The 345th’s Final Show


After Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, General MacArthur set to arranging the formal surrender and occupation of Japan. A delegation was to meet with U.S. officials at Manila, and bring all their defense plans to stave off potential Japanese resistance. This would take place a week later. The delegation was ordered to fly to Ie Shima in airplanes that had been painted white with giant green crosses. They would be accompanied to Ie Shima by a bomb group chosen by MacArthur: the 345th. A total of six B-25s and twelve P-38s met the two white-painted Mitsubishi G4M “Betty” bombers, although, with the cloud cover, it wasn’t easy to find the planes at the rendezvous point.

The Bettys were soon spotted by Maj. Jack C. McClure about 2000 feet below the B-25s, so he radioed to the other B-25s to follow him as he hurried to catch up with the…

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