Information and photographs about Misamari

Text and photographs copyright ©

The first photograph is of a C-46 and taken in Misamari, our base. The planes carried drums of gas to China and then brought tungsten back as ballast. In this particular case, for some reason there was no tungsten on the return and the pilot braked too hard. You can see the results. The props dug into the runway, and the sudden stoppage was not too kind to the engines.

To clarify: they were referred to as storks, e.g. Stork #209. When they landed in China they would report back that way as their identification. I am sure that the Japanese knew all about this.

The other snap is of our base: one runway and a small tower. We all had to take turns running a switchboard in the tower. I imagine it was for the radio, but none of us were in actual touch with the pilots. I believe only trained personnel did that.

[editor's note: for a closer view of this tower, see Charles Morreale at Misamari]

The offices and barracks (or bashas as we called them) were of teak frame, infilled with straw and plaster of some sort. Back in October of 1943 we had a very heavy earthquake with lots of damage in neighboring communities; it was my first and I recall heavy noise as the earth rumbled and the office building where I was on duty just shook all over - hanging lamps swung widely and we all jumped through the windows and out onto the runway. Luckily for us, we had no window glass—just wooden shutters which we closed at times that the dust storms came—but these are other stories.

I am curious as to whether you have had contact from any other CBI'ers. Again, if you have any questions, I will be only too happy to oblige.