World War II;Col. Neal Kearby;Hideki Tojo;Cape Gloucester;Aussie units;Air Corps;South West Pacific;Congressional Medal of Honor;P-47 Thunderbolt;New Guinea;Australia;China
All rights retained by Bryant University
Mar 2, 1944
Bryant Service Club
Thank you for your letter of Dec 8th. It has been chasing me over a good portion of New Guinea I guess thus the delay. As yet your xmas package has not arrived. I suspect that it too is having difficulty finding me.
At present I’m at an advance Air Base helping to establish facilities for our sqdn when it moves up. The Japs at one point are within four miles of here. They’re pocketed up in the mountains by American + Aussie units. Our own dive bombers have been coming over every day pounding gun positions and personell [sic]. It’s been a thrilling spectacle to watch. Tojo won’t last much longer here and soon life will settle down to the dull routine that marks a squadron’s operation – for the ground personell [sic] at any rate.
Our group thus far has established an amazing record against Tojo. It holds the win-loss record for any group in the Air Corps. To date they’re knocked down 177 Japs and tho I can’t state losses it is extremely small. During the December landing at Cape Gloucester our group knocked down 53 Japs to the loss of none- a world’s record. Col. Neal Kearby our former group C.O. holds the record for enemy planes shot down in the S.W.P. area. His plane carries 23 Jap flags. He’s the chap awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for shooting down six Japs in one mission. The reason for this marked superiority of Tojo is at times hard to believe – It can only be explained by superior tactics and a great plane. The P-47 is a hard plane to knock down as many a dead Jap pilot could testify if he were still alive.
I hope I haven’t bragged too much about my outfit but I am proud to be a part of the organization. Everyone, from the top down, is doing a swell job under difficult conditions. We live primatively [sic] and are constantly on the move. We hope to be relieved soon this being our tenth month of combat operation. We look for a couple of months in Australia to catch up on our long neglected social life. Then back home or maybe to China. SO much for now- Thanks for writing and I shall confirm receipt of your xmas gift when it arrives. Regards to my old friends at Bryant and to my classmates of ’36 wherever they may be.