Personal Stories

Going To War

Pearl Harbor:
The rising tension in the Pacific commanded everyone’s attention and the dark clouds of an impending war gathered. Then the day of infamy, Dec. 7 1941 arrived and the next day the Nation declared war upon the Rome-Tokyo-Berlin aggressors.

Boston Air Defense Region:
The 57th Group was alerted for any possible invasion of the eastern coast and was split up, each squadron moving to a different base along the coast. 64th Sqd. to East Boston, Massachusetts, 65th Sqd. to Trumbull Airport, Groton Connecticut, 66th Sqd. to Republic Field, Farmingdale, L.I., New York. The Group was now assigned to the Boston Air Defense Region, but the Group officers also became the officers of the Region, thus wearing both hats. Many new pilots were joining the Group, being trained further including experiments on carrying 500-pound bombs on the P-40.

Going To War:
In June of 1942, orders were spewing out like bullets from a machine gun, and with that the 57th was on its way to fight a war. Special Orders, Numbers 168, and 170 of the First Air Force were two of such orders. Major (six months ago First Lieut.) Frank Mears was put in command and told to name the men he needed and go. Time from that moment until the Combat Echelon was at sea aboard the Ranger (July 1) was measured not in weeks, not in days, but in hours. The Group was divided into the Combat Echelon, the Air Echelon, and the Ground Echelon. The Air Echelon was also on its way at the same time by way of Pan Am Airlines through Miami, Florida. The Ground Echelon departed from New York on the HMS Louis Pasteur two weeks later on July 16, 1942.