Pesky Parafrags

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Low level bombing, Luzon, early 1945. (Click to enlarge).

The bravery and expertise of the 5th Air Force ever present in the Pacific!

IHRA

On January 8, 1945, the 345th Bomb Group’s 498th and 499th Squadrons were sent to hit Fabrica Airdrome on the Negros Islands. Between the two squadrons, two B-25s were fatally damaged, but they destroyed three Japanese fighters on the ground. One of the two B-25s, PLANE LONESOME, sustained a hit to the right wing tank by machine gun fire. It burst into flame and crashed in a forest, killing all aboard.

As the rest of the planes left the target area and headed home, one of 1/Lt. John B. Boyd’s wingmen noticed a parafrag was caught on the bomb bay doors of Boyd’s brand new B-25J, #44-29352. When Boyd opened the doors, two parafrags drifted away. A third, caught by its chute, exploded after it struck the fuselage of the plane. S/Sgt. William J. McGrath, the crew’s tail gunner, at first thought they had been hit by flak. When…

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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 December 16, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Another amazing story, GP. I am continually in awe of what these men were able to do under extreme conditions where it seemed the odds were stacked against them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. These flying feats are always incredible to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A stunning story and real tribute to the courage of the troops. Have a Merry Christmas, GP!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is an amazing story. Once I got clear on the whole concept of a ‘parafrag,’ something still was nagging at me. I remembered coming across the word ‘fragging.’ When I looked it up, I saw that it’s used to refer to the killing of a soldier (often an officer) by the use of a fragmentation grenade. I suppose the parafrags came first, and then fragging, which seems to have arisen in the context of the Vietnam War.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Gen. Kenney, commander of the 5th Air Force invented these light-weight bombs in the 1920’s. If I’m not mistaken, you are correct about fragging. You really know your stuff, Linda!!

      Like

  5. It’s amazing they made it! What a story!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. As always, a good reblog, GP. Being in combat is bad enough, but being blasted by your own ordnance is just the worst!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

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