39th Bomb Group (VH)

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Paul W. Reuter - 19th Bomb Group
Oxon, MD.

"At the onset of World War II my Squadron was attached to the 19th Bomb Group at Clark Field, Philippines. We arrived at Clark in September 1941 from Hickam Field, Hawaii, and were awaiting completion of airfields and facilities at Del Monte, Mindanao at the time the 19th arrived at Clark. Our- Squadron was cadre for a new bomb group (7th) to be formed in Mindanao. Unfortunately, the Japanese changed all that on 6 December.

I was captured on Bataan and sent to Japan in October 1943. At Hirohata, Honshu on the Inland Sea about 30 miles southwest of Osaka, we worked at the Sietetsu Steel Mill. B-29s regularly bombed the mills on the Inland Sea in 1945, and Navy Hell-Cats dive bombed and strafed frequently, but our mill was never a target.. I credit our Intelligence Service on knowing our location.

We appreciate the job you fellows did to help end the war without an invasion Of the Japanese homeland. Had an invasion taken place, we POWs would have been zapped at once."

Note: Paul Reuter is now Adjutant and Legislative Officer of the organization American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor. Inc.

Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group"