380th Bomb Group Association
NEWSLETTER #21 -- December 2004
THE 380TH IN THE PHILIPPINES CAMPAIGN
At the Boston Reunion we included among the WE WENT TO WAR historical documents a set of the Southwest Pacific Headquarters Planning Documents for the Invasion of the Philippines. These showed that the 380th was originally selected to be the first heavy bomb group involved in these plans.
These notes will be a short overview of the Philippines Campaign because of the lack of space in this issue. We will expand this material in the March issue with some associated maps.
The planned invasions of the Philippines were as follows:
Operation GOSSIPMONGER, Talaud Islands,* October 15, 1944 (380th to be sent here)
Operation KING I, Sarangani (Davao) Mindanao, November 15, 1944 (90th to be sent here)
Operation KING III, Misamis, Mindanao, December 7, 1944
Operation KING II, Leyte, December 20, 1944 (22nd and 43rd to be sent here)
Operation LOVE II, Aparri, Luzon, January 31, 1945
Operation LOVE III, Mindoro Island, February 15, 1945 (90th and 380th to be sent here)
Operation MIKE I, Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, February 20, 1945 (All 4 heavy bomb groups to be sent here when Clark Field captured and repaired)
Operation MIKE II, East Coast of Luzon, Opposite Manila, March 5-15, 1945
History now tells us that the Philippines Sea Battle on June 19-20, 1944, during the invasion of Saipan, and the follow-up carrier attacks up until mid-September so decimated the Japanese Air Forces that United States Forces cancelled GOSSIPMONGER, KING I, and KING III, and went directly into Leyte (KING II) on October 20, 1944. As noted on the set of locations of the heavy bomb groups (following this article), the 380th's and 90th's early assignments were skipped and the 22nd and 43rd were the first groups stationed in the Philippines proper. WE had to wait until Mindoro.
LOVE III for Mindoro was moved up to December 15, 1944, and Lingayan Gulf (MIKE I) to January 9, 1945. Note that Operation LOVE II for Aparni (LOVE II) was never carried out and that of MIKE II for Eastern Luzon became an attack on Legaspi on April 1, 1945, in which the 380th participated.
A major airbase development around the Clark Field area was planned for all four heavy bomb groups for use by summer 1945. We were to be at Florida Blanca and many of our personnel worked on the initial phasing of this. However, the successes on Iwo Jima and Okinawa showed the lack of need for this base and we went to Yontan Field, Okinawa, to prepare for the invasion of Kyushu Island of Japan.
We were scheduled to be based at Kanoya, Kyushu by January 15, 1946, after the proposed invasion on November 1, 1945, along with the 90th Bomb Group.
As we all know, the atomic bombs changed all this and the war was over by August 15, 1945, just about the time we reached Okinawa. The peace treaty on September 2, 1945, ended it all and most of our personnel were back in the States by November 1945.
* The Talaud Islands lie midway between Morotai, which is part of the Halmahera Islands, and Mindanao, the large southern island of the Philippines chain.
STATIONS OF OUR COMPANION GROUPS
22ND BOMB GROUP (H)
Converted to B-24s, Nadzab, New Guinea 11 Feb 1944
Owi Island, Geelvink Bay, New Guinea 16 Aug 1944
Anguar, Palau Island 26 Nov 1944
Samar Island, Philippines 20 Jan 1945
Clark Field, Luzon, Philippines 12 Mar 1945
Motobu, Okinawa 15 Aug 1945
43RD BOMB GROUP (H)
Converted to B-24, Port Moresby, New Guinea Summer 1943
Nadzab, New Guinea ~ 15 Mar 1944
Owi Island, Geelvink Bay, New Guinea 28 July 1944
Tacloban, Leyte Island, Philippines 15 Nov 1944
IE Shima Island, Okinawa 20 July 1945
90TH BOMB GROUP (H)
Port Moresby, New Guinea 10 Feb 1943
Nadzab, New Guinea 23 Feb 1944
Biak, Geelvink Bay, New Guinea 10 Aug 1944
McGuire Field, Mindoro Island, Philippines 26 Jan 1944
IE Shima Island, Okinawa ~ 10 Aug 1945
Return to Newsletter #21 Topics page