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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. #1

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

    I recently found this diary in the trash. It is very detailed diary and in general a wealth of information that we will find interesting and valuable to our interest in World War II history.

    I have decided to transcribe the entire diary, both so it is easier for us to read, and so people from around the world can use an online translator to enjoy it. I have also decided to take pictures of each page so that if you wish, you can read the diary from 2nd Lt. Kane's hand. Another reason for taking pictures of the diary is that I noticed that at times, it seems that there are subtle changes to 2nd Lt. Kane's handwriting.

    I will make posts in this thread as I finish typing up sections. I figured that this would be the best way to allow forum members to follow along and not be overwhelmed.

    Without further adieu: The Wartime Diary of 2nd Lt. John J. Kane Jr.

    IDENTIFICATION: (at time of induction)
    Name: John J. Kane Jr.
    Rank: Private
    Serial Number: 32726782
    Unit: Unassigned
    Stationed at: Fort Dix, New Jersey
    Religion: Catholic
    Date of Birth: Nov. 3, 1922
    Weight: 145lbs
    Color: White
    Color of Hair: D. Brown
    Height: 6’ 1 ¾”
    Color of Eyes: Blue
    Birthmarks or Other Distinguishing Features: None.
    Nearest Relative or Friend:
    Mrs. Mary Kane. New York, NY.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Complete War Diary of 2nd Lt. J.J. Kane Jr. B24 Bombardier in the P.T.O.

    SERVICE RECORD (Transfers and changes in rank):

    Fort Dix, N.J. Unassigned. Induction center. Jan. 28, 1943 to Feb. 4, 1943.

    Miami Beach, Fla. Air Corps Unassigned. Basic training. Feb. 6, 1943 to Feb. 25, 1943.

    Stevens Hotel, Chicago, Ill. Radio School. Operator and Mechanic. Feb. 27, 1943 to April 6, 1943. Made P.F.C. March 10th.

    Truax Field, Madison, Wis. April 6, 1943 to June 14, 1943. Accepted as prospective Aviation Cadet on May 21, 1943. Left Traux Field on June 14th.

    Arrived Keesler Field, Biloxi, Mississippi June 16th. Took three weeks basic training again. Left Keesler Field on July 7th.

    Arrived at East Tennessee State College in Johnson City, Tenn. to begin studies as an aviation student on July 8th. Left E.T.S.C. on Sat. Nov. 6th.

    Arrived Nashville Army Air Center Sun., Nov. 7th, 3:30 A.M. Left Nashville Wed., Dec. 15th.

    Arrived Tyndall Field, Thurs. Dec. 16th as an Aviation Cadet. Left Tyndall Fri., Feb. 11th.

    Arrived Maxwell Field, Fri., Feb. 11th. Left Maxwell Wed., May 24th.

    Arrived Carlsbad Army Air Field, Sat., May 27th.
    Commissioned 2nd Lt. on Sept. 30th upon graduation from C.A.A.F.

    HOME SWEET HOME. Oct. 3rd to Oct. 6th.

    Reported to Lemoore on Oct. 10th. Left Lemoore on Oct. 24th.

    Arrived Tonopah Oct. 27th. Left Tonopah Feb. 16th, 1945.

    Arrived Hamilton Feb. 17th. Left Hamilton Feb. 23rd.

    Arrived Fairfield Feb, 23rd. Left Fairfield Mar. 4th.

    Arrived Nadzab Mar. 20th. Left Nadzab April. 24th.

    Arrived Morotai May 8th. Left Morotai August 10th.

    Arrived Clark Field August 10th. Left Clark Field Oct. 18th.

    Arrived Tacloban, Leyte Oct. 18th. Left Leyte Nov. 20th.

    Arrived Camp Anza, Long Beach, Cal. Dec. 10th. Left Camp Anza, Dec., 12th.

    Arrived Fort Dix, Dec. 18th. Left Fort Dix, Dec. 18th.

    Arrived Greensboro, Feb. 4. Left Greensboro, Feb. 13.
    Last edited by GIZMO8Z; 06-12-2012 at 03:20 PM.

  3. #3

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


    On Entering The Service:

    Date: Nov. 17, 1943.
    Weight 148lbs.

    April 4, 1945. Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Ribbon authorized

    April 19, 1945 (auth.) Bronze Battle Star(1). New Guinea Campaign.

    Bronze Battle Star(2). Luzon Campaign. G.O. #33. USAFFE 19 Aug. ’45.

    Bronze Battle Star(3). Western Pac. Campaign. G.O. 138. AFPAC. 28 Aug.

    Bronze Battle Star(4). Air Combat – Borneo. G.O. 138. AFPAC. 28 Aug.

    Bronze Battle Star (5). Southern Philippines Camp. G.O. 186. USAFP. 24 Sept.

    Air Medal. G.O. 1776 FEAF. 7 Aug.

    O.L.C. to Air Medal. G.O. 1909. FEAF. 31 Aug.


    August 13, 1945

    Dear Mrs. Kane:

    Recently your son, Lieutenant John J. Kane, was decorated with the Air Medal. It was an award made in recognition for courageous service to his combat organization, his fellow American airmen, his country, his home and to you.

    Hi was cited for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flights in the Pacific Area from May 26, 1945 to June 24, 1945.

    Your son took part in sustained operational flight missions during which hostile contact was probable and expected. These operations, consisting of bombing missions agains enemy airdromes and installations as well as attacks on naval and cargo vessels, aided considerably to the recent successes in this theatre.

    Almost every hours of every day your son, and the sons of other American mothers, are going just such things as that here in the Pacific.

    Theirs is a very tangible contribution to victory and to peace.

    I would like to tell you how genuinely proud I am to have men such as your son in my command, and how gratified I am to know that young Americans with such courage and resourcefulness are fighting our country's battle against the Japanese aggressors.

    You, Mrs. Kane, have every reason to share that pride and gratification.



    George C. Kenney,
    General, United Sates Army,
    Last edited by GIZMO8Z; 06-12-2012 at 02:52 PM.

  4. #4

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


    Walter Ulitch – my first buddy in the Army. We ha dattended the same school, worked in the same shop. We were both inducted on the same day and lived in the same tent at Fort Dix for six days. Jan. 28 - Feb. 4. We traveled the same route from Fort Dix and journeyed to Miami Beach, Florida. Assigned to the Air Corps! Three weeks basic training for me in Flight 467 and then I was transferred. So-long to Walt for a while. He’s really a swell guy. Sincere and plain, nothing put on.

    John Montepaone – another tent-mate at Fort Dix. I discovered that he lived only a few blocks away from my own home. He too, was shifted to Miami Beach with us and took basic training with us. Unlike Walt, he left there the same time I did and we attended radio school in Chicago together. Also shifted to Truax Field together and remained so until I left for Cadet Training. So-long to John for a while. It was he who introduced me to a girl in Chicago and we had two double-dates with her + her girl-friend.

    Guy Mardelli – my first acquaintance with Guy was in Chicago, but I never got to really know him until we got to Truax. He was another swell fellow. He had one of the most natural sense of humors I’ve ever seen. Really interested in radio. He’ll make good in that field and if he sets his mind to it, I believe he’d make a good crew-chief.

    Gus Liptak was another fellow from Fl. 467 in Miami Beach. He too went to Chicago + Truax with us. A native of New Jersey.
    Joe Pitia – the fourth member of our basic training flight who went to Chicago radio school. He was lucky enough to remain there since he passed the gunner’s test. Plain and quiet, he rarely left his room, but spent most of his time writing home.

    Al Rossetto – another northern boy! Al was from Manchester, Conn. I made my first acquaintance with him in Chicago and we continued our friendship in Truax. He left for Cadet training about three weeks before I did.

    Leo O’Toole – another comic. We had some fun with Leo in the barracks. Always ready to kid around. Native of Bridgeport, Conn., along with Guy.

    Jim Goble – left Truax from the band there to join cadets. Same hut at Keesler; room-mate at St. Teachers + Swell guy!

    Al Kinard – another former member of the Truax Field band. Also room-mate in Tennessee . (navigator)

    Ken Olsen – left Truax from same squadron (618th) as I did. Lived in the same barracks for a while there. When we left Keesler, he went to college in Murfreesboro, along with ----------

    Bill Newman – a New Yorker (Long Island) who had been down in Trinidad before joining the cadets.

    Al Tatum – he went to Murfreesboro, too. Texan.

    Jim Lewis – same hut at Keesler. Same class at college. I get a big kick out of him and his antics. (W.O. at N.A.A.G.)

    Bob Griswold – another swell member of our college class. He’s from Chillicothe, Illinois. Hell of a lot of swell guys in this class. (W.O. at N.A.A.C.)

    Bob Edwards – room mate after first month in college. Another northeasterner, so it goes without saying that he’s a swell guy. Lots of fun, too.
    Other room-mates were
    Daniel Gerard – Saginaw, Michigan (W.O. at N.A.A.C.)
    Howard Torrible – Houston, Texas. Typically Texan – slow, lazy, slow thinking, but a nice guy. (W.O. at N.A.A.C.) Both nice fellows.

    Pete Kalenack – Syracuse, N.Y. Comical guy and a lot of fun. Same class at J.C. and bunk-mate in Nashville. First met Pete on K.P. at Keesler Field. (W.O. at N.A.A.C.)

    Mike Krasnewsky – Waterbury, Conn. Met Mike at Tyndall and had quite a bit of fun with him. He became a “wheel” a Maxwell and shipped to San Angelo about 3 weeks before we left.

    Gib Klinkner – Muskegon, Mich. Same barracks at Nashville, but I didn’t know him too well there. Roomed with him at Tyndall and found out he’s a pretty swell guy. Also roomed with him at Maxwell and now at C.A.A.F.

    Bob Jacobsen – Providence, R.I. Same situation as Gib, only I didn’t room with him until Maxwell. Lot of fun.

    Jerry Gedemer – Racine, Wisconsin. Knew him since Johnson City, but didn’t hang out with him until Maxwell Field, when we became room mates.

    Amber Molver – Seattle, Wash. Quite a comical guy. Although he tried to be serious. Good guy. Met him at Tyndall, too and also roomed with him at Maxwell.

    Willie Muhl – Buffalo, New York. Another Tyndall room-mate. Swell, sincere kid.

    “Tex” Monroe – Texas. Yes, another room-mate at Tyndall. His father died just before we left Tyndall and we shipped while he was on furlough. Met him again at Maxwell, but he didn’t ship out with us. Swell guy!

    Jimmie Jordan – Jersey City. Hague’s right- hand man in Jersey. My bombing partner in C.A.A.F. Another swell guy.

    Joe Katanski – first met him as a room-mate in Tyndall. Same Sqdn. At Maxwell, went to C.A.A.F. with us. Palled around a lot with him and Gib. Both of them went to Langley for Radar training from Tonopah. Hope to see them both overseas. They’re both great guys.

    Ray Murphy (Tuckahoe, N.Y.) Murph is really a great guy. Met him at Lemoore where he became my pilot. As I write this I’ve been with him for about 10 ½ months and have never had any reason to change my opinion of him. Have to get to see Murph when we’re both home.

    “Buck” Buchanan (Lexington, K.Y.) Actually, it’s James Alan Buchanan, but he’s always been known as “Buck.” Insists that’s the way he pronounces his last name. He’s the co-pilot on our crew and another swell guy. All through Tonopah Murph, Buck, and I have been known as the “Unholy Three.” The enlisted men of the crew:

    James J. Kennington – Engineer (Ind.)
    Berton W. Hinkel – Radio Oper. (Wis.)
    Glen Hodge Armorer Gunner (Mo.)
    Mandville J. Kai – Nose Gunner
    Frank Bruni – Martin Gunner (Penn.)
    David J. Grayson – Tail Gunner (N.Y.)

  5. #5

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

    Calvin D. Harman (2nd Lt.) My instructor at advanced who was probably more than half-way responsible for my graduation and commissioning. Besides being a good instructor he was a swell guy. He lives in Ohio and had his wife in Carlsbad.

    “Judge” Morrisey (2nd Lt.) His nickname emanated from from his sober appearance, although he was quite a “drinkin’ man.” He was our navigation ground school instructor at Carlsbad and we pitched many a good party with him in the Crawford.

    Bill White (2nd Lt.) Bill was an instructor bombardier at Tonopah and was a member of quite a few of our parties in the club there. He lived in Chicago.

    Galvin (1st Lt.) Never did learn his first name, although he was also in on the above. He was a buddy of Bill White and had completed his missions in the E.T.O. (15TH Air Force - Italy)

    Capt. Becker – He was squadron bombardier in our group when we arrived there and was also a 1st Lt. at the time. Later promoted to Captain and group bombardier.

    Donald E. Barrett (2nd Lt.) Successor to Becker as squadron bombardier.

    Joe Henry (Capt.) Squadron navigator. Joe was also a 1st when we entered the squadron.

    Major Lawton – Our squadron C.O. He had been in a squadron in Italy and came over here after a while in the states just about the same time we did. At times he was pretty good, but at other times some of his C.S. edicts got the best of us.

    Col. Jarman – Head of our Shoraw training project at Clark Field. There were only sixteen of us and he certainly didn’t live up to his rank. He spoke to us and shot the bull just as though he was one of us.

    Major Dixon – Bombardier instructor on our Shoraw deal. He was also pretty swell in instructing us and seemed to know damned near everything about the equipment.

    Captain Winn – The pilot instructor on Shoraw. Like the other two, he was damn good.

  6. #6

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

    Jo Pandolfi – Chicago. John Montepaone and I had a couple of dates with Joe and her girl-friend while were in Chicago. Swell time. Her girlfriend was -----
    Carmella LaRocca – also of a Chicago and pretty nice, though short.

    Sue Canty, Montgomery. Jerry Gedemer’s girl. Nice girl, very young. She was a waitress in the Whitley.

    Jean, Montgomery. Sue’s girl friend and fellow waitress at the Whitley. Gib

    Klinkner went with her while we were there.

    Ruby Hester, Montgomery. Cashier in the Whitley Coffee Shop. Nice blond.

    Irene Davis, Montgomery. She was the middle-aged woman who treated us all so well while we were at Maxwell. We had a couple of good times with her, Sue, Jean, and Ruby while there.

    Eleanor Head, Montgomery. “Blondie”, who used to work behind the counter at the Whitley. Had quite a few arguments with her over the relative merits of New York and Montgomery. She worked with:

    Nellie – also of the Whitley.

    Bill and Jane Kennedy – Los Angeles. Gib, Joe and I met Jane with children, Mickey and Patty on “The Chief” from Chicago to Barstow, Calif. She gave us a standing invitation to visit their home in Hollywood once we got settled at Lemoore. We did and had a terrific time there, doing the Hollywood hot-spots. Bill works in Warner Bros. Pictures. Swell guy!

    - - Updated - -

    THAT'S ALL FOR PART ONE! I will keep on transcribing the diary and will continue to post new pages.

  7. #7

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


    Boy, as long as I live, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that first day!! When I left the house, the snow was about 6 inches deep in the street and still falling. I wore my reversible, but no hat. Waiting at Penn Station kind of gets a guy down and I was glad when we finally left. But that train! Wooden seats, back to back, each one seating three men. The ride lasted about 5 or 6 hours and we disembarked at Fort Dix in a real hail-storm. Our first piece of Army equipment was that famous rain coat(?) We moved about from our arrival until about 12:20 that night, getting shots, clothing, physical, etc. Icicles form on my hair and boy, we experienced some genuinely cool temperature. What an unwelcome surprise to learn that we were to be housed in tents! Each tent had six cots and a pot-belly stove holding about a shovel full of coal. Those mornings were might cold and the usual “nightgown” was heavy G.I. long Johns, full fatigue clothes, 2 blankets, sheet and an overcoat over all. Each morning we knocked the frost from the inside of the tent.

    Routine at Dix was reveille at 5:00 A.M. with a mass formation to hear shipping orders read, detail work until chow time, more shipping orders, more detail, more chow and so to bed. I guess my happiest moment was when I was called out of one of these mass formations and told to turn in bedding, etc. We left at about 3:00 A.M. and had a day coach from there to Miami Beach. Sleeping in a seat in this type coach is no sinch and I kind of snickered at the regular ads in Life magazine stating that the Pullmans were being used for Troop movements. Upon arrival at Miami Beach, about 4:00 P.M. on Sat., Feb. 6th, we were assigned to Squadron 1132, Flight 467. The worst part of army basic training is K.P.!! We had it about three times at Miami Beach. Living accommodations were hotels – first the Copley-Plaza on 39th Street and Collins Ave. and then the Archambo on 41st + Collins. Drill from 8:00 to 11:00, chow, drill from 1:00 to 4:00. Sgt. Kosby was our drill instructor, with the aid of Pvt. Capaso and a few others. The town was too crowded with soldiers to be very enjoyable and the people in Miami Beach didn’t seem to care much for Service Men. It was quite a relief when I shipped out of there on Feb. 25th and headed for Chicago Radio Schools. Another 2 day and 2 night trip in a day coach and we arrived in Chicago. Quite different from the heat of Miami Beach, it was cold when we got in. My first reaction was one of disappointment. I don’t know why, as I don’t recall what it was that I was expecting. At any rate, it was good to be up north again, in spite of what I said about Fort Dix before. However, my disappointment soon changed to a feeling of sincere delight when I saw our living accommodations in the Stevens and we were given passes on our first night there. Passes were good from about 5:30 to 11:00 o’ clock every night and from 5:30 Saturday to 11:00 o’ clock Sunday. It was a Terrific deal! What a town! The Service Men’s Center on Michigan Blvd. was all that a soldier could desire in the way of entertainment, food, and sincere good fun. School wasn’t so bad, as we had three hours of operating and three hours of mechanics. Had two dates here with Jo Pandolfi and her girl friend. Saw Charlie Spivak at the Chicago Theatre. On Sunday shows at the Service Men’s Center we saw Gracie Barrie, Joe Cook and a score of other entertainers. What a time!!

    One of my bluest days in the Army was when we were pulled out of class on April 6th and told to get ready to ship to Madison, Wisconsin.

    Oh, yes! Made P.F.C. on March 10th.

    Arrived Traux Field about 11:30 and walked from train to the casual area. First reaction was: “What the hell are all the tool sheds for?” Never really got to like this place, although Madison was a beautiful town. Got to know a bunch of swell fellows in the barracks here.

    Took Aviation Cadet mental examination on April 20th. Passed O.K. and took physical on April 22nd. Everything O.K. except weight, so I was turned down once more until I gained weight. Lacked six pounds. Returned to flight surgeon on May 18th and passed physical. Gained seven pounds! Appeared before Cadet Examining Board on
    Friday, May 21st and given a good send-off by examining officer. Now I was in my glory!!! Toughest part was waiting around to be called for shipment.

    Went to school on Friday night and told to return to barracks. This is it!! No word in barracks. Went to squadron H.Q. Sat. morning and was told it was a mistake, so returned to school. Once more told to return to barracks. Went to school record office and inquired. No records on file of me!! Went to Sqd. H.Q. again and they got in touch with school. Accounts verified and I was told to move into barracks with wash-outs and others on shipment. Stayed in work barracks for one week and somehow managed to dodge too much work. Told to return to school again.

    Sunday, June 13th Told to report to Headquarters regarding shipment tomorrow. Hate to leave all these swell guys now.

    Monday, June 14th Left today at 3:00 P.M.. Shipping orders state Keesler Field, Biloxi, Miss. For 28 days basic. Took day coach to Chicago. Got Pullman here. At last!! First Army trip in a Pullman.

  8. #8

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

    Great stuff man! I'm at work right now so I can't read it in detail yet. I like the bit about his buddies.

    Yes again it amazes me what some people throw out.

  9. #9

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

    Quote by KradSpam View Post
    Great stuff man! I'm at work right now so I can't read it in detail yet. I like the bit about his buddies.

    Yes again it amazes me what some people throw out.
    Many thanks! I poured myself a few cups of coffee last night and was on a roll... I wrote down everything between Christmas 1943 and Christmas 1944. As you can imagine, 2nd Lt. Kane wrote down so much... He talks about his training, talks about the Allied Invasion of France... He talks about moving from base to base to base quite frequently for different phases of training. I guess in the grand scheme of things he had it easy compared to the infantry grunts, but his life thus far in the service seems tedeous and monotonous... To be honest, I had no idea that flight crews spent so much time training. In retrospect, it makes complete sense... it's not really like flying a B24 is anything easy. You need extreme skill to even lift off in the thing, let alone fly a long distance, drop your bombs and endure aerial combat, and then return home and land safely.

    Last night I left off right as 2nd Lt. Kane was assigned to a B24 crew... he will soon break the monotony.

    NOTE! If anyone sees any errors that I've made, please let me know!

  10. #10

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

    Just added the citation to the Air Medal that 2nd Lt. Kane was awarded to Post #3.

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