thursday, Aug 16th MacArthur has sent word to Japan that the Japanese ambassadors who are to sign the surrender agreement are to fly to Ie Shima in a specially marked plane. There they will be picked up by an American plane which will fly them to MacArthur’s headquarters here in Manila to sign the document. So far they’re still playing the old waiting game by failure to send any word as to when they will leave Japan. Official V-J Day will be proclaimed when the papers are signed.
    Went on second SHORAN flight this morning and I managed to get the procedure down fairly well. Training consists of bombing a rock out in the ocean on SHORAN equipment. Damn good apparatus. If the war had continued, plans were to send subs or surface craft into Japanese home waters with ground station equipment to bomb the homeland. So far we heard we’re to continue with our training program. In charge of the program is a full colonel with a major bombardier and a captain pilot. There are sixteen of us in training; eight pilots and eight bombardiers. When we finish the course we’re supposed to start training new crews on the use of SHORAN.

    Sunday, Aug 19th Japanese envoys left Japan this morning for Ie Shima, thence on to Manila. Negotiations will begin tomorrow and time + place set for signing surrender.
    Three SHORAN flights so far.
    Mail sure is slow now. Haven’t had any in about 3 weeks. They say it’s all coming by boat now, due to some secret mission of all C-54’s. It’s presumed to be flying troops into Japan.

    Thursday, Aug 23rd News broadcast today stated that Gen. MacArthur will fly into Japan on the 28th with occupational forces and the surrender will be signed on the 31st. I don’t think I’ve met a guy in the army yet who likes Mac personally, but no one can dispute his brilliant strategy throughout the war. He’s a great general.

    Tuesday, Sept 4th Well, the papers have been signed and everything is now official – complete unconditional surrender of Japan. We heard the broadcast Sunday from the Battleship Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay where the surrender was directed by MacArthur. The big problem now is when the hell are we going to get home. It’s lousy hanging around here with no war on.
    The 307th moved up here a few days ago. The 13th is to be garrison air force in the Philippines. Buck, Murph and I went to the club here Saturday night and on Sunday afternoon we went into Manila. That place sure is in shambles and I’d never go out of my way again to visit it.

    Thursday, Sept 20th Rumors have been flying thick and fast lately as to when we’ll get home. If the 13th A.F. doesn’t want this SHORAN project we may all be able to leave. So far we hear that everyone with over 200 combat hours is eligible to leave and they’ve started to cut orders on us. It sure sounds good, but I’ll be believe it only when I see Frisco. Willis left yesterday to go home and Baner left this morning for his outfit where he’ll get his orders for return.

    Wednesday, 26 Sept. We got our most encouraging news today concerning return to stateside. They put in orders for all of us with combat time to go home. They’re expected back in about 2 weeks, so here’s hoping.
    Letter from Kitty today divulged that she’s left W.E. and is now working as a secretary with Berg + Gergstrom, importers. Ray has again been turned down for induction and I’m sure glad of that.

    Monday, 8 Oct. Saw Murph and Buck this afternoon and learned that they’re due to go home within two weeks. They’re to go on the Sunset Project. However, this evening Howie James was up to the house and said that he’s going home on the Sunset now, but had to sign a statement accepting immediate discharge upon return to the states. Since both Murph + Buck want to remain in the army, I don’t know how they’re going to make out. Last saw home a year and two days ago.

    Wednesday, 10 Oct. This morning we moved to the 570th barracks opposite C.R.T.C. The idea was to keep us handy for administration in case our orders should come back soon. They left Boncom about 5 days ago. Saye + Binen didn’t move, since they’re assigned to the 13th and are now doing engineering jobs. This colonel here seems pretty anxious to get rid of us and I hope it’s soon.

    Wednesday, 17th Oct. Well, this sure is a dirty deal. This morning orders came out for all the eligible men except those from the 13th A.F. to go home. They’re to be at the Replacement Dept tomorrow noon. I don’t know why the hell we weren’t on them. Going to Manila this afternoon to get a new A.G.O. card.

    - - Updated - -

    Thursday, 18th Oct. Things can sure happen fast in 24 hours. We returned from Manila at 3:00A.M. and Johnson told me then that everyone was on orders to go to Leyte at 8:00 morning. So here I am, sitting in the 137th R.D. waiting for a ship bound stateside way. We’re to process tomorrow and prospects are that we’ll be on our way within 2 weeks. It sure is swell now that the time has finally come and it’s hard to believe, even after only 7 ½ months over here. If we’re not here too long I don’t think I’ll write at all. The guys who are here are Adams, Hurley, Stanley, Cox, Hamilton, Johnson, Price, Dunn, Simonson and myself. We left Gaston and Bishop back in the 570th since they haven’t the combat time.

    Friday, 19 Oct. We processed this morning and I requested to be kept in the army. I don’t know how it will work out, since it will all be up to the army and not me. Hurley, Blunt and I will be sent to Fort Dix, so perhaps I’ll start and finish my army career in the same place. Still no telling how long we’ll be here, but we’re all set now and the only thing that remains is sweating out the boat. “♪ ♫Gonna take a Sentimental Journey, Sentimental Journey home! ♪ ♫” Best news since the war ended!

    Sunday, 18 Nov. One month today waiting in this hole for transportation home. Millions of rumors and the latest is that we’ll get a boat within the next 3 or 4 days. However, it seems to me I’ve heard this song before. We’ll have to hurry to make it by Christmas and it sure will be swell to see everyone again.

    Tuesday, 20 Nov. Departed Leyte 13:00 today on M.S. Tjisadane for the long voyage home. The ship’s crew is Dutch with Lascar (Indian) sea-men. The trip should take 21 days.

    Saturday, 1 Dec. Amoozin’ but confoozin’. Today is the first and so is tomorrow, due to crossing the international date-line this morning. We’re now in our own back yard and are due to reach Frisco on the 9th. It sure sounds great, not that it’s so close. We’ve been having some pretty rough weather the past three or four days which has slowed us down quite a bit. We’re having a pretty enjoyable voyage, since this is a pretty nifty boat. Simonson, Blunt, Price, Cox, and myself are billeted in the bow of the ship in the forward dormitory with 11 other men. Except for the fact that the ship rides pretty rough here we have plenty of room and pretty good quarters. The chow on the ship is by far the best I’ve eaten since leaving the states.

    Saturday, 1 Dec. (2nd time) Heard the Army-Navy game today on the ship’s P.A. system. Army trounced them 32-13.

    Monday, 3 Dec. The ship has been re-routed and we’re to dock in L.A. instead of Frisco. Due in some time Sunday night and disembark Monday.

    Sunday, 9 Dec. Well, tonight’s our last one on the boat and our last one outside of “the continental limits.” At 7:30 tomorrow morning it’s good old Uncle Sugar Able and if I never leave it again that’s swell.

  2. #32

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

    Tuesday, 11 Dec. Came into Camp Anza yesterday afternoon by train from the dock. We’re to leave here for Fort Dix and re-distribution. That last night on the boat was really something. Nobody slept, but kept looking for the lights of L.A. in the distance. We saw the airways beacon of Santa Barbara in late evening and by midnight a flow was visible in the sky. We were greeted in the outer harbor about 6:30A.M. by a “Welcome Home” ship and dis-embarked about 7:30. After a three hour train trip we reached Camp Anza and it sure felt good to be back on a regular army post in the good old U.S.A. We were supposed to leave for Dix this evening, but the 50 of us from the 137th were snafu-ed by being casuals. Now we’re to leave tomorrow. Looks like we’ll make it for Christmas.

    Monday, 4 Feb. 1946 Arrived in Greensboro today after 45 days T.D. at home. We arrived at Fort Dix on 18 Dec. after an eventful 6 day trip from Camp Anza which included a locomotive blow-up just before we got to Harrisburg, Pa. While at Dix I signed a statement to remain on active duty until 30 Dec., 1946. I’m sure regretting it now after having a real taste of home at long last. I guess I signed in order to get out of Dix and head for home on the same day. They were the most pleasant 45 days I’ve spent in the last three years.

    Wed., 13 Feb. Heading for home this afternoon en-route to Midland, Texas. Attempted to get out of the army yesterday, but I was told I’d have to wait until I got to next base. Sent a wire to Midland requesting 10day delay, but I’m pessimistic about it. Murph is here too, having been home before me. We returned here together and both leave for New York today.

    Thurs., 28 Feb. Well, I got that delay and here I am emplanted in the middle of nowhere. This field sure looks like a ghost-town and seems to be slated for de-activation. Train arrived here at 12:30 this morning. Have to go through processing all over again to find out what I’m to do. There doesn’t seem to be any use for me in the army, so I’d sure like to get out. I could have changed the category on my enlistment and got out before 30 Jan., but I didn’t get to Greensboro until a few days later.

    Sat., 2 March Had a talk with the assistant C.O. today in another attempt to get out, but no soap. They seem to think there’ll be a new directive from Washington concerning my category within the next few months, so I may get separated before December afterall.

    Mon., 4 March Went to see classification officer this morning as per notice on bulletin board and learned that I’m alerted for an early shipment. They don’t know where to, since they just sent the names to Randolph Hdqtrs. And they’ll decide where I’m to go. Have a funny feeling I’ll be going to Sheppard Field or San Antonio.

    Wed., 6 March Took bus from Midland this morning and arrived in San Antonio tonight. Spending the night in town and will go to the field in the morning. This is the old cadet pre-flight base and is now designated as Military Training Center.

    Thurs., 7 March What a coincidence! I ran into Bob Blunt this evening and found out that he’s in the same barracks I was assigned to today. He said that Murph stayed at Ellington Field working with the M.P.’s Bob’s an instructor in maps and photo class. From all indications it looks as though I’ll be assigned as a Tactical Officer to one of these basic training squadrons.

    Fri., 8 March Started to work as a Tack Officer with Squadron X X Wing II. I’m assigned to Sqdn. XX, but it hasn’t been activated yet.

    Mon., 11 March Shifted to work with Sqdn. SS, Wing III. Captain Gere is the C.O. and seems to be a pretty good guy. Chuck Tulley is the Supply Officer in the Sqdn. He’s Bob Blunt’s room-mate and a swell guy. Boy, the club here is really terrific. Next to Hamilton Field, I think it’s the best club I’ve seen in the states.

    Wed., 20 March Tulley and I have both been re-assigned to Sqdn. XX since it’s been activated. Captain Gere left for Sqdn Commanders’ School at Boca Raton and will assume command of this Squadron upon return. In the meantime, Tulley is acting C.O., Stewart McAdoo is Adjutant and I’m to act as Senior Tactical Officer. Little also came over from SS and will work as a Tack Officer. It’s really an experience handling these jeeps. They can ask more questions than I’ve ever heard before and they’re really green as far as this army is concerned. We’re supposed to train and wet-nurse them all through basic.


  3. #33

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


    4-19-45 Wewak R.W. 5 Kairitu Island 2000lb

    4-20-45 Wewak LEAD 5 Cape Borham 2000lb

    4-21-45 Wewak SINGLE Ground Support 260# FRAG.

    *5-26-45 Tarakan (B-3) 10:40 Ground Support 1000# G.P.

    6-1-45 Labuan (B-3) 13:05 Bldgs. + Install. 106# G.P.

    6-5-45 Convoy Cover (S.S.) 9:40 NO-BOMBING 350# D.C.

    6-8-45 Balikpapan (B-1) 11:00 Gun Positions 260# FRAG.

    6-10-45 Labuan (B-3) 13:05 Ground Support 100# FR. CLUS.

    6-13-45 Balikpapan (B-2) 10:00 AA Guns 100# FR. CLUS.

    6-17-45 Balikpapan (B-2) 10:05 A/A Post. 260# FRAG.

    6-19-45 Balikpapan (S.S.) 11:35 A/A Pos. 260# FRAG.

    6-22-45 Balikpapan (B-3) 10:15 Bks. Area 250# G.P.

    6-24-45 Balikpapan (B-3) 10:40 Mine Fields 325# D.C.

    6-26-45 Balik. (Manggar) (A-3) 11:00 Shore Install. 260# FRAG.

    6-28-45 Balikpapan (A-1) 11:00 Shore Install. 260# FR.

    7-2-45 Balikpapan (B-3) 12:15 Ground Support 500# G.P.

    7-4-45 Tandjoeng (SS) 15:20 Bks. Area 250# G.P.

    7-6-45 Balikpapan (B-1) 11:15 Ground Support 250# G.P.

    7-12-45 Donggala (S.S.) 11:30 Personnel Area 1000# SAP

    7-20-45 Tobili (Togians) (B-1 + S.S.) 7:15 Village Area 100# G.P.

    8-1-45 Pontianak (A-2) 21:55 Ship Yards 250# G.P.

    - - Updated - -

    Jan. 14th Kitty’s Birthday
    Jan 21st Mother’s Birthday
    Jan 24th Mother + Dad’s Anniversary
    Jan. 30th Raymond’s Birthday
    April Dad’s Birthday
    Dec. 16th Theresa’s Birthday
    Sept. 19th Harry Barry’s Birthday
    Jan. 12th Kathleen’s Birthday
    July 10th Fred Hintze’s Birthday
    June 10th June Kennedy’s Birthday
    June 27th Bill Kennedy’s Birthday
    December 15th Mickey Kennedy’s Birthday
    November 24th Patty Kennedy’s Birthday

    Identification Bracelet. Jan 19, 1943 – Party. Betty, Rose, Jenny.
    Wrist-Watch. Jan 19, 1943 – Party. W.E.Co. Gancy.
    Identification Bracelet. Christmas, 1944. Kitty.
    Lots of Christmas gifts from all. The folks.

  4. #34

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


    First and foremost amongst these places is the Chicago Servicemen’s Center. What a terrific deal. Dances, food, entertainment, smokes, and a million and one other things, all on the house. The remaining impression on any soldier’s mind after a visit to the Servicemen’s Center is the wonderful hospitality of the place. Every resident of Chicago sure tried their best to make a fellow feel at home. They’re great people to whom I am eternally grateful. Other places in Chicago that I visited among their civic establishments were the planetarium, the museum, Soldiers’ Field.

    Capital Bldg., Madison, Wis.
    University of Wisconsin.

    Capital Bldg., Montgomery, Ala.

    Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico.

    Los Angeles + Hollywood – Can’t name them all, but a few were: Mocambo N.C.; Florentine Gardens N.C.; Santa Monica; Brown Derby.

    Ely Nevada
    San Francisco and it’s numerous “spots.”
    Sacramento and ditto.
    Waikiki Beach
    Pearl Harbor Naval Base
    Johnston Island
    Nadzab, New Guinea
    Lae, New Guinea
    Morotai – Zamboanga – Palawan

    Manila and its scenes, including the wreckage of its best buildings and the Walled City.

    Leyte and the sloppy city of Tacloban with its open markets.

  5. #35

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

    Good morning ladies and gentlemen!

    I forgot to mention that I found some small slips of paper folded up and tucked into the rear cover of this diary. They include prayers/ songs that 2nd Lt. Kane wrote, a letter from home, news paper clippings, etc. I will be sure to post them up, along with pictures of the remainig pages of the diary.

    I am surprised by the lack of responses to this thread. Feel free to post comments and questions! If anyone noticed a mistake in my transcribing, let me know!

  6. #36

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

    I have said this once already, but you have done a very good job transcribing the diary so that everyone can read it all over the world. It has been really interesting to read the diary, it offers an insight to the war by the eyes of a soldier. I cant really put a word on it, but this has to be one of the most (perhaps even the number one) interesting thread on this forum.

  7. #37

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

    Quote by Poromies View Post
    I have said this once already, but you have done a very good job transcribing the diary so that everyone can read it all over the world. It has been really interesting to read the diary, it offers an insight to the war by the eyes of a soldier. I cant really put a word on it, but this has to be one of the most (perhaps even the number one) interesting thread on this forum.
    I wouldn't go that far, but it has been a labor of love! I am just glad that I could make this Hero's story available to all.

    I should be able to transcribe the remaining contents of the diary and snap photos of everything in a few hours.

  8. #38

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

    Hi Folks,

    Just an update... Today I was able to get in touch with the President of a society/ website dedicated 307th Bombardment Group. Very nice guy and he seemed very excited and eager to work with me on this diary.

  9. #39

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

    With my trip to Italy and now my new job, I've been neglecting this fantastic diary. Here are the final pieces that I've transcribed and taken pictures off. The include a set of three songs/ poems and a funny little letter Lt. Kane must have received from his sweet heart back home!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In a quaint caravan
    There’s a lady they call the gypsy.
    She can look in the future
    And drive away all your fears.
    Everything will come right
    If you’ll only believe the gypsy
    She could tell at a glance
    That my heart was so full of tears.
    She looked at my hand and told me
    My lover was always true
    And yet in my heart I knew, dear
    Somebody else was holding you.
    But I’ll go back again cause I
    want to believe the gypsy
    That my lover is true
    And will come back to me some day.

    - - Updated - -

    Click image for larger version. 

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    One night I wandered by a stream
    And you were standing in the moon mist
    I thought at first you were a dream
    Until you smiled there in the moon mist
    The first faint flush of love
    Was on your starlit face
    And in the hush of love
    We met in one embrace.
    Now til we meet again I’ll Treasure
    That magic love we shared in the moon mist.

  10. #40

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

    Click image for larger version. 

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    When you walk thru a storm
    Keep your chin up high
    And don’t be afraid of the dark.
    At the end of the storm
    Is a golden sky
    And a sweet silver sun up above
    Walk on thru the wind, walk on thru the rain
    Though your dreams be tossed along
    Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone.
    You’ll never walk alone.

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