TO : Commanding General, 97th Combat Bombardment Wing (L),
APO 140, U. S. Army.
1. At approximately noon, 30 September 1944, this Group was notified that it was to be converted to an A-26 Group in the near future. That evening, at approximately 1800, sixteen A-26 airplanes, plus crews, arrived at Station A-55. During the next few days five more aircraft were destined to arrive. Although the newly arrived crews were not certain of their mission or status, plans were immediately laid for rapid conversion of the Group.
2. Because the Group was to remain fully operational, it was decided to divide the training load equally among the four Squadrons. One six-crew flight from each Squadron was taken off operations, and these flights were assigned to the A-26 Training Unit for conversion. In addition to the combat crews thus assigned, one-fourth of the engineering personnel from each Squadron were assigned to the A-26's for training. This meant the Group was to conduct a full time combat operations course while at three-fourths strength, conduct an A-20 indoctrination course for newly arrived replacement crews, and, in addition, conduct an operational training unit for rapid training of an A-26 Combat Group.
3. On 1 October 1944 a minimum standard of training was set up as follows:
a. 4 hours cockpit familiarization.
b. Complete Questionnaire.
c. 5 hours transition, including a one-hour orientation ride.
d. 5 hours of 3-plane formation.
e. 2 1/2 hours of 6-plane formation, including join-up and landing procedures.
f. 2 1/2 hours of 18-plane formation, to include evasive action, turns, and cross-overs.