Scott County

T/Sgt. Francis M. Packard Jr.




T. Sgt. Francis Packard Back After 63 Bombing Missions
Former Mason Cityan Took Part in Attacks on Japs in New Guinea

Lucky to be home without a scratch after 210 combat hours in the air and 63 Jap bombing attacks in New Guinea, is T/Sgt. Francis Packard of Bettendorf, whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Packard sr, formerly lived in Mason City. Mrs. Clifton Johnson, 222 1st st. N.E., Mason City, is a cousin.

Sgt. Packard told friends that during his many air missions he never saw a Zero except those on the ground. And hundreds of them were pretty well shot up by our boys.

As a member of his squadron, Sgt. Packard wears the emblems of 5 presidential citations and 3 battle stars. Three more citations and 2 additional battle stars are on the way.

The worst of the 63 Japanese bombing raids he was in was when Port Moresby was attacked by 125 planes April 12, 1943.

“Luckily our men,” he said, “the Japs have a high percentage of duds. The worst of their bombs, in my experience, are the daisy cutters, containing razor blades, wire and other shrapnel to cut down everything with a 75-foot radius. One of those razor blades will cut through a tree.”

He enlisted in the Army July 1, 1941, and went overseas in June, 1942.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, September 25, 1944 (photo included)