John Williams Bougainville Recollections
A member of ACORN 13, 18 years old on Bougainville. Photo January 15, 1944 on Bougainville and 2004 photo today. Williams shares some recollections and photos of his service and events from the war.
About 12 of us were assigned Temporary Additional Dudy (TAD) with the First Marine Amphibious Corp Signal Battallion for the landing on Bougainville. We departed Lunga Point on Guadalcanal aboard the USS President Adams (APA19) and went ashore on Bougainville on November 8,1943.
Missions From Bougainville
Our unit operated the tower we fed and quartered the American pilots, we armed and fueled the planes and any other duties necessary to operate an airbase. B-24 Liberators maxed a fuel load at Henderson Field and stopped over these strips to load a full load of bombs on their way to Rabaul. The Torokina air strip was put into operation the first part of December, 1943.
I do remember a very badly damaged B-24 coming in suddenly and landing on our strip. There was an F4U warming up at the south end of the runway and the bomber came in so low that it hit the prop of the Corsair and knocked some of cylinders out of the engine.
Sorties of F4Us, TBF torpedo bombers and SBD dive bombers were flown off the strip. Our main target was Rabaul. Also the Aussies flew the old P40s from there. Boyington took off from that field the day he was shot down over Rabaul. That happened in January or February 1944.
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