28 April, one composite Squadron of the 39th of 12 aircraft,
along with other groups of the 314th Wing, struck the
Kushira Airfield. Eleven planes bombed the primary. The
other, having arrived late at the assembly area joined
the 19th Group and bombed Kanoya Airfield.
weather was clear, and the bombing altitude was around
17,000 feet. So preoccupied with enemy aircraft, results
at Kushira were reported as unobserved. Strike photographs
indicated good to excellent, while results of the 19th
were judged as only fair.
opposition was the heaviest encountered to date. Some
50 aircraft were present in the target area, and the enemy
pressed 30 to 40 attacks on the formation. Gunners claimed
nine destroyed, four probables, and four more damaged.
plane ditched that day with 11 men and one passenger.
This was Orionchek's Crew 26 with Clarence
Beevers, engineer of P-31R
on his orientation flight. P-26 had been rammed over the
target. Pulley's crew would report the location of the
ditching and all-12 men were in lifeboats. Bad weather
prevented a rescue; the men disappeared about two days
reality of losing Beevers and the enlisted members of
Orionchek's crew from our quonset was a shocker! The empty
cots across the aisle was a reminder of the seriousness
of the War. For Henry Snow,
an observer on Pulley's crew, to see his own flight engineer
lost was heartbreaking," stated David
Smith, Tail Gunner, P-31.