12/17/2006

WWII- Bombing Raid on Kaohsiung



(Double-click on the text and it should enlarge automatically.)
My grandfather flew in the 90th Bombardment Squad (the Jolly Rogers) during the Second World War. On one mission, they hit the airport outside Kaohsiung. Originally, they were meant to go for Taoyuan, but they were unable to see it due to heavy cloud cover. My grandfather wrote to my grandmother pretty regularly. She re-typed his letters (above) as, I am assuming, she wasn't impressed with his handwriting. My Uncle Vincent Cowsill sent me these scans. He explained how one went about getting out of the airforce:
The points determined your eligibility to be discharged. Those with the greatest number of points were discharged first. In May 1945 the point system was one point for each month in the army; two points for each month overseas; five points for each decoration or campaign; and 12 points for each child. [My grandpa] was unhappy because he only had 38 points in May and needed 80 points to be discharged. It looks like he also earned one point for each five hours on bombing missions; and one additional point for each of the three he flew in July. By November 1945 he had 64 points and, with the war over, was eligible for discharge, which occurred after he arrived in California from Japan on December 26, 1945.
My grandpa once told me that the only time he ever supported a Democratic President was after Truman promised the troops they would be discharged within six months of the end of the war.
(Note: My grandmother retyped the date for the attack on Kaohsiung as July 7, 1945. According to airforce records I've looked at, it was July 9, 1945.)

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