Hot!302ND Depot Repair Squadron

Post
2012/06/09 22:58:10
Friends:
Greetings.
I am preparing to travel to Naples, Italy, for a vacation, and also, for the purpose of conducting further research into my Pop's military service, which included being billeted to the Naples Capodechino Airfield, while serving as a member of the 302ND Depot Repair Squadron, from late in 1942, until about April, 1945.
I have a few pictures of Pop working on aircraft engines, standing near his tent, sitting in a Jeep, and even enjoying a meal at a nice Italian restaurant.  In one picture, the name of Pop's outfit is seen, painted on the side of a table.  I believe I also have Pop's tool box, which I am told he was allowed to take home with him.
Questions:
1.) Does anyone know whom I should contact in Italy to assist me in my inquiry?
2.) Organizationally, how did the 302ND fit into the scheme of the AAC, and the AAF?
3.) I have seen a flag for the AAC, and I like it better than the AAF flag, becuase the AAC flag has a propeller as part of the logo, and Pop was a propeller specialist, having been trained at the Curtis Electric Propeller company, in Caldwell, NJ, prior to shipping out to Italy.
Pop told me that he attended a reunion in the late 40's, or maybe the early 50's, perhaps in upstate NY...Syracuse??? but, I am not sure of this location.
I really want to see the chain of command from the 302ND up to Ike, e.g. 12TH AAF???  8TH AAF???
Can anyone help this Newbie???????
Many thanks, and thank you for your service, on behalf of a nation that is grateful for the sacrifices you have made!!!!!
Live It!
Spence
S SGT Alex Brady's son
302ND Depot Repair Squadron
Naples Capodechino Airfield

mbee53
Station List Working Group
Re:302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2012/06/10 20:10:45
The 302nd Depot Repair Squadron was a separate unit assigned to Army Air Service Command, MTO, which came under Army Air Forces, MTO.  It was not assigned to 12th or 15th AF.  It may have been attached to the 20th Air Depot Group, also at Capodichino.
Also note that the 8th AF and Gen. Eisenhower did not have control over units in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations.
bernies
Station List Working Group
Re:302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2012/06/13 11:59:26
The 302nd Depot Repair Sq was activated at Tinker Field, OK on 15 Apr 1943, it moved to Maison Blanche Airport, Algeria in December 1943 and to Capodichino in January 1944, where it was assigned to the newly activated 90th Air Depot Group at Naples.  At some time it was relieved of this assignment, but I do not know when.  The squadron was inactivated on 22 Nov 1945 and disbanded on 15 Jun 1983.  Capodichino was home to the Air Force General Depot No 3.
johnmccormack
Squadron Member
Re:302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2012/06/14 15:50:00
Spence,
 
I know that the 302nd DRS was co-located with the 41st Air Depot Group at Advanced Depot #52 (Gioia del Colle AAF, Italy).  I have seen reference to the 302nd DRS in the 41st Depot Repair Squadron's War Diary.  There was no other information about the 302nd DRS other than they were there (sometime between 20 Dec 43 & 26 Jul 45).  It does not help you much, but it is something to add to your research.
 
If I find out more I will post it here.
 
If you go to the Air Force Historical Agency web site you can order microfilm rolls & CDROMS with the unit war diaries on them.  A lot of times though, the scans of the original microfilm are sub-standard, but still worth getting.  The 302nd DRS war diary listing is at: 
http://www.airforcehistoryindex.org/search.php?q=SQUADRON%2F0302%2FDEPOT+REPAIR%09%09
 
The home page for the ARHRA is at:  http://www.afhra.af.mil/
 
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/04 12:03:50
Many, many sincere thanks and apologies go out to all those who have attempted to assist me with my inquiry into my Pop's military service.  I have been away from this site for a couple of years...sorry!!!  I have been battling medical issues.
I now know that Pop was a member of the 15TH Air Force, and likely the 90TH Bomb Group, although, someone replied that Pop's squadron was a part of the 91ST Bomb Group.  Does anyone know definitively whether it was 90TH or 91ST???
So, to recap what I think I now know, Pop's Chain of Command looked like this...
15TH Air Force
90TH/91ST Bomb Group (not sure which)
302ND Depot Repair Squadron
Pop told me that the CO of the 302ND DR Squadron was a guy everyone called 'Bugs', primarily due to the fact that before the war, 'Bugs' was an animator for Walt Disney.
Can anyone help me with this factoid?
Thank you all for your service, on behalf of an entire nation that is grateful for the sacrifices you have made!!!!!!
mbee53
Station List Working Group
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/04 17:00:26
There is a big mix-up in units according to your last post, for the following reasons.
Depot Repair Squadrons were never assigned to Bomb Groups at any time.
There is no reply in this thread claiming the 302nd DRS was assigned to the 90th or 91st Bomb Group.  Bernies post mentioned the 90th Air Depot Group, not the 90th Bomb Group.  These units are miles apart in names and missions.
On my previous post on this subject, I used the AAF Station List (Outside Continental U. S.) dated 1 May 1945, which was created at the time by the Adjutant General's Department, U. S. Army.  It shows the following item under Depot Repair Squadrons:
302nd Depot Repair Squadron - Capodichino, Italy (528 NY)
This entry indicates two things to me:
It was not assigned to an Air Depot Group (or any other group), because it would have that group in parenthesis following the name and before the dash.  A check of the list of Air Depot Group (which is the only group type it would be assigned or attached to) shows the following:
20th Air Depot Group - Hq & Hq Sq at Capodichino, Italy (528 NY)
36th Air Depot Group - Hq & Hq Sq at Naples, Italy (528 NY) (Capodichino Airport is at Naples)

90th Air Depot Group - Hq & Hq Sq at Naples, Italy (528 NY) (This is the unit Bernie mentioned)

The APO number in parenthesis (528 NY), indicates that it assigned to I Air Service Area Command, AAF, Mediterranean Theater of Operations.  If it was assigned to Fifteenth AF it would have been (520 NY).
If the 302nd was at Gioia D Colle, Italy (520 NY), as John McCormack said, it would have been assigned to the 41st Air Depot Group, which was assigned to Fifteenth AF.  That does not seem to be the case.
post edited by mbee53 - 2014/11/04 17:51:41
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/05 14:22:08
OK, we are making progress.  Keep in mind, I am trying to draw a picture of what the chain of command looked like, starting from the 302ND, and going upward to Ike.
So far, I appear to be mistaken about the 302ND's association with the 15TH Air Force.
That said, I also appear to be mistaken when I refer to the 40TH and 41ST Bomb Groups, since DRS's were not affiliated with BG's.
Can someone tell me where I can find information concerning the 302ND, which apparently existed until 1983?  Also, Pop told me that he attended a reunion of his outfit(302ND...something else) in the late 1940's, somewhere in New York, possibly in Syracuse.  Maybe this will help.  I would especially like to find out more about 'Bugs', the CO of the 302ND.
Many thanks to all those that have weighted-in on my inquiry.
Thank you all for your service to our country!!!
Two six-star service flags are hanging in my vehicles' rear-view mirrors for you, and, for my father and his five brothers.
Live It!
Spence

mbee53
Station List Working Group
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/05 20:48:10
The chain of command would look like this:
302nd Depot Repair Squaron
20th, 36th or 90th Air Depot Group, or straight to I ASAC, depending on assignment
I Air Service Area Command - unknown commander
Army Air Forces Service Command, Mediterranean Theater of Operations - Brig. Gen. Harold A. Bartron Jan 44 to Aug 44, unknown after Aug 44.
Army Air Forces, Mediterranean Theater of Operations - Lt. Gen. Ira C. Eaker, from Jan 44 on.
Mediterranean Theater of Operations, U. S. Army - Lt. Gen. Jacob L Devers, Jan. to Oct 44, Lt. Gen.-Gen. Joseph T. McNarney from Oct 44 on.
Eisenhower had been Commander of MTOUSA prior to Jan 44, but became Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and Commander of European Theater of Operations in Jan 44.  He did not command units in the MTO after that date.
 
Interesting note on your father's CO.  They called him "Bugs" because he drew cartoons for Disney.  The Disney company did not draw Bugs Bunny, that was done by Warner Brothers.
 
If you go to the link provided by John McCormack, you will see various microfilm that you can purchase from Maxwell AFB at 30 dollars a reel.  The information may also be obtained from Maxwell in digital format (CD) at same price.  Even though there are several listings on that site, there is only one reel or CD involved.
Here is that link again:
http://www.airforcehistoryindex.org/search.php?q=SQUADRON%2F0302%2FDEPOT+REPAIR%09%09
post edited by mbee53 - 2014/11/05 21:23:00
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/15 11:14:20
Many thanks to Mark, who has begun to clarify my understanding of the Chain of Command that was present when Pop served in Italy.
Apparently, I misspoke, as Pop would likely not have been a part of a Bomb Group, but rather, an Air Depot Group.
All this said, it does appear as though there is some 'shadowy' goings-on with the 302ND, since we seem to know they were in Italy, but, there is not a lot of documentation about the unit, and, to what Air Depot Group they were billeted...if any.
I misspoke as well in referring to the CO, who was called 'Bugs.'  As was pointed out, the estimable Mr. Bunny was a product of Warner Brothers studios.
The reunion that Pop attended was in Syracuse, NY, sometime in the late 40's.
Now, if I can get my nose straightened out, and, if my singed eyebrows will grow back, and if the burned-off hair on my head will return, I will be in great shape.
The search continues...

Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/15 11:23:01
Many thanks as well go out to John E. McCormack, Jr., for adding valuable details for me to pursue.
I think it is somewhat humorous that Pop's unit operated under the radar, so-to-speak.  Pop would get a kick out of hearing that, I am sure.
RSwank
Division Member
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/15 13:17:17
There is a letter being sold or was sold on e-bay here:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/APO-528-ROME-ITALY-1945-Censored-WWII-Army-Cover-302nd-DEPOT-Repair-Sq-w-letter-/390799511169
 
You can download the image and enlarge it a little to read it.       It was from  Col?  Robert L Kinney to his parents.   His address was the 302nd Deport Repair Squadron, 90th Air Depot Group,  APO  528.     The letter was dated 23 January 1945.   
post edited by RSwank - 2014/11/28 11:02:10
mbee53
Station List Working Group
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/15 17:27:46
I was not saying you were wrong about the CO being called "Bugs", It may well have been the case as no one in his unit knew the difference or cared about where Bugs Bunny was drawn.  He probably knew it and just let them call him whatever they wanted.
 
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/28 10:28:53
OK!
Still more progress.  Cool!!!
Mr. Swank has posted a "V-Letter", similar to those I have seen from my Dad, that indicates APO 538, instead of APO 528.  I will check the "V-Letters" my Aunt kept to see if a similar address includes the same information.
As I read the "V-Letter" I could not help but wonder if Mr. Kinney knew my Dad.  It seems likely that they did know each other, since they belonged to the same Squadron.  Does anyone know how many people constituted a Squadron?  Pop once told me that on their days off, the guys would head into town (Naples), and have a nice meal at a restaurant.  Heading into town was a topic covered in Mr. Kinney's letter home to his parents.  They could do this when the fighting was not close by, thereby requiring a base restriction.
My Cousin's husband, who was in the Mediterranean Sea area in the early 1950's, told me that a light-rail system connected Capodichino Airfield to Naples.  This would explain how the soldiers could travel so easily into the city, on their days off.
Pop also toured the Vatican, in Rome, and, my Niece visited the city this past Summer, and, she had her photograph taken in the exact locations that Pop had his photograph taken.
What a small world.
Many thanks to all for filling in the blanks!!!!!!!!!!!
RSwank
Division Member
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/28 11:03:35
Ooops sorry, my typo.    It is APO 528 (as is included in the link heading name).   You can also see it clearly when you enlarge the picture and look at the letter.
Very sorry for any confusion, I corrected my post above.
mbee53
Station List Working Group
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/28 12:28:35
APO 528 NY was the postal unit for all units assigned to the I Air Service Area Command, not just the 302nd.
In Italy, all Air Depot Groups and their subordinate units, except the 41st, were assigned to the I ASAC.
If you wish to see more units at Capodichino, go to:
http://forum.armyairforces.com/AAF-Stations-in-the-MTO-on-1-May-45-m218319.aspx
 
post edited by mbee53 - 2014/11/28 12:50:38
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/29 08:06:09
Very cool!!!!!!
The following line appears in the list Mark mentioned above:
302     Depot Repair Squadron    AAFSC MTO    528 NY
Many thanks to Mark for sharing this information.
So, in summary, we can add the 90TH Air Depot Group the the Chain of Command that I am trying to build.  Thus far, using the input I have received from Mark and others, the Chain of Command my Pop operated under was as follows:
1.) 302ND Depot Repair Squadron,
2.) 90TH Air Depot Group,
3.) I Air Service Area Command,
4.) Army Air Forces Service Command, Mediterranean Theater of Operations,
5.) Army Air Forces, Mediterranean Theater of Operations,
6.) Mediterranean Theater of Operations, U. S. Army,
7.) ????????
As I continue to gather intelligence : ) : ) : ) I am also wondering about the dispute that occurred in Congress over who should control the Air Corps.  I have been told that two factions argued the case in Congress...1.) those who believed the Army should control the Air Corps, because the mission of the Air Corps was tactical...to support the ground forces, commanded by the Army.  2.) those who believed that the Air Corps mission was strategic, and that they should be operating under a separate branch, which finally occurred in 1947.  Of course, Fat Man and Little Boy each had something to do with that.
The occupants of Tent #38 were:
Alex Brady  Ohio
Emil Habeeb  California
Richard Holcomb  California
Johnny Lennhunt  California
Parkalay Rogers  California
Tommy Storm  California
John Von Ludwig  California
Please comment at your leisure, and correct anything I may have said that is in error.
Thank you all for your service!
Live It!

Spence
post edited by sbrady1919 - 2014/11/29 12:07:33
25Kingman49
Moderator
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/29 15:46:50
Spence,
You may have opened Pandora's box with your (gathering intelligence) request about the Air Corps debate; Army vs. Separate service which inevitably leads to a turf/sea war debate between the Army and the Navy. Much of this is discussed in The Army Air Forces in WW II, Vol. VI Men and Planes http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/VI/AAF-VI-1.html 
There are no good answers here but history stands as a testament that even if this early planning and organization was inadequate the Air Corps under the name of the Army Air Forces won the day against enemies foreign and domestic.
 
To add to this debate in "names" there are or were United States aerial veterans of WW II who refuse to believe they were part of the Army Air Forces as their discharge/separation papers clearly state they were members of the Air Corps. This debate has its headwaters in the early GHQ Air Force / War Plans Division (WPD) division of powers in the Air Forces / Service Commands / eta, to meet the aerial force requirements in advance and in the face of the growing world conflict, briefly described in this chart:

Early post war and beyond, their is little doubt that the nuclear "Centerboard" missions and successes of the AAF during WW II in the Pacific had a significant impact on the formation of an independent USAF, as they were now for lack of better terms the carrier of the "Big Stick" optimized for the world to see during the "Operation Crossroads" Able test at Bikini 1946. The "Cold War" had already started and this testing but lite the fuse further at the newly formed United Nations (in this writers opinion) and the rest is pretty much history.
 
Interestingly in the Army/Navy debate during the Manhattan Project USN personnel played a huge part in the successes of the project. Initially perhaps as the early weapons were based on naval gun designs to join the two sub-critical masses. USN names the USAAF / USAF should never forget are (on a limited basis) Captain William Sterling "Deak" Parsons (later Rear Admiral) Los Alamos Organization, August 1944–August 1945 Associate Laboratory Director, far more than weaponeer aboard Enola Gay, see http://www.aip.org/history/acap/institutions/manhattan.jsp#losalamos2 
Commander Frederick Lincoln "Dick" Ashworth (later Vice Admiral) Project Alberta, Operations Officer and Military Alternate to Capt. Parsons (USN) again far more than weaponeer aboard Bockscar http://www.aip.org/history/acap/institutions/manhattan.jsp#losalamos2 and last but not least on this short list is Commander Albert Francis Birch, Los Alamos, Ordnance Division, Leader Group O-1 (Gun) Little Boy's father on Tinian, see http://www.aip.org/history/acap/biographies/bio.jsp?bircha 
All of whom made the AAF look pretty superior during the AAF centerboard missions as their personal Navy goals did not interfere with winning WW II in the Pacific.    

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Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/29 16:40:38
Scott:
Thanks for your reply.  It gave me something to think about, in terms of the bigger picture.
Separately, a movie was made about the Heavy Cruiser Indianapolis, that delivered the Nuclear Bomb from San Francisco to Tinian Island.  Of course, we know that the Indianapolis met with a tragic fate, both at the hands of the Japanese, and sharks as well.
I am wondering though, whether or not you agree with me that a fascinating movie could be made which details the Bomb's journey from Los Alamos to San Francisco, and, moreover,  why the Bomb was not delivered to San Diego or Los Angeles, both of which had deep-water ports that were closer to Los Alamos than San Francisco?
Any comments would be welcome.
Thank you for your service!
25Kingman49
Moderator
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/29 18:28:11
Spence,
 
Yes, USS Indianapolis met a tragic fate after delivering (components / not the complete weapon) of the Little Boy combat unit L-11 to Tinian, somewhat covered here http://forum.armyairforces.com/FindPost/217998 
 
I would agree that a fascinating movie "could" be made for all the nuclear component shipments from the States to Tinian during WW II for the LB and FM components if it were produced by the likes of Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg in the caliber of "Band of Brothers" and "The Pacific", however the chances of this happening are slim to none.
 
The nuclear / non-nuclear component(s) shipments to Tinian may seem to have a disjointed path but I assure you there was a plan. Wendover Field, Utah (under control of the 216th AAF BU (Special) particularly for ordnance shipments under control of their Special Ordnance Detachment) was a focal point for MP shipments to Tinian (everything from screw drivers to more critical components were organized here) whether for shipment via rail to Hunters Point Naval Ship Yard or by air thru Hamilton Army Air Field at the north end of the of the San Francisco Bay. No other rime or reason other than these were the selected rally and shipping points for the MP to Tinian. Some critical components diverted from this Wendover path being air shipped directly from Kirtland Field (closest to Los Alamos) to Hamilton and on to Tinian thru varied points dependent on aircraft - B-29 or C-54, more on this subject here http://forum.armyairforces.com/FindPost/217600 
 
Map of MP shipping transport locations (some other locations identified not for the purposes of this post)

post edited by 25Kingman49 - 2014/11/30 06:16:46

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mbee53
Station List Working Group
Re: 302ND Depot Repair Squadron 2014/11/30 22:00:59
It really wasn't an argument over who should control the Air Corps as to whether they should become a separate service equal with the Army and Navy.  Billy Mitchell first suggested they separate the Air Force from the Army in the early twenties.  His idea was based on the Royal Air Force, which had been a separate branch of the British Armed Forces since 1917.  Many bills were introduced in congress, during the post WWI era to do that, but they were never passed.  It was also suggested to create a Department of Defense, which would oversee the Army, Navy and Air Force.  Neither of these ideas happened until after WWII.
The echelon above the MTO USA was the War Department General Staff, in the person of the Chief of Staff, U. S. Army (Gen. George C. Marshall). 
There were also Allied Commands involved in the chain-of-Command:
Allied forces in the MTO (same commander as MTO USA) - this controlled all ground, air and naval forces from the American, British and other allied countries.
Mediterranean Allied Air Forces (same commander as AAF MTO) - this controlled all air forces from the American, British and other allied countries, and was coequal with ground and service forces.
Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Force (same commander as 15th AF) - this controlled all Heavy Bombardment units, Fighter escort units and their associated Service units.
Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force (same commander as 12th AF) - this controlled all  Medium Bombardment, Light Bombardment, Fighter Bomber, Tactical Reconnaissance units and their associated Service units.
The Army Air Forces Service Command, Mediterranean Theater of Operations operated on the same level as the 12th and 15th Air Forces, but only in a service capacity.  It only contained U. S. Army Air Force personnel.
 Attached is MAAF Organization chart from Vol. II, Army Air Forces in World War II.
post edited by mbee53 - 2014/11/30 22:24:07

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