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James H. Skinner, Marauder Man
322 Bomb Group, 452 Bomb Squadron

Portrait of James Henry Skinner in his uniform.

James in front of a barracks, probably in the states, possibly Camp Devens, July '42 to Miami Beach, Fla. with the 579th Technical School Squadron.

James' home in Northampton, Mass. in Aug. 1945 with his sister, Louise Skinner Beach, his father,
John Skinner, nephew master John Howard Beach and Cpl. James H. Skinner.

James in England or France with his .45
and a bird on his stripes.

James in front of his house in August
1945 after the war.

"James Skinner Returns From Overseas Duty - Cpl. James Skinner of 61 Harrison Ave. arrived from overseas Monday Aug. 6, landing in Boston on board the S.S Pierre L'Enfant. He cleared at Camp Miles Standish in Taunton, MA. and then went to Camp Devens.  Cpl. Skinner learned that his father and stepmother were spending a vacation at Swampscott, Ma. and he joined them there on his three day leave.  Mr. Skinner's daughter, Mrs. Louise S. Beach, her husband, Charles T. Beach and their son Master John Howard Beach, were also vacationing at Swampscott and they all enjoyed a family reunion after James spent 3 years in the Army.  Cpl. Skinner entered the service in June, 1942, going from Northampton to Camp Devens and in July to Miami Beach, Fla. with the 579th Technical School Squadron.  In August he went to Chanute Field, Rantoul, Ill. For special retaining in Teletype installation and maintenance and operation of teletype instruments.  In October, 1942 he joined the 452nd Bombardment Squadron at Lakeland, Fla. and on November, 1942 he sailed for England and joined the 9th Air Force as part of the 322nd Bombardment group and served with this group until his return to this country.  His base was in England until September, 1944 and then in France until April, 1945, and then in Belgium until he started home in June, 1945.  He served in the communication division of the 9th Air Force and his group used the Marauder B-26 plane, in the first of this type used in England.  Cpl. Skinner served three years in the Army -32 months overseas.  He wears six battle stars, also a unit Presidential citation.  He has been at Home in Northampton on a three day leave, but returns to Camp Devens for discharge in about four weeks. James H. Skinner was born in East Orange, NJ. Feb. 22, 1905, and came to Northampton with his parents in 1906.  He attended Northampton public schools, prepared for college in Northampton high school and graduated from Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Ct.  He graduated from Yale in the class of 1927."

Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, MA) July 26, 1944. Northampton Men Saw Service on the "Mild and Bitter" New York July 26. - Just returned from 100 successful mission over enemy occupied Europe, the B-26 Marauder bomber "Mild and Bitter" stands in the sun at Newark Army air field awaiting orders. On her sides Will Hamlin, public relations reporter for the air forces eastern procurement district and former Northampton resident, found the names of three other Northampton boys, among those of the 166 men that flew with the ship and signed her fuselage in vari-colored paint. The names were those of Sgt. J. A. Hodesh and Cpl. James J. Skinner of Northampton and Cpl. John Quirk of Florence. The "Mild and Bitter" set a record for British-based bombers. In its 100 missions no crew member was injured; the plane itself was never disabled, always dropped its bomb load and always came back with both engines purring. Now, 300 combat flying hours and overall hour count of 500, it been has flown back to America. Soon it will be taken to Patterson Field, Ohio, for study, inspection and possible salvage.

Stars and Stripes, London Aug. 31 Aug., 1943. "Marauders Hit Nazis in France" Mediums Strike in 32nd Raid in 42 Days of Offensive". It tells of 8th Air Force headquarters announcement that Marauders were escorted by formations of the RAF, Allied and Dominions Spitfires over the 42 days. They hammered the Luftwaffe airfield and fighter reserves in Occupied Northern France and the Low Countries. Some raids involved multiple targets totaling more than 800 tons of bombs dropped on targets.

Stars and Strips Aug. 11, 1943 had an article on "B-26 Used for Medium and low-Lever Attacks here." It gives some specs on the Marauder and then tells about exposing the secret of the new operation of the B-26 flying with the cover of Spitfires around them and P-47s above them. This gave then greater safety to go on more dangerous missions and at lower levers for more pinpoint bombing. The first such raid was on May 14 on a mission over Velsen, Holland was at tree top lever.

Patches James had saved.

James' favorite plane - Mild & Bitter

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