Various activities were performed during the month by this organization. Aside from the usual work done on the M-17 incendiary cluster and the CHB skymarker, preparations were made for the use of the "Fire Bomb". This station received 23,650 gallons of gelled gasoline in 55 gallon steel drums, 246 - 85 gallon paper tanks, and 500 igniters (E 3 R 1) consisting of a modified white phosphorus (WP) grenade to accept an "All Ways" fuse. Upon arrival of these items work was immediately done to determine the procedure that would be carried out in the event that these "Fire Bombs" would be carried by the 486th Bomb Group (H). A-6 refueling units were used to transfer the gel from the drums to the tanks. Sufficient tanks were filled to allow each squadron a trial load of 3 tanks for 1/2 bomb bay. It was found that loading full tanks was impractical, Captain BOHRNSTEIN, group armament officer, drew  up a plan where empty tanks will be loaded onto the planes, then filled by Armament, Ordnance and Chemical Warfare personnel. Five A-6 refueling units will be used by each squadron, and it has been figured that the pumping can be accomplished insufficient time, or before taxiing time. In regards to the flow of this gel (Napalm) it has been found to vary depending upon the thickness, it will take from 6 to 25 minutes to empty a drum. The general rule is: the thicker the fuel the slower the flow. The EM of this organization have completed all preparatory measures for such a mission. They have fastened the carrying straps onto the bomb, refitted the filling plugs, from an off-set to an in-line position, separated the igniters from the fuses and manufactured a necessary amount of 15 fee long arming wires. CPL Scherer devised a unique method in coiling the arming wires. The wire is spun around a part of the broom handle which has a attached shaft and is revolved by hand. Enough spring tension is created in the wire by this method that upon release of the "Fire Bomb" from the aircraft the wire will draw itself back into coiled shape allowing the bomb bay doors to close freely. Other preparations made for the use of these bombs were separating the drums of gel and paper tanks into four sections thereby allowing a sufficient space to load a maximum number of trailers at one time. Personnel that will be involved in the loading of these bombs have been briefed.

   The stepped up use of incendiaries continued through the month of March. During the month 1,491 - 500# M-17 clusters, and 882 - 100# M-47 bombs were dropped on enemy targets. Since these bombs are shipped in wooden containers, a large pile of lumber has accumulated in the bomb dump. This lumber is being given to any section on the station with only one restriction. That is, it is to be used constructively and not to be used as fire wood.

   The issuance of free travel warrants has created the planning of seeing places not heretofore visited by the men of this organization. PFC Sidney Berman was the first to take advantage of this Free Travel by going to Liverpool.

   Sickness and the pulling of KP has brought the number of men available for company duties to a new low level. PFC Angelo was transferred to the Det. of Patients and is contemplating to be sent home. There he will be operated on his left arm which became paralyzed by being struck by a 1,000 H.E. bomb which fell on his shoulder while he was helping to load a plain at station 156. PFC Denley is convalescing at 136 station hospital after a hernia operation. PFC Reamer and PFC Break are at the same hospital, Reamer had a vistula removed and Break with undetermined stomach trouble. It is hoped that the last three men join the outfit soon to relieve the strain created on the remaining men.

   CPL Mollino, TEC 5 Flynn, PFC Berman and PFC Schmidt spent seven day furloughs in Scotland, Wales and London.

 

(signed)
WALTER L. SYATA
1st LT., C.W.S
Commanding

Aircraft | Crews | Letters | Places | Strike

Copyright © 1998-2016 486th Bomb Group Association.