|380th Bomb Group
NEWSLETTER #20 -- August 2004
Ralph Henderson, 530th Squadron, sent the following note with regards to the information contained in our March 2004 issue about why we went to Australia.
Oh boy - what started as a note on the research projects and "war dept" documents ... got me started on all kinds of 380th memories-events, i.e., our various missions out of New Guinea, Port Moresby area, nite missions to Rabula, practice skip bombings on that world war I German ship in harbor, etc. Oh well! RAH
Slow in responding to our delights in the efforts of the history project staff that brought about the internal documents recounting our (380th) destination to (and pardon our recollection that it was to get us to "North Africa" area - not specifically England) we were in with the group at Forbes AFB Kansas - where we went thru all the various briefings, etc. that were to take us thru "Florida" area, Azures and into North Africa area. In fact all the 24s that were on hand for our departure were the "sand color."
Until the nite of final briefing, when we were stunned at opening of ceremony being changed to 5th AF Pacific area and orders had us taking off following and to Hamilton AFB, Cal (Bay area) and thence to Hawaii, etc. to Australia and lo & behold what did we have to take off flying were the "jungle green" B-24s all of which had been ferried in by the "WASPs" overnite taking back the "desert" equipment.
And why is all this so special in our life is well -- - at Forbes knowing of "Africa/England" we took our leave to home - Chicago for family priority rather than California, Bay area, where my financee to be "Rosemary" was at Mills College and got her ring to her via mail --
But nite at Forbes on switch to Australia along with usual "black out" rules of phones and calls - we ended up at Hamilton AFB, of course, but lo and behold there was Rosemary and others associated with various others on our flight stopover at Officers Club before departure that afternoon to Hawaii -- "our" angel for this "rendezvous" was result of our group navigator, Ron Hillman, got thru to his special one, who in turn got to Rosemary at Mills College, etc.
Rosemary said she also recalled seeing our take off "formation" over /thru Golden Gate/SF-Oakland Bay bridges that late afternoon from her balcony room up the hills of Oakland, Cal.
Your history projects, etc. - very welcome - keep it up with more.
P.S. Yes if we had gone to Africa it would have had the 380th to Polesti oil mission targets!!
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