Joseph L. Long was born January 25, 1922 in Berlin, New Hampshire. One of ten children of  Raymond & Delia Long.  His family lived in Gorham, New Hampshire where he graduated High School in 1940.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on January 2, 1941 and upon his arrival at Savannah Army Air Base was initially assigned to the 17th Bombardment Wing  until his transfer to the 10th Reconnaissance Squadron which would be redesignated the 89th Bombardment Squadron on August 14, 1941. He was one of the first 3 people assigned to the squadron.  Joe departed with the Group aboard the U.S.A.T. Ancon from Oakland, Ca. January 31, 1942 and arrived in Brisbane, Australia on February 25, 1942.



When the Group departed for Charters Towers on March 7, 1942 a contingent of personnel from the 89th Squadron stopped in Townsville ( Aircraft mechanics, Armorers, Gunners, etc. ) for a month or more to help service the B-17s of the 19th BG. Joe noted that it was there that Clifton "Kip" Hawkins and he had a short visit with Harl Pease, another New Hampshire boy and and a native of Plymouth as was "Kip" Hawkins. After their stay at Townsville, this contingent proceeded to Charters Towers. Even though this squadron didn't start flying combat missions until the end of August 1942, they were kept busy with the task, along with the Group, of building the military complex at Charters Towers. Below are an image of Major Richard H. Carmichael, the 19th BG  C. O. and his letter of acknowledgement for the services rendered by the officers and men of the 89th BS that helped with the servicing of their B-17s. 


Captain Harl Pease

 " Kip " Hawkins


 Major Richard H. Carmichael

Letter of Acknowledgement



Perhaps the excerpt below from Altitude Minimum can put the situation facing the Squadron & Group as a whole into a much clearer perspective:

(The man who crews an airplane is a crewchief, member of the engineering department. He is not a Grease Monkey. He is a tolerant man, because the very nature of his work demands patience, forbearance, and a deep understanding of human nature and pilots. He is a crewchief, a radio man is a radio man, an armorer is an armorer, the gunner is a gunner. A straight line is often the shortest distance between any two points.

The Squadron was understrength when it first came overseas. As the new men came in to fill the vacancies, the responsibility for their training fell upon the older men. We have had gunners, with fifty missions and more, who have never had the benefit of a formal gunnery school. We have capable engineers, crewchiefs, who were overseas before they had begun to understand the first basic principles of maintenance. We have radio men of high rank and capabilities, without school certificates, self-taught. Armorers, ordnance, motor pool personnel, who had to get their knowledge the hard way. They had to work it out, under the sun, in the dust, the heat and the rain, in the open, unshielded revetments. The older men . . . older in experience and with army schooling . . . trained the new men until it was recognized they were capable of crewing planes, or ready for any of the precise duties demanded by the accurately built aircraft which are our squadron's weapons. The army is a school. It never suspends the training of its men. The training is only intensified on active duty, because necessity drives hard.)

Altitude Minimum Page 20

The Line Chief was a ranking NCO in the Engineering Section who was over the Flight Chiefs. The Flight Chief was over the Flights, of which the 89th had A, B & C and the Crew Chiefs in each flight. These flights are not to be confused with the flights of aircraft on a mission. The Crew Chief would be in charge of assigned aircraft and responsible for making the aircraft readt for the next mission. After each flight, the pilot & Crew Chief would be responsible for filling out the 2 forms - Form 1 & Form 1A.


Form 1  Flight Report - Operations

Form 1A  Flight Report - Engineering


The pilot assigned to the A-20A on which Joe was Crew Chief first was 1st Lt. Elliott Hickam. His uncle was Horace Hickam for whom Hickam Field in Hawaii was named. When the Squadron started receiving the A-20Gs, one of the aircraft he crewed was Izzy Cheesecake.

Note: These images are scans of photos in very bad shape or from the pages of Altitude Minimum. These are unfortunately all I could obtain from Joe as most of his military belongings was destroyed in a fire. GK



Joe Long marries Emma Towne in 1948






Joe & Emma







 Bradi & Janet