EDWARD L. SQUIRES|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
Edward L. Squires
3419 Eccles Avenue
Ogden, Utah 84403
January 29, 2000
Here is a copy of the outline covering the functions of the 806th Chemical Company (air operations) taken from my 201 file. Sorry it is not more legible, but it was taken from poor carbon copies. It is yours to keep and use in any manner you see fit.
I might add that this system of one Chemical Company handling two bomb groups as explained here was standard throughout the 8th Army Air Force. Our satellite station was the 392nd at Wendling.
Yes, I have supplied Jerry Folsom with my biography some time ago. This is a huge, but worthwhile project, and I want to thank you folks engaged in it and wish you all great success.
Some time ago I sent you a few photos relating to the 806th of which you made copies and returned the originals to me. If there is any other way I can be of help in your labors, please let me know.
Edward L. Squires
806TH CHEMICAL CO. (AO)
AAF 115 APO 558
FUNCTIONS OF THE 806TH CHEMICAL COMPANY
This is to introduce you to the "Skunk Works," the 806th Chemical Company, Air Operations. We are divided into five departments, the (1) bomb handlers, (2) smoke bomb refilling point section, (3) reporting unit, (4) transportation department, and (5) supply department. Our authorization is two officers and 65 enlisted men, comprising one-half of a Chemical Company, the other half forming a detachment, which is located at another base. We have been called on to furnish men for other duties and at present, our strength is two officers and 54 on listed men.
We are here to service incendiary bombs and our purpose is to have them available at all times. Each month we strive to pass our record months in the expenditure of chemical bombs. To distinguish between the various types of chemical bombs, and the personnel concerned in servicing them, we have the 100-lb. oil bomb and the 500-lb. cluster magnesium bomb, wherein are the duties of our bomb handlers. To date, our record month of expenditures on these two types of incendiaries are: for the 100-lb. oil bomb, March 1944 with 243 tons expended, and for the 500-lb. cluster, October 1944 with 284 tons expended. During these two months our bomb handlers were consistently on the "move." These men have often been pooled with Ordnance personnel since the handling, leading and storage of chemical and high explosive bombs have much in common.
One department of which we are particularly proud is our smoke bomb refilling point section. At this point it would be well to elaborate on the duties of this group of men and the need and purpose of the smoke bomb. This work is done by a small number of men, one non-com and about four EM. Two men who are qualified to do this work, work with the bomb handlers unless needed to fill in when one or more of the regular workers are not available for duty. Approximately a year ago we were called on to furnish a suitable type of sky marker for pathfinder planes, and at that time our original filling point was set up. 100-lb. bomb casings had to be filled with a mild smoke producing acid. After ironing out many difficulties the refilling point section is now a smooth, efficiently run department. The largest number of these bombs to be used in a single day was 39. This took place on D-Day. On the day before Christmas, 1944, 27 were dropped on a single mission,. This day also fell within our record month, to date, December 1944 when 151 were expended. Every mission carries a number of smoke bombs, and during the busy season our refilling point section might remind one of the corner of "Hollywood and Vine." We take our hats off to these boys who have done a splendid job.
Now we come to our "White Collar boys, the reporting section. Although not much credit has been given for this type of work, these men have worked consistently in preparing records, and submitting all the reports that are required of military units. It is necessary to make reports and keep stock records on all CWS munitions. In many instances, when the planes would return late from a mission, long hours would be kept compiling accurate information to be forwarded to higher headquarters so they might have a complete picture of expenditures by a specified time. Our clerks, in addition to their normal duties, have often given their time for a good cause. In the War Bond drives they have done exceptionally good work in helping us go over our quota. Although the kind of work done by the reporting unit is, in many respects, routine and unnoticed the men continually turn in neat and accurate reports.
As we have special purpose vehicles for our type of work, we do our own dispatching. A motor pool is maintained and the mechanics keep our trucks and trailers ready to roll at all times. The transportation department is most important in that we are dependent on them for the transporting of munitions. The trucks make regular trips to the various depots so that our stock level may be adequate for our needs at all times. As far as practical, drivers are assigned to specific trucks, and it is their responsibility to see that their vehicles are kept clean, and to report all mechanical deficiencies to the motor pool. Periodic inspections are made by our motor sergeant to insure first class running conditions in all our vehicles. Beyond their regular duties our drivers have consistently given their time by assisting the station motor pool in picking up crews returning from missions and carrying them from the dispersals to the tech site. Our "Keep 'em Rollin'" personnel maintain a most satisfactory transportation department and we give credit to them for a good job.
Although it has taken us quite a while to get around to relating the duties of our supply department, their work is none the less important. The acid test for our men in the supply was back in March and April 1943, when we were preparing for our journey over seas. Thanks to these men our movement of equipment was handled in such a manner that nothing was lost or damaged during the time enroute. Packing and crating is a major problem for any military organization. One problem faced by our supply department which was not contemplated was the adequate distribution of equipment between our half of the company and our detachment. Since the authorization was not set up for two separate units, it was necessary to distribute these supplies in such a manner as the various needs of the two units required. To get away from the duties required of the supply department, though important and efficiently handled, it would be well to note some of the duties done by the supply for the convenience of the men and insuring their part for a smooth running organization. All minor repairs to ablutions and barracks; furnishing the everyday needs of all members of our unit; all our painting for the conservation and better appearance of our site, is also part of their efforts. If any members haven't got what it takes, their problems are soon solved by a quick visit to the supply window.
We have related the duties of the various sections of our organization. All personnel involved have been trained for the fundamental duties required of members of a Chemical Company and these men can be called on for this work at any time. We have a few members who, though not available for immediate duty, have also been trained to do their part should the need arise. These men, for example, the station tailor and a motion picture projectionist, perform duties that are important to all personnel on the station.
Due to activities not anticipated prior to our arrival here we have been faced with many problems. As the use of incendiary bombs increased, the problem of night work in delivering these bombs had to be equally distributed among our bomb handlers. Alert squads were set up and the men knew what nights they were to be available for duty.
To speed the servicing of our bombs and to save as much strain on the men as possible, many additional devices were found to be needed. As this type of equipment didn't fall under our authorization, the ingenuity of our officers and men in improvising proved a credit to our outfit.
We have consistently been faced with a shortage of some component parts for our bombs. As the types of fuses and the loading procedures changed, different types of arming wires were needed. Our bomb handlers make at least 75% of all these wires used with incendiary bombs.
At present, our major problem is experimenting with a new type of chemical munitions - napalm gel. In brief, this is a highly inflammable liquid, to be used in bomb bay tanks and dropped by our Liberators. The 44th Bombardment Group, and our unit can take pride in being chosen to develop the possibilities of this new type of bombing. The 44th for previous operations involving bomb bay tanks, and our company for past experiences in pioneering the use of incendiary bombs. We look for excellent results from this work. Other Chemical Companies of the Division have sent men to study our methods of handling napalm. With this new type of weapon our aim is to have the bomb bay tanks filled and loaded when the "green light" is given.
Since the larger portion of our work is done at the bomb dump, we are faced with the constant problem of maintaining adequate safety precautions, meeting requirements of higher headquarters, and storing bombs as to make them easily accessible. As there is a limited amount of space afforded us in the bomb dump, and the different types of incendiary bombs must be stored a specified number of yards apart, constant surveillance is necessary so that all existing standards will be met. Cleanliness is absolutely essential to avoid accidents and we invite inspection of our bomb dump at any time. We have seen many improvements in our bomb dump. The widening of roads has greatly speeded the movement of bombs from the dump to the dispersals. Arrangements are now being made to lay hardstands for our 500-lb. incendiary clusters. The station has directly benefited from the large wooden boxes that these clusters are shipped in. These boxes take excellent lumber for crating purposes.
In general, when a Chemical Company is referred to, gas warfare is brought to mind as the type of work performed. Few realize that these units have a direct responsibility for every incendiary bomb that is dropped on the enemy. We do know that we are here to "deliver" in the event gas warfare should develop and we have been extensively trained to meet these requirements should the need arise. We have been briefed as to the transportation and storage of gas bombs, safety precautions to be taken, ability to protect ourselves and to assist all personnel in problems pertaining to gas warfare, both offensive and defensive. This type of work we consider as in addition to our other duties. We all know our primary purpose in being here - to service Liberators with incendiary bombs; to see that there are no delays when our munitions are needed. Our aim is to accomplish this end and know that we have done our part in brining the war to a successful conclusion.
806th Chem. Officers
Capt. Roxie J. Marotta 0-1036626 4/44
1st Lt. Bernard J. Wolfe 0-1037785 4/44
2 Lt. Irvine G. Smith 0-1039685 8/44
as of October 1944:
Morotta, 1st Lt. Oliver W. Rusling o-1036706,
Irving G. Smith, now 1st Lt. and added:
Edward L. Squires 1st Lt. 0-1037317