Pfc. Morrison

LOW-LEVEL SKIP BOMBING

4 March 1944


Excerpted from 16th CCU Monthly History, March 1944:

Pfc. Morrison was assigned to film missions of the 11th Bombardment Squadron's B-25 Mitchells. At the time, the 11th was heavily involved in attacking enemy shipping in the Formosa and Hainan Straits as well as in harbors along the China and Indo-China coasts and on Hainan Island. Morrison reported:

"Six B-25s loaded with para-frags [parachute stabilized, fragmentation bombs] attacked the Kuingsha Airdrome. We were accompanied by 24 P-40s, eight of which carried bazookas. Our mission was to bomb and strafe aircraft on the field and was accomplished with a great degree of success. The field was left a smoking shambles.

"We took off at approximately 0930, flew south at approximately 5,000 feet until we hit the Tongking Gulf, from there out to the Island (of Hainan) we followed the Sujow Peninsula at about 50 feet. I took 25 feet [of photographic film] of the formation as we hit the Island, at 12:30. The P-40s went in first and strafed the field with guns and bazookas. We, (the B-25s), in 2 elements of 3 each, came in abreast of each other with the ship I was in lagging behind; intense small arms fire was encountered. The field was literally ablaze with machine guns and small cannon fire. The fire was accurate and four of the B-25s had holes in them as a result. We lost all the gasoline in our right wing tank. A machine gun bullet (about .30 cal.) passed both vertical fins, missing me by two feet. Small arms fire glanced off the cockpit plexiglas, narrowly missing the copilot. A 20mm cannon shell passed entirely through the left engine nacelle and went over the fuselage behind the [top] turret gunner. I exposed 60 feet of 16mm film over the target.

"We approached southwest to northeast and then banked to the left, hitting the sea at 310 mph., altitude of 50 feet. As we left the target, I exposed the rest of the film, showing the smoke rising from the burning target. Our turret gunner is awaiting confirmation on an 'Archie' 99 dive-bomber, which was taking off when he hit him. Some of the film may be jerky over the target because the ship [B-25 carrying Morrison] was hit and lurched violently."