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20th Air Force
58th Bombardment Wing
468th Bombardment Group - "The General Billy Mitchell Group"

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Dr. Yates C. Smith kindly provided the following diaries and stories to the web site.

(Please note that some of these are large files, and require Acrobat Reader to view.)

B-29 Training in Kansas - Yates arrived in Salina after his training in Casper, WY.  This document covers the period of time from September 1943, at the outset of B-29 operations from Smoky Hill, until Major George's Crew left for India on April 9th 1944 (Easter Sunday).

A Wes Price Crew Story - Written in conjunction with Gene Rutherford, the story describes the chronic shortage of B-29s, and provides an interesting (and typical) tale of the types of problems the Crews had with the early models of the B-29.

The Boyce C. Anderson Crew - Most of the 468th Crews left Salina and flew to Presque Isle, ME as the initial stop on their long trip to India.  While most of the Crews passed through Africa on the way to Kharagpur, Boyce Anderson's Crew had a much more "interesting" trip.

Salina to Kharagpur - This is Yates' personal account of what it took for Major George and his Crew to get from Kansas to India.  It was a trip full of risks and adventures, with numerous cultural adjustments required along the way.

B-29 Flight Operations and Conditions - India and China - This is the first of four stories about the tactical difficulties of operating in the harsh conditions of India (heat and monsoons) to the remote and hazardous base at Pengshan, China. 

India Base Living Quarters - India was a far different place from Yates' home town of Memphis, and the rural environs surrounding Salina, KS.  In this chapter, Yates describes in great detail what it was like living in the sub-tropical heat of India, with the people, animals, bugs and weather that India brings.

Kharagpur Flight Line Operations - Yates provides great detail on the activities prior to, during, and after the missions from the India base (Camp Salua or B-1). 

Missions from India and China - This is Yates' personal diary from the Crew's arrival in India (April 29th 1944) to its arrival on Tinian Island (May 7th 1945).   During this time, Yates participated in 11 Hump missions and 17 combat missions...all those missions are detailed in this diary.

Rest Camp - There were two places where the men of the 468th could go for R R.  One was a base camp in Darjeeling, India at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains.  The other was Calcutta itself.  Yates describes his trips to both areas.

Tinian Living Conditions and Missions - This diary begins several days before the George Crew left India for Tinian, and covers all the missions from Tinian against Japan.  Tinian was a far different place from India, and the execution of the war from this small island was very different as well due to improved living conditions and the availability of war materiels.

Departure from Tinian - Coming full circle, it was time to go home.  Yates finished his required number of missions in mid-July and departed for the US on July 21st 1945.  This particular chapter shows a lighter side of the war experience, as Yates and William W. Smith began their long journey home.


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