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Far East Air Force - Combat Replacement and Training Center
360th Service Group, 8th Service Group (FEAF - CRTC)
USAAF, 5th Air Force

Background
This unit was responsible for the training of replacement aircrews and pilots for assignment to combat units. The CRTC (Combat Replacement Training Center) sometimes also listed as CR&TC operated from Nadzab Airfield No. 4 during late 1944. On October 16, 1944 redesignated the 360th Air Service Group Far East Air Force Combat Replacement and Training Center (CRTC or CR&TC).

360th Service Group (360th Air Service Group)
Headquarters & Base Service Squadron
Student Detachment Headquarters & Base Service Squadron
14th Tow Target Squadron
63rd Malaria Control Unit
1947th Engineer Aviation Utilities Company
572nd Army Air Forces Band
2nd Central Medical Establishment (SP)
5241st Military Police (MP) Company (Aviation) (P)
5297th FEAF Chemical Training Company (P)

8th Service Group
Headquarters Squadron
1041st Signal Company Service Group
1794th Ordinance S&M Company (Aviation)
1811th Ordinance S&M Company (Aviation)
2001st Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
3075th Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
Under base control: 247th General Hospital
47th Service Squadron
455th Service Squadron
370th Service Squadron
7th Airdrome Squadron (7 ADS)
301st Airdrome Squadron
1157th Quartermaster Company Service Group
Attached unit: 868th Engineer Aviation Battalion

Wartime History
The unit operated a variety of aircraft including: BT-13 Valiant, C-47 Dakota, A-20 Havoc, P-70 Havoc, B-25 Mitchell, B-24 Liberator, P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51D Mustang, plus liaison aircraft. These included both new aircraft formerly assigned to combat units. Many aircraft wee marked with "CRTC"

PacificWrecks.comThe commanding officer was Colonel John P. "Jock" Henebry, who had previously flown 140 combat missions over 32 months of service as the commander of the 3rd Bombardment Group "Grim Reapers". He was base commander of APO 713, Unit 1 (APO-713-I) (Nadzab Airfield No. 4) and commander of the FEAF CRTC. Next, Colonel Carl A. Brandt took command from June 29, 1944 until January 26, 1945 he was the former C.O. of the 90th Bombardment Group "Jolly Rogers". Afterwards, went on to command 13th Bomber Command.

CRTC aircraft and crews flew combat missions over isolated or bypassed Japanese targets including Wewak and other locations on the north coast of New Guinea and New Britain until June 30, 1945. These missions were to familiarize crews with the area and give them combat experience over neutralized targets. Also, the CRTC sometimes flew searches for missing aircraft.

On April 21, 1945 CRTC aircraft including 46 B-24, 19 B-25s, 16 A-20s and 4 P-47s dropped 200 tons of bombs on the Wirui Mission area near Wewak in support of the Australian Army attacking the area. Afterwards, Australians confirmed heavy loss of life from these raids according to captured prisoners and the discovery of mass graves.

On May 11, 1945 CRTC aircraft supported the invasion of Wewak by the Australian 6th Division, which acknowledge the accuracy of of air strikes against specific targets. On another occasion, CRTC P-38 Lightnings mistakenly strafed and killed Australian Artillery members at Cape Wom (Wom Point), mistakenly identifying them as enemy and inflicting twenty plus casualties.

During June to July 1945, all training was suspended as the unit moved to Clark Field. At the end of the war, their remaining aircraft were abandoned at Nadzab Airfield and scrapped postwar.

Losses
Bad weather and accidents resulted in the loss of some aircraft. Also, enemy anti-aircraft fire resulted in the loss of others over target areas. Some pilots and crews are still Missing In Action (MIA) to this day.

8th Service Group (8th SrG)
B-25H Mitchell 43-4341  pilot Dreger crashed September 2, 1944
A-20G Havoc 43-21390  pilot Brooks ditched April 27, 1945 (pilot rescued)

301st Airdrome Squadron (301st Airdrome Service Squadron, 301st ADS)
F-6D 44-14621  pilot Lent crashed December 1, 1944, 1 missing
F-6D 44-14920  pilot McGowan crashed December 19, 1944
P-51D 44-63290  pilot Muir written off February 4, 1945
P-51D 44-63373  pilot Helm crashed February 25, 1945
P-51K 44-12032  pilot Goeller crashed March 8, 1945
P-51D 44-72054  pilot ? crashed April 13, 1945
P-51D 44-63651  pilot Kirby MIA April 14, 1945, 1 missing
P-51D 44-63280  pilot Epperson April 16, 1945
P-51D 44-64145  pilot Brady crashed April 16, 1945
P-51K 44-12025  pilot ? crashed April 17, 1945
P-51D 44-64045  pilot Kammeyer crashed April 24, 1945
P-51K 44-12075  pilot Wahlquist crashed May 3, 1945, 1 missing
P-51D 44-64089  pilot Waller crashed May 17, 1945

360th Air Service Group (360th Service Group, 360th SrG)
B-24D "Golden Lady" 42-40814  pilot Tosch MIA July 19, 1944 (13 MIA)
A-20G "Crap Shooter" 42-54155  pilot Adroetti crashed October 1, 1944 (three KIA)
A-20G Havoc 42-86717  pilot Campagna crashed October 1, 1944 (three KIA)
A-20G Havoc 43-21428  pilot Peterson crashed November 10, 1944 (three MIA)
A-20G "Oh Please!" 43-9419  pilot Knobloch crashed November 21, 1944 (two KIA, BR)
P-70A Havoc 42-54161  pilot Sutliff crashed October 22, 1944 (three MIA)
P-51D 44-15235  pilot Clapp crashed January 2, 1945
BT-13B Valiant 42-89612  pilot Wingo MIA January 14, 1945 (2 MIA)
A-20G "Shag On" 43-9134  pilot Sleeth crashed February 9, 1945
C-47B Dakota 43-16204 pilot Wondaal crashed February 19, 1945
B-24J Liberator 42-109981  pilot MacDonald crashed February 28, 1945 (11 KIA)
P-51D 44-63310  pilot Milliken crashed March 5, 1945

7th Airdrome Squadron (7th ADS)
B-25J 43-36164  pilot Beneke crashed September 29, 1944

Other CRTC Losses
Note, the following units are not listed in the order of battle for the 360th Air Service Group / 8th Service Squadron, but are listed as CRTC School. It is possible there were other CRTC units in the theater or these were earlier or alternate designations for units in the CRTC.

B-25 piloted by Thompson  ditched November 10, 1944 (crew rescued by RAAF Catalina)
B-25 piloted by ? ditched November 10, 1944

58th Service Group, 386th Service Squadron
P-47D 42-22687  pilot Lutes crashed April 29, 1944 (one MIA, aircraft salvaged 2004)

1st Composite Fighter Squadron
P-47D 42-23241  pilot Barker crashed September 30, 1944 (one MIA) located 1962, remains recovered 2012 resolved 2015

Known aircraft in service with the CRTC, scrapped postwar
B-25D "Little Chief Cockeye"  scrapped at Dobodura circa 1947
A-20G Havoc 42-86888  scrapped at Nadzab circa 1947
A-20G "Eloise" 43-21426  likely scrapped postwar

References
Pictorial History FEAF CRTC
MACR 14320 search by CRTC aircraft for C-47 43-16011 MIA March 27, 1945

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