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.
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.
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.