578TH MATERIEL SQUADRON
25TH AIR SERVICE GROUP
HISTORICAL REPORT DECEMBER 1944
The first of the month saw the transfer of four (4) men, all with the identical MOS (345), to the Camp Angus Replacement Center near Calcutta. The following day, December 2, we welcomed back five (5) enlisted men and two (2) officers from a well earned rest at U.S. Army Rest Camp #7 Ranket, India. They gave a very glowing account of the scenic background for the Himalaya Mountains are world famous. On the 29th of the month, four (4) enlisted men, including our First Sergeant, were sent to U.S. Army Rest Camp #10, at Madras, India. This is a popular winter resort for the British colony in India. Except for the transfer of two (2) more men to Camp Angus, no further changes in personnel occured.
This was the first Christmas that we have celebrated overseas. The outstanding Christmas Supper prepared by our mess personnel, served in the gaily decorated mess hall, compensated somewhat for the absence of our loved ones. We all said a silent prayer for a speedy victory and a quick return to Shangri-La. To attain that end, we pledged ourselves to continued and sustained effort in upholding our excellent record of materiel supply to the bombardment squadrons. Our various supply sections have made some noteworthy achievements in upholding the Army Air Force watchword, "Keep "Em Flying". For instance, the Air Corps Supply section still maintains it's record of not allowing any combat planes to remain grounded form a mission for lack of essential parts. In view of the size and complexity of the Superfortress, plus the time and distance involved in requisitioning and maintaining adequate stockpiles, this is indeed an accomplishment. In insuring a continuous flow of transportation in and around the base, our Ordnance section has earned the praise and heartfelt thanks of all Base units. Our Class 13 Supply section has successfully met the critical equipment needs of hundreds of combat crew personnel, who could not accomplish their extremely high altitude missions without complete and airworthy clothing equipment. Many bombardment squadron plane commanders have expressed their personal gratitude at the speed with which indispensable items or equipment were obtained on short notice in order to successfully carry out vital missions.
The highlight of the month was a raid by a lone Japanese plane on Christmas Night. Anti-aircraft batteries on the base had their first taste of action against an enemy plane, sending ack-ack fire screaming skyward in a brilliant display of red and white tracers against the background of a full moon in a blue evening sky. The enemy plane crossed at right angles to the runway, releasing incendiaries and anti-personnel bombs on establishments and warehouses adjacent to the flight strip. Our Signal Supply Warehouse was hit, but suffered minor damage. This was the first time that personnel of the squadron have come in contact with the enemy, and squadron discipline was excellent. Immediately after the raid, the Commanding Officer had a brief talk to the squadron on air raid discipline.
In the field of sports, our volleyball team placed second in our base league, losing a tie for first place by one game. The squadron basketball court has been wired for night games, attracting many men from other base units because of this unique feature. Night basketball games are now a regular part of our sports program. Plans are being drawn up for participation in the Base indoor baseball league. Many men in the squadron have signified their desire to play this most popular sport.
The end of the month - the end of an action crammed year - saw the gala celebration of New Years Eve with a Squadron Party. Toasts were drunk and resolutions hopefully offered by many members of the squadron. Some were said in jest, but many were given with an earnestness and sincerity that was heartily reflected in the hearts and minds of our men. For we renewed our pledges to sustained effort for an early victory, and prayed that the coming year would find us at home in a world at peace.