Liberty Belle’s Last Flight

A survival story for heroes in October 1944.

IHRA

Balikpapan. A Japanese stronghold in the earlier part of the Pacific war. At the time, it was heavily defended by some of Japan’s best pilots, and the Allies hoped to change that soon. General George C. Kenney in particular felt that if Fifth Air Force was to destroy the oil refineries on the island, it would be a huge setback in Japan’s attempt to hold onto its position in the southwest Pacific. Over the summer, Kenney directed the 380th Bomb Group to bomb several refineries in the area, with little success, though they were a factor in some fuel shortages. By September, he was eager to send his forces back to Balikpapan. There were a few missions flown by the Thirteenth Air Force and the 90th Bomb Group, however, approximately 40% of the planes flown on these mission were either lost or too damaged to be put back in service…

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About GP Cox

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

Posted on March 19, 2017, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 53 Comments.

  1. Thank you once again for the wonderful tribute to the greatest generation. The deserve the very best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gorgeous story and good information to understood it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Beetle Bailey cartoons bring back memories of reading them in the Sunday paper when I was a child.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another amazing story, GP! I am glad the men returned the favor to the natives with gifts they could use.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great story, especially with the extra of the gifts of thanks to the islanders.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A nice little slice of the history of the war in the Pacific. Thanks for re-blogging this!

    You might enjoy this story of a restored B-29:
    http://mortefontainevillage.pagesperso-orange.fr/marcbrecy/b29.html

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is amazing to see the planes!! Thank you very much for bringing me the video on “Doc”! To see the old pilots and Connie the riveter – and then the B-29 taking flight – you can add my tears to that take-off!!

      Like

      • Just viewed that video. Got chills! Noted (hadn’t recalled) that the Superfort’s bomb bay had to be modified to accommodate Fat Man.
        Perhaps you might recall the German Heinkel 177; it had coupled engines, rather then four separate nacelles, and suffered the same engine overheating and fires as did the B-29. These were also never fully overcome, and limited its usefulness.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Would appreciate your opinion on a rather chilling technological advance in rifles.
    (Please e-mail me on this)
    http://www.documentarytube.com/videos/the-gun-that-aims-itself

    Like

    • I don’t mind giving you my opinion right here. I don’t think anything mightier than a pistol or simple hunting rifle is necessary for anyone not on an operation in the military and that includes magazines that hold bucket loads of ammo. Automatic weapons, and smart guns of any type, smart bullets – IMO they should be illegal except for current military. Just how bad a shot does a person have to be to want this weapon?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I found myself zooming off to Google for another geography lesson, G. So your blogs offer both history and geography lessons. Thanks. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A great story and piece of history. Thanks for sharing, GP, and have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great story. Makes me feel proud.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for bringing us this. Quite incredible that they survived all that with only the pilot suffering any damage!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow! An amazing, we-need-to-hear story! Thank you for sharing it, GP!

    Oh, I wanted to tell you…recently I saw a movie called “Anthropoid”. It is very interesting and very sad. (sad because of all the innocent people who are killed by the Nazis) It is based on the extraordinary true story of Operation Anthropoid, the WWII mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich (the man behind the Final Solution and the Reich’s third in command after Hitler and Himmler).

    HUGS and Happy Whee-kend!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Amazing! Had my hair standing on end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The researchers at IHRA are always doing a fantastic post! You should see their books!! As large as textbooks, but far more detailed, filled with photos and far-far more interesting!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks fr sharing this. I will be checking out more of IHRA’s stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. A little piece of history that might have been forgotten, but isn’t. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. There’s a beautiful, old, wooden yacht (and I do mean yacht) named “Liberty Belle” that’s berthed at a yacht club where I work. Now, I’m wondering about the name. I intend to find out whether it’s a feminization of “Liberty Bell,” or whether there might be some connection to the war.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Off the Subject, but here is a Wonderful Article on the USS Washington I thought the readers might enjoy GP (I am not affiliated with the site “War is Boring” by the way, just an avid WW2 Historian like the rest of you!)

    https://warisboring.com/uss-washington-wrecked-a-japanese-battleship-at-point-blank-range-abca83d8ee35?mc_cid=e8977bd45a&mc_eid=1149a36069#.12xdspcrw

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Great story, GP. And so nice that they sent the seeds and things to thank the friendly natives.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. An amazing story, GP. Have a wonder-filled new week. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

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