During the month officer strength of the Squadron increased from 50 to 56 while the enlisted strength decreased from 252 to 234. The large decrease in the enlisted strength was due to 22 were weary veterans, who, after more than two years of service, received those sought for orders to return to the states. Also lost to group was Sgt. Carl L. Bankard. Seven officers were assigned to the squadron, one of whom, Captain Alan P. Rankin, had previously been attached. The other six officers were 2nd Lts. Hobart D. Kanatzar, (also formally assigned to the Squadron), John M. Mohr, James M. Kilkenny, Joseph L. Lockhart, Jr., Burt A. Williams and Donald P. Maxwell.
Operations during during the month fell off considerably. This was due in large part to adverse weather conditions and also to the fact that many of our pilots were sent to Karachi to ferry the new the P-47 type thunderbolt with which the squadron is now equipped, back to our base in a Assam. Operations for this period are reflected in the following tabulation:
Such combat operations were, engaged in principally by the flight stationed at Shingbwiyang, Burma. This flight flew missions in support of the Chinese American ground forces operating in the Myitkyina area and the British and the British forces operating in the vicinity of Mogaung. Commendations directed to the pilots of all aircraft participating in these operations were received from each the American and British forces. Copies of such accommodations are appended as appendixes 30 and 31.
As already indicated during the month the squadron became equipped with 26 P-47 Thunderbolts. For the pilot who came overseas with the Squadron this plane was not new but for many others it was. Shortly after the arrival of the planes a training program was established in order to familiarize everyone with the new ship.
3. Combat with Enemy Aircraft-
No contact with any aircraft was made during the month.
4. Awards and Decorations
During the month awards were made to pilots of the squadron as follows:
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS
1st Lt. John A. Hartwick
1st Lt. Theodore M. Tracy
First Oak Leaf Cluster c to the Air Medal
Captain Linus F. Upson, JR.,
1st Lt. Philip R. Adair
1st Lt. Louis Louis T. Chapman
1st Lt. Philip A. Coll
1st Lt. Charles B. Hardy
2nd Lt. Donald W. Troy
Captain Donald A. Hanson (killed in action May 13/44)
1st Lt. Wharton E. Moller
1st Lt. Herbert H Doughty
2nd Lt. Percy A. Marshall
2nd Lt. James P Maguire,
2nd Lt. George J. Seifert
A copy of the orders confirming the above awards is annexed as appendix 32.
June 28, 1944 marked the completion by the Group of a years duty in India, and the occasion was commemorated by a party held at Nagaghuli by the Group Officers for all the other officers in the Group and Squadrons. It was a very festive occasion.
During the month well-earned promotions were recorded 1st Lt. Robbins to Captain, 2nd Lt. Hardy and Seims to First Lieutenant and Flight Officer Troy to Second Lieutenant.
After and after an absence on detached service at the Gunnery School at Armada Road, which in some cases amounted to a period of eight months, S/Sgt. Louis Micus, Sgt. Caster, and Privates Aspinall and Keane were welcomed back to Nagaghuli.