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To the Officers and Men of the 308th Bombardment Wing and all Tactical Air Units which took part in the Wing's Operations: The long list or 308th Bombardment Wing combat operations, to which this Year Book is eloquent testimony, reflects a degree of loyalty, teamwork, and unselfish devotion to duty or such high order, it is a deep personal satisfaction to me to have been privileged to serve as its commanding officer.
During the Wing's operations there were many grim days when our planes were obliged to take the air repeatedly outnumbered by enemy aircraft. The men in the planes and the men on the ground met tests of endurance and fortitude which tried their patience and courage to the breaking point. Yet, they met those tests unfalteringly, refused to be daunted by a numerically superior foe.
The fighting spirit and combat know-how which the Wing developed set a standard for operational effectiveness that won the respect and admiration or the entire AAF, a standard that was splendidly maintained throughout the long combat history of the Wing. Air-ground operations were brought to a new high in efficiency. Enemy shipping was smothered and sunk with a speed which exceeded the most optimistic estimates. Japan's extensive network of air bases was progressively rendered impotent. Nip airplanes were driven from the air over every target until their only tactic was the sporadic, ineffectual Kamikaze strike. In the final phase of the war, the intensity of American air power rose to such a terrific pitch the Japanese were pounded beyond human endurance, their capitulation constituting the supreme achievement of AAF men and the planes they flew.
Thus, of our gallant airmen who did not come back, we may say, the time they bought with their lives saved thousands of fellow soldiers who would have been lost in the final great invasion of Japan. Because of them and their comrades in the air who carried on, the enemy was forced to surrender before the huge invasion force was launched. Their deeds in speeding the final defeat of the world's last despot nation will never be forgotten, their record will forever remain bright on the historic walls or American Democracy.
D.W. Hutchison, Brigadier General, U.S.A., Commanding
World War 1939-1945, Regimental histories, United States Air Force, 308th Bombardment Wing
Herring, Robert R., "From Dobodura to Okinawa: history of 308th Bombardment Wing" (1946). Regimental Histories. 100.
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