Plane fell out of tight formation at about 200 feet and exploded as it hit the water.
REED, Purrine C. Pilot
San Bernadino, Calif 2nd Lt
SWALLOP, Paul C. Co-Pilot
Pittsburgh, Pa 2nd Lt
KNEELAND, Robert W. Navigator
Postville, Iowa 2nd Lt
BOELTER, Harold H. Radio Operator
Portland , Ore T/Sgt
PURVIS, Meredith Eng. Gunner
Otho, Iowa S/Sgt
ALDUINO, Frank T. Gunner
Brooklyn, NY S/Sgt
01 November 1944 – The Daily Courier
Lt. Paul G. Swallop Co-Pilot of First American Plane to make low level attack on Philippines
With the Fifth Air Force somewhere in the southwest Pacific. Co-pilot of the first American plane to make a low level bombing strafing attack on the Philippines in the Allied counter-offensive to retake those islands-that is the distinction credited to Second Lieutenant Paul G. Swallop.
Lieutenant Swallop, member of the Air Apache, daring band of B-25 bomber, took part in this unique and hazardous assignment early in September. It was one of the “feeler” blows preceding the inevitable main assault on the Philippine Islands.
The one-plane attack, while scarcely a crippling blow at a strongly defended Jap bastion at the lower end of the Philippines was nevertheless a success, resulting in the probable sinking of a small Jap freighter.
A volunteer for the mission, which involved flying a long overwater course through some of the world’s most unpredictable weather, Lieutenant Swallop was on the only one of four B-25’s on the strike to reach the target. The plane was piloted by First Lieutenant Robert H. Whitsell of Santa Ana, California. Taking the Japs completely by surprise, the air Apaches plane plunked its bombs on a small enemy vessel skirting along the coast. A very near miss was scored and the ship marked off as probably sunk.
Prior to this sortie, American heavy bombers had hit the area; and since then full-scale air assaults have been hurled at the Pacific location. But the exploit in which the Pittsburgh airman took part goes on record as a “first” for low-level attacks on the Philippines.
The other three planes on the flight were forced to turn back by weather and engine trouble.
Lieutenant Swallop is the husband of Mrs. Elynor R. Swallop. He is the son of Mrs. Susanne A. Swallop, 114 North Sixth Street, Connellsville, Pennsylvania. He was graduated from Connellsville High School in 1939, winning the Rensalacer Medal that year. After attending Carnegie Institute of Technology for two years, Swallop was employed in the laboratory of the American Brake Shoe Company, Pittsburgh, when he entered the Army Air Forces in August, 1942. After Completing his flying training, Lieutenant Swallop was commissioned in November, 1943. He joined the Air Apaches in April 1944.
During their 17 months in the Southwest Pacific the air Apaches, a topnotch unit of the Fifth air Force, have completed a score of 163 Japanese vessels sunk, plus 218 enemy planes destroyed on the ground and another 99 in the air.