Plymouth County

James R. McDougall

 

 

JIM McDOUGALL RETURNS FROM 18 MONTHS WITH “BLACK CATS”

James R. McDougall, Aviation Ordinanceman 1st class, U.S. Naval reserve, of LeMars, has returned from an 18 months tour of duty in the Pacific with FVPS-52, a navy search and bombing squadron.

He engaged in “Black Cat” missions on which the black-hued Catalina (PBY) flying boats flew at low altitude at night in search of enemy shipping. McDougall also took part in air-sea rescue patrols, bombing missions of various kinds, and anti-submarine patrols.

VPB-52 is one of three Catalina squadrons to receive a presidential unit citation for night bombing raids, and is one of the oldest patrol squadrons with the fleet. Before being sent to the Pacific, it had been based at the Canal Zone, at Natal, Bazil and in Bermuda.

In night attacks in the Pacific, the squadron blasted two cruisers and four destroyers with direct hits, and probably damaged another destroyer. Its bombs sank 40,000 tons of Jap merchant shipping, and either sank or damaged another 52,000 tons. In rescue operations, the squadron saved 33 downed fliers in 13 open sea landings.

Squadron personnel have been awarded four navy crosses, three silver stars, seven distinguished flying crosses, two navy and marine corps medals, two purple hearts and 114 air medals.  Their exploits in the Pacific began in Hawaii during June and July 1943. The next stop was Northwestern Australia, from which base patrols were flown over the Indian Ocean.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, February 5, 1945

JAMES McDOUGALL WITH VPB-52
Squadron Received Unit Citation

James R. McDougall, Aviation Ordnanceman First Class, U.S.N.R., of RFD No. 6, LeMars, Iowa, has returned from an 18 months tour of duty in the Pacific with VPB-52, a Navy search and bombing squadron.

He engaged in “Black Cat” missions on which the black-hued CATALINA (PBY) flying boats flew at low altitude at night in search of enemy shipping. McDougall also took part in air-sea rescue patrols, bombing missions of various kinds, and anti-submarine patrols.

He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Chester McDougall and returned to LeMars the middle of January to spend a 30-day furlough with his parents.

VPB-52 is one of three Catalina squadrons to receive a Presidential Unit Citation for night bombing raids, and is one of the oldest patrol squadrons with the fleet. Before being sent to the Pacific, it had been based at the Canal Zone, at Natal, Brazil and in Bermuda.

In night attacks in the Pacific, the squadron blasted two cruisers and four destroyers with direct hits, and probably damaged another destroyer.  Its bombs sank 40,000 tons of Jap merchant shipping, and either sank or damaged another 52,000 tons. In rescue operations, the squadron saved 33 downed fliers in 13 open sea landings.

Squadron personnel have been awarded four Navy crosses, three Silver stars, seven Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Navy and Marine Corps Medals, two Purple Hearts and 114 Air Medals. Their exploits in the Pacific began in Hawaii during June and July 1943. The next stop was Northwestern Australia, from which base patrols were flown over the Indian Ocean. Pioneer night bombing began in the Bismark Sea and off the coast of Dutch New Guinea.

In the spring of 1944, the squadron tore up air fields in night attacks on Woleai in the Caroline Islands, and on Wadke Island off the northern coast of New Guinea.  Air-sea rescue protection was provided for Army Air Force attacks on its over-water flights to hit New Guinea, the Halmahera and Caroline Islands. The same protection for downed fliers was provided the Marines in Strikes against Kavieng and Rabaul in the Bismark Archipelago.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, February 6, 1945

McDougall-Welch Wedding Sunday
Couple Recently Out of Military Service

Miss Yvonne Welch, daughter of Roy Welch of Marshalltown, Iowa, and James R. McDougall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Chester McDougall of LeMars, were married on Sunday, June 9, at 11 o’clock in the morning in St. James rectory, LeMars.  Rev. Linus LaVelle officiated at the ceremony.

The bride, attired in a light blue suit with white accessories and a corsage of white roses, was attended by Miss Mabel McDougall, sister of the groom.  Mr. McDougall was attended by Clyde Keough.  Following the ceremony, a reception for the immediate bridal party was held at the home of the groom’s parents.

The bride is a graduate of St. Mary’s school in Marshalltown and was recently discharged from duty with the Naval Women’s Reserve. The groom, a graduate of LeMars high school, was recently discharged from service in the Naval Air Corps.

Following a trip to Clear Lake, the young couple will be at home in LeMars until this fall when Mr. McDougall plans to enter school at Yankton, S.D.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, June 11, 1946