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Capt. Thomas Griffin (RAIDER) Nav. MTO B-26 Combat/POW
1940 | Illinois
Thomas C Griffin was residing in Cook County, Illinois and enlisted at Ft. Sheridan, Ill. on 29 July, 1940 as a Private in the Army Air Corps. Thomas was born in 1916 in Wisconsin, is White, Citizen, had complated 4 years of College, was working in the production of Bakery-Products and was still single at enlistment.
Thomas was selected for the dangerous but now famous DOOLITTLE TOKYO RAID as Navigator for Crew 9, the B-25 Whirling Dervish. After return from the historic and highly successful Raid, Thomas was assigned to the 17th Bomb Group, flying Combat Missions out of North Africa for Operation TORCH from Jan. 1943 until 3 July, 1943.
On 3 July, 1943, flying as a "Gunner/Observer" in the319th Bomb Group, 440th Bomb squadron in the B-26 Marauder #41-34872 when he was shot-down and captured by the Gremans. Thomas spent the rest of the war as a POW in Stalag Luft III.
Capt. Thomas Griffin, Nav. Doolittle Raid Crew 9
April, 1943 | Tokyo, Japan
DOOLITTLE RAIDERS Crew #9
Crew of 9th Aircraft Plane # 40-2303 - "Whirling Dervish" - Crew from 34th Squadron, 17th Group - (Bail Out)
Lieutenant Watson and his crew conducted a highly effective bombing of the Tokyo Gas and Electric Company on the shore of Tokyo Bay before flying on to China. Arriving over land after dark and in a heavy rain, Watson ordered his crew to bail out 100 miles south of Pyong Lake. Lieutenant Watson was the only member of the crew injured, and was carried to Hengyang in a porter by friendly Chinese. He was returned home where he remained hospitalized at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. until the summer of 1944. Sgt. Bissell returned home to take pilot training and earn his wings and a commission in 1943. S/Sgt Scott also later earned a commission.
Pilot Lt. H.F. Watson
Co-Pilot Lt. J.M. Parker Jr.
Navigator Lt. T.C. Griffin
Bombardier Sgt. W.M. Bissell
Engineer Gunner Tsgt. E.V. Scott
Capt. Thomas Griffin, Navigator, 319th BG, 440th BS, /POW
4 July, 1943 | North Africa
The 319th Bomb Group; 319th in Mediterranean ( http://319thbombgroup.com// )
Activated in June, 1942 as the 319th Bombardment Group
Assigned to the 12th Air Force
Trained in Martin B-26 Maurders and moved via England to N. Africa, participated in landing at Arzeu beach
Became known as the "Big Tail Birds"
Briefly assigned to the 15th AF, Nov.43 -Jan.44
Action in Tunisia: attacking airdromes, harbors and rail facilities
Action in Sicily: the reduction of Pantelleria
Action in support of ground forces at Solarno and Anzio
The reduction of Monte Cassino
Awarded Distinguished Unit Citation for a mission on March 3, 1944 bombing rail facilities in Rome
Awarded second DUC for striking marshalling yards in Florence on March 11, 1944 (TRANSITION to B-25)
Awarded French Croix de Guerre with Palm for action in preparation for and support of Allied offensive in Italy
Bombed targets in the Po Valley, in Yugoslavia July-Dec.44 Converted to B-25s and later A-26s w/o interrupting combat.
*****The 319th did not serve in the ETO. They flew the B-26 in the MTO until November 1944 when they converted to the B-25, until December 31,1944; were withdrawn from combat, and returned to the US, to convert to the A-26 for service in the 7th AAF in the Pacific, where they flew missions until the end of the war. They have the distinction of being the only Medium Bomb Group to fly all three Medium bombers in combat.
BOOK; "319th In Action" (Sold out)
2012 | Alabama
(ORDER information at the very bottom) Published in Sept. SOLD-OUT in Dec. 2012 :(
The "319th in Action" Courage under some of the most unusual and unpredictable circumstances.....Courage under fire, Courage at it's best.
The *319th in Action* is a book about a diverse group of men and medium bombers that flew in 3 WWII Theatres and broke all records for accuracy. Stories of great but absolutely ordinary men who went all out to gain and then maintain their record of excellence. The early naming of the B-26 Marauder as the the "Widow Maker" was a misconception based on a few early problems. The 319th Bomb Group turned out to be a group of men and medium bombers that were a "Go Get 'em - Mission-Accomplished Group". Gun-ship bombers and dedicated men who believed they could do it and they DID! The 319th was versatile as well as they transitioned through three medium bombers; the B-26 Marauders, B-25 Mitchells and the A-26 Invader.
This is the complete war diary along with truthful and accurate accounts of war; battles won, lost and won again. Heart breaking losses that will bring tears of honor and pride to your eyes - and personal accounts of hope, loneliness, success and failure and of the bravery required by ALL and for the good of all. There are breathtaking accounts of leadership, teamwork and throw in some amazing deeds accomplished completely on TRUST. True accounts of our WWII "every day Heroes". . . called that because there were so many that heroic men and events actually happened "every day". In addition to the war-diary, are official documents along with truthful and honest notes and letters home, as well as stories of fierce determination. It is stunning to see our "fly-boys" not only manage but triumph through situations truly unimaginable.
Action, Adventure and Courage. . . History has proven that the 319th Bomb Group was both determined and successful. Written and assembled by a veteran, assisted by his wife/Historian .... A GREAT read! This 3rd printing has ALL of the original book and with additional narrative (that includes a diary written by a 'lost' crew, an appendix, The Brief History of the 319th BG Reunion Association, and a second appendix that includes the complete list of our men KIA). These additions were also provided by the Veterans and one of the original Authors and Historian, Esther Oyster Queneau. *******A limited number of copies are available from Joseph Connaughton, Huntsville, Al 35802 for $25.00 per copy plus $5.00 shipping charge. ***************************************************
Barbi Ennis Connolly, 319th and 321st Bomb Groups Historian in the 57th Bomb Wing, PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com