This Diary was written by Captain Stanley H. Samuelson telling of his war experiences in the Pacific Area from the time he left Kearney, Nebraska, October, 1944, until his last entry a few days before his ship was shot down over Tokyo on February 19, 1945.
Stanley H. Samuelson was born in Medford, MA, March 6, 1920, the son of Edwin L. and Florence W. Samuelson. His father died in 1928 after which he lived with his aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. John W. Shields of Bridgeport, Conn. He graduated from the Bassick High School in Bridgeport in 1939 and from the Art School of Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY in June, 1941.
He enlisted in the Army Air Force, December 18, 1941, and was graduated a second lieutenant from the Columbus Army Flying School, Columbus, MS, August 5, 1942. Lieutenant Samuelson was assigned as first pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress and, after intensive training, he left the United States for operations in the North African campaign in February, 1943. With his original ship, named "Never Satisfied," he successfully completed fifty combat missions in the Mediterranean theatre of war without a casualty in his crew. Because of their experience and bombing accuracy, he and his crew were selected to participate in the first bombing of Rome on August 13, 1943.
He returned to the United States in October, 1943 a first lieutenant. On November 13, 1943 he was married to Marjorie Stowe in the First Congregational Church, Stratford, CT.
At his own request, Lieutenant Samuelson was assigned to a B-29 Superfortress Group for operation in the Pacific war theatre and trained principally at the Walker Army Air Field, Victoria, KS. Few replacements were made in his crew and he was especially proud of the fact that they were a smooth operating team.
He flew his ship to Saipan in October, 1944 and participated in the first raid over Tokyo from that base on November 24. While over Tokyo on February 19, 1945 his plane was shot down in flames. The crew were listed as missing in action until January, 1946, when the War Department officially pronounced the five men who went down with the plane as killed in action. His commission as captain was received in February, 1945.
It has not been possible to identify individually the remains of the five crew members found in the wrecked plane. They were buried in the U. S. Armed Forces Cemetery, Yokohama, Japan. On January 28, 1949 the remains were returned to the US for burial at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.
This diary was printed by John W. Shields as a memorial to Captain Samuelson and members of his crew.
Bridgeport, Conn. January, 1949.