Monday, September 26, 2011

Jack Gardner WW II Records

The purpose of this data base is intended to support "Four Stars in the Gardner Window" , a short history of four Gardner brothers that served in WW II.

Jack Harding Gardner entered the US Army in 1940. He and his buddy Odell  Dustin  hoped to become pilots like Jack's uncle Ott. Both became pilots. Odell flew in the European theater, Jack in the Pacific.  In six years of flying service time Jack  started as a private, became a flying sargent, rated proficient in chemical warfare defense, armament, gunnery, bombing, photo interpretation, aircraft identification, identification of naval forces, visual codes, ward department aircraft publications and armament maintenance.  Jack could send Morse Code at 8 words per minutes.  Bronson Gardner has Jack's original Pilot's Route Qualification Record and  items including Lieutenant bars and flight wings earned as a Mustang (an officer than began military service as a private).

Jack flew with Lt. James Whitaker. Whitaker  flew secret missions, one with Eddie Rickenbacker.  Whitaker and Rickenbacker crash-land in the ocean with two others.  For the next 3 weeks, in a remarkable survival tale, sharing 4 oranges between them, all but one survived. The rescue made national headlines. Whittaker, kept a diary. The story was published in the Chicago Tribune, and in March 1943, the book  "We Thought We Heard The Angels Sing". was published. Lt. Whittaker gave Jack a signed copy inscribed: "Long Beach, Calif. June-9-1943. To my friend and flying mate in the 6th Ferrying Group  Lt. Jack Gardner.  Best of luck always, Jack.  Jim.   Lt. James C. Whittaker"

Jack also flew several secret missions , one with Eddie Rickenbacker since a letter was sent to Gridley thanking our parents for raising a flyer with excellent navigation and pilot skills.

Jack H. Gardner Army Serial Number 0 520 497 Appointed 1st Lt. 15October 1945
1st Lt. Discharged 16 Dec 1945
Entered Active Duty 9May1943, Pilot 1024
Separation Center Camp Beale, California
Flight Office, Serial Number T-18675, United States Army Air Corps
1942:  Planes Flown: Lockheed A28A,B17F Boeing,B25 American,B-34,B-25c,BT13A,C-60A
Locations Flown to : (multiple trips were made to many of these cities each month)
Aug  Smyrna
Sept Long Beach, Palm Springs, Dalls, Tucson, Nashville St. Paul, Cleveland,
Oct  Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Long Beach, Tulsa, Phoenix
Nov  Tucson, Kansan City, Dallas
Dec Long Beach, Albuquerque, Tulsa, Phoenix, Amarillo, Kansas City, Wichita,
       Palm springs, El Paso, Dallas, Oklahoma City
During 1942 and 1943, Jack Harding Gardner,  ferried many types of airplanes, and people, all over the U.S.  In 1944 and 1945, he began ferrying airplanes and people all over the Pacific, starting in Hawaii, but going to several Phillipine Islands, Samoa, Tarawa, Guadalcanal, Kwajalein, Okinawa and Tokyo and other sites.  Below is a summary of his Master Flight Log Book. (He kept two log books).  According to his log books, he also went on several secret missions.  I believe that at least some of these missions even took him to the Aleutians (e.g. Alaska), although I need to review his files more carefully to be sure.  Looking at this schedule, I have to wonder how he found time to visit  North Carolina,  and marry my mother, Christine, in Nov 1943!  Based on his flight logs, it looks like he had time to visit North Carolina in September and October, 1943.  He was probably on “military leave” at the time.  This would have been after Christine left southern California to return to North Carolina.  His flight logs don’t indicate any flying again until November, after they were married.  His log indicates he made several trips to “Johnston Field”.  During WWII,  the army had an airfield at “Camp Gordon Johnston” in Florida.  They also had an airfield in Goldsboro, North Carolina named “Seymour Johnson”.  Jack’s log book has many entries for “Johnston”.   But, the army also had a (now abandoned) airfield named Johnston on Johnston Atoll about 900 miles west of Hawaii.  Given the dates/times for the “Johnston” entries, he did not have the physical time to get to either Florida or North Carolina between his other stops in the Pacific..  For instance, one day he’s on Kwajalein and the next day he’s on “Johnston”, so he must have been referring to Johnston Atoll and the air base there.

Log Book Summary  Jack Harding Gardner,  Pilot
In 1943, Jack flew the BT-15, Douglas 53-D, UC-78, Cessna, A-20G Douglas, B-25G  and the P-38.   His original logs books (there are 3)  are in Bronson's possession, as well as originals of his orders,  discharge certificates and his  military record showing Jack was in the following "battles and campaigns": Ryukyus, GO  40 WD 45, Southern Philipines, Western Pacific, GO 33 WD 45 (coded number meanings are unclear).  Jack's decorations were Asiatic Pacific Service medal and the American Theater Service medal.  The record states, under remarks: "Eleven months, eighteen days Foreign Service in Asiatic Pacific theater and American Theater Shown.  Lapel Button Issued".

Locations Flown to : (multiple trips were made to many of these cities each month)
Jan Kansas City, Peoria, South Bend, Detroit
Feb Downey, Taft, Palm springs, Marana(Ariz), Long Beach , Pheonix, Abilene, Dallas,
Mar Palm Springs, Yuma, Kingman, Daggett, Midland, Atlanta, Albuquerque, Amarillo, Witchita
Apr San Diego, Tucson, Long Beach, Albuquerque, Amarillo, Kansas City
May Tucson, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Long Beach
June Daggett, Las Vegas, Ogden, Great Falls, Long Beach, Winslow, Albuquerque, Amarillo, Dallas, Memphis
July Long Beach, Sacramento, Albuqurque, Denver, Ogden, Cheyenne, Palm Springs
Sept Long Beach
Nov Got married in Salt Lake , Long Beach, Albuquerque, Amarillo, Omaha, Daggett, Las Vegas, Salt Lake, Pocatello, Great Falls, Winslow, Dallas, Nashville
Dec Sacramento, Fairfield

1944 : Planes Flown: B-25G, A20G,  P-38J, B-26G,B-25H, B-24,C-54ยช,C-54B
Locations Flown to : (multiple trips were made to many of these cities each month)
Jan Hawaii(Hickam), Las Vegas, Tucson, El Paso, Midland
Feb Midland, Dallas, Long Beach, Winslow, Tucson, Blythe, Oakland, El Paso, Abilene, Oklahoma City
Mar Little Rock, Atlanta, Greensboro, Newark, Long Beach, Kingman, Albuquerque, Tula,    Columbus, Newark, Long Beach, Sacramento, Fairfield
Apr Hawaii, Tutila(Samoa), Nandi (Fiji), Fairfield, Nonomea, Guadalcanal
May Palm Springs, Tucson, Midland, San Antonio, Brownsville, Winslow
June Oklahoma city, Pittsburg, Palm Springs, Tucson, Long Beach, Denver, Fort Worth, Amarillo
July Tonopah, Amarillo, Panama City (Florida), Palm Springs, Homestead (Florida)
Aug Atlanta, Homestead, Palm Springs, Long Beach,  Amarillo, Fort Worth, Louisville, Montreal, Romulus, St. Paul, Lanley Virginia, Birmingham
Sept Hamilton (Novato, Calif), Hawaii, Nandi, Espirito Santos, Nandi, Canton Island
Oct Kwajalein Island, Johnston
Nov  Hamilton)
Dec  Johnston,  Hamilton (Novato, Calif), Hawaii, Kwajalein, Saipan, Leyte (Phillipines), Fairfield, 

1945: Planes Flown: C-54B, C-54E,C-54D
Locations Flown to : (multiple trips were made to many of these cities each month)
Jan Johnston, Tarawa Island, Guadalcanal, Blak (Dutch New Guidean), Hawaii
Feb Fairfield, Hawaii, Tarawa, Manus, Biak
Mar Kwajalein, Guam, Leyte, Farfield, Hawaii, Johnston
Apr  Fairfield, Hawaii, Johnston , Los Negro, Tarawa
May Biak, Leyte,Guam, Kwajalein, Hawaii, Hamilton, Johnston 
June Kwajalein, Guam, Okinawa, Hawaii, Johnston (note the battle for Okinawa was just ending in June ). There was still sporadic fighting when he landed.  Jack helped evacuate “litter cases” and transport troops.
July Guam, Okinawa,
Aug Guam, Okinawa, Tokyo (Aug 31), Atsugi, Oki  (just 3 weeks after Hiroshima).
Jack transported many civilians to Toyko and other sites in Japan.
Sept Atsugi, Oki, Saipan, Kwajalein, Johnston, Hawaii, Hilo, Manila, Leyte, Guam
Oct Kwajalein, Johnston, Hawaii (Hilo and Hickham)

Jack's honorable discharges and his enlisted record.  which says in 1940 he attended armament Air Corp Technical School at Lowery Field Colorado are also available.

With respect to Alaska, Bronson believes that Allen, the youngest of the four brothers, is correct.  Jack flew several "secret" missions to unspecified locations.  Whether Alaska means "Fairbanks" or somewhere in the Aleutians is a good question. Alaska was mentioned in our conversations at home.  Jack talked about moving to Alaska and homesteading after the war, and expressed some regret that he didn't give it a try.  

Aug 28, 1945 An advance communications team flew in to Atsugi Airfield near Tokyo. Under the protection of Imperial Army units, this team set up the control tower and communication equipment necessary for occupation forces to land. On Aug. 30, Mission 75 began, and it ended 13 days later without a single fatal aircraft accident. The 1,336 C-54 flights brought the 11th Airborne Division, the 27th Infantry Division and advanced echelons of Gen. MacArthur's headquarters, Far East Air Forces, the Eighth Army and an initial ATC detachment into Atsugi Airport.
Aug 30, 1945 Special Mission 75 ferried 39,928 occupation troops and 8,202 tons of supplies from a staging area in Okinawa to Japan. The mission used 259 C-54s and 360 B-24 bombers as cargo planes and associated aircraft.
Jack's log book says he flew a C54-B and he carried 11th Airborne Infrantry and 3 Jeeps from Okinawa to Tokyo (Atsugi)
On September 3, 1945, flew a C54-B from Okinawa to Tokyo (Atsugi) .  He carried Office photographers and 3 jeeps.

Military History of Jack H. Gardner Family
Serial Numbers

Prviate 1st Class
Date of Event
Date Ended
Military Serial Number
Signed By

Enlisted U.S. Army
6Jan1940 at Fort Mcdowell, Calif
24 Dec 1942

Private 1st Class, Sp3c1, U.S. Army
Graduation Air Corp Technical School, 10th Air Base Squadron
6 June 1941

E.W. Duncan, Colonel,
Graduation Airplane Pilot
5 August 1942

T.L. Gilbert, Colonel; Calude L. Prichard, Major
Staff Sargent
Longevity Pay

Flight Officer

Appointed Flight Officer 24 Dec 1942
9May 1943

1st lieutenant, Air Corps
Presidential Commission to Lieutenant
8 January, 1945

General Golembieski, Adjutant General

1st lieutenant, Air Corps
Service Period
Began Service: 9May 1943
Discharged from Service: 16Dec 1945
E.J. Sorensen, Captain