picked up on radar and seen visually, but they showed little inclination to attack and on only one occasion did a night interceptor open fire.

As has usually been the case with Black Cat operations, the weather was a major obstacle to be overcome. Winds up to fifty knots, extreme turbulence, low ceilings and poor visibility added to the other difficulties and dangers involved in long range missions over enemy territory at night.

During this entire period the squadron was based on seaplane tenders. The USS CURRITUCK, USS TANGIER, and USS ORCA accomodated all or part of the squadron at various tines, but it was the USS BARATARIA (AVP-33) that principally supported the squadron during the Lingayen operations. A real bond of friendship developed between the squadron and the ship's company, and all hands of Patrol Bombing Squadron SEVENTY-ONE recall with pleasure their stay on the BARATARIA and their happy association with her capable and genial Captain, Commander Garrett S. COLEMAN, USN, and his officers and crew.

Maintenance of planes presented serious problems at Lingayen. Water take-offs with full gas tanks and heavy bomb loads put a severe strain on engines that were already nearly due for replacement, and increased difficulty was experienced in keeping four planes ready to fly each night. A long step toward solving this problem was taken with the establishment of a service and maintenance unit at Mangaldan airstrip. This informal organization, with personnel drawn from the squadron, from PATSU 17-2, and from Aircraft Emergency Service Unit ONE, not to mention the numerous Filipino recruits, was under the personal supervision of Lieutenant Commander KAUBER who deserves the greatest credit for a




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