421st Night Fighter Squadron in WWII

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When the boats were out on a mission they could arrange for one of the squadron's aircraft to be patrolling in that area at the same time. The normal "FRAG" (Fragment) Orders only directed the 421 st NFS to keep two aircraft on patrol in the area from 6:00 at night to 6:00 in the morning. This schedule, with the nightly searches for "targets of opportunity" was not enough to keep the 421 st NFS crews satisfied. Most of the men that made up the aircrews at that time were a pretty "Gung-ho" group.

My gun came off about this time, also. I also remember that I encountered snow in the clouds for a short period, then I broke out of the overcast and looked around to see where I was. There was a river below me, and I landed on the east bank, landing on my back. This gave me quite a jolt. I buried my chute as soon as I could. With my jungle kit and dinghy I walked back to the river. I thought that I was just north of Saidor. Inflating my dinghy, I tried to go down the river, but the current was so swift the dinghy capsized.

Blanchard, and others would sneak through the deep Kunai grass, staying downwind on their approach to the depot. Rumor has it that the native guards could smell another man from over a hundred feet away. The bottom strands of barbed wire would be cut so the men could crawl into the nearest aircraft, mostly B-25s and B-24s. Wherever suitable radio gear was located it would be quietly removed and relocated as fast as they could cautiously go without sounding an alarm. It was slim pickens, so to speak, but it helped.

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