Bill Hillman's Monthly Military Tribute
AS YOU WERE . . .
WAR YEARS ECLECTICA

November 2010 Edition
Presents
Our Memories of WW II Series
The REAL story behind the first Kilroy

This Legend of how "Kilroy was here" starts is with James J. Kilroy, a shipyard inspector during WWII. He chalked the words on bulkheads to show that he had been there and inspected the riveting in the newly constructed ship. To the troops in those ships, however, it was a complete mystery - all they knew for sure was that he had "been there first." As a joke, they began placing the graffiti wherever they (the US forces) landed or went, claiming it was already there when they arrived.

Kilroy Was Here first published this story in 1999 -- soon with images from a 1946 newspaper from a descendant. It is the most likely of many legends printed here.  This story has been repeated throughout the world ever since.

To read more on this story, visit http://www.KilroyWasHere.org 


AVIATION PHOTOS
Check out this photographic site -- lots of awesome aviation photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7534470@N08/with/5120029878/

AIRBOYD.TV
http://www.airboyd.tv/gallery/
A Video And News Hub For Aviation And Aerospace Enthusiasts


MEMORABLE AIR CRASHES IN BC
Mount Slesse, BC Plane Crashes Into Mountains, Dec 1956
http://www3.gendisasters.com/air-disasters/6034/mount-slesse-bc-plane-crashes-mountains-dec-1956

100 Mile House, BC Plane Explosion, July 1965
http://www3.gendisasters.com/air-disasters/12628/100-mile-house-bc-plane-explosion-july-1965


Discover your story today. +5 billion records. 
www.ancestry.ca 
Germany Photo Gallery Free photos, screensavers and more.
www.Away.com 
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LAST AIRPLANE OUT OF BOEING PLANT 2
http://www.rbogash.com/Plant%202/2Plant2.html
End of an Era
September 18, 2010.  An early Saturday morning in a rainy Seattle.  0300 hrs local time.  The location: Boeing's historic Plant II - about to be torn down after three quarters of a century producing thousands of the most significant and historic airplanes ever built.  In preparation for demolition, three airplanes that have been undergoing Museum of Flight restoration in the factory's assembly bays  will have to be moved.  Just as in days past, with lights and images reflecting off the wet pavement, the last three airplanes are rolled out.  The giant hangar doors are raised, the tugs and towbars are hooked up, and with lights flashing, they are moved out of the factory and onto the historic ramp.  Where so many have gone before.  Then across East Marginal Way and out onto Boeing Field. They are the last airplanes to roll out of these doors.   Ever.

Lockheed Super G Constellation that flew for Trans-Canada Air Lines

Boeing B-17

Boeing B-29

April 1944: 16 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers
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GALLERY OF UNUSUAL PHOTOS


V1

Spitfire "tipping-off" a V1
At first V1s were shot down by gunfire. Optimum range was inside 200 yds, which was marginal for survival. Many planes were damaged and quite a few pilots killed. Basically at such high speed and low altitude a plane had to fly though the explosion and hope. 

With the high risk of being blown up some of the best pilots started tipping the V1's wing, because of damage to wing tips they later developed a tactic of disrupting the aitflow by placing their wing very close to the V1's wing, causing it to topple.

Not every pilot did this. At night this was not possible, the flame from the V1 blinded the pilot to everything else, though some pilots flew past closely in front of the V1, again causing it to topple. An amazing feat by pilots flying 450 mph, 4,000 feet above the ground, at night and blinded.

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Japanese Kawanishi H8K seaplane after straifing. Kwajalein

Snow on deck. USS Philippine Sea North Pacific 1945
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Squad of Rufes at Bougainville. These things were very nimble even with the damned pontoons

HARVS on the way in shot by a P-47. Rare shot.                
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Ju 88 loading a torpedo.

Macchi 202v 
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Italian 303 Bombers over N. Africa 

Deck crew climbing up to get the pilot out. He did. 


http://wwiiletters.blogspot.com


The Day Japan Bombed Oregon
http://acmp.com/blog/the-day-japan-bombed-oregon.html
September 9, 1942, the I-25 class Japanese submarine was cruising in an easterly direction raising its periscope occasionally as it neared the United States Coastline. Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor less than a year ago and the Captain of the attack submarine knew that Americans were watching their coast line for ships and aircraft that might attack our country. Dawn was approaching; the first rays of the sun were flickering off the periscopes lens. Their mission; attack the west coast with incendiary bombs in hopes of starting a devastating forest fire. If this test run were successful, Japan had hopes of using their huge submarine fleet to attack the eastern end of the Panama Canal to slow down shipping from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Japanese Navy had a large number of I-400 submarines under construction. Each capable of carrying three aircraft. Pilot Chief Warrant Officer Nobuo Fujita and his crewman Petty Officer Shoji Okuda were making last minute checks of their charts making sure they matched those of the submarine’s navigator.


The only plane ever to drop a bomb on the United States during WWII was this submarine based Glen.

September 9, 1942: Nebraska forestry student Keith V. Johnson was on duty atop a forest fire lookout tower between Gold’s Beach and Brookings Oregon. Keith had memorized the silhouettes of Japanese long distance bombers and those of our own aircraft. He felt confident that he could spot and identify, friend or foe, almost immediately. It was cold on the coast this September morning , and quiet. The residents of the area were still in bed or preparing to head for work. Lumber was a large part of the industry in Brookings, just a few miles north of the California Oregon state lines.


The aircraft carried two incendiary 168 pound bombs and a crew of two.

Aboard the submarine the Captain’s voice boomed over the PA system, “Prepare to surface, aircrew report to your stations, wait for the open hatch signal” During training runs several subs were lost when hangar door were opened too soon and sea water rushed into the hangars and sank the boat with all hands lost. You could hear the change of sound as the bow of the I-25 broke from the depths, nosed over for its run on the surface. A loud bell signaled the “All Clear.” The crew assigned to the single engine Yokosuki E14Ys float equipped observation and light attack aircraft sprang into action. They rolled the plane out its hangar built next to the conning tower. The wings and tail were unfolded, and several 176 pound incendiary bombs were attached to the hard points under the wings. This was a small two passenger float plane with a nine cylinder 340 hp radial engine. It was full daylight when the Captain ordered the aircraft to be placed on the catapult. Warrant Officer Fujita started the engine, let it warm up, checked the magnetos and oil pressure. There was a slight breeze blowing and the seas were calm. A perfect day to attack the United States of America. When the gauges were in the green the pilot signalked and the catapult launched the aircraft. After a short climb to altitude the pilot turned on a heading for the Oregon coast.


The “Glen” was launched via catapult from a I-25 class Japanese submarine.

Johnson was sweeping the horizon but could see nothing, he went back to his duties as a forestry agent which was searching for any signs of a forest fire. The morning moved on. Every few minutes he would scan low, medium and high but nothing caught his eye. The small Japanese float plane had climbed to several thousand feet of altitude for better visibility and to get above the coastal fog. The pilot had calculated land fall in a few minutes and right on schedule he could see the breakers flashing white as they hit the Oregon shores.

Johnson was about to put his binoculars down when something flashed in the sun just above the fog bank. It was unusual because in the past all air traffic had been flying up and down the coast, not aiming into the coast.

The pilot of the aircraft checked his course and alerted his observer to be on the lookout for a fire tower which was on the edge of the wooded area where they were supposed to drop their bombs. These airplanes carried very little fuel and all flights were in and out without any loitering. The plane reached the shore line and the pilot made a course correction 20 degrees to the north. The huge trees were easy to spot and certainly easy to hit with the bombs. The fog was very wispy by this time.


Warrant Officer Fujita is shown with his Yokosuka E14Y (Glen) float plane prior to his flight.

Johnson watched in awe as the small floatplane with a red meat ball on the wings flew overhead, the plane was not a bomber and there was no way that it could have flown across the Pacific, Johnson could not understand what was happening. He locked onto the plane and followed it as it headed inland.

The pilot activated the release locks so that when he could pickled the bombs they would release. His instructions were simple, fly at 500 feet, drop the bombs into the trees and circle once to see if they had started any fires and then head back to the submarine.

Johnson could see the two bombs under the wing of the plane and knew that they would be dropped. He grabbed his communications radio and called the Forest Fire Headquarters informing them of what he was watching unfold.

The bombs tumbled from the small seaplane and impacted the forests, the pilot circled once and spotted fire around the impact point. He executed an 180 degree turn and headed back to the submarine. There was no air activity, the skies were clear. The small float plane lined up with the surfaced submarine and landed gently on the ocean, then taxied to the sub. A long boom swung out from the stern. His crewman caught the cable and hooked it into the pickup attached to the roll over cage between the cockpits. The plane was swung onto the deck, The plane’s crew folded the wings and tail, pushed it into its hangar and secured the water tight doors. The I-25 submerged and headed back to Japan.

This event ,which caused no damage, marked the only time during World War II that an enemy plane had dropped bombs on the United States mainland. What the Japanese didn’t count on was coastal fog, mist and heavy doses of rain made the forests so wet they simply would not catch fire.


This Memorial Plaque is located in Brookings, Oregon at the site of the 1942 bombing

Fifty years later the Japanese pilot, who survived the war, would return to Oregon to help dedicate a historical plaque at the exact spot where his two bombs had impacted. The elderly pilot then donated his ceremonial sword as a gesture of peace and closure of the bombing of Oregon in 1942.

Thanks to Bill Stadnyk, Don Roy and our many other contributors


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