Copyright Date: 1996
Out... The Bats Outta Hell"
Cover Art: War
in Pacific Skies
On 6 April
1945, 499th Bomb Squadron, 345th Bomb Group pilot Lieutenant
Francis Thompson dove his bat-nosed North American B-25J Mitchell
toward an IJN Kaiboken-class frigate, Coast Defense Vessel
No. 134, in the Formosa Strait 30 miles southwest of Amoy.
Thompson, piloting one of 24 B-25s managed only to strafe
in this low altitude, mast-height, daylight attack as he was
crowded out by his wingman who scored a near miss and did
probable damage to the frigate’s stern, and by the explosion
of a delay-fus 500-pound bomb that had been dropped by the
flight leader. Here Thompson pulled out of his attack in the
fast and furious battle – a harrowing example of the
dangerous missions that took the lives of 700 men from the
four squadrons of the 345th.