VI BOMBER COMMAND

IN DEFENSE OF THE PANAMA CANAL

1941 - 45

Areas of Interest:

VI Bombardment Command History:


Unit Histories:


6th BGp (Heavy)
  3rd BS (Heavy)
  29th BS (Heavy)
  74th BS (Heavy)
  397th BS (Heavy)

9th BGp (Heavy)
  1st BS (Heavy)
  5th BS (Heavy)
  99th BS (Heavy)
  430th BS (Heavy)

25th BGp (Medium)
  12th BS (Medium)
  35th BS (Medium)
  59th BS (Medium)
  417th BS (Medium)

40th BGp (Heavy)
  25th BS (Heavy)
  44th BS (Heavy)
  45th BS (Heavy)
  395th BS (Heavy)


Units Attached to VI Bomber Command
  10th BS (Heavy)
  15th BS (Light)

Crew Pictures:

U-Boat Sinkings:

Aircraft Crashes:

Index


This VI Bomber Command web site is dedicated to the crews of the first B-17s, B-18s, LB-30s, and B-24Ds of the Command- - from temporary bases where they frequently lived under the crudest of conditions, they flew far out into the Pacific. The fact that they never encountered an enemy does not detract from their accomplishment. Through the stereotyped language of a War Department citation can be felt the tension of the first days of war, the difficulties of these early flights, and the spirit of the crews that flew. They "participated in the pioneering of long range patrol flights and operations over the Pacific approaches to the Panama Canal without adequate radio or other navigational aids. Many flights were conducted at night under blackout conditions with take-offs being made under adverse weather conditions and flights conducted far out to sea where heavy tropical thunderstorms were encountered.

"The war in Panama and its outlying bases was insufferably dull. Monotonous tasks, poor living conditions, enervating climate, a feeling of uselessness-all combined to make the average officer and enlisted man of the VI Bomber Command restless. There was not the stimulus of contact with the enemy that was present in other tropical areas to lift the men out of their discontent. It was necessary on several occasions for commanders to take special efforts to make the men understand that they, by their very presence at the Canal, were playing a definite part in the struggle. "Maybe so," was the general reaction, "but why does it have to be us?"


For questions, comments, corrections or to provide additional information, please click here to contact William Conaway, Jr.


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