If you can see this text here you should update to a newer web browser

Normal | Highlight & Comment Comments/corrections will appear in yellow like this




Interview of

Commanding Officer, Headquarters Squadron
Fleet Air Wing Two
in the
Bureau of Aeronautics
19 April 1943

in the
Bureau of Aeronautics
9 April 1943

DISTRIBUTION:  To all units ashore and afloat concerned with aircraft.

Lieutenant Commander Hayward discusses needs in the Pacific Theatre from the angle of a Headquarters Squadron. Among topics he treats are organization, operations, training, modification, supply, radar, maintenance, ordnance, A—V(RS) officers, navigation, a Bureau itinerant, dissemination, and high—level bombing.

Lieutenant Hart treats chiefly of spare parts.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Lieutenant Commander Hayward:


The Headquarters Squadron consisted of all the maintenance personnel of the squadrons - about 2500 men. We had units on Midway, Canton, and Johnston islands. There were 85 airplanes to maintain and take care of: PB2Y-3's, PBY—5's, PBY·5A’s, and PB4Y's. In the breakdown of personnel, we had 1640 aviation ratings; of these, l2OO were Third Class. Our job consisted in running patrols, from Oahu, from Midway, and from Canton; also in preparing replacement squadrons for the South Pacific. Admiral Halsey requested that he have three seaplanc squadrons, one amphibian squadron, two B-24 squadrons, and two PV squadrons in the South Pacific at all times. The PV squadrons aren’t




there yet; and only one B-24 squadron is there, plus one photographic reconnaissance. The combat planes that went down to the South Pacific had to be prepared and modified for that particular area. According to instructions from the South Pacific, we stripped the airplane practically to the minimum. We took the de-icer boots off, the bunks out, the heaters out, the drift sight out (the Mark VII drift sight), and mounted twin .30's in the bow of the PBY—5's, and we put Mark IX sights on all the guns.

In every area in which we operate we are going to have to have a modification set—up to modify planes for that area.

The squadrons themselves all consisted of eighteen flight crews, plus twelve key ground personnel. These flight crews had nothing to do but training and flying. No specific airplanes were assigned to specific squadrons. We attempted to keep as many of the airplanes in commission as possible, and flight crews were assigned to all availablc planes. The flight crews would fly one day in three. One squadron would be out at Midway and one squadron would be out at Canton. The planes would remain out there, and we would change the personnel.


We flew 9,500 to l0,000 hours in a month. The planes were better than the personnel. The PBY's were the most reliable airplanes we had, with the exception of electrical troubles. They would average anywhere between 250 and 500 hours a month.

We worked a three-shift basis, seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. We were particularly short of qualified personnel. Besides me, there were two other naval aviators, and sixty-two A-V(S) officers, none with engineering background - fine arts students and forest rangers, most of them. But, under the set-up, working twenty—four hours a day, we could keep normally anywhere between fifty—five and sixty aircraft out of eighty—five in commission. Most of our difficulty was in obtaining spare parts. Pearl Harbor was·the source of supply for all our spares, naturally; but most of them were critical spares — generators, starters, magnetos, booster pumps and turret spares, for the turrets in the planes.

We found that the people coming out from Training were not qualified to navigate; nor well trained in gunnery. (The gunnery school was run by the Air Station. In my opinion, it was the best one in the Navy). We had a navigation school, a recognition school, and an equipment school, where wc attempted to teach the pilots something about their equipment.

- 2 -



of which they know very litle. We also had a school for enlisted men. Every radio man who came out went through the school, which was a good one. While he was going to that school, he went to the gunnery school also. We did a lot of training.

Most of the pilots lacked ability to navigate. We’ve had quite a few operational losses, as you probably know. I would say that sixty percent of them began with the pilot's getting lost, though he eventually ran out of gas, or flew into the side of a hill, or flew into the water. Definitely, the training was poor. Admiral Price, who relieved Admiral Hitschsr, said that the operationally trained people would be much better than the ones we had fresh from schools. Some of them were classified as A-V(T); it must have been a mistake to send them there. Most of them had about seventy-five hours or two months in PBY’s and had never landed or taken off the PBY. Previously they had had only light plane time. It takes at least six months to have those people become PPC.

Among enlisted personnel, we need an air gunner's rate. These boys are in flight crews, where they are rated for morale and where they take the necessary tests. Still, you'll find a First Class Aviation Machinist’s Mate who had never taken a rocker box off. The Bureau of Personnel's designation of Combat Air Crews is not wholly satisfactory, since you're not going to be able to keep crews together. Aircraft Pacific set an arbitrary limit on the rates that we would have in the back areas, only sixty percent. The combat squadrons down in the South Pacific were kept at eighty—five percent. If a First Class Aviation Machinist's Mate was needed, he was furnished, whether he was in a combat crew or not. At the time we hadn't designated anybody as a combat air crew, since we hadn’t received any from Training.

BUREAU COMMENT: The Bureau hopes that the proper application of the Air Crewman designation would solve the situation without having an Air Gunner's Rate. If the principles of Air Crewman versus Ground Maintenance Crewman were intelligently applied, there would not be any immediate necessity for an Air Gunner's Rate

We couldn't get any modification work done at Pearl Harbor, except major priority items. Pearl Harbor A and R is stacked right to the hilt. We actually took the tail turrets out of the PB2Y—3's and put a bow turret on the B-24. Pearl Harbor made the .50 caliber installation in the belly, along

- 3 -



with the Army at Hickam field. The technical services of the Army, I think, were superior to the Navy's, in that they have a better dissemination of technical information; It's difficult to get technical informntion. At Hickam Field, I could get information on any piece of Army equipment, complete with instructions on how to use, install, and repair it. I was particularly impressed by their instrument handbook. Our instrument handbook is poor.


Quite a few times we had to rush everything we could to Canton, where they were expecting a Japanese task force to attack. Our advanced base preparations were not nearly so complete as we needed them. For instance, we had no torpedo equipment or handling equipment at Canton; and after we had been there about two weeks, it was very doubtful whether any of the torpedoes would have operated. If they had, they would have run only about a third the distance they should have. At Midway, which is much more complete and in my estimation the best advanced base we have, we have all the torpedo equipment that we don’t have at the other places. From seeing the operations there, it is my opinion that the only need the Navy has for seaplnnes is for rescue purposes. There is nothing that we couldn't do easier and better with a landplane, particularly from the maintenance standpoint. The PB2Y—3 just soaks up men, both in operation and maintenance. And it couhdn't do anything for us that the PBY really couldn't do.

We had a lot of troubles with generators in the PB2Y-3's. These have now been corrected. We still have trouble with the HEA2D generator in the PBY-5's and 5-A's. In fact, most of our planes were operating on one generator, since we never had enough to equip all planes with two.

BUREAU COMMENTT: The HEA—2D generators in the PBY-5 and 5-A are being replaced with NEA-3 generetors. The NEA—3's have larger capacity (60 amp. DC and 1200 watts AC) and do not have the slipping clutch of the NEA-20. Production is making every attempt to get as many NEA-3 generators out to the service ns possible.

Our supply system, I think, is just outmoded. The replenishment requisition system, where the Supply Officer comes around and says, "What do you need nine months from now?" does nothing but build up a very large supply of obsolete parts. They've got lots of PBY-3 -2 parts in Pearl Harbor, and they're probably shipping them back to the States now. We can not tell nine months from now what spares we'll need. Our recommendation

- 4 -



is that the spares should go along with the planes. We should have, for instance, generators sent out in great quantity with the planes. The NAS Pearl supply department is terrifically overloaded; they have a big job. If we wait until Supply Pearl tells Supply Annex Oakland, for example, that we need nine generators, we're bound to have airplanes grounded.

BUREAU COMMENT: Usually the spares are not available when the planes are ready to be shipped. The need is of strategic importance in the case of structural spares. The recommendation of the Bureau has been consistently that spares be delivered concurrently with airplanes.

Those officers in this branch dealing with the supply question, (ASO Officers), are being transferred to Philadelphia to iron out difficulties of efficient distribution of material after the spares are available. These seventy—five officers are being moved for that reason only, to work more efficiently with Supply Officers.

The biggest trouble we had with radar was due to incompetent operators. We started a training program in radar.

We had, however, great success maintaining the ZB and the other radio equipment, though we had difficulty with the auxiliary power unit — which I think has been corrected now.


We had quite a bit of trouble with PBY—5—B’s, which we suspected we were losing through fire. In our opinion, it is due to self—sealing lines running to the engine. Somebody tightens up the clamp, and the gasoline consequently gets into the soluble material. Then you get wick action, which finally works to the outside of the hose. It probably won't be caught on the inspection. Dural lines or flexible lines direct in the engine accessory section are desirable.

BUREAU COMMENT: While dural lines may be used as a matter of temporary expediency, this practice will obviate the protective features of self—sealing lines. In conformance with Navy Aero Specification M-562, the self-sealing hose will eliminate this trouble. The cause of the trouble may be due to faulty installation, as the previous hose in conformance

- 5 -



with M-497b was susceptible to tube cutting if the clamp was placed over the bead. Hose in conformance with M—562 was authorized by BuAer ltr. Aer—E—25l4-JHB F27-2(2), 178681 of 16 December 1942. No letter was sent to ships, stations and units specifically giving information regarding installation of hose clamp on M—497b hose, but three or four such letters were put out as to the method of installing single and double hose clamps on all hose.


The Minneapolis·Honeywell arrangement on the SBAE on the B-24's was very satisfactory. It has some disadvantages; the tell—tale lights are too bright at night, and you have to line up the axis.

There is a great need for a radio altimetcr, with the automatic pilot.

BUREAU COMMENT: Radio altimeters are now standard installation in VTB and VPB’s. Circuits are nvailable in present radio altimeters (less AYB-1) and tests are currently being made to determine whether or not a satisfactory tie-in can be made with the automatic pilot.

We had a lot of difficulty, chiefly with getting torpedoes to run successfully in our training. We hadn't sufficient bomb handling equipment, On two occasions there was a general alert in Hawaii area where all planes had to be armed and sent out. It took four hours to arm sixty—seven planes, chiefly because we didn’t have bomb trucks to carry the bombs from the magazines. Also, we lacked technical information regarding Navy bomb installation in the B-24.

BUREAU COMMENT: The Bureau is doing everything to get complete information on every type and model of plane, both as to equipment and installation. Effort is new being made to get this information out ahead of the plane, if possible.

There has been a revision upward of all allowance lists in bomb handling equipment in the last two months. All comments received of late from Hawaii state that they have sufficient equipment.

- 6 -



Q.          You spoke of the need for a modification center, could that be accomplished at Air Stations, or should it be a special set-up?

A.          Under the present set-up an Air Station is hardly equipped to take care of it. It could be set up at Kaneohe, under the Fleet Air Wing. I feel strongly that it should be for a specific type of plane, such as carrier type or multi-engine type. We're going to have to have a modification center, and we ought to make some plans about it.

Q.          Do you think it would be better to have it in the Hawaii Islands rather than on the West Coast?

A.          Yes, I do, because when the planes are delivered to Hawaii the squadron will normally operate in the Hawaii area for at least three months, then the planes will be turned into Headquarters Squadron at least a week before their departure to be prepared for the combat area, and will leave in units of three for the south. The normal rotation as planned is for a squadron to leave the west Coast for Kaneohe. It will spend the first month at Midway, the second month at Canton, and the third month at Oahu, running the Oahu patrol. The fourth month will be devoted entirely to training. At the end of the fourth month the squadron will start to move to the combat area. That rotation to date has not been obtained. According to Command South Pacific, it will spend five months down south before it returns to the States to be split up into two squadrons.

Q.          Where in that sequence would modification be introduce?

A.          At Kaneohe during the month they were there. Most of our trouble has been shortage of aircraft. We have never been able to set down a whole squadron, twelve planes, for modification.

Q.          Are you contemplating changing the airplane from one type of duty to another one?

A.          The actual changes of the aircraft that haven't caught up with it, and such items as removal of the de-icer boots in the PBY's putting of the twin .30 guns in the bow, removing the heater, removing the Mark VII drift sight, changing the trailing edge on the B-24, putting the ABK in the PBY, putting the pilot's radar indicator up in the pilot's compartment would be made.

Q.          Then on top of that there are other modifications — the basic aircraft is continually changing?

- 7 -



A.          Yes, sir. Eventualy,of courss, the twin .30's will come out in the PBY - but then there will be something else. Just before they go into the combat area, there is going to be that last "buttonlng up". It is much better that the bow turrets be put in at San Diego, because they have the available parts, and we have to scrape - actually manufacture them ourselves. We put in the bow turrets and the belly turret (the Sperry turret that I obtained from the Army at Hlckam) in a B-24; but I don't think that a structural modification like that should be done by us.


Q.          You spoke of radar operators - did you receive them from a school, or were they new men that you had to train?

A.          We received radar people from a school. The ones from Corpus Christi were the best we had; it turns out very excellent people. The radio operators we got are normally straight from a radio school. The people we got from Corpus Christi were really maintenance people. We've never received any specific radar operators. We find that radiomen from the States know theory, yet they don't even know where to turn the switches on and are not familiar with the actual equipment.

Q.          There are two phases to radio — the new rating (Radio Aviation Technicians) and the radio operators. Corpus Christi is turning out aviation radio radar maintenance; they are rated as Aviation Radio Technicians, Aviation Radioman are radlo operators; and then, along with the AOM’s and AMM's are in flight crews for radar operations.

A.          The actual people who pound the key in the airplane don't seem to know the equipment. We have to run them through our radio school which operates for the whole Hawaii area. We take the carrier people also. We put them through gunnery school at the same time. We have set up cracked-up planes with radio equipment, so that they can become actually familiar with it.

Q.          You have to try to get some trained radar operators to the Fleet. You also have the problem of modern equipment in training establishments. The modern equipment gets to the Fleet before kit gets to the training establishments. The trainees are trained, to a certain extent, on old equipment rather then on the very thing they're going to use.

A.          The Fleet should get the best. They can't send us too much advance information regarding new equipment. With respect to the PBY—5-B's delivered to us, for instance, the subject of torpedoes came up. They had the Mark—5l racks on. We didn't know whether they were to use the Mark-35 adapter, which then would only be manual release, or whether they were making

- 8 -



up Mark—5l adapters, which would provide for electrical release. We don't have all the information that should be made available to us.

BUREAU COMMENT: It is expected that with additional equipment and some flying classroom facilities, the radar operators going to the Fleet will bc considerably more competent.

The Training Division has always insisted that new types and models of radio and radar equipments be made available to the schools, prior to any Fleet installations. This policy is now observed in so far as is practicable. The improvement in training technique for radio-radar maintenance men should soon be reflected in the quality of the graduates sent to the Fleet or operating units.

Q.          Did you have A—V(RS) Officers?

A.          Yes. The two I had were very excellent.

Q.          How about the squadrons themselves in the South Pacific?

A.          They all go to the Headquarters Squadron; they don't go to the squadrons themselves.

Q.          Who looks out for the boys down there?

A.          The Headquarters Squadron. They have a Headquarters Squadron of Fleet Air Wing One, which we keep in pretty close touch with. They do the same job down there that we do in Hawaii, with the exception that they do none of the modification or any of that type of work; they just keep the planes operating. They're divided up into much smaller service units.

Q.          Don't you think there should be an A-V(RS) Officer in each operating squadron?

A.          Yes, sir. We have in the squadrons now only an ACIO officer and one A-V(S) officer - but if_more were available, they would be of tremendous help. As it is now, the squadrons rely on us to indoctrinate and teach their men; but if they had some one right in the squadron, he would be overseeing them all the time.

- 9 -



Q.          The A-V(RS) officers are being given seven or eight months of straight technical training, and they don't have very much time for any other training.

A.          We realize that a lot of these officers coming out, we're going to have to train; but they'll be invaluable to us just as soon as we get them trained. If an officer knows the technical subject, he can soon work into the squadron. They'll make use of him. It's important to keep·everything as simple as possible. Pilots don't know their equipment; We haven't as yet enough experienced people in the squadrons to help them. We have a squadron commander who is usually experienced. The executive officer is usually a man from the Class of '39, with limited aviation experience.

BUREAU COMMENT: In recent months an effort has been made to insure that A-V(RS) officers receive a practical as well as theoretical course of instruction in radio and radar maintenance. It is expected that these officers will require additional training in their collateral duties after they are assigned to operating units. The Bureau would welcome any comments regarding deficiencies in A—V(RS) training, and recommondations for improvement.


We need navigators in our big planes. We fly three pilots in an airplane all the time. The junior pilot is always the navigator; he hates like hell to navigate; he wants to fly. He doesn't really take much interest in his subject. I think we're going to have to have a·special navigator in multi-engine planes. The airplane is no good if it can't get there - and they haven't been getting there any too regularly.

In the B—24's we found the astrograph vary useful. The boys took to that vcry fast.

Q.          Suppose that third pilot were given a very extensive course in navigation, would that help the situation - or would he still want to fly?

A.          It would help the situation, particularly if he had been given a good course in navigation; but as you know, they don't have much of a course. At least, the people we have were not operationally trained. We needed them, and they pushed them out.

Q.          Well, if you have a non—pilot navigator, where would your pilots learn their navigation? Or would you reach a point where you could have a patrol plane commander who doosn't understand navigation with a navigator just out of school?

- 10 -



A.          Well, you have that situation now. Your patrol plane commander's idea of navigation consists of flying fifty feet over the water and taking a drift sight every two minutes. They don't know celestial navigation. That's what has ruined them with the B—24’s. We're eventually, I hope, going to the seaplane type of operator. They're going to have to get up; they're going to have to navigate! We've got three people from the navigation school, A—V(S) officers, I believe, from Florida, who are excellent. They were assigned to squadrons and were actually navigating. The senior one also acted as Chief of the Navigation School.

Q.          If you had those navigators, would you pull one pilot out?

A.          I certainly would.

Q.          Two pilots, and one navigator?

A.          You can't teach a man everything, you know. You can't make him an all-around pilot in the time we have.

Q.          Those other two A—V(S) officers?

A.          We assigned them to squadrons so that thev could work right with the navigators all the time. They were after the squadrons all the time on navigation; they were really the squadron navigators. In VB-102 Lieutenant Commander Van Voorhis has arbitrarily picked eighteen people and made them navigators. For six months, they won't even got near a control; they'll be up in the bow of the B-24.

Q.          Haven't you enough of these brand new kids out there not particularly well qualified for flying whom you can make navigators of?

A.          Well, that's exactly what we're doing, but the morale of those people gets very low. The one cry out of the youngsters is, "Yes, I’ll go back and fight, tomorrow, if I can go back as a first pilot".

Q.          Don't you think the answer is to try one as a navigator, not let him do anything but navigate until he gets damn good, and at the same time bring along the others and teach them group navigation?

A.          That's exactly the solution — a separate navigator, trained as a navigator. As I say, a year from now if we continue under the same set up on our patrol plane or our big plane program, we‘re not going to have any qualified navigators to speak of.

- 11 -



Q.          Well, a non—pilot navigator has just been sent to every existing B—24 thtt we could find. Now the question is, are we going to carry that on in to the PBY's?

A.          I certainly think you should.

Q.          I was in patrol planes for seven or eight years, and I found that in patrol planes the number three man doesn't want to qualify as a bombardier. The minute he qualifies as a bombardier, he is going to go into the squadron commander's plane or some other plane, where he is going to sit as a bombardier without a chance to be a patrol plane commander. If he qualifies as an excellent navigator, he is going to sit there likewise as a navigator, and never become a patrol plane commander. The first thing these youngsters want is to become a patrol plane commander; that's what they came in for, and that's what they're fighting for - they start losing interest the minute they find they’re stuck with a job like that.

A.          That's exactly what we find, exactly! They want to fly - they’re aviators. That's the biggest morale problem we have out there. The morale is not any too good, as far as I could see. There were quite a few of them that weren't any too anxious to fight. If navigators are sent out, I think they should be sent to all multi-engined airplanes. Of course, we're not going to have the PBY forever, though I don't know what we’d do without it. It's the one airplane that will run every day.

Q.          Maybe we should pin wings on everybody, as the Army does.

A.          Well, I noticed these boys did have some sort of wings on. But I really think we should have a navigator, just as I think we should have an air gunner, as recommended by the Fleet. We assumed that the answer in the Bureau of Personnel's letter about combat air crews was the answer to the request for the rate.

Q.          If you had an Air Gunner, would you still have to train the radiomen to be gunners too?

A.           On a carrier—based plane you'd have to. Your gunners now take care of their gun station just as they would aboard ship. Whenever he is on the ground, he should be either training or going over the range or shooting at sleeves; he shouldn't be over trying to check a turbo or an engine. It's again the question of trying to make a man do too much.

- 12 -



BUREAU COMMENT:  My rather extensive investigation and inquiry, both personal and by officers of the section, indicates that most pilots are very deficient in navigation. There are three reasons:

(a) Squadron Commanders, in intermediate training and elsewhere, are too often indifferent as to the importance of navigation, and frequently are themselves very weak in navigation.

(b) In the past, too little time has been allotted to navigation in training.

(c) Practically no facilities (planes) have been available for flight navigation training.

Operationelly trained pilots will be better, but Operational Training at present cannot allot sufficient time to navigation to remedy inadequacies.

VP and VB pilots not assigned to Operational Training are now being given a 50—day intensive course at NANS, Hollywood. This will undoubtedly result in considerable improvement. Sixty days would be better, but lack of flight (pilot) practice during so long an interval might impair their ability to fly.

Present program of navigation training allots a total of about 400 hours to navigation during the pilot training period of some l5 months. This will materially improve pilots' ability to navigate, provided navigation squadrons are established in Intermediate and Operational Training. Nothing will replace actual training in aircraft. Taking students on patrol or operational flights, ostensibly under instruction, has proved most ineffective.

The statement that "junior pilot is assigned to navigate, hates it, and is disinterested" is most q interesting. My observation and reports received verify this. Until navigation is given its due importance by the pilots and by Squadron Commanders, which now is not being done, the assignment of the third pilot as navigator will continue to produce poor results. The product now being turned out has a primary and almost sole interest in flying; other duties are regarded as necessary evils, to be tolerated only. The experience and indoctrination of these young aviators has not yet generally inculcated the spirit and determination to do a job well, regardless of individual preference.

- 13 -



BUREAU COMMENT, continued: Navigation in war time cannot be regarded as a "side line". Under present conditions it is so regarded in too msny instances.

It should be particularly noted that in the B-24, the pilot is completely dependent upon his navigator. Due to the construction of this plane, the pilot is physically unable to cheek the navigator's work, nor can the navigator leave his station and consult the pilot, at least without extreme difficulty.

The oft expressed opinion that it is better to have three pilots in a multi—engine plane, and use one as navigator, is understood and appreciated. Obviously, if two pilots are incapacitated, the third can function. The most obvious argument for the specialist (non-pilot) navigator is that experience to date has proved that navigation is regarded with too much indifference by those who should appreciate its importance, but who themselves are often too week in navigation to understand.

It is the personal opinion of the writer, substantiated by persoal observation and that of others, that the quality of navigation will be generally higher if the specialist navigator is used in multi—engino planes. Not only will he attach more importance to his navigation, but he will be "on the spot" to make good. After a few months he will undoubtedly receive from his pilots enough training in handling the plane to be able to function in ease of real emergency — as has been demonstrated in other cases on record in this war.

It is particularly interesting to note the comments regarding A-V(S) officers trained at NANS as navigation instructors, since every instructor graduated from this school must be qualified as a practical navigator.

From my experience and observations in this field to date, I am convinced that under present conditions, the general efficiency of combat aviation will be improved by the employment of specialist navigators, later trained as pilots.
(Captain J.L. Woodruff U.S.N.R.)

- 14 -




Q.          Would your materiel problems be aided by an itinerant from the Bureau making trips around through the squadrons?

A.          Very much so. We‘d welcome him with open arms. Particularly to give us information on equipment that just arrives. We never get the changes with the material; things get pretty confused at times. It pays fifty times over to send representatives of the Bureau out to the area. People from the radio section, people from the armament section, people from every section in the Bureau, because we complain of the same thing you people complain of — that we don't got the information back to you — well, you don't get the information out to us.

Q.          The same fellow could do both ...

A.          The Bureau man would profit by it just as much as the squadrons out there. It’s more to the point to have the people go from here out there than it is for them to come back.

BUREAU COMMENT: Recently Commander Oley, Lieutenant Commander Jackson, and others from the Bureaus have made such trips to the front.


Q.          There is another point you mentioned, that technical information doesn't get to you. I heard the same comment from squadrons. It was lost on the way somewhere. Would it help if there were a section, perhaps make it a section of your Headquarters Squadron, set up as a direct channel to the Bureau through which all technical information relating to patrol or multi—engine planes came?

A.          Yes. The Bureau of Ordnance has a very good solution; Aeronautics could do it very well. They have set up a branch office, distribution officer, in the Navy Yard at Pearl Harbor for ordnance information — all the publications, everything. And rather than write back to the Bureau of Ordnance for information, you go over there.

Q.          That would accomplish for aircraft what you say you were able to get by going over to Hickam Field.

A.          That's right. They have a complete library of technical information on all equipment.

- 15 -



Q.          Where would you say it should be placed?

A.          With Aircraft Pacific.

Q.          Do you think one in the Pearl area and one in the South Pacific would be enough?

A.          Yes, they would help Aircraft Pacific tremendously, too. It would cut down on the dispatches. The traffic gets pretty heavy between Hawaii and the West Coast.

Q.          Would you funnel all your information to squadrons through such a place, or would you continue to keep the squadrons on the distribution list?

A.          I would continue to keep the squadrons on the list. Very definitely. But there is a lot of information the squadrons don't get. That’s another thing - the less classified material you can send out, the better. When it's classified, it means that it's stuck off in a safe some place.

BUREAU COMMENT: The Bureau is aware that such technical information is being misdirected. Action has been taken and a new Commissioning Allowance list will soon be published. In a month an Index, similar to that of the Army, will also be ready for dissemination.


Q.          What do you think the future of high altitude horizontal bombing against maneuvering targets? we’ve gone to a let of trouble training bombardiers for B-24’s.

A.          We have an air bomber school that we started — Aircraft Pacific gave us some TBF’s. The art of horizontal bombing has been lost in the Navy; all our bombers are either senior lieutenants or lieutenant commanders now, and they never actually get to bomb. But I believe that with training you can make a successful horizontal bomber. Q.          A high speed, maneuvering target?

A.          Well, I'd say outright, no. A high speed maneuvering target is very difficult to hit.

Q.          But then we bomb land installations more than ships.

A.          We do. I was at Canton when we were bombed at night. It was very accurate bombing from about 12,000 feet. The enemy dropped only one stick of bombs, and it hit right in the plane area, hit one of the 5-As, a direct hit, and damaged the other

- 16 -



- 17 -



- 12 -










13th Naval District, Commandant's Office, Central Subject Files, 1942-43
National Archives & Records Administration, Seattle Branch

Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. Formatting & Comments Copyright R@L.

Aircraft Home | Researcher@Large Home