THIRTY FIFTH AIR ENGINEERING SQUADRON
TWENTY FIFTH AIR SERVICE GROUP
With the first month of the New Year drawing to a close the Engineering Line under the guidance of Captain Stewart K. Olson is making urgent requests for more buildings and shop area. Those departments in dire need of shop space are sheet metal. turret, ordnance, and armament; also, to some extent, the utility machine shop, and prop governor shop. The latter has returned form temporary duty with the 22nd Air Depot Group where they have been working for the past six months. With the receipt of a prop governor test unit this department has turned out approximately one hundred and twenty five governors thus far this month their main drawback being lack of sufficient parts.
On 7 January 1945, the sheet metal shop completed repair work on aircraft 42-24546. Man hours for this job came to two hundred hours. On 13 January 1945, six days later, repair work was again started on 546 by this shop and with the assistance of aero repair, work was completed 24 January 1945 with seven hundred hours to the department's credit. Other aircraft repaired are 678, 471, and out own B-24D, 42-420837 whose nose gear strut collapsed while taxing at Madras.
With the receipt of three new men the instrument trailer has increased their output of instruments considerably during the past month. The parachute department packed, inspected and made T. O. changes whenever required on approximately eleven hundred chutes.
Much praise and commendation should be given T/Sgt Vernon R. Morgan and his engine build-up section for the fine work that his department has accomplished. When the airplanes returned 18 January 1945, this department had approximately twenty engines ready for installation immediately. Not only have working conditions improved because of the work of this department but valuable time has been saved.
The allotment of more floor space tot the armament shop enabled us to locate or equipment more conveniently. The small arms section's work bench was left in its original position but the turret section was moved to make room for a tool crib. Additional shelves and cupboards were set up between the turret and small arms section; thus locating the tools in spots quickly accessible to all i the armament shop. To Sgt Pappas was assigned the job of seeing that all tools and work materials were properly stored when not in use. He issues them and keeps a record of tools in use.
A mock-up on which a B-29 turret may be tested was built by the turret section. Cpl William T. Stone planned and wired the system. A modification was added to reverse the back-out relay so that either an upper or lower turret could be operated from the one sighting station using the regular nose control box. A pedestal type sight with the azimuth limit stops modified to allow for 360 degree rotation is used.
Pfc Charles L. Pickering built the metal turret stand in which the turret is operated or worked upon. The ring can be rotated to make any part of the turret readily available. The construction allows for 360 degree movement. The turret can be turned all the way over or positioned at any angle. The frame was bolted to allow for easy disassembly for shipping purposes. Sgt Ernest C. Johnson built the stand on which the pedestal sight is mounted. Under the table stand are shelves to hold all of the rotating machine. A dependable 28 volt source of power was supplied by the acquisition of an auxiliary power unit. Pfc Dale Miller cleaned the engine and wired in the self-starting system. All parts and wires came from salvaged ships.
The small arms work bench was improved by the installation of trough-like reflectors above the lights. The grinder was removed from the bench and mounted more conveniently on one of the roof supports.
The regular work of the shop continues under the able leadership of S/Sgt Lewis Kennerly, shop foreman. Modification to allow the insertion of a pin to lock the release mechanism on the B-7 bomb shackle to prevent the accidental release of a bomb bay tank was constructed. Bomb releases and bomb rack selectors and intervalometers were tested and repaired. Two target reel-assemblies were cleaned and overhauled.
Our bombsight shop reports that while we are listed as a bombsight shop most of our work has been performed ont he automatic pilot with the greatest part of the time spent on the servo unit. We have built a stand to check the maximum pull of the unit and use the regular test panel with an amplifier to check the throttle of each unit. This is also a good check on the relay settings of the amplifier. This test stand was set up in a regular field repair box and takes vary little space. Much has been said on this base as to the general merits of the servo units built by Minneapolis Honeywell and the ones built by the Chicago Aero Company with the general opinion being that the former is much better. However, this department believes that either unit properly adjusted will give nearly the same efficient service.
We make it a practice to keep the floor and lower section of our shop oiled; this is a great help in controlling the dust which is always present where planes engines are being run up.
In addition to our regular duties we have a 7A-3 bomb trainer and a A-2 bomb trainer in process of being set up. We are doing all maintenance on the 7A-3 trainer and so far we have furnished men to set up the A-2 trainer. In addition to our regular personnel of four men we have M/Sgt R. B. Luike on special duty.
The RCM section worked in conjunction with the Bomb Group to install 5 D/F Antennas. Modifications were made on thirty six others. There has been close cooperation with the RCM section of the Bomb Group. Efforts to obtain RCM spare parts have been unsuccessful. The Radar section repaired one hundred and seventy two units during the month. The Radio department repaired approximately one hundred and twenty four units.
During this month the AN/APN-4 was installed in all the B-29's at this Base. About one third of the B-29's had sets already installed. The remaining planes needed installation. All but three had the Loran set. The antenna change was made in all the ships. This was necessary because of the loading coil used with the Collins transmitter and also because the trailing wire antennas interfered with formation flying. It has been discovered that the Loran set will interfere with the Liason receiver on one or two channels. This is caused by the low antenna impedence on the Loran set. Until some means of loading the Loran receiver has been devised it is suggested that the Loran antenna be disconnected at the receiver. A modification to correct this trouble is expected soon.
There was less equipment in for repair at the CFC station than ever before. The talk of the post is still the gyro tester that an Enlisted Man of this department developed. The Enlisted Man has been recommended for an award.
The number of jobs taken in by the Vehicle Section this month was far under the number for December. December's records show two hundred and twenty three, while only one hundred and fifty were completed in January. Prior to 23 December, 1944, the Vehicle Section had been doing Third Echelon Maintenance of Automotive equipment for the 468th Bomb Group as well as its own Group, all of Hijili Base. On December 24th, the work for Hijili was allotted to another organization.
Along the lines of modification and manufacturing this month, a power saw was built by Sgt Kiss and Cpl Flagg (Machinists) and Cpl Flick and Pvt Huston (Carpenters). This gasoline driven saw is proving very useful in the carpenter shop. Another device for pulling engines and heavy units was also developed. During January, the Vehicle and Transportation Sections were given a rating of excellent.
Men of the sheet metal sections have in their spare time built a steam table for the Mess Hall. Constructed entirely out of stainless steel condemned by salvage, it affords a great deal. It contains six food pans, set in two water pans, and all the panels and bracings of the form are removable making it possible to ship the table in a very small space.
There has been a small amount of unnecessary speculation of current events by some men of this organization; however, it has been immediately curbed. Slight illnesses have continued but at the usual minimum.