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THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 1944
E-QUEENS SYNOPSIS CHAPTER I: The story of the famous 19th and 7th Bombardment Groups, of Lieut. Col. Frank Kurtz and his Fortress crew tn 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 §9. finds eight of his crew lying in an irregular line. CHAPTER II: 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 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 hall. The Japs move off. They hear another hum. "P-40s.” 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 tn 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 Apart. 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 VII: 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 ih 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. CHAPTER VID: 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 fail to make target. On third trip over, Kdrtz sees tremendous concen tration of ships, makes bomb run. Jap fighters come up. "Bombs away!" CHAPTER IX: Bombardier says they had caught Jape flat-footed. At Malang Field boys are briefed before dawn, told about big concentration of Jap ships N.E. of Borneo. They take off, but hit a frightful tog. 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 ana heads for Surabaya Field. Sets her down safely on short runway. Dutch get reinforcements from U. S.—new E model Forts. PROUDLY CHAPTER XI: Bombardier tells bl 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. CHAPITER 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 XIH: A Jap transport hit by U. S. bomb, goes up in confetti. Lieut. Kurtz, now in Batavia, gets word that P-40*s are on way from Australia with belly tanks. The p-40's arrive at Gnoro. Japs move into Borneo and the Celebes, and three waves of Jap bombers fly over Java. CHAPTER XIV: An American sub sneaks through from Corregidor with 14 passengers aboard. Sergt. Boone, the gunner, tells how Queens die. CHAPTER XV: Java sea now full of Jap carriers, continues Lieut. Kurtz. Japs bombard helpless Dutch town. Scant Dutch rations described. Japs come over and blow up the kitchen a bomb scores a direct hit on their supply of beer. CHAPTER XVI “The Dutch made us steel tripods for them in a machine shop, but we had a hell of a time getting anyone to dig the holes. We were flying missions and couldn’t do it our selves. So Silva and I took the thick and went into Madiun. On the street corners we saw a bunch of natives standing around picking their teeth or scratching their bot toms. We argued they must be Jap sympathizers, or else they would have been busy helping win the war. So we pulled out our .45’s, and by a coincidence they all got into that truck, and dug us some of the nic est foxholes you ever saw. After that, when the alarm would go off we could run to those foxholes and swing a gun—we knocked down five Zeros with them in the short time we were there. “We were fixing up our planes, too. Our tail guns had finally cured the Japs of making attacks from be hind. Now they were coming in at all directions, hunting for our soft spots, feeling us out like we were some dame on a sofa, but mostly they were hitting us head-on, be cause they discovered that in the nose we had only a single little .30 caliber. I guess the designers, aft er putting in those tail guns, had figured they could rest on their lau rels, but you can never do that long in a war. “So we got busy there on Madiun Field. We mounted a big .50-caliber down in the navigator’s compart ment, rigging it so it would fire out of the ventilator. And for good measure we stuck in another .30 caliber. “Since then they’re carrying out this idea at the factory, but the only way any factory can learn what is needed is from the combat crews themselves. “Those Jap pilots were smart. They’d fly their machines dressed like natives, so if they bailed out they could just walk away and min gle with the crowd. But we weren’t afraid of them—even flying in the small numbers had to. In the States a formation would be twenty seven planes. Out there it was usu ally three or six. Three of us.would ©.WHITB W.N.U.EEATUHW die be flying along^ fifteen or twenty Zeros were hit, and we’d come back with a score of eight or nine. May be not all demolished, but hit so they had to leave—we’d see them going down in crazy spirals. We learned some tricks about those nose attacks. When we’d got to the tar get and had separated, each picking our transport, and the Zeros would hit us head-on, the pilot would point his plane directly at the Zero. This cut down the Zero’s raking power, because it gave him a smaller sil houette. We were in his sights for a shorter time. We’d get some close shaves, though. I remember one day off Bali—we were out there bothering a Jap destroyer we could glimpse from time to time as the clouds sailed past—when all of a sudden over the interphones: ‘Zeros coming up!’ At first I heard noth ing, and then our top turret gun started hammering—old Red up there couldn’t get his guns that far down, but I guess he was just firing for the hell of it. Then all of a sudden—whoosh! a Zero came up right square in front of my compart ment window, so damned close I could see his guns smoking as they fired, even see the lands inside his wing gun barrels—almost head-on. He came up and over, and old Britt got him as he turned down be hind. “But about the time we got those new guns rigged in the nose, the. Japs started staying away from us. We’d be flying along pretty as you please when a flock of Zeros would come into view, but staying well out of range—just looking us over. Then one of our gunners might fire a burst in their direction, just to let them know we were on the )alls. Or some times the Zeros might come in for one or two wide, sweeping passes. But mostly they’d go off with their tails between their legs. Toward the last they only tried to get us on the ground. They knew we had no protection there to speak of—no fighters and no pom-poms. They’d come in insolent as could be.’’ (Meaning the gunner a were in the ball turrets ready to fire.) “That was the week I got into something way over my head in this liaison work,’’ said Frank, “but first you ought to look at that big de luxe hotel which was the unofficial capi tal of Java. Its lobby, bar, and din ing room were crowded with uni forms—British, Dutch, and Ameri can. It looked like a Hollywood cos tume parade. “It was an enormous high ceilinged spacious thing, open to the soft Javanese air—little tropical birds would fly in and out of the dining room and roost on the gleam ing chandeliers. r,The Dutch are great eaters, and they have something they call reis taffel. You order it and then sit back and eat while twenty-three waiters line up and walk by your ta ble, each carrying a different sauce or fish or bowl of relish or rice. I tried it once and managed to live by eating only every other course, but your true colonial Dutchman will stoke in all twenty-three into his big pot, drenching the layers down with mugs of beer. “In the bar you might see the boys of Patrol Wing 10 in from re connaissance, drinking Daiquiris (this hotel was Navy billeting head quarters), and often I would see my old Hollywood High School classmate John Robertson sitting there in his off hours, very handsome in his Na val pilot’s uniform, and with him was the most beautiful girl in Sura baya. “She had dark hair, and an almost ghostly pale face that was sad in re pose. Then a smile would quickly light it up, and you’d wonder how you could ever have thought that. And the most beautiful legs in the city. When she’d walk through tfce bar clinging to John’s arm and look ing up at him, even the oldest and crabbiest admiral would rustle a lit tle in his chair and lean out to give them a formal inspection. The younger Naval pilots envied John to the point where they would have hat ed his guts if they hadn’t liked him so much. “John was very busy and I don’t think he gave her much thought, but still it’s nice to have the most beautiful girl in town crazy about you, to the point where it even both ers the admirals. “She was, so they said, a very high Dutch socialite and had lots of money, which you might guess by how simple and expensive her eve ning dresses were. In the daytime she wore a beautifully tailored uni form of one of the woman’s volun teer organizations. I think she drove a car for the Dutch General Staff. “Meanwhile my job was growing by leaps and jumps. In that hotel dining room you might see General Wavell, the British Commander in Chief, or Admiral Hart, or General Brett, who commanded the United Nations Air Force, or Van Oeyen, the Dutch Commander in Chief. I was circulating among the tables, and my brief case was so crammed with hot information I wouldn’t trust it in a checkroom. “There was a feeling of tension. Refugees had been crowding in from Singapore and Sumatra. Now there was a feeling that maybe they’d be crowding out soon. Lots of the na tives had already left, and those ser vants who remained you knew were staying only because they were very loyal. But to whom? Maybe to the Dutch. Or maybe to someone else —staying around to watch us, re laying information we knew not how, or to whom. You couldn’t be sure of anything. ‘‘Except that 1 knew they were watching me, maybe only out of idle curiosity as I circulated from one table to the other, and kept that brief case leaning against my leg when I sat at my own table. "That hotel certainly wasn’t built to keep military secrets. The big high-ceilinged bedrooms had only swinging half-doors like barrooms— open to the air above and below. The barefooted native servants looked after them, only I’d catch them slipping in and out of mine at queer times of the day. But I thought I only imagined it. I also suspected they were listening in the corridor outside. One evening a couple of the pilots were down from Malang—going back the same night —sitting on my bed while we talked over new orders, and somehow a feeling grew on me we were being watched. I whispered to the others to go on talking, slipped off my shoes, tiptoed to the door. Just as I opened it I caught a glimpse of a white robe flitting around the corner. When I got cut into the blacked-out corridor, I could see nothing. But then I was sure. “That night I slept with my brief case under my pillow. In addition every bed was provided with a Dutch widow. At first the American pilots didn’t know what to make of this and would kick them out on the floor. I should maybe explain that a Dutch widow is a long padded bolster, and if you sleep with it between your knees, it keeps your legs from press ing together and sweating in the tropical heat. After a while the pilots began to like them. “But that night I went to sleep wondering about the white shape I’d seen flit around the corner. It seemed about the same size as the waiter who had been staring at me in the dining room for the past three days. Only staring isn’t quite the word. Because this particular little chili-picker had glassy eyes like a turtle. I could never catch them di- The same fist which held the flash light also held a steel knife. rectly on me, but I had the feeling it was I he was interested in. “Two nights later Lieutenant Jac quet came up from Malang. By the time we had finished work it was so late I suggested he’d better spend the night with me. I put my brief case under my pillow as usual. On this particular night it contained something so important I don’t even like to talk about it now. Maybe that was why I slept uneasily. Or maybe because the whole outlook for the war was so bad. I realized in the Philippines I had only been lucky, and I might never get out of Java. It was very hot, and in the distance a thunderstorm w’as mut tering as it moved toward the city. “Anyway, I’d been lightly asleep for about an hour when a glare awoke me. It was a flashlight, held very close—a jiaje of yellow light coming through the mosquito net ting over my face. But in this haze I could see that the same fist which held the flashlight also held a steel knife, and that its point stuck down into the yellow cone of that flash light. The other hand was just touch ing the edge of my pillow. “I gave a yell 'and dived through that netting like a cat, but the yel low light instantly winked out, and I was standing there alone in the darkness, while Jacquet rolled out on the other side. He hadn’t been as nervous as I, and was sleeping more deeply. But just then a blue lightning flash lit up the room, and by its quick glare I saw the door into the corridor closing (I was sure I had locked it). But when I got out into the corridor it seemed empty. “Why hadn’t he stabbed me? I think because he was surprised to find Jacquet there. One of us would surely have been able to make an outcry. And I thought to myself, ‘Well, stranger, for a newcomer you’re sure getting into a lot of things, because you never thought some guy you didn’t know and had never bothered would ever try to kill you through mosquito netting in a place called Java.’ The brief case was okay.’’ “And the queer thing was,” said Margo, “that just at this time the report got back to America that Frank was dead. He^d been killed in a flying accident in Java. I was down in Florida by then, and the only man I could really talk to was Cliff Jensen, an Air Corps boy we had know’n at March and Albuquer que, and later at Morrison Field. “He was stationed near by, and now was working twenty-one hours a day for the rest of the gang who were fighting in Java. I could real ly, talk tn. Cliff—we understood, each THE BLIFFTON NEWS, BLUFFTON, OHIO Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country— buy another $100 War Bond today the war is still on and some of Bluffton’s young blades realized it when gas rationing pinched and they went by bus to Russell’s Point Sunday night and speaking of rationing meatmarkets here are hav ing plenty of trouble trying to keep a supply of ham on hand since the points were taken off some folks have gone on a regular ham-jag if you know what we mean and when it comes to headaches there’s the school board—they were in ses sion until way after midnight Mon day with budget troubles—that’s an other way of saying they were trying to make ends meet which re minds us that strawberries are 40 cents a quart bananas more plentiful—that bunch hanging in front of Charlie’s place Tuesday looked like old times and Ralph Stearns and Jack Berry of the post office celebrated birthdays on Tues day .... summer not yet officially here—but Nightwatch Murray re ports seeing the first firefly of the season Sunday night sonii of the boys planning to be out bright and early on Friday first day of open bass season—others will be up all night just to be sure of an early start and then there was the funeral of the Left Bower, mourned by the faithful few and slacks and swimming trunks coming back after a week of chilly weather and don’t forget that extra War Bond you intended to buy. Speaking of war bonds, a solicitor said the other day that there should be more emphasis put on the fact that when you buy a bond, that’s only half of your duty—the other half is to keep it. To illustrate the point he told the story about the soldier who dreamed he was out in New Guinea in a fox hole under heavy Jap fire w’hen a sergeant took away his gun. “You see”, the serg eant explained'“the guy who loaned the money for this gun wants to cash his bond and get his money back.” If the farmer residing near Ada who lost a fox terrier dog in Bluff ton on Saturday reads this column, he will be glad to know that the dog was picked up Monday and is await ing its owner at the city building. Mrs. Wm. B. Augsburger was right when she got a folder for her family’s ration books last Friday other. The rumor that Frank was dead somehow reached Australia, and of course the Air Corps is a small place. In a few days Colonel Truesdell in California heard it from one of the ferry pilots, and a few days later Cliff heard of it. He didn’t tell me, because he wasn’t quite sure, but some people thought it had really happened. “I could feel the difference. They were looking at me queerly now. They would say what a fine boy Frank ‘had been.’ Or that they were praying for his safe return. They never understand. They can’t see that what you’re anxious about is not the distant future, but this very night. Is he hungry? Must he go out on a mission? Maybe he’s been badly hurt during the day, and you don’t know it yet. "Praying that everything will be all right during those weeks and months to come scares you—it’s ask ing too much, you’re afraid. You just pray he’s all right tonight, and isn’t wounded, and will get enough sleep, so he’ll be strong and alert and have a good chance tomorrow. You don’t dare ask more. "Also those strong plump sun burned men who could leave their business for months to lie around on the Florida sands were very ‘real istic’ about the war—sure it was all a terrible mess and everything was going to pieces, offering me lots of sympathy. But what had any of them ever done to get us a decent Air Force in the past? Or what good were they or their ‘realism’ doing anyone now? I liked Cliff’s better. He knew what the boys were up against and was up half the night trying to hurry reinforcements. Out of the little we had (and he knew how little), so they could hold what they could. Cliff made sense. The rest was a nightmare.” "When we’d first hit Java,” said Frank, “we’d been full of the offen sive spirit—sure we were going to roll the Japs back off the Philippines onto Formosa with those thousand planes which, according to rumor, were coming within three months. The second month was almost up now, Java was unsteady under our feet, and we’d so far received about two dozen P-40’s, maybe a few more Forts than that, and seven dive bombers. Hardly fifty planes in all. "Now we knew the offensive was out for the time being. What we prayed for was fighters—to defend what was left of our Forts and those beautifully camouflaged Dutch air fields. With fighters to hold them off, we knew wc could hold Java. "All right, suppose the Japs had moved into Timor and cut the jugu lar vein from Australia, so that our P-40’s could no longer hop on the island chain to us on their belly tanks? Why not a carrier? Couldn’t the Navy spare just one—which could load up with P-40’s in Austra lia and then, when it was still several hundred miles from Java and out of range of the Jap bombers, it could turn the P-40’s loose, let them fly on in to us, and go bach for another load? and remarked "Now if I lose one, I will lose them all”. She lost them all Monday. Navy Recruiting Sergeant Sanzen bacher in Bluffton the other day told one of the youth who applied at the Lima office for navy enlistment. Asked whether he was a high school graduate the youth replied he would have finished last month except he had not written six themes in his English composition course. “Any way”, he said “what good would English do me in the navy.” “Just this” answered the sergeant “You know that Admiral King, the navy’s big boss had a 25,000 word theme to write when he made his report to the secretary of the navy the other day, which is something more than your half-dozen themes of 300 words each.” The boy got the point, finished his themes and is now in training for the navy—and who knows, maybe a future admiral’s post. A bracelet and necklace of fire opals was received Monday by Mrs. Albert Benroth from her son James who is in the India-Burma sector with an American air unit. The bracelet and nacklace were fashioned by native Indian jewelers. Alexander Flythe of Hampton, Ya., a supervisor in the big shipbuilding yards at Newport News, where battleships are constructed, is spend ing the week with his father, Roland Flythe and his sister, Mrs. Oscar Wenger and family. This is his first visit to Ohio and he likes the country, except for the absence of hot biscuits, a part of every southern meal. Orden Smucker, former Bluffton high school instructor and son Jan, not yet four, now living in Columbus are both attending Ohio State uni versity this summer and carry identical tuition receipts excepting Jan’s is for the kindergarden and his father’s for the graduate school. They start out together every morning at 9 o’clock for the campus and Jan is left at the University School kindergarden while his father goes on to the Commerce building where he is teaching and working for his doctor’s degree. You can join the navy to see the world—but when it comes to hair cuts, you’ll have to wait just as they do in civilian life. Gerald “Tuffy” Swank, former Bluffton barber who is now in the navy doing barbering for the service men at Neptune Beach, Florida, says he usually has from 15 to 25 waiting their turn. Homer Gratz, Jr., stopped into his shop the other day and was un recognizable in all his flying togs. Homer takes off every day for air plane gunnery practise. Also seen recently was Cloyce Diefendeifer and Mrs. Nell Doty and two sons of Jacksonville, former Bluffton resi dents. One of her sons, Bernard Doty is chief in a navy ship repair unit. The Harold Stonehills who expect ed to leave Monday to make their home in Phoenix, Arizona, are delay ed several days because of a case of mumps which their son developed the first of the week. Charles Gazette, captain of the first zone teain to complete its house- to-house solicitation in the last War Loan drive, is willing to stack up his four fellow solicitors against eny number other teams may have. At last week’s organization meeting to prepare for the Fifth War Loan campaign opening Monday, Gazette refused additional solicitors who were available, with the remark, “We can handle our work all right without more help.” On the team with him are R. K. Cooney, M. M. Murray, George Rauenbuhler and Amos Tschiegg. It was a high spot of adventure last week for little Sarah Jane Over holt, aged six when she traveled alone from Bluffton to Akron return ing to her home after visiting her aunt, Mrs. Millen Geiger. The little Miss made the trip over the A. C. & Y. railroad making direct connection between Bluffton and Akron, in care of Brakeman Thomas. Cull dairy cows usually have ex cellent appetites. Sheet Metal Work of all Kinds Roof Repair, Spout ing, Furnace Repair Come in and get acquainted All work guaranteed satisfactory J. A. LEATHERMAN One Block North of Traffic Light BEAVERDAM, OHIO 25 MEN WANTED The Waf 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 WANTED WHOLE MILK for the manufacture of Spray Powder AND 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 SOUR CREAM FINDLAY, OHIO All Hiring Done Through the for the manufacture of Butter Highest Prices Paid for All Dairy Products THE PAGE DAIRY CO. BLUFFTON, OHIO PHONE 489-W United States Employment Service 216 South Main St, Findlay, Ohio PAGE SEVEN New’ Jersey entomologists say that effective control of the European corn borer also reduces smut infestations by 30 per cent. WANTED: Man wanted to learn tire retreading. Here is an opportunity to learn a trade that will continue when war is over. No Sunday or holiday work. Good salary. Apply to Manager, Firestone Stores, 5 0 2 West High, Lima, Ohio. Phone 40081. THE A. C. & Y. RAILROAD HEEDS BRAKEMEN BOILERMAKERS MACHINISTS CAR REPAIRMEN SECTIONMEN TELEGRAPH OPERATORS BRIDGE AND BUILDING CARPENTERS Must meet WMC requirements. These are full wartime jobs and good possibilities for postwar work. Liberal railroad retirement and unemployment benefits. Call at the nearest A. C. & Y. station and the agent will give you complete information. The Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railroad Co.