For a brief period between May-July 1944 Yap was briefly the epicenter and crossroads of the Pacific war. Starting in May 1944 numerous Japanese air units staged through Yap and launched missions from Yap against the approaching American forces. Numerous air battles waged over Yap in June and July 1944 between Zero fighters and long range American B-24's flying thirteen-hour mission from the Admiralty Islands. For years I have researched the Yap related World War II stories about the men who flew missions against the Japanese held island of Yap during World War II. Many of the men survived, however, hundreds of men were killed (many still listed as missing in action including my uncle). I was recently put in contact with Alfred Daywalt who will be celebrating his 101st birthday on April 8th. He was part of the Lt. Bolton crew who were shot down over Yap on June 23, 1944. He was transferred from the crew on June 22, 1944 to fly with another crew. After the war he wrote a heartfelt letter to the mother of one of his former crew members who was lost over Yap. Ironically, this letter was given to me the other year and I posted it on my website at the link below with other crew documents and pictures. It’s hard to read Alfred’s letter without feeling his sorrow and loss. I’m glad that Alfred was able to have a long and meaningful life after such a close call.
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