USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

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hoot72
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USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by hoot72 » 31 Mar 2021 13:03

Hi

I am trying to find out more information about the loss of B-24's on a (or several) bombing raids against an island in North Borneo called Balambangan Island, which is north of Kudat, Sabah (modern day East Malaysia).

We think we have found the wrecks of 2 B-24's (1 was totally destroyed on impact) on the island and possibly a 3rd that crashed off the island (ditched perhaps or crashed).

Would anyone have access to any records or archive material about bombing operations in 1944 or 1945 in that area by any chance or any information on loss of B-24's in Borneo?

thanks!
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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by OpanaPointer » 31 Mar 2021 13:10

Contact the US Air Force historical office at Maxwell Air Force Base.
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Takao
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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by Takao » 31 Mar 2021 13:48

A quick search found this.

44-40799 (22nd BG, 33rd BS, "Shittiningittin") lost Jun 27, 1944
following a forced landing on Balambangan Island due to
engine problems. Crew rescued by PBY.


Also the RAAF was operating B-24s in that area.

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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by hoot72 » 31 Mar 2021 15:32

Takao wrote:
31 Mar 2021 13:48
A quick search found this.

44-40799 (22nd BG, 33rd BS, "Shittiningittin") lost Jun 27, 1944
following a forced landing on Balambangan Island due to
engine problems. Crew rescued by PBY.


Also the RAAF was operating B-24s in that area.
Thank you. We think this was the aircraft that ditched at sea and the crew were saved.

We however have the wreckage of 2 more B-24's on the actual island (i.e. crashed on the island with debris spread across a 2km area near the Japanese sea plane base) that are unaccounted for.
Whever we went, whatever we did, we quoted the songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgUhjWJVVCQ&t=199s

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Takao
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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by Takao » 31 Mar 2021 17:19

hoot72 wrote:
31 Mar 2021 15:32
Takao wrote:
31 Mar 2021 13:48
A quick search found this.

44-40799 (22nd BG, 33rd BS, "Shittiningittin") lost Jun 27, 1944
following a forced landing on Balambangan Island due to
engine problems. Crew rescued by PBY.


Also the RAAF was operating B-24s in that area.
Thank you. We think this was the aircraft that ditched at sea and the crew were saved.

We however have the wreckage of 2 more B-24's on the actual island (i.e. crashed on the island with debris spread across a 2km area near the Japanese sea plane base) that are unaccounted for.
She didn't ditch, but came down in a field. The B-24 was strafed until it burned to prevent recovery.
However, the date is given as June 27, 1945.

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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by hoot72 » 01 Apr 2021 02:22

Takao wrote:
31 Mar 2021 17:19
hoot72 wrote:
31 Mar 2021 15:32
Takao wrote:
31 Mar 2021 13:48
A quick search found this.

44-40799 (22nd BG, 33rd BS, "Shittiningittin") lost Jun 27, 1944
following a forced landing on Balambangan Island due to
engine problems. Crew rescued by PBY.


Also the RAAF was operating B-24s in that area.
Thank you. We think this was the aircraft that ditched at sea and the crew were saved.

We however have the wreckage of 2 more B-24's on the actual island (i.e. crashed on the island with debris spread across a 2km area near the Japanese sea plane base) that are unaccounted for.
She didn't ditch, but came down in a field. The B-24 was strafed until it burned to prevent recovery.
However, the date is given as June 27, 1945.
Hi

Okey, that makes sense then. I assume by 27th June 1945, the Japanese sea plane base was no longer operational and there were potentially no more Japanese soldiers on the island by then.

I wonder what the aircraft was doing so far west of the Philippines at that time and to crash on this particular island.

The crash site would be a natural crash site as its flat and sandy.

Would you happen to know what mission it was on?
Whever we went, whatever we did, we quoted the songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgUhjWJVVCQ&t=199s

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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by EwenS » 01 Apr 2021 10:00

22nd BG as part of the 5th AF along with the 13th AF was supporting Australian operations in Borneo between April and July 1945. Landings were made at Tarakan on 1 May, Labuan 10 June and Balikpapan on 1 July. Operations were being flown as far afield as Java and Formosa from the Philippines at the time.
http://paul.rutgers.edu/~mcgrew/wwii/us ... un.45.html

Although the raid you are interested in isn’t specifically noted it will give you a flavour of what was going on in the South West Pacific Area at the time.

At the time 22nd BG were based at Clark Field outside Manila. The nearest USAAF base would be on Palawan at Puerto Princessa.

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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by hoot72 » 01 Apr 2021 11:08

EwenS wrote:
01 Apr 2021 10:00
22nd BG as part of the 5th AF along with the 13th AF was supporting Australian operations in Borneo between April and July 1945. Landings were made at Tarakan on 1 May, Labuan 10 June and Balikpapan on 1 July. Operations were being flown as far afield as Java and Formosa from the Philippines at the time.
http://paul.rutgers.edu/~mcgrew/wwii/us ... un.45.html

Although the raid you are interested in isn’t specifically noted it will give you a flavour of what was going on in the South West Pacific Area at the time.

At the time 22nd BG were based at Clark Field outside Manila. The nearest USAAF base would be on Palawan at Puerto Princessa.
Thank you very much for sharing Ewen. Yes, have not been able to find any information about the mission to this island for the bombing raid.
Whever we went, whatever we did, we quoted the songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgUhjWJVVCQ&t=199s

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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by Takao » 01 Apr 2021 12:27

June 27, 1945 the 19th and 33rd Squadrons staged from Clark Field to Puerto Princessa on Palawan for a strike on Singkawang Airdrome, Borneo.

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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by hoot72 » 02 Apr 2021 06:00

Takao wrote:
01 Apr 2021 12:27
June 27, 1945 the 19th and 33rd Squadrons staged from Clark Field to Puerto Princessa on Palawan for a strike on Singkawang Airdrome, Borneo.
Okey, this makes more sense then if they were doing raid at the bottom of Borneo down in Kalimantan (Dutch Borneo). Might explain why the plane crashed on Balambangan island then on the flight back (damaged?) or on the flight to the target (technical problems?)>

I am going to assume the Japanese sea plane based no longer existed by this period of time in 27th June 1945.

Thank you for sharing Takao. This is valuable information.
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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by Takao » 02 Apr 2021 10:54

Yes, it was damaged, one engine was shot out.

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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by hoot72 » 03 Apr 2021 06:55

Takao wrote:
02 Apr 2021 10:54
Yes, it was damaged, one engine was shot out.
Thank you for confirming. They made a good landing on an island.

Would you know if there is anyway of confirming the island was a former Japanese sea plane base before June/July 1945?
Whever we went, whatever we did, we quoted the songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgUhjWJVVCQ&t=199s

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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by Takao » 03 Apr 2021 15:45

I have been looking for confirmation, but have not found anything yet.

I would suggest posting this question in the Japanese section of this forum, as there are several knowledgeable persons there with access to Japanese sources.

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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by hoot72 » 04 Apr 2021 04:30

Takao wrote:
03 Apr 2021 15:45
I have been looking for confirmation, but have not found anything yet.

I would suggest posting this question in the Japanese section of this forum, as there are several knowledgeable persons there with access to Japanese sources.
That;'s a good idea. I will do. Thank you very muc
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Re: USAF Bombing missions against Balambangan Island in North Borneo

Post by Andy H » 04 Apr 2021 12:29

hoot72 wrote:
31 Mar 2021 13:03
Hi

I am trying to find out more information about the loss of B-24's on a (or several) bombing raids against an island in North Borneo called Balambangan Island, which is north of Kudat, Sabah (modern day East Malaysia).

We think we have found the wrecks of 2 B-24's (1 was totally destroyed on impact) on the island and possibly a 3rd that crashed off the island (ditched perhaps or crashed).

Would anyone have access to any records or archive material about bombing operations in 1944 or 1945 in that area by any chance or any information on loss of B-24's in Borneo? thanks!
Hi hoot72

Not my area at all I'm afraid but a thought springs to mind.

Why do you associate the wrecks with raids against the airbase and not returning aircraft from another mission, that crash landed there?

Regards

Andy H

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