- Life and Times of the 341st Bomb Group (M) -
"Preserving the memory of their Sacrifices!"

About Bombs, and Stuff
Ed Schmidheini
( 490th Bomb Squadron )

The 490th Armament section at Warazup, Burma.
(front, l-r);
Ed Schmidheini, Harry Bietch, Harry McKellen, Robert A. (Snuffy) Smith and John Swem II.
(back; r-l);
Wilbur C. Knerr, Les Nofzinger, Gene Stonebarger, Arther Smith, George Jarvis, George Townsend, Frank Henderson, Reggie Buyle, Puglesee, and Carl Martins.
(Courtesy of 'Ed' Schmidheini - 490th Bomb Squadron )

January 28, 1996, we received this information filled note as our 'first introduction' to Ed Schmidheini and to the 490th Bm Sq!

    He wrote:

    "When I joined the 490th it was after and before the monsoons so there wasn't to much of a problem with the weather.   We used to run a brush done the barrels of the guns and then a oily patch after each mission and once a week we would give the guns a good work over.   The gunners would take care of their own guns.   We had two armours to each plane.   On ours we had seven 50ties to take care of. Also some times when a gunner was indisposed we took care of his guns.

    "We didn't have anything to do with the Spiked Bombs, although we did try using the parachutes from the Cluster Bombs.   They were bunbled in threes, each were about 20 inches long and 6 inches in diameter.   They were notched in circles around a half inch wide and about every 2 inches how thick I don't know.   They had a plunger that stuck out of their noses about 2 or 3 inches long which was instantaneous which set them off at ground level and anything around them was shredded.   We tried using their chutes to slow down the bombs so that they wouldn't bounce before going off.   But they were droping them from around 100 feet that the chutes didn't have time

    "I was with the group that went out to watch the operation and bring back the bombs they dropped.   The bombs either hit the ground and cart wheeled after the plane or either buried themselves into the ground and the reappeared leaping up into the air after the plane. only one bomb didn't fully come out of the ground.   So they never tried using the parachute

Tough work in the heat.   These men are at the bomb dump, either unloading bombs from the trailer or loading them on to be hauled to this day's mission aircraft.
(Courtesy of 'Ed' Schmidheini - 490th Bomb Squadron )

    "We loaded all the 250 lb. bombs by hand. They had pieces of pipe about 18 inches long welded to the nose and tail plugs.   Two men would be on the ground three would be up in the bomb bay.   The ones on the ground would hand the bomb to the two standing in the bomb bay and the third would attach it to the rack.   The 500 lb. bomb we would use hoists.   Most of the time we used the 250 lb.   Once we loaded four 1000 lb bombs but they couldn't completely close the bomb bay doors, and they had to use every bit of runway we had to get the plane off, never did that again!

    "We moved from Warazup Burma up to China in April 1945.

    "My plane was lost over the target, in China, we were based at Hanchung China.   It was hit and rolled over and went in nose first.   It happened on the pilots birthday.

'No. 810', Ed's plane, at Warazup, Burma.   This photo was taken just after a 750 hr engine change. At that time the aircraft had 116 missions and 8 bridges to its credit!   And, as Ed mentione abouve, it was lost on a mission after the Squadron moved to China.
(Courtesy of 'Ed' Schmidheini - 490th Bomb Squadron )

We have yet to meet Ed Schmidheini, but hope to do so in the future!

Top Of Page