The 345th and Operation Postern

Additional data on the 5th Air Force activities in early September 1943____


For a number of weeks, General Kenney had been working on a plan to take Lae out of Japanese control. Operation Postern, as it was known, was approved by Gen. MacArthur and put into effect in early September 1943. The 345th Bomb Group took part in the huge raid on Nadzab on September 5th. That morning, 48 B-25 crews from the 345th were joined by two more B-25 squadrons to soften up the area. They completed bomb runs from approximately 1000 feet and also released 20-pound fragmentation bombs. The B-25s were followed by A-20s from the 3rd Bomb Group’s 89th Bomb Squadron, which laid down a smoke screen to cover the 82 C-47s that were dropping paratroopers from the 503rd Parachute Regiment. Kenney and MacArthur observed the entire operation from above in B-17s that circled the area.

Paratroop Landing on Nadzab

As the paratroopers jumped from the C-47s, the B-25s dropped down to…

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on January 16, 2016, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. I always wondered how often someone in their own plane damaged it by inadvertently shooting it. Wow, what a close call, and what an amazing pilot Robinette proved to be by getting back to the landing strip! Lol. If I were O’Rear, I definitely would’ve kept my mouth shut until all was safe 😀 What a nail biting scene that must’ve been! My husband’s in the Air Force Reserve, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, WA and he enjoys stories like this gem. Thanks for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Breathtaking WWII Colorized Photos Look Like They Were Taken

    World War Two black and white photos that are researched and colorized in detail
    by Doug and other artists from the ‘Colourisehistory Group.’ These 50
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    A Super marine Spitfire Vc ‘Tropical’ JK707 MX-P serving with 307th
    Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group operated by 12th USAAF. The
    regular pilot was 1st.Lt. Carroll A. Prybylo, but when lost it was
    flown by Capt. Virgil Cephus Fields, Jr. (Source – US Navy, via
    Library of Congress. Colorized by Paul Reynolds. Historic Military
    Photo Colourisations)

    A Finnish soldier practices maneuvers in the winter snow at a military
    dog training school during the Finnish-Soviet Continuation War.
    Hämeenlinna , Finland . February 1941. (Source – SA-kuva. Colorized by
    Jared Enos)

    Focke Wulf FW-190A6 Nº20 of 4./Jagdgeschwader 54 (JG 54) on the airfield
    at Immola in Finland . 2nd of July 1944. (Source – SA-kuva. Colorized
    by Jared Enos)

    A Chinese Nationalist soldier guards a row of Curtiss P-40 ‘Warhawks’
    flown by the ‘Flying Tigers’ of the American Volunteer Group (AVG).
    July, 1942. (Source – National Archives and Records Administration –
    535531. Colorized by Tom Thounaojam from India )

    A crew member cleaning the barrel of an Sd.Kfz. 251/9 –
    Schützenpanzerwagen (7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24) “Stummel” on the East
    Front, c. Summer 1942. (Colorized by Royston Leonard from the
    UK )

    Boeing B-29 Superfortress 42-24592 “Dauntless Dotty” 869th Bomb Squadron,
    497th Bomb Group, 73rd Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force. 24th of November
    1944. (Source ‘Life’ Magazine. Colorized by Leo Courvoisier from
    Argentina )

    Soviet Air Force officers, Rufina Gasheva (848 night combat missions) and
    Nataly Meklin (980 night combat missions) decorated as ‘Heroes of
    the Soviet Union ‘ for their service with the famed ‘Night Witches’
    unit during World War II. They stand in front of their Polikarpov
    Po-2 biplanes. (Colourisation and research by Olga Shirnina from
    Russia )

    A Kriegsberichter (war correspondent) holding an Arriflex 35 2 1942
    camera 35mm ACR 0292 and he is leaning against a knocked out Soviet
    BT-5 light tank. c.1940/41. (Colorized by Royston Leonard from the
    UK )

    Squadron Leader J.A.F. MacLachlan, the one-armed Commanding Officer of No 1
    Squadron RAF, standing beside his all-black Hawker Hurricane Mark
    IIC night fighter, ‘JX-Q’, at Tangmere in West Sussex, England .
    (Source – Royal Air Force official photographer Woodbine G (Mr) ©
    IWM CH 4015. Colorized by Paul Reynolds. Historic Military Photo

    US Air Force pilot 2nd Lieutenant Robert Wade Biesecker with his crew
    of the 569th Bombardment Squadron, 390th Bomb Group, US Eighth Air
    Force, standing by ‘Honey Chile’, their B-17 Flying Fortress bomber
    (serial 42-31027), at RAF Framlingham, a US Eighth Air Force Bomber
    Command station in England, 18 October 1943. (Photographer: M.
    McNeil, for Fox Photos. Images courtesy of the Hulton Archive/ Getty
    Images. Colorized and researched by Benjamin Thomas from
    Australia )

    F/L J. F. Thomas and the crew of Avro Lancaster Bomber ‘B’ MkI
    ‘Victorious Virgin’ RF128 QB-V of RCAF 424 Squadron “Tiger” Squadron
    on the 21st of March 1945. (probably taken at the Skipton-on-Swale,
    North Yorkshire airfield). (Colorized by Tom Thounaojam from
    India )

    T/5 William E. Thomas and Pfc. Joseph Jackson prepare a gift of special
    “Easter Eggs” for Adolf Hitler and the German Army. Scrawling such
    messages on artillery shells in World War II was one way in which
    artillery soldiers could humorously express their dislike of the
    enemy. Easter Saturday, March the 10th 1945, during the Battle of
    Remagen. (The photographer 1st Lt. John D. Moore of the Signal
    Corps. Source – US National Archives 111-SC-202330. Colorized by
    Johhny Sirlande from Belgium )

    A paratrooper from the American 17th Airborne Division gets a light
    from a Churchill tank crewman of 6th Guards Armoured Brigade near
    Dorsten in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany , 29th of March 1945.
    (Source – No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit – © IWM BU 2738.
    Photographer – Sgt.Midgley. Colorized by Paul Reynolds. Historic
    Military Photo Colourisations)

    A broken down and deserted Soviet T-35 heavy tank of the 8th
    Mechanised Corps. On the Dubno – Plycza highway, Rivne Oblast
    (province) of western Ukraine . June/July 1941. (Colorized by Royston
    Leonard from the UK )

    Troops of the 17th U.S. Airborne Division, First Allied Airborne Army,
    march past a blazing building in Appelhülsen , Germany , as they
    advance toward the city of Münster , nine miles to the northeast.
    First Allied Airborne Army troops had landed east of the Rhine river
    on March 24th 1945. (Colorized by Doug)

    Flying Officer Leonard Haines of No. 19 Squadron RAF sits by the cockpit of
    his Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Ia (QV-?) at Fowlmere, near Duxford.
    September 1940. (Photo Source – © IWM CH 1373. Colorized by Paul
    Reynolds. Historic Military Photo Colourisations)

    ‘Dog Beach Patrol’, (possibly on Parramore Beach, Virginia, US October
    1943). (Source – United States Coast Guard – Photo No.726. Colorized
    by Royston Leonard from the UK )

    An Allied Soldier takes a break during the approach to Tripoli , Libya
    beside a swastika and the words ‘Heil Hitler’ that have been carved
    into a rocky hillside during January 1943. (Source – © IWM E 21788.
    Colorized by Royston Leonard from the UK )

    The crew of Avro Lancaster “C for Charlie” of No. 44 ( Rhodesia ) Squadron
    RAF, try to warm themselves in their Nissen hut quarters at Dunholme
    Lodge, Lincolnshire , England , after returning from a raid on
    Stuttgart , 2nd of March 1944. (Source – © IWM (CH 12379. Colorized
    by Paul Edwards)

    United States Marines climbing down the nets into landing craft during the
    Battle of Peleliu, September-November 1944. (Photographer: Griffin
    Image courtesy of the United States Marine Corps History Division,
    Peleliu 117058. Colorized and researched by Benjamin Thomas from
    Australia )

    Girls working on shell caps in a munitions factory, somewhere in England .
    25th of May 1940. (Source – Gettys Images – Photographer, Paul
    Popper. Colorized by John Gulizia from America )

    Medics of the US . 5th Infantry Division examining GI clothing found with
    German-captured equipment after the liberation of the area, near
    Diekirch in Luxembourg on the 20th of January 1945. (Source –
    SC-327129 Signal Corps Photo ETO-HQ-45-9223 -Horton. Colorized by
    Joey Van Meesen from the Netherlands )

    A Finnish Brewster Buffalo 239 fighter (BW-352) of (Squadron)
    Lentolaivue/24 at Selänpää airfield. 24th June 1941. (Source –
    SA-Kuva. Colorized by Tommi Rossi from Finland )

    Three troopers of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne
    Division taking a break after 5 days frontline fighting. From left
    to right : Pvt William H. Sandy (ASN 13032007) from Charlottesville,
    VA, Sgt Dehaven Nowlin (ASN 15046241) from Goshen, KY and Pvt Howard
    Fredericks (ASN 39241668) from Los Angeles, CA., near Essen
    (Germany) 10th of April 1945. (Source – US Army Signal Corps – TFH
    collection. Photographer – Sgt T. J. Austin (Signal Corps).
    Colorized by Joshua Barrett from the UK )

    Veronica Foster, (b.1922 – d.2000) popularly known as “Ronnie, the Bren Gun
    Girl”, was a Canadian icon representing nearly one million Canadian
    women who worked in the manufacturing plants that produced munitions
    and materiel during World War II. Colorized by Paul Reynolds.
    Historic Military Photo Colourisations)

    An American Marine aiming his Garand M1 rifle, whilst perched on
    Japanese ammunition crates on the Island of Iwo Jima, c.
    February/March 1945. (Colourised by Royston Leonard from the
    UK )

    Royal Marines from 45 (RM) Commando, 1st Commando Brigade on the look-out
    for snipers among the ruins in Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, Germany. 4th
    of April 1945. (Source – IWM BU 3057. Photographer – Sgt.Laws No 5
    Army Film & Photographic Unit. Colorized by Doug)

    Soviet artillerymen transporting a 76-mm divisional gun M1942 (ZiS-3)
    during the forced crossing of the Oder River, Germany, c. December,
    1944. (Photograph by Dmitri Baltermants. Colorized by Royston
    Leonard from the UK )

    Marine Pfc. Douglas Lightheart (right) cradles his .30 caliber M1919
    Browning machine gun in his lap, while he and Marine Pfc. Gerald
    Thursby Sr. take a cigarette break, during mopping up operations on
    Peleliu on 14th September 1944. (Colorized by Paul Reynolds.
    Historic Military Photo Colourisations)

    A British Crusader tank passes a burning German Panzer IV tank during
    ‘Operation Crusader’. Cyrenaica (the eastern province of Libya ).
    Winter 1941. (Colorized by Paul Reynolds. Historic Military Photo

    The strain and fatigue of 23 days on the line is shown by Marines of
    Combat Team ‘C’, 2/7th US Marines, 1st Marine Division seen here
    displaying Japanese battle flags captured during the Battle of Cape
    Gloucester. 14-15th January 1944. (Source USMC 71602. Colorized by

    “Lucky Strike” c. 1944. The United States was the only country to equip its
    troops with an auto-loading rifle as the standard infantry weapon of
    WWII. It gave their troops a tremendous advantage in firepower, and
    led General George Patton to call the M1 Garand, “The greatest
    battle implement ever devised.” (Colorized by Paul Reynolds.
    Historic Military Photo Colourisations)

    Crew members of Nº537 Soviet IS-2 tank of the 87th Guards Heavy Tank
    Regiment take a break in Breslau (now Wrocław in Poland ) 27th April
    1945. (Photographer – Anatoli Egorov. Colorized by Jiří Macháček
    from the Czech republic )

    US troops from Combat Command B of the U.S. 14th Armored Division
    entering the Hammelburg Prison in Germany by opening the main gate
    with bursts of their M3 “Grease Guns”. Hammelburg , Germany . April 6,
    1945. (Colorized by Paul Reynolds. Historic Military Photo

    A US Marine wearing his camouflage suit fires a Thompson sub-machine
    gun during Jungle Training – 1942. (Colorized by Paul Reynolds.
    Historic Military Photo Colourisations)


  3. That picture is just amazing. Reading the story that explains it makes it that much more real. Thank you again for bringing such important history to all our lives.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The picture is most impressive.


  5. How was that even possible? Amazing stuff.


  6. Very intesting. I agree they do great research and started following their blog awhile back!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Informative post; If I recall correctly, Lae was where Saburo Sakai had operated from.
    The air combat victories he enjoyed, were out of proportion to the other areas where U.S. aviators flying P-40’s, and P-39’s, were managing to hold their own, though suffering many losses when they attempted to dogfight a Zero.
    It’s been so very long since I read “Samurai!”; This raid was after his harrowing experience in an air battle at Guadalcanal, which almost killed him (he was blinded in one eye) and with a crippled Zero, managed to make it back to his base at Rabaul

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting. I’ll have to look into that, or pass the story on to the author of the article.


      • An interesting -but erroneous- account of this at:
        As I recall from distant memory, Sakai had spotted what he thought was a flight of F-4F Wildcats below him. In a fast dive at the rear of the formation, he saw them tighten their formation, and thought he had achieved surprise. He recognized too late that they were TBM Avenger torpedo bombers. (All rear gunners were training their .50 calibers on him)
        Almost upon them, it was far too late to break off his attack. He was almost shot down; being blinded, but managed to down two of them.


        • That is quite an incredible story. That war made so many heroes on both sides and we have so many stories lost each day. I especially appreciated the part hearing that he was able to make friends with people who were once his enemy. I’m certain his Buddhist beliefs helped with that. I appreciate you taking the time to bring us that link, it is well worth reading!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Your page and the source, IHRA are valuable info coming from veterans. Just a note; I made a private posting on a fictional miniseries, in part by Steven Spielberg, called “Taken – Beyond the Sky”. Am uncertain whether this prevented your being notified. My preface:
            This is private. You are somewhat privileged…

            I am a history buff.

            Historical novels, such as David Poyer’s “The Only Thing To Fear”, envisions a young Navy lieutenant, JFK, assigned to the President’s personal staff, and is one hell of a read. I hadn’t given one thought to putting these on my site; because I don’t want to be accused of copyright infringement. However, my RealPlayer downloader was unable to capture episodes 4 through 10 from YouTube.

            I was able to embed all of them here. If you are a “Sci-Fi” person, this combines both History, Science Fiction, and “Area 51” into an incredible miniseries.

            It begins with a formation of B-17 G’s making a bomb run over Germany; that’s all I’ll tell you. P.S. The only error -as such- shows Bf-109 E’s attacking the forts; by ’44, the “G” model, faster and more deadly was in use at that time. For those interested, the details of this aircraft can be seen at Profiles In Courage, under Axis Aircraft.
            Try to view; if it blocks you, there should be a notice with a link to allow permission by requesting access.


  8. Interesting that MacArthur was flying above the battle and observing. Seems unusual for a commanding officer of his importance to put himself unnecessarily in harms way, GC. Or am I wrong here? –Curt


  9. Simply amazing. I’m going to share with my nephew: a fighter pilot in training.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Have you seen the documentary “The Fog of War”? With Richard McNamara? His participation in WWII air raids–fascinating. The months from April to August 1945, what was it, approximately 64 Japanese cities?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The photo is chilling… Wishing you a superb Saturday. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thoroughly enjoyed the article – as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Exciting stuff, GP, and ‘friendly fire’ too!
    Best wishes, Pete.


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