22 December through 31 December, 1944

During the subject period this squadron based at Morotai, N.E.I. and continued in the rest and maintenance status in which it was placed on 19 December 1944 by order of Commander Aircraft,. SEVENTH Fleet.

Normal rotation of crews between Morotai and Owi was continued.

Starting 24 December joint operations with PT Boats engaged in anti-barge patrol in the waters between Morotai and the northernmost tip of Halmahera were inaugurated. VPB-71 provided one plane each night for this purpose and four such missions were flown.

Lieutenant Commander KAUBER on the night of 24-25 December sighted two camouflaged enemy barges near the coast of Halmahera and sank them both by direct hits with 100-pound bombs.

On 26 December Lieutenant (jg) MACKAY provided Dumbo coverage for a proposed Army strike on Tarakan, Borneo. Lieutenant (jg) MACKAY orbited for fifty minutes without fighter protection at a point only 20 miles from the operational enemy airfield at Tarakan, a distance of 660 miles from his base. The duration of this flight was 12.7 hours.

On December 30 a replacement plane, Bureau No. 46529, and crew reported to the squadron. The members of the crew are:

Lieutenant Glen I. PALMER, USNR
Lieutenant (jg) Philip R. JOHNSON, USNR
KARL, Gerald K. ACMM
FARRELL, Robert H. AMM3c
EASLEY, Donald E. AOM3c
BRONNLEE, Thomas Jr. ARM3c
BEEBIE, Arthur J. S1c

On 29 December orders were received from Commander Aircraft, SEVENTH Fleet to move the squadron to Leyte on 1 January 1945. By despatch received 30 December the date was advanced to 6 January. At the end of the period covered by this report the squadron was engaged in preparing to move forward.




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