My last mission still stands out as the most memorable--{mospagebreak}

My last mission still stands out as the most memorable of the 34 that I flew. The date, August 11, 1945, and we were to hit shipping in the sea of Japan with take-off around 0400 hours to catch the enemy before they reached port on the overnight run between Korea and Japan.

I was leading the Group and we were taking off singly, rendezvousing at Tsu Shima off the Kyushu coast. A terrible storm raged during takeoff, and to enable the night fighters to identify us, a predetermined corridor was to be followed on our way out of Yontan. This proved pretty hair raising since jungle rot had desroyed the ultra violet instrument lights, and I was all over the corridor with my co-pilot holding a flashlight on the panel. Sunrise was a most welcome sight.

My navigator, Captain L. J. Champs was new to the theater, having completed a tour in the ETO, mostly flying from Africa to southern France and Italy.  It seemed to me Champ was busier eating K-rations than keeping track of our position and we missed the rendezvous! After setting up a search pattern, we finally spotted land through the low ceiling and restricted visability.

Champ confirmed our position but I still had my doubts since no other planes were around. However upon reaching Fusan harbor, Champ plotted a course to the rendezvous where the entire group was circling and waiting.

As we set out on the heading given us by the B-24 Snooper to find the 6 ship convoy, we learned the war was over and we were ordered to break off without ever sighting the convoy.