E-MAILS FROM CARL C. JORDAN
15TH AIR DEPOT GROUP

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Subject:     Helton Hall
Date:              Sat, 15 Jul 2000 15:06:10 -0500
From:             "cjordan" <cjordan@premiernet.net>

Sir:

I am sorry that I can't tell you about M/Sgt. Helton except that I do remember about the crash.

But I do remember about the hall (Helton Hall) very well as I was responsible for the decorations...cutting and hauling the bamboo, doing the paintings of the semi-clad beauties etc.

My name is Carl C. Jordan and I was a member of the 15th Air Depot Group Repair Squadron. I thank you for the fotos they brought back a lot of memories!

cjordan@premiernet.net

 


 

Subject:    M/Sgt. Helton-Helton Hall ,etc.
Date:             Sun, 16 Jul 2000 16:38:17 -0500
From:           "cjordan" <cjordan@premiernet.net>

Hi Cobber:

!. As previously mentioned I vaguely remember the crash and the death(s). If I am correct it was either in June or July, 1943.

The decision had been reached by Gen. George Kenney of the 5th Air force that the bombing and strafing in the various island Campaigns simply had to be intensified. The B-25 medium bomber was chosen to be modified by the addition of (4) 50-calibers to the existing 20-calibers in the wings. The plexiglass nose of the bombadier's compartment was removed and replaced by a metal nosepiece with (4) 50-caliber machine guns. The first B-25 was test-fired at a small island near Townsville called Rattlesnake Island with the resulting crash. M/Sgt. Helton evidently was crew chief.

The modification however, later proved to be so successful that the project was assigned to the 15th ADG for mass production. A series of open-ended metal Butler hangars were errected with an assembly line set-up like a Detroit automobile factory. Eventually, several hundred B25's were equipped with (4) 20-calibers, (4) nose 50-calibers, (4) side-cockpit 50-calibers and even several with a 75-mm artillery field piece. Later, some historians have given credit to these modifications along with Gen. LeMay's B-29 fire-bombings of Japan as the Air Force's major turning-points in Japan's defeat.

Townsville, I am sure is mighty proud of Townsville Air Depot #2 as a major player!

Helton Hall - In addition to the visiting stars you mentioned I also remember Woody Herman's orchestra' s performance and their famous #1 hit:"Woodchopper's Ball" which nearly brought down the roof!

We were also visited (in the hangar and workshop areas) by Eleanor Roosevelt (on 22 August 1943) and Harry S. Truman (later President).

Mt Louisa - I do not recall any stories or rumour about underground tunnels or passageways. The 15th ADG's living area was at the foot of this hill. At the bottom there was a large movie screen and we used the side of the hill for seating.

Good to talk to you Matey!

 


 

Subject:    Air crashes
Date:             Thu, 20 Jul 2000 05:13:23 -0500
From:           "cjordan" <cjordan@premiernet.net>

Sir: I wish to report an additional air-crash @ Garbutt and to correct the date of the M/Sgt. Helton crash previously given to you by me.

1. On Tuesday, June 22, 1943- just as the 15th Air Depot Group had started to work in the hangars, Major George S. Aubert, Commanding Officer of the Repair Squadron, was killed in a crash @ Garbutt in a P-40. In addition to being Commander he was also a test-pilot . The cause of the crash: unknown. He was buried in the American section of the cemetary at Townsville with some twenty of his countrymen.

2. Correction: M/Sgt. Helton - Later research by me shows the actual date of the crash @ Rattlesnake Island was September 23, 1943 not in June or July as earlier reported by me. Three officers, all majors, and the enlisted man lost their lives. No one from the 15th ADG was involved.

Considering that I am a very old geezer and my memory is hazy and plays tricks on me at times I hope that I have been of some help to you.

Goodo to you, Mate

 

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This page first produced 21 July 2000

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