"MISSION #19 TO HAIPHONG"
An excerpt from Martin L. Mickelsen's forthcoming book of the History of French Indochina:

Introduction by Glenn A. Roberts, veteran of the 373 Bomb Squadron.

      "After more than fifty years, this deteriorated photo was found in the attic of his mother’s home by Jim Ludwig, son of Mike Ludwig, 373rd BS, who lost his life during the fateful September 15, 1943, mission to Haiphong.   I took this picture at Yankai, China, on either September 12th or 13th, just prior to the mission.   After returning to the U.S., I sent it, along with other photos, to Mike Ludwig’s widow."



      "All young men shown in the photo were flight crew members with the exception of ‘Brownie’ (#11, on far right) who was the Mess Sergeant."

      "Participating on 'Mission 19' were, #1 - Joe Mooney; 2 - Charles Edwards; 4 - Wilbur Willis; 6 – John Stachowicz; 7 – Arvid Stomberg; 8 – Robert Corbin; 9 – James Currie; 10 – Norman McNamee.   Nick Volanski (3) would have been scheduled for the mission had he not been recovering from a severe cut on his right hand received just two days before (note bandage).   Willis filled in for Volanski.   Nick was killed in action on a later mission.   Carl Foss (5) was not on the mission, but lost his life over Rangoon just two months later."

      "In preparation to writing a book on the history of the 308th Bomb Group's operations in French Indochina, Martin Mickelsen, a 'weekend historian' of Atlanta, Georgia, conducted an extensive research into the 308th’s activities during WW II.   When he came upon records of the bombing missions, he was surprised to see such scant details available on many of the missions and particularly the 373rd Bomb Squadron's 'Mission 19'.   The deeper he dug, the more interesting things became.   The research continued over a considerable period of time.   As he pieced things together, he came up with the most detailed, and most accurate account of mission 19.

      'The Tragedy of Mission 19 to Haiphong'  is extracted from the chapter on the 308th’s operations in his book, yet to be published.   The story was published recently in the 14th Air Force Association's Jing Bao Journal.   As tribute to the 308th Bomb Group, he has given us permission to post it on our web site.   As this sad story unfolds, note the meticulous detail throughout Mickelsen's writing and the keen talent he displays in tying things together."

Glenn A. Roberts
373 Bomb Squadron



Click here to Read Mission 19's Story




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      This web site is provided as a public service.   It is intended to provide factual, historical information to the public, to commemorate the contributions and to preserve the memory of the sacrifices of our World War II veterans serving with U.S. Army Air Forces in the China-Burma-India theater.   Permission is required for any commercial use or mass distribution purposes of the copyrighted material.