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To launch and support the air effort, it required several times that many to service the big bombers and supply the other innumerable needs of the men that flew them. There were the mechanics that repaired the engines, the men that patched them the flak holes and the armors, electricians and other specialist that toiled endless hours beneath the blazing tropical sun to ready their bombers for the next mission. They virtually lived their airplanes.

Then, too, there were other unsung men and women that served with dedication and distinction in jobs less glorified. They ministered to the health, welfare, spiritual and personal needs of the airmen in so many vital ways. There were the mess hall personnel that fed them, the supply section that clothed them and the medics that tended their ills; the interrogators, the meteorologists and the man in the tower who we took for granted, yet relied on so heavily. And lastly but indispensably, there were the Chaplains whose presence and reassuring words of faith help lessen our fears each time we embarked into combat.

Probably one of the least recognized contributors to the victory were those performing the routine clerical tasks. Their day was likely to be boring, frustrating and repetitious as they faced miles of paperwork. Frequently, they were the butt of many disparaging jokes, yet they were indispensable to the operation of any military unit. Without adequate personnel records, rosters and transmission of orders covering every activity from pay and promotions to promotions and citations and transfers there would soon be chaos. One must remember that every action governing military life, whether it be duty or pleasure, has it's beginning on paper.

The old expression that "an Army runs on paper" is an accurate one. It was true yesterday; it is true today and will continue to be true in the future.

In summing up it can be correctly said that all of these ground support services not merely contributed to the final victory, but more importantly made it possible No responsible person ever underestimated the importance of their involvement. Their sweat and sacrifice helped make the airman's task a successful one and his life on Guam more bearable.

Robert Laird (P-5)

The Following Section is Dedicated to this Group of Personnel

Souce: "History of the 39th Bomb Group" by Robert Laird (P-5) and David Smith (P-31)
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This page was created 01 June 2001
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