The 90th Fighter Squadron in the CBI
In the beginning of June 1944, while the 90th Fighter Squadron was based at Moran in India, the unit started to receive brand-new P-47s to replace its tired and obsolescent P-40Ns decorated with a painted skull on their hoods. On June 8, Lt. Col. Albert L. Evans Jr. (commanding officer of the 80th Fighter Group) led the first flight of 12 P-47s to come in from Karachi. Capts. Bulkeley and Daine; Lts. Cherry, Roane, and Pedersen; and six new pilots came in with the new planes. These P-47s were the first to be assigned to the squadron in this theater of operations. The planes were equipped with additional droppable wing tanks. Two days later, 10 new P-47s arrived from Karachi with five new pilots. During the following weeks, war markings were applied on the planes. Each P-47 of the 90th Squadron wore an individual fuselage number, from 70 to 99, and a blue ring around the hood. Black stripes were also applied on their tails for fast identification.
In the afternoon of August 8, the squadron was informed that the men should be prepared for a move to Burma within a month. On August 26, the 90th Fighter Squadron started to leave India—direction Burma. The four squadrons of the 80th FG were split between different bases. The 90th FS was sent to Tingkawk Sakan in Burma, while the 88th and 89th FS were sent to Myitkyina; the 459th FS remained in India and kept its P-38s. But let’s back up to the beginning of August.
Read the article from the October 2018 issue of Flight Journal, click here.
By Grégory Pons