THIRTY FIFTH ENGINEERING SQUADRON
During this month, the Engineering Section of our Squadron has made one change in shop location. Shop Tech-Supply from workshop No. 22 to a pre-fab located between the Electrical Shop and Paint Shop. This change was for the benefit of the Armament Shop as well as Tech-Supply for working space was badly needed by both departments.
Operating now for the second month under a production line set-up, the Engine Build-up Section under the able guidance of T/Sgt Vernon R. Morgan and Sgt James L. Burns has increased engine out-put considerably. Although still in the pioneer stages a stock room is being constructed in the shop and plans are being made for a pickling ramp at the rear of the building. The Carpenter Shop and Welding Shop have been of great assistance to this department in setting up for work. Parts and Tool bins are being manufactured by the Carpenter Shop. In addition to the above they have constructed a pre-fab for Tech-Supply. The Welding Shop during the month has modified approximately 200 collector rings and completed numerous work orders of a minor nature.
Four additional men have been assigned to T/Sgt Joseph A. Kovacik's Parachute Shop this month. Also received was a Singer heavy duty harness sewing machine on 23 December 1944. Work this month has been of the following nature: repaired, inspected, and repacked approximately 1000 chutes; repaired and modified canopies, packs, and flying equipment.
All starters and generators used by Engine Build-up Section are now being overhauled and repaired by S/Sgt George Green and his Electrical Shop. Electrical line maintenance men are still furnished by this department as well as bench checking articles for Air Corps Supply. Approximately 1000 instruments were handled by the Instrument Trailer personnel as well as work done on the following ships: L-5 102, P-40N 272, B-24D 837, PBY-5M 361, Navy; and B-29 279. Also ships B-29's 279, 460, B-24D 437, B-25 283, P-40N 272, B-29 417. In addition to the above approximately 50 tire changes were handled by this department.
The Sheet Metal Shop has done work of the following nature: All flak holes repaired, oil tank modifications, blisters, and repairing of nacelles.
With the return of Mobile Unit #2 from A-7 China each department has been strengthened in personnel. Engine Build-Up now has nineteen assigned men and thirteen men from the Bomb Group on Special Duty. As with many of the other departments Engine Build-Up is suffering from the lack of materials.
In the Radar Section several British Officers were instructed in the fundamentals of operation of the AN/APQ-13 Radar equipment, and in the main troubles found in maintaining the equipment.
A large air compressor was added to the shop equipment for use in blowing the dust out of units of radar equipment.
Five members of the Radar Section were at the building during the air raid of 25 December 1944. All personnel took shelter in holes and trenches near the building. No damage was sustained, either to the equipment and buildings or members of the section.
Sgt Albert M Gaa was taken to the hospital early in the month suffering from Pleurisy and Pneumonitis. His early return is anticipated.
Ninety-four (94) routine repairs on equipment were completed during the month of December.
The installation of four AN/APN-4 units for training purposes in a B-24-J type airplane was completed. These units had to be obtained from B-29 airplanes in which they were installed, and many special parts, cables, mountings, and fittings had to be obtained and improvised.
The Service Group RCM Section operating with one Officer and two Enlisted Men repaired six transmitters, and acquired three pieces of badly needed test equipment. Much time was devoted to the study of the functions of this test equipment. Efforts were made to accumulate spare parts stocks for RCM equipment without much success. An attempt has been made to work in closer coordination with the Bomb Group RCM Section, and this has met with some success.
In the CFC Shop, a gyro tester has been completed and is an efficient and capable means of checking gyros in the shop. Another gyro for testing on the ships is being made and it is anticipated that it will be just as successful.
The month of December brought many changes to the Armament Section of the Squadron. Facilities for repair and rework of armament equipment were greatly expanded. The personnel was increased by the transfer of five men to the shop from the "Billy Mitchell" Group of the XX Bomber Command. These men were assigned the task of setting up a section for repair and reworking of local turret parts, rack selectors, bomb interval control releases, and type A-2 and A-4 releases. This section has operated effectively the entire month.
Two of the new men were busy with parts salvaged from a condemned B-24 and the wreck of a B-25. Such items as Vickers units, retraction assemblies, turret motors, drive gear assemblies and turret controls were handled by these men and as many units as possible were put in working order. Those parts not serviceable at present are stored pending shipment of required replacement parts to make them serviceable again.
During the month various type planes have required armament maintenance. A mock-up for testing bombing circuits has been completed. The mock-up can handle rack selectors, switches, interval controls, and either A-2 or A-4 releases. In the shop there is also a Continuity tester for intervalometers. This instrument permits an accurate check on "interval between release" and "circuit dwell" in the bomb interval control release. The instrument will check either Mallory or Seeburg control releases and any type of either make.
The Base Armament Officer requested that a means be devised for instantaneous release of bombs in salvo on the newer B-29 type planes with the all-electric bombing system. This was satisfactorily done by members of this department. A demonstration mock-up was built and a wiring diagram submitted to the Base Armament Officer.
A sequence of checks for the type A-1 rack selectors was also suggested and later completed, checking the continuity in every circuit in the rack selectors from the outside of the selectors. This permits a thorough check of these delicate units, before a power check, to prevent unnecessary damage.
Modifications for carbines, sub-machine guns, pistols, and aircraft cal. .50 machine guns are in progress.
Vehicle Maintenance handled two hundred and twenty-three job orders. Over a six month period records show that the majority of jobs had been in welding, such as, radiators, windshield brackets, fenders, and engine supports. Two engine test stands were manufactured by the Shop personnel. These are to be used in testing used unit assemblies, such as; carburetors, generator starters, etc. A conversion of the 2 1/2 ton Cargo Truck, to a Dump Truck, was accomplished by men of this department. Several men of this department assisted the Bomber Command Technical Inspector in inspecting all Motor Pools of the 468th Bomb Group, 25th Service Group, and Hijili Base.
In addition to the regularly assigned duties of this Section, heavy equipment was moved effectively on several occasions such as the unloading and hauling of bombs for the Ordnance Ammunition Company.
Excitement ran rampant through Squadron Supply in the last month. There were innovations and occurances that shocked its workers out of their normal complacency. First, there was the arrival of Change 1 to the T/O & E. The Supply Sergeant, during the visit by enemy aircraft double timed from the post movies to his place of duty. Weapons and ammunition was distributed in record time. Outside of that, Squadron Supply has performed its regular routine duties.
Though a raid by enemy aircraft is nothing unusual, this Organization deems it worth mentioning because of the fact that it was the first raid experienced at this base. New Delhi has issued the communique that Jap bombers were over East Bengal; however, we can only say it was the Japs. We can only say because since it was our first experience, most of us now know it is pretty difficult to identify an aircraft at night while huddled up in a small corner of a slit trench trying to crawl into a helmet. Damage sustained by this unit's Engineering Section was practically nil, to wit: a few flak holes in the area about several of the shops and a few splinters in the parachute shop door. It was an event to the men because of the enemy's thirst for drama in picking Xmas day for their visit. Within the Squadron area, all men alerted themselves in a disciplinary manner efficiently carrying out all the established rules of this Base, in addition to Unit precautions of safety of personnel.
The Armament Officer of this Unit assisted the Base Chemical Officer in extinguishing incendiaries and recovery of duds in order to prevent fires or delayed action with possible injury to personnel and equipment.
On the day following the raid, except for its being a topic of conversation among the men, work went on as usual. The Basketball league is forming. Our own team is daily working out on the court recently built by several of our men with the aid of coolies and surplus cement. The softball league is in full swing. New furniture has been added to our dayroom. A new baker has joined us.
The last month saw a Squadron dance, a unit party sponsored by the Vehicle Section, and a sumptuous Xmas meal under the capable arm of our mess Sergeant.
The morale of the men is excellent, and in relation, we would like to mention that little things have as much to do with morale as the big assets. By little things, we might include a light in the latrine at night, a light in the shower, posting of the daily menu by the Mess Sergeant on the Squadron Bulletin Board, etc. No less praise should go to our capable mail orderly who performs his duties with interest and enthusiasm for all the men.