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History of the 73rd Bombardment Squadron

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From: 26 Oct 1927
To 1 July 1943

AG 320.2 (8/31/36)
Misc. (Ret)
October 16, 1936

To: Commanding General, Ninth Corps Area.

1. The 73rd Aero Service Squadron, a unit of the American Expeditionary Forces, was organized at Camp Waco, Texas, February 26, 1918. This Squadron sailed for overseas on the “Matsonia” August 14, 1918. It returned to the United States on the “Duca D’Abruzzi,” June 18, 1919, and was demobilized at Hazelhurst Field, New York, July 4, 1919. The 73rd Aero Service Squadron is not entitled to credit for battle participation but is entitled to credit for service in France from August 26, 1918 to November 11, 1918.

2. In order to perpetuate the history and traditions of the 73rd Aero Service Squadron which served as a unit of the American Expeditionary Forces in the World War, it is hereby reconstituted and consolidated with the 73rd Attack Squadron which was constituted October 18, 1927 as an inactive unit.

By order of the Secretary of War:

(signed) G. H. Tarrey
Adjutant General.

1st Ind.

320.2
(AG-M)
Hq. NINTH CORPS AREA, Persidio[sic] of San Francisco, Calif., October 27, 1936.
TO: Commanding Gneral, March Field, California.

(Signed) H.T.P.
(Typed) H.T.P.
two rows of uniformed men pose with airplanes
The flight crews of the 73rd Bombardment Squadron (M) at McChord Field before the flight of the eight Douglas B-18A airplanes from McChord to Elmendorf. One crew, whose members are not in the picture, had flown to Anchorage a month before the other eight.

Courtesy John Pletcher

History of the 73rd Bombardment Squadron (M)

The original designation of the 73rd Bombardment Squadron (M) was the 73rd Headquarters Squadron. Originally organized 18 October 1927, the squadron remained inactive from the date of constitution until 15 July 1931. It was originally allotted to the Ninth Corps Area. On 18 May 1929 the inactive 73rd Headquarters Squadron was redesignated the 73rd Pursuit Squadron, also inactive, and successively redesignated the 73rd Service Squadron, 73rd Attack Squadron on 1 March 1935, 73rd Bombardment Squadron (M).

In 1929 the 73rd was assigned to the 18th Pursuit Squadron, and in 1931 was transferred to the 17th Pursuit Group.

On 27 march 1941 Capt. Jack N. Donohew was the Commanding Officer and was relieved 15 December 1942 by Major Henry S. Taylor. Capt. Warren E. Beth assumed command 13 April 1943.

A tabulation of the strength of the 73rd is as follows:

Date

Officers

W.O.

F.O.

EM

Airplanes

July 15, 1931

2

91

P-26 (Boeing)

July 31, 1931

7

98

Aug. 31, 1931

7

97

Sept 30, 1931

7

130

Oct. 31, 1931

6

126

Nov. 30, 1931

13

122

P-12 (Boeing)

Dec. 31, 1931

14

126

Jan. 31, 1932

15

128

Feb. 29, 1932

15

125

Mar. 31, 1932

17

123

Apr. 30, 1932

17

126

May 31, 1932

17

128

June 30, 1932

14

127

July 31, 1932

17

119

Aug. 31, 1932

14

118

Sept 30, 1932

16

113

Oct. 31, 1932

15

113

Nov. 30, 1932

16

116

Dec. 31, 1932

11

119

Jan. 31, 1933

11

121

A-17A (Northrup)

Feb. 28, 1933

9

124

Mar. 31, 1933

13

118

Apr. 30, 1933

12

123

May 31, 1933

10

122

June 30, 1933

8

120

July 31, 1933

11

116

Aug. 31, 1933

6

116

Sept 30, 1933

7

116

Oct. 31, 1933

8

123

Nov. 30, 1933

8

121

Dec. 31, 1933

9

125

Jan. 31, 1935

11

120

Feb. 28, 1935

12

126

Mar. 31, 1935

12

64

Apr. 30, 1935

14

64

May 31, 1935

12

63

June 31, 1935

12

63

July 31, 1935

11

64

Aug. 31, 1935

11

62

Sept 30, 1935

11

65

Oct. 31, 1935

10

60

Nov. 30, 1935

12

67

Dec. 31, 1935

14

64

Jan. 31, 1936

14

69

Feb. 29, 1936

14

68

Mar. 31, 1936

12

69

Apr. 30, 1936

10

68

May 31, 1936

10

66

June 30, 1936

10

66

July 31, 1936

9

64

Aug. 31, 1936

9

68

Sept 30, 1936

10

62

Oct. 31, 1936

12

59

Nov. 30, 1936

14

61

Dec. 31, 1936

13

60

Jan. 31, 1938

13

63

Feb. 29[sic], 1938

14

64

Mar. 31, 1938

16

63

Apr. 30, 1938

16

64

May 31, 1938

16

62

June 30, 1938

16

63

July 31, 1938

16

62

Aug. 31, 1938

16

64

Sept 30, 1938

17

61

Oct. 31, 1938

18

61

Nov. 30, 1938

18

60

Dec. 31, 1938

18

59

Jan. 31, 1940

21

174

8 B-18A's, 1 A17A

Feb. 28, 1940

22

145

Mar. 31, 1940

14

164

Apr. 30, 1940

14

218

May 31, 1940

13

222

June 30, 1940

10

213

July 31, 1940

11

213

Aug. 31, 1940

16

210

Sept 30, 1940

17

210

Oct. 31, 1940

18

182

Nov. 30, 1940

29

223

Dec. 31, 1940

33

222

Jan. 31, 1941

33

201

9 B-18A's

Mar. 31, 1941

29

203

Apr. 30, 1941

26

200

May 31, 1941

25

197

June 30, 1941

27

194

July 31, 1941

25

194

Aug. 31, 1941

26

195

Sept 30, 1941

25

198

Oct. 31, 1941

26

202

Nov. 30, 1941

26

203

Dec. 31, 1941

27

203

Jan. 31, 1942

30

209

Feb. 28, 1942

32

206

17 B-26's (Martin)

Mar. 31, 1942

33

205

Apr. 30, 1942

35

206

May 31, 1942

50

261

June 30, 1942

65

257

July 31, 1942

64

260

Aug. 31, 1942

58

286

Sept 30, 1942

57

282

B-25's & B-26's (Martin)

Oct. 31, 1942

59

272

Nov. 30, 1942

60

330

Dec. 31, 1942

74

344

Jan. 31, 1943

74

1

335

Feb. 28, 1943

62

1

311

A11 B-25's

Mar. 31, 1943

75

1

315

Apr. 30, 1943

81

1

305

May 31, 1943

75

1

307

June 30, 1943

76

1

360

23 B-25's

July 31, 1943

72

0

6

323

29 B-25's













Changes of Station

The entire unit was activated at March Field, California 15 July 19& per AGO 580 (4-20-31) was transferred to Rockwell Field, Coronado, Cali­fornia 14 May 1932 and returned to March Field as part of the 17th Pursuit Group pursuant to F.O. #21. A series of quick changes of station followed:

a. June 14, 1932, pursuant to Operations Order No. 45, March Field, California, dated June 21, 1932, to Rockwell Field, California; departed, arrived same date.

b. June 29, 1932, returned to March Field, California from Rock­well Field, California; departed, arrived same date.

c. Pursuant to Operations Order No. 100, dated September 6, 1932, March Field, California; movement from March Field, California to Rock­wall Field, California; departed, arrived the same date.

d. October 7, 1932, returned to March Field, California from Rock­well Field, California.

e. Operations Order No. 1, Headquarters 17th Pursuit Group, dated January 2, 1935; departed March Field, California on January 28, 1935 for Palm Springs, California.

f. February 4, 1935, per Operations Order No. 1., Headquarters 17th Pursuit Group, dated January 2, 1935, March Field, California to Palm Springs, California to Muroc Dry Lake, California.
g. February 9, 1935, per Operations Order No. 1, Headquarters 17th Pursuit Group, dated January 2, 1935, departed and arrived, Muroc Dry Lake, California to March Field, California.

h. October 10, 1936, Field Orders No. l, Headquarters 17th Attack Group, dated October 7, 1935, March Field, California to Browley, California.
i. October 5, 1935, Browley, California to March Field, California.
j. November 4, 1935, Field Order ?lo. 1, Headquarters 17th Attack Group, dated October 30, 1935, March Field, California to Wheeler Ridge, California.
k. November 6, 1935, Wheeler Ridge, California to Bakersfield Field, California.
l. November 14, 1935, Bakersfield, California to Wheeler Ridge, California.
m. November 17, 1935, Wheeler Ridge, California to March Field, California.
n. March 9, 1935, Field Order No. l, Headquarters 17th Attack Group, dated March 4, 1936, March Field, California to Muroc Dry Lake, California.
o. March 20, 1936, Field Order No. 1, Headquarters 17th Attack Group, dated March 4, 1956, Muroc Dry Lake, California to March Field, California.
p. October 28, Headquarters 17th Attack Group, dated October 15, 1936, March Field, California to Bakersfield, California.
q. November 10, 1936, Field Order No. 1, Headquarters 17th Attack Group, dated October 15, 1936, Bakersfield, California to March Field, California.
r. Ground echelon, 73rd Squadron, departed Seattle, Washington March 10, 1941, via boat to Seward, via train to Elmendorf Field, Anchorage, Alaska, arriving March 14, 1941. Air echelon of nine (9) B-18's departed McChord Field, Washington March 27, 1941, arrived Elmendorf. Field, Anchorage, March 30, 1941.
s. Organization operated from various outlying air bases in Aleutians from May 28, 1942 to June 30, 1943. Squadron headquarters were at Elmendorf Field, Anchorage, Alaska, from March 14, 1941 to April, 1943; at Ft. Glenn, Unmak from April 1943 to June, 1943; at Amchitka since June, 1943.

Group of men standing in front of plane, which has tarps over the engines.
John Pletcher and his crew walk in front of their B-26, October 28, 1942 at Adak, Alaska on the ramp parking area. The engines are covered to protect them from the weather.

John Pletcher

Operations

June 4. 1942, this Squadron participated in attack upon enemy Task Force which was attacking Dutch Harbor Alaska. This was the initial operation of the 73rd in Alaska. A chronological summary of subsequent operations of the Squadron shows information as follows:

From June 3 to June 6 inclusive, planes of this Squadron took part in seven (7) missions in search of enemy surfacecraft. Contact was made on June 4 (1942) with the enemy force, and damage inflicted to such an extent that the enemy was forced to turn back. On October 14 and 15. 1942 ships made a search for enemy AK's and DD's. Planes or this squadron sunk two Jap DD's 50 miles east or Kiska on 15 December 1942. On 7, 9, and 11 November 1942 planes attempted to bomb Jap AK’s in Kiska Harbor, but they were prevented by weather. An enemy freighter was sunk (hits on bow) in Holtz Bay, Attu, on 26 November 1942 by tour B-26s.

A series of reconnaissance missions of Kiska Island by B-26s, from 29 November to 2 December, inclusive followed. On 4 December 1942, ten B-26 on a search for enemy surface craft, failed to make contact and on 8 December a reconnaissance mission to Amchitka and Kiska Islands was flown. Six ships made search for enemy surface craft on the same date, but failed to make contact. The 9 December reconnaissance mission of Amchitka and Kiska Islands brought no results. On 10, 11, 17 December 1942, B-26s of the 73rd Squadron on missions against enemy shipping in Kiska Harbor, made direct hits on the 11th, but were forced back by weather on other two, dates. From 20, 26 December 1942, to 2 and 4 January 1943 B-25s raided Kiska Main Camp area and observed hits in target area on 20 December 1942, but were forced back by weather on other dates. On 5 January 1943, three B-25s left enemy AK's in sinking condition. The 7 January 1943 Kiska mission was forced back by weather.

On 13 and 15, January 1943, B-25s acted as protective covering for Amchitka landing forces. On 3, 4, 8, 10, 13, 20, 23 February 1943 bombing and photo-reconnaissance missions were made or North Head, Kiska.

On 25 February 1943, six B-25s bombed Kiska Main Camp area and again on 27, 28 February 1943, six B-25s each mission bombed Kiska. This bombing o!' North Head, Kiska was repeated by ten B-25s on 7, 10 and 13 March 1943 and by two B-25s on 12 March 1943. On 13 March 1943, ten B-25s bombed North Head from deck level. On 15, March 1943, nine B-26s on coordinated bombing mission with B-24s. On 16 March 1943, twelve ships were on the Kiska bombing mission and on 18, 21, 22, and 29 March 1943, six B-25s each mission bombed Kiska. 0n 30 March 1943, five B-25s were on the Kiska bombing mission. Then on 1, 5, 13, 15, 16, April 1943, six B-25s each mission bombed North Head and runway, Kiska. On 11, 17, 26 and 30 April 1943, four B-25s bombed North Head, Kiska. On 19 April 1943, five B-25s bombed runway, Kiska. On 20, 25 April 1943, six B-25s each mission bombed North Head and Little Kiska. One B-25 on Kiska reconnaissance, 22 April 1943. On 27 April 1943, one plane made contact with enemy submarine-which escaped undamaged. Kiska Camp area bombed on 12 and 30 April 1343 by B-25s. Then on 1 May 1943, five B-25s bombed South Head and Little Kiska. On 5 May 1S43, eight B-25s bombed North Head, Kiska. Attu was bombed by seven planes on 6 May and by six planes on 7 May 1943. On 10 May 1943, Gertrude Cove, Kiska, was bombed by thirteen B-25s. On 11, 12, 16, 21, 23, 26, 1/Ay 1943, six B-25s each mission bombed Attu. On 19, 24, 25, May 1943, five B-25s each mission bombed Attu and on 14 May 1943, two B-25s repeated the bombing of Attu. On 26 May 1943, four B-25s bombed Kiska.

On 27 May 1943, B-25 dropped film to our ground troops on Attu Island and on 30 May 1943 both Attu and Kiska were bombed by six B-25s. On 31 May, to 5 June 1943, six B-25s each mission bombed Kiska while on 1 June 1943, four B-25s bombed Kiska. On 10, 11, 24, 25, 26, 27 June 1943, eight B-25s each mission bombed Kiska. Oh 25 June 1943, second eight-plane-mission of day bombed Kiska, second raid being made from deck level. And on 27 June 1943, second mission of day, this one con­sisting or seven B-25s bombed Kiska.

On 2 July 1943, eight B-25s took off from Amchitka on Kiska radar bombing mission, targets were hangar and Main Camp, Kiska. Mission completed with the dropping of 118-100 lb. bombs and 20-600 lb. bombs; results unobserved. On 6 July 1943, eight B-25s took off Amchitka on radar mission, Kiska. Mission turned back due to failure to contact radar lead ship in bad weather. On 10 July 1943, six B-25s took off to attack two enemy AK reported 51°20 1’N. 165°55 1 E. AK's contacted at deck level; two sunk. Two others sighted 25 miles from action, not attacked, lost in foggy weather; planes landed Attu. On 11 July, 1943, five B-25s took off from Attu on sea search for two enemy AKs sighted on 10 July 1943. Three and a half hour search revealed no AK ships; ships returned to Attu, except one which went down near Little Sitkin. On 11 July 1943, six B-25s went on radar bombing mission on Main Camp, Kiska. Sixteen 500-lb. and ten 600-lb. bombs were dropped. Hits were unobserved. On 15 July 1943, six B-25s from Amchitka, went on radar mission of Gertrude Cove, Kiska; 142 100-lb. bombs were dropped. On 22 July 1943, ten B-25s took off Amchitka for Kiska mission. Forty 600-lb. bombs were dropped. Same day a low level photo-reconnaissance mission was executed by one plane from Amchitka, in addition to three B-25s from Adak went on a bombing mission for North Head, Kiska.

Eighteen 500-lb. bombs were dropped, then planes returned to Adak. Also on that same day three B-25s went on a deck level mission to Mt. in Camp, Kiska from Adak dropping eighteen 500-lb. bombs; planes landed in Amchitka. On 24 July- 1943, one plane from Amchitka took off for photo-reconnaissance mission of Kiska. On 26 July 1943, one plane took off on weather-reconnaissance mission over Kiska and was completed. This Squadron has operated with other squadrons, both medium and heavy, on missions against enemy held territory of Kiska and Attu1 as well as on assaults on enemy task forces. Much damage was done gradually and progressively to the enemy positions and forces over this period, but mention is hereinafter made only of damage definitely observed to have resulted from a particular mission in which this Squadron participated.

Statistics

Enemy Losses:

  1. Two enemy DDs (destroyers) sunk 50 miles east of Kiska on 16 October 1942.
  2. Enemy freighter sunk in Holtz Bay, Attu on 26 November 1942.
  3. Jap AK (cargo ship) bombed and driven into Kiska Harbor on 11 December 1942.
  4. Jap AK sunk at 52°40 1 N - 178°15'E on 5 January 1943.
  5. Jap plane (type "Rufe") shot down at Kiska, 13 February 1943.
  6. On 4 June 1942 an enemy task force was routed from Dutch Harbor, and forced to tum back. A large, but undetermined, amount of damage was inflicted upon the enemy at this time.
  7. Two AKs, one large, one small, sunk 10 July 1942. Larger vessel described as about length of DD, clipper bow, superstructure foreward[sic], main deck sloping upward toward bow, no stack. Small vessel described as size of tug.

Own Losses:

Personnel killed, wounded, missing or taken prisoner:

  1. One injured by AA fire at Cold Bay, 4 June 1942.
  2. Seven killed in action, Cold Bay, 4 June 1942.

  3. Four hit by A.A fire, Kiska; missing in action 15 October 1942.

  4. Four hit by AA fire, Kiska; missing in action 16 October 1942.

  5. One died from wounds received over Kiska on 3 February 1943.

  6. Six injured landing at Adak after mission damage on 13 February 1943.

Airplanes lost, destroyed, severely damaged:

  1. B-26 lost, Cold Bar on 4 June 1942.

  2. B-26 lost over Kiska on 15 October 1942.

  3. B-26 lost over Kiska on 16 October 1942.

  4. B-25 badly damaged on landing after being damaged over Kiska on 13 February 1943.

  5. Two B-26s damaged by AA fire over Kiska Harbor on 9 November 1942.

  6. One plane damaged after raid on Jap AK on 26 November 1942.

  7. One B-26 damaged on 20 December 1942.

  8. One B-25 total loss from crash landing after being hit by AA.

  9. Plane damaged on Kiska Harbor on 25 February 1943.

  10. B-25 damaged by AA over Kiska runway on 29 March 1943.

  11. B-25 damaged by AA over Kiska on 1 April 1943.

  12. B-25 damaged by AA over Attu on 11 May1943.

  13. B-25 damaged by AA over Attu on 12 Nay 1943.

  14. B-25 damaged by AA over Kiska on 25 May 1943.

  15. Two planes damaged by small arms tire in AK attacks on 10 July 1943.

  16. One plane lost in sea near Little Sitkin on 11 July 1943.

  17. Three planes damaged by AA over Kiska on 22 July 1943,

  18. One plane lost in sea after AA damage over Kiska on 7 August 1943.

Non Tactical:

Fatal airplane accidents not reported elsewhere:

  1. S/Sgt. William W. Chapman killed at Naknek when plane skidded off runway, 16 August 1942.

Airplanes destroyed or missing:

  1. 3 July 1941, B-18A down in water near Prince Rupert, B.C. No injuries to personnel.

  2. 18 June 1942, major damage to B-26 which was attempting to make belly landing at Elmendorf Field. Personnel uninjured.

  3. 26 April 1942, B-26 seriously damaged in landing at Elmendorf Field, Anchorage, Alaska. No damage to personnel.

  4. 16 August 1942, B-26 skidded off end of runway in landing at Naknek. Major damage to plane, minor injuries to personnel.

  5. 16 August 1942, B-26 skidded off Naknek runway in landing. Major damage to plane; S/Sgt. Chapman killed.
  6. On 22 September 1942: B-26 No. 40-1408, loaded with bombs, took off after Jap task force. Weather closed in, and plane did not return. Parts of the wrecked plane were later found off beach in vicinity of Cold Bay:
  • Capt. George W. Thornbrough
  • 1st. Lt. Norman A. Nysteen
  • 2nd Lt. James F. Lee
  • 2nd Lt. James L. Smart
  • S/Sgt. Joseph L. Wiseman
  • Sgt. Howard K. Jaycox
  • Sgt. Roy E. Jordan

7. 10 July 1942: Cpl. McConnville, gunner, headwound from small caliber bullet after raid on enemy AKs.
8. 22 July 1942: Pvt. Moore, radio operator, shot in knee by small AA fire, Kiska raid.
9. 22 July 1942: injured in crash landing caused by AA fire over Kiska:

  • 1st Lt. Everett N. Hendrickson
  • 2nd Lt. Carl M. Foster
  • F.O. Edmund J. Beaulac Jr.
  • S/Sgt. John .M. Roeder
  • Sgt. Lloyd H. Galloway
  • Pvt. Darrell M. Ford

10. On 15 October 1942: presumably killed in action when shot down by AA fire over Kiska:

  • 2nd Lt. Ralph D. O'Riley
  • 2nd Lt. John E, Joyce
  • S/Sgt. Edward J. McAllick
  • Cpl. William F. Moran

11. On 16 October 1942: presumably killed in action when shot down by AA fire over Kiska:

  • 2nd Lt. Jack Pebworth
  • 2nd Lt. Dean W. Mendenhall
  • Sgt, Morris W. Hancock
  • Sgt. Dick Tryon

12. On 17 October 1942: died as result of wounds received over Kiska on 16 October 1942: James D. Matthews

13. On 8 February 1943: T/Sgt. Olin F. Harris injured by AA over Kiska.

14. On 13 February 1943: injured when plane, damaged by AA, crashed at Adak:

  • 1st Lt. Kendall W. Shepard
  • 2nd.Lt. Paul D. Jameson
  • 2nd Lt. William F. Canny
  • T/Sgt. Norman W. Hennig
  • T/Sgt. John B. Murphy
  • S/Sgt. Dewayne L. Dunham

Awards:

  • Peter K. Arpin, 1st Lt., 26 November 1942: Air Medal, Authority GO#25 – 11th AF – 14 February 1943, for attack on Jap freighter at Attu under heavy AA Fire.
  • Warren A. Beth, Captain, 16 October 1942 - two Jap DDs sunk 50 miles northeast of Kiska in face of strong AA fire - Distinguished Flying Cross by authority of GO, 11th AF dated 7 December 1942.
  • Jack C. Boyd, S/Sgt., 18 October 1942, member of flight that sank two Jap DDs 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island - Air Medal - authority GO #141, 7 December 1942, 11th AF.
  • William F. Canny, 2nd Lt., 13 February 1943, navigator-bombardier, engine shot out by Zero causing crash landing - Purple Heart - authority GO #12, 14 February 1943, 11th AF.
  • Stephen M. Cooper, Sergeant, 16 October 1942, member of flight which destroyed two Jap DDs 60 miles northeast of Kiska Island - Air Medal - authority GO #141, 7 December 1942, 11th AF.
  • Kenneth C. Dempster, Captain, 25 September 1942 to 11 December 1942, co-pilot attacking shipping in Kiska Harbor - Air Medal - authority GO #25, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • Dewayne L. Dunham, S/Sgt., 13 February 1943, gunner, engine shot out over Kiska causing crash landing incurring injury - Purple Heart - authority GO #12, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • Lester O. Gardner, T/Sgt., 16 October 1942, member of flight attacking two Jap DDs 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island - Air Medal - authority GO #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • William A. Green, T/Sgt., 16 October 1942, member of flight attacking two Jap DDs 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island - Air Medal - authority GO #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • Morris W. Hancock, Sergeant, 16 October 1942, member of flight attacking two Jap DDs 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island, plane last seen plunge into sea - Air Medal - authority GO #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • Conrad A. Hanson, S/Sgt., 16 October 1942, member of flight at­tacking two Jap DDs 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island - Air Medal - authority Go #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • Olin F. Harris, T/Sgt., 8 February 1943, radio operator, wounded by AA fire over Kiska Island - Purple Heart - authority GO #11, 11th M, 9 February 1943.
  • Leonard F. Hawk, S/Sgt., 16 October 1942, member of flight attack­ing two Jap DDs 50 miles northeast Kiska - Air Medal - authority- GO #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • Howard A. Heap, s/Sgt., 26 November 1942, gunner on bomber attacking Jap freighter on Holtz Bay, Attu Island, in face of heavy AA fire - Air Medal - authority GO #25, 14 February 1943.
  • Norman W. Hennig, T/Sgt., 13 February 1943, radio-gunner, forced landing after engine shot out over Kiska Island, causing injury - Purple Heart - authority GO #12, 11th AF, 14 February 1945.
  • Everett N. Hendriksen. 2nd Lt., 30 March 1943, wounded by AA fire over enemy territory - Purple Heart - authority GO #81, 11th AF, 30 June 1943.
  • John Jacobs, Sergeant, 26 November 1942, member of bomber crew attacking Jap freighter - Holtz Bay, Attu, Air Medal - authority GO #25, 11th AF - 14 February 1943.
  • Paul F. Jameson, 2nd Lt., 13 February 1943, co-pilot, injured when Zero shot out one engine over Kiska Island causing forced landing - Purple Heart - authority GO #=12, 11th AF, 14 February, 1943.
  • Howard K. Jaycox, Sergeant, 4 June 1942, participated in bombing attacks on enemy naval concentration - missing in action ever since - Air Medal - authority GO #105, 11th AF, 5 October 1942.
  • Roy E. Jordan, Sergeant, 4 July 1942, participated in bombing attacks on enemy naval concentration - missing in action ever since - Air Medal - authority GO #105, 11th AF. 5 October 1942.
  • Jack P. Keithley, T/Sgt., 30 March 1943, volunteer for ground-level attack on Kiska Island in face of heavy automatic weapons fire - Air Medal - authority Go #36, 11th AF, 13 April 1943.
  • Irving W. Krause, Corporal, 26 November 1942, radio operator on bomber attacking Jap freighter, Attu, in face or heavy AP. Fire - Air Medal - authority GO #25, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • James F. Lee, 2nd Lt., 4 June 1942, participated in bombing of heavy enemy naval concentration - missing in action ever since - Air Medal - authority GO #105, 11th AF, 5 October 1942.
  • Jack E. Leverone, Corporal, 16 October 1942, member of flight which sunk two Jap destroyers 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island - Air Medal - authority #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • Jack E. Leverone, Corporal, 26 October 1942, member of flight which attacked Jap freighter in Holtz Bay, Attu in face of AA fire - Oak Leaf Cluster - authority GO 5, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • Abraham Levin, Private First Class, 26 October 1942, member of flight which attacked Jap freighter in face of AA fire at Attu - Air Medal - authority GO #25, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • James D. Mathews, 1st Lt., 16 October 1942, sunk two Jap destroyers 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island - died from wounds received from action - Air Medal - (posthumously) - authority GO -#141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • Russel I. Maure, 2nd Lt., 16 October 1942, sunk two Jap destroyers 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island - Distinguished Flying Cross - authority GO #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • John W. Melvin, Corporal, 16 October 1942, member of flight that sunk two Jap destroyers 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island - Air Medal - auth­ority GO #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • Dean Medenhall, 2nd Lt., 16 October 1942, attacked and sunk two Jap destroyers 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island - Air Medal - authority GO #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • Leonard J. Moore, 2nd Lt., 16 October 1942, attacked two Jap destroyers 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island - Air Medal - authority GO #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • John B. Murray, T/Sgt., 13 February 1943, engineer-gunner injured in crash landing due to engine being shot out over Kiska Island - Purple Heart - authority GO #12, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • Leland E. Nielson, 2nd Lt., 16 October 1942, sunk two Jap destroyers 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island - Air Medal - authority GO #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • Norman A. Nysteen, 1st Lt., 4 June 1942, bombing enemy naval concentration in face of heavy AA fire - missing in action ever since - Air Medal - authority GO #105, 11th AF, 5 October 1942.
  • Ashley S. Orr, 1st Lt., 26 November 1942, co-pilot in bomber attacking Jap freighter in Holtz Bay, Attu, in race of heavy AA - Air Medal - authority GO #25, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • Leslie G. Pattillo, 2nd Lt., 16 October 1942, attacked Jap freighter in Holtz Bay, Attu, Island -in face of heavy AA fire - Air Medal - authority GO #141, 11th .A.F, 7 December 1942.
  • Jack Pebworth, 2nd Lt., 16 October 1942, attacked two Jap destroyers 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island, received direct hit by AA and plunged into sea - Distinguished Flying Cross authority GO #141. 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • Verner F. Peterson, 2nd Lt., 4 June 1942, remaining at post after being injured until mission was completed when attacking an enemy naval concentration - Purple Heart - authority GO #69, 11th AF, 2 August 1942.
  • John W. Pletcher, Captain, 26 November 1942, attacked Jap freighter at Attu, Island in face of heavy AA fire - Air Medal - authority GO #25, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • James L. Regan, 1st Lt., 16 October 1942, attacked two Jap destroyers 60 miles northeast Kiska Island in face of heavy fire - Distinguished Flying Cross, authority GO #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • William J. Rhodes, 2nd Lt., 26 November 1942, member of flight which attacked Jap freighter in Holtz Bay, Attu, in face of heavy AA fire - Oak Leaf Cluster - authority GO #25; 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • William J. Rhodes, 2nd Lt., 16 October 1942, attacked two Jap destroyers 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island in face of heavy AA fire - Air Medal - authority GO -#141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • John W. Rooney, 1st Lt., 26 November 1942, pilot on bomber attaching Jap freighter, Attu Island, in face of heavy AA - Air Medal - authority Go· #25, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • Edwin C. Roozen. 1st Lt., 26 November 1942, _pilot on bomber attacking Jap freighter off Attu in face of heavy AA fire - Air Medal – authority GO #25, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • Patrick J. Ryan, Corporal, 2 April 1943, volunteered for hazardous ground-level attack on enemy - Air Medal - authority GO #36, 11th U, 13 April 1943.
  • Curtis E. Senson, Sergeant, 30 March 1943, volunteered tor hazardous ground-level attack on enemy - Air Medal - authority GO #36, 11th AF, 13 April 1943.
  • Chris J. Sheppard, 2nd Lt., 26 November 1942, attacked Jap fr3ighter, Holtz Bay, Attu Island in face of heavy AA fire - Air Medal - authority GO #25, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • Kendall W. Shepard, 1st Lt., 13 February 1943; pilot, crash landed after Zero shot out engine - Purple Heart - authority GO #12, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • Jay W. Stansbury, 1st Lt., 4 February 1943, on first mission against enemy assumed command and led attack - Distinguished Flying Cross, authority GO #14, 11th AF, 18 February 1943.
  • Sealy M. Storey., S/Sgt., 26 November 19,12, gunner on bomber attao.ld.ng Jap freighter at Holtz Bay, Attu Island - Air Medal - authority GO 4!26, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • Henry S. Taylor, Captain, 4 June 1942, 1st pilot, for courage in. torpedo attack against enemy naval concentration - Distinguished Flying Cross, - authority GO #SB, 11th AF, l August 1942.
  • Robert M. Thompson, 1st Lt., 26 November 1942, attack on Jap freighter in Holtz Bay, Attu Island in face of heavy enemy AA fire - Air Medal - authority GO #25, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • George W, Thornbrough, Captain, 4 June 1942, 1st pilot, torpedo attack on enemy fleet - 150 miles £rom Ft. Glenn - was killed - Distinguish­ed Flying Cross (posthumously) - authority GO #67, 11th AF, 31 July 1942.
  • Fred J. Thunell, S/Sgt., 4 February 1943, first run over target, successful bomb run as bombardier 1n lead ship - Air Medal - authority GO #14, 11th, 18 February 1943.
  • Abraham Todras, Sergeant, 16 October 1942, member in attacking enemy destroyer 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island - Air Medal - authority GO #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • Abraham Todras, Sergeant, 26 November 1942, attacked Jap .freighter in Holtz Bay, Attu Island, - Oak Leaf Cluster- authority GO #25, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • Dick Tryon, Sergeant, 16 October 1942, two Jap destroyers sunk 50 miles northeast of Kiska Island - Air Medal - authority GO #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • Theodore T. Vasatka, 2nd Lt., 30 December 1942, attempting to rescue crew shot down despite risk for personal safety - Silver Star - authority GO #24, 11th AF, 11 February 1943.
  • Walter A. Wagner, 1st Lt., 16 October 1942, attacked two Jap destroyers 50 miles northeast of Kiska, Island – Air Medal – authority GO #141, 11th AF, 7 December 1942.
  • Robert H. Westrom, S/Sgt., 26 November 1942, radio operator on flight which attacked Jap freighter off Attu - Air Medal - authority GO #25, 11th AF, 14 February- 1943.
  • J. L. Wiseman, S/Sgt., 4 June 1943, bombing attack on enemy naval concentration, missing in action. - Air Medal - authority GO #105, 11th AF, 4 October 1942.
  • Edmund T. Woolfolk, 2nd Lt., 26 November 1942, co-pilot on bombing attack Jap freighter Holtz Bay, Attu Island - Air Medal - authority GO #25, 11th AF, 14 February 1943.
  • Frank Hayes, Major, for many attacks on Kiska and Attu - Distinguished Flying Cross - authority GO #94 Fld Hg 11th AF on 25 July 1943.
  • Millard F. Hauser, 1st Lt., for many attacks on Kiska and Attu between 20 February and 1 May 1943 - Air Medal - GO #94, 25 July 1943.
  • Harold E. Krout, 1st Lt., for many attacks over Kiska between 27 February and 1 July 1943, - Air Medal - GO #94, 25 July 1943.
  • Paul Batavia, Sergeant, for frequent missions to Kiska from 1 April to 3 June 1943 - Air Medal – GO #91, 20 July 1943.
  • Myles D. Bonville, T/Sgt., for 121 hours contact against enemy in the Aleutians between 3 June 1942 and 31 March 1943 - Air Medal - Go #91, 20 July 1943.
  • Malcolm D. Bower, T/Sgt., 91 hours contact with enemy between 3 June 1942 and 31 March 1943 - Air Medal - GO #91, 20 July 1943.
  • William J. Boyd, S/Sgt., for 123 hours contact with enemy between 3 June 1942 and 31 March 1943 - Air Medal - GO #91, 20 July 1943.
  • Richard F. Beveridge, Flight Officer, for many Kiska and Attu missions between 27 February 1943 and 1 June 1943 - Air Medal - GO #91, 25 July 1943.
  • William J. Stephens, T/Sgt., for 104 hours of contact against enemy between 1 August 1942 and 31 March 1943, - Air Medal - GO #91, 20 July 1943.
  • Robert T. Hertel, Corporal, for 120 hours of contact against enemy between 8 October 1942 and 31 March 1943 - Air Medal - 20 July 1943.
  • Willie A. Doby, S/Sgt., for 90 hours of contact with enemy between 8 October 1942 and 1 May 1943 - Air Medal - G0 #91, 20 July 1943.
  • Walter A. Loughridge, S/Sgt., for 123 contact hours against the enemy between 3 June 1942 and 15 March 1943 ·- Air Medal - 20 July 1943.
  • Robert K. Maas, Sergeant, for many hours contact with enemy between 8 October 1942 and 31 March 1943 - Air Medal - GO #91, 20 July 1943.
  • Zoltan Kato, S/Sgt., for many contact hours against the enemy in the Aleutians between 3 June 1942 and 31 March 1943 - Air Medal - GO #91, 20 July 1943.
Round patch with brown bear head and raised paw, with blue background.
1943 version of the 73rd Bombardment Squadron insignia.

Army Air Force

Squadron Insignia

Squadron Insignia chosen latter part of year 1931. The design depicts the head end the shoulders and the raised paw of a California Golden Bear. Bear is golden yellow shaded with black and has a background of Air Corps blue, thus incorporating the Air Corps colors of gold and blue in the original design.

The California golden bear chosen as being symbolic of the State of California, as California was home State of Squadron at time and is State in which Squadron was first actively organized, 15 July 1931. The California bear, native of the State, is well known tor it's ferocity and sturdiness. The bear is depicted with raised paw poised for attack.

The insignia was designed by Miss Evelyn Griffith. The Griffo Studio, Mission Inn, Riverside, California. The design was selected from several submitted by local artists and by members of the Squadron.

The background of the insignia was changed from blue to red for the reason that red was found to be more durable in retaining color and also brought head or bear on insignia into sharper relief, as well as enhancing fighting spirit displayed by insignia.

Since arriving in Alaskan theater in 1941, the squadron has op­erated from bases on the peninsula and various outlying bases on the Aleutian chain, including Ft. Randall at Cold Bay, Ft. Glenn at Umnak, Adak, Amchitka, and Attu.

The Squadron has participated in all phases of prosecution of aerial warfare against enemy in this theater, including; attacks on ship­ping, patrol, bombing, and strafing attacks on enemy held positions.

In carrying out its operations, the squadron has encountered the most adverse weather conditions known to flying. Long flights have been made over water where forced landings are not infrequent. Coupled with the usual hazards of crash landings is the known tact that the frigid water in this area makes survival in it impossible for more than a few minutes, and adequate search is prevented by constant foggy weather. Small landed areas of treacherous mountains surrounding landing strips often obscured by fog after take-off and sudden and changeable violent winds make flying extremely hazardous. Much of the operations took place prior to installation of adequate communication and other directional flying aids.

Operating from advance bases hastily constructed, the squadron began using strips long before construction was completed, adding to difficulties of operation.

Insufficient personnel has spent long hours to keep in readiness, flying crafts often aiding overworked ground personnel. Under damp, windy weather conditions, and in extreme cold, excellent maintenance has been accomplished with inadequate facilities. Only meager intelligence was available concerning enemy capabilities and intentions during early part of the squadron’s long period of operational activity in Alaskan theater. In spite of all obstacles, morale has been unfailingly high, and the squadron has contributed greatly and with credit to successes in this theater.

At March Field, California in 1933, the squadron acquired a Brown bear as a mascot, and this was kept in the squadron for eight years before being disposed of to the San Francisco Zoo.

This report is intended to set forth available historical data pertaining to the 7Srd Bombardment Squadron (U), which originated on 18 October 1927. In order to perpetuate history and traditions of the 73rd Aero Service Squadron or the AEF of World War I, said squadron was reconstructed and consolidated with the 73rd Bombardment Squadron (M), by authority of Letter AG 320.2 dated 31 August 1936, Misc. (Ret), subject, History and Reconstitution or the 73rd Aero Squadron (World War)" dated 16 October 1936. Copy of which letter is attached to this report.

hand drawn map showing routes to attack two destroyers northeast of Kiska Island
Attack on Two Destroyers. October 16, 1942
hand drawn topo map of Kiska Island with signatures Pvt. J.V. Beulick in right corner
Kiska Island, July 9, 1943

HEADQUARTERS PROVISIONAL XI BOMBER COMMAND
Office of the Intelligence Officer
APO #980, c/o Postmaster
Seattle, Washington
October 16, 1942
INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY NO. 25

Mission of 6 B-26’s took of at 1457 for attack on 2 enemy destroyers which had been reported by Navy, position at 1230, 51° 23 'N, 175° 45 'E, course 80° speed 25 knots, apparently headed for Kiska. Following search of area to 45 miles south of Kiska, ships were sighted approximately 20 miles NE of Kiska, position 52° 17' N, 178 08' E, course south, on with cargo full length of deck, one with cargo forward. DD's identified after attack by Navy as probably Hibiki or Shigure class; by pilots as probably Hibiki.

Weather: overcast 1000 feet, rain squalls south of Kiska and NE of target.

Execution of Mission: “B” flight of 4 planes (one did not attack due to engine trouble) attacked first from the southwest. “A” flight of 3 planes circled target in clockwise movement and made delayed attack from the northeast. All approaches were made at deck level, pulling up and over ship as bombs were released. Twenty 300 pound demolition 4 second delay bombs were released on the two ships, scoring five hits on #1 DD and four on #2. A series of explosion were seen on #1 DD accompanied by smoke and fire from bow to stern. Ship continued to circle in area of attack. Ship’s personnel seen strung out for great distance in water. Explosion seen in stern section of #2 DD accompanied by grey smoke. Hole was seen in stern. Ship lost motion entirely.

B-26, #1387 (Lieutenant Pebworth) was seen shot down in approaching and when close to #2 DD.

Anti-Aircraft: Enemy ships open fire at five miles range. Range and altitude good, deflection poor. Simultaneous busts of three or four shells at approximately 5 second intervals were noted. Bursts were trailing.

Five planes returned to base at 1905.

Mission of 1 B-17 took off at 1121 to escort 4 P-38’s on low level bombing attack of Pursuits on cargo ship in Kiska Harbor. Target area was reached at 1240. Weather-overcast 5000 feet scattered clouds 3000 feet. Attack was not observed from position outside Kiska Harbor at 5500 feet altitude. Oblique photos taken of harbor and of cargo ship in Gertrude Cove. Ship was not burning – appeared to be low in stern. No AA fire received. Plane returned to base at 1425.

Weather Mission: One B-17 took off at 0755. Weather at Kiska reported 0935, ceiling 3500, broken, visibility unlimited.
No activity observed in reconnaissance of Chichagoff Harbor and South Shore of Amchitka.

No bombs dropped on Attu buildings due to low ceiling over Chichagoff Harbor. Plane returned to base at 1352.

/signed/
KENNETH B. SPEAR,
Capt. Air Corps.
Actg. S-2.

DISTRIBUTION:
2 copies – A-2, 11th A.F.
1 copy – S-2 Post.
1 copy – S-2 Fighter.
1 copy – S-2 Base.
1 copy – File.


INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY NO. 26, 10/17/42, CONT’D
CORRECTION TO INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY NO. 25, OCT. 17
Lt. Nevitt’s B-26, which did not take part in DD attack was in “A” Flight, not “B” Flight as described. Composition of mission: “A” Flight, Capt. W.A. Beth, Lt. J.L. Regan, Lt. R.R. Nevitt; “B” Flight, Capt. R.D. Salter, Lt. R.L. Maurer, Lt. J. Pebworth.

/signed/
KENNETH B. SPEAR,
Capt. Air Corps.
Actg. S-2.

DISTRIBUTION:
2 copies – A-2, 11th A.F.
1 copy – S-2 Post.
1 copy – S-2 Fighter.
1 copy – S-2 Base.
1 copy – File.

Part of a series of articles titled World War II Military Unit Histories.

Aleutian Islands World War II National Historic Area

Last updated: October 26, 2021