B-26 Takeoff

B-26 Takeoff

B-26 Takeoff  7 Dec 1941  Pearl Harbor Day  At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, 360 Japanese warplanes, mostly dive bombers and torpedo planes, attacked the naval base at Pearl Harbor.   At 0700, eastern time, on 8 Dec 1941, less than 18 hours after the first bombs dropped on Pearl Harbor, the 22nd Bomb Group, the Red Raiders, took off in B-26 medium bombers from Langley field, VA headed for Muroc, CA to fly shore patrol. My father was a crew chief on one of those B-26s in the 33rd squadron.  From Muroc, they boarded the airplanes and flight crews onto ships and sailed to Oahu.  At Hickam Field, they reassembled the planes and island hopped to Australia.  The 22nd BG was one of the first units to take offensive action against the enemy.  From from bases in northern Australia, they flew bomb missions without fighter escort against Japanese bases and shipping around New Guinea and the surrounding waters.  Seventy-five years later, some Americans worry that most Americans don’t recognize the importance of Dec. 7, 1941.  Remember Pearl Harbor!

B-26 Marauder Crew

Marauder Crew

This B-26 Marauder Crew image was captured by a WWII AAF Photographer, who I’ll be featuring on this sight very soon.  He was using a Speed Graphic 4×5 camera.  For the younger photogs among us, that means manual settings, photographic plates, and big camera.

This weekend the 22nd BG is having their reunion; sure wish I could be there.

At 0700 on 8 Dec 1941, less than 18 hours after the first bombs dropped on Pearl Harbor, the 22nd Bomb Group, the Red Raiders, took off in brand new B-26 medium bombers from Langley field, VA headed for Muroc, CA to fly shore patrol. My father was a crew chief on one of those B-26s in the 33rd squadron.  From Muroc, they boarded the airplanes and flight crews onto ships and sailed to Oahu.  At Hickam Field, they reassembled the planes and island hopped to Australia.

The 22nd BG was one of the first units to take offensive action against the enemy.  From from bases in northern Australia, they flew bomb missions without fighter escort against Japanese bases and shipping around New Guinea and the surrounding waters.  The Marauder could actually fly faster than the enemy fighters.  Still. loses were heavy in the early part of the war.  As the war continued, they island hopped toward Japan while also moving from B-26s to B-25s to B-24s bombers.

B-26 Marauder

B-26 Marauder

B-26 Marauder:  This image seems to illustrate not only the B-26, the first bomber used by the 22nd Bomb Group, but also, the flight crews as well.  The guy lighting up reminds me of my father who did not start smoking until he went to war.  Today, I am beginning a new project to document the journey my father took through WWII with the 22nd Bomb Group 33rd Squadron.  This image was scanned from a public domain print with the Epson V600 Scanner.  I’ll include a few current images of B-26, B-25, and B-24 aircraft when I can.  Still, most images will be old WWII photos scanned.  Many thanks in advance to the 22nd Bomb Group Association for their help and for allowing me to scan photos from their book.