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39th Bomb Group (VH)



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William Calhoon - 19th Bomb Group
Wilmington, IL.
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"I was a member of the 19th (BG) at Clark Field, Philippine Islands when the war broke out. I was with the 14th Bomb Squadron having flown from Hickam in Hawaii to Clark in September 1941 - the first flight of that scope with land-based aircraft. As things turned out, we lost our planes to enemy action and was captured when the Philippines collapsed. I was a POW on forced labor in N.K.K. Steel Mill in Kawasaki - 2 1/2 years at the mill. When the B-29s burned Tokyo, I had a front row seat and an uneasy one. Some of the planes were so low that when the searchlights boxed them, you could nearly see who was on board. The firebombs really rained down that night and all night. The planes seemed to come over one at a time from dusk to dawn. I also saw some shot down. Tokyo burned for three days and nights after that raid."

Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group"