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August 28, 1945
Today in World War II Pacific History
Day by day chronology

TUESDAY, 28 AUGUST 1945

CHINA: HQ 443d Troop Carrier Group and 1st Troop Carrier Squadron move from Dinjan to Chihkiang, China with C-47s.

WESTERN PACIFIC: The occupation of Japan officially begins as an advance party arrives in the Home Islands. When the news of the Japanese proposal for surrender came on August 15, the 68th Army Airways Communications System (AACS) Group, 7th AACS Wing, received orders to fly into Atsugi Airfield and set up the communications equipment necessary to guide in the first contingent of occupation troops. AACSs mission was to provide navigational aids, point-to-point communications with Okinawa, air-to-ground communications for planes in flight, weather data, and air traffic control. Colonel Gordon Blake quickly assembled a special unit of 5 hand-picked men. Colonel Blake and his AACS men, part of a 150 man task force, flew from Okinawa to Atsugi with 24 C-47 aircraft laden with equipment. In order to carry as much equipment as possible, the load was lightened by carrying only enough fuel to reach Atsugi. Although the Japanese had surrendered unconditionally, Blake and his communicators still did not know whether some might still be hostile. The sight of hundreds of Japanese Navy guards lined up along the airfield was not encouraging to the occupants of the first aircraft to land, but they were met by a group of courteous, English-speaking Japanese military personnel. The navy guards were in their honor. The AACS-men lost no time in getting operations into full swing, and by 29 Aug, the Atsugi control tower was completed. The first planes to arrive on 30 Aug were 5 additional C-47s carrying components to set up the first airborne radio station in Air Force history. Within a few hours, the first C-54 aircraft of the official occupation forces landed at Atsugi and by mid-afternoon Blake's AACS crews had directed 340+ takeoffs and landings at the rate of 1 every 2 minutes. By August 30, Atsugi was the busiest airport in the world.

FEAF: Before dawn, B-32 42-108544 (KIA) crashed during take off from Yontan Airfield. Afterwards, B-32 "Hobo Queen II" 42-108532 flew solo to observe if the terms of surrender were being observed, and propellers removed from Japanese aircraft at Atsugi Airfield and returning experienced electrical problems causing a fire aboard and landed with one engine feathered and another smoking but landed safely. Meanwhile, B-32 "The Lady is Fresh" 42-108529 and B-32 42-108528 took off on a photographic mission over Tokyo. Due to cloud cover, the pair only took forty photographs with none over the assigned target area. Returning, B-32 42-108528 experienced mechanical issues and the crew bailed out with (11 rescued, 2 MIA).

RNZAF: A PBY Catalina from No. 6 Squadron landed at Rekata Bay for a picnic and to inspect the former Japanese occupied area. On this visit, one member of the group LAC Leslie Angus Ellen, NZ441559 went missing. It was beileved he drown or was taken by a saltwater crocodile. He is memorialized on the tablet of the missing, panel 7 at Borail Memorial.



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