There has been a lot of confusion on the name "Ready Betty" and "Betty Bee". We didn't name V-37 Betty Bee until late in the war. I was rather surprised when the name showed up on our bird.

A Major Robinson had his plane named "Battlin' Betty" and a second and third with the same name. (He sure must have been hard on his planes).

I was the Operations Officer for the 514th/54th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron on Guam from October 1949 until October 1951.

 

Back Row L to R: Ray Brashear - A/C, Dick Hart - Co-pilot, Bud Parsons - Flight Engineer, Ed Bartenstein - Navigator, Don McCabe - Bombardier
Front Row L to R: Lyle Darling - CFC gunner, Bob Wiggans - Left gunner, Bob Wagoner - Right Gunner, Charlie Alder - Radar Operator, Ted Douglas - Tail Gunner, Ian Stewart - Radio Operator.


I must say it was a very good crew in all respects and we survived some very tense moments. After a few missions, the Ops people seemed to put us on several undesirable missions. Of course we were a pathfinder most of the time. Once we were supposed to lead a three ship formation on target, dropping chaff while the bomber stream hit the real target. As it turned out, the other two ships aborted before the climb so we plowed on alone. The attacking fighters broke off after a few pot shots at us and were diverted to the main bomber force. Man, it was lonely up there for awhile. After we left Kobe we were supposed to fly over Tokyo and photograph the damage of the fire raids of a few nights before. This we did. Since we were alone, the fighters pretty much ignored us as they had more important things on their minds. One stubborn fighter stuck with us, staying just out of reach behind us. Occasionally he would pull up and fire a few rounds at us. Ted would fire a few back with the 50's and he would retreat just out of range. The next time he closed in, Ted opened up with the 20mm cannon we had on the bird. That was enough for the fighter and he did a split S and headed for home.

Another time we picked up a strange crewman who didn't talk to us much. We found out later that he was an ECM jammer specialist and our bird had a lot of special antennas on it. After we bombed the target we had to climb up a few thousand feet and circle the target for 45 minutes while he attempted to jam the Japanese radar. I did get a letter of commendation for that little episode, however.

This photo shows the right horizontal stabilizer shot off after a long and harrowing trip back from Kobe on June 5th. I led the entire parade over Kobe that day. Our Group Commander, Col Moris J Lee, rode along to make any "command decisions". Fortunately, there were none. The weather was perfect and Don McCabe, or bombardier, hit the target right on the money, or rather the Kobe dock area.

The fighter that nearly got us was a twin engine Nick. It was a very good airplane. It had a pilot up front and part way back on the fuselage was a gunner's position. They modified some of the Nicks, took out the gunners position and mounted two 20mm cannon pointing straight up. The pilot flew several thousand feet below the bombers and fired the cannon straight up at us.

I met Saburo Sakai several years ago. He mentioned the incident and he said they were called Gekkos. He said they were quite effective and I couldn't help but agree with him!

- Ray Brashear

RAY BRASHEAR's COMBAT RECORD

Name
BRASHEAR ARTHUR R
Rank
MAJ
ASN
0-406518
Crew & Position No
A/C Comander
Wing
73rd
Group
499th
Sqdn
878th
SSN
1093

Credits

Date Mission
Num
Target Plane
Number
Result Sorties
Indiv
Sorties
Total
Combat Hrs
Indiv
Combat Hrs
Total
Remarks
Nov 24-44 7 Tokyo V-25 (4674) Urban Area S 1 1 14:15 14:15 P Overcast
Dec 13-44 12 Nagoya V-25 (4674) P 1 2 14:39 28:45 .
Dec 18-44 13 Nagoya V-25 (4676) P 1 3 13:45 43:30 .
Jan 3-45 17 Nagoya V-25 (4758) A 1 3 12:00 54:30 #2 engine out
Jan 10-45 WSM Tokyo V-21 (4477) P 1 4 14:45 69:15 .
Jan 13-45 19 Nagoya V-25(4758) P 1 5 14:00 83:15 .
Jan 19-45 20 Akashi V-25 (4758) P 1 6 14:30 97:45 .
Jan 23-45 21 Nagoya V-25 (4758) P 1 7 14:20 112:05 .
Feb 10-45 24 OTA V-3 (4887) Pagan T 0 7 10:00 122:05 Oil Leak # 1 engine
Feb 25-45 27 Tokyo V-34 (9735) P 1 8 14:30 36:35 .
Mar 4 -45 28 Tokyo V-34 (4735) Dock Area S 1 9 14:45 151:20 P Overcast
Mar 9-45 29 Tokyo V-34 (4735) P 1 10 15:00 106:20 .
Mar 11-45 30 Nagoya V-34 (9735) P 1 11 14:15 180:35 .
Mar 13-45 31 Osaka V-34 (9735) P 1 12 13:45 194:20 .
Mar 18-45 33 Nagoya V-34 (9735) P 1 13 13:45 208:05 .
Mar 24-45 34 Nagoya V-34 (9735) P 1 14 14:15 222:20 .
Mar 27-45 35 Oita V-34 (9735) P 1 15 15:00 231:20 .
May 14-45 174-69 Nagoya V-34 (9735) P 1 16 15:30 252:50 .
May 16-45 176-70 Nagoya V-37 (5535) P 1 17 13:45 266:35 .
May 19-45 178-71 Tachikawa V-37 (5535) Hama-Maisu RP 1 18 14:20 280:55 Visual P overcast
May 23-45 181-72 Tokyo V-37 (5335) P 1 19 13:45 294:40 .
May 25-45 183-73 Tokyo V-37 (5335) P 1 20 13:35 308:15 .
May 28-45 WSM Numazu V-28 (3465) P 1 21 13:05 321:20 .
Jun 1-45 187:75 Osaka V-37 (5335) A 0 21 11L30 332:50 # 3 Eng blown cyl
Jun 5-45 188:76 Kobe V-37 (5335) P 1 22 14:20 347:40 .
Jun 7-45 189-77 Osaka V-23 (0099) P 1 23 14:20 361:30 .
Jun 10-45 197-78 357 V-37 (5335) Hitachi Wrks PR 1 24 14:30 376:00 .
Jun 15-45 203-79 Osaka V-37 (5335) P 1 25 13:25 389:25 .
Jun 17-45 208-80 Hamamatsu V-37 (5335) P 1 26 12:40 402:05 .
Jun 19-45 211-81 Fukuoka V-37 (5335) P 1 27 13:40 415:45 .
Jun 26-45 224-83 Osaka V-37 (5335) P 1 28 13:50 424:35 .
Jun 28-45 235-84 Sasebo V-37 (5335) P 1 29 14:40 444:45 .
Jul 3-45 248-86 Kochi V-37 (5335) P 1 30 13:15 457:30 .
Jul 6-45 252-87 Akashi V-37 (5335) P 1 31 13:30 471:00 .
Jul 9-45 258-88 Sakai V-37 (5335) P 1 32 13:30 484:30 .
Jul 19-45 278-91 Hitachi V-37 (5335) P 1 33 14:00 498:30 .
Jul 24-45 286-92 Osaka V-37 (5335) VP 1 34 14:05 512:45 .
Jul 26-45 293-93 Matsu-Yama V-37 (5335) P 1 35 14:35 527:10 .
AWARDS & DECORATIONS:
Air Medal Awarded per Sec 4, GO 53, Hq XXI BC, 2 Apr 45. Presented 6 June 45.
DFC Awarded per Sec. 2, GO 59, HQ XX BC, 9 Apr 45. Presented 20 Apr 45.
- 1st OLC to AM Awarded per Sec 3, GO 79, HQ XX BC, 5 May 45.Presented 6 June 45. Cir 268 dd 30 Jun/44
- 2nd OLC to AM Awarded per Sec 7, GO 135, HQ XX BC, 5 July 45.
- Recommended for : 3rd OLC to AM and 4th OLC to AM.
Auth: Asiatic Pacific Ribbon
Auth: 1st Bronze Service Star on Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon(western Pacific Camp) Par 1 GO 37 HQ 499th Bomb Gp 10Jul/45