THIRTY FIFTH ENGINEERING SQUADRON
On the 4th of July, 1944, the 35th Service Squadron was redesignated and reorganized as the 35th Engineering Squadron. Overage of personnel was computed and dropped from the T/O proper while arrival of new personnel filled in created and existing vacancies. Since a sizeable number of personnel has been placed in training, the working efficiency of the organization has not been interrupted by the sudden change. It is hoped that in the near future all actual overages can be dropped and actual shortages filled.
The Orderly Room and personnel has been joined with the Engineering Office and its personnel. In removing the Orderly Room from the immediate Squadron area, there has been no outstanding evidence that its efficiency in serving the Squadron has been destroyed. Housed in a pre-fabricated building it carries on its functions under improved working conditions, though suffering a shortage of clerks.
The new Squadron Area has seen great improvement. Coolie gangs have made the improvements which were necessary to withstand heavy rains, such as gulleys. The Mess Hall has been completely screened in , and a garbage rack and grease pit are near completion. The day room has been furnished with chairs and tables, also including a ping-pong table.
On 1 July Squadron Supply made shipping tickets for all equipment to be shipped to other organizations, also made shipping tickets on equipment to come to this organization. On 2 July it shipped equipment to the 349th Engineering Squadron, 86th Service Group. On 3 July it separated equipment to be sent to the different organizations. Picked up some organizational equipment from Headquarters & Base Services Squadron, and received some vehicles from the 1953rd Truck Company. On 4 July it picked up organizational equipment from the 1147th Quartermaster Company, 1756th Ordnance Company, and 1067th Signal Company; and shipped organizational equipment to the 578th Materiel Squadron. On 5 July it picked up some organizational equipment from the 2070th Engineering Squadron, and pulled forms 32 and 33 for the Enlisted Men transferred to the 578th Materiel Squadron. On 6 July it picked up equipment from the 1953rd Truck Company, pulled forms 32 and 33 for the Enlisted Men transferred to the Headquarters & Base Service Squadron. On 7 July it picked up some organizational equipment from the 1279th Military Police Company, and checked the signal equipment being shipped to this Organization.
On 23 July Technical Supply moved to two new locations and set up for issuing and receiving of hand tools and equipment of the Squadron. Shortage and overage list was completed. Its property book was completed. Three mobile unit kits were made up as completely as possible, and kits issued to new men in the Squadron. O.E. L. heavy equipment was removed from the warehouse and stored in Technical Supply Section. During both moving periods, and continuing throughout the past month requisitions continued to go out to 578th Material Squadron for material and equipment to keep all departments working. Lack of sufficient transportation hindered the delivering of many items.
During the month of July the Engineering Office has moved its location three times. It is now operating in a pre-fabricated building which is located on the eastern side of the field between Engineering Shops, Numbers 1 and 2. Its daily work consists of work orders, stores charge and credit, unsatisfactory reports, reports of Aircraft Status, vehicle strength reports, inventory of ammunition, status of chemical warfare, inspection of weapons, inventory of motor vehicles.
The following was performed by the Aero Repair shop: Prepared approximately 40 engines for storage. Made nine engine changes, completed numerous Work Orders of this nature; repairing brakes, assembling wheels, and repairing numerous auxiliary power plants.
The Dope and Fabric Shop completed numerous signs, gun covers, and pitot covers. The Paint Shop which is in conjunction with this department had completed shellacking 20 tables for Squadron mess and did the interior decorating for the Squadron day room.
The Electrical Shop completed approximately 22 Work Orders of the following nature: Bench checked switches, oil cooler relays, solenoid assembly batteries, installed antenna lines on B-29's, wired two Engineering Shops, wired Squadron area. Four men from this department worked two weeks with the 22nd Air Depot doing electrical inspection work.
The instrument shop has bench checked 220 instruments thus far in the month of July. These instruments are submitted to the shop from the 578th Materiel Squadron on a Stores Charge. This shop repaired recalibrated tensionmeter, boltmeters, airspeed indicators, clock assemblies.
The Machine Shop overhauled sockets, removed spark plugs, and completed twenty work orders of a small nature.
The Propeller Shop was consolidated with the 22nd Air Depot Group. Prior to this they performed the following duties: Assembled and modified 15 new props, repaired two B-29 props.
The Sheet Metal Shop detached six men to the 22nd Air Depot Group to rebuild a B-29 wing. In possession of the shop is a nose section off the same type of ship to be rebuilt and prepared for shipping. In addition to the above mentioned jobs, they have completed the following Work Orders: Installed three antennas, repaired two leading edges, B-29, repaired on horizontal stabilizers, B-25, manufactured sheet steel angles, repaired fire wall.
The Welding Shop has been welding all tubing on an L-5 which is in their possession at this time. In addition they have completed the following work orders: Welded steel bars, welded fittings, welded brackets.
During the month of July the Woodworking Shop manufactured 16 targets, 6 propeller beams, 24 parking blocks, a vehicle status board, and range targets. In addition to the above mentioned jobs this shop has torn down and reconstructed a pre-fab building which is now the Maintenance Control Office and Squadron Headquarters.
July 1st, 1944, marked the beginning of a new year for the Army. It also marked an important change for the Ordnance personnel. The 1756th Ordnance, S & M Co. (Avn) 25th Air Service Group, APO 493, New York, N.Y. had become disbanded and the personnel of the Armament Section under 1st Lt. Gallas transferred to the new 35th Engineering Squadron commanded by Major Charles O. Zagst.
The change presented various internal problems within the section, mainly the selecting of a new section chief. T/Sgt Gregory had been declared an overage in grade under the new T/O and while being a valuable man would not be allowed to remain as an over-grade. At the present time a successor is being selected.
Under the new set-up the Ordnance personnel have been transferred to the Air Corps but will continue in their former duties relative to Armament Maintenance and supplying of technical advice on Ordnance matters.
New channels of Maintenance and Supply have been introduced and while at the present time they seem strained there are excellent possibilities of speeding up maintenance and eliminating the minor difficulties encountered through former operations.
The T/O grades for this department have been reduced. Section Chief, formerly calling for a Technical Sergeant, now calls for a Staff Sergeant.
In equipment this department has gained a bicycle and lost the Aviation Ordnance Maintenance Set "A" which is a poor change in T/O. In addition, we are not authorized any spare parts which would be appreciated, if rectified, by the personnel performing the Maintenance on weapons. July 22, 1944, the Armament Section moved to the building west of its former set-up. This move will make all sections more closely knitted in both accessibility and control.
In the redesignation and reorganization of the 35th, a Vehicles Section was included. It is composed of 32 mechanics and 2 clerks and 1 Automotive Maintenance Officer. This section is equipped with tools and special purpose equipment for the 3rd Echelon Maintenance of vehicles for the Service Group and other allied units. This equipment and the majority of the men were transferred from the 1756 Ordnance S & M Co. where they had been engaged in Automotive Maintenance Work. During the month of July, our vehicle deadline percentage grew steadily, the cause being lack of parts. More special purpose equipment was on deadline. It was very hard to obtain parts for Tractors, Cranes, Cletracs, and Generators. Four mechanics were sent to school at Calcutta on the Maintenance of Half-Track vehicles; a favorable report by the men was given on the efficiency of this particular cause. Night inspections of vehicles are being serviced by this organization, and were held in order to help on Preventive Maintenance; with satisfactory results. The transportation NCO Sgt Sauerbier should be complimented on the condition of the Squadron Vehicles and the efficient way he and his men have worked.
On the 9th of July, 1944, men of the C.F.C. Section arrived here by air. Lt. Jarmak met them and helped to get them settled. On 11 July preparations were begun to set up a computer and CFC Shop. The work has progressed fairly satisfactorily, the main difficulty being shortage of equipment, a common difficulty in this theatre. A good start has been made on a computer test stand and a CFC mock-up which will be a big help when finished.
The 13th B.M. Sq. brought in five (5) computers for modification and repair. The repairs performed on these units indicate the parallax output unit motor to be defective. Cork insulation in the motor is swelling and causing the brakes to stick on the contacts and resulting in no out-put correction. This has also resulted in bending of the waggle stick as the motor drives in but one direction against one set of contacts. New motor units are on the way from the States.
The computer and CFC shops lack necessary tools and equipment to carry on work to the best advantage but the men have improvised equipment which will be temporarily satisfactory. Equipment and tools for the shops are expected to arrive within a comparatively short time and will be greatly appreciated. Half of the CFC test equipment on hand was sent to the 349th Engineering Squadron as a result of the Group split.
The Communications Section consists of four groups; the communications group consisting of five radar repairmen, seven radio repairmen, and two central office repairmen; the RC M group of four repairmen, the RCS-51, instrument landing group consisting of four repairmen, the central office group of two repairmen. On 2 July this section moved from its temporary location in the 25th Service Group area to the communications building which is located on the north east end of the taxi strip. The morale of the men was high and everyone did his best to expedite the completion of the building. The building is divided into three sections, the forward section is reserved for the office and the stockroom, the middle section houses the 3rd echelon repair for airborne radar equipment, and the remaining section holds the radio and T & T repair sections. On 6 July the enlisted personnel was moved by truck into the new tent area of the 35th Engineering Squadron. F/Sgt Carpenter assigned them temporarily to various tents throughout the area until it is completed at which time the entire section will be housed in a group. By 10 July all was in readiness and work began coming into the new building. Though our sections appear to be permanently set up, they are very mobile as was demonstrated on 21 July by the radar section when it began to move into the new building which is identical to that of communications, and was set up for complete operation in twenty four hours.
Besides regular run-of-the-mill work performed, we have had several odd jobs that have furnished amusing incidents for the new men. One was repairing a motion picture projector. This resulted in their having a special preview of the picture to be shown that night. Many times the men are called upon to locate electrical trouble existing in the radio circuits of the various ships on the field.
Cpl Donald M. Munro returned to the organization on 18 July. He had been on DS in North Africa since April and many were afraid they had seen him for the last time. His return was a very happy and pleasant surprise to all.
This department had two radio repairmen on DS for twenty days with the 894th Signal Company, 22nd Air Depot, where they were working on the new Collins ATC, airborne transmitter. A short summary of the month shows several changes. The personnel has been transferred from the Signal Corps to the Air Corps, work orders have greatly increased in all sections, and we have moved into our new buildings.
The Squadron as a whole has met the reorganization without interference to its functions. Its over-all spirit is "to get the job done". Acquisition of new bases in the Pacific has made the B-29 the talk of the camp. At the present time this rugged giant is performing a double-duty. It flies its own fuel over the hump and then comes back to load up with bombs. The men avidly count their score by noting the black camels on the nose of the ships. Picturesqueness is not lacking, all the ships are fondly labeled by the men who fly them. Such names as "Totin' to Tokyo" and "Shanghai Lil" are as familiar to the mechanics as the ships themselves. All the men are inspired by the barren aspect of the strips and parking areas immediately after the ships have left to pay their respects to Hirohito. There is the sentiment that although the job has been done well, there is always room for improvement and greater efficiency.
Off-duty hours have seen the men organize a baseball team complete with uniforms. The theatre continues to serve them nightly despite its improvised equipment. A Red Cross canteen is situated nearby. And in the Group itself, an NCO club is being organized. Like any Army, rumors fly but they are always kept at a safe distance and within their limits. Recently, questionnaires were passed around to a percentage of the men which acted as a record of compliments or gripes. One rumor had it that fresh eggs and milk were going to be included in the menu. Lately that rumor has died down.
All in all, the organization is functioning as efficiently as possible, all ships are receiving their proper care, and the Rising Sun is sharing its part with the "rain" of our ships.