October 1990, Vol. 73, No. 10
“General Roams Over Plane While His Boys Raid Japs”
by Associated Press (AP) September 21, 1942
GENERAL MacARTHUR’S HEADQUARTERS, Australia
A young American general aims at flying with his boys against the Japanese at least once a week and shows he means business by going on 11 raids in less than two months. He is Brig. Gen. K. N. Walker, 43 years old, of Washington, D.C., whose wife and two sons aged 14 and 9, live in the United States Capitol.
Boys All Like Him
“The boys in the south of Australia think the world of him,” said the general’s aid and pilot Capt. Fred P. Dollenberg of Philadelphia. “They figure things aren’t so bad if a general’s willing to go along and get shot at.”
Carrying a bottle of oxygen, General Walker moves about a plane as it flies on its mission at a high altitude, Captain Dollenberg said.
“He climbs through the bomb bay and watches the rear gunner or the side gunners blast at Zeroes and when we are over the target he watches the bombardier as he gets set to drop his bombs,” he went on.
“Wandering all over a plane like that isn’t healthy but the general figures he can’t tell the boys how to go out and get shot at unless he’s willing to get shot at too.”
General Walker, one of the youngest generals in the United States Army Air Forces, was in the War Plans Division in Washington before coming to Australia about three months ago.
The latest raid in which he took part was one against Rabaul, New Britain, deep in Japanese-occupied territory, last Friday night. Fires were started which were visible 50 miles away.
The general rode in a Flying Fortress on that trip. September 12 he was over Buna, New Guinea in what was probably the heaviest raid of the Southwest Pacific area. On that occasion, Flying Fortresses, medium and attack bombers and fighters destroyed at least 27 Japanese planes and probably more on the ground.
One Mission A Week
“The general doesn’t talk much about the raids,” Dollenberg said, “But he figures he can’t direct flights from the ground and tell the boys what they are doing wrong.
“So he goes along and directs a flight from the air. If a plane gets out of formation he shouts his orders over the radio to get the hell back in line.
“The general figures on going on at leas one mission a week. In less than two months he been up with almost every squadron.”