January 22 through January 31, 1945

Patrol Bombing Squadron SEVENTY-ONE continued operations from Lingayen Gulf , Luzon, P.I. during the period of 22 January to the end of the month. The squadron was based on the U.S.S. BARATARIA (AVP-33) and the U.S.S. CURRITUCK (AV-7). On 27 January the CURRITUCK was relieved by the U.S.S. TANGIER (AV-8) which took over the basing of half the squadron's planes and personnel.

 Thirty-seven night search and offensive reconnaissance missions were flown to Formosa and the southeast China Coast. These flights averaged 13.3 hours in length. The squadron was called upon for one Dumbo mission.

A total of twenty-six sightings of enemy shipping were made during the period and there were nineteen separate attacks on enemy shipping. In addition eighteen attacks were made on shore installations. The total tonnage of the ships sunk or damaged during this ten-day period was in excess of 20,000 tons.

On January 22, Patrol Bombing Squadron SEVENTY-ONE’s planes commenced using the Lingayen and Mangaldan airstrips for gassing and loading bombs. This procedure eliminated the necessity of taking off from the water in overloaded condition with consequent strain on plane and engines.

The adverse effects of operating from the water and with in-adequate supplies continued to be felt in plane maintenance and in the malfunctioning of equipment due to salt water corrosion and an intensive flight schedule. In six instances during this ten-day period bomb release mechanisms failed to function during bombing runs on enemy ships.

Action highlights for the period were as follows:

January 22-23 - Lieutenant Arcia O. TURNER, USN bombed ground targets in the heavily fortified Pescadoros Islands. Lieutenant TURNER made a single run at low altitude and put his four 250 lb. G.P. bombs and two 100 lb. incendiary clusters squarely on the target area of barracks, shops and warehouses and retired without having had a single shot fired at him. The initial concussion of the bombs was followed by a series of explosions which continued for four minutes and by large fires.

January 25-24 - Lieutenant Richard J. HARKINS, USNR bombed the waterfront at Amoy, China starting a large fire. In his first run over the target, known to be heavily fortified, his bombs failed to release. Moderate anti-aircraft fire was received on this run. Returning to the target after thirty minutes, Lieutenant HARKINS used his emergency release to drop his four 250 lb. and two 100 lb. incendiaries which started a large fire. The AA fire was intense during this run and four 7.7




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