Capt. Irwin S. Oppenheim, ASN O-927486

Bombardier - Turala Crew

10th Air Force / 7th Bombardment Group / 436th Bombardment Squadron

(Info/Images Courtesy of Mitch Oppenheim, Son)



Enlisted: 5 Dec 42    Basic Training: Elon College, NC - 1943

Flight School: Casper, Wyoming   Navigation/Bombardier Training: Albuquerque, NM


Elon College - Oppenheim, Top row, center



From Mitchell Oppenheim -

Basic training was in '43 at Elon College, then flight school in Casper, Wyoming, where he became a pilot. Navigation and bombing training was in Albuquerque, NM. When his crew (Turala) received their orders, he was called back to Casper to be a Combat Crew Tactics instructor.

In '44, he flew to Calcutta and then to Myitkyina, Burma with two OSS officers, aboard a "gooney", a Douglas C47. The OSS officers were with the 101st detachment and were tasked with training Kachin Rangers in intelligence, sabotage and guerrilla warfare. My dad was assigned to the 10th AAF, 1st Radar Detachment. When they landed in Myitkyina, the airfield was under attack by Merrill's Marauders to recapture the field from the Japanese.

The 1st Radar Detachment were two B-24Ms that were refitted, not as bombers, but as "ferrets." These two planes were stripped of all armourments and bombs and were installed with the latest in radar detection equipment. Although the British invented radar for boat traffic on the Thames, our radar differed in range and signal strength.My dad piloted missions to calibrate radar stations located throughout the mountainous country, but more importantly, to locate Japanese radar installations hidden in the jungle. These missions were flown many times at night and could last 12-14 hours. Triangulation was accomplished with the aid of the OSS and Kachins on the ground. The coordinates would be given to the bomber groups who would then make their runs.

The only person my dad spoke about was his commanding officer, Colonel Paul Gleichauf. At a later date, my dad was transferred to China, to the 2nd Air Commandos, where he piloted gooneys. In total, he flew 42 missions.



Oppenheim, Sitting, far right

436th BS Personnel

7th BG Personnel

Main