Royce Mission to the Philippines
April 12-13, 1942
General Ralph Royce was a native of
Marquette, Michigan and is one of the members of the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame. His
grandson, also Ralph Royce, is head of an aviation museum outside Houston and
used to be head of the Confederate Air Force (CAF Commemoraive Air Force).
of 10 B-25Cs (plus one stuck at Darwin) and 3 B-17s of the 5th Air Force. In mid April in
the Philippines of 1942,
they flew from Australia to
a staging field of Del
Monte Airfield on Mindanao. For three days, the aircraft flew bombing strikes
against the Japanese in Manila, Cebu, and Davao. All of the aircraft
returned to Australia without the loss of one flyer, and they brought
out a number of important military and diplomatic personnel who had
gathered at DelMonte to await evacuation.
The group of planes was led by General Ralph Royce; hence the name "Royce
Mission." The Dolittle Raid of April 18, 1942 overshadowed this equally
important effort of the Royce Mission. Still, the Royce raid did make
the front page of the "New York Times" in mid-April.
Three Days of Bombing Missions
For three days, the aircraft flew bombing missions against Japanese
occupied targets in the Philippines. Aircraft known to have participated in the missions include:
STRIKE #1 SUNDAY, 12 APRIL 1942
Australia-based B-25's, staging through Mindanao Island,
hit the harbor and shipping at Cebu, Cebu Island while B-17's carry
out single-bomber strikes from Mindanao against
Cebu harbor and Nichols Field on Luzon.
STRIKE #2 MONDAY, 13 APRIL 1942 (MORNING)
Australia-based B-25's hit targets in the Philippine
Islands for the second consecutive day. Staging through Del Monte Airfield
the B-25's take off just after midnight during 12/13 Apr and bomb shipping
at Cebu on Cebu Island and installations at Davao on Mindinao.
STRIKE #3 MONDAY, 13 APRIL 1942 (AFTERNOON)
in the day the B-25's again attack Davao, bombing the dock area.
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information
Are you a veteran or relative of a Royce Mission crew
February 4, 2010