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Flying back to base in a driving rainstorm after an aborted mission

Strafing and reconnaissance mission to Iwo Jima

Flying over Okinawa on an intercept mission with no radar

Annotation

Dupuy remembers times being hard during the Depression. They always had food to eat, but there were certain things that were not right. They grew up on a farm in Bartsville, Louisiana. They ran a cotton field but also had a small dairy. Dupuy was a senior in high school when the war broke out. When he graduated in 1941 he wanted to join the RAF [Annotator’s Note: British Royal Air Force]. His father did not think it was a good idea and talked him out of it. He always wanted to be a fighter pilot.Two years of college were required to enter the Air Corps. After Pearl Harbor the requirement was changed from two years to an entrance exam. Dupuy passed the entrance exam. He took a civilian pilot program at SLU [Annotator’s Note: Southern Louisiana University]. Dupuy remembers the first time he got into a plane. It was everything he thought it would be. After taking the entrance exam, Dupuy had to wait for his number to be called. During that summer he worked. When September came aroun Dupuy got a call. He went to Nashville, Tennessee for classification center. One was either classified a pilot, bombardier, or navigator. You could state your preference but that did not always happen. He lucked out and was sent to pilot training. After Nashville, Dupuy was sent to Alabama for pre-flight training. Then he went to Camden, Arkansas for flight training. After Camden, he went to Newport, Arkansas for basic flight training. They were flying VT-15's. Dupuy then went to Craig Field in Selma, Alabama. They flew the AT-6 for training. It was the last airplane they flew before they got into fighters. At Craig field they got 5 hours in the P-40 [Annotator’s Note: American P-40 Warhawk fighter planes]. Dupuy's first flight in the P-40 was a little scary; they had a flight officer who had checked out the P-40. On Dupuy's first flight he took it up to 10,000 feet and put it in a dive. When he climbed back out of the dive his engine stalled. He pulled out of the spin and fell in lov with flying.

Annotation

When Dupuy got his wings, his sisters came down for the ceremony. After the ceremony he received a thirty day leave then he was sent back to Craig Field for assignment. They were assigned to the 7th Air Force in Hawaii. There were twenty six people from Dupuy's class assigned there. They went to Hawaii on a ship that left from San Francisco. When they arrived at Pearl Harbor they could still see signs of the attack. At Pearl they were assigned to a unit. Dupuy went to the 78th Fighter Group. When they got to the 78th, the real training started. They learned how to dogfight, strafe, maneuver, fly in formation, and various other flying duties that came with being in a combat unit. Edmonson [Annotator’s Note: one of Dupuy's squad members] was killed during practice. Two out of the four guys Dupuy was assigned to go with to the 78th were killed during training. He was sent to join the 45th Fighter Squadron. He remembers watching a movie on the first island he was deployed to.Dupuy's first combat mission was out of Macon Island. His first mission was a dive bombing and escort mission. They were escorting A-24 dive bombers. They were to bomb Milli. The A-24's made vertical dives and Dupuy watched them. On his first run he remembers seeing tracers going by. That woke him up quickly. They were bombing an airstrip that day.

Annotation

Dupuy remembers a mission to Joliet. They carried two thousand pound bombs on the P-40 [Annotator’s Note: American P-40 Warhawk fighter planes]. As far as they knew the plane were able to carry that much. Colonel Taylor loaded two bombs the day before to prove that one could take off with that kind of load. Dupuy remembers barely clearing the trees. He was always in the last plane for some reason. On his first run he remembers over compensating on his trim tab and it pulled him off target. Dupuy made a strafing run coming out of the dive. He remembers shooting at and destroying an antiaircraft gun emplacement on that strafing run. On Dupuy's 13th mission, the last mission before the 45th was transferred back to Oahu, there was a lot of bad weather. The target was completely covered in rain and clouds so they jettisoned their bomb load and decided to return to base. On the way back they hit solid rain. They were flying almost touching each other. Once in awhile they would hit a small clearing, enough to regroup and keep going. Two Navy dive bombers were coming at them and it startled Dupuy, he almost shot at them. When they got close to Macon they got into a clearing where they could see the sky. At 10,000 feet they made contact and the radar guy gave them a vector to fly along. Dupuy was scared to death flying in that storm. He accredits surviving to luck and training.Dupuy was transferred to the 333rd Fighter Squadron. They were stationed at Dulles Field. They were a part of the 318th Fighter Group. They were preparing to go to Saipan as soon as the island was declared secure. The 318th got to Saipan ahead of Dupuy, but they were eventually loaded onto a carrier and brought to Saipan. On the carrier the sonar picked up bogeys. When that happened the carrier would go into really tight turns. The destroyers that escorted them would throw depth chargers. While they were on the ship, every day two pilots stood on standby. The purpose was that if they found out there were Japanese nearby the pilots would be scrambled and sent up. At the last minute they discovered it was a friendly ship that had tis IFF off. [Annotators Note: IFF = Identify Friendly Fighter]. Dupuys first mission from Saipan was a dive bombing raid on Tinian. One cardinal rule for dive bombing was to not arm the bombs before they went into the run. One of his squadmates came in and landed without his landing gear and scraped up the bottom of the plane. Dupuy was promoted to 1st lieutenant after he transferred to the 333rd.

Annotation

Dupuy flew air support for the Marines who were landing on Tinian [Annotator’s Note: July 1944]. The invasion took place about three weeks after Dupuy got to Saipan. They flew dive bombing missions to support the Marines. When the Marines would reach resistance at a certain point they would request support in the form of dive bombing, strafing, or napalm. The pilots had grid maps that were the same maps the Marines had on the ground so they could accurately plot their targets. To make sure the did not hit their own troops they would make a dry run first and the Marines would call in adjustments. They used napalm on Tinian for the first time in history. They would fill the wing tanks with napalm and put a detonator on them. That is how they delivered the napalm. When the napalm would hit it would explode in fire. Dupuy personally dropped napalm on several occasions.They would rarely see the enemy when they dropped their loads because the Japanese were always well entrenched. Dupuy flew numerous missions to Guam, Truk, and Iwo Jima. Their squadron picked up some P-38s [Annotator’s Note: American P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft] on Saipan. Dupuy took a check ride on the P-38. After that he felt comfortable and went on a mission to Iwo Jima. It was a strafing and photo mission. The flight to Iwo Jima was roughly three and a half hours from Saipan. When they went to Iwo they flew with B-24s [Annotator’s Note: American B-24 Liberator bombers] who helped them navigate. They approached Iwo at water level and went across the island to take pictures first. Dupuy strafed a Japanese fighter that was on the airfield. There was a truckload of Japanese soldiers that Dupuy saw dive out of the truck. At the end of the run he strafed a barge that was on the other side of the island. The entire flight took about eight hours. Dupuy was very tired when he got back to the island [Annotator’s Note: Saipan].The Navy was stationed on Guam and their bombers were getting harassed by Japanese fighters on their bombing runs to Truk. They were asked to provide support for the bombers. The first night they arrived on Saipan they ate with the Navy. Dupuy recalls how nice it was to eat at a dinner table and be served respectable food. That night they brought the men a tub full of beer and they enjoyed that. Dupuy belonged to a liquor pool that got him a bottle of whiskey a month. The next morning they took off for Truk. They were escorting B-24s. The P-38s flew above them. Dupuy spotted a Japanese fighter at about 9,000 feet. He came in behind it and right when he was about to pull the trigger the Japanese fighter pulled into a cumulus cloud. Dupuy was able to maneuver behind him and take him out. He recalls landing a hit on the left wing of the aircraft and it exploded. When he pulled up, he looked up and realized the B-24s had dropped their bombs and he was in danger. He whipped out of the way and got back safely. Dupuy found out later that one of his fellow pilots who was shot down during that mission, was taken prisoner and spent the remainder of the war in a prison camp.

Annotation

Dupuy was rotated out after his escort missions on Truk. There was no system of rotation for pilots in the Pacific like there was in Europe. He came back to the United States and helped out in Bryant, Texas at an Instrument and Flying school. It was supposedly the best instrument school in the country at the time. On the weekends they would catch a train to Dallas or Houston and enjoy themselves. Dupuy returned to the 333rd [Annotator’s Note: 333rd Fighter Squadron] after a thirty day furlough in which he went home. During this time President Roosevelt died and the war in Europe ended. His squadron was now based on an island near Okinawa. When Dupuy got back to his unit he found out that a lot of his buddies had either been killed or transferred. They flew missions over Southern Kyushu [Annotator’s Note: Japanese main island]. Dupuy was promoted to flight commander. He commanded four plane flights. When he got to Okinawa he was promoted to captain. The plane he shot down over Truk wa the only Japanese plane he saw in the air during the war. One day Dupuy was on alert and was ordered to scramble because of incoming Japanese planes. He got to the end of the runway and realized his plane was not performing correctly. As soon as he took off his radio went out. He patrolled for three or four hours. They did not see anything but there were several pilots that were shot down that day. While providing escort for B-24s [Annotator’s Note: American B-24 bombers] over Kyushu, Dupuy remembers seeing an antiaircraft shell reaching its height and falling back to earth. They flew a dive bombing mission to Shanghai, China. They were attacking Japanese shipping in Shanghai harbor. Dupuy recalls a fire bombing mission to Comomoto [Annotator’s Note: spelling unknown]. They had already dropped the bomb on Hiroshima at this point but were instructed to stay away. Shortly after that they went on a fire bombing mission. There were about a hundred airplanes. By the time they got there the B-24s had dropped their incendiary loads and Dupuy recalls seeing the city on fire. Dupuy noticed a warehouse complex that was still standing and directed his flight to attack those. Dupuy was rotated out after his escort missions on Truk. There was no system of rotation for pilots in the Pacific like there was in Europe. He came back to the United States and helped out in Bryant, Texas at an Instrument and Flying school. It was supposedly the best instrument school in the country at the time. On the weekends they would catch a train to Dallas or Houston and enjoy themselves. Dupuy returned to the 333rd [Annotator’s Note: 333rd Fighter Squadron] after a thirty day furlough in which he went home. During this time President Roosevelt died and the war in Europe ended. His squadron was now based on an island near Okinawa.When Dupuy got back to his unit he found out that a lot of his buddies had either been killed or transferred. They flew missions over Southern Kyushu [Annotator’s Note: Japanese main island]. Dupuy was promoted to flight commander. He commanded four plane flights. When he got to Okinawa he was promoted to captain.The plane he shot down over Truk was the only Japanese plane he saw in the air during the war. One day Dupuy was on alert and was ordered to scramble because of incoming Japanese planes. He got to the end of the runway and realized his plane was not performing correctly. As soon as he took off his radio went out. He patrolled for three or four hours. They did not see anything but there were several pilots that were shot down that day. While providing escort for B-24s [Annotator’s Note: American B-24 bombers] over Kyushu, Dupuy remembers seeing an antiaircraft shell reaching its height and falling back to earth. They flew a dive bombing mission to Shanghai, China. They were attacking Japanese shipping in Shanghai harbor.Dupuy recalls a fire bombing mission to Comomoto [Annotator’s Note: spelling unknown]. They had already dropped the bomb on Hiroshima at this point but were instructed to stay away. Shortly after that they went on a fire bombing mission. There were about a hundred airplanes. By the time they got there the B-24s had dropped their incendiary loads and Dupuy recalls seeing the city on fire. Dupuy noticed a warehouse complex that was still standing and directed his flight to attack those. 

Annotation

Dupuy and his flight were coming back from Kyushu [Annotator’s Note: Japanese main island]. One of their pilots had been shot down near an island between Okinawa and Japan. Their squadron was called in to give close support for the recovery of the pilot. They were flying overhead and their squadron commander spotted an antiaircraft gun and instructed Dupuy to take his planes down to strafe it. They went in and strafed the gun. They made a second pass at the target. On that pass, one of his planes was shot down. Another one of his planes was on fire and it crashed into the ocean. Therefore now instead of rescuing one pilot they had two more who needed rescuing. The guy who they initially were sent to rescue did not make it.When the war ended Dupuy was glad it was over. It was kind of a sad time for him because he knew everyone was going to go off and live their lives. Two Japanese bombers came into Saipan on their way to the Philippines to surrender. They were escorted by P-38s [Annotator’s Note: American P-38 Lighting fighter planes]. The dignitaries got out of the plane and continued on in a American plane to the Philippines. They were originally going to surrender to General MacArthur in the Philippines but MacArthur had other planes for the surrender ceremony. Dupuy believes that the dropping of the atomic bomb was the right thing to do. It saved a lot of lives on both sides. After the war ended they were sent back to the states on a points system. He had a lot of points so he was able to go back with the first wave of people. When Dupuy pulled into San Francisco he remembered grabbing drinks with some friends and taking it all in. He was with three friends and they took turns taking each other out for a night on the town. Dupuy was sent to Ft. Sam Houston and discharged. He was asked to stay on but decided to get out and go to college.Dupuy’s commanding officer was Paul Folick. Colonel Sanders was the group commander. He remembers a lot of people wantin to get out and get on with their lives. He characterizes it as a good experience. Most of his memories are good memories because of the relationships he formed. Dupuy states that not many people he knows suffered from PTSD [Annotator’s Note: Post-traumatic stress disorder]. 

Annotation

Dupuy recalls a certain sense of invincibility that stayed with him. He knew death was around every corner but he kept it out of his mind. He notes that he did not have it as bad as the Marines landing on Iwo Jima. During the war he had disdain for the Japanese. He does not have a negative opinion of the Japanese today, he drives a Japanese car in fact.Dupuy shot down one plane during his service. Every now and then they would get a report on people they killed on the ground while providing support for the Marines. The war changed his life. He came back more mature and it helped him during his time at Louisiana State University. Dupuy took advantage of the G.I. Bill. He believes that World War II affected America in a good way because of how everyone bonded together. He comments on the unity of the media at the time of the war. He is very concerned about the future of his country. He says that the country today lacks the cohesiveness he saw in World War II. Dupuy believed that World War II had a positive effect, especially on the countries we beat because we helped to rebuild them. He believes it is important that we have museums such as the National World War II museum. He believes it is important that people understand the sacrifice involved in maintaining freedom. He is concerned with the history that is taught in schools today. He is also concerned about the amount of patriotism that exists today.

Annotation

Dupuy remembers a mission to Joliet. They carried two thousand pound bombs on the P-40 [Annotator’s Note: American P-40 Warhawk fighter planes]. As far as they knew the plane were able to carry that much. Colonel Taylor loaded two bombs the day before to prove that one could take off with that kind of load. Dupuy remembers barely clearing the trees. He was always in the last plane for some reason. On his first run he remembers over compensating on his trim tab and it pulled him off target. Dupuy made a strafing run coming out of the dive. He remembers shooting at and destroying an antiaircraft gun emplacement on that strafing run. On Dupuy's 13th mission, the last mission before the 45th was transferred back to Oahu, there was a lot of bad weather. The target was completely covered in rain and clouds so they jettisoned their bomb load and decided to return to base. On the way back they hit solid rain. They were flying almost touching each other. Once in awhile they would hit a small clearing, enough to regroup and keep going. Two Navy dive bombers were coming at them and it startled Dupuy, he almost shot at them. When they got close to Macon they got into a clearing where they could see the sky. At 10,000 feet they made contact and the radar guy gave them a vector to fly along. Dupuy was scared to death flying in that storm. He accredits surviving to luck and training.Dupuy was transferred to the 333rd Fighter Squadron. They were stationed at Dulles Field. They were a part of the 318th Fighter Group. They were preparing to go to Saipan as soon as the island was declared secure. The 318th got to Saipan ahead of Dupuy, but they were eventually loaded onto a carrier and brought to Saipan. On the carrier the sonar picked up bogeys. When that happened the carrier would go into really tight turns. The destroyers that escorted them would throw depth chargers. While they were on the ship, every day two pilots stood on standby. The purpose was that if they found out there were Japanese nearby the pilots would be scrambled and sent up. At the last minute they discovered it was a friendly ship that had tis IFF off. [Annotators Note: IFF = Identify Friendly Fighter]. Dupuys first mission from Saipan was a dive bombing raid on Tinian. One cardinal rule for dive bombing was to not arm the bombs before they went into the run. One of his squadmates came in and landed without his landing gear and scraped up the bottom of the plane. Dupuy was promoted to 1st lieutenant after he transferred to the 333rd.

Annotation

Dupuy flew air support for the Marines who were landing on Tinian [Annotator’s Note: July 1944]. The invasion took place about three weeks after Dupuy got to Saipan. They flew dive bombing missions to support the Marines. When the Marines would reach resistance at a certain point they would request support in the form of dive bombing, strafing, or napalm. The pilots had grid maps that were the same maps the Marines had on the ground so they could accurately plot their targets. To make sure the did not hit their own troops they would make a dry run first and the Marines would call in adjustments. They used napalm on Tinian for the first time in history. They would fill the wing tanks with napalm and put a detonator on them. That is how they delivered the napalm. When the napalm would hit it would explode in fire. Dupuy personally dropped napalm on several occasions.They would rarely see the enemy when they dropped their loads because the Japanese were always well entrenched. Dupuy flew numerous missions to Guam, Truk, and Iwo Jima. Their squadron picked up some P-38s [Annotator’s Note: American P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft] on Saipan. Dupuy took a check ride on the P-38. After that he felt comfortable and went on a mission to Iwo Jima. It was a strafing and photo mission. The flight to Iwo Jima was roughly three and a half hours from Saipan. When they went to Iwo they flew with B-24s [Annotator’s Note: American B-24 Liberator bombers] who helped them navigate. They approached Iwo at water level and went across the island to take pictures first. Dupuy strafed a Japanese fighter that was on the airfield. There was a truckload of Japanese soldiers that Dupuy saw dive out of the truck. At the end of the run he strafed a barge that was on the other side of the island. The entire flight took about eight hours. Dupuy was very tired when he got back to the island [Annotator’s Note: Saipan].The Navy was stationed on Guam and their bombers were getting harassed by Japanese fighters on their bombing runs to Truk. They were asked to provide support for the bombers. The first night they arrived on Saipan they ate with the Navy. Dupuy recalls how nice it was to eat at a dinner table and be served respectable food. That night they brought the men a tub full of beer and they enjoyed that. Dupuy belonged to a liquor pool that got him a bottle of whiskey a month. The next morning they took off for Truk. They were escorting B-24s. The P-38s flew above them. Dupuy spotted a Japanese fighter at about 9,000 feet. He came in behind it and right when he was about to pull the trigger the Japanese fighter pulled into a cumulus cloud. Dupuy was able to maneuver behind him and take him out. He recalls landing a hit on the left wing of the aircraft and it exploded. When he pulled up, he looked up and realized the B-24s had dropped their bombs and he was in danger. He whipped out of the way and got back safely. Dupuy found out later that one of his fellow pilots who was shot down during that mission, was taken prisoner and spent the remainder of the war in a prison camp.

Annotation

Dupuy was rotated out after his escort missions on Truk. There was no system of rotation for pilots in the Pacific like there was in Europe. He came back to the United States and helped out in Bryant, Texas at an Instrument and Flying school. It was supposedly the best instrument school in the country at the time. On the weekends they would catch a train to Dallas or Houston and enjoy themselves. Dupuy returned to the 333rd [Annotator’s Note: 333rd Fighter Squadron] after a thirty day furlough in which he went home. During this time President Roosevelt died and the war in Europe ended. His squadron was now based on an island near Okinawa. When Dupuy got back to his unit he found out that a lot of his buddies had either been killed or transferred. They flew missions over Southern Kyushu [Annotator’s Note: Japanese main island]. Dupuy was promoted to flight commander. He commanded four plane flights. When he got to Okinawa he was promoted to captain. The plane he shot down over Truk wa the only Japanese plane he saw in the air during the war. One day Dupuy was on alert and was ordered to scramble because of incoming Japanese planes. He got to the end of the runway and realized his plane was not performing correctly. As soon as he took off his radio went out. He patrolled for three or four hours. They did not see anything but there were several pilots that were shot down that day. While providing escort for B-24s [Annotator’s Note: American B-24 bombers] over Kyushu, Dupuy remembers seeing an antiaircraft shell reaching its height and falling back to earth. They flew a dive bombing mission to Shanghai, China. They were attacking Japanese shipping in Shanghai harbor. Dupuy recalls a fire bombing mission to Comomoto [Annotator’s Note: spelling unknown]. They had already dropped the bomb on Hiroshima at this point but were instructed to stay away. Shortly after that they went on a fire bombing mission. There were about a hundred airplanes. By the time they got there the B-24s had dropped their incendiary loads and Dupuy recalls seeing the city on fire. Dupuy noticed a warehouse complex that was still standing and directed his flight to attack those. Dupuy was rotated out after his escort missions on Truk. There was no system of rotation for pilots in the Pacific like there was in Europe. He came back to the United States and helped out in Bryant, Texas at an Instrument and Flying school. It was supposedly the best instrument school in the country at the time. On the weekends they would catch a train to Dallas or Houston and enjoy themselves. Dupuy returned to the 333rd [Annotator’s Note: 333rd Fighter Squadron] after a thirty day furlough in which he went home. During this time President Roosevelt died and the war in Europe ended. His squadron was now based on an island near Okinawa.When Dupuy got back to his unit he found out that a lot of his buddies had either been killed or transferred. They flew missions over Southern Kyushu [Annotator’s Note: Japanese main island]. Dupuy was promoted to flight commander. He commanded four plane flights. When he got to Okinawa he was promoted to captain.The plane he shot down over Truk was the only Japanese plane he saw in the air during the war. One day Dupuy was on alert and was ordered to scramble because of incoming Japanese planes. He got to the end of the runway and realized his plane was not performing correctly. As soon as he took off his radio went out. He patrolled for three or four hours. They did not see anything but there were several pilots that were shot down that day. While providing escort for B-24s [Annotator’s Note: American B-24 bombers] over Kyushu, Dupuy remembers seeing an antiaircraft shell reaching its height and falling back to earth. They flew a dive bombing mission to Shanghai, China. They were attacking Japanese shipping in Shanghai harbor.Dupuy recalls a fire bombing mission to Comomoto [Annotator’s Note: spelling unknown]. They had already dropped the bomb on Hiroshima at this point but were instructed to stay away. Shortly after that they went on a fire bombing mission. There were about a hundred airplanes. By the time they got there the B-24s had dropped their incendiary loads and Dupuy recalls seeing the city on fire. Dupuy noticed a warehouse complex that was still standing and directed his flight to attack those. 

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