You are here: Home | 307th BG Index | Los Negros, B-24 Rescue, & Lindbergh Articles

Los Negros, B-24 Rescue, & Lindbergh Articles

The following articles were supplied by Frank Klein.

Select One
Los Negros, Admiralties Article with Pictures:
Article about PBY Rescue on December 12, 1944
Balikpapan Rescue by Submarine (16 Men on October 10, 1944):
Lindbergh, on "Noncombat" Flight in 1944, Downs Jap "Against Rules," As U.S. Fighter Planes Double Range by Expert Work of "Lone Eagle"


Los Negros, Admiralties Article with Pictures:

Click to Enlarge

The copy from the article image is hard to read therefore it has been typed below to help visits read the copy and view the images. Copy from Article:

Clockwise from top:

View of tent chapel, the 307th theater and the Officer's Club on Los Negros.

A main target from Los Negros was Truk. Here 307th bombs bracket Eten Island while others have fall on Dublin Island. 424th picture-6/3/44.

Bombs fall on Yaptown, another major target.

Some of our downed flyers were picked up by sub. Pictured at the head of the stretcher, Martin Hansen (371st flight surgeon) picks up an injured Long Ranger from the submarine GUAVINA USS362.

Return to top

Article about PBY Rescue on December 12, 1944:

The copy from the article image is hard to read therefore it has been typed below to help visits read the copy and view the images. Copy from Article:

Click to Enlarge
A PBY takes off from Morotai. Surely as ungainly looking as any aircraft ever built…but, given the proper circumstances, it could become the most beautiful and the most appreciated.

The newspaper article below, from the January 12, 1945, issue of the Alabama Journal, Montgomery, Alabama, tells the story of the rescue (probably on December 12, 1944) of ten 5th and 13th AAF airman from the Philippines including several from the 307th. The fliers were rescued by a PBY Catalina flying boat after a 424th squadron plane saw their mirror flashes and radio operator Dick Roth called for help. Among the rescued were members of the 424th Balovich and Hunter crews, shot down over Alicante on Negros Island on November 6th and November 8th, 1944. Enemy interception was always particularly fierce over Alicante, more so than over the many other Negros Island targets. Does the story about German flight instructors as told by survivor Richard Beard to War Correspondence Fred Hampson explain this energetic defense of Alicante? The Philippine guerillas who escorted the downed fliers to the rendezvous point from which they were rescued seemed to believe the story. Was it just a rumor, fervently believed by the local Philippine population? Did the Japs really need such training from anyone anyhow? Whatever - we do know that Alicante cost the 307th four B-24s shot down and many others damaged during a total of only four missions to that target. All things considered, it's not too difficult to accept the German instructor pilot story.

Return to top

Balikpapan Rescue by Submarine (16 Men on October 10, 1944):

Click to Enlarge

The copy from the article image is hard to read therefore it has been typed below to help visits read the copy and view the images. Copy from Article: Balikpapan. The Japanese were well aware of the B-24's arrival and met them with a continuous fighter attack that lasted before; during and after the bomb run for about 60 minutes. The refinery complex was hit hard, but many aircraft were damaged, many ran out of ammo and several were shot down.

October 3, 1944

Both the 5th and 307th Bomb Groups of the 13th Air Force returned to Balikpapan. They hit the refinery complex and did damage, but at tremendous cost. The Japanese had anticipated additional raids and moved in 85 additional fighters from surrounding areas. Both groups took severe damage and the 307th would lose 7 B-24's and 63 men on this date. In all, both groups could supply only 12 airworthy aircraft combined following this mission. It was this type of defense over Balikpapan that rated the refinery complex as one of the strongest and hardest defended bombing target the Japanese had, rating equivalent with Rabaul in the Solomon's. The submarine USS Mingo was on lifeguard station and rescued 16 men.

October 10, 1944

Because of the losses and amount of fighter activity over Balikpapan, the best fighter pilots of the SW pacific area volunteered to fly escort for this mission. At first it was planned to fly the mission and return to a staging point to abandon the fighters due to lack of fuel range to make the mission round trip. However, with Morotai as a staging base, new larger drop tanks, and fuel efficiency techniques taught to the pilots by Charles Lindbergh, they were able to round trip with enough fuel left over for combat over Balikpapan. It was still the longest fighter escort mission of the war to date.v The 5th, 22nd, 43rd, 90th and 307th Bomb Groups supplied over 100 B-24's. Timed to meet the bombers over Balikpapan were P-38's from the 49th Fighter Group and P-47's from the 35th. The fighters were slightly late due to weather, but managed to cover half the air armada. The escort was a huge success with very few B-24's lost and a lot of Japanese fighters were shot down.

October 14, 1944

The 5th, 22nd, 43rd, 90th and 307th Bomb Groups again escorted by fighters from the 35th, 49th and now the 8th FG's bombed the refinery complex one more time in this series of missions. This time, some of the fighters arrived a planned 15 minutes early and really tied the Japanese down. A significant number of Japanese fighters were shot down and very few bombers were lost again. The refinery complex, following these four missions was for the most part out of significant

Return to top

Lindbergh, on "Noncombat" Flight in 1944, Downs Jap "Against Rules," As U.S. Fighter Planes Double Range by Expert Work of "Lone Eagle":

Click to Enlarge

The copy from the article image is hard to read therefore it has been typed below to help visits read the copy and view the images. Copy from Article:

By William B. Dickinson
United Press Staff Correspondent

New York, Nov. 30 (UP)- Charles A. Lindbergh shot down a Japanese Zero plane from his P-38 over Beraab on October 10, 1944, it may be revealed now.

This story was first given me by a high military authority more than 13 months ago, but at the time I pledged to keep it a secret until the right time came. That officer has released me from that pledge, so now it can be told.

Lindbergh, who was in the Pacific war theater as a technician, was supposed to be a non-combatant. However, he accompanied American fighter planes on a raid on oil installations at Balikpapan, Borneo, and became involved with a Japanese Zero. One short burst from his guns sent the enemy spinning down in flames.

After that Gen. George C. Kenney, commander of the far eastern air forces, ordered Lindbergh not to make any more combat missions.

I first heard this story on the cruiser Nashville while I was en route to the Leyte invasion with Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

When the fight occurred, Lindbergh had been in the Pacific only a few weeks. He was there to train American fighter pilots, most of them about half his own age of 42.

The famous flier who thrilled the world with his "Lone Eagle" trans-Atlantic flight in 1927, had worked out flying method which made it possible almost doubling the range of the Lightning P-38 fighter. The importance of this in the southwest Pacific where principal Japanese targets were far distant from our bases, cannot be overestimated.

Before Lindbergh visited that theater and taught his methods, our fighters had been unable, even when equipped with auxiliary wing and belly tanks, to escort our bombers on raids of more than 400 miles from our bases.

The success of his methods which consisted mostly of conserving gasoline by throttle control, is best illustrated by the communiqué issued by MacArthur's headquarters on October 13, which gave the news of the Balikpapan raid of October 10 - except, of course, for Lindbergh's part in it.

That communiqué reported that five groups of heavy bombers - they were B-24 Liberators - had dropped 135 tons of high explosive bombs on Balikpapan. They were escorted by American fighters, which had flown a round trip of 1500 miles and had shot down most of the 36 Japanese fighters destroyed. Our losses were three fighters and one bomber.

In other words, the distance our fighters could fly to protect our bombers on their raids had been almost doubled. Kenney and other air force leaders gave Lindbergh most of the credit.

But the communiqué didn't report that Lindbergh had gone along, in his own words, "just to see who it works out."

He was flying with America's finest fighter pilots. Maj. Richard Bong of Poplar, Wis., whose score of 40 enemy planes destroyed made him this country's top-ranking ace of all time, was in the formation. Bong got his 29th and 30th that day. Maj. Thomas B. McGuire of Ridgefield, N.J., also was there. There wasn't a green pilot among the more than 30 fighters on the mission.

McGuire was to die later strafing a Jap destroyer in the Philippines, and Bong in a test flight of a jet plane in California. Both told me, in interviews before their deaths:

"Lindbergh was as hot a pilot as any of us. He would have been out there knocking off Japs every day if Kenney had let him."

There were Japanese aplenty that day at Balikpapan. At least 60 Japanese fighters met the bombers and fighters as they went into the target. And the fight lasted until the American planes were nearly an hour out of the homeward trip.

Lindbergh got his Jap fairly early in the fight. The zero roared in on an American bomber, and the famous flier dived on his tail. One short burst from close in sent the Japanese plane twisting down in flames. The enemy pilot did not parachute. Probably he had been killed by the bullets with his plane undamaged. v No more Japanese came within range of Lindbergh's guns that day. He returned with his plane undamaged.

When the day's kills were totaled, after the raid, there was a difficulty. One enemy plane couldn't be credited to any pilot, because Lindbergh's name couldn't go in the record.

"It threw our bookkeeping off a bit," a high air force officer told me, laughing. "Here we are with one more plane in our total of Japanese shot down by fighter command than the individual records show. But I guess we'll let it ride that way."

Return to top


Submit comments about this site

Follow the Missing Air Crew Project On:   Follow Us on Facebook  Follow Via YouTube

Web Site Terms of Use: This web site authorizes you to view materials solely for your personal, non-commercial use. You may not sell or modify the material or reproduce, display, distribute, or otherwise use the material in any way for any public or commercial purpose without the written permission of the web site owner.

This site is owned & developed by Patrick Ranfranz of Cameron, Wisconsin, USA
Email: | 1473 21 1/2 Street, Cameron, WI 54822

Copyright Notice: All images and text on this website are protected by U.S. and International Copyright Law.
No images or text should be copied, downloaded, transferred, or reproduced without the written consent
of Patrick Ranfranz/ Images. If you wish to use any materials
(images or text), please contact:

® Copyright,®, All rights reserved.

Help support this site, order your materials through this link.

Site Map