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homan1

Hubert A. Homan, Jr

04-12-1945     
Today I know more of the security regulations and hence can tell you more about my trip.  As you know we left early Easter morning.  We moved by Pullman to California having time off at Denver and Ogden.  The Pullmans were really excellent, rugs on the floor and everything.  We arrived at San Francisco crossed the bay on the Oakland ferry and hence got a very good view of the Bay Bridge.  Boy, the scenery around S.F. is very, very beautiful.  At S.F. we got in one night – zowie $2.25 for a steak.  What a way to spend our last night in the states.  We left Frisco shortly after arriving there and traveled by plane here – stopping at Johnston Is. and Kwajalein Is.  All in all the trip was boring after we left Hawaii (first stop before Johnston).

I’m working on the line at present getting these B-29s ready to join in on the blows against Tokyo – at last I’m down to the actual fighting of the war.  Jerry and I are in the same tent, we have three men tents at present, and are both working nights, so you see I’m so very happy we’ve been able to stay together.

As work progresses we will move into prefabricated, five men, wooden huts – sounds good – ‘cause we’ll have lights and everything.  Also will have a Service Club for the Group and maybe an N.C.O. Club.  Plumbing as you can imagine is still non-existent but maybe soon we can work on that.  We are progressing which is the main thing.

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04-17-1945

Radar is really very important and we are given a rather enviable position because of it - when clouds or night obscure the target and for navigation home across all that water, boy! do the aircrews appreciate Radar.

I wish I could tell you about the missions, I shall when I return, but for now, security regulations prohibit me from saying too much.  My ship was lost in action and I am really saddened [K-14].  The operator and the crew were becoming quite familiar to me - in fact, the operator and I had become quite friendly  - he was a very nice fellow.

04-20-1945

I’m C.Q. out at the Radar shack tonight and so I’m taking this chance to write.  Need I say that we are terribly busy – the newspapers probably have told you that already – gosh, but we are certainly showing those Japs what a hornets nest they really stirred up.  We had quite a talk today – congratulating us on what we’ve accomplished.  It really makes us feel quite proud.  If you have a chance look up our history – blasted by the Japs at Clark Field – yep, that was the 330th Bomb Gp – of which we are but the continuation.

05-11-1945

So far the rains haven’t come, but I’m only hoping that they delay a few weeks – by then we will be in the pre-fabricated huts and then I don’t care – at present I have visions of a river gushing through our tent some night leaving us stranded, mere islands, from the rest of the squadron – probably be court-martialed for desertion.

05-22-1945
           
Pretty soon we’ll be moving into the new barracks – wooden pre-fabricated ones – 46 men to a barrack.  Much as I prefer the room of these tents and its privacy – yet I shall be only too glad to move into the barracks because when it rains - it pours and you’re always afraid you’ll be washed away.

05-26-1945
           
Well, we’ve moved into our new home and are they ever swell.  At present only the Radar men have moved in so we are quite happy – everyone is well acquainted and all.  These pre-fabs sure beat a tent in many ways.  You don’t have to worry about the rain; a wooden floor protects everything from quite a few of the insects and all in all sure beats the plain dirt floor of a tent.  And finally, its cooler by far than a tent – and that point really sells it to me – as you can well imagine.

05-29-1945

           

Boy we certainly do keep up the good work.  I’m quite proud to be so closely connected to these ships.  As you stand and watch them taxi down the taxi strips you see part of yourself taking off in those planes.  It’s a grand feeling and I’m glad to have had the association with the men. (See below)

           

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06-15-1945
           
Yesterday afternoon we heard Gen. “Hap” Arnold here on the field.  He was very complementary, told us how proud the people in the States were of us, and telling us our job ahead.  He only spoke for about 3 minutes and then continued on.

           

07-02-1945

P.S.  Just heard chow (tonight) is that well known, far renowned, and greatly detested “Guam Steak” or “Guam Chicken” – SPAM!

07-07-1945
            We are really busy again, and yesterday I got a new ship for a “war weary” one which is returning stateside, it has a tear-drop radome and the antenna and RF unit are mounted for a mechanics dream.  Zowie do I love it - cuts out about 2-3 hrs. work in dome removals and 1 – 1 1/2 hrs. off a RF unit pulling.  It’s so convenient - wish all mine were that way.

07-10-1945
            Well, at long last, I’ve snagged a detail – yep.  I’m relived of my M.O.S. for one week and am now an experienced (?) carpenter – building or rather erecting a prefabricated barracks.  And so good, so eager am I that they gave me another chance to prove my abilities.  Beginning tomorrow morning I also have a beer-can smashing detail.  We tour the Squadron area and smash, collapse all beer cans and cart them to the dump.  This lasts only a few hours in the morning and then I return to the other detail.  It’s really a very welcome relief from the work on the line.  And anyway I’m the last to pull detail so it’s about time.

07-16-1945

Today I completed my detail of barrack building – it was quite an experience and I learned quite a bit.
 
07-24-1945

            I
’ve gotten some of the names of my ships below.  As far as I know - this doesn’t violate security regulations.  By coincidence I have two named after towns familiar during my V.P.I. days.  They are City of Roanoke, City of Lynchburg, City of Williamsport (all of Virginia), City of Duluth, City of Jacksonville, City of Fort Worth.  These are all I know of at present - have to wait for the other two ships for which I care.

07-26-1945          

Boy, am I ever tired!  Yesterday I was C.Q. from 1800 – 0600 and the day before we worked till 0430.  And since its hardly possible to sleep after 1000 because of the heat, my total sleeping hours really are small.  However tonight I was back at 2130 and so shall really get some sleep.
          
News is all about the possibility of Stalin’s carrying peace terms – if we do not occupy Japan itself.  Pres. Truman’s speech at Potsdam that “America has no financial or territorial expansion in this war really shocked us over here.  We want America to keep these Pacific isles.

P.S.  Public Relations took pictures of the field for the papers.  I’m atop an engine and am called “precision instrument specialist”.  Group of five.

08-25-1945
           
Today I went up to the I + E office (instruction and education).  I’m to help teach psychology during the period prior to our return stateside.  We are having classes and while I’d prefer to teach history – they don’t have such large classes, while psychology is one of the largest.  There are three of us instructing “Psychology and Life” as it is called.  This teaching experience will prove invaluable and also help decide my post war plans.  I’d like to get my M.A. and this will help me decide whether or not that is one of the best ways to plan my life.

08-28-1945
           
I’m taking over a history class – World History – with an enrollment of only five.  I’m to teach from beginning of history, through Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the medieval days, Renaissance, and up to Napoleon.  From here the scheduled instructor takes over.  Also I’m to help in psychology.  At present I’m to devote everything to history until we come to a particular part in psychology where I am more prepared than the other instructor.

08-30-1945
           
Today we went back to line work having been relieved of my work detail.  Jerry and I were on the first ship we’ve worked on in almost two weeks - K-6, The City of Council Bluffs - Kansas.  Our planes are now carrying supplies up to the Prisoner of War Camps in the Empire - C rations, sliced peaches, and other things both nourishing and a new diet for those unfortunate fellows.  We are hoping to find some of our lost crews still surviving and you could add a few prayers on their behalf.  I’m afraid for the old K-1 crew, no word, no parachutes were noted at the time.

09-03-1945
           
More good news - the address on the envelope – Staff Sergeant – yep, that’s me.

09-08-1945
            We had a crash out here yesterday only three escaped.  So far four gunners have refused to fly and more are expected to quit.  The reason we are having formation flying is that the 2 September over Tokyo, the formation was bad.  The Staff figured they had to have more practice and so this happens.  The fellas are somewhat bitter ‘cause it could have been avoided if the staff wasn’t so stupid.  We all try to imagine how these poor kids families will take the news – death so needlessly almost a month after surrender.

09-10-1945

One of my ships, K-3 is in Washington D.C. – took some people back and I hope it doesn’t return cause that’ll mean so much less work if it doesn’t.
           
For the next four days I’m on the alert crew – work from 1900 – 2400 or if necessary 1900 – 0700 or whenever we finish.

10-09-1945
           
One of the ships went down with a Brig. Gen aboard so for the past two days we’ve had most our planes in the air searching for survivors.  Haven’t heard who were rescued, but four so far have been picked up.

11-03-1945

Yesterday I intended to write, but we had another unfortunate crash – all except one were killed (10 dead).  Every time that happens I get so worked up and so angry with this foolish idea of sending planes up on training missions and formation flying.  Yes, that’s today so you can imagine how much worse it was yesterday – I could hardly see straight.  I watched the fire for about 10 minutes.  Only the tail-gunner got out and his hair was all burned off and his face and body so badly charred it’s doubtful whether he’ll live or not.

homan2

11-13-1945

Today I had such a terrific headache – I’ve been living on aspirins.  My stomach is still upset and I believe I shall skip supper tonight and give it a rest.  Boy, those shots really knock me for a loop, so I’ll be glad to return to civilian life and avoid these inoculations.

11-25-1945
           
Gosh, as I read the papers I keep imagining Chicago – sometimes I’m actually afraid to return, so much, so many, so crowded … it’s such a change from the life I’ve been leading for the past two and a half years.  Wonder, if the others ever feel the same – outwardly we all boast the cities and want to return home.  Not that I don’t, but I’m just wondering if I’m not going to feel cramped and hampered by city social customs and living.  At other times I can hardly wait and lose myself in the gaiety and noise of the city.  It will be fun to see when I return.

12-12-1945
           
Well, today we moved up to the 459th Sq. area still in the 330th group area, closer to the mess hall and movie theater, but further from the P.X. 

12-19-1945

Well, be sure and write me all about the wonderful time you folks had Christmas day – mass, breakfast, the “opening” ceremony, the fun, the dinner – and menu, the afternoon spent before a fire maybe, with snow softly falling outside, the buffet supper, and finally that which I love most – singing in the darkened room, with the tree lights glowing, the crib, and the peace of being among those we love and who love us.  Need I try and say how much I wish I were there.
           
Yesterday we moved down to the 28th area and we are now safely (?) entrenched in this place.

12-24-1945
           
Here on Guam, there is a feverish activity to decorate and try to convince ourselves that it really is Christmas Eve.  The radio and loudspeakers are busy trying to play all the Christmas hymns and songs – especially der Bingle (and thanks loads for getting his records for me, mother…I hope you played them Christmas Eve and Christmas day).  We are making trees out of palms and ferns – not too bad, wreaths out of ferns, and silver paper – everything to remind us of the way it is back home.

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xmas2

01-15-1946
           
Monday I went out to the line, reported to Radar and was assigned two ships.  I went to look at them, and one needed a dome change.  Also they told me to report to Lt. Potter for detail.  Well, Davy was there and asked me if I could type.  When I said “yes”, he asked if I’d help them out – he was alone, in a place where five clerks were supposed to be assigned.  I took a look – it was clean, cool, and not too bad – result, I asked for time to decide.  The thought of the line with its heat, dirt, grime, oil, grease, and tedious work – tipped the balance, and I’m now working for Lt. Potter – Combat Maintenance Officer, 19th Group.  Monday and today I was quite busy catching up since the other clerk hadn’t touched all the paper work since Friday.  Results, I’ve typed and filed steadily for two days, but am almost out of the woods.  I have to set up a file system – he had none before.  All in all it’s quite a bit of work, but after lying around for so long, reading and recuperating from a cold, it certainly fills in my time.  However, I hope to catch up on all my work soon and then it won’t take so long each day.  Strange I should acquire a clerical job since I never cared too much for one – but it’s clean and cool, and above all new.  I run a teletype machine and really enjoy it – so new and different – so if my letters are typed you’ll know I’ve done it at work.

Today the Red Cross Canteen came around about 1400 and I had coffee and doughnuts.  It was quite good.

01-19-1946
           
My work on the line has become quite interesting.  I’ve been designated Chief Clerk at the 19th Group Engineering Office and Combat Maintenance Office.  My work has been chiefly administrative – even to the extent that I can initiate programs on my own, submitting them to Lt. Potter for his signature, which has to date been given without any comments against and even approval.  Monday I’m to acquire an assistant who will do most of the typing – I’ll still handle the majority of the filing and Teletype messages.  Also I’m to be given control of the telephone.  We have two lines, my phone is on Lt. Potter’s line, and I’ll have a switch so as to turn our calls to the Flight Line or Personnel Officers.  I answer all calls and either handle them myself or pass them on to Lt. Potter, Flight Line, or Personnel.  So you see I’m making a success of the work.  Today Lt. Potter paid me an excellent compliment (considering the source) by saying that the office has accomplished more work in the week I’ve been there than in the month proceeding.  Can you blame me for being a little proud?

02-08-1946
           
Well, at long last I’ve come out on orders.  We are on orders to leave here and go to Saipan for processing, after which we sail for the States, and if luck holds good, we’ll not stop at Oahu, but go straight to the West Coast.  Since we are processing at Saipan, we won’t be delayed, but will head almost directly for Camp Grant.  Again if all goes well I’ll be there early in March.  We are scheduled to leave Guam 0430 Sunday morning.

surrender

 

Hubert Homan has taken his last flight. You can reach his daughter, Kristine, here.

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