You have landed at the website dedicated to Night Fighter -- a first-hand account of the life and times of a P-61 radar observer in the China-Burma-India theater, 2nd Lt. James R. Smith.  Smith and pilot Carl J. Absmeier were responsible for two air-to-air kills and a number of valuable intruder missions during the waning days of World War II, flying a craft named Jing-Bow Joy-Ride. In his later years Smith wrote a fascinating account of their exploits, richly detailed and full of facts and observations.

Smith and Absmeier, attached to the 426th Night Fighter Squadron, were recipients of a number of awards and medals, and the most successful team in their unit. They flew several significant missions even after receiving long-awaited orders to return stateside, including participation in a mission to destroy the strategically important Yellow River Bridge.

There is little good information available about the CBI, often called the "forgotten theater."  Join us in these pages for stories of history and high adventure.  We welcome any comments or questions and would be particularly delighted to hear from surviving members of the 426th NFS or other units from the 14th Air Force. 

Please forward comments to us at info(at sign)nightfighter(dot symbol)us 

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8

Chapter 9    Chapter 10    Chapter 11    Chapter 12 

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16

About the Author

Links and Contact Info

NEW! -- Quick Links!

Want to get the the nitty-gritty a little quicker?  The links below will help you navigate to all the action!

First air-to-air victory (1/18/45) -- Chapters 4 and 5
Second air-to-air victory (1/21/45) -- Chapters 5 and 6
First intruder mission -- Chapter 7
Plan to bomb Yellow River Bridge -- Chapters 7 and 8
Second intruder mission -- Chapter 8
Third intruder mission (Hsian) -- Chapter 9
"Jinxed" Hsian intruder mission -- Chapter 12
"Night fighter" becomes "day fighter" -- and earns a Purple Heart -- Chapter 13
New mission to bomb Yellow River Bridge -- Chapters 14 and 15

Copyright 2011 by the family of James R. Smith on his behalf