Petition for Commemorative Stamp for the WWII Veterans of the "Burma Bridge Busters".
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The men of 490th US Army Air Corps Bomb Squadron, flew numerous bombing missions in China-Burma-India -- often called the "forgotten theater" of WWII.
On New Years Day, 1944, Major Robert A. Erdin, squadron leader for the day, accidentally discovered a very effective method for destroying bridges. His skip-bombing technique became so successful that the squadron earned the nickname "Burma Bridge Busters" from the commanding general of the Tenth Air Force. One correspondent wrote that the 490th became "one of the most specialized bombardment squadrons in the world." After the war the squadron came home to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, and was deactivated on 2 November 1945. In its three years of activities, the fighting 490th destroyed 191 major bridges in Burma, Thailand, and southwest China; received 1280 individual citations; and was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations. This meritorious service cost the squadron 185 crew members killed in action.
Their insignia is the "skull and wings".
This veterans of this group of proud servicemen have been holding Reunions for over 40 years, and have had a newsletter in circulation since 1972. The history of the "Burma Bridge Busters" is represented in the WWII Museum in New Orleans.
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