On October 25 1942, under operational control
of the 11th Bomb Squadron, several planes and aircrews (soon to be
assigned to 22nd Bomb Squadron) joined with 11th Bomb Squadron planes and
crews to pull three surprise raids on Hong Kong harbor and Canton Flying
Cloud airport. The noon raid on Hong Kong harbor consisted of twelve
B-25's and seven P-40's of the 23rd Fighter Group (three of the fighter
pilots were: Tex Hill, former AVG original Flying Tiger, Robert L. Scott
and Dallas Clinger.) A number of the B-25 crews included some
members who had been on the Doolittle Tokyo Raid 5 months earlier in April
1942. The first planes arrived over Hong Kong about noon and were
jumped by 35 Japanese Zeros and one German Messerschmidt (ME 109).
The noon raid was quite successful as the night raiders reported "half
the lights in Hong Kong out, and the docks on fire." The Japanese
were surprised - not knowing the bombers could reach that far into Nipponese
occupied territory. Six Zeros were shot down that day , one B-25 was lost.
Three crew members were captured by the Japs - Paul "Rusty"
Webb, Howard Allers and Murray Lewis. They spent the rest of the
war as guests of the Nipponese army at the "Shanghai Hilton." Allers
had been wounded by ground strafing zeroes. Joe Cunningham and Wilbur
Marcus went to find water when the Japs captured their crew mates.
Cunningham , Marcus and James N. Young , later made it back to fly again
in a month! The action was part of the China Air Task
Force led by General Caleb V. Haynes. B-25s came from as far away
as Karachi (5000 miles), Agra and Dum Dum, India, and of course, the 11th
Bomb Squadron from Kunming. All three of these raids were staged through
Kweilin, China. Not until the last bomb racks had been emptied did
the Jap fighters get into the action, so the enemy was caught napping.
My dad was nineteen years old - his birthday being
three days earlier. I believe these missions, especially, contributed
to his Distinguished Flying Cross, along with his dedication to his country
and his friends in the 22nd. main
to Wilbur E. McDowell - Pilot / 22nd.