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C. WHITE SYNOPSIS CHAPTER 1: The story of the famous 19th and 7th Bombardment Groups, of Lieut Col. Frank Kurtz and his Fortress crew in the tremendous air campaign that saved the day for the United Nations in the Southwest Pacific. Lieut Kurtz, who was pilot of the old Fortress, known as "The Swoose,” which escaped from Clark Field, in the Philippines, tells of that fatal day when the Japs struck. He pedals to the wreck of Old 99. finds eight of his crew lying in an irregular line. CHAPTER n: Lieut. Kurtz tells how orders to camouflage Old 99 were coun termanded Instead they were to load bombs. Then he was ordered to jerk the bombs, reload with cameras and rush the camouflage. Preparations made for taking pictures of Formosa. Someone i shouts, '"Look at that pretty navy forma tion.'' The "navy formation” happens to be a flight of Jap planes. CHAPTER III: “Bombs hit the mess I hall. The Japs move off. They hear another hum. “P-40’s.” they think, but they prove to be Zeros coming in from the direction of Corregidor. The boys duck back into their foxholes. CHAPTER IV: The pilots are given their targets and towering above the group is Colin Kelly, about to head out on his first mission. Buzz Wagner is chased by Japs in his P-40 He meets Lieut. Russ Church and they bomb a Jap field. Church fails to return. The death of Colin Kelly. CHAPTER V: Fortresses are kent In the air to save them from the Japs. Through some mistake someone opens fire on them. Japs begin photographing the place. No longer safe to sleep in the barracks, cots are moved into a corn field. With no fighters left to defend them, evacuation begins Lieut. Kurtz tells of last plane trip out in a patched up plane. Japs land fight tanks at Apari. Squadron commander Major Gibbs fails to return from mission. U. S. forces flee from Clark Field to Mindanao. CHAPTER VI: Navigator Harry Schreiber tells of a fight with Zeros in which Shorty Wheless takes part. He lands in a rice paddy and is surrounded by Filipinos. The crew buys an outrigger canoe and sail to the isle of Panay. Later they take off for Australia. CHAPTER VH: Lieut. Kurtz takes up the story again. He describes the hot, dry Christmas day in Australia, and how U. S. fliers spent it. A report comes in over CW radio. It was from Schaetzel saying he'd be in after dark with one body aboard. Schaetzel gets in. his plane a wreck. Gen. Brereton lands on the field and the boys are summoned to a meeting. QUEENS DIE CHAPTER VIII: U. S. fliers arrive at the Dutch field, and shortly after start on flight for Davao, in the Philippines, but run short of gas and come home. Gas up and take off at midnight for Davao, but fall to make target. On third trip over, Kurtz sees tremendous concen tration of ships, makes bomb run. Jap fighters come up. "Bombs awayl” CHAPTER IX: Bombardier says they had caught Japs flat-footed. At Malang Field boys are briefed before daw-n. told about big concentration of Jap ships N.E. of Borneo. They take off, but hit a frightful fog. Cannot see plane right ahead. Coming out of fog they see a huge black cloud resembling tornado. It was the Dutch burning their Borneo oil. CHAPTER X: One of Kurtz’ motors is hit as they approach target. He makes direct hit on cruiser. Losing altitude fast. Tries to make Malang Field on Java, but changes mind and heads for Surabaya Field. Sets her down safely on short runway. Dutch get reinforcements from U. S.—new E model Forts. CHAPTER XI: Bombardier tells of hazardous trip to Brazil when running low on gas. and of sabotage on planes. Gunner picks up the story, tells how E model Fortresses tangled with the Japs. CHAPTER XII: Lieut, kurtz tells of bombing run on cruiser. Two hits scored. Major Robinson radios to Skiles: "Radio base at Malang to have ambulance ready.” Then Major Robinson's plane goes into a dive and crashes into sea. CHAPTER XHI “I now watched this last four fall ing through what was practically a striped fog made by Jap pom-poms coming up at us. We could see the Japs crowding the rails, trying tc jump overboard as the bombs gath ered speed. The first bomb plunked into the water alongside, but the other three went smack! smack! smack! right down what had been her promenade deck, and it looked like she was coughing up into the sky a kind of confetti made up of planking splinters and Jap infantry. My right wing man, w’ho was re leasing his bombs synchronized with me, scored four hits across the back of this ship. “You ought to hear Beardshear, our tail gunner, tell about it. Not having any Zeros to keep him busy, he was enjoying the scenery and playing ‘Yankee Doodle’ on the deck planking with his .50-calibers. He says we passed over so close that he looked down the funnels, and he called to us over the interphones that he could see what they were go ing to have for chow—rice and fish heads. Then we made our turn, and went on back to Batavia, which was crowded with refugees from Singapore. They quartered us in some university, and we had to sleep on a marble floor which was a col lege education in itself. By then Beardshear was telling it that we’d been so close that one of those eyes in one of at him.” TM/tt those fish heads winked this time,” said Frank got word from the Colo- “About Kurtz, “I nel that at last some American P-40 fighters were on their way up from Australia, equipped with belly tanks so they could take it in hops, land ing for fuel at Kupang airdrome on Timor Island. It was part of my liaison job to get them settled with the Dutch fighters at their airdrome at Gnoro. It was another beauti fully hidden field. The Dutch had to lead them to it with an escort plane. “When they landed I found there were nine, led by my old friend Major Bud Sprague, whom I hadn’t seen since the Philippines. I asked him where Buzz Wagner was, and he said Buzz just hadn’t been lucky. They’d told them in Australia that one of them had to stay behind and give the newly arriving fighter pilots a little extra training, while the other would lead the squadron in Java. Buzz and Bud had tossed an Australian shilling to decide it, and Buzz had lost he was stuck with that training job. “Bud Sprague was like many fight er pilots. He’s stocky, and he’s jumpy, like a greyhound on a leash or a welterweight waiting for the bell —pranejng all the time,. He’d heard W.N.U.YV- ▼UTunif aflbuT thiT Java fighf and was itch ing to begin—proud of every boy in his gang, and you could see they all worshiped him. “The Dutch fighter pilots, who are just as prancy as ours, were all ex cited and doing their stuff. They’d led Bud in formation, and now they were putting on a show for him. They’d dive onto the field in an at tack string, and just before they hit, they turned almost straight up in the air and then, a few thousand feet up, that string opened out in all directions like the petals of a rose. “Bud had to admit the Dutch were good. But he said he had to take one of his planes up for a test that afternoon and show ’em how to fly. And he certainly did—doing ju$t what they did, only coming closer. It happened there was a radio an tenna over their operations office, and Bud came so close down onto the field that he flew right through this. I don’t think Bud knew it was there, but when he landed and they began unwinding fhat copper wire which had twisted round his propel ler hub, the Dutch thought he had done it on purpose, and had to ad mit there wasn’t much about flying they could teach these visiting fire frien. “Bud hit it off with them right away. He praised the camouflage on their field. When he came back next day, I heard him take his own youngsters in hand. Of course it was the old hooey, but he gave them one serious warning. ‘This is the best-camouflaged field we’ll ever operate on,’ he told them, ‘so remember—I don’t want anyone to cross this field with a Zero on his tail. Bail out, beach it, but don’t come back here with com pany.’ As a result, the Japanese didn’t find Gnoro Field until two days before the end. “Not long after they came, I rang Bud up with a queer assignment for the boys. We were doing every thing possible to stop the Japs from swarming over onto Sumatra from Malaya. The Forts were out past ing their landing barges morning and night. We were using them practically as heavy pursuit—skim ming down under the weather to chase landing barges going up the rivers. “So we asked Bud to deliver a lit tle strafing, and off they went, car rying belly tanks to get them there and stopping off at Andir. They went to work with 30-pound frag mentation bombs and their machine guns, and when they got back Bud reported the P-40’s had had Japs diving off those barges in full field equipment. He sank quite a few and drowned hundreds of Japs, and every P-40 got back to Java. “But they were closing in from still another direction, could no longer operate from advance fields at Kendari and arinda across the Java Sea. Japs had moved into Borneo and the Celebes. So we waited for what we knew was coming. They musi be stacking Jap bombers onto what had been our own fields there— within easy range of Java. “We didn’t have to wait long. One morning I was at the KNILM Air field at Surabaya, checking on a transport plane which was supposed to be bringing in ground crews for Bud Sprague’s fighters, when at Op erations they reported in great ex citement that a Jap bomber force was over Java itself, headed down the island. (Abbreviation for “Kaninklijke Neder landsch-lndische l.uchtvaart Maatschap pij," meaning Royal Dutch Indies Airplane Company.) “I was panic-stricken for fear they might branch off at Malang and catch our Forts on the ground there. Luckily the pass was bottled up with fog, so they came on down toward us at Surabaya. “At almost exactly eleven o’clock we could hear them hitting the city off in the distance. We knew they wouldn’t miss us. I’ll never forget poor old Baalerts, the head of that KNILM Field. He’d never been bombed before, and asked me what to do. He had already crawled into him that was the could do, that we the concrete slit edge of the field. told he for the on us We those Sam The his car. I worst thing should run trenches at Well, we started out. weighs about four hundred pounds, and he had on a lovely white suit. He’d just married a beautiful ac tive young wife the day before, and in general wasn’t in condition to be bombed. “As we ran, we could hear the second wave coming in over the har bor next to our airdrome—hear the hollow echo as the bombs crashed into the oil storage base. They practically leveled Moro Kamban gem, the Dutch naval base there, coming in out of the sun—it was real ly a beautiful job from the profes sional standpoint. It’s second in size only to Singapore. The docks were left a shambles. Our American Na vy’s PBY’s of Patrol Wing 10 were anchored there. One or two were burned on the ways, but the rest managed to take off, although the Japs strafed a dingy full of sailors rowing out to them. They also scored a direct hit on the barracks there, so for the second time those poor guys of Patrol Wing 10 lost all they had—the first had been at Cavite in the Philippines. “Now came the third wave, head ed right for our airdrome. Echoing around in the cement of our slit trenches, the sound of the crashes was terrific. Poor old Baalerts was down lhert lying on the. concrete Baalerts floor, his white Bridal suit soaking up half an inch of dirty rain water. We were all thankful when we heard that bomb pattern moving away. They’d laid a nice strip across the field, but only one bomb happened to hit the macadam strip. “I was just hoisting out of the trench what was left of our bride groom—there had been a lot of noise and I’m afraid his condition was pretty grave—when the Zeros hit, so we got Baalerts back down again. “All the Dutch had to meet them were twelve export-model Curtiss pursuits. They had little motors and were hardly better than advanced trainers. The Dutch had come to America in 1939 with nice shiny new mined gold in their hands, begging to buy fighters. But this was all we could spare them, and it was the entire Dutch fighter force, ex cept for another dozen which finally got back from Samarinda. Well, this brave dozen was up to do what it could against fbout ten Zeros. “We watched one Dutchman com ing in for fuel when two Zeros crossed his tail, their guns going full-blast, hammering tracers into his tail—watched his plane roll over and dive into the red dust at the edge of the field. “Now another Dutch pilot comes in, with a Zero streaking for his tail, the Dutchman dodging all the way to the ground. Fifty feet from the ground he slips to the right to avoid that stream of tracers, but it’s too late. Flames come gushing out, yet he manages to land and jump He had been anxious that his wife know that he was all right. He died at three in the morning. [out of the burning plane. It’s a ter rific fight overhead we can hear the faraway rattles as they clear their guns—the brave Dutch kids are fighting for their homeland, and sev en planes were lost that morning of the twelve which had been Java’s only defending Dutch fighter force. “As I climbed out I realized the picture was darkening fast. We were depending on our Fortresses to keep the Jap transports away from Java, but we had to have fighters to de fend our flying fields. “But it wasn’t until later in the day that I found out the Zeros had got Major Straubel. one of our own squadron commanders. He’d been piloting a B-18 we used for transpor tation, and was coming from Malang to Surabaya to talk with General Brett. The Zeros hit, and from the ground they saw him go over the hill on fire. “They brought him into Surabaya hospital, and of course I w’ent right out. It was in confusion because of the raid, but tiptoeing down those dim corridors, I finally found Strau bel’s room. He was burned black, and there was no hope, but they’d given him morphine to put him to sleep, and he was groaning in his sleep. But until then, when he’d been conscious, he hadn’t let out a groan—had just been anxious that the nurse let his wife know he was all right. He died at three in the morning. “The next day the railway-station platforms were thick with natives, loaded with everything they had— getting out of town. “While the liaison work lasted I was quartered at the big hotel in Surabaya, and the whole thing didn’t feel right. You weren’t sure of these natives as you had been of the Fili pinos. That night a few were shot who were caught flashing lights into the air. And at the hotel the bare footed waiters, who slipped silently between tables and in and out of the high-ceilinged rooms, began to dis appear. “My own boy turned up a couple of days later, however—with tears in his eyes. Said he was back and to stay. He wasn’t sure what this war was about, but he’d taken his mother and sister to the country, and was back for the rest of the war. “Jap Intelligence must have been very good, because one bomber had peeled off the formation and made a direct run on the newly complet ed Dutch Army-Navy building (they had just moved in), scoring a near miss. “Meanwhile there was something else to straighten out. The Dutch fighters alone had been defending Surabaya—where had our P-40’s been? Well, it turned out that in that Dutch fighter-control room they hadn’t been able to speak English clearly enough for our boys to un derstand over the radio, so they’d been off in another corner of the sky. Getting someone in there who could talk with an American accent was another job for me. “The Forts of course had been pounding away at the Japs, and had comg. hack, jyiib- ominous news— Signs of summer—commencement season is over and subdebs in slacks swimming suits making their appearance vrith opening of the Buckeye announced for next Sunday and some of the youngsters seeking to jump the gun .they’re slicking up things at Maple Grove cemetery for Decoration day with three men busy trimming the twelve acre tract —and that’s a big job with grass growing as it does these days and there don’t next morning collection—there’s nothing like making a good appearance be fore company, you know and first straw hats of the season sighted the first of the week and that clatter you heard on Main street the other drills crews speaking of Decoration day, will be visitors in town, so put out your rubbish until Wednesday for the Thursday day might have been power cutting thru the pavement by installing the new water taps it might have been Gerald Clever who works at the Central Ohio generating plant on that little gasoline motor powered scooter that takes him places in a hurry and we’re calling attention that it’s time for D-day in the mospuito front corn planting in full swing—farm ers working from dawn to dusk— that’s why you don’t have to wait as long for a haircut at Pat’s and Bob’s fact is, we almost keeled over when we poked our head inside the other day to ask how many ahead and Pat sang out “You’re next” and with the labor short age the self-service idea has spread to filling stations and you can pump your own gas at Swiss Inn south of town. Kenneth Alspach and family of Detroit visiting home folks over the week end. Kenneth has been working for the same employer for twenty years and is one of the old timers. They usually get back for a visit before Memorial day. And Ed Blakesley and his sister, Mrs. Rose Blakesley Moore of Ft. Wayne who have been coming back to Bluffton on the Sunday before Memorial day for the past 14 years were here last Sunday—a week early this year. They come to decorate the graves of their father and mother, the late Mr. and Mrs. James Blakesley at Maple Grove. An unusual coincidence came Sat urday morning with word of the death of William Alspaugh of Rail road street and a news item on the same morning in the Findlay Republican Courier of the death of William Alspach, former Findlay resident who died in Toledo. Both were about the same age—in the eighties and the coincidence resulted in considerable morning. confusion, Saturday And another coincidence relative they’d spotted a Jap carrier out in the Java Sea and sent it away limp ing. If they’d had more strength and could have laid down a denser bomb pattern, thev’d have sunk the damned thing. The Navy’s PBY flying boats of Patrol Wing 10 were doing a wonderful reconnaissance job finding targets for us—every morning or so you might wake up to find a Jap carrier at almost any corner of the island. The PBY’s would sight a little task force in the evening, but by the time I got word to our Forts to be out there next morning, often it had slipped away. “Most important of all, ten more fighters presently arrived—hopping up from Australia via our stepping stones of Timor -and Bali. They were led in by Captain Will Con nolly, a commercial pilot, who flew a Beechcraft and did the navigating for the fighters—that isn’t part of their training. He reported they’d only lost one, which cracked up in landing at Timor Field. “But they’d had plenty of excite ment. Just as they were approach ing Timor the boys had engaged and shot down a Jap fighter. It made Connolly plenty jittery. He was an old hand at flying, but his little Beechcraft had no guns, and wouldn’t have lasted a minute in combat. So he hurried on out of there to land at Bali for lunch. But en route he sighted what was either a twin-tailed Messerschmitt 110 or a twin-engined Mitsubishi bomber, on patrol, which altered course and was coming toward them. “Will Connolly had no radio in his Beechcraft to warn the ten P-40’s in the formation he was leading, so he started going up and down fran tically to signal them. Sure enough, the kids got the idea, and the two fighters on his wing peeled off and headed for the Jap. The first one put out his port engine, but the Jap feathered it and kept on going. But then he was hit by the second P-40, which, in spite of the fact that only two of its six guns were working, knocked out the starboard motor. And just to make sure of him, a third P-40, which by now had ar rived, dived in to chew his wing off. “You should have heard those American kids when they got in. Most of them were just out of flying school, and had never before flown a P-40 except for the three-hour practice Buzz Wagner had been able to give them as they passed through Brisbane. But now they had drawn first blood, and they were excited and yipping like a bunch of fox terrier pups chasing their first tab bit. to death news was that experienced Friday by Mrs. Bertha Woods of West College avenue. In the morn ing she received word of the death of her brother O. E. Schmeil of Beloit, Kansas and in the afternoon came word of the death of her son Roy Woods in a St. Louis hospital. News travels fast these days and it didn’t take word of Supt. Longs dorf’s resignation long to get around. Altho it occurred only two weeks ago, the number of applicants for the place has surprised even the con firmed optimists. Candidates, not only from Ohio, but outside the state are looking over the place and by time of the next regular school board meeting on June 12, there should be a sizeable number of ap plications ready for consideration. In addition to the out of town applica tions, reports have it that there be some from local sources. may Red A paper flower which the Cross gave American soldiers in London to wear on Mother’s day has been received by Mrs. Harry Turner of Harmon road from her son, Harry, Junior. The Bluffton youth was a party of soldiers who toured London that Sunday and saw brities including King George General Montgomery. cele and Mrs. for Thursday unexpect- Two pleasant surprises Karl Gable last week. On her husband arrived home edly from Camp Lee, Virginia on furlough and on Friday appeared her brother Staff Sgt. Geo. Scholfield back from the Italian fighting front for 21 days. One of Scholfield’s buddies is Staff Sgt. Edwin Rice. The two have been together ever since they entered the army eighteen months ago. It looked liRb summer in Bluffton, Tuesday—but oldtimers were recall ing that 61 years ago—on May 23, 1883, to be exact, they celebrated by taking a bob-sled ride out in the country and passing orchards with apple trees in full bloom. It wasn’t very cold but the snow was deep— almost a foot of it, as they recall it now, but the snow didn’t stay long. Much aged, came early to the farmers’ woes. of the corn was badly dam Wheat and fruit, however, thru in good condition. An frost that fall, however, added Armorsville Sgt. and Mrs. Robert Matter S. of Dayton spent the week end at the Chas. Montgomery home. John Welsh afternoon. Mr. of Ada called Sunday Mrs. Ray Nonnamaker spent Sunday afternoon Mr. and and family with Mr. and Mrs. Harry Moore and family and Mr. and Moore. Mr. and Mrs. called on Mrs. son, Saturday Mrs. W. I. Hilty and son McCarty and Gerald Lysle evening. Wayne Hauenstein of Mr. and Mrs. Lima spent Sunday at the Levi Hauenstein home. Sunday callers at the Ervin Moser home were Mr. and Mrs. Ira Mc carty and son Urban, Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd McCarty and son Gary, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Hover and son Donald, Mrs. Horace Stratton, Mr. and Mrs. Carl McCafferty and Mrs. C. E. Klingler. Mr. and Mrs. Carl McCafferty were Sunday afternoon callers in Kenton. Elrose Mrs. Lucinda Koontz, Clifford Koontz, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Koontz and sons Richard, Russel, Raymond and Robert spent Sunday at the Wm. Marquart home in Jenera. Mrs. Thomas Koontz and Mrs. Wright Klingler called on Mrs. M. J. Stratton, Thursday afternoon. A large number from this vicinity attended the last day of school exer cises at the Mt. Cory school, Friday. The program was enjoyed by all. Union prayer services at the Olive Branch church, Thursday evening. Callens in the H. R. Koch home the past week were Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Nonnamaker, John McVetta of Mt. Cory, Fairy Nonnamaker, Mrs. W. W. Scothorn, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Koontz and Mr. Sutter of Pandora. Callers at the Ami Nonnamaker home last week were Mrs. Nina Thom as, son John of Cleveland, Mrs. Mary’ Hartman, son Cloyce of Hoytville, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Pils of McComb, Mr. and Mrs. S. F. Nonnahmaker, Bess Arnold of Bluffton, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Nonnamaker and sons Herold and Ralph, Mr. and Mrs. Chauncey Klingler, daughter Marilyn and son Howard, Mrs. Lucinda Koontz and Mrs. Henry’ Koontz and sons Rob ert and Raymond. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Hamilton and daughter Betty, Charles Nonnamaker, Mrs. Art Nonnamaker and daughter Kaye, Betty Bish and Mrs. Della Bond and Mrs. Hulda O’Day of Find lay were also last week callers at the Ami Nonnamaker home. Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Elzay of near Ada called Friday evening at the Henry Koontz home. Mr. and Mrs. Howard Stauffer, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Potts and daughter Alta Reva of Bluffton called Sunday evening at the Emaline Nonnamaker home. Mrs. Della Bond and Mrs. Hulda O’Day of Findlay a^l'W^ Aa'Wm namaker and daughter Kaye called Monday afternoon on Mrs. M. 3. Stratton. for the manufacture of Spray Powder AND SOUR CREAM for the manufacture of Butter Highest Prices Paid for All Dairy Products THE PAGE DAIRY CO 25 MEN WANTED The War Department and Navy are pressing us hard for maximum production of tires, tubes, life belts, landing boats and pontoons. Experience Not Necessary—Paid While You Learn GOOD WAGES--STEADY WORK Time and Half After 40 Hours As our production is essential war work we invite 4-F MEN OR 1-A-L MEN who are not now in essential war work GOOD PROSPECTS FOR REGULAR EMPLOYMENT AFTER THE WAR All applicants must comply with W. M. C. stabilization program. THE COOPER CORPORATION FINDLAY, OHIO All Hiring Done Through the BLUFFTON, OHIO United States Employment Service 216 South Main St, Findlay, Ohio PHONE 489-W APPOINTMENT NOTICE OF The State of Ohio, Allen County, s*. Estate of Wilbur Cledaa E. Steiner of_ ... ___________2, Ohio, has been appointed and qualified aa Administratrix of the estate of Wilbur R. Steiner, late of Allen County, Ohio, deceased. R. Steiner. deceased. R. R. No. Bluffton, Dated this Sth day of May. 1944. Raymond P. Smith, Probate Judge 5 NOTICE See me for sharpening steel plow points and gen* era! blacksmithing. David Basinger 125 Riley St., Bluffton WANTED WHOLE MILK THE A. C. & Y. RAILROAD NEEDS BRAKEMEN BOILERMAKERS MACHINISTS CAR REPAIRMEN SECTIONMEN TELEGRAPH OPERATORS BRIDGE AND BUILDING CARPENTERS meet WMC requirements, are full wartime jobs and possibilities for postwar Must These good work, and unemployment benefits. Call at the nearest A. C. & Y. station and the agent will give you complete information. Liberal railroad retirement The Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railroad Co.