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"It was a leaden Sunday afternoon and ideal for the GIs and the officers of the 341st Bomb Group to get in some precious time on the sack. And they were fulfilling this mission to the best of their ability. All the barracks on the base were quiet, save for an occasional snore and the faint patter of rain on the tarpapered roofs. The beautiful valley of Yangkai was draped in slumber and at a time like this not even a proclamation of V-J Day would have had any effect on the Sabbath-loving soldier. Or so it seemed. Then suddenly it happened. Men began to run out of the barracks like frightened hares, hurriedly tossing on some essential bits of clothing as they ran. Those who had been rudely awakened from the arms of Morpheus or Hedy Lamarr jumped with fright out of their beds. Surely, they thought, it must be a 'Jing Bao' -- a three-ball without warning. Jeeps began to pound the bumpy dirt roads and oddly enough they were all headed in the same direction; the airfield. Then it was not an air raid, evidently; what was it then that had the power to move the immovable GI out of his sack at the ungodly hour of 3 in the afternoon?

"From the distance came the muffled roar of approaching aircraft. The sound became louder in swift crescendo, and low! In the thin soup overhead there appeared three formations of a type of aircraft never before seen in the China Theater. Nine A-26s, circling and peeling off to land, had arrived in China after their crews had completed a rigorous six-week training period at Fenni, India. More graceful and compact than the now discarded Mitchell, the Invaders barreled down in rapid succession to nine perfect landings. This was an event worth seeing. The old order was changing before the eyes of the hardy ones who braved the cold chilling rain and persistent mosquitoes -- the bomb group which had made history with the now almost obsolete B-25 was having its face lifted. It was a time for rejoicing and also for a little sadness, for the Mitchell was a "ding hao" ship and a true friend to all the men who knew her well. It was a time for gladness, because the A-26 symbolized a new phase in the war against the only remaining enemy, the phase that would spell defeat for the tailspinning Japanese.

"So Sunday, 29 July 1945, marked the beginning of a new era for the oldest medium bomber group in the China Theater. The China Glippers looked forward to new horizons, new skies to conquer. And, by the sound of clanging hammers, the smell of wet paint, and the airing of musty barracks bags on the base, it appeared that the Group was going to get its wish. - and soon."

The above words are the opening for the 341st Bombardment Group's 491st Bombardment Squadron's Monthly History Report, July 1945. At the time the Group, along with its 11th, 22nd and 491st Squadrons, was stationed at Yangkai in southwestern China while the fourth Squadron, the 490th, had transferred from attachment to the Tenth Air Force in Burma and was now stationed at Hangchung in northern China.

The Group would create very little history in the few remaining days of the worst war the world had ever known. But, they didn't need to! Almost everything the members of the Group had done since its inception was historical, beginning with the 11th Bomb Squadron being the first US Army Air Force unit to combat the Japanese in China, already invaded by the enemy and whose very existence was continually threatened.

Web Home of the 341st Bomb Group
a website by Tony Strotman.
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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.

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