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Japanese Missions Against Stirling Airfield and Stirling Island
January 1944

January 11/12, 1944
(IJN) During the night with a full moon at roughly 2300, Japanese bombers approached the airfield. A second flight was spotted on radar and attack Stirling and Mono. Radar guided 90mm, 40mm and 20mm anti-aircraft guns fired at the attackers, that made power dives and strafed at treetop height. One or two bombs hit a tent with Eddie Burns, Blake Musselman, Art Nappen and Don Fitzgerald and all were killed instantly. Another bomb went through the roof of the 87th mess hall and another landed within three feet of the 87th supply office. At least one 42nd BG B-25 Mitchell on the ground. Searchlights were knocked out and several trucks. Afterwards, many two pound antipersonnel bombs were discovered, duds or unexploded from hitting foliage. The next day, work was cancelled to allow men to dig proper air raid shelter.

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January 12/13, 1944
(IJN) Japanese aircraft return to attack Stirling, but this raid was shorter.

January 13/14, 1944
During the early morning, A lone D3A Val arrived over Stirling undetected at treetop level and began strafing. A grease truck browser was damaged and Roy Goldberg killed. Several other 87th Seabees including Raymond Langlois and Harold Johnston were injured by a bomb. In total, 34 were injured in the raids on January 11-13. The five killed were buried at the cemetery on Mono on the 13th will full honors. At the conclusion of the memorial service, another air raid warning was sounded, and those in attendance had to take cover.

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February 27, 1944
Killed on Stirling is Lyle Orestus Marts, unknown if due to air raid. Memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Honolulu Memorial (Punchbowl).

Earthmovers 1943-1945 page 113-115

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