WWII Memoirs – 1944 – A Detachment of the Squadron Goes into Combat
Several weeks after we arrived in Hawaii a detachment from our squadron was sent to the Marshall Islands, an active combat zone at that time. I was not part of that group, so much of the information I present here came from members of the detachment after they rejoined the squadron.
I remained in Hawaii with the main squadron until it was deployed to Okinawa in May, 1945.
In the mean time, the detachment saw serious combat. On August l5, 1944 Lt. Hall and Lt. Decker were on a mission in the vicinity of the Island of Roi when both were hit by enemy fire. Decker managed to return to base on one engine, Hall crashed and was captured, later dying in the hands of the enemy.
When the Marshall Island assignment was completed, the detachment was transferred to Saipan to assist in the preparation for the assault on Iwo Jima. It flew sixty-nine missions in that campaign , but during that attack we lost another pilot, Lt. Decker. His plane had been damaged on the Roe mission, but he managed to escape. Sadly, his good fortune did not continue.
However, the Battle of Iwo Jima was successful, and bombers damaged from the air attacks on Tokyo, began to land even before the Island was fully secured!
When Iwo Jima was fully in the hands of U.S forces, The Squadron’s detachment finally rejoined the full Squadron for the final battle of World War II: Okinawa.
Next Entry: WWII Memoirs – 1944 – Honolulu
On my first day off I went into Honolulu…