39th Bomb Group (VH)

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The following mission notes were transcribed from the mission dairy of 1st Lt Leonard A. Kuther, Bomberdier on Crew 44. The diary was written in Kuther's own handwriting - no gramatic or spelling corrections have been made.

Thanks to Len's daughter Denise for providing us with a copy of her father's diary.

A copy of Kuther's actual WWII diary is available in PDF as well as the transcribed version is also available in Word and PDF format.

Handwritten Version - PDF (771k)
Transcribed Version - PDF (25k)
Transcribed Version - Word (47k)

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WWII Diary of 1st Lt Leonard A. Kuther, Bombardier, P-43

4 April '45
Departed Mather Field Cal. 0300 – 4 April ’45 – Opened sealed orders on route to Honolulu as to our destination. As was sort of expected by our crew we were headed for North Field in Guam. We arrived at John Rogers Fld Honolulu at approximately 1600 some date Flying time 11 hrs 50 min.

While our B-29 was being checked by ground crews there we looked around Waikiki Beach, The Naval Station & Hickham Fld on 5 April ’45.

6 April ‘45
Departed Honolulu 0730 for Kawjalien (sic) Island. After 13 hrs 19 minutes we arrived on the tiny island, after crossing the International Date Line. Facilities were very poor on Kawjalien (sic) it was running when we arrived and continued intermittently until we departed.  

9 April ‘45
Departed Kawjalien (sic) for Guam 0900. After hitting a lot of bad weather we arrived on Guam at 1530. Flying time was 7 hrs 11 minutes.

Because of engine trouble at Mather Fld we were about the last crew of our sqdn to arrive on Guam. Some had already flown their first mission when we arrived.

To delay us more on our first mission our crew chief had blown an engine stand into the tail surface of our plane while checking the eingine.

While waiting for our plane to be fixed I had a chance to look up some old buddies in the 29th. Saw Mantak and Kuzdrahl & had dinner with them and also learned another that another buddy of ours from Mt. Home, Telio (sic) had been missing in action from their squadron for a couple of weeks.

Went swimming at the beach that afternoon and ran into Mauk (fellow Bomarbian from Mildland Texas)

Took in a show at the Wing area that nite 11 April - 1800 Saw Jackie Cooper, Dennis Day – Claude Thornhill etc in person.

12 April ‘45
Airplane finally fixed we flew a 2 hr test flight and calibration mission

19 April ‘45
Flew a practice mission on the Island of Rota about 30 miles from Guam. There were a few Japs on this island and they had some small arms fire. Our Group used the airfield on this island practice bombing missions.

21 April ‘45
Our airplane “The Lancer” and crew #43 were set for our first mission on the Empire of Japan. The 62nd Sqdn took off about midnight to hit an airfield at Kushira. This mission was lead by Capt. Paquette and crew with Bob Morton lead Bombardier. Results looked very good. Lots of flak and “The Lancer” got 13 flak holes in the fuselage.
Flying time: 15 hrs.


62nd Squadron Crew Index
Source: Diary of Leonard A. Kuther, Bombardier