Doolittle Raider Reenactor

Doolittle Raider Reenactor

 Doolittle Raider Reenactor  In 2012, I had the good fortune to attend the 70th Doolittle Raiders Reunion at Grimes Field in Urbana, OH and the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH.  Meet Mark; as a living historian, Mark portrays a WWII Pilot.  This photo could have been taken in 1942 in New Guinea just before a mission.  Yes, they were that young.

On 18 Apr 1942, 16 brave flight crews took off from the USS Hornet aircraft carrier in B-25 bombers to strike the Japanese mainland in a daring mission early in WWII.  Of the 80 men on the mission, only one remains with us to celebrate 75th anniversary of their successful mission.  On April 17th – 18th this year, the 75th Doolittle Raiders Reunion will be held.  Seventeen B-25s are expected to attend this year.

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.