A “celebrity” from the 19th Bomb Group was the Suzy-Q.
One of the newer B-l7Es. It had been flown to the Pacific
over the South American-African-Indian ferry route to the
Pacific and landed at the Singosari air base in Java in
February 1942 to join the 19th Bomb Group. The Suzy-Q
arrived in Java just in time for the bitterly demoralizing
last ditch stand. The Japanese were “running wild”
through the Netherlands East Indies in a massive, seemingly
inexorable amphibious blitzkrieg.
When it became necessary for the 19th BG to leave Java,
evacuation began in earnest by February 27th. On this day
the Langley was speeding toward Java with a deck load
of thirty-two P-40s and was sunk. During the evacuation
process, the 19th Bomb Group had transferred some
members of the 131st Field Artillery to be aircrew
gunners. The Artillery Unit was fighting a delaying action
battle with the Japanese invaders in an effort to assist
the 19th BG to leave Java.
As they pulled away from the airdrome the place blew up
under them as the Dutch detonated the mines which had
been placed under the runways, ready for the inevitable
day when the enemy would arrive. Great fires filled the
air over Java with black, oily smoke as the Suzy-Q
raced for Broome. Australia - the new base
for the 19th BG...
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