During the month our officer strength remained constant at 52 with our losses of Lt. Snyder to the 60th Fighter Group and Lt. Orr to the 459th Fighter Squadron being compensated for by the assignments of 2nd Lts. William N. Cutler and Thomas J. O'Connor.
Enlisted Strengh fell from 264 two 251, at the end of the month due principally to another transfer out and ostensibly to the States of some of the former personnel of the 51st Fighter Group.
Operations during the month are reflected in the following tabulations: Patrol Combat hours 725, sorties 320; offensive combat hours 197, sorties 81; bombs dropped 18.1 tons; AMMO expended 16,285 rounds
Although a marked decrease in combat hours and sorties flown appears from a comparison with the previous months activities it should be noted that whether made 13 of the month’s 29 days not-operational.
Offensive missions continued to be run against enemy supply and troop concentrations in the Kamaing area and also against the enemies lines of communication.
On February 19, 1944 a mission, the results of which have been reported by ground forces as highly successful, as run against a reported supply dump near Manyet. Twenty-four 325 lb. landmines were dropped in a close pattern in the target area. Large fires were started and considerable damage was reported as inflicted upon enemy personnel in the vicinity.
On February 21, 1944 the Namkwin Railroad Bridge was rendered unserviceable in an attack during which Captain Harrell and Lt. Darden each are credited with scoring a direct hit on the bridge with 1000 pound bombs. For the successful accomplishment of this mission the 80th Fighter Group receives congratulations of Colonel John F. Egan, Commanding Officer of the 5320th Defense Wing (Provisional). Appendix 10
Finally on February 29, 1944 the Namkwin Railroad Bridge By-pass was also hit, also with 1000 lb. bombs, and knocked out
During February there was an average of 22 planes assigned to the Squadron. Of these 90.7% were in tactical commission throughout the month
3. Contact with the enemy.
There were no contacts made with enemy aircraft during the month.
4. Awards and Decorations:
During the month they were awarded to the pilots of the squadron one Silver Star, Twenty-five Air Medals and one Purple Heart, recipients of these awards are listed below
1ST LT. P.R.Adair
1ST LT. F.H.Clower
Captain W. S. Harrell
Captain L. F. Upson, Jr.
1ST LT. P. R. Adair
1ST LT. R. D. Bell
1ST LT. L. T. Chapman
1ST LT. F. H. Clower
1ST LT. J. H. Darden,Jr.
1ST LT. E. R. McMillan
1ST LT. E. C. O'Connor
1ST LT. D. V. Shepard
1ST LT. D. P. Taylor
1ST LT. G. C. Whitley
1ST LT. R. A. Witort
2nd LT. P. A. COL
2nd LT. S. Dare
2nd LT. J. M. Matulevicz
2nd LT. J. F. May, Jr.
2nd LT. R. L. McCarty
2nd LT. R. B. McReynolds
2nd LT. W. C. Nall
2nd LT. W. C. Orr
2nd LT. R. E. Rhodes
2nd LT. J. P. Smith
2nd LT. T. M. Tracy
F/O D. W. Troy
Orders confirming the above words are annexed appendix 11, 12 and 13.
Promotions were given to 18 enlisted men and also 1st Lt. Jones received his Captaincy the 2nd LTs. Chapman and O'Connor the promotions to First Lieutenant.
On the last day of the month an enlisted man's party was held at Sadiya with great success. Feminine talent was imported to the courtesy of the Air Transport.
6. In Memoriam.
It is with deep regret and a keen sense of loss that the Squadron learned of the untimely deaths of Major Swenningson and 2nd LT. Keith while they were enroute home to the states. Each had an enviable record of service in this theater into our country. Appropriate letters of condolences were sent to the next of kin it is the squadrons wish the copies of these letters be appended to this history as appendix 14 and 15