The planes for the newly formed 822nd and 823rd squadrons in Australia were flown overseas by the crews that would fly them into combat. This is one such story.{mospagebreak}

      In June '43 our crew was transferred from Greenville, SC, R.T.U. to Savannah ,GA to pick up a brand new B-25G. Supply issued side arms, flashlights, cases of batteries, chemical warfare inpregnated clothing, blankets and gas masks. We were LOADED, but by the time we reached Australia everything but the sidearms and chem warfare items had disappeared.

     Our first stop was Phoenix for fuel where we spent two days for the repair of a primer solenoid. (People should given medals for living in that heat - our shoes would sink into the asphalt on the streets.) Then on to Hamilton Field where we were immediately dispatched on to Sacramento for three days of overseas modification including a bomb bay tank and a fiber compo tank replacing the bottom gun turrett.

      Back to Hamilton to reload, pick up an ATC navigator and off to Hawaii - but a brokrn spring on the prop governor disrupted our plans - any change in altitude or power settings caused the prop to take off and had to be controlled by the feathering button. Not being allowed to land until the 585 gallons of gas in the bomb bay tank was exhausted, we circled San Francisco for hours and watched the fog close over Hamilton, finally managing to land after 3 or 4 passes.

     That night I met a young lady on the bus and escorted her home, Just as I was settling in for a great evening, James Raine, Bill Hughes and the navigator gleefully banged on her door and announced we were taking off in one hour. Later I learned her father was the engineering officer who diagnosed our problem and got us off to Hawaii.

     Take-off was an experience, climbing over the storm dikes at Hamilton in an overloaded B-25. Then the ATC navigator dropped his sextant and we had to bore holes through the skies until we finally picked up the radio beacon on the Hawaii approach. I had exactly 58cents in my pocket. After a week in Hawaii blowing my $6 per diem, we island hopped along with the C-47s to Brisbane. (At Nandi, a mess sergeant apologized for having only venison steakes for our dinner - they were delicious). Next morning before our takeoff, the air strip crew had to chase deer off the runway with jeeps.

     Upon our arrival at Eagle Farm, we were met by Colonel Gunn, who invited Jim Raine and me to join him in his apartment for a cold beer. The next morning after a miserably cold night in th barracks, we returned to the hanger and were reloading the B-25  when the colonel showed up with 13 additional people and their luggage to board our plane. The takeoff was another experience even without the bomb bay tank (4000 pounds) since most of our passengers (2600 pounds) were in the tail of the plane.  With full forward elevator trim, we had to hold the control column forward for level flight. Landing at Townsville, the 25 stalled 160 MPH ten feet above the runway. I expected the landing gear struts to poke through the wing but there was no apparent damage and after dropping off our passengers, we proceeded to Charters Towers for formation and training of the 822nd and 823rd Squadrons.