There are those who are unfamiliar with the operation of a Bomb Group who may think that a war is fought by aircrews and forget that without the ground crews, nothing, absolutey nothing, happens. All Hail to our ground crews.
Ground support personnel at Port Morseby worked under the most primitive conditions imaginable, fighting off hoardes of mosquitoes while striving fo maximum readiness of assigned aircraft. Early morning hours were shattered by by the the moaning of B-25s being power-checked for the day's mission, with the lonely sound always resulting in a touch of queasiness of flight crews in anticipation of the target and weather conditions for that day.
The steady diet of Australian corned beef and the potatoe mixture served in the mess hall became inedible in a short time. Occcasionally a "fat cat" (usually a B-25 to be modified) would fly to Townsville and upon return would loadup with fresh vegtables, meat and beer for the squadron, but these bonanza's were few and far between and many of our flight line personnel survived on the emergency rations salvaged from the plane's life rafts. Such raions were seldom of moment since if a B-25 ditched in the water, the crew was picked up relatively quickly by the Japanese or by our own rescue teams and rarely. if ever, had a chance to use them.
Flight crews were were afforded periodic trips to Australia to regenerate their bodies, R & R trips were infrequent for ground personnel. Some units constructed stills from aircraft parts and brewed their own moonshine mixed with powdered juice from rations for flovoring. Grains for these concoctions were generally supplied by crews returning from Australia and generally tasted better than the Corio whiskey available there.
Rearming B-25s with their tremendous appetite for .50 caliber ammunition and loading bombs required strenuous efforts by ground personnel, and was accomplished in the evening or night after the target and type of bomb load was assigned by Bomber Command.
Waiting for their assigned aircraft to return from a mission was a time of anxiety for ground crews since any discrepencies in performance or damage to the unit had to be corrected immediately to insure maximum squadron strike capability with the limited equipment available. Their heroic efforts to keep "their' planes in the air were in essence, comparible to those of the men who took planes over targets and are certainly most deserving of recognition.