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Oregon Local and Selected International History News for 2010

USS Missouri Out of Dry-Dock

Text Box:  
The USS New Jersey (BB 62) and Missouri – BB 63 (behind) - at Bremerton Washington before BB 62  moved to Hawaii and BB 63 went to New Jersey. The anchor has all 4 BB IOWA class names on it.

After a three month refinish of the hull and other work in a Pearl Harbor dry-dock -- which the Japanese failed to destroy along with all the sub and fuel depot areas on December 7, 1941 -- the USS Missouri is back in water next to the USS Arizona. The USS Arizona was the only battleship that could not be returned to service after the Japanese sneak attack (a few other smaller ships also were un-repairable) and the USS Missouri was the ship where the Empire of Japan signed the formal surrender documents in Tokyo Bay which ended armed resistance of the last enemy state of World War II on September 6, 1945.

Text Box:

There is a plaque on the deck marking the exact spot where General Douglas MacArthur accepted the surrender. General MacArthur was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on 1 April 1942.

 

 

 

Only Official Dual Atomic Bomb Survivor Dies at 93

Text Box:  
Enola Gay in the Smithsonian museum at 
Dulles International Airport.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi had the distinct (bad) luck of being in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki when both were bombed using atomic weapons. He was burned by the Hiroshima bomb, spent the night in hospital, went back home to Nagasaki, and was there when Bock’s Car dropped the 2nd atomic bomb (of a totally different design than the one dropped by the Enola Gay on August 6, 1945). He was certified by the Japanese Government as being the only person – though later on there have been confirmed cases of others who were in both cities but none certified by the Japanese Government.

Amelia Earhart Presentation Seattle Museum of Flight

The Seattle Museum of Flight on Saturday the 23rd of January at 2 PM will have Oregon-native Elgen M. Long, author and consultant on the recent movie about her becoming an aviatrix, give a presentation on the movie and the book. Cost is $55 for Museum members, $70 for general admission and $30 for designated drivers.

Tiger Moth Found in Canadian Azure Lake

When looking to recover a plane that went through the ice last year in 500 feet of water, they discovered a Tiger Moth at the bottom of the lake also. Now they are trying to raise both of them back up.

http://www.bclocalnews.com/bc_thompson_nicola/clearwatertimes/news/79104622.html

Bill Overstreet Receives Legion of Honor from France

Ambassador Pierre Vimont told the crowd  assembled in Roanoka Virgini December 9th : "Today we are honoring a true hero, a legend indeed . . .the sign of my country's exceptional recognition of Captain Overstreet's heroic contribution to the liberation of France." The Legion of Merit was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.

Bill flew P-51, nicknamed “Berlin Express” in the 357th FG when he chased a German Bf 109G aircraft over Paris and THROUGH the Eiffel Tower. The German was hoping the local German AA gunners would shoot the P-51 down but they did not and Oversteet shot down the German.

http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/229101

William Kalan, 91, awarded the French Legion of Honor

Bailing out of his flak damaged B-24 in the Loire Valley in the fall of 1944, this Liberator pilot evaded the Germans and joined the French Resistance fighting with them for three months before making his way back to Allied lines.


http://www.rossmoornews.com/articles/2010/01/06/news/community_news/11world%20war%20ii%20bomber.txt

SDB-5 Found off of Maui

A local diver seems to have discovered a nearly intact SBD-5 “Dauntless” dive bomber off the coast of Maui. Only 5 of these were ever reported as being lost off of Maui. A local fisherman complained to the tour operator about fish hiding under the wings and he could not catch them.

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/breaking/81750822.html

Need to Know about WW II Gooney Bird Units?

Osprey Combat Aircraft Series has two new books out about the C-47 / R4D twin engine transports of World War II ISBN:1841767506.

In these two detailed, well-illustrated works, veteran military and aviation historian David C. Isby gives up a concise overview of the operations of American C-47 and R4D "Skytrain" aircraft during the Second World War.

·         C47/R4d Units of the ETO and MTO. Osprey: Oxford, 2005. Pp. 96.  Illus, diagr., append., notes, biblio., index. $22.95. ISBN: 978-1-84176-750-5

·         C47/R4d Skytrain Units of the Pacific and CBI.  Osprey: Oxford, 2007.  Pp. 96.  Illus, diagr., append., notes, biblio., index. $22.95. ISBN: 978-1-84603-046-8.

http://www.strategypage.com/bookreviews/430.asp

Tuskegee Veteran Luther H. Smith Jr., dies at 89

Luther flew 133 missions out of North Africa and Italy before being forced to bail out of the P-51 Mustang when the engine caught fire while on a mission and was captured in Yugoslavia on 13 October of 1944. He died Wednesday December 9, 2009 at Bryn Mawr Hospital.

Days after then-Lt. Smith was captured, an SS officer stood over his hospital bed and asked him, "You volunteer to fight for a country that lynched your people. Why?"

Before he was liberated in May 1945, he said, he was often asked by the Germans why, as a black man, he was fighting for the United States. "He would become indignant and respond that he was proud to serve his country," his son, Gordon, said.”

http://www.philly.com/philly/obituaries/79116537.html

New Museum at John Wayne Airport

Lyon Air Museum is now open as of December for vintage aircraft.

A B-26K Leaves Montana

The only flying B-26K in the world left the Lynch family owned Billings Aviation flying off to a new home much further south than Billings Montana -- to investors in Texas. It will undergo restoration to WW II era status and then likely go onto the air show circuit.

http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/article_ae82e25c-fdac-11de-90e8-001cc4c002e0.html

German Museum to Honor P-38 Pilot Lt. Donald Kuske

On June 13, 1944 Lt Kushe’s P-38 was damaged in air combat with the Luftwaffe and he was flying it down the ground for a crash landing when his flight path put him into a possible collision with a house – and he instead turned the aircraft toward a different direction which resulted him being killed.

"During World War II, the local people did not speak about such events," Braun wrote in an e-mail. "It was too dangerous. ... At the end of World War II, the story did spread like wildfire among the few local people and was soon written down in the local history. But nothing more happened for many years."

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20100115/GPG0101/1150568/1207/GPG01/Story--photos--German-museum-to-honor-Green-Bay-World-War-II-pilot-Don-Kuske-as-hero

Ace Rear Gunner Charles Gatto

U.S. Navy Machinist Mate First Class Charles Gatto was the gunner on TBF “Avenger” torpedo bomber and is credited with 6 confirmed victories. He flew 35 missions in the Pacific during World War II. He almost had to bail out when an ammo can caught fire during a fighter attack but he got the radio man to put out the fire. Good thing it worked since after they landed they found out the parachute was full of holes from the Zeros guns. In a TBF the radio operator and gunner stowed their parachute below the turret and they had to leave their position at the radio or turret, get the parachute, and then bail out from the bottom. The pilot would bail out  from his cockpit after opening the canopy.

Mission to Berlin of 3 February 1945 Participants Wanted

Author Robert Dorr, who has an article "B-17 to Berlin" in the February 2010 issue of Combat Aircraft magazine, is looking for anyone who participated in 8th AF Mission #817 that went to Berlin on February 3, 1945 (either side) and bombed the Tempelhof marshalling yard. He is doing research for his next book. You can contact him via e-mail at:  robert.f.dorr@cox.net  3411 Valewood Drive,  Oakton, Virginia 22124  (703) 264-8950

PBS Show on the Bombing Campaign against Germany in WWII

Under the overall banner of “The American Experience” PBS Boston is putting on a 1 hour show on the Combined Allied bombing strategy during World War II on February 8 & 10th  2010.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/images/bombingofgermany_thumbnail.jpgThis is the web site for the Boston PBS station http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/schedule.html which produced it.

The Bombing of Germany TV show lasts for 1 hour. Locally in Portland it premiers on Monday February 8th at 9:30 PM and repeats on the 10th

http://www.opb.org/television/programs/bombing-of-germany-american-experience/

“In World War II British and American Allied forces carried out a bombing campaign of unprecedented might over Germany’s cities  . . .”

Verne Woods has a set of photos that he took while in the 91st BG (Heavy Bombardment) that is posted on the web site. He is featured in the episode.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/bombing/photoGallery/

High Definition DVD using converted WW II Color Film

Called WW II in HD this is a compilation of the History Channel TV series using WW II films that were filmed in color with 8 or 16 mm cameras (likely Afga & Kodak negative, maybe some Kodachome) and then transferred into the High Definition format. Each episode is centered on a persons’ experience during the war and then they found color film to fit into that person’s combat history. 

Previews of what was in the series is at the History Channel: http://www.history.com/content/wwii-in-hd/videos

MSRP start at $29.95 and goes up with various DVD combination packages when bought online at the History Channel web site.

Daughter finds out about her Dad’s death in France

“On Dec. 20, island resident Eva Friotofson read a Daily News article about efforts of a French organization called The Normandy Association for Air Remembrance to find relatives of Graham, whose P-47D fighter plane crashed after being hit by German flak. Graham died Aug. 13, 1944, at the age of 20. His daughter was born Dec. 6 the same year.”

Graham was a P-47 “Thunderbolt” pilot in the 350th Fighter Squadron of the 353rd Fighter Group in the Eighth Air Force.

From the Armarillo.com web site Galveston Texas:

http://www.amarillo.com/stories/122709/new_news17.shtml

France has awarded 1069 World War II veterans with France’s Legion of Honor since 2004.

Need to Find out about a Relative who served in the British Military?

The British archive system is different than the USA – with different release rules -- than the US archives. The BBC published this simple guide to get started in researching military service.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/familyhistory/get_started/archives_01.shtml

They reference the British archives web site: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

In addition there are LOTS of genealogy web sites out there. One site that lists lots of references (more than on my taphilo.com web site) specific to military research is at:

DFC Chapter in Oregon?

Does anyone know if there is a DFC chapter in Oregon, or Washington? Web site, POC, meetings?

Aerial Gunner Claims

Last issue an article about a TBF gunner who was credited with two kills in the Pacific was unusual in getting credit; in the ETO lots more gunner claims filed and in a book I read where a B-17 gunner was credited with 7 – but is there any definitive list showing claims and credits to aerial gunners?

If people who put in claims could you send me the number you claimed and what you were awarded (or know where to find out this info) please send any information that you have to me. Chapter members are especially requested to send me this info so we can add that into your record.

There is a book for the US Navy claims by Frank Olynyk's  which includes some gunner victories.


How did the British handle this – credit to the crew or to the person?

IPhone App for WW II Japanese Aircraft

WORLD WAR II AIRPLANES / ZERO FIGHTER is an iPhone application developed and sold by Headway Inc. with the express permission of Zokeisha Publications Ltd., the owner of the copyright of the original book The Great Book of World War II Airplanes. Continuing on from the Zero fighter, Headway is planning to develop a series of iPhone applications for a number of the other great airplanes featured in The Great Book of World War II Airplanes, such as the P38 Lightning, the P-51 Mustang, etc. A Japanese edition of the present application is scheduled to be available within 2010.

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100120005688&newsLang=en

[Editor’s note: I have the original books.]

Iwo Jima Spotter Pilot and Plane Reunited

Tom Rozga flew an L-5 Stinson as an artillery spotter over Iwo Jima – and that plane is still around and flying.

Rozga plans to attend a reunion of the survivors of the Battle of Iwo Jima in February in California. The aircraft owner, Polley plans to bring the plane to that reunion event.

http://www.thevillagesdailysun.com/articles/2010/01/22/news/news02.txt

Fly as in WW II Air Adventure at Pooler

Down in Savanna you can become part of the 8th Air Force for three days by paying $1,941 and become an aircrew on a B-17.

The company that puts this on re-creates mission planning, dance etc as if it is 1943 and gets you into a flight simulator for you “mission” but afterwards a real B-17 – The Liberty Belle – you go flying for an hour and a half.  WW II Adventure is the company and only mission planned so far is on January 29-31. Other dates announced at random – just like in the war.  http://www.wwiiadventure.com/

Snap! Crackle! Pop! – out without a chute

In January of 1943, Magee was a ball turret gunner in a B-17 Flying Fortress on a bombing run on the Atlantic coast of Nazi-occupied France. During the raid, his plane, called the "Snap! Crackle! Pop!", took enemy fire and broke up over the U-boat yards of St. Nazaire. Acting quickly, Magee escaped his turret and jumped from the flaming bomber without a parachute. Because of the altitude, Magee lost consciousness mid-fall before smashing through the glass roof of St. Nazaire's train station. Hours later, he awoke to find German doctors putting him back together. His injuries included a broken right leg and ankle, a nearly severed right arm, and 28 shrapnel wounds from shards of glass.

Dr. Seth Izenberg, a trauma specialist at Legacy Emmanuel Hospital in Portland, Ore., says that while a fall from 20,000 feet sounds incredible, the extreme height makes little difference. "Anything above 10 or 12 stories and you've reached terminal velocity. So a fall from 20,000 feet sounds dramatic, but there's really no difference from a 500-foot fall."

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/air_space/4344037.html?nav=RSS20&src=syn&dom=yah_buzz&mag=pop

In 1944 a tail turret gunner jumped from his aircraft in the middle of winter also without a parachute – falling through pine trees then into a large snow drift – he walked out, got captured and then was asked where his parachute was and stated he had none. Not believing him the guards make him go back to where he fell, discovered it was true – then he made the guards sign statements attesting that he did indeed land uninjured without a parachute – he knew no one would believe him.

Keeping In Touch – Radio ground crews

U.S. Army Air Corps Sgt. Murray Dunst repaired the radios of P-40s in China during WW II. As part of the 14th Air Force stationed at Chungking the unit he supported was formed from the disbanded AVG squadron on 4 July 1942.

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20100129/NEWS01/1290309/Dunst+kept+P-40+fighter+planes+communicating

Yogi Berra hits a home run on D-Day

The Hall of Famer slugger manned a machine gun on one of the rocket ships that launched from the USS Bayfield. He was part of the Normandy assault force that used rockets against the German defenses before the men in the 1st wave Higgins boats when ashore. There is a book out about this very small group of specialized Navy men called “Rocket Men”.

Book Reviews by Mike Pungercar

"88 Days" by Byron Van Fleet - The story of Clem Pine (Klamath Falls resident) who flew with the 351st (25 missions including the Aug. 15, 1943 Schweinfurt mission) and then volunteered for another tour of duty.  He was assigned to the 91st BG and on his 4th mission was on one of the planes in the 324th Sqdn hit by the Luftwaffe on Aug. 16, 1944.  Lowell Getz describes the action in "Forty Seconds Over Eisenach"  in "Mary Ruth Memories of Mobile".  Clem was on ship "613" as the tail gunner and was wounded and bailed out and became a POW.  His days as a POW included participating on the Nazi Death March in Feb. 1945.   This was a part of the war I had heard nothing about. 

(Note - Last week I visited Clem in Klamath Falls and interviewed him and parts of his story will be included in my book, along with stories from other vets I have been able to interview over the past year.)

"Lucky Dog" by Douglas Holt - I met Doug last summer in Mequon, WI.  He is a member of the EEA and helps host events in WI when the Aluminum Overcast is on tour.  The book is his personal story covering the period from when he enlisted in March of 1943 through Sept. 1945 when he received his discharge.  Doug was a pilot with the 381st BG.  The book is based on entries from his flight logs.  He covers his time in flight school and his 35 missions. 

(Note - I interviewed Doug in Sept. 2009 in Mequon)

"Brother Bob's War" by Ralph Ekwall - The author tells the story of his brother who served in the 15th AF in the 99th BG.  This is the guy who did a mass mailing to the 91st GG member list.  He writes about a lot of topic beyond his brothers missions (war strategies, fighter aces, the B-17 story, etc.).  He also spends time talking about "Brother Bob's life in the Ekwall family.  The book held my interest for some time, but I got tired of reading about "Brother Bob" this and "Brother Bob" that.  I found the number of typos and formatting errors a distraction and want to make sure my end product is proofed thoroughly and end up a better product.

I would give "88 Days" a very high recommendation, "Lucky Dog" a good recommendation" and "Brother Bob's War" a lukewarm recommendation at best.  It is the only book I have in my home library that I probably will not reread.

Tears in the Darkness

Reviewed on this web site (http://www.energypublisher.com/article.asp?id=26544

 ) the book by Michael and Elizabeth Norman is a heavily researched book about the Bataan Death March and the aftermath. Interviews with hundreds of survivors, local Filipino civilians, and Japanese soldiers, this delves into both how it occurred, the military mistakes which General Douglas MacArthur made in the field which caused a lot of suffering before the surrender, as the march itself,  and the “hell ships” that took some 125,000 prisoners to Japan as slave laborers of which some 12,000 died enroute due to both Japanese deliberate maltreatment as well as ships sunk by subs and bombed by US planes since none of the transport ships were marked as transporting prisoners.


Hardback from 17.99 and in paperback.

Hardcover: 480 pages ;Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1St Edition edition (June 9, 2009) ISBN-10: 0374272603  ISBN-13: 978-0374272609 

Ground Crewman Finally Gets his Medals

John Ahrens was a crew chief in the 479th Fighter Group which flew both P-51 and P38s out of England and then later on moved into France and maintained aircraft at the the front lines across France, Belgium and Germany on field bases.

“I never lost a pilot. A couple of my planes cracked up on landing, but I only lost one plane. I called my last pilot ‘the kid’ because he was younger than I was. He was 17, I was 19,”

He was earned the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle East Medal, Campaign Medal with Bronze Star, the World War II Victory Medal, a Presidential Unit Citation and an Honorable Service lapel button.

http://www.wellsvilledaily.com/news/x1920348514/Ahrens-awarded-WW-II-medals

 Col Lee Archer dead at 90

Text Box:  Col. Archer was one of the pilots of the Tuskegee Airmen and went into the 302  Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group in Italy initially flying ground support missions in a Bell P-39 “Air Cobra”.   The unit later transisitoned to the P-51 Mustang where in a fight over the Danube in October of 1944 he shot down three German fighters in a single engagement. He also is credited with destroying six aircraft on the ground.  He is also the only pilot of the Tuskegee airmen recognized as achieving “Ace” status during the war.

In October of 2005 he and three other WW II Tuskegee airmen went to Iraq to visit the current members of the 332nd Group.

 He died at the end of January.

49 & ½ Missions

The 15th Air Force out of Italy had a different set of combat situations than the 8th. The Air Force Command considered that the Italian / Mediterranean front to be much easier than what was facing the 8th Air Force out of England so the mission requirements were higher. In the MTO – Mediterranean Theater of Operations -- flying 50 missions before finishing a tour was normal for a bomber crew. Cliff Stone was a pilot of a B-24 with the 763rd Squadron of the 460th Heavy Bombardment Group of the 55th Wing of the 15th Air Force in the European theater of operations in Italy who while on his 50th mission was shot down and spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft I, Barth “Rest Haven on the Baltic” after his capture.

He died January 21st in El Dorado Kansas.

http://www.eldoradotimes.com/news/x867963175/Losing-a-friend

Alvin George 73rd Bomb Wing

Over in the Pacific flying the number of missions before a tour was officially over varied widely . Alvin was a gunner in a B-29 and flew over 30 missions before the war ended as a CFC gunner. The B-29 had remotely controlled turrets so that a single person could fire the top and bottom turret while a person still manned the tail turret.


He was a member of the CAF – Commemorative Air Force (originally called Confederate Air Force until Political Correctness forced the name change some years ago) and owned 3 WW II a/c at one point in time.

He died in January in Atlanta Georgia.

http://www.ajc.com/news/alvin-theron-george-84-284970.html?cxtype=rss_news_128746

LST -- Long, Slow Target

LSTs played a pivotal role in allowing the allies to launch invasions all over the world. These ships were built to land on beaches – and not built to take a lot of battle punishment.

On December 15, 1944, Mindoro Island was the target of a US invasion force and in that force was a lot of LSTs including LST 605.

This is an account of one of the first really successful Kamikaze attacks by the Japanese during WW II against invasion shipping.

“Thirty seconds, separated me from another appointment with death.”

http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/springfield-news/springfield-couple-learns-details-of-relative-s-death-in-wwii-535741.html

P-51 vs P-47

From a discussion board:

“Howard Camp, a fighter pilot friend, flew both P-51s and P-47s in World War II. I once asked him which airplane he preferred. “It depends”, he replied without hesitation, “on whether you are shooting or being shot at. You want the Mustang if you are shooting and the Thunderbolt if you are being shot at!”

WASP Congressional Medal Ceremony

Congress set the date for the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for March 10, 2010 at 11 a.m. at the U.S. Capitol.

Here is a press release from Senator Hutchison’s office: http://www.hutchison.senate.gov/WASP.html

Tours Teach About History and Family

B-17s, B-24, and B-25 and other aircraft are already on tour around the southern USA. In Florida at Fernandina Beach one woman learned from a WW II waist gunner, Larry Carastro who bailed out of the plane, about the day her father died at the controls of his B-17 over Anzio, Italy.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2010-02-06/story/world_war_ii_history_is_also_a_family_history

B-17 Flying Fortress Association

Yes, there is an association for the B-17s.  A newsletter is published by Don R. Hayes; 1640 Cambridge Drive; Walla Walla Washington, 99362. Web site http://www.airwarb17.net/ ; e-mail: b17assndhayes@bmi.net  Don is a retired Lt. Col., USAF.

There will be a new book coming out soon called “Splendor in the Skies Echoes from the Past” which will have 250+ accounts from the men who flew in the B-17 during World War Two over Germany.

The B-17 was used in the Pacific thru mid 1943 when it was replaced by the B-24. The B-24 had a longer range of operation and due to the large amount of over-water flying required in the Pacific to get to strategic enemy bases this limited the B-17 as to what targets could be hit from the few bomber bases available in the Pacific.

P-51 Replica in Mississippi

Outside of Vicksburg there is a now a P-51D replica of Cary Salter’s aircraft that he flew during WW II at Jackson’s Hawkins Field. “Charlotte’s Chariot” was his assigned aircraft that he flew from December 1944 until the end of the war. This replica was created by Vicksburg’s Dan Fordice, one of the owners of Fordice Construction of Vicksburg.

There are also other restored aircraft at Southern Heritage Air Museum at the Vicksburg-Tallulah Regional Airport in Mound.

http://www.vicksburgpost.com/articles/2010/01/31/news/doc4b6516fe67ad8124476815.txt

Text Box:  
Top row left, William S.  Sims, commander of U.S. Naval forces in European waters during 
World War I, Arliegh A. Burke, a top destroyer squadron commander in World War II. 
Bottom left John McCloy, earned two Medals of Honor, and Doris Miller served in World War II.
US Postage Stamps Honor 4 Naval Personnel

On February 4 the US Postal Service issued a set of 4 stamps honoring four different Naval Personnel starting from the Boxer Rebellion thru World War II.

John McCoy got his two Medal of Honors from his actions in the Boxer Rebellion where he was wounded and in Mexico in 1914.

This is part of the "Distinguished Sailors stamps" series.

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=50876

Evergreen Museum Events in May & June & August

On May 29th is the start of the Cascade War Birds Fly-in for the weekend and on the same day at the museum there is a Tuskegee Airmen Panel that takes place.

On June 12 there is an American Fighter Aces Panel which just happen to co-inside with the 75th Celebration of the B-17.

On August 21 the 475th Fighter Group is having a reunion panel.

Check the museum web site for exact times. www.sprucegoose.org

B-17 Ball Turret Comes to Life
For more than a year, EAA volunteers and staff have been working to get Aluminum Overcast's ball turret operational again. Only a few B-17s in the world have working turrets, and a few weeks ago, EAA's spun for the first time since WWII. Watch how the ball turret works, as well as what went into getting it operational again. http://www.eaa.org/video/eaa.html?videoId=71171263001

Need to Practice some Aerial Gunnery?

Pilot Bull Session GraphicIn the March 20th issue of “Shotgun News” www.shotgunnews.com on page 42 is an article where people can try their hand at shooting down aircraft with WW II (or any era) type machine guns – model airplanes that is. “Actually, the ultimate challenge is shooting down a plane that’s shooting at you.”

It gives a brief history of WWII gunnery training and then talks about how they built RC model aircraft and then fly them along the range giving people a chance on trying to hit them.

In Tillamook Air Museum on the Oregon coast there is a real WW II RC model that was used by ships’ gunners for target practice. Scaled to fly and act like a real aircraft at 2 miles out, but only flying around 500 yards from a ship, one ship banned use of it since none of their gunners shot it down during practice.

“Pappy” Devine in Vietnam

In '67-'68 in RVN, I flew several artillery missions with Gerald "Pappy" Devine. After one such mission he was awarded the DFC, one of 12.

I got to know him well. He flew combat missions in three conflicts. I was told by a high ranking DA DCSOPS official at a Rotary club meeting that Pappy had enough wartime service that he retired as a W4 and was advanced to LTC at age 60. He told me that Pappy had died (I think (93 or so.)

Pappy told me he went to Canada as a 17 year old and joined the RCAF and flew in the battle of Britain in Hawker Hurricanes-then shipped over to the US Air Corps where he flew P-51s and later P-47s in Asia.  He also flew combat in Korea in F-51s and F-80s.  He was in the Air Force Reserve.  When Viet Nam started, the Air Force wanted him to fly a desk so he went to Sen. Mike Munroney (sp) who got him an appointment as a Warrent Officer in the Army.  He flew three tours in RVN in Birddogs and was later assigned as curator of the Army Aviation Museum at Ft Rucker.  He had enough war time service plus the last tour to retire as a CW4. The DCSOPS guy I told you about told me that at age 60, Pappy was advanced to his USAFR rank of LTC. 

I believe my info to be as accurate as 40 some years will allow.

Don Mohr, COL USAR RET

Tail Gunner S/SGT Robert Otto’s Book

In a 2008 “Milk Run” an article about tail gunner SSGT Robert Otto, of Everett WA, talked about him going to Austria for the dedication of a painting called “LIBERATOR”, honoring American airmen who helped liberate Austria.

He subsequently wrote a book of his experiences called “A WALK WITH GOD”. It is available by contacting him at 425-355-1505 or via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=A+Walk+with+God+by+Robert+Otto&x=11&y=26

“The Pacific”

HBO is showing a 10 part series about the Pacific War, like what they did with the ETO ground combat series “A Band of Brothers”. However, unlike a lot of WW II movies made during and through the 1970s, this series does not have WW II veterans playing WW II veterans.

From Phil Richart:

“A fair number of actors and athletes were involved in D-Day, the strangest story is the actor Richard Todd who played Major Howard at Pegasaus Bridge in "The Longest Day", at one point he speaks to another actor playing . . . Richard Todd! He was a junior officer at the bridge! “

Research Question

Please help me to identify an old pin that I recently inherited. It is silver with black enamel. The image appears to be a walking eagle, holding a torch in one talon.

I found that this image, carrying a torch was used on a patch for the Royal Air Force, flying training school.  The motto below reads: "Proof by Trial". I cannot find any info on the net. Thank you, Frances Panczyk, RN.

The Dogs of War

World War II, just like WW I, trained and used dogs in combat, especially in the Pacific.

Dogs are not allowed to awarded medals – officially anyway.

http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/02/19/rebecca_s_war_dog_of_the_week_chips_the_brave

Three Brothers from North Dakota

Three went to war, one came home at the end of the war.

Raymond Check was part of the 306th BG.

http://www.bismarcktribune.com/news/columnists/article_ec816ea0-d72f-11de-8d1d-001cc4c002e0.html

Maj. Arthur Chin follow-up

From Phil Richart:

I had the privilege of participating in two interviews with Arthur Chin several years ago, it was interesting to hear him describe flying Arados (likely Ar 65s) and the Heinkel "Ein-und-funfzig" (German for 51), he also flew an aircraft from the school at Schleissheim to Berlin for the fly-over at the Olympics although he didn't participate in the actual event. All of his victories were in biplanes, Curtiss Hawk II and Gloster Chinese Gladiator Mk I. In the course of the second interview it was noted that he had dropped out of High School to learn to fly and never graduated. The Principal of Benson High School was contacted and a review of his student records (They still had them!) revealed he was short only one point towards graduation. The ground school portion of learning to fly alone satisfied that requirement. Being commissioned in the Chinese Air Force and achieving the rank of Major and his various accomplishments was over the top. As a sidelight, on arriving in China the Americans found difficulty in joining the Chinese Air Force (The Chinese INVENTED bureaucracy!) They discovered that each Provincial War Lord had an Air Force so they joined the Canton Air Force! It was as a member of that organization that Chin went to Germany.

U.S. Library of Congress Organization of Library

If you are doing research this may help you.

D: History (general)

DA: Great Britain

DB: Austria

DC: France

DD: Germany

DE: Mediterranean

DF: Greece

DG: Italy

DH: Low Countries

DJ: Netherlands

DK: Former Soviet Union

DL: Scandinavia

DP: Iberian Peninsula

DQ: Switzerland

DR: Balkan Peninsula

DS: Asia

DT: Africa

DU: Oceania

DX: Gypsies

Aircraft Found along Oregon Coast

Text Box:  
Helldiver found again above Rockaway Beach. Oregon State Police photo.
In 1945 this Curtiss SB2C “Helldiver” crashed on a ferry flight, and it seems to now been found again by loggers near Rockaway beach on March 18th.

The Helldiver, also known as "the Beast," but Christian Gurling, curator at the Tillamook Air Museum said it was also "plagued by problems."

"In the earlier planes, the pilots were told to not dive for fear the planes would fall apart," said Gurling. "Which wasn't good for a dive bomber."

Charlie Erickson – 483 BG Top Gunner

On July 18, 1944, his group was assigned to attack Memmingen,  Germany where an  aircraft plant was located for a total of 155 B-17s. Like those out groups flying out of England, bad weather forced many of the groups back, caused a missed rendezvous with the fighter escort – and thus 14 out of the 26 B-17s fell to enemy fighters.

Bailing out Charlie thought he did not have a parachute, but in the breakup of the B-17 as he fell through the nose he grabbed a chute lying in there and  thus had it – but only after he had fell a few thousand feet and then realized he a chest chute on.

http://www.newsok.com/world-war-ii-bomber-crew-sole-survivor-remembers-close-calls/article/3439486?custom_click=masthead_topten

Youngest British World War II service casualty identified

Lying about his age so he could join, Reginald Earnshaw joined the merchant marine at 14 and was dead at 14 years and 152 days when he was killed on the SS North Devon on 6 July 1941 by attacking German bombers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8498113.stm

LORAN-C Shutting Down

This Long Range Navigation system was developed during World War II so that better radio navigation over water was possible. The Coast Guard shut them down after President Obama called the system obsolete and that GPS has replaced this old system. There is no backup system for GPS.

19 of the 24 stations were shut down on February 8, 2010.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/02/08/loran.navigation.shutdown/

Kermit Tyler – “Don’t worry about it.” Dead at 96

What makes  that phrase so rememberable – at least to the people who have seen “Tora Tora Tora” movie, is that he is the man who told the radar operators that phrase on December 7, 1941 based upon the assumption that they were B-17s flying in from the mainland.

It was his 2nd day on the job, with no instructions and no training overseeing the new radar station on Oahu.


He died January 23, 2010.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/26/us/26tyler.html

Peter Graves Dead at 83

Best known for his part in the “Mission Impossible” TV series, but his breakout role was in the movie “Stalag 17” where he was, actually, a German spy trying to stop breakouts out of the POW camp. William Holden was also in the movie as the main character which the story revolved around.

WASP Pilots Get Their Gold

A true gold medal, The Congressional Gold Medal, made in honor of the WW II WASP pilots will go on display somewhere in the Smithsonian Institution, while each of the remaining will get a bronze version.

38 pilots died during WW II, almost 2000 were recruited and trained, some 1100 or so are left alive. Only in 1977 were the women given veteran status.

http://www.enterprisenewspapers.com/article/20100314/NEWS01/703149878/0/ETPZoneLT

Angry Puppy

At FedEx with have the MD-11 which of course we call the "Mad Dog" but the MD-10, being a DC-10 with an MD-11 cockpit, is called the "Angry Puppy"

Mustangs & Mustangs Features Fighter Aces in Florida April 17

FighterAcesThird in the Living History Symposium Series, "Victory in the Sky" will also take place Saturday, April 17, featuring American Fighter Aces of World War II. This elite strata of combat pilots shot down five or more hostile aircraft in air-to-air combat, becoming living examples of courage and service. Legendary P-51 Ace Col. Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson will be headlining the panel of heroes during the interactive symposium.

Don't miss this chance to meet several WWII Aces and see their glorious chariot of choice: the North American P-51 Mustang. This symposium is presented in conjunction with Mustangs & Mustangs.

Twins Navigators in the “Cottontails”

Both brothers were navigators at the same time in the same squadron in Italy. Both completed 50 missions.

"Surviving combat is 99 percent luck and maybe 1 percent skill. But as the guys always tell me, ‘You better have that skill when your luck runs out.'"

Earl Shanken, Navigator, 722nd Squadron of the 450th "Cottontail" Bomb Group.

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20100326/NEWS01/3260310/Twin+navigators+flew+bombing+missions

B-17 / P-51 Pilot Jack Hitt

As a pilot of the B-17, Jack Hitt flew 47 combat missions. He later flew 35 combat missions as a P-51 Mustang fighter pilot.

Hitt won two Distinguished Flying Crosses and eight air medals.

"You know what DFC stands for, don't you?" he said. "Don't fly combat."

Gentis participated in one of the largest raids of the war during a mission to Berlin on Feb. 3, 1945.

"There were about 5,000 planes that took part from dawn to dark," he said. "We were told it would be 10/10 coverage — full cloud cover, which meant we wouldn't see the target. The lead aircraft had a Pathfinder radar. We would release whenever they would. We weren't in radio contact."

http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/article.aspx?subjectid=45&articleid=20091031_45_E1_WorldW21078

Bill Varnedoe Waist Gunner

On March 2, 1945, "Possible Straight" [his B-17] was part of a formation being pummeled by enemy fire. He had lined up a waist machine gun on an enemy fighter, but nothing happened when he pulled the trigger.

Varnedoe used gloved hands to open the ammunition box - it was 40 degrees below zero at altitude so you couldn't touch metal with bare skin - and found a bent link in the chain of bullets that fed the machine gun, fixed it, and within a moment had turned his attention back outside the plane.

"They had shot down both of my wingmen," Varnedoe said, and also the plane that had been in front of his.

"The war wasn't over yet," he said.

http://blog.al.com/breaking/2009/10/world_war_ii_veteran_takes_fir.html

Doolittle Raiders Meet Again

2010-05-01-Doolittle-B-25s-100418-F-5964B-591.jpgFour of the Eight remaining “Doolittle Raiders” met at the Air Force Museum. The four were retired Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, 94, of Comfort, Texas; Maj. Thomas C. Griffin, 92, of Cincinnati; Lt. Col. Robert L. Hite, 90, Nashville, Tenn., and Master Sgt. David J. Thatcher, 88, of Missoula, Mont. As part of the event a flyover of B-25s were staged in their honor. 17 privately owned B-25s from throughout the country were on the museum runway to help celebrate the occasion.

April 16 is when then Col. Doolittle lead his land based B-25s off the deck of the carrier USS Hornet and attacked various targets throughout the main island of Japan. Damage was little, but the psychology damage to the Japanese – and the morale lift in the US and the rest of the Allied world - plus the direct military changes in keeping planes in Japan to protect against another raid, did alter the Japanese strategy in 1942 and for the rest of the war.

http://www.retirees.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123201041

B-17s Left in the World

From Tommy Garcia, via the 398th BG Newsletter published a list of all the B-17s known left in the world. 13 are flyable, 21 are on static display, 12 are undergoing restoration, and 4 are in storage giving a total of 49 known airframes.

Eisenhower Memorial in DC Planned

There are plans to create a Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington DC on a four-acre site at the base of Capitol Hill between 4th and 6th Streets SW, south of Independence Avenue. 

There is a statue of him outside of Bayeux, France (in the middle of a round-a-bout) but there nothing in DC other than a few of his quotes on the WW II memorial.

http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/

Hunting Subs on a Jeep Carrier

The Rev. Richard J. Hardman, 87 was stationed on a converted oil tanker turned flattop, the USS Block Island, flying TFB Avengers on 8 to 12 hour patrols at night when the sub they were hunting sunk it.

He ended up with a land vacation in Casablanca.

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2010/apr/02/veteran-spotlight-priest-was-once-a-wwii-navy/

The Legacy Flight Museum in southeastern Idaho

This aviation museum now owns an SNJ-3 – the Navy version of the AT-6. They have a P-63, P-51s Skyraider and other a/c.

http://www.legacyflightmuseum.com/

Salvaging a/c Parts while under Fire

Nick Knitter, 90 years old, was finally awarded a Bronze Star in Galloway Wisconsin at a VFW ceremony after his caregiver found papers stating that he was put in for it in 1945 but the paperwork never went through.

http://www.wkowtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=12270263

Nancy Baker and Virginia Wood Gets their Congressional Medal

WASPs were everywhere, and they have settled everywhere, and in Fairbanks, Alaska, Nancy & Virginia were presented with their by Senator Lisa Murkowski.

http://newsminer.com/view/full_story/6930368/article-Two-Fairbanks-women-who-flew-airplanes-in-World-War-II-honored?instance=home_news_window_left_top_3

B-17 Navigator gets Air Medal

2nd Lt. Robert L. Giles was over Berlin on April 18, 1944, when their plane was attacked by Luftwaffe fighters and set on fire. Staying in the aircraft as it was on fire and starting to go out of control, he got his wounded bombardier, Lt. Quintin Brown, into a parachute dragged him to and then out the hatch, before getting out himself.

They both spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft III.

A person received an Air Medal after every five missions, but he was shot down before it could be awarded to him.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g8fXuDTdqbFaf9mLteHsRAtsAFJAD9ETQN501

Morris R. Jeppson, an Enola Gay weaponeer, dead at 87

Morris was one of two men who actually armed the atomic bomb carried to Hiroshima by the Enola Gay.

He flew only 1 combat mission during the war which was on August 6, 1945 flying out of Tinian.

Navy Capt. William S. Parsons installed the charge for the uranium compression explosion while Lt Jeppson armed the electrical system and the three fuses it used which set off the other charge.

Lt. Jeppson likely "put the last thing into the bomb that made it hot," said Dik Daso, curator of modern military aircraft at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

He stated that his wife's car had a bumper sticker that read:

 "If there hadn't been a Pearl Harbor, there wouldn't have been a Hiroshima."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/06/AR2010040604104.html

Flight Lieutenant Norman Carter Macqueen

2010-05-01-Macqueen1.jpg

The campaign to keep Malta supplied from 1940 thru 1943 was one of where both naval and aircraft had to work together to get supplies through. Being a fighter pilot on Malta from 1941 thru 1943 was a very dangerous place to be stationed during this timeframe. Lt Macqueen was KIA on 4 May 1942 during an air battle.

He was an ACE with 5 confirmed kills when he died.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/north_east/8623165.stm

Bill Seitz Flies Another Mission

Bill Seitz, a B-24 “Liberator” Pilot who flew 85 missions from 1943 thru 1945 as part of the 15th Air Force which operated in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations (MTO)  flying  missions out of both North Africa (Tunisia)and later Italy, and ended up his WW II combat missions in the 344th squadron, 98th Bomb Group, 47th Wing, was surprised with an awards ceremony and a flight around Oregon this past April 8 on the anniversary of his last WW II mission. On the April 8, 1944 mission he was the lead plane, lead squadron, lead group for the whole 15th Air Force into Germany -- some 1000+ bombers.

No one shot at him this time around.

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/04/world_war_ii_pilot_takes_to_th.html

Veterans History Project May 8th

Veterans are invited to share their first-person military accounts, which will be recorded free of charge as part of the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project between 1 and 5 pm. You must call and schedule in advance.

Ten 45-minute interviews will be conducted, and preregistered veterans will also receive free admission.  Those who participate in this exciting opportunity to archive history will be mailed a copy of their interview, which will also be donated to the Library of Congress. 

Contact APH at (503) 560-1945 or Joan E. Hamilton JHami828@aol.com to pre-register for interviews and visit www.ohs.org for more information.

Recording the Stories of the Aircraft Workers

Starting in the fall of 1942 Betty Oelke decided she wanted a job in the Willow Run aircraft plant which was starting to make B-24 “Liberators” 4 engine heavy bomber for the war. Though at 18, and a newlywed, she joined in to what became a 40,000 person around the clock work force turning out B-24 at that single Ford plant.

A complete B-24 -- ready to fly off to the fitting out depot – rolled off the assemply line every 55 minutes – 428 a month at the peak.


Every worker had to be trained first before they could work – there were no skilled aircraft people in the immediate area – so it took a long time before the factory reached that production speed in 1944.

http://www.annarbor.com/business-review/86-year-old-belleville-woman-recalls-days-working-in-willow-run-bomber-plant-to-help-war-effort/

Bailing out of a 349th Bomb Squadron B-17 of the 100th Bomb Group

B-17 tail gunner Jon Kaiser felt the AA shell hit on the #2 engine and could see the result so he bailed out – not knowing that the pilot had told to crew to stay put till they got back over Russian lines – he lived and the rest didn’t.

He became a POW on March 31, 1945 and was liberated just three weeks later.

He went flying again in “Aluminum Overcast” as it is making its tour around the USA.

http://www.independent.com/news/2010/apr/24/flying-aboard-fortress/

Robert Grimes dies at 87, shot down during 2nd Schweinfurt

Shot down near Brussels on the return leg of the October 20, 1943 mission to Schweinfurt ball bearing factories (60 B-17s were shot down) he was able to evade capture and make it to Spain using the “Comet Line” escape organization which is estimated to have helped 700 airmen evade capture during the war.

When out celebrating his birthday while evading: "I gave the first guard my Belgian ID card and got through it. Then the second guard came and asked me in French if I'd already shown my identification. I somehow saved myself with my high school French. And this was what I said, 'Oui, oui.' Those words saved my life."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/22/AR2010042205666.html

Local WW II Authors

In the Oregon / Washington 8th AFHS Chapter area we have a number WW II book authors.

Text Box:

Clayton Kelly Gross wrote “Live Bait”; ISBN-10: 1592991866 ISBN-13:  9781592991860. He was in the 355th FG and ended the war with 6 victories. You can buy it from him directly. 2306 SE Spyglass Dr, Vancouver, Wa 98683-5102. 360-254-2829 www.ww2livebait.com  $29.95 plus Shipping/Handling $4.50.

Al Gould wrote “Millions of Ghosts Plead  . . .  Don’t Forget”. Al flew in the 8th was shot down on 7 January 1944 and was POW # 2767 at Stalag Luft I. ISBN 0-9659081-8-6. Hartley Press, PO Box 2657, Gearhart, Oregon 97138. $25 plus shipping.

C.M. Graham wrote “Under the Samurai Sword” about his POW experiences from the fall of Bataan till his liberation at the end of the war. He spoke at our 8th AF meeting a few years ago. Self published back in 1998. He was with the US Army,  Field Artillery, Battery "G", 60th CA (AA) Ft. Mills - Corregidor, Camp Cabanatuan, Fukuoka camp #17 (Omuta).  C. M. Graham; 1942 SW Canyon Drive, Unit 212; Redmond, Oregon 97756-7146 Phone: 503-789-3969. $25.00, includes shipping.

Col Millett lead the very the last US Bayonet Charges

Col Lewis L Millett died at the age of 88 last November 14, 2009. Having served in three wars, WW II, Korea, and Vietnam, he won a Congressional Medal of Honor for leading the very last known US bayonet charge during the Korean War with M1 Garand rifles. They charged up Hill 180 near Osan on February 7, 1951 and captured it and then held it. The battle is now known at Battle of Bayonet Hill. He had lead an earlier bayonet charge on February 5. He was a Captain at the time of Easy Company, 27th Infantry.

Hill 180 is located near the distinguished visitor’s quarters above the 51st Fighter Wing Headquarters, Bldg. 1097, 7th Air Force, Korea.

 

National WASP Museum

There is now a WASP museum at Interstate 20 at 210 Loop 170, Avenger Field, Sweetwater Texas. The museum is there but their mailing address is P.O. Box 96679, Washington DC 20090-6679. WASP web site address is www.waspmuseum.org .

Over 25,000 applied, 1,830 were accepted, 1,074 got wings. 12,650 planes were flown from one field to another by the WASP.

Speaking of WASPS, Amanda Brown Meachem went flying again in an AT-6 (SNJ) at the age of 93 down in Florida on April 23, 2010.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/23/1595641/surviving-wasp-93-fulfills-dream.html

End of WW II

Nothing reminds the people of Russia of the end of WW II like the May 9th parade in Moscow – which for the first time US, British, French troops were allowed to march in. 10,000+ Russian Federation soldiers marched in that parade. Over 102,000 soldiers marched in various parades throughout the country.

One of the best museums to visit in Russia is the Volgograd (Stalingrad) museum. No displays are in English, so find someone who reads Russian or find a good translator program if you go.

Bud Mahurin, Fighter pilot, dead at 91

Flying in both WW II and Korea – where he was shot down strafing a truck in his F-86, he was one of the best fighter leaders during WW II. He had 20.5 confirmed victories in WW II in both the ETO and Pacific.

“I should never have gone after that truck,” Mr. Mahurin told the Gannett News Service in 2006. “You never want to trade a $500,000 airplane for a $50,000 truck. I figured, well, I’d go shoot that up and then I’ll have a good story to tell the boys at the officers’ club when I get back to base. And of course I never got back.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/us/16mahurin.html

Text Box:  
Signal Corps Photo
Edward Uhl, Co-Inventor of Bazooka, Dies at 92

He was in the Ordnance Corps after he enlisted in 1941 and in 1942 came up with the idea of using a tube to hold the 60mm rocket that propelled the shaped charge grenade that would hit a tank. The name “Bazooka” came from the music instrument that comedian Bob Burns used in his act.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/17/business/17uhl.html?src=busln

Pamela Murphy, Wife of Audie Murphy, Died April 8, aged 90

She worked at the Sepulveda VA hospital for over 30 years.

An Audie Murphy web site: http://www.warfoto.com/AudieMurphy.htm

Seattle Flying Heritage Museum Rolls out their Tanks

Text Box:  
Jagdpanzer 38(t) “Hetzer” Tank Destroyer.
Flying Heritage Collection photo.
The Flying Heritage Museum http://www.flyingheritage.com/ will roll out two of their  AFVs – Armored Fighting Vehicles – a T-34/85 WW II Russian tank and a German tank destroyer. The museum is located at Paine Field at Everett. The Hetzer Jagdpanzer 38(t) Tank Destroyer is the other AFV that will drive out on display this memorial day weekend. The 38(t) was built on the Czech chassis tank type 38 – hence the name.

If you are in Seattle on Memorial day you can see some special vehicle events. The Puget Sound Military Vehicle Collectors Club will be there, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Memorial Day. The planned scheduled is to drive and fire the T-34 tank at noon, fire a Flak 88 artillery gun at 1 p.m. and drive and fire the Hetzer at 2 p.m.

http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/archives/206632.asp?from=blog_last3

If in England and at Duxford in 2010

July 10-11 Flying Legends

August 20 American Air Day

September 4-5 The Battle of Britain Air Show

October 10 Autumn Air Show

www.americanairmuseum.com

New Memorial in UK for B-17 Crew of B-17G 42-31123 95th Bomb Group

It was dedicated on May 15th by the local 95th BG members as well as US and UK  military personnel. The crew were killed when the plane crashed after taking off from Horham. Kenneth B Rongstad; Warren M Strawn; Richard E Diete; Joseph F Spicer; Gail A Richmond Junior; Gordon V Sorensen; Charles E Phinney; Louis M Mirabel; Julius W Torok; and Kenneth Cosby were the crewmembers.

If anyone has information about the crew, photos etc, contact Janet Norman-Phillips at pc@redlingfield.suffolk.gov.uk

A flyover of a DC-3 was done during the ceremony.

Willow Run Documentary about the Women Workers

Betty Oelke was a bride at 18 and a war-worker building B-24s at 18 and 1/3. Spending 6 days a week, plus overtime, building as fast as possible B-24 Liberators at the Ford operated Willow Run plant.

A slide show about Willow Run plant can be found here. 291 images.

http://public.fotki.com/Kos/members_photo_galle/wiilow_run_bomber/?cmd=fs_slideshow

Text Box:  
B-24s – and a B-17 - at the Willow Run plant after the war awaiting their turn to be scraped. AnnArbor.com file photo.

http://www.annarbor.com/business-review/86-year-old-belleville-woman-recalls-days-working-in-willow-run-bomber-plant-to-help-war-effort/#comments

Over 8000 B24's were built at the Willow Run complex during WWII.

75th Anniversary of the B-17 at Boeing Field

If you are around Seattle on June 17th, a Thursday, there will be an anniversary party and hanger dance at the Museum of flight for the B-17.

Boeing has a B-17F that has been restored.

B-17E “Desert Rat”

If you are in the mid-west you can visit a B-17E that is being restored.

Arrange via EAA Chapter 22 and

Contacts:   

  B17 project: Mike Kellner.  Phone: 815-568-9464    Email: B17man@t6b.com         
  EAA 22: Elroy Hilbert.   Phone: 815-543-473 Email: elroye61102@yahoo.com  
  EAA 1414: Lee Hilbert   Phone: 847-652-3526 Email: leehilbert@comcast.net 


The story of the B-17E s/n 41-2595 “Desert Rat” can be read here:
            http://www.aerovintage.com/rat-4.htm 


Airport Info: Ferris RLA (62IL) on Chicago Sectional. 4 miles South of Marengo
20805 E. Anthony Road;  Marengo, IL 60152 Phone: 815-558-0581
            Air Nav Link:   http://www.airnav.com/airport/62IL

Four Course Radio Range Navigation

Here is a video created and posted onto YouTube on how the 1940 era four course radio range worked – using a WORKING four point radio range system created at K43TN airport from Airlines Transport Communication corporate aircraft.

“The original four course ranges were very large because they operated in the very low frequency range, requiring 200 foot high towers with wide spacing. This model system operates in the high frequency 28 MHz band, so it is much smaller.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-VqtNY8vpw

On my web site I have a verbal explanation of how it works along with other radio navigation aids of the WW II era.

Related news: the LORAN station in Alaska was demolished in April since the 1000’ tall antenna was rusting out and they wanted a controlled destruction of it.

Spiegel Online – Photos

Spiegel is a news magazine that has been around for a long time. Since the re-unification of the two Germanys archives from the East have been found and are now being reviewed and in some cases published. Here are some photos taken during the final days and soon after of what was left of Berlin in 1945.

Some very graphic images.

http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-54631.html

Local Military Authors – Cont’d from last Month

“Bird with a Broken Wing” was written by Larry J. Bellarts in 1995. ISBN 0-8323-0514-6. Published in Portland, Oregon by Binford & Mort. Larry now lives in Hood River. Larry flew combat missions in WW II, Korea and Vietnam. He was shot at by all types of a/c and AA guns in WW-II- including a Me-262 who got his three wingmen down and was shot down by Larry’s tail gunner before the German could shoot down Larry’s B-17. We have that story in detail in our archive.

“Remembering My War” was written by Lt. Col. Paul E. Armentrout, USAF (Ret). ISBN 0-9759158-1-9. Printed by The Best Little Printhouse in Town, Eugene, Oregon. Paul flew 30 missions in B-24s in the 446th BG(H) 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force. The book lists all his missions with maps, photos, statistics of each.

“North  African Odyssey” by Norris H. Perkins in 1995 published by Four Mountain Productions in Portland Oregon. ISBN 0-9638442-1-0. Norris was a tank commander in North Africa in the 66th Armored Regiment and was also in on the invasion of Sicily in July of 1943.

“The amazing story of Sergeant Jacob DeShazer” originally published in 1950 by Hoyt Watson who worked at Seattle Pacific College. ISBN 1-878559-00-1. Jacob was one of the Doolittle Raiders (crew 16, last ship off the Hornet) who was captured in April of 1942. 8 were captured, three were executed on trumped up charges by the Japanese, one died of malnutrition, and he and three others survived. He died in 2008.

“Easy Company Solder” by Sgt. Don Malarkey w/Bob Welch. ISBN 0-312-37849-1 St Martin’s Press published in 2008. Easy Company was made famous by the book “Band of Brothers” and then the HBO series of the same name about this one company in the 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division of WW II. Their web site: www.menofeasycompany.com/  

“A WALK WITH GOD”. Tail gunner SSGT Robert Otto, of Everett WA, went to Austria for the dedication of a painting called LIBERATOR in 2008, honoring American airmen who helped liberate Austria. He subsequently wrote this book of his experiences and it is available by contacting him at 425-355-1505 or online at Amazon.

These books can be found on Amazon.com

Please let me know of other local authors in the Pacific NW of books concerning WW I, WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War etc.

Books coming out

Liberators Over Norwich The 458th Bomb Group (H) at Horsham St. Faith 1944-1945” (Amazon link) by Ron Mackay, Mike Bailey, and Darin Scorza.  Published date set for June 16, 2010.

Lawrence Fick, a member of our local 8th AFHS chapter in Oregon, was in this unit from July 1944 until the end of war ending up as lead navigator for the group.

Home Page of 458th BG (H) http://www.458bg.com/

“Splendor in the Skies – Echoes from the Past” is a collection of over 200 stories (250+ pages) of the air war against Germany.  Don R. Hayes has collected these stories and the book is at his editors for the summer.  He is the editor of the publication for the B-17 Flying Fortress Association and was in the 97 BG(H) 4141 BS; 1640 Cambridge Drive, Walla Walla, Wa 99362. B-17 Association web site: http://www.airwarb17.net/

B-24 Training Stats

From official records . . . 

From Pearl Harbor through September 1944, B-24 accidents in the U.S. have resulted in 2,188 fatalities. In the first 9 months of 1944, B-24’s did only 6% of total flying
in the U.S. but accounted for 26% of all fatalities. They flew 5% less than B-17’s but had 105% more fatalities and 85% more wrecks. Had the B-24 had as good accident rate as the B-17 during the period 7 December 1941 through September 1944, there would have been a saving of 230 aircraft wrecked, 904 lives, and approximately $60,000,000.

Bill Steitz has stated that he went back to the 15th AF in Italy for another tour of combat since he felt it was safer in combat than training new pilots in B-24s. The above bears this out.

In the 787 Squadron of the 466 BG (H) -- Lt Bob Gordon’s Crew

http://heraldnet.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=DH&Date=20100606&Category=NEWS01&ArtNo=706069881&Ref=AR&MaxW=328&MaxH=235Getting there in October of 1944 still meant a lot of dangers lay ahead to Marvin Hendrickson and the rest of the crew.

Jim Larson photo of B-24 and a new Me-262 flying in formation together near Whidbey Island with Paine Field in the background.

http://heraldnet.com/article/20100606/NEWS01/706069881

http://www.navalhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/johnfinn-226x300.jpg

Lt John Finn- MOH awarded for Pearl Harbor action, dies at 100

 “Despite head wounds and other injuries, Finn, the chief of ordnance for an air squadron, continuously fired a .50-caliber machine gun from an exposed position as bullets and bombs pounded the Naval Air Station at Kaneohe Bay on Oahu. He then supervised the rearming of returning American planes. “

"Here they're paying you for doing your duty, and that's what I did," Finn told The Associated Press before his 100th birthday. "I never intended to be a hero. But on Dec. 7, by God, we're in a war."

He was the oldest of 97 living Medal Of Honor recipients still living from World War II.

He was awarded it on September 15, 1942.

http://www.navalhistory.org/2010/05/27/remembering-lt-john-finn-usn/

Three UXB Experts die trying to disarm a 1000 lb bomb in Goettingen, Germany

Unexploded Bombs – UXB (also sometimes referred to as UXO - Unexploded Ordinance) – are all over Europe and the Pacific. On June 3, 2010 a thirteen man team was trying to disarm one at a construction site when one of the two fuses that were used on US 1000 lb bombs finally set it off.  It could also have been a delayed action bomb that whose timer malfunctioned when it hit and never timed out, but it finally did when it was disturbed.

Gottingen was bombed by the 96th BG (H) on May 9, 1943.

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/36758/

WASP Museum Update – Corrected Address & POC

The mailing address for the museum is P.O. Box 456, Sweetwater, TX 79556. The phone number is (325) 235-0099 and website is www.waspmuseum.org . For more information people can e-mail Sharron Davis, the museum’s executive director, at waspinfo99@yahoo.com.

 Memorial Day weekend at Sweetwater, Texas the museum had its annual WASP Homecoming event. Seventeen of the women veterans returned to Avenger Field where they learned to fly military airplanes in World War II. The photo is of several of the women veterans sitting along the wishing well near Avenger Field on May 29, 2010 … it was a WASP tradition that the first trainee who soloed in her class was thrown into the wishing well. The statue in the middle of the wishing well was made by WASP Dorothy Swain Lewis (who is seated in the middle of the picture with a tan-colored purse between her feet). A duplicate statue is at the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs.

Swamp Ghost comes home

The Boeing B-17E that went to war and then ended up in a New Guinea swamp, came to a Long Beach California unveiling on June 11.

The plane was struck by enemy fire in 1942 while bombing Rabaul, New Guinea. When it began to lose fuel at a drastic rate, Pilot Fred Eaton crash-landed into what appeared to be a grassy field. It took the crew six weeks to get back to safety

Fred Hagen and B-17 enthusiast, restaurateur and antique aircraft collector David Tallichet spent more than $1 million on excavating the aircraft and getting back to the USA.

http://www.scpr.org/news/2010/06/11/swamp-ghost-comes-home-unveiled-long-beach/

B-26s at Midway

The Battle of Midway when fought from June 4 thru 6 1942 and involved aircraft carrier and land based aircraft on the US side. The Army Air Forces had a variety of a/c on the island to support it – including Martin B-26 Marauders – which the one Jim Muri  flew was named “Suzie Q”.

Jim Muri performed a torpedo attack against the enemy carrier fleet targeting the Akagi and then fought against and survived a fight with Japanese Navy Zero pilots. Muri’s plane was riddled by anti-aircraft fire and bullets from attacking Japanese fighters. Muri probably saved his crew with an improvised maneuver. He banked hard and flew right down the length of the Akagi’s deck, correctly guessing that Japanese antiaircraft gunners couldn’t swing their guns fast enough to shoot him down. When he got back to Midway over 500 holes were in his a/c and three crewman had been wounded. He was 24.

http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/article_a23d83ea-7029-11df-affb-001cc4c002e0.html

Republished Memoir of flying in the 15th AAF

Tech Sgt. Fili flew 34 missions, the last one was in “Destiny Deb”, when he was shot down over Romania and became a POW in April of 1944. “Passage to Valhalla II,” which is the memoir being republished after the initial printing in 1991, he wrote to honor of the 79,260 airmen killed during air battles over Europe (editor: not sure which nations that total is for) and to remind future generations to help prevent constant wars.

http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2010/06/02/news/doc4c05cc24bf3be058795872.txt

Aegis Destroyer named in honor of Adm. Spruance

At the Bath Iron Works in Maine on June 5, a new US Navy 9,200-ton Aegis destroyer

was launched and named in honor of the admiral that was in charge of one carrier battle fleet during the Battle of Midway.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gsyDQwoRUKFXZ26RzOI-Ow-nshYgD9G59E3O2

Highest Group Loss in a Day – 27 Sept 1944

On September 27, 1944, a bombing mission into Germany would go down as the highest loss in history for a bomber group in a single day's battle. 20 B-24s were shot down over Kassel Germany.

Read more: http://www.winknews.com/Local-Florida/2010-05-30/WWII-veteran-to-be-honored-at-Bonita-Springs-Memorial-Day-ceremony#ixzz0qlcmXVJM

A Dog tag necklace

On New Georgia at Munda airfield a local resident named Graham Sale was wearing a chain of six old dog tags that he had found while digging next to the old Japanese then later on American Airfield. Shane Elliott, 44, of Washington state, works on research vessels in the South Pacific and in spare time does research of WW II sites. He wrote down the names from the dog tags and then became a detective since one of the six names in the chain, Edward Brennan Healy, 39 a gunner on a B-24 was presumed KIA since their plane nor any of his crewmen have ever been found.

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/66-years-later-missing-538792.html?imw=Y

Shot down on D-Day –over Yugoslavia

D-Day in France was just another mission day for the 15th Air Force in their air campaign against Germany and their allies. 2nd Lt  Milton Friend was navigating his B-24 to Ploesti  when after the bomb run a pair of Bf-109s came through and set the right engine on fire. “Because the gas lines on a B-24 were located in the wings, the planes "had a reputation for blowing up," Friend said; and so 9 of the 10 men were able to bailed out. Recued  by the Chetniks, which were fighting the Germans and were led by Gen. Draja Mihailovic he was behind enemy lines for 66 days until the US Army sent planes behind German lines and rescued him along with 500+ other airmen who had evaded German capture.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/66-years-after-d-day-boynton-veteran-recalls-729757.html

WASP Update

This web site lists all the training classes that the WASPs were in, where, and who was in them.

http://wwii-women-pilots.org/classlists/clslist.html

B-17 1/48 Scale Model

http://www.hyperscale.com/features/2000/images/images_1/b17-5a.jpg

Hard to tell that it is a model.

http://www.hyperscale.com/features/2000/b17gkh_1.htm

Of course there is lots of interesting items for sale. You can buy the whole maintence B-17 on a CD for $15.00.

Post Ploesti Missions in the MTO

After the famous “Tidal Wave” mission to the Ploesti refineries of 1 Aug 1943, the 8th AF units, 44, 93 and 389 Bomb Groups , stayed around for a few more months flying some really long missions into Austria – without any fighter escort. The first mission went off well – the Germans were caught off guard on August 13. The 2nd mission to Austria on 1 October 1943 they had upped the defenses, likely installed radar, and per Clint Gruber who flew the missions:
 “At the target the flak was very heavy, and swarms of German fighters bored in. The hard luck 44th BG (they called themselves "The Flying Eight Balls"), was especially hard hit. The force of 73 B 24s lost a total of 14 planes shot down over or near the target and 8 of those were from the 44th. The 93rd lost only one, and I believe it was the same for the 389th. Over the course of the 2,000 mile trip we had been in the air over 12 hours.”

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General Question to all Readers

Reloading  .50 Caliber Shells in England

Does anyone know if spent .50 caliber shells unloaded from bombers were reloading in England? Did they send them back to a factory for reloading or were they hauled off the bases as scrap to be re-melted down and then reused in the war effort that way?


If anyone knows about this, please send me, secretary@8thafhsoregon.com  an e-mail.

Red Tail Project

They are on tour with the P-51C a/c and are of course trying to raise money to fund and fully restore it ($16 THOUSAND + for a new prop!).

http://www.redtail.org/ They have nice “thank you” gifts when you donate to them. I got the hat.

USS Ranger Party

This aircraft carrier turns 53 on August 10, and they are throwing a party for it.

http://www.ussranger.org/ USS Ranger Foundation

DATE: Tuesday, August 10, 2010; TIME: 10:00 am; LOCATION: Chinook Landing Marine Park ;Fairview, Oregon  (Just North of Blue Lake Park at 223rd and Marine Drive)

MORE: Join Former Oregon Governor Victor G. Atiyeh , City of Fairview Mayor

Mike Weatherby , and other special guests  to hear an important announcement

regarding Ranger's future in Fairview.

Project “Muddy Hill” Reunion

Project Muddy Hill Reunion ; Scottsdale AZ

  2nd Week of Nov 2011..

VP4 NW Breakfast Gathering Sep 12   2010 Seattle  

VP4 P2V Officers Group Reunion  9-12   2010 Seattle

West Coast VP Officers Reunion 22-24   2010 San Diego  

VP4 Veterans Association 13-16   2011 Jacksonville


Contact Bob Zafran at vpfourever@gmail.com for details.

Bob will be presenting at the November meeting on PMH.

Kelly Clayton Gross Sees his P-51 at Oshkosh

4Local Vancouver resident and P-51 Ace Clayton Gross when to Air Ventures and saw a P-51 that has been restored back to look like the a/c that he flew in WW II.

“Clayton Kelly Gross walked slowly toward the P-51 Mustang, the one with "Live Bait" painted in bright yellow on the nose, the aluminum skin gleaming as bright as a mirror, and looked at himself.

For a moment he was 23 years old again.

Hovering nearby Wednesday morning, soaking in the moment, were the Mustang's owner and restorer. They wanted to pay tribute to a fighter pilot, an American ace, a hero. They wanted this plane to look exactly like the P-51 Mustangs Gross flew when the skies above Europe were a death zone of lethal buzzing aircraft.”

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/99516449.html

Blue Star Flag

The idea of showing support for the troops and that someone in your family is serving by creating a blue stared flag and hanging it in your window, and a Gold Star if that person was killed, dates back to the 1st World War of 1914-1918.

Grantham University http://www.grantham.edu/ sponsors, since 2006, this revived tradition.

“In honor of all of the brave men and women in uniform, MyBlueStarFlag.com offers a FREE Blue Star Flag to service members and their families. “

http://www.mybluestarflag.com/

Pulling Up A Navy Plane in San Diego

An SB2C-4 Helldiver will tried to be pulled up from 85 feet of water this August..

“The plane had been undisturbed since May 28, 1945. On that date, Navy pilot E.D. Frazar was forced to ditch in the lake when the big plane’s engine failed. Frazar and his passenger, Army gunner Joseph Metz of Ohio, survived the water landing and swam a couple hundred yards to shore. Both men have since died, but family members are aware of the recovery effort and some of them plan to be here.”

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/jul/14/prep-work-beginning-raise-wwii-plane-otay-reservoi/

Ground Crewman in the Battle of Britain

The pilots and aircrew got all the press, but the ground crew who worked through the night preparing battle damaged aircraft, or just normal work, allowed the pilots to get the glory – and always the danger. Joe Parker was a ground crewman on Spitfires in 602 squadron before the war, and was one of the men who made it possible for “The Few” to defeat the Luftwaffe in 1940 England.

5

"When we were called up, we all thought it would last for two or three weeks and then we'd be back home, but I didn't get back home for seven years.”

When 602 was transferred down into 11 group  as a replacement unit "It was only meant to be for 10 days, but the squadron they were taking over from had been reduced to only four aircraft and four pilots. The ground crew were originally bedded down in dog kennels which they were going to put up with for the 10 days.”

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/real-life/2010/07/10/world-war-2-hero-on-how-he-went-from-weekend-flier-to-being-at-centre-of-battle-of-britain-and-pals-with-bing-crosby-86908-22402718/

Surviving the Murmansk Run

Supply ships, aircraft, trucks kept everyone (mostly) with what they needed, but one of the most dangerous runs to supply the front line troops was the Murmansk run due to the cold sea, long daylight hours, and German bases in Norway which often were just an hour away from the convoy. John Laid went on this run twice on the SS John Gibbon and came back.

http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20100710/NEWS01/7100324

In the movie “Action in the North Atlantic” the ship is on the Murmansk run. One of the best lines (there are many) in the movie is the last one – it pretty well sums up the whole 1942 -1943 Murmansk run risks. Convoy PQ-17 (40+ ships) was almost completely wiped out during this timeframe – only weather saved them all from being sunk.

Flying a Boulton Paul Defiant

1930s came up with a lot of a/c types and the Defiant was a hybrid – looked like a fighter but had a powered turret facing backwards and no guns for the pilot. The first combat experience for the UK flyers in 141 Squadron was great – the 2nd combat engagement on the 19th of July 1940 was not so great. Only 3 made it back out of the 16.

Robin Lucas talks about flying it during the Battle – as a replacement pilot after the first group almost got wiped out. The plane was assigned to fly as a night fighter after daylight operations proved too deadly for the aircraft and in that it worked well.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/kent/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_8840000/8840802.stm

C-47 Makes it to Oshkosh

“Hear that?” Corippo, co-founder of the Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles, asked with an exuberant and knowing smile. “Hear that hum? Only the C-47 makes that sound. You can tell it’s coming without even seeing it.”

The C-47 made it easily to Wisconsin , not surprising since it was only build in 1944 and still going strong. Sent to Europe after the Normandy invasion, it went on to serve in all the major parachute drops and resupply missions for the rest of the war.

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2010/07/26/1227726/paso-robles-warplane-takes-off.html

Surviving a Japanese Torpedo on the USS McCawley

Trained as a signalman Bill Ross was on the USS McCawley when a Japanese aerial torpedo struck it and damaged it on June 30, 1943 near Rendova Island. During the night they stopped their salvage operation and got off and were waiting for daybreak to get back on and try and get it going again but US Navy PT boats thought it was a Japanese supply ship and sunk it with THEIR torpedoes.

http://www.theledger.com/article/20100628/NEWS/6285033/1410?Title=Lakeland-World-War-II-Veteran-Now-Confronts-Parkinson-s-Disease

“Our Gal Sal”

Out of Many One – Aircraft that returned to base that is

Capt. Robert J Shoens was the main pilot of “Our Gal Sal” in the 100th BG(H) that operated out of Thrope Abbots as part of the 8th Air Force.

Text Box:  Pilot of B-17 Our  Gal Sal

March 6, 1944 was the first 8th AF daylight bomber raid that made it to Berlin (local Oregon P-38 pilot Stan Richardson and his unit made it to Berlin a few days before – they never got the recall signal like the bombers - Stan flew home alone on one engine after the other was knocked out due to flak over Berlin and his unit had to leave him behind – he held the single engine record flight in a P-38 for 6 months) and the 100th BG took off as a complete group – and Our Gal Sal was the only a/c to return to base.

“"All you can think about is what's going on around you and you don't realize how many are lost until you get back to the field and there are no planes where there used to be."

The 8th AF lost 69 bombers out of the 850 that were dispatched.

http://www.freep.com/article/20100805/ENT05/8050305/1115/Ent05/Capt.-Robert-J.-Shoens-Pilot-of-the-B-17-Our-Gal-Sal#ixzz0wAIVr9Za

Sometimes Paperwork is Slow in Coming – Especially once you are a POW

On July 22, 2010 retired Air Force Col. Claude M. Schonberger received the Distinguished Flying Cross in the Pentagon’s “Hall of Heroes” for his actions as a pilot of a B-24 Liberator bomber flying over Regensburg on Feb. 16, 1945.

While on the bomb run his #4 engine became a run-away due to flak damage while at the same time a fire was started by the #3 engine. Maintaining formation he was able to drop the load of bombs on Obertraubling airfield and put out the fire and return to his base in Italy.  He was assigned to 759th Squadron, 459th Group, 13th Wing, 15th Air Force.

He was shot down on February 28, 1945 and only himself and his navigator, 2nd Lt. Bob Johnson of Bigfork, Montana survived the explosion of his B-24 over the northern Italian town of Bolzano.

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=60132

“Duration Plus Six Months”

Signing up they told Keith Dillmon it was for the duration of the war plus six months – but he was able to get out in November of 1944 after flying 50 missions as a ball turret gunner in the 461st Bomb Group, 15th Air Force.

http://www.eldoradotimes.com/news/x84685641/Revisiting-his-youth

Battle Of Britain at Seattle Museum Sept 18

Description: Battle of BritainSeptember marks the 70th anniversary of history's first major battle to be decided purely by air--the Battle of Britain. In remembrance of this anniversary, the Museum presents a special day of programs on Sept. 18. Presenters include Museum of Flight aviation historians and experts on the history and aircraft of the Battle of Britain. Admission is $5 for Museum Members and $10 for general admission (does not include admission to the Museum.) Early registration is recommended as seating is limited. Visit the Battle of Britain webpage for more information.


Sunday, Sept. 19, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., WWII Gallery

Museum docent Barry Latter gives a personal tour of the Personal Courage Wing WWII gallery Battle of Britain exhibit.

Norman St. Pierre a Stalag 17B POW

Normal was a waist gunner on the B-17 “Piccadilly Commando” of the 351 BG(H) returning from their mission on 31 December 1943 when they were forced to ditch in the English Channel when the plane ran out of fuel due to battle damage – and the crew was picked up by a German patrol boat.

http://www.pressherald.com/news/mainer-once-held-at-stalag-17b-dies_2010-08-25.html

Hummel's Cross

A fictional story about a Luftwaffe fighter pilot during the height of the air war who flies for Germany against the 8th Air Force but in his off hours helps his pre-war Jewish friends survive.

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/bschaeffer/2010/08/03/hummels-cross-german-war-thriller-american-dream-and-the-democratization-of-book-publishing/

Lt Crook evading the Germans in the Netherlands

Charles D. Crook Sr was a B-17 pilot shot down on 22 February 1944 just inside Holland from the German border.  Evading the Germans, he spent nine months roving around Holland till be was able to make contact with a British unit after Arnhem battle and made it back to Molesworth around the 5th of September, 1944.

He kept a journal of the time evading and it might become a book.

http://www.hometownglenburnie.com/news/Top_Stories/2010/08/11-16/Remembering+Chuck%0A.html

French Ace of WW II Dies at 92

French pilots fighting for France while in the RAF is well known, as those flying under Free French Forces lead by General DeGaulle using US and British planes, but Marcel Albert fought and gained 24 victories while flying Soviet Yak fighter aircraft on the Eastern Front. He was part of the Normandie-Niémen unit. Around 100 French fighter pilots went through the unit while stationed in the Soviet Union. Almost half were killed in action. The Normandie-Niémen museum is in Les Andelys, France. The museum states that the French pilots flew 5,240 sorties and were credited with the destruction of 273 German planes.

He died in Harlingen, Texas, August 24, 2010.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/world/europe/26albert.html?_r=1

WW II Museum in New Orleans Expands

A new wing of the museum will have as its centerpiece a B-17G Flying Fortress. Also included will be an TBM Avenger, B-25 Mitchell and a Dauntless that will be on catwalks so that you can see all parts of them.

A new feature will allow people to be on the USS Tang on its last patrol.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hEvSx2EYvafBQ_6pVnh6ThqrLFSAD9HRBRV81

Veteran discussion on VE day

A multiple of people talk about how and where they were when JJ day was proclaimed.

http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20100816/NEWS01/8160320/Veterans-discuss-service-uncertainties-after-V-E-Day


Errol Flynn’s War Movies being released

Errol Flynn made 5 war movies and all of them are being released on DVD. "Desperate Journey", "Edge of Darkness", "Northern Pursuit", "Uncertain Glory", and "Objective, Burma!" 

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/04/entertainment/la-et-classic-hollywood-20100804/2

Tom Tate

IN 1945 Tom and six fellow crew members were captured near the German village of Huchenfeld in Germany after his B-17 Flying Fortress bomber was shot down.

Description: Tom ... friendship invites forgivenessHe managed to escape but the rest were killed in cold blood by villagers, seeking revenge for earlier bombing raids.

"I despised them for it," said Tom who visited his friends' graves just after the war.

"I told my wife that I would never go back to Germany.

"Then, 50 years later, I got a brochure for a holiday in the Rhine.

"It fell open at an article which read, 'The Village that asked Forgiveness'.

"I couldn't believe it - it was all about Huchenfeld and the executions.

"I received a letter from a couple, Renate and Gotthilf Beck-Ehninger, who were very involved in the reconciliation process but hadn't known that I was still alive.

"Guilt had hung over the village for years, but I went there and somehow changed things for them.

"I was so welcomed, and so well looked after, that suddenly I realised I'd made a mistake.

"I wish I'd gone to Germany earlier to relieve these people of their guilt. The act of friendship invites forgiveness." 

 http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3087027/Could-you-forgive-the-unforgivable.html

33 Missions out of Spinazzola Italy

Flying as part of the 15th Air Force, 460th Bomb Group; 761st Bomb Squadron, pilot Bob Sartorius flew his B-24 “Liberator” on missions into Germany, Austria, France, The Balkans, and Italy while in Italy.

 “You don't ditch a B-24,” he said. “A B-24 has high wings and a big, bulbous fuselage.”

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20100827/NEWS01/8270303/%E2%80%98+It+never+occurred+to+me+I+wouldn+t+return+

Last B-24 Built by Douglas Tulsa Plant found in Adriatic

Description: 20100811_A1_20100811_TheTulsaamresized

The Tulsamerican B-24 bomber conducts a test flight over Tulsa in this undated photo. The man at the rear gunner's door is Marcus Johnson, a Douglas employee who won the contest to take a ride on the plane.

The very last B-24 produced at Douglas’ Tulsa Oklahoma plant was shot down after 17 December 1944 on a mission to the oil refinery at Odertal, Poland. On Memorial Day it was discovered off the coast of Split in the clear waters of the Adriatic where it had ditched. “Crew members reported the plane went into the water nose first, and then flipped over onto its back before submerging. “ (See previous pilot’s comment about ditching a B-24.)

Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20100811_12_A1_ULNShu241187&archive=yes

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20100811_12_A1_ULNShu241187&archive=yes

Production Figures Air Force Plant No. 3


Operated by: Douglas Aircraft Co.
Groundbreaking: May 3, 1941
Dedicated: August. 15, 1942
Length: 4,004 feet
Width: 350 feet
Floor space: 800,000 square feet

World War II aircraft production: August 1942 to September 1945

Complete production:


615 A-24 "Banshee" dive-bombers
962 B-24 "Liberator" bombers (the first 10 of which were rejected by the Army Air Corps)
1,343 A-26 "Invader" attack bombers


Aircraft modifications, estimated at several hundred


A-20 "Havoc" light bombers
B-25 "Mitchell" bombers
B-17 "Flying Fortress" bombers
C-17 "Skytrain" military transport subassemblies

 http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20100811_12_A1_ULNShu241187&archive=yes

 “The Playboy Crew 1943-1944 Memoirs of World War II”

What do you name your bomber when you have a bunch of 20 year olds looking for women in wartime England? Robert Pipes wrote the book after people started telling him to not just talk about it, but write it down.

He came up with the nose art: “Our plane was decorated with a male duck that I painted.”

Pipes was shot down over Holland in April of 1943 in his B-24.

http://www.durantdemocrat.com/view/full_story/9234610/article-Pipes-releases-World-War-II-memoirs?instance=home_news_lead

Losing a prop and almost the B-24 nose over Berlin

Claude McConnell was a Top Turret Gunner / Engineer on a B-24 in the 458th BG(H) over Berlin on 27 February 1945 when flak shot away the #3 prop and it sliced almost through the plane. The pilot told everyone to get ready to bail out when McConnell’s told him his parachute was burned through by hot hydraulic fluid – so the pilot instead said everyone goes or no one goes.

The pilot landed the plane outside Brussels and the British picked them up the next day and ferried the crew back to their Horsham St. Faith base outside Norwich England.

http://www.carolinaweeklynewspapers.com/story/20100820/if-only-i-were-half-cool-claude-mcconnell

POWs Tell of their story

Various POWs from all different branches, talk about their POW experiences.

http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/news/article_459b136e-a4ea-11df-aae0-001cc4c03286.html

A collection of stories can be found at: www.battlestory.org

Low Level B-24 strikes against the Burma Road with the 10th AF

CBI - China Burma India shoulder patch

 10th Air Force Should Patch worn in the CBI during WW IIErich Edwin Schleier Jr. was faced with a problem of destroying the narrow gauge railroad that were used by the Japanese and came up with a novel solution: Fly B-24s 150 above the railroad and drop 30 second delayed action bombs on the rail line – oh and have 6 B-24s do it at a time in trail at 45 second intervals so that the explosions do not knock down the B-24 behind the one that just dropped.

He flew in the 436th Bomb Squadron of the 7th Bomb Group of the 10th Air Force in India.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-schleierob_18met.ART.State.Edition1.35fe3ae.html

Oregon Pilot survive mid-air (??)

http://union-bulletin.com/stories/2010/08/28/nebraska-town-remembers-fatal-world-war-ii-plane-crashes

Editor’s Note: I found, and bought, both the 10th AF and the CBI Shoulder Patch in a military collector’s shop in St Petersburg while on vacation in Florida this past July. Bother were made in India during the war.

B-17 Turret Gunner to throw out first pitch

Red Dillon, WW II B-17 Top Turret Gunner will throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Cardinals MIA/POW Recognition day on September 17th.

Red was from Little Rock, Arkansas, and tried out with the New York Yankees, were he met Babe Ruth and got some pointers from him. Drafted in 1942 then going into the Army Air Force he became  flight engineer / gunner in a B-17 Flying Fortress and was shot down over Germany, in 1943.

Captured, he spent 20 months in a POW camp in Austria (Stalag 17B).

http://www.fox2now.com/news/ktvi-wwii-vet-first-pitch-082010,0,2354705.story

Kamikaze from the Japanese and American Point of View

There is at least one known Kamikaze pilot who survived when his plane was shot down, and captured, as he was making his attack. He was shunned in Japan after the war since he did not die.

http://wgordon.web.wesleyan.edu/kamikaze/index.htm

Battle of Midway in 3D?

The Battle of Midway, may be the title that writer / producer Bruce C. McKenna is trying to sell to Warner Brothers with the battle being filmed in 3D.

Link: http://www.firstshowing.net/2010/08/28/bruce-c-mckenna-sells-his-3d-battle-of-midway-pitch-to-wb/#ixzz0y1X1tV8V

 Not to be outdone, Universal Studios created a movie by Peter Berg Battleship , which is a movie that is a science fiction adaptation of the BOARD game “Battleship”.

The man who found the Pearl Harbor Photograph

That famous picture of Pearl Harbor with the first torpedo strike against a US Battleship was found by Martin Shemanski in a cleaned up photo lab in Yokosuka, Japan, in tiny shreds where someone had torn it up and thrown it away before the US troops arrived. (Japan had ordered that all military and Government documents be destroyed before the surrender, so a mass campaign throughout Japan and still occupied land, of all Government documents relating to the war be destroyed before the formal surrender so that no records would exist of what went on during the war.)

http://www.thevalleychronicle.com/articles/2010/08/27/news/doc4c7803a55624d701208814.txt

Yap Memorial Finished

A memorial to all the allied aircraft shot down around Yap has been completed. The memorial is that of an F6F Hellcat which was shot down, but largely still intact, was erected to commemorate all 100+ aircraft lost around Yap Island.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/08/prweb4438864.htm

The people who go around finding these old aircraft have a web site at: http://www.missingaircrew.com

 Wake Island Marine Ralph Holewinski

Ralph was held as a POW, likely one the longest American held as a Japanese POW, since he was captured on Wake Island on December 23, 1942. He appeared in a History Channel production when they flew him back to Wake Island in 2001.

http://www.gaylordheraldtimes.com/articles/2010/08/26/news/top_stories/doc4c7418b76bacd680333580.txt

Dive Bombing The Zuikaku with "Buell and Company"

Buell wrote "Dauntless Helldivers" an autobiography of his war years.

The enemy "got hurt because we were good at what we were doing -- which were these 75-degree dives from about 15,000 feet" in a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver.

The Japanese did not have "a gun that could stay with us straight up. We didn't get killed up high -- unless some (enemy) fighters got in. You're in the dive, and unless you and the shell come together, you could survive to the point where you fire the bomb [when the] low ground fire and everybody is shooting at you. You would jink here, jink there and get the hell out of there. Most of the guys who were killed, it was after the pull-out."

 http://www.thonline.com/article.cfm?id=293715

Captured in The Philippines and 3 1/2 years as a POW

Elmer D. Wolff, a longtime resident of Ukiah, died on March 19, 2010. He was in the Army in 1941 and was captured and put into forced labor camps in the Philippines for two plus years before he went onto a “Hell Ship” to Japan. It took 3 months for the ship to sail from the Philippines to Japan. Once there he worked in Northern Japan as a slave laborer.

http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/reminisce/ci_15855360

Editor’s Note:

 Japan had kept detailed records of all forced labor of Koreans, some 175,000, secret along with pay they were never given during the war, and had stated no records existed of the wartime forced labor, but last year admitted they did have this list and gave the list of names and wages never paid to South Korea. The money they were never paid went into an Bank of Japan account at the direction of the Government at the end of the war – and it has sat there ever since. Japan states that all treaties signed since the war with various nations meant – just like the treaty to the USA – that individual and the foreign governments cannot sue and get compensated by Japan or the companies that used forced labor at the direction of Japan’s government.

Erecting memorials for the tens of thousands of POWs, Chinese, Koreans and other foreigners who died as a direct result of Japanese policy concerning POWs and others, is not allowed in Japan.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20100824zg.html

Action in the Pacific and the Atlantic as a Merchant Marine

Ed Wielosinski joined the Merchant Marine when he was 17 years old and went to war sailing in the engine room of transport, troop, and tanker ships. He participated in the Pelieu, Saipan, Okinawa, and other, amphibious captures.

http://www.baxterbulletin.com/article/20100809/NEWS01/8090322/1002/Tour+of++Duty++Merchant+Mariner+remembers+World+War+II+service

Captured on a Higgins Boat

John Henry Ward was in the Navy at 17 and in battle off of Guadalcanal by 18. His ship was bombed, he caught malaria and went to “buttons” – slang term for the Navy Hospital – and was captured by the Japanese when he landed his Higgins boat to rescue some Marines and was instead captured himself. He spent two months in a POW camp until a New Zealander unit came and captured the camp to free the POWs.

http://www.carolinaweeklynewspapers.com/story/20100827/hell-huntersville

Oregon 8th Air Force at Hillsboro Airshow – Continued

Girl on latest US AIr Force trainer looking up into sky at airshow.As previously reported, the Oregon chapter had a booth at the Hillsboro International Air Show in August of 2010. This was possible due to the sponsorship of Dignity Memorial through  Jean-Christophe Aubry who arranged to have the liability insurance coverage for two organizations:  our Oregon 8th AFHS and the Association of Naval Aviators booths to be under their liability coverage.

They also sponsored a Veterans Chalet at the airshow for 300 veterans each day with catered drinks and food.

 I met a 45th Infantry Division machine gunner who fought for 1½ years in the Korean War. He and I spent 45 minutes talking about his combat experience while waiting for the food to arrive. Next time you see the move “Pork Chop Hill” watch the scene about the searchlights, he experienced having searchlights turned on and into the clouds to help see at night during Chinese attacks.

Jean-Christophe (JC) works at the Portland, Oregon office at: Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery in Portland.

The firm is the sponsor of the traveling Vietnam memorial that tours the USA. They have free guides for veterans on burial benefits. The VA does not cover all expenses. From a presentation that he gave the VA benefits can be summarize as that the VA covers everything on inside of the gate – all items before that point is generally not covered. Call toll-free 866-508-5834 to gain information on their services.

12 O’Clock High

918 BG (Heavy) is the name of the fictional squadron that I should have typed into the last newsletter as being the one portrayed in 12 O’Clock High. One of the authors of the movie, Lt Col Beirne Lay Jr, was flew on the August 17, 1943 Schweinfurt portion of the raid in “Piccadilly Lilly” as a mission observer.

World War II in HD - The Air War

A new History Channel series showcases footage about the 8th AF. 8 and 16 MM films were scanned and converted into the HD format – High Definition. Some new footage from private collections as well as previous footage last seen in the 1940s were used to create this two hour account of air combat over Europe. The premier of this was done at the Mighty Eighth museum in Savannah on October 23th.

This cable presentation will premiere on the History Channel on Nov. 10 at 9 p.m.

Glenn Miller Band Photos

Did anyone attend concerts during WW II when Glenn Miller toured the 8th AF Bases?

Glenn Mittler, glenn_mittler@yahoo.com , is looking for photos that local servicemen may have taken of the band. He donated two copies of photos that he has to our Oregon 8th AFHS chapter, one of which is seen here.


Was anyone at this outdoor concert in this photograph? Does anyone know where and when this occurred?

The people behind the V that are making up the ‘8’ are women – nurses?

Germany Pays off World War I Debt

Germany, through the Treaty of Versailles, was assigned full responsibility for “The Great War” and thus was to pay for all damages as a result of the war. When the NAZI regime came to power they suspended repayments. After the end of World War II in 1953 a replacement repayment treaty was created to again start the WW I payments. On October 3, 2010, the last payment by Germany of some 60 million pounds was paid to the bond holders – just 92 years after the war ended.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/world-news/germany-finally-pays-bill-for-first-world-war-1.1058879?localLinksEnabled=false

Russian Ship Firm Repairing HMS Belfast

A veteran of the Artic Convoys during WW II, the HMS Belfast is in the Thames as a floating museum. The main masts were corroded and the Russian firm came forward to build replacements for the Belfast as a “thank you” for the efforts it undertook to escort convoys to Russia during the Second Word War.  Out of the 811 supply ships that made the “Murmansk Run” 68 were sunk by German submarines, warships and aircraft.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23876569-russians-repair-hms-belfasts-masts-to-repay-a-wartime-debt.do

Precision Bombing from 10,000 Feet

Text Box:  
Rome as seen through the bomb bay of a B-17 Flying Fortress.
To ensure that historical items like The Coliseum were not damaged by errant bombs, on 19 July 1943 B-17s AND B-24s from North Africa bombed the Rome raid yards from 10,000 feet.  The photo shows the Tiber river which the bombers followed on the way to the target.

The official Air Operation diary of WW II makes NO MENTION that the B-24s were even on the mission to bomb both the Rome rail yards and the airfield. There were two B-24 groups – 44 and 93 – on loan to the NASAF forces who were preparing for “Operation Tidalwave” at the time who flew the mission. This is the operations entry that day in 1943:

During the night of 18/19 Jul, Wellingtons drop over 800,000 leaflets on Rome, Italy. Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) light bombers attack Catania, Sicily. During the following day, about 150 Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) B-17's bomb the Rome, Italy railroad yards; B-25's and B-26's hit nearby Ciampino Airfield, Italy; P-40's bomb rail facilities in the Alcamo, Sicily area; and NATAF A-36's attack trains and motor transport in W Sicily.”

No mention of the B-24s even being used at all.

The Great LA Air Raid

On Feb 26, 1942 AA guns and sirens blared over LA when a gun battery saw objects in the night sky and opened fire at them. For over two hours flak boomed in the night sky before the all clear was sounded. No Japanese planes were there, but some miss-identified weather balloons and barrage balloons that were not properly reported as being in the sky were shot at.

None were shot down.

http://www.ocregister.com/news/ack-230157-night-air.html?wap=0

Fighting Across Europe in an Engineering Company

Jake Dekker was drafted in 1942 and after training assigned to an Engineering company – combat engineers. This put him in, or within shelling distance of the front lines from D-Day onwards.  He was even strafed by American aircraft – flown by German pilots.

http://www.dglobe.com/event/article/id/31167/

A WW I Fighter Pilot, Hollywood Films, Hobby Shop, and Predator Drones

What does a British WW I fighter pilot, Reginald Denny,  do his movie career and in his spare time after movies? He runs a hobby shop selling model aircraft including the early versions of radio-controlled aircraft.

He turned his hobby job into RC Aircraft for the military to use as practice targets and photo recon missions and they are still used for that purpose.

A RC drone a/c from WW II is at the Tillamook air museum.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-drone-history-20100912,0,2734112.story

Two Former Fighter Pilot who fought over Romania Meet Again

Barrie Davis flew P-51 Mustangs out of Italy while the Romanian Ion Dobran flew Bf-109s. Ion almost shot down Barrie. Both became Aces.

“If you were smart, they made you a navigator. If you were steady, they made you a bombardier. All the rest of us, they made pilots."

http://www.easternwakenews.com/2010/01/13/5916/six-decades-later-foes-reunite.html

Bomber Pilot Turned Fighter Pilot after First Tour

Earl N. Thomas flew in the 360th Squadron of the 303 BG (Heavy) “Hells Angels” out Molesworth England during World War II. He first combat flight was February 4, 1944. After completing 33 missions he went over to Steeple Morton and after one week was now a fighter pilot in P-51 Mustangs to be part of the scouting force for the bombers.

http://www.times-herald.com/Local/Thomas-manned-the-Flying-Fortress-rode-the-Mustang-955383

Gliding into Combat in a Waco CG4A

Robert Herriot was sitting behind the pilot and co-pilot in their WACO glider during “Operation Varsity” – the cross Rhine airborne assault – when both were killed at 100 feet above the ground.  He then moved forward, pushed the dead pilot out of his seat, jumped into the seat and then landed the glider. He had never been in a glider till then.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/102593679.html

Boeing Plant #2 Being Torn Down

After a storied career producing aircraft – Especially the B-17 and B-29 -- Boeing’s Plant #2 on Boeing Field in Seattle has to be torn down due to the inability to update the plant due to environmental laws that govern the superfund cleanup of the Dumwash which it is built over. Part of the plant is built over the water on pilings in the river which are rotting, and with the superfund rules and other current laws, it is impossible to replace them – so the plant will be torn down.

http://www.mynorthwest.com/category/local_news_articles/20100915/The-building-that-won-WWII-to-be-demolished/

Need a B-25?

A B-25 “Mitchell” bomber made famous by the Doolittle raid to Japan, is up for sale for $650,000.  Partially restored, more work needs to be done to get it fully back to WW II status so it can fly. You are near South Carolina, you can driver over and see it.

http://www2.wspa.com/news/2010/sep/23/wwii-bomber-sale-ar-869872/

Wait! Too late! A group just bought it. The S.C. Historic Aviation Foundation.

http://www.thestate.com/2010/10/23/1525986/group-to-buy-renovate-vintage.html

SDB-5 “Dauntless” Crew Member Identified

Aviation Radioman Second Class William L. Russell of Cherokee, Oklahoma was the rear gunner of a raid attacking Buka airfield in the Solomon Island, the plane was seen at low altitude when an explosion occurred below it. No one saw it crash. Lieutenant McIntyre was the pilot.

In 2007 a local discovered the crash site and reported it to the local government who contacted the US and in May 2008 the POW/MIA team when there and recovered some of the remains.

http://www.newson6.com/Global/story.asp?S=13206113

2nd Lt. Arthur F. Parkhurst  - Buried Oct 16, 2010 in Dayton, Ohio

Lt Parkhurst was a pilot of a C-47 flying in the Philippines in 1945 when he never returned from a mission on March 12, 1945. The wreck was discovered in 1989 and his remains finally identified this year.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2010/10/14/Remains-of-World-War-II-officer-identified/UPI-39231287101338/

Memorial in Wilmington NC Community

In honor of Hanover County residents who flew in aircraft from any branch of the service in WW II.

Of the 120+ listed, 39 were killed during the war.

http://www.wect.com/Global/story.asp?S=13383617

Hunting Down WW II Wrecks in the Pacific

Justin Taylan’s dad was a combat photographer during WW II, and after a tour there he became interested in all the a/c wrecks he saw. Now he spends his summers hunting, cataloging, and researching a/c from Burma to remote islands of the South Pacific.

http://www.trivalleycentral.com/articles/2010/10/04/front/doc4ca9f8c410866282559342.txt

Donating a 500 Lb Practice Bomb to a Museum

James Force spotted a 4-foot-long olive drab pipe lying in a junkyard in the early 1960s but it was not a pipe - it was a casing of a 500 pound GP bomb. Never getting around to that restoration project that he had planned for it, he ended up donating it to Cimarron Heritage Center in Boise City.

Boise City, about 100 miles south of Lamar, Colo., bears the distinction of being bombed by an American warplane during World War II.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/ap/longmont-man-donates-wwii-bomb-casing-to-museum-105587753.html

The Bullet Holes That Don’t Matter

From Kevin Drum:

Back during World War II, the RAF lost a lot of planes to German anti-aircraft fire. So they decided to armor them up. But where to put the armor? The obvious answer was to look at planes that returned from missions, count up all the bullet holes in various places, and then put extra armor in the areas that attracted the most fire.

Obvious but wrong. As Hungarian-born mathematician Abraham Wald explained at the time, if a plane makes it back safely even though it has, say, a bunch of bullet holes in its wings, it means that bullet holes in the wings aren't very dangerous. What you really want to do is armor up the areas that, on average, don't have any bullet holes. Why? Because planes with bullet holes in those places never made it back. That's why you don't see any bullet holes there on the ones that do return. Clever!

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/10/the-bullet-holes-that-didnt-matter.html

30 Combat Missions and Never Attacked by Fighters

Sol Seligman was a top turret gunner on a B-17 and flew combat missions in the 8th Air Force from June 19, 1944 till November 26, 1944. During that whole time no enemy fighter every came near his aircraft – though one time he watched the 10 out of 12 a/c in the squadron behind him get shot down. 

He was also one of the oldest aircrew flying in combat; he entered combat at the age of 34.

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20101021/NEWS13/10210301/First-aid-kit-takes-flak-for-bomber-crewman

Twice Escaped Thrice Captured

Charles LaMarca was in the 15th Air Force as part of the 449th Bomb Group flying B-24s when he his plane was destroyed over Yugoslavia – by friendly falling bombs. He subsequently successfully escaped two prison camps but each time he was re-captured after a few days on the run.

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/10/former_pow_credits_gods_work_i.html

B-24 Crew from Papua New Guinea

In 2003 a local stumbled upon the remains of a B-24 in a steep ravine. In the airplane were the remains of tail gunner Claude “Bud” Ray and 10 other crew members who were reported missing on 27 October of 1943. DNA confirmed these remains were his and he was buried in Riverside Cemetery. The other 10 will be buried in Arlington National in 2011. He was buried exactly 67 years from the date he died.

http://www.redding.com/news/2010/oct/29/cousins-burial-is-67-years-overdue/

Photos of the ceremony at:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-wwii-airman-buried-pictures,0,4853642.photogallery

 Redressing a History Wrong

Gen. Draza Mihailovic was a leader fighting against the Germans in Yugoslavia during WW II. His partisan organization helped in the hiding of 600+ allied airmen who had been shot down or escaped into Yugoslavia. They were rescued during the war during Operation Halyard when an airfield was built by Mihailovic’s organization and aircraft flown in to take them out in 1944.

During a rigged trial after the war the communists, who now ran the country, had him executed and buried in a secret grave after a show trial. President Harry Truman awarded Mihailovic the Legion of Merit for the rescue – but it was never publicized to maintain relations with Tito’s government.  Retired Lt Col Milton Friend is trying to get his history of how he helped the allies corrected.

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=1418037&lang=eng_news

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/7192001-wwii-us-veteran-seeks-justice-for-general-mihailovic

New Book on 7 “Aggies” -- all Medal of Honor Winners in WW II

Included in the book is Lloyd Hughes Jr. who was part of the B-24 “Tidal Wave” at Ploesti losing his life in his B-24 bomber.

http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2010/oct/28/aggie-war-heroes-football-stars-featured-in-new/

 At Amazon.com : Texas Aggie Medals of Honor: Seven Heroes of World War II (Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series)

A Real Letter from Iwo Jima

Franklin Hobbs found a letter in the pocket of a dead Japanese soldier while fighting on Iwo Jima. He took it home as a souvenir and stored with his other wartime memorabilia. He pretty much forgot about it until a suggestion from his wife about returning it to the Japanese relatives. He traveled to Japan in October of 2010 and met the eldest sister of the man killed at Iwo – the youngest sister Yoko Takekawa - lives in New Jersey.

Iwo Jima – the Japanese has since renamed the island -- was assault by Marines on 19 February 1945 and after a month was considered secured. 6,821 Americans and 21,570 Japanese were killed during the battle.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jBCMzxUGxCb-zY91sWKR4ScFBBfg?docId=4959535

A Short History of the “HMS Ark Royal” Name

The current vessel is 25 years old. During WW II the 4th Vessel, also an aircraft carrier, was sunk during 1941 on a Malta resupply convoy escort mission.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11571013

Articles are Not Just published in the USA

If you can read Romanian, overseas people still write about the 8th and 15th Air Forces efforts in liberating Europe.

http://www.gazetademaramures.ro/fullnews.php?ID=11171

You can of course type the URL into Google Translate and then read it in English.

Special Sunday November 7th Event at Portland Memorial Coliseum

3 PM to 5 PM Sunday November 7th.

This event will be a patriotic musical journey from the Revolutionary War to the present, with popular music and patriotic songs from every war era.

The 50th Anniversary of the Memorial Coliseum will be celebrated.

Complimentary parking until 4 PM. (If that means you have to pay for parking there after 4 PM is unknown).

SPONSORS: Remembering America’s Heroes (RAH) and the Portland Trail Blazers announced in August, the Second Annual “A Tribute To Veterans” performance in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Duxford England Air Shows for 2011

Spring Air Show - Sunday May 22

Flying Legends - Saturday and Sunday July 9 and 10

The Duxford Air Show - Saturday and Sunday September 3 and 4

Autumn Air Show - Sunday October 16

A radio Station just for Military War Birds

Welcome to the radio station devoted to military aviation. It's our goal to preserve the stories and history of the brave men and women who flew and fly military aircraft.

 WarbirdRadio.com

Dantes Daughter

Martin Swift’s grandfather Thomas Raeburn (WO) flew in Avro Lancasters during WW II and he is trying to locate the artwork that adorned his grandfathers’ a/c “Dantes Daughter”. Thomas was a tail gunner and survived the war earning a DFO from Bomber Command.

The tail gunner was often the person who determined if the bomber would survive a Luftwaffe night fighter attack – if a tail gunner saw the German fighter they often survived.

If you have a photo, or know how to obtain a photo contact me, Tom Philo.

Col Robert L Howard – MOH

On 23 December 2009 70 year old Robert Howard died at the age of 70. He was the most highly decorated soldier of the Vietnam War.  He was nominated for three MOH citations and was awarded one. He also had two awards of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, four awards of the Legion of Merit, four Bronze Star Medals and eight Purple Hearts.

He did five tours of duty as a Green Beret.

After he retired from the military, and the Veterans Administration, he went on tour to Iraq and Afghanistan talking to the troops there.

On the USS Belleau Wood During WW II

Joe Pajestka was a machinist mate on the this aircraft carrier during WW II including the only time it took damage during the war from a kamikaze aircraft which killed 92 fellow sailors.

There were roughly 1600 total men on a fleet type aircraft carrier at any one time.

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/10/memories_of_kamikaze_hit_still.html

Flying as part of Squadron 222 of MAG-14 in the South Pacific

Hugh Winnell flew the Chance-Vought F4U Corsair during WW II. However, he spent most of his time dive-bombing in the Philippines and on Okinawa – not in air to air combat.

http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/null-world-war-ii-dive-bomb-pilot-i-111210,0,6186926.story

Twice Sunk Always Afloat

The only good thing about being sunk during WW II was that you got 30 days leave afterwards – if your survived. Joseph W. "Bill" Connolly Jr was on the USS Lexington when it was sunk by our own ships after being damaged by the Japanese aircraft and could not be safely towed back to Australia so it then was sunk by US Destroyers; and then the ship he was on, USS Block Island, was sunk in the Atlantic. He could not outswim life and died at the age of 88.

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/top_stories/x1414148025/Natick-man-who-survived-two-sinkings-in-World-War-II-dies

431st Fighter Squadron History

As and Intelligence Specialist with the 431st P-38 Squadron in the Pacific Sgt Hyman Furra was in a special position to record an accurate history of the squadron in their fight from from new Guinea to the Philippines.

Maj. Richard Bong and Maj. Thomas McGuire were in the unit and Charles Lindberg also came through the unit training pilots on fuel management.

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20101027/NEWS13/10260361/Intel-sergeant-kept-history-of-squadron

817th Air Engineer Squadron

Anyone know what fighter (or other) squadron this unit supported? The base(s) and locations they were at or any other information on the 817th Air Engineers Squadron? Contact:  Gary Davis  at garyd@sturgillcpa.com

MSgt Michael Benic

All this person knows is that his uncle was in the 8th AF – anyone have any information on him contact: Dave Cortese dacortese@bellsouth.net

I did an enlistment search at the NARA site at http://aad.archives.gov/aad/fielded-search.jsp?dt=893&tf=F&cat=WR26&bc=,sl and found no info on him, so he could have been a prewar (pre-1938) Army and thus would not be in those records.

Liberators over Norwich now for sale

This is book about the 458 BG (H). List price is $69.99 From of Amazon it sells for $51.09

Amazon Link: Liberators over Norwich: The 458th Bomb Group (H), 8th USAAF at Horsham St. Faith 1944-1945

Michael Pungercar still working on his book

Technical formatting problems prevented Mike from publishing his book as desired in November  –seems that some publishers have specific formats that the book has to be in and so he had to re-layout the book in the publishers format – which would take a few months.

More British Foreign Officer Archives Released

New documents released detailed some of the fears that the Germans had been stockpiling goods and combat troops in the Alps region to prolong the war. It also alludes to the deception campaign that the Germans did to promote that to change the attack strategy against Germany itself from a Blitzkrieg type attack into the one that actually occurred – a broad front push everywhere.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gypfSHLdAfJiCmQTAglBmSFX6BgQ?docId=CNG.d207688a31f4264e0add8f6d733c82e6.d1

“Birdcage” Corsair recovered from Lake Michigan

After 60+ years an early model Chance-Vought F4UA Corsair was raised from the depths of Lake Michigan in order to be restored.

The great lakes hosted stationary freighters converted into aircraft carriers as a way to ensure that pilots could train without having to in a combat zone.

http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=155259&catid=81

AT-6 Crash Drowns Pilot – Passenger Escapes

After reporting engine trouble Melville Dill, 73, was returning to the airport at Flitchburg PA when he came up short and landed in the water and the plane flipped onto it back.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327673/World-War-Two-plane-crash-kills-pilot-73-attempts-emergency-landing.html

“Sinking the Rising Sun”

William E. "Bill" Davis published a book about his combat experience during WW II including dropping a bomb on the Japanese carrier Zuikaku with his F6F Grumman “Hellcat”.

Davis ended the war with 7 confirmed kills and the Navy Cross for hitting the Zuikaku.

Amazon Link:

Top of Form

Sinking The Rising Sun: Dog Fighting & Dive Bombing in World War II

 

Bottom of Form

A member  Joseph Armanini -- a Member of the “Bloody 100th

As a lead bombardier he had clean air and was the first to see both the Luftwaffe fighter planes coming in and the flak they got to fly through during his 25 missions over Europe. Considering he was one of the original members of the group and one of the very few to make it to that 25 mission number – 95% of the members who originally were part of the group with him did not finish a tour – most finished as a POW.

Armanini's first mission was to Bremen, Germany, on June 25, 1943, aboard a plane named El Pisstofo. The Bloody 100th lost seven planes that day.

"It was just a matter of luck that you finished," Armanini said. "If you ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time .... You had to be lucky."

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_16509428?IADID=Search-www.santacruzsentinel.com-www.santacruzsentinel.com

A PBY gets it wings back

Gerral’s Girl” is a PBY-5A Catalina flying boat at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station -- now has its wings back on.  The PBY is now an educational display after 10 years of restoration work.

The PBY did search and rescue, U-Boat hunting, anti-shipping at night in the Pacific, medical evacuation, cargo hauling – about anything someone could think of they make the PBY do it.

http://blog.seattlepi.com/whidbey-pi/archives/227663.asp

1941 Historical Aircraft Group Museum

If you drive along Route 63 and see the Geneseo NY campus on one side of the road look the other side and you will see a dirt road leading to a very unique museum.

They have a C-47 that dropped men of the 82nd Airborne division into Normandy.

They have the 1990 stand-in movie version of the “Memphis Belle” in the proper B-17F configuration.

http://media.www.thelamron.com/media/storage/paper1150/news/2010/11/04/KnightsLife/1941-Historical.Aircraft.Group.Museum.Preserves.Gems.Of.World.War.Ii-3954528.shtml

http://www.1941hag.org/

 

Virtual Airplane Museum

Want to find out the sepcs and view images of every possible aircraft from every country in the world starting with the very first aircraft? Check out The Virtual Airplane Museum.

http://www.aviastar.org/index2.html

What is this part and why type of Aircraft?
A request from Howard Mariteragi SUPVR Wreckage Analysis JPAC at a WW II crash site in Poland from has pieces of an aircraft and are trying to figure out if it is a B-24 or B-17 or some other a/c.

Unknnown B-24 part

There are a total of 7 images. If you have any idea how to ID these two and the other photos please contact me. These are posted onto the Oregon 8th AFHS Web site for viewing.

Go to: http://www.8thafhsoregon.com/misc/index.aspx to view high resolution images of all 7 images. Contact me and or Howard with info. Howard’s e-mail: Howard.Mariterag@JPAC.PACOM.MIL

If anyone has a detailed parts manual for B-17 or B-24 that would be most helpful!

Master Sargent Gerald W. Hansen 449 BG(H)

At the age 91 Mr Hansen died in Wisconsin, but he had served and will live on as part of the legacy of the 15th Air Force during the Second World War when it was in Italy.

http://www.thenorthwestern.com/article/20101130/OSH010301/11300352/Gerald-W-Hansen

Number of B-24s Flyable Doubles – now 2 fly

The CAF B-24A is also now flying. It is doubtful if it will make it out of Texas for the full airshow circuit, but now there are two out of 18,000 that can fly: Collings Foundation and the Texas CAF Liberator are in the air.

Flying Over D-Day Shores in France

Technical Sgt. Bob Schmidt of Kendallville was a radio operator who flew in both B-24s and B-17s including a flight over the D-Day invasion beaches on 6 June 1944.

Hew flew 31 combat missions in bombers and then flew in cargo planes in the South Pacific.

http://www.fwdailynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9420:Remembering-the-air-war-over-Europe&catid=87:dennis-nartker

Vaughn Erickson of Vancouver Washington flew in his B-17 in the Utah Beach landing area on D-Day and took this picture of his group’s target.

Taken from the Bomb bay of a B-17
near UTAH beach by Vaughn
Erickson.

8th Air Force Medals

The Eighth's personnel earned 17 Medals of Honor; 220 Distinguished Service Crosses; 850 Silver Stars; 7,000 Purple Hearts (wounds) and 46,000 Air Medals. An Air Medal was awarded to a person after flying  5 combat missions; then a pin was awarded and added to the air medal for every 5 missions thereafter.

261 fighter aces and 305 gunner aces are recognized from the Eighth in World War Two.

Col John B Parker – B-17 Navigator

Assigned to the 467 BG(H) on 22 July as a replacement crew. He started combat in August of 1944 and finished his tour in February of 1944 after logging 240 hours in combat.

Twice his B-17 had both port engines shot out and made it home. His formation was also attacked by the German Me-262 jet fighter twice during his tour.

http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2010/nov/11/wwi-aviator-tells-surviving-air-war-over-europe-ar-529005/

Searching in Germany for Lt Roy Steadman

A family goes to Germany in search of their relative killed in the war. Lt Steadman was a bombardier in the 44th BG(H) flying in B-24 Liberators when his plane was shot down on April 8th 1944.

http://bainbridgega.com/news/publish/111110steadham.shtml

 
Earning a Silver Star while wounded

On a “Milk Run” to an airfield target in France before D-Day Bombardier Lt Michael Connery figured it was going to be a easy since it was reported only 4 guns were around the airfield target – then his plane takes 4 hits as he makes the bomb run.

8th Air Force; 2nd Air Division; 392nd Bomb Group; 577th, 578th and 579th bomb squadrons.

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20101113/NEWS13/11130301/Bombardier-s-bravery-earns-him-Silver-Star

Mission To Berlin – Robert F Dorr’s book on pre-order

Robert Dorr’s book about the February 3, 1945 mission to Berlin Germany is scheduled to be published in march of 2011 but it can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

Mission to Berlin: The American Airmen Who Struck the Heart of Hitler's Reich

Dorr’s previous book last year was Hell Hawks! About P-47 pilots of the 9th Air Force in their air escort and ground attack missions in Europe.

A book about the March 6, 1944 mission:

Target Berlin: Mission 250: 6 March 1944 (Greenhill Military Paperbacks)

Looking for the Crew of A/C 42-31979 – MACR 2767

This crew was part of the 306th BG(H) 368th Squadron flying out of Station 111 (Thurleigh) and was shot down on February 25, 1944 at 1255 PM on the way to bomb Augsburg by Bf-109s.

If anyone knows if any of the crew is alive:

Bayless, Charles M 0-685944

Crowl, Clarance J 0-686252

Kalish, Michael  0-685635

Laughlin, James H. Jr 0-741191

Vought, William C 139822791

EHudson, Carl E 18166196

Willey, Kenneth E 15332706

Christian, William C 17080591

Please contact Martin Karcher at  m.karcher@gmx.net

He is doing research on this aircraft in Germany.

A Dog Tag Comes Home

Hank Sarnow was in one of the planes that were shot down on Aug 17, 1943 as part of the Schweinfurt ball bearing plant bombing phase of the “Double Strike” raid that also targeted the Regensburg aircraft factory whose crews flew onto North Africa as the first “shuttle” mission and landed there after the bombing. Flying in the B-17 named “Our Bay Bee” they were shot down over Belgium and he spent the next few months evading the Germans before he made it to Spain.

Hank died in 1999.

Last month a package arrived from Europe with his dog tag in it.

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/11/11/3176486/wwii-airmans-dog-tags-show-up.html

Doris Elkington Hamaker – WASP

Assigned to Stockton Airfield in 1944 they could not figure what to do with her – she was the first one to be assigned there. She ended up as being the test pilot of repaired aircraft (which could be dangerous depending on what was repaired) and being a check pilot for other pilots needing to log time.

http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101111/A_NEWS/11110337/-1/NEWSMAP

 William T. Follis Jr. – Shot down over Madgeburg

Up in Bellingham Washington William T Follis Jr lives now but at one time he lived in the nose of a Boeing B-17s as a bombardier – till he went to Madgeburg, which is about 75 miles west of Berlin on May 12, 1944; where he was shot down.  He ended up in Stalag Luft 1.

“The German interrogation officer was a one-legged major who had lost his leg at the Russian Front. He had a rather complete file on me, including knowledge of my family, my father's business, when and where I was married, along with articles from The Bellingham Herald with respect to my military training and when I was sent overseas.”

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010/11/06/1698419/bombardier-bill-follis-jr-shot.html

Celebrating Christmas with Colored Flak Bursts

As a waist gunner flying in B-17s with the 15th Air Force 97 BG(H) 340th Squadron Henry Yekel was aloft on Christmas day when instead of the normal black puffs of flak greeting them on the way into the target the Germans put up flak shells that burst with red and green colors.

http://www.reporterherald.com/news_story.asp?ID=30255

VWF Post 603

Audio recordings and written the transcripts of veteran stories of World War II by Jewish veterans.

Fighting against NAZIS while being Jewish was a special enhanced risk unique to these veterans. If captured it sometimes mattered which branch of the German military captured them and where. Toward the end of the war some NAZIS did try and single out Jewish POWs out the those captured but were usually rebuffed by those just captured to single out their Jewish members.

http://www.jewishjournal.com/veterans_day/article/the_jewish_war_veterans_of_post_603_20101109/

A Nose Gunner in the 460 BG(H) 15th AF

Leon Brady went from a ranch in Vernal Utah to being a gunner out of Spinazzola Italy flying 35 missions in B-24s. Included in that group of missions is one where they ran out of fuel and ditched their aircraft behind enemy lines, and they were able to get air-sea rescue to come land by them and bring them back to Spinazzola.

Their planes’ unofficial nickname “Seldom Available” – because there was almost always something wrong with it they always went flying in some other aircraft.

http://www.gillettenewsrecord.com/articles/2010/11/11/news/today/news00.txt

Chinese Americans in the War

At the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center there is a small exhibit about the men who went to war from the Chinese community there. Like Leon Brady above, Edward Chan joined the military, however he became a bombardier, and like Brady, was assigned to the same 460th BG(H) in Italy and was there at the same time as Leon Brady.

Sgt Haryy Lim parachuted into Normandy as part of the 101st Airborne.

 Harold Don, Wing Gee Lee, brothers Johnny and Loy Low, Harold Lim, Ray Lim, Paul Tom, Al Yee, Ray Tom. Also Jimmy Wong, Frank Lee, Chuck Gin, William Gin, Fung Wong, George Wong, Ray Quen and Don Wing all were in the military during WW II.

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/article_79446ed6-ae65-57d3-bcc0-7bcd0d30d9f8.html

A Museum Just for the B-24 Liberator

The Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum is home to the International B-24 Memorial Museum. They do not have a B-24, but they have 30 other aircraft on display.

They have as their mission a to tell the history of the design, planning, production and use of the Consolidate B-24 “Liberator”.

18,479 Liberators were built (by various firms) and only two are flyable.

www.pawam.org

Zamperini’s War

After their plane broke up in air in May of 1943 in the Pacific, Louis Zamperini and his pilot spent 7 weeks on a raft before finding land – and capture under the Japanese. Thereafter two years of purposeful torture by the Japanese were experienced by both before the end of the war. This book tells of his experiences.

Pasquale “Patsy” Gerron – B-24 Gunner in China

Flying combat missions out of China, literally the end of the supply road for anything, to Hing Kong, Canton, Hanoi he fought Zeros, a nighttime jump out of the airplane when they ran out of fuel and other adventures in the Far East.

http://www.morningjournal.com/articles/2010/11/11/news/mj3548024.txt?viewmode=default

Lucky Bastard Club – Certificate earned February 3, 1945

Herb Taylor was the combat pilot of a B-24 at 20, and finished his 35th mission on February 3, 1945 at the age of 21.

His co-pilot Joseph Mulhern, kept a diary of their missions as part of the 389th BG(H) 566th Squadron flying B-24 Liberators out of England as part of the 8th Air Force.

“Mission No. 4 - Sept. 8, 1944, 7:45 a.m. Target: Karlsruhe, just east of Rhine, marshalling yard for Siegfried Line. Took off on instruments, bad weather, broke out about 15,000 feet. Wild scramble to form.

Had short circuit and wire fire. Thought we might join the Caterpillar Club. (Those who bail out using parachutes of silk, hence the name Caterpillar Club.)

Had to go to 24,000 feet to bomb. Accurate flak. About five holes in ship. Too close for comfort.”

http://www.themountainmail.com/main.asp?SectionID=4&SubSectionID=4&ArticleID=20794

Flying Brothers in the Same B-24 Squadron

Courtney and Earl Shanken were borthers with different jobs in the same B-24 unit flying out of England.

There were a number of brothers flying combat in the sane unit, some even in the same aircraft.

Howard Hass and Courtney were both recently awarded the French Legion of Merit.

http://www.pioneerlocal.com/wilmette/news/2869614,highland-park-vets-111110-s1.article

Kassel Germany – September 1944

John R. Lemons was a waist gunner as part of the 445th BG(H) operating B-24s out of Tibenham En gland, Sussex, when on a supposed “milk run” to Kassel Germany the unit was attacked by swarms of German fighters – only 4 aircraft out of the 35 landed back at the base.

In 1990 a memorial was erected at the site of the aerial battled and 45 Americans, and 14 German fighter pilots, attended the banquet and unveiling of the monument.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/fea/travel/unitedstates/stories/DN-vetsreturn_1107tra.ART.State.Edition1.4f72c8b.html

“City of Savannah” Gets a Paint Job

The B-17 now housed at the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum nose art was painted on by Skip Shelton – himself a veteran of the 448th BG(H) – as a B-24 pilot.

“After he painted a sexy woman on his own plane, "Frisco Frisky," his commanding officer took notice. After that, Shelton was often grounded so he could paint nose art on other planes.”

http://savannahnow.com/west-chatham/2010-11-17/world-war-ii-veteran-paints-city-savannah-b-17-nose-art

What Would You Do?

Fred Millard was in the first wave of American soldiers to jump off a landing craft into battle at Omaha Beach on D-Day.

“We were the first ones in. They dropped us in nine feet of water.  The first thing I did was throw my gun away. Who was I going to shoot underwater?”

http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20101111/NEWS10/11110580/1027/%E2%80%98+Incredible+individuals+++Members+of+%E2%80%98+Greatest+Generation++treated+to+Famie+film

Still Waiting for the Purple Heart Paperwork

John Welterlen was part of a PB4Y (The naval single tail version of the B-24) crew hunting U-Boats in the Gulf of Mexico to bombing raids in the South China Sea, Okinawa and Japan itself he spent the war in the air over the ocean – but was wounded while on land inside his PB4Y.

However, his records – like hundreds of thousands of others – were lost in the warehouse fire in St. Louis and it takes two people to confirm that he was indeed wounded while inside his airplane.

So trying to go through the proper channels he is running out of ways to prove he should be awarded it.

On July 12, 1973 the National Personnel Records Center in St Louis has a hugh fire and 80% of all  Army records from 1912 thru 1960 was  destroyed and Air Force records from 1947 thru 1964 (starting with those names after Hubbard, James E.) 75% were destroyed. The building was designed without a sprinkler system due to fears of water damage to all the paper stored there.

Gunner Sgt. Michael Chiodo Buried 65 years after MIA Report

His B-24 bomber was shot down, along with 62 other aircraft, over Germany in April of 1944 and his remains were never found till 2007. On Oct 20, 2010 he was buried with full military honors with 1 of his surviving relatives in attendance.

http://blog.cleveland.com/sunmessenger/2010/11/mayfield_heights_womans_brothe.html

Tuskegee Memorial Re-Dedicated

An Urban renewal project long ago wiped out the plaque honoring William Armstrong who was killed in aerial combat on April 1, 1945.

A new plaque was made and set up at the intersection of Cranston and Dodge streets in Providence, Rhode Island.

http://www.projo.com/news/content/TUSKEGEE_AIRMAN_REMEMBERED_11-11-10_APKSNKS_v12.36d8bf5.html

New Exhibit on Pearl Harbor

Bill Barr, 91 offered to donate his old cameras to the Royal Oak Historical Society, but he also had taken pictures of Pearl Harbor on the 7th as the carrier he was on, the USS Enterprise, steamed into port – most of these pictures had never been seen before.

http://www.dailytribune.com/articles/2010/12/02/news/doc4cf876d141f7e317181260.txt?viewmode=fullstory

www.royaloakhistoricalsociety.org

Guam Still Fighting – Over Reparations caused by the Japanese Occupation but want the money from the US Government

Guam has been locked in a struggle with the US Government for over 30 years over reparations to the people who lived through (and for the many who did not) the occupation by Japanese when they invaded the island till the US took it back in 1944.  14,000+ natives were under Japanese occupation from 1941 thru 1944 when the US took it by after 1,438 servicemen died retaking the island. All US citizens were evacuated from the island at the start of the war since the war plans stated it could not be defended and thus was abandoned without a fight.

The claims process in the 1940s was word of mouth and short timed and thus most of the natives never even knew about it. Current claims amounts to $126 million dollars.

Senator McCain opposed the appropriation payment saying that it would set a precedent that US citizens could file claims against the US Government for actions done by other nations.

This is due to the hasty treaty made with Japan, seen by few, and approved of by Congress without anyone really reading it, after the war by the Government due to the Red Scare era and thus signed away the rights of the US citizens to seek compensation from Japan for slave labor, torture, purposeful killing, and starvation diets of POWs and Internees – unlike the postwar treaty with Germany.

http://www.stripes.com/guam-seeks-closure-to-its-nearly-30-year-quest-for-wartime-reparations-1.126894

George Reiner – At the Receiving End of a Kamikaze

Doing your job while an airplane is diving “right at you” is what George Reiner did on April 24, 1945 when his destroyer USS Haggard was the target of a Japanese Kamikaze – which hit just 60 feet away.

This Portland Oregon native was on destroyer picket line duty – a prime target of the first waves of Kamikazes in order to take out the radar – in the Okinawa campaign.

http://www.thebeenews.com/news/story.php?story_id=129032199258295300

Last Man Club

This is where people form a club to honor those that served with them, and have died and the last man left gets a great bottle of booze.

In the TV Series “M.A.S.H.” Col. Potter is the “Last Man” of his club of 6 that formed in a bombed out house in France in 1918.

http://www.lemarssentinel.com/story/1682032.html

On Board the USS CHUB

Ed Morrison was a machinist mate on the submarine USS Chub SS-329 catching a nap when a Japanese aircraft attacked the submarine one day in 1945.

The aircraft’s bomb missed the sub by some 40 feet which woke him up.

The US lost 52 submarines during the war – a 20% casualty rate.

http://waltontribune.com/news/article_f94ccac2-ec27-11df-9c33-001cc4c03286.html

The “Forgotten War” is Remembered

Sgt. Richard Frank Abbott, 24 was part of the 31st Infantry Regiment fighting their way north toward the Yalu river on November 15, 1950 at the Chosin Reservoir expecting the war to be over in a few weeks as did Marine Cpl. Dave Erkson only a few miles away on that same November night.

Only one came back to tell their complete story of the Chinese intervention into Korea.

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20101128/NEWS02/11280301/The-Frozen-Chosin-Vermonters-remember-costly-Korean-battle

A Routine Day on Iwo Jima

Richard Leslie was a machine gunner on Iwo Jima – but due to the terrain and even though he was in the front line he could do very little with his weapon. He unit went ashore as a replacement platoon.

“One Jap grenade did hit me in the nose and laid me back in my foxhole, but it didn't explode.”

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010/11/06/1698423/marine-thanks-lucky-stars-he-survived.html

From Machinist Mate to Flamethrower on Iwo Jima

Joe String was running the engines on landing craft at Iwo Jima when he, and 20% of the rest of the crew, were re-assigned to combat positions to replace the men already killed.

In a 4 man team setup: himself with the flamethrower, a man to operate the valves of the tanks on his back, and two riflemen as escorts, he would lead the group into caves, dugouts, and other fortified positions and kill any Japanese soldiers in there.

http://www.theledger.com/article/20101110/NEWS/11105021/1410?Title=Veteran-Ending-Longtime-Policy-of-Saying-Little

Moving Households as a job and Finds Diaries thrown away

Bev Gregory daytime job was “removals” – in the UK that means house movers -- and in the process has found diaries that were being thrown away as trash when the people moved. So far he has saved a diary of Aircraftsman Roy Hidderley and Gunner William Gee.

He has already transcribed them and now is trying to figure out how to get them published.

http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/southport-news/southport-southport-news/2010/12/03/southport-man-transcribes-second-world-war-heroes-diaries-101022-27759542/

"South Carolinians in World War II: A Time to Fight"

Is a three part series about the 184,000 South Carolina men and women who fought in WWII.

The "South Carolinians in World War II" series is part of a larger effort by ETV and The State newspaper to collect the stories of South Carolina veterans. The second and third episodes will air in 2011.

More information about the project can be found at http://www.facebook.com/scworldwarII

Richard McGlinn – 38 Days in Siberia

Bailing out of his damaged B-29 Superfortress after a mission to Japan, he and his crew were forced to bail out over the USSR – then still neutral – but he had to find people first in order to be interned.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/11/08/1408706/bellingham-pilot-endured-ww-ii.html

Findable on Amazon the book “Home From Siberia," published in 1990 book by Otis Hays Jr. details the experience of McGlinn's crew and other U.S. fliers interned by the Russians during WW II.

Lance Bombardier Manley Greets a soldier from the 2nd Byelorussian Front in Wismar

Is a key photo in a new exhibit in Barnsley, Yorkshire that also has photos of the Brest Fortress that it took the Germans over a month to capture when they first invaded the USSR.

However, the exhibit ended on November 18 and thus the photos are no where to be seen  . . .

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/Yorkshire-soldier39s-historic-handshake-recalled.6620529.jp

A Communist View of the “Great Patriotic War”

The war on the Eastern Front did decide WW II since from 78% to 60 % of the total German effort was in the East. But as to why the Soviets won  of due to their better government or if the German lost to their real lack of planning is still being debated.

http://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2010/1482/09-stalin.html

Serving on Cargo Ships Throughout the War

Shipping won the war for the Allies – without the massive ship building program to move the goods needed to fight the war it could not have been won. Jack Hillier joined in 1941 – before the war – and served throughout the war – including time on a tanker which was always a high priority target to sink.

http://www.citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101111/GJNEWS02/711119690/-1/CITNEWS

The AK-47 – Created as a result of WW II and Soviet Practicality

During the “Great Patriotic War” the USSR greatly relied on automatic weapons en masse to counter the skilled rifle marksmanship of the Germans and their allies. Mass of fire overcame skilled individual fire on the Eastern Front and the combat experiences drove the Soviets to design a better rifle to meet the needs of the battle field – and it resulted in the AK-47.

http://www.kansascity.com/2010/12/01/2488721/how-ak-47s-changed-killing.html

Local WW II Authors

In the Oregon / Washington 8th AFHS Chapter area we have a number WW II book authors.

Clayton Kelly Gross wrote “Live Bait”; ISBN-10: 1592991866 ISBN-13:  9781592991860. He was in the 355th FG and ended the war with 6 victories. You can buy it from him directly. 2306 SE Spyglass Dr, Vancouver, Wa 98683-5102. 360-254-2829 www.ww2livebait.com  $29.95 plus Shipping/Handling $4.50.

Al Gould wrote “Millions of Ghosts Plead  . . .  Don’t Forget”. Al flew in the 8th was shot down on 7 January 1944 and was POW # 2767 at Stalag Luft I. ISBN 0-9659081-8-6. Hartley Press, PO Box 2657, Gearhart, Oregon 97138. $25 plus shipping.

C.M. Graham wrote “Under the Samurai Sword” about his POW experiences from the fall of Bataan till his liberation at the end of the war. He spoke at our 8th AF meeting a few years ago. Self published back in 1998. He was with the US Army,  Field Artillery, Battery "G", 60th CA (AA) Ft. Mills - Corregidor, Camp Cabanatuan, Fukuoka camp #17 (Omuta).  C. M. Graham; 1942 SW Canyon Drive, Unit 212; Redmond, Oregon 97756-7146 Phone: 503-789-3969. $25.00, includes shipping.

“Bird with a Broken Wing” was written by Larry J. Bellarts in 1995. ISBN 0-8323-0514-6. Published in Portland, Oregon by Binford & Mort. Larry now lives in Hood River. Larry flew combat missions in WW II, Korea and Vietnam. He was shot at by all types of a/c and AA guns in WW-II- including a Me-262 who got his three wingmen down and was shot down by Larry’s tail gunner before the German could shoot down Larry’s B-17. We have that story in detail in our archive.

“Remembering My War” was written by Lt. Col. Paul E. Armentrout, USAF (Ret). ISBN 0-9759158-1-9. Printed by The Best Little Printhouse in Town, Eugene, Oregon. Paul flew 30 missions in B-24s in the 446th BG(H) 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force. The book lists all his missions with maps, photos, statistics of each.

“North  African Odyssey” by Norris H. Perkins in 1995 published by Four Mountain Productions in Portland Oregon. ISBN 0-9638442-1-0. Norris was a tank commander in North Africa in the 66th Armored Regiment and was also in on the invasion of Sicily in July of 1943.

“The amazing story of Sergeant Jacob DeShazer” originally published in 1950 by Hoyt Watson who worked at Seattle Pacific College. ISBN 1-878559-00-1. Jacob was one of the Doolittle Raiders (crew 16, last ship off the Hornet) who was captured in April of 1942. 8 were captured, three were executed on trumped up charges by the Japanese, one died of malnutrition, and he and three others survived. He died in 2008.

“Easy Company Solder” by Sgt. Don Malarkey w/Bob Welch. ISBN 0-312-37849-1 St Martin’s Press published in 2008. Easy Company was made famous by the book “Band of Brothers” and then the HBO series of the same name about this one company in the 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division of WW II. Their web site: www.menofeasycompany.com/ 

“A WALK WITH GOD”. Tail gunner SSGT Robert Otto, of Everett WA, went to Austria for the dedication of a painting called LIBERATOR in 2008, honoring American airmen who helped liberate Austria. He subsequently wrote this book of his experiences and it is available by contacting him at 425-355-1505 or online at Amazon.

These books can be found on Amazon.com

Please let me know of other local authors in the Pacific NW of books concerning WW I, WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War etc.

Col Millett lead the very the last US Bayonet Charges

Col Lewis L Millett died at the age of 88 last November 14, 2009. Having served in three wars, WW II, Korea, and Vietnam, he won a Congressional Medal of Honor for leading the very last known US bayonet charge during the Korean War with M1 Garand rifles. They charged up Hill 180 near Osan on February 7, 1951 and captured it and then held it. The battle is now known at Battle of Bayonet Hill. He had lead an earlier bayonet charge on February 5. He was a Captain at the time of Easy Company, 27th Infantry.

Hill 180 is located near the distinguished visitor’s quarters above the 51st Fighter Wing Headquarters, Bldg. 1097, 7th Air Force, Korea.

National WASP Museum

There is now a WASP museum at Interstate 20 at 210 Loop 170, Avenger Field, Sweetwater Texas. The museum is there but their mailing address is P.O. Box 96679, Washington DC 20090-6679. WASP web site address is www.waspmuseum.org .

Over 25,000 applied, 1,830 were accepted, 1,074 got wings. 12,650 planes were flown from one field to another by the WASP.

Speaking of WASPS, Amanda Brown Meachem went flying again in an AT-6 (SNJ) at the age of 93 down in Florida on April 23, 2010.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/23/1595641/surviving-wasp-93-fulfills-dream.html

End of WW II

Nothing reminds the people of Russia of the end of WW II like the May 9th parade in Moscow – which for the first time US, British, French troops were allowed to march in. 10,000+ Russian Federation soldiers marched in that parade. Over 102,000 soldiers marched in various parades throughout the country.

One of the best museums to visit in Russia is the Volgograd (Stalingrad) museum. No displays are in English, so find someone who reads Russian or find a good translator program if you go.

Books coming out

Liberators Over Norwich The 458th Bomb Group (H) at Horsham St. Faith 1944-1945” (Amazon link) by Ron Mackay, Mike Bailey, and Darin Scorza.  Published date set for June 16, 2010.

Lawrence Fick, a member of our local 8th AFHS chapter in Oregon, was in this unit from July 1944 until the end of war ending up as lead navigator for the group.

Home Page of 458th BG (H) http://www.458bg.com/

“Splendor in the Skies – Echoes from the Past” is a collection of over 200 stories (250+ pages) of the air war against Germany.  Don R. Hayes has collected these stories and the book is at his editors for the summer.  He is the editor of the publication for the B-17 Flying Fortress Association and was in the 97 BG(H) 4141 BS; 1640 Cambridge Drive, Walla Walla, Wa 99362. B-17 Association web site: http://www.airwarb17.net/

"Mission to Berlin" research request to 8th AF Air and Ground crews

Robert F. Dorr is publishing  "Mission to Berlin in March 2011 and the book will cover both the overall American daylight bombing effort by the Eighth Air Force and, in particular, the February 3, 1945 mission when the Eighth Air Force dispatched 1,003 B-17 Flying Fortresses to Berlin and 434 B-24 Liberators to Magdeburg, escorted by 948 fighters.

The book will be in the same format as "Hell Hawks," his current book (co-authored with Thomas D. Jones) about P-47 Thunderbolt operations in Europe.

Hell Hawks: P47s in Ground Air Support in Europe

I need help with the following:

The ground crew:

I need to talk to crew chiefs, maintainers, armorers, electricians, ordnance guys, and other who helped to prepare the bombers for their missions. If you're a ground crew veteran, or have information that can help, please call me on the phone and let me do a brief interview with you.

Flight crew:

I would like to interview anyone who is willing to share experiences.

In the 34th Bombardment Group

I'm already in contact with several members but would like to hear from others, especially crewmembers of the B-17Gs FANCY NANCY and PURTY CHILI.

In the 91st Bombardment Group

A pivotal event in this history is the loss of the command aircraft with Lt. Col. Marvin D. Lord aboard, filling in for Major Emmanuel Klette. I would like to hear from anyone who can tell me more about Lord and Klette. So far, I have been unable to locate a photo of Klette.

I'm searching for a photo of 2nd Lt. James Hensley (322nd BS, 91st BG) who flew some of the early B-17 missions and was later the father of Cindy McCain.

In the 398th Bombardment Group

I'm looking for more details of the collision of the unnamed Powell B-17G and the 1st Lt. John McCormick B-17G which may have been named MAUDE MARIA (or was it?).

In the 452nd Bombardment Group

In addition to the above, I would like to talk to anyone who flew the Berlin missions of February 3, 1945 and February 26, 1945. I would especially like to talk with anyone on the Marksian crew.

In the 486th Bombardment Group

I'm looking for a photo and biographical details on tail gunner Staff Sgt. Frank T. Chrastka, who lost his life as part of the Cloud crew aboard the B-17G BLUE GRASS GIRL.

I'm looking for more information about the Ogle crew of the B-17G LADY V II, which diverted to Poland. I especially need details about the crewchief, the fate of the airplane after arriving in Soviet-held Poland, and the repatriation of the Ogle crew.

Among the B-24 Liberator crews:

The weakest part of my story so far is the 343 B-24 Liberators that were dispatched to Magdeburg on February 3, 1945. As the author of three books, I know better than most that B-24 crewmembers often feel they are "second class citizens" when the history of the war is written.

Robert Dorr is the author of 70 books and ten thousand magazine articles and newspaper columns and has been writing about the Air Force for 54 years. Writings include a weekly column in Air Force Times newspaper, a monthly feature in Aerospace America magazine, and a quarterly page in Air Power History. I'm an author, an air Force veteran, and a retired senior American diplomat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_F._Dorr

Robert F. Dorr

3411 Valewood Drive

Oakton VA 22124

(703) 264-8950

robert.f.dorr@cox.net

A New Book About Eva Braun

In February a new book about the life of Eva Braun, mistress to Adolf Hitler, was written by Heidi Gortemaker has been published and is trying to shed new light on Eva  and how she became involved with Hitler and trying to prove that she was not an ditzy  “empty-headed flibbertigibbet”.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/02/18/did_hitlers_mistress_have_a_clue

B-24 Training Stats

From official records . . . 

From Pearl Harbor through September 1944, B-24 accidents in the U.S. have resulted in 2,188 fatalities. In the first 9 months of 1944, B-24’s did only 6% of total flying
in the U.S. but accounted for 26% of all fatalities. They flew 5% less than B-17’s but had 105% more fatalities and 85% more wrecks. Had the B-24 had as good accident rate as the B-17 during the period 7 December 1941 through September 1944, there would have been a saving of 230 aircraft wrecked, 904 lives, and approximately $60,000,000.

Bill Steitz has stated that he went back to the 15th AF in Italy for another tour of combat since he felt it was safer in combat than training new pilots in B-24s. The above bears this out.

In the 787 Squadron of the 466 BG (H) -- Lt Bob Gordon’s Crew

Description: http://heraldnet.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=DH&Date=20100606&Category=NEWS01&ArtNo=706069881&Ref=AR&MaxW=328&MaxH=235Getting there in October of 1944 still meant a lot of dangers lay ahead to Marvin Hendrickson and the rest of the crew.

Jim Larson photo of B-24 and a new Me-262 flying in formation together near Whidbey Island with Paine Field in the background.

http://heraldnet.com/article/20100606/NEWS01/706069881

WASP Update

This web site lists all the training classes that the WASPs were in, where, and who was in them.

http://wwii-women-pilots.org/classlists/clslist.html

B-17 1/48 Scale Model

Description: http://www.hyperscale.com/features/2000/images/images_1/b17-5a.jpg

Hard to tell that it is a model.

http://www.hyperscale.com/features/2000/b17gkh_1.htm

Of course there is lots of interesting items for sale. You can buy the whole maintence B-17 on a CD for $15.00.

Post Ploesti Missions in the MTO

After the famous “Tidal Wave” mission to the Ploesti refineries of 1 Aug 1943, the 8th AF units, 44, 93 and 389 Bomb Groups , stayed around for a few more months flying some really long missions into Austria – without any fighter escort. The first mission went off well – the Germans were caught off guard on August 13. The 2nd mission to Austria on 1 October 1943 they had upped the defenses, likely installed radar, and per Clint Gruber who flew the missions:
 “At the target the flak was very heavy, and swarms of German fighters bored in. The hard luck 44th BG (they called themselves "The Flying Eight Balls"), was especially hard hit. The force of 73 B 24s lost a total of 14 planes shot down over or near the target and 8 of those were from the 44th. The 93rd lost only one, and I believe it was the same for the 389th. Over the course of the 2,000 mile trip we had been in the air over 12 hours.”

General Question to all Readers

Reloading  .50 Caliber Shells in England

Does anyone know if spent .50 caliber shells unloaded from bombers were reloading in England? Did they send them back to a factory for reloading or were they hauled off the bases as scrap to be re-melted down and then reused in the war effort that way?


If anyone knows about this, please send me, secretary@8thafhsoregon.com  an e-mail.

Red Tail Project

They are on tour with the P-51C a/c and are of course trying to raise money to fund and fully restore it ($16 THOUSAND + for a new prop!).

http://www.redtail.org/ They have nice “thank you” gifts when you donate to them. I got the hat.

USS Ranger Party

This aircraft carrier turns 53 on August 10, and they are throwing a party for it.

http://www.ussranger.org/ USS Ranger Foundation

DATE: Tuesday, August 10, 2010; TIME: 10:00 am; LOCATION: Chinook Landing Marine Park ;Fairview, Oregon  (Just North of Blue Lake Park at 223rd and Marine Drive)

MORE: Join Former Oregon Governor Victor G. Atiyeh , City of Fairview Mayor

Mike Weatherby , and other special guests  to hear an important announcement

regarding Ranger's future in Fairview.

Project “Muddy Hill” Reunion

Project Muddy Hill Reunion ; Scottsdale AZ

  2nd Week of Nov 2011..

VP4 NW Breakfast Gathering Sep 12   2010 Seattle  

VP4 P2V Officers Group Reunion  9-12   2010 Seattle

West Coast VP Officers Reunion 22-24   2010 San Diego  

VP4 Veterans Association 13-16   2011 Jacksonville


Contact Bob Zafran at vpfourever@gmail.com for details.

Bob will be presenting at the November meeting on PMH.

Kelly Clayton Gross Sees his P-51 at Oshkosh

Local Vancouver resident and P-51 Ace Clayton Gross when to Air Ventures and saw a P-51 that has been restored back to look like the a/c that he flew in WW II.

“Clayton Kelly Gross walked slowly toward the P-51 Mustang, the one with "Live Bait" painted in bright yellow on the nose, the aluminum skin gleaming as bright as a mirror, and looked at himself.

For a moment he was 23 years old again.

Hovering nearby Wednesday morning, soaking in the moment, were the Mustang's owner and restorer. They wanted to pay tribute to a fighter pilot, an American ace, a hero. They wanted this plane to look exactly like the P-51 Mustangs Gross flew when the skies above Europe were a death zone of lethal buzzing aircraft.”

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/99516449.html

Blue Star Flag

The idea of showing support for the troops and that someone in your family is serving by creating a blue stared flag and hanging it in your window, and a Gold Star if that person was killed, dates back to the 1st World War of 1914-1918.

Grantham University http://www.grantham.edu/ sponsors, since 2006, this revived tradition.

“In honor of all of the brave men and women in uniform, MyBlueStarFlag.com offers a FREE Blue Star Flag to service members and their families. “

http://www.mybluestarflag.com/

Pulling Up A Navy Plane in San Diego

An SB2C-4 Helldiver will tried to be pulled up from 85 feet of water this August..

“The plane had been undisturbed since May 28, 1945. On that date, Navy pilot E.D. Frazar was forced to ditch in the lake when the big plane’s engine failed. Frazar and his passenger, Army gunner Joseph Metz of Ohio, survived the water landing and swam a couple hundred yards to shore. Both men have since died, but family members are aware of the recovery effort and some of them plan to be here.”

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/jul/14/prep-work-beginning-raise-wwii-plane-otay-reservoi/

Ground Crewman in the Battle of Britain

The pilots and aircrew got all the press, but the ground crew who worked through the night preparing battle damaged aircraft, or just normal work, allowed the pilots to get the glory – and always the danger. Joe Parker was a ground crewman on Spitfires in 602 squadron before the war, and was one of the men who made it possible for “The Few” to defeat the Luftwaffe in 1940 England.

"When we were called up, we all thought it would last for two or three weeks and then we'd be back home, but I didn't get back home for seven years.”

When 602 was transferred down into 11 group  as a replacement unit "It was only meant to be for 10 days, but the squadron they were taking over from had been reduced to only four aircraft and four pilots. The ground crew were originally bedded down in dog kennels which they were going to put up with for the 10 days.”

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/real-life/2010/07/10/world-war-2-hero-on-how-he-went-from-weekend-flier-to-being-at-centre-of-battle-of-britain-and-pals-with-bing-crosby-86908-22402718/

Surviving the Murmansk Run

Supply ships, aircraft, trucks kept everyone (mostly) with what they needed, but one of the most dangerous runs to supply the front line troops was the Murmansk run due to the cold sea, long daylight hours, and German bases in Norway which often were just an hour away from the convoy. John Laid went on this run twice on the SS John Gibbon and came back.

http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20100710/NEWS01/7100324

In the movie “Action in the North Atlantic” the ship is on the Murmansk run. One of the best lines (there are many) in the movie is the last one – it pretty well sums up the whole 1942 -1943 Murmansk run risks. Convoy PQ-17 (40+ ships) was almost completely wiped out during this timeframe – only weather saved them all from being sunk.

Flying a Boulton Paul Defiant

1930s came up with a lot of a/c types and the Defiant was a hybrid – looked like a fighter but had a powered turret facing backwards and no guns for the pilot. The first combat experience for the UK flyers in 141 Squadron was great – the 2nd combat engagement on the 19th of July 1940 was not so great. Only 3 made it back out of the 16.

Robin Lucas talks about flying it during the Battle – as a replacement pilot after the first group almost got wiped out. The plane was assigned to fly as a night fighter after daylight operations proved too deadly for the aircraft and in that it worked well.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/kent/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_8840000/8840802.stm

C-47 Makes it to Oshkosh

“Hear that?” Corippo, co-founder of the Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles, asked with an exuberant and knowing smile. “Hear that hum? Only the C-47 makes that sound. You can tell it’s coming without even seeing it.”

The C-47 made it easily to Wisconsin , not surprising since it was only build in 1944 and still going strong. Sent to Europe after the Normandy invasion, it went on to serve in all the major parachute drops and resupply missions for the rest of the war.

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2010/07/26/1227726/paso-robles-warplane-takes-off.html

Surviving a Japanese Torpedo on the USS McCawley

Trained as a signalman Bill Ross was on the USS McCawley when a Japanese aerial torpedo struck it and damaged it on June 30, 1943 near Rendova Island. During the night they stopped their salvage operation and got off and were waiting for daybreak to get back on and try and get it going again but US Navy PT boats thought it was a Japanese supply ship and sunk it with THEIR torpedoes.

http://www.theledger.com/article/20100628/NEWS/6285033/1410?Title=Lakeland-World-War-II-Veteran-Now-Confronts-Parkinson-s-Disease

“Our Gal Sal”

Out of Many One – Aircraft that returned to base that is

Capt. Robert J Shoens was the main pilot of “Our Gal Sal” in the 100th BG(H) that operated out of Thrope Abbots as part of the 8th Air Force.

March 6, 1944 was the first 8th AF daylight bomber raid that made it to Berlin (local Oregon P-38 pilot Stan Richardson and his unit made it to Berlin a few days before – they never got the recall signal like the bombers - Stan flew home alone on one engine after the other was knocked out due to flak over Berlin and his unit had to leave him behind – he held the single engine record flight in a P-38 for 6 months) and the 100th BG took off as a complete group – and Our Gal Sal was the only a/c to return to base.

“"All you can think about is what's going on around you and you don't realize how many are lost until you get back to the field and there are no planes where there used to be."

The 8th AF lost 69 bombers out of the 850 that were dispatched.

http://www.freep.com/article/20100805/ENT05/8050305/1115/Ent05/Capt.-Robert-J.-Shoens-Pilot-of-the-B-17-Our-Gal-Sal#ixzz0wAIVr9Za

Sometimes Paperwork is Slow in Coming – Especially once you are a POW

On July 22, 2010 retired Air Force Col. Claude M. Schonberger received the Distinguished Flying Cross in the Pentagon’s “Hall of Heroes” for his actions as a pilot of a B-24 Liberator bomber flying over Regensburg on Feb. 16, 1945.

While on the bomb run his #4 engine became a run-away due to flak damage while at the same time a fire was started by the #3 engine. Maintaining formation he was able to drop the load of bombs on Obertraubling airfield and put out the fire and return to his base in Italy.  He was assigned to 759th Squadron, 459th Group, 13th Wing, 15th Air Force.

He was shot down on February 28, 1945 and only himself and his navigator, 2nd Lt. Bob Johnson of Bigfork, Montana survived the explosion of his B-24 over the northern Italian town of Bolzano.

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=60132

“Duration Plus Six Months”

Signing up they told Keith Dillmon it was for the duration of the war plus six months – but he was able to get out in November of 1944 after flying 50 missions as a ball turret gunner in the 461st Bomb Group, 15th Air Force.

http://www.eldoradotimes.com/news/x84685641/Revisiting-his-youth

Battle Of Britain at Seattle Museum Sept 18

Description: Battle of BritainSeptember marks the 70th anniversary of history's first major battle to be decided purely by air--the Battle of Britain. In remembrance of this anniversary, the Museum presents a special day of programs on Sept. 18. Presenters include Museum of Flight aviation historians and experts on the history and aircraft of the Battle of Britain. Admission is $5 for Museum Members and $10 for general admission (does not include admission to the Museum.) Early registration is recommended as seating is limited. Visit the Battle of Britain webpage for more information.


Sunday, Sept. 19, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., WWII Gallery

Museum docent Barry Latter gives a personal tour of the Personal Courage Wing WWII gallery Battle of Britain exhibit.

Norman St. Pierre a Stalag 17B POW

Normal was a waist gunner on the B-17 “Piccadilly Commando” of the 351 BG(H) returning from their mission on 31 December 1943 when they were forced to ditch in the English Channel when the plane ran out of fuel due to battle damage – and the crew was picked up by a German patrol boat.

http://www.pressherald.com/news/mainer-once-held-at-stalag-17b-dies_2010-08-25.html

Hummel's Cross

A fictional story about a Luftwaffe fighter pilot during the height of the air war who flies for Germany against the 8th Air Force but in his off hours helps his pre-war Jewish friends survive.

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/bschaeffer/2010/08/03/hummels-cross-german-war-thriller-american-dream-and-the-democratization-of-book-publishing/

Lt Crook evading the Germans in the Netherlands

Charles D. Crook Sr was a B-17 pilot shot down on 22 February 1944 just inside Holland from the German border.  Evading the Germans, he spent nine months roving around Holland till be was able to make contact with a British unit after Arnhem battle and made it back to Molesworth around the 5th of September, 1944.

He kept a journal of the time evading and it might become a book.

http://www.hometownglenburnie.com/news/Top_Stories/2010/08/11-16/Remembering+Chuck%0A.html

French Ace of WW II Dies at 92

French pilots fighting for France while in the RAF is well known, as those flying under Free French Forces lead by General DeGaulle using US and British planes, but Marcel Albert fought and gained 24 victories while flying Soviet Yak fighter aircraft on the Eastern Front. He was part of the Normandie-Niémen unit. Around 100 French fighter pilots went through the unit while stationed in the Soviet Union. Almost half were killed in action. The Normandie-Niémen museum is in Les Andelys, France. The museum states that the French pilots flew 5,240 sorties and were credited with the destruction of 273 German planes.

He died in Harlingen, Texas, August 24, 2010.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/world/europe/26albert.html?_r=1

WW II Museum in New Orleans Expands

A new wing of the museum will have as its centerpiece a B-17G Flying Fortress. Also included will be an TBM Avenger, B-25 Mitchell and a Dauntless that will be on catwalks so that you can see all parts of them.

A new feature will allow people to be on the USS Tang on its last patrol.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hEvSx2EYvafBQ_6pVnh6ThqrLFSAD9HRBRV81

Veteran discussion on VE day

A multiple of people talk about how and where they were when JJ day was proclaimed.

http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20100816/NEWS01/8160320/Veterans-discuss-service-uncertainties-after-V-E-Day


Errol Flynn’s War Movies being released

Errol Flynn made 5 war movies and all of them are being released on DVD. "Desperate Journey", "Edge of Darkness", "Northern Pursuit", "Uncertain Glory", and "Objective, Burma!" 

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/04/entertainment/la-et-classic-hollywood-20100804/2

Tom Tate

IN 1945 Tom and six fellow crew members were captured near the German village of Huchenfeld in Germany after his B-17 Flying Fortress bomber was shot down.

Description: Tom ... friendship invites forgivenessHe managed to escape but the rest were killed in cold blood by villagers, seeking revenge for earlier bombing raids.

"I despised them for it," said Tom who visited his friends' graves just after the war.

"I told my wife that I would never go back to Germany.

"Then, 50 years later, I got a brochure for a holiday in the Rhine.

"It fell open at an article which read, 'The Village that asked Forgiveness'.

"I couldn't believe it - it was all about Huchenfeld and the executions.

"I received a letter from a couple, Renate and Gotthilf Beck-Ehninger, who were very involved in the reconciliation process but hadn't known that I was still alive.

"Guilt had hung over the village for years, but I went there and somehow changed things for them.

"I was so welcomed, and so well looked after, that suddenly I realised I'd made a mistake.

"I wish I'd gone to Germany earlier to relieve these people of their guilt. The act of friendship invites forgiveness." 

 http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3087027/Could-you-forgive-the-unforgivable.html

33 Missions out of Spinazzola Italy

Flying as part of the 15th Air Force, 460th Bomb Group; 761st Bomb Squadron, pilot Bob Sartorius flew his B-24 “Liberator” on missions into Germany, Austria, France, The Balkans, and Italy while in Italy.

 “You don't ditch a B-24,” he said. “A B-24 has high wings and a big, bulbous fuselage.”

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20100827/NEWS01/8270303/%E2%80%98+It+never+occurred+to+me+I+wouldn+t+return+

Last B-24 Built by Douglas Tulsa Plant found in Adriatic

Description: 20100811_A1_20100811_TheTulsaamresized

The Tulsamerican B-24 bomber conducts a test flight over Tulsa in this undated photo. The man at the rear gunner's door is Marcus Johnson, a Douglas employee who won the contest to take a ride on the plane.

The very last B-24 produced at Douglas’ Tulsa Oklahoma plant was shot down after 17 December 1944 on a mission to the oil refinery at Odertal, Poland. On Memorial Day it was discovered off the coast of Split in the clear waters of the Adriatic where it had ditched. “Crew members reported the plane went into the water nose first, and then flipped over onto its back before submerging. “ (See previous pilot’s comment about ditching a B-24.)

Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20100811_12_A1_ULNShu241187&archive=yes

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20100811_12_A1_ULNShu241187&archive=yes

Production Figures Air Force Plant No. 3


Operated by: Douglas Aircraft Co.
Groundbreaking: May 3, 1941
Dedicated: August. 15, 1942
Length: 4,004 feet
Width: 350 feet
Floor space: 800,000 square feet

World War II aircraft production: August 1942 to September 1945

Complete production:


615 A-24 "Banshee" dive-bombers
962 B-24 "Liberator" bombers (the first 10 of which were rejected by the Army Air Corps)
1,343 A-26 "Invader" attack bombers


Aircraft modifications, estimated at several hundred


A-20 "Havoc" light bombers
B-25 "Mitchell" bombers
B-17 "Flying Fortress" bombers
C-17 "Skytrain" military transport subassemblies

 http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20100811_12_A1_ULNShu241187&archive=yes

 “The Playboy Crew 1943-1944 Memoirs of World War II”

What do you name your bomber when you have a bunch of 20 year olds looking for women in wartime England? Robert Pipes wrote the book after people started telling him to not just talk about it, but write it down.

He came up with the nose art: “Our plane was decorated with a male duck that I painted.”

Pipes was shot down over Holland in April of 1943 in his B-24.

http://www.durantdemocrat.com/view/full_story/9234610/article-Pipes-releases-World-War-II-memoirs?instance=home_news_lead

Losing a prop and almost the B-24 nose over Berlin

Claude McConnell was a Top Turret Gunner / Engineer on a B-24 in the 458th BG(H) over Berlin on 27 February 1945 when flak shot away the #3 prop and it sliced almost through the plane. The pilot told everyone to get ready to bail out when McConnell’s told him his parachute was burned through by hot hydraulic fluid – so the pilot instead said everyone goes or no one goes.

The pilot landed the plane outside Brussels and the British picked them up the next day and ferried the crew back to their Horsham St. Faith base outside Norwich England.

http://www.carolinaweeklynewspapers.com/story/20100820/if-only-i-were-half-cool-claude-mcconnell

POWs Tell of their story

Various POWs from all different branches, talk about their POW experiences.

http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/news/article_459b136e-a4ea-11df-aae0-001cc4c03286.html

A collection of stories can be found at: www.battlestory.org

Low Level B-24 strikes against the Burma Road with the 10th AF

 Erich Edwin Schleier Jr. was faced with a problem of destroying the narrow gauge railroad that were used by the Japanese and came up with a novel solution: Fly B-24s 150 above the railroad and drop 30 second delayed action bombs on the rail line – oh and have 6 B-24s do it at a time in trail at 45 second intervals so that the explosions do not knock down the B-24 behind the one that just dropped.

He flew in the 436th Bomb Squadron of the 7th Bomb Group of the 10th Air Force in India.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-schleierob_18met.ART.State.Edition1.35fe3ae.html

Oregon Pilot survive mid-air (??)

http://union-bulletin.com/stories/2010/08/28/nebraska-town-remembers-fatal-world-war-ii-plane-crashes

Editor’s Note: I found, and bought, both the 10th AF and the CBI Shoulder Patch in a military collector’s shop in St Petersburg while on vacation in Florida this past July. Bother were made in India during the war.

B-17 Turret Gunner to throw out first pitch

Red Dillon, WW II B-17 Top Turret Gunner will throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Cardinals MIA/POW Recognition day on September 17th.

Red was from Little Rock, Arkansas, and tried out with the New York Yankees, were he met Babe Ruth and got some pointers from him. Drafted in 1942 then going into the Army Air Force he became  flight engineer / gunner in a B-17 Flying Fortress and was shot down over Germany, in 1943.

Captured, he spent 20 months in a POW camp in Austria (Stalag 17B).

http://www.fox2now.com/news/ktvi-wwii-vet-first-pitch-082010,0,2354705.story

Kamikaze from the Japanese and American Point of View

There is at least one known Kamikaze pilot who survived when his plane was shot down, and captured, as he was making his attack. He was shunned in Japan after the war since he did not die.

http://wgordon.web.wesleyan.edu/kamikaze/index.htm

Battle of Midway in 3D?

The Battle of Midway, may be the title that writer / producer Bruce C. McKenna is trying to sell to Warner Brothers with the battle being filmed in 3D.

Link: http://www.firstshowing.net/2010/08/28/bruce-c-mckenna-sells-his-3d-battle-of-midway-pitch-to-wb/#ixzz0y1X1tV8V

 Not to be outdone, Universal Studios created a movie by Peter Berg Battleship , which is a movie that is a science fiction adaptation of the BOARD game “Battleship”.

The man who found the Pearl Harbor Photograph

That famous picture of Pearl Harbor with the first torpedo strike against a US Battleship was found by Martin Shemanski in a cleaned up photo lab in Yokosuka, Japan, in tiny shreds where someone had torn it up and thrown it away before the US troops arrived. (Japan had ordered that all military and Government documents be destroyed before the surrender, so a mass campaign throughout Japan and still occupied land, of all Government documents relating to the war be destroyed before the formal surrender so that no records would exist of what went on during the war.)

http://www.thevalleychronicle.com/articles/2010/08/27/news/doc4c7803a55624d701208814.txt

Yap Memorial Finished

A memorial to all the allied aircraft shot down around Yap has been completed. The memorial is that of an F6F Hellcat which was shot down, but largely still intact, was erected to commemorate all 100+ aircraft lost around Yap Island.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/08/prweb4438864.htm

The people who go around finding these old aircraft have a web site at: http://www.missingaircrew.com

 Wake Island Marine Ralph Holewinski

Ralph was held as a POW, likely one the longest American held as a Japanese POW, since he was captured on Wake Island on December 23, 1942. He appeared in a History Channel production when they flew him back to Wake Island in 2001.

http://www.gaylordheraldtimes.com/articles/2010/08/26/news/top_stories/doc4c7418b76bacd680333580.txt

Dive Bombing The Zuikaku with "Buell and Company"

Buell wrote "Dauntless Helldivers" an autobiography of his war years.

The enemy "got hurt because we were good at what we were doing -- which were these 75-degree dives from about 15,000 feet" in a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver.

The Japanese did not have "a gun that could stay with us straight up. We didn't get killed up high -- unless some (enemy) fighters got in. You're in the dive, and unless you and the shell come together, you could survive to the point where you fire the bomb [when the] low ground fire and everybody is shooting at you. You would jink here, jink there and get the hell out of there. Most of the guys who were killed, it was after the pull-out."

 http://www.thonline.com/article.cfm?id=293715

Captured in The Philippines and 3 1/2 years as a POW

Elmer D. Wolff, a longtime resident of Ukiah, died on March 19, 2010. He was in the Army in 1941 and was captured and put into forced labor camps in the Philippines for two plus years before he went onto a “Hell Ship” to Japan. It took 3 months for the ship to sail from the Philippines to Japan. Once there he worked in Northern Japan as a slave laborer.

http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/reminisce/ci_15855360

Editor’s Note:

 Japan had kept detailed records of all forced labor of Koreans, some 175,000, secret along with pay they were never given during the war, and had stated no records existed of the wartime forced labor, but last year admitted they did have this list and gave the list of names and wages never paid to South Korea. The money they were never paid went into an Bank of Japan account at the direction of the Government at the end of the war – and it has sat there ever since. Japan states that all treaties signed since the war with various nations meant – just like the treaty to the USA – that individual and the foreign governments cannot sue and get compensated by Japan or the companies that used forced labor at the direction of Japan’s government.

Erecting memorials for the tens of thousands of POWs, Chinese, Koreans and other foreigners who died as a direct result of Japanese policy concerning POWs and others, is not allowed in Japan.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20100824zg.html

Action in the Pacific and the Atlantic as a Merchant Marine

Ed Wielosinski joined the Merchant Marine when he was 17 years old and went to war sailing in the engine room of transport, troop, and tanker ships. He participated in the Pelieu, Saipan, Okinawa, and other, amphibious captures.

http://www.baxterbulletin.com/article/20100809/NEWS01/8090322/1002/Tour+of++Duty++Merchant+Mariner+remembers+World+War+II+service

Captured on a Higgins Boat

John Henry Ward was in the Navy at 17 and in battle off of Guadalcanal by 18. His ship was bombed, he caught malaria and went to “buttons” – slang term for the Navy Hospital – and was captured by the Japanese when he landed his Higgins boat to rescue some Marines and was instead captured himself. He spent two months in a POW camp until a New Zealander unit came and captured the camp to free the POWs.

http://www.carolinaweeklynewspapers.com/story/20100827/hell-huntersville

Oregon 8th AFHS Booth at Oregon International Air Show

8th AFHS of Oregon at Hillsboro AirshowDuring the Hillsboro International Airshow the Oregon 8th Air Force Historical Society Chapter was again able to obtain booth space (right next to the ANA group – Association of Naval Aviators) and both Capt. Wally Groce (sitting left in photo; in the NARA Enlistment data base his civil occupation was listed as "Semi-skilled construction of aircraft"...he built balsa models!) and Capt. Bill Seitz (sitting right) were able to be there both Saturday and Sunday to talk with airshow visitors about their combat experience in WW II. Wally was in the 56th Fighter group flying P-47 Thunderbolts while Bill was in 98th BG(H) in B-24s and flew 85 missions out of North Africa and Italy (two tours).

Bill’s first mission as part of the 15th AF:

http://www.thecombatreport.com/index.php?Itemid=86&id=124&option=com_content&task=view

Text Box:

Text Box:  Here is an overall view of the booth along with Tom Davis (left), Bob Dean (Tom Philo your editor took the photos) who also manned the booth during the whole airshow. Tom Davis collected aircraft calendars during the year and then gave them out to young visitors. The displays included a short history of the 8th AF (front of table), a P-47, Me-262 and B-24 model, and a 5 foot x 7 foot strike photo of Regensburg that was taken when navigator Lawrence Fick led his B-24 group to the target in the spring of 1945. The photo was enlarged from one of the photos he put into the archive. To the right was a B-17 cockpit simulator that is owned by Don Keller. He is slowly gathering parts to make it completely operational like the ones used at the Boeing factory and other training facilities teaching maintenance personnel repair skills as well as pilots how to fly the Boeing B-17. If you come across cockpit parts be sure to contact Don!

A 9 Minute Version of the Memphis Belle movie and the Early 8th AF

324th BS, 91st BG, Memphis Belle’s 25th mission.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JET2KAWSmGg&NR=1&feature=fvwp

The Belle is currently being refurbished at the National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.  Members of the 91st Bomb Group will be holding a reunion there this fall.

Tom Tate September Article Update

Please note that the aircraft in which Tom Tate (September newsletter) was a crewman was a RAF Fortress III, not a USAAF B-17. All the crew except the pilot bailed out over Huckenfeld on the night of 15/16 March 1945 during an ECM sortie in support of RAF bomber operations. The aircraft serial No. HB779 BU-L of 214 Squadron, based at Oulton, Norfolk, was set on fire by enemy action but it did NOT CRASH. 

Pilot Flt Lt J G Wynne managed to fly the crippled aircraft back to England and landed at Bassingbourn.

Flt Lt Tate was the Wireless (Radio) Operator aboard the aircraft and was one of four crewman who survived as a PoW.

I hope this has cleared up any confusion over this tragic incident.

Congrats on a superb newsletter. Regards, Bob Collis, Oulton Broad, Suffolk England

Lt Cook Evade Dates

Lt Cook evaded and made it to British lines before “Operation Market Garden” started on September 17, 1944.

In the grand scheme of things all British forces under Field Marshall Montgomery were on the left flank – with their left flank on the coast – all the way into Germany. It was pretty much the same general arrangement of operations that they had during the First World War.

Of course this meant that the British has a LOT more difficult river crossing to accomplish in their fighting due to the way rivers drain out of Europe.

Last of the Great Escape Members Dies

JACK Harrison, believed to be the last survivor of the daring "Great Escape" plot to flee Stalag Luft III German prisoner of war camp, died in June at the age of 97. Only 76 prisoners managed to get outside the wire on March 24, 1944 and only three make a “home run” -- escaped recapture - two Norwegians and a Dutchman. The others were recaptured and 50 were killed in retaliation under direct orders from Adolf Hitler

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/world/last-survivor-ofgreat-escape-wwii-prison-break-dies-aged-97/story-e6frfkyi-1225876906351#ixzz0zelHyUxJ

Brothers at Stalag Luft III

Lt. Paul Gordy was in the 384 BG(H) and was shot down on July 29, 1943. Then a while later his brother Leonard was shot down while flying in the 94th BG(H) and was also sent to Stalag Luft III.

http://www.chipleypaper.com/news/historical-6273-holmes-pow.html


Being Shot Down in a Lancaster

Arthur Pritchard seemed all normal, but he was only 2crewman who survived a fireball when his Lancaster was shot down. He evaded and made it back to England. He died in June of 2010.

"I was shocked at how cramped and inaccessible the conditions were that my father flew in. The mid-upper gunner and rear gunner in particular were stranded in turrets up winding steps." - Carolyn Pritchard.

Ease of escape from a British bomber was not at the forefront of their design criteria.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10210380

"An exceptionally good run of bad luck"

During the war there were several units that were designed as hard luck outfits. The movie “12 O’Clock High’ references the 417th as being one that the Col is assigned to rectify.

The two best known bomber groups in the 8th that had this unwanted designation were the 100th BG(H) flying B-17s – ‘The Bloody 100th’  and the 44th BG(H)  - ‘The Flying Eight Balls’ flying B-24s. The problem was that these two units were just in the wrong place at the wrong time on various missions.

The Luftwaffe learned that if you concentrate on a single group then as aircraft are shot down or fall behind due to damage it becomes even easier to shoot down the remaining aircraft. Flying ‘low’ group in a formation meant that the Germans did not have to climb as high, nor did they have to worry about 54 to 100 other aircraft getting a shot at them as they attacked the low group. Being the low squadron in the low group quickly got the term ‘coffin corner’ or ‘purple heart corner’ assigned to them due to the physical arrangement of a bomber stream. This is one reason the rotation method was implemented so that every group, and within each group a squadron, at one time was assigned as low, lead, high, trail in the formation or part of a composite group which in turn had its own rotation.

And this of course could vary based on plain luck. The trailing force in the 2nd Schweinfurt raid – when 60 aircraft were shot down – reported only seeing a couple German fighters and reported that to them the mission was easy and lost no aircraft. This was because the Germans concentrated on the two lead divisions and had no planes left to fight the third.

A Quote

"The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." - Douglas Adams

NY SWC 8TH Air Force Historical Society BLOG

http://blogs.ny8thswcafhs.org/

This is update by Joseph 'Pat' Keeley.

5th Air Force Nose Art

This web site has photos of aircraft that fought in the SW Pacific.

http://www.aerothentic.com/photos/noseart/noseart.html

Fort McPherson Georgia Closes in September 2011

This fort opened in 1889 and has seen a lot of personnel go through it – including WW II AXIS POWS – gets turned over to Atlanta in September of 2011. When it was built it was way outside of Atlanta, Georgia, but now has since been surrounded and was part of the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BARC) set up by Congress to get rid of currently un-needed bases built in the last 100 years or so – especially WW I and WW II bases.

http://www.smartplanet.com/people/blog/pure-genius/atlanta-plans-for-more-green-space-and-a-new-city-to-replace-military-base/4284/?tag=content;col1


A bit of History goes to the Eighth Air Force – Barksdale AFB

“In 1943, nine officers stood together with World War II Gen. Ira C. Eaker in England's Castle Coombe, silver cups raised in the audacious hope of a history-making victory, and to the equally optimistic hope that when the war ended they would gather to conduct reunions celebrating that victory.”

This was the beginning of the Air War in Europe and they certainly were optimistic that the bomber would win the war all alone.

There is no way to actually see the bowl and cups since it is on a military base; and from what I can tell in the article and there are no photos of them posted anywhere either.

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123062829

Also at Barksdale, which no one can see, is the ashtray of “Piccadilly Lilly” of the 100th BG B-17F. It was sent home as a keepsake before it was shot down over Bremen.

Bombardiers Lament

Oh, the disk drives the roller, and the roller drives a gear

If you’re under 27 you can be a Bombardier

You level up your bubbles and you open up your rocks

If you went to church last Sunday you’re sure to get a shock

(Look where the bombs hit T.S.)

Oh you work upon your course and set the target in

And then make your run with extended vision in

And your altitude is off or the airspeed is too great

Or else the pins are in the bombs, or lay out at on the rate

(Look where the bombs hit T.S.)

If you salvo the instructor you may get the D.F.C

But if instead they wash you out, just bring your card to me

If you have to hit the silk and forget the cord

Then you may sign this little ditty in the presence of the Lord

Written by 2Lt Horton L. Fross, Bombardier on a B-24 Liberator in 392 BG(H) 578th Squadron, who was shot down on the 24 February 1944 to Gotha while flying in A/C 41-29192 (no a/c nickname). He was on his 4th mission. Just of one of many poems he wrote while in Stalag Luft 1 as a Kriegie. Published by the YMCA, Switzerland. We have a copy of the diary in our archives.

Enigma Machines on Display

If you want to learn about these machines directly you have to go to Fort Meade Maryland, else this CNET article gives a good overview and photos of them.

http://news.cnet.com/2300-11386_3-10004406-13.html?tag=mncol

Text Box:  New Book due out next year on the 9th BG(H)

A new book coming out in March of 2011 by Robert Morris and Ian Hawkins is called The Wild Blue Yonder and Beyond and is about the 95th BG(H) which flew out of Horham, England, as one of the many heavy bomber units of the 8th Air Force.

A book that was long out of print is now back in print is called Combat Bombardier. Leonard Herman was a Bombardier in the 95th BG, flew 25 missions in 1943. Rotated back stateside and then returned to Europe to fly a second tour of duty in A-26s and B-26s.

Amazon link:  COMBAT BOMBARDIER: MEMOIRS OF TWO COMBAT TOURS IN THE SKIES OVER EUROPE IN WORLD WAR TWO

Lt. Col. Paul Yingling

“A private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war.” 

 2007 article in Armed Forces Journal, http://www.afji.com/2007/05/2635198

Newberg Man was on Ploesti Raid

http://www.newberggraphic.com/news/2010/May/28/Local.News/remembering.wwiis.dead/news.aspx

T/Sgt Alfred M Zielaskowski was later killed on November 13, 1943 over the North Sea when his aircraft was shot down by Luftwaffe fighters while flying in a B-24D of the 93rd BG, 409 BS. Listed in the Cambridge Tablets of the Missing; shows him being awarded a Silver Star, DFC, and Air Medal.

Want to find out Who Evaded after Being Shot down in WWII?

A researcher discovered the files of the various agencies who debriefed returning personnel and has posted a listing of all personnel who made it back to Allied control – and it includes the aircraft SN, name, as well as the person who made it back. It has reports from MI-9, IS9, and MIS-X.  Phil Richard found the site while researching about Oregon WW II veterans.

http://www.conscript-heroes.com/Art38-MIS-X.html

Finally getting to Bail out of an Airplane

Frank McCauley was in the 56th Fighter Group and was a 6 plane ACE, decides to find out what it is like to parachute since he never had to while flying over Europe.

To celebrate his 94th birthday he went to Ravalli County Airport on Sept. 3, 2010 and finally did what most fighter pilots hope they never have to do: He jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and skydived for the first time in his life.

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20100925/DC5/9250356

I Will join So you Don’t Have to 

Bob Dilling joined the Army in 1941 in the hopes that his brother, working the farm, could thereby become exempt not be drafted. Instead they both were in the Army but Bob spent the war in England, North Africa, and Italy working on B-17s

http://www.publicopiniononline.com/localnews/ci_16169442

Clair Cline Prison Camp Violinist Dead at 90

Clair was bored in Stalag Luft 1 in the winter of 1944/45 so he built a violin out of bed slats and played it in Stalag Luft I POW camp and then around the nation. The violin will likely be given to some museum according to his son.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010/09/25/1636453/wwii-pilot-with-famed-violin-dies.html

With Gear down Showing Surrender Navigator bailed out of his B-17

The pilot dropped the gear and the German fighters stopped attacking and then the crew bailed out to become POWs in Stalag Luft 1 at Barth Germany.

http://www.eastbayri.com/detail/138396.html

Flying with "The Flying 8 Balls"

Sam McKinnely flew 26 missions with the 68th Squadron of the 44 BG "Flying Eightballs" during World War II.

http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2010/09/15/river_oaks_examiner/news/ro_neighborhoods_0916.txt

Need a 4-inch crescent wrench for a B-17?

John Gosbeck still has one in his garage if you need one.

http://www.tribtoday.com/page/content.detail/id/546621/Veteran-repaired-B-17-bombers.html?nav=5021

Flying with the 13th Air Force in The South Pacific

Out of the 10 man crew four are still left and three were reunited at the Rexburg Idaho airport in September. They flew 44 missions as part of 72nd Squadron of the 5th Bomb Group.

http://www.rexburgstandardjournal.com/news/article_3d480bd6-b4bc-11df-a902-001cc4c03286.html

Battle of Britain Day September 15, 2010

Flight Lieutenant Walker: "It’s time to commemorate all the pilots who took part in the conflict. Unlike us many German pilots had already seen a lot of action over Poland and France. In contrast I was a complete rookie and went into action in June 1940 after just five hours training."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/world-war-2/battle-of-britain/8004304/Battle-of-Britain-day-a-time-to-remember-all-who-lost-their-lives-in-the-conflict.html

Hauling Gas for B-17s

Lawrence murphy spent a lot of his airtime flying planes filled with high octane fuel - for other planes. He was in 463rd Bomb Group, and 774th Bomb Squadron from July 5, 1943 to October 31, 1945. He flew gas to bases in  North Africa, Sicily and Italy.

From Training Pilots in WW II to B-26 night missions in Korea

Ken Woodward already knew how to fly and once commissioned became an instructor teaching other in BT-13s, AT-6, the Vultee Vibrator in advanced training classes during the war. But in Korea, he was given a B-26 and told to fly at night and bomb the enemy supply system.

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20100903/NEWS13/9030309/1141/news01/Mortar++pestle+traded+for+duty+training+pilots

WW II Army Nurse Marched in Memorial Day Parade

http://www.gloucestertimes.com/local/x1358969324/Rockport-WWII-nurse-still-on-the-march-at-90

USS Olympia in Danger of being Scrapped

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Endangered-warship/ss/events/us/090610ussolympia

Researching where it happened

Zwolle, Netherlands resident looking for info on airmen shot down over his country

Description: B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress Movie: Mission Accomplished DVD (1942) http://www.oshawaexpress.ca/story2905June22010.html

More Publicity for the B-17

A movie made during the war by the USA “Flying Fortress” was panned by the British movie press – but they did like scenes filmed at a British base. (I have the 20 minute movie.)

http://www.amazon.com/B-17-Bomber-Flying-Fortress-Movie/dp/B001GKVXSG

From The Blue Skies over Italy to The Mud of the South Pacific – Two men tell their tales

http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/288113

"The Playboy Crew" B-24 SN 41-29399 a book by Robert F. Pipes

http://www.prlog.org/10737118-tale-of-brave-men-bold-escape-told-in-the-playboy-crew-1943-1944-published-by-outskirts-press.html

A Russian War movie in the vein of "Saving Private Ryan"

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/178846/controversial-russian-war-epic-rumbles-into-cannes

With the 92nd BG at Pilsen in the last mission of the war

http://www.theapexherald.com/view/full_story/7769322/article-Last-flight-memorable-mission-for-Edwards?instance=home_news_lead

A summary of how France lost in 1940 - but not because of not trying to win

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/fyi/in-defence-of-france-94646334.html

Tales of Dunkirk

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/features/Keeping-the-Dunkirk-spirit-alive.6311616.jp

B-17 Restoration news at 8th AF Museum at Pooler

http://savannahnow.com/west-chatham/2010-05-26/bomber-preserved-remembrance-those-who-served-world-war-ii

WWII memorial honors Green Bay aviator Lt. Donald Kuske

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20100615/GPG0101/6150473/Photos-WWII-memorial-honors-Green-Bay-aviator

Tuskegee Bill Holloman dead at 85

http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/archives/211267.asp?from=blog_last3

Italian finds Vet's Dog Tags

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hRd9WmXTdejAYrZIujCyQU--pU-QD9G21U800

Survivor of the Sinking of the Rhona - A German Guided missile sunk it

http://www.publicopiniononline.com/localnews/ci_15291177

Merchant marines still trying to get pay status as veterans

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10150/1061927-84.stm

"Flat-Bottom Odyssey: From North Africa to D-Day,"

This book  is a memoir of Jaeger, who in World War II served on the Landing Ship Tank 400 and went into battle in Normandy, North Africa, Italy and Sicily.

http://mywebtimes.com/archives/ottawa/display.php?id=406645

Escaping the Death Camps by wit and luck

http://www2.seattlepi.com/articles/421248.html

Driving around the Mediterranean Battlefields

http://www.timesleader.net/articles/stories/public/201005/29/4MMv_news.html

LST 282 in Normandy and Anvil operation

http://www.theitem.com/news/local_news/article_6526c88c-7122-11df-90c0-001cc4c03286.html

It was sunk by radio controlled bombs – and was witnessed by our 8th AFHS member Urban Kluthe who was in the LST next to it!

Local Man on Ploesti Raid on Newburg Oregon Memorial

http://www.newberggraphic.com/news/2010/May/28/Local.News/remembering.wwiis.dead/news.aspx

10th Mountain Division Veteran

http://www.reviewmessenger.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5905:memorial-day-salute-eddie-jokela-served-as-mountaineer-in-wwii&catid=78:school-board

With a Graves Registration unit in Italy

http://www.republic-online.com/201005269189/news/community-news/paola-veteran-salutes-fallen-comrades.html

Helped in The Anzio Breakout

http://www.kbtx.com/news/headlines/96231234.html?ref=234

From Dunkirk to VE Day

http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1766260?UserKey=

Book review: 'Crossing the Rapido' by Duane Schultz

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/ent/stories/DN-bk_rapido_0530gd.ART.State.Edition1.2963db5.html

Drafted into the Germany Army as a Medic - then Drafted in the US Army as a Medic

http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/144642.html

Awarded the Medal Of Honor

DeGlopper was the only soldier from the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment to be awarded the Medal of Honor
http://www.wkbw.com/news/local/95250144.html

Tracking UXBs a fulltime industry in Germany

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10164/1064983-109.stm

Local Oregon 8th AFHS Chapter News

Project “Muddy Hill”

This was a project of doing low level (500 to 2500) recon missions in day and night using state of the art night vision and radar gear tracking and identifying enemy supply columns and men moving down the Ho Chi  Minh trail during the Vietnam war.

This history of this project will be the November meeting subject for the 8th AF given by one of the men involved Bob Zafran.

8th AFHS Oregon Archive Update

http://www.8thafhsoregon.com/archive/Oregon-Chapter/index.aspx#toc

Items recently cataloged:

  • A wartime diary from Stalag Luft 1 – including meals
  • Orders, assignments, postcards, training manuals, class books and a diary of a bombardier
  • Aerial maps and strike photos
  • 93 BG(H) unit book published by them
  • Miscellaneous items
 

Oregon 8th Air Force at Hillsboro Airshow – Continued

Womasn at the Air Force Aircraft looking skyward during Hillsboro AirshowAs previously reported, the Oregon chapter had a booth at the Hillsboro International Air Show in August of 2010. This was possible due to the sponsorship of Dignity Memorial through  Jean-Christophe Aubry who arranged to have the liability insurance coverage for two organizations:  our Oregon 8th AFHS and the Association of Naval Aviators booths to be under their liability coverage.


They also sponsored a Veterans Chalet at the airshow for 300 veterans each day with catered drinks and food.

 I met a 45th Infantry Division machine gunner who fought for 1½ years in the Korean War. He and I spent 45 minutes talking about his combat experience while waiting for the food to arrive. Next time you see the move “Pork Chop Hill” watch the scene about the searchlights, he experienced having searchlights turned on and into the clouds to help see at night during Chinese attacks.

Jean-Christophe (JC) works at the Portland, Oregon office at: Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery in Portland.

The firm is the sponsor of the traveling Vietnam memorial that tours the USA. They have free guides for veterans on burial benefits. The VA does not cover all expenses. From a presentation that he gave the VA benefits can be summarize as that the VA covers everything on inside of the gate – all items before that point is generally not covered. Call toll-free 866-508-5834 to gain information on their services.

12 O’Clock High

918 BG (Heavy) is the name of the fictional squadron that I should have typed into the last newsletter as being the one portrayed in 12 O’Clock High. One of the authors of the movie, Lt Col Beirne Lay Jr, was flew on the August 17, 1943 Schweinfurt portion of the raid in “Piccadilly Lilly” as a mission observer.

World War II in HD - The Air War

A new History Channel series showcases footage about the 8th AF. 8 and 16 MM films were scanned and converted into the HD format – High Definition. Some new footage from private collections as well as previous footage last seen in the 1940s were used to create this two hour account of air combat over Europe. The premier of this was done at the Mighty Eighth museum in Savannah on October 23th.

This cable presentation will premiere on the History Channel on Nov. 10 at 9 p.m.

Glenn Miller Band Photos

Did anyone attend concerts during WW II when Glenn Miller toured the 8th AF Bases?

Glenn Mittler, glenn_mittler@yahoo.com , is looking for photos that local servicemen may have taken of the band. He donated two copies of photos that he has to our Oregon 8th AFHS chapter, one of which is seen here.


Was anyone at this outdoor concert in this photograph? Does anyone know where and when this occurred?

The people behind the V that are making up the ‘8’ are women – nurses?

Germany Pays off World War I Debt

Germany, through the Treaty of Versailles, was assigned full responsibility for “The Great War” and thus was to pay for all damages as a result of the war. When the NAZI regime came to power they suspended repayments. After the end of World War II in 1953 a replacement repayment treaty was created to again start the WW I payments. On October 3, 2010, the last payment by Germany of some 60 million pounds was paid to the bond holders – just 92 years after the war ended.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/world-news/germany-finally-pays-bill-for-first-world-war-1.1058879?localLinksEnabled=false

Russian Ship Firm Repairing HMS Belfast

A veteran of the Artic Convoys during WW II, the HMS Belfast is in the Thames as a floating museum. The main masts were corroded and the Russian firm came forward to build replacements for the Belfast as a “thank you” for the efforts it undertook to escort convoys to Russia during the Second Word War.  Out of the 811 supply ships that made the “Murmansk Run” 68 were sunk by German submarines, warships and aircraft.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23876569-russians-repair-hms-belfasts-masts-to-repay-a-wartime-debt.do

Precision Bombing from 10,000 Feet

Text Box:  
Rome as seen through the bomb bay of a B-17 Flying Fortress.
To ensure that historical items like The Coliseum were not damaged by errant bombs, on 19 July 1943 B-17s AND B-24s from North Africa bombed the Rome raid yards from 10,000 feet.  The photo shows the Tiber river which the bombers followed on the way to the target.

The official Air Operation diary of WW II makes NO MENTION that the B-24s were even on the mission to bomb both the Rome rail yards and the airfield. There were two B-24 groups – 44 and 93 – on loan to the NASAF forces who were preparing for “Operation Tidalwave” at the time who flew the mission. This is the operations entry that day in 1943:

During the night of 18/19 Jul, Wellingtons drop over 800,000 leaflets on Rome, Italy. Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) light bombers attack Catania, Sicily. During the following day, about 150 Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) B-17's bomb the Rome, Italy railroad yards; B-25's and B-26's hit nearby Ciampino Airfield, Italy; P-40's bomb rail facilities in the Alcamo, Sicily area; and NATAF A-36's attack trains and motor transport in W Sicily.”

No mention of the B-24s even being used at all.

The Great LA Air Raid

On Feb 26, 1942 AA guns and sirens blared over LA when a gun battery saw objects in the night sky and opened fire at them. For over two hours flak boomed in the night sky before the all clear was sounded. No Japanese planes were there, but some miss-identified weather balloons and barrage balloons that were not properly reported as being in the sky were shot at.

None were shot down.

http://www.ocregister.com/news/ack-230157-night-air.html?wap=0

Fighting Across Europe in an Engineering Company

Jake Dekker was drafted in 1942 and after training assigned to an Engineering company – combat engineers. This put him in, or within shelling distance of the front lines from D-Day onwards.  He was even strafed by American aircraft – flown by German pilots.

http://www.dglobe.com/event/article/id/31167/

A WW I Fighter Pilot, Hollywood Films, Hobby Shop, and Predator Drones

What does a British WW I fighter pilot, Reginald Denny,  do his movie career and in his spare time after movies? He runs a hobby shop selling model aircraft including the early versions of radio-controlled aircraft.

He turned his hobby job into RC Aircraft for the military to use as practice targets and photo recon missions and they are still used for that purpose.

A RC drone a/c from WW II is at the Tillamook air museum.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-drone-history-20100912,0,2734112.story

Two Former Fighter Pilot who fought over Romania Meet Again

Barrie Davis flew P-51 Mustangs out of Italy while the Romanian Ion Dobran flew Bf-109s. Ion almost shot down Barrie. Both became Aces.

“If you were smart, they made you a navigator. If you were steady, they made you a bombardier. All the rest of us, they made pilots."

http://www.easternwakenews.com/2010/01/13/5916/six-decades-later-foes-reunite.html

Bomber Pilot Turned Fighter Pilot after First Tour

Earl N. Thomas flew in the 360th Squadron of the 303 BG (Heavy) “Hells Angels” out Molesworth England during World War II. He first combat flight was February 4, 1944. After completing 33 missions he went over to Steeple Morton and after one week was now a fighter pilot in P-51 Mustangs to be part of the scouting force for the bombers.

http://www.times-herald.com/Local/Thomas-manned-the-Flying-Fortress-rode-the-Mustang-955383

Gliding into Combat in a Waco CG4A

Robert Herriot was sitting behind the pilot and co-pilot in their WACO glider during “Operation Varsity” – the cross Rhine airborne assault – when both were killed at 100 feet above the ground.  He then moved forward, pushed the dead pilot out of his seat, jumped into the seat and then landed the glider. He had never been in a glider till then.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/102593679.html

Boeing Plant #2 Being Torn Down

After a storied career producing aircraft – Especially the B-17 and B-29 -- Boeing’s Plant #2 on Boeing Field in Seattle has to be torn down due to the inability to update the plant due to environmental laws that govern the superfund cleanup of the Dumwash which it is built over. Part of the plant is built over the water on pilings in the river which are rotting, and with the superfund rules and other current laws, it is impossible to replace them – so the plant will be torn down.

http://www.mynorthwest.com/category/local_news_articles/20100915/The-building-that-won-WWII-to-be-demolished/

Need a B-25?

A B-25 “Mitchell” bomber made famous by the Doolittle raid to Japan, is up for sale for $650,000.  Partially restored, more work needs to be done to get it fully back to WW II status so it can fly. You are near South Carolina, you can driver over and see it.

http://www2.wspa.com/news/2010/sep/23/wwii-bomber-sale-ar-869872/

Wait! Too late! A group just bought it. The S.C. Historic Aviation Foundation.

http://www.thestate.com/2010/10/23/1525986/group-to-buy-renovate-vintage.html

SDB-5 “Dauntless” Crew Member Identified

Aviation Radioman Second Class William L. Russell of Cherokee, Oklahoma was the rear gunner of a raid attacking Buka airfield in the Solomon Island, the plane was seen at low altitude when an explosion occurred below it. No one saw it crash. Lieutenant McIntyre was the pilot.

In 2007 a local discovered the crash site and reported it to the local government who contacted the US and in May 2008 the POW/MIA team when there and recovered some of the remains.

http://www.newson6.com/Global/story.asp?S=13206113

2nd Lt. Arthur F. Parkhurst  - Buried Oct 16, 2010 in Dayton, Ohio

Lt Parkhurst was a pilot of a C-47 flying in the Philippines in 1945 when he never returned from a mission on March 12, 1945. The wreck was discovered in 1989 and his remains finally identified this year.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2010/10/14/Remains-of-World-War-II-officer-identified/UPI-39231287101338/

Memorial in Wilmington NC Community

In honor of Hanover County residents who flew in aircraft from any branch of the service in WW II.

Of the 120+ listed, 39 were killed during the war.

http://www.wect.com/Global/story.asp?S=13383617

Hunting Down WW II Wrecks in the Pacific

Justin Taylan’s dad was a combat photographer during WW II, and after a tour there he became interested in all the a/c wrecks he saw. Now he spends his summers hunting, cataloging, and researching a/c from Burma to remote islands of the South Pacific.

http://www.trivalleycentral.com/articles/2010/10/04/front/doc4ca9f8c410866282559342.txt

Donating a 500 Lb Practice Bomb to a Museum

James Force spotted a 4-foot-long olive drab pipe lying in a junkyard in the early 1960s but it was not a pipe - it was a casing of a 500 pound GP bomb. Never getting around to that restoration project that he had planned for it, he ended up donating it to Cimarron Heritage Center in Boise City.

Boise City, about 100 miles south of Lamar, Colo., bears the distinction of being bombed by an American warplane during World War II.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/ap/longmont-man-donates-wwii-bomb-casing-to-museum-105587753.html

The Bullet Holes That Don’t Matter

From Kevin Drum:

Back during World War II, the RAF lost a lot of planes to German anti-aircraft fire. So they decided to armor them up. But where to put the armor? The obvious answer was to look at planes that returned from missions, count up all the bullet holes in various places, and then put extra armor in the areas that attracted the most fire.

Obvious but wrong. As Hungarian-born mathematician Abraham Wald explained at the time, if a plane makes it back safely even though it has, say, a bunch of bullet holes in its wings, it means that bullet holes in the wings aren't very dangerous. What you really want to do is armor up the areas that, on average, don't have any bullet holes. Why? Because planes with bullet holes in those places never made it back. That's why you don't see any bullet holes there on the ones that do return. Clever!

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/10/the-bullet-holes-that-didnt-matter.html

30 Combat Missions and Never Attacked by Fighters

Sol Seligman was a top turret gunner on a B-17 and flew combat missions in the 8th Air Force from June 19, 1944 till November 26, 1944. During that whole time no enemy fighter every came near his aircraft – though one time he watched the 10 out of 12 a/c in the squadron behind him get shot down. 

He was also one of the oldest aircrew flying in combat; he entered combat at the age of 34.

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20101021/NEWS13/10210301/First-aid-kit-takes-flak-for-bomber-crewman

Twice Escaped Thrice Captured

Charles LaMarca was in the 15th Air Force as part of the 449th Bomb Group flying B-24s when he his plane was destroyed over Yugoslavia – by friendly falling bombs. He subsequently successfully escaped two prison camps but each time he was re-captured after a few days on the run.

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/10/former_pow_credits_gods_work_i.html

B-24 Crew from Papua New Guinea

In 2003 a local stumbled upon the remains of a B-24 in a steep ravine. In the airplane were the remains of tail gunner Claude “Bud” Ray and 10 other crew members who were reported missing on 27 October of 1943. DNA confirmed these remains were his and he was buried in Riverside Cemetery. The other 10 will be buried in Arlington National in 2011. He was buried exactly 67 years from the date he died.

http://www.redding.com/news/2010/oct/29/cousins-burial-is-67-years-overdue/

Photos of the ceremony at:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-wwii-airman-buried-pictures,0,4853642.photogallery

 Redressing a History Wrong

Gen. Draza Mihailovic was a leader fighting against the Germans in Yugoslavia during WW II. His partisan organization helped in the hiding of 600+ allied airmen who had been shot down or escaped into Yugoslavia. They were rescued during the war during Operation Halyard when an airfield was built by Mihailovic’s organization and aircraft flown in to take them out in 1944.

During a rigged trial after the war the communists, who now ran the country, had him executed and buried in a secret grave after a show trial. President Harry Truman awarded Mihailovic the Legion of Merit for the rescue – but it was never publicized to maintain relations with Tito’s government.  Retired Lt Col Milton Friend is trying to get his history of how he helped the allies corrected.

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=1418037&lang=eng_news

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/7192001-wwii-us-veteran-seeks-justice-for-general-mihailovic

New Book on 7 “Aggies” -- all Medal of Honor Winners in WW II

Included in the book is Lloyd Hughes Jr. who was part of the B-24 “Tidal Wave” at Ploesti losing his life in his B-24 bomber.

http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2010/oct/28/aggie-war-heroes-football-stars-featured-in-new/

 At Amazon.com : Texas Aggie Medals of Honor: Seven Heroes of World War II (Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series)

A Real Letter from Iwo Jima

Franklin Hobbs found a letter in the pocket of a dead Japanese soldier while fighting on Iwo Jima. He took it home as a souvenir and stored with his other wartime memorabilia. He pretty much forgot about it until a suggestion from his wife about returning it to the Japanese relatives. He traveled to Japan in October of 2010 and met the eldest sister of the man killed at Iwo – the youngest sister Yoko Takekawa - lives in New Jersey.

Iwo Jima – the Japanese has since renamed the island -- was assault by Marines on 19 February 1945 and after a month was considered secured. 6,821 Americans and 21,570 Japanese were killed during the battle.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jBCMzxUGxCb-zY91sWKR4ScFBBfg?docId=4959535

A Short History of the “HMS Ark Royal” Name

The current vessel is 25 years old. During WW II the 4th Vessel, also an aircraft carrier, was sunk during 1941 on a Malta resupply convoy escort mission.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11571013

Articles are Not Just published in the USA

If you can read Romanian, overseas people still write about the 8th and 15th Air Forces efforts in liberating Europe.

http://www.gazetademaramures.ro/fullnews.php?ID=11171

You can of course type the URL into Google Translate and then read it in English.

Special Sunday November 7th Event at Portland Memorial Coliseum

3 PM to 5 PM Sunday November 7th.

This event will be a patriotic musical journey from the Revolutionary War to the present, with popular music and patriotic songs from every war era.

The 50th Anniversary of the Memorial Coliseum will be celebrated.

Complimentary parking until 4 PM. (If that means you have to pay for parking there after 4 PM is unknown).

SPONSORS: Remembering America’s Heroes (RAH) and the Portland Trail Blazers announced in August, the Second Annual “A Tribute To Veterans” performance in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Duxford England Air Shows for 2011

Spring Air Show - Sunday May 22

Flying Legends - Saturday and Sunday July 9 and 10

The Duxford Air Show - Saturday and Sunday September 3 and 4

Autumn Air Show - Sunday October 16

Col Robert L Howard – MOH

On 23 December 2009 70 year old Robert Howard died at the age of 70. He was the most highly decorated soldier of the Vietnam War.  He was nominated for three MOH citations and was awarded one. He also had two awards of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, four awards of the Legion of Merit, four Bronze Star Medals and eight Purple Hearts.

He did five tours of duty as a Green Beret.

After he retired from the military, and the Veterans Administration, he went on tour to Iraq and Afghanistan talking to the troops there.

On the USS Belleau Wood During WW II

Joe Pajestka was a machinist mate on the this aircraft carrier during WW II including the only time it took damage during the war from a kamikaze aircraft which killed 92 fellow sailors.

There were roughly 1600 total men on a fleet type aircraft carrier at any one time.

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/10/memories_of_kamikaze_hit_still.html

Flying as part of Squadron 222 of MAG-14 in the South Pacific

Hugh Winnell flew the Chance-Vought F4U Corsair during WW II. However, he spent most of his time dive-bombing in the Philippines and on Okinawa – not in air to air combat.

http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/null-world-war-ii-dive-bomb-pilot-i-111210,0,6186926.story

Twice Sunk Always Afloat

The only good thing about being sunk during WW II was that you got 30 days leave afterwards – if your survived. Joseph W. "Bill" Connolly Jr was on the USS Lexington when it was sunk by our own ships after being damaged by the Japanese aircraft and could not be safely towed back to Australia so it then was sunk by US Destroyers; and then the ship he was on, USS Block Island, was sunk in the Atlantic. He could not outswim life and died at the age of 88.

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/top_stories/x1414148025/Natick-man-who-survived-two-sinkings-in-World-War-II-dies

431st Fighter Squadron History

As and Intelligence Specialist with the 431st P-38 Squadron in the Pacific Sgt Hyman Furra was in a special position to record an accurate history of the squadron in their fight from from new Guinea to the Philippines.

Maj. Richard Bong and Maj. Thomas McGuire were in the unit and Charles Lindberg also came through the unit training pilots on fuel management.

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20101027/NEWS13/10260361/Intel-sergeant-kept-history-of-squadron

817th Air Engineer Squadron

Anyone know what fighter (or other) squadron this unit supported? The base(s) and locations they were at or any other information on the 817th Air Engineers Squadron? Contact:  Gary Davis  at garyd@sturgillcpa.com

MSgt Michael Benic

All this person knows is that his uncle was in the 8th AF – anyone have any information on him contact: Dave Cortese dacortese@bellsouth.net

I did an enlistment search at the NARA site at http://aad.archives.gov/aad/fielded-search.jsp?dt=893&tf=F&cat=WR26&bc=,sl and found no info on him, so he could have been a prewar (pre-1938) Army and thus would not be in those records.

Liberators over Norwich now for sale

This is book about the 458 BG (H). List price is $69.99 From of Amazon it sells for $51.09

Amazon Link: Liberators over Norwich: The 458th Bomb Group (H), 8th USAAF at Horsham St. Faith 1944-1945

Michael Pungercar still working on his book

Technical formatting problems prevented Mike from publishing his book as desired in November  –seems that some publishers have specific formats that the book has to be in and so he had to re-layout the book in the publishers format – which would take a few months.

More British Foreign Officer Archives Released

New documents released detailed some of the fears that the Germans had been stockpiling goods and combat troops in the Alps region to prolong the war. It also alludes to the deception campaign that the Germans did to promote that to change the attack strategy against Germany itself from a Blitzkrieg type attack into the one that actually occurred – a broad front push everywhere.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gypfSHLdAfJiCmQTAglBmSFX6BgQ?docId=CNG.d207688a31f4264e0add8f6d733c82e6.d1

“Birdcage” Corsair recovered from Lake Michigan

After 60+ years an early model Chance-Vought F4UA Corsair was raised from the depths of Lake Michigan in order to be restored.

The great lakes hosted stationary freighters converted into aircraft carriers as a way to ensure that pilots could train without having to in a combat zone.

http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=155259&catid=81

AT-6 Crash Drowns Pilot – Passenger Escapes

After reporting engine trouble Melville Dill, 73, was returning to the airport at Flitchburg PA when he came up short and landed in the water and the plane flipped onto it back.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327673/World-War-Two-plane-crash-kills-pilot-73-attempts-emergency-landing.html

“Sinking the Rising Sun”

William E. "Bill" Davis published a book about his combat experience during WW II including dropping a bomb on the Japanese carrier Zuikaku with his F6F Grumman “Hellcat”.

Davis ended the war with 7 confirmed kills and the Navy Cross for hitting the Zuikaku.

Amazon Link:

Top of Form

Sinking The Rising Sun: Dog Fighting & Dive Bombing in World War II

 

Bottom of Form

A member  Joseph Armanini -- a Member of the “Bloody 100th

As a lead bombardier he had clean air and was the first to see both the Luftwaffe fighter planes coming in and the flak they got to fly through during his 25 missions over Europe. Considering he was one of the original members of the group and one of the very few to make it to that 25 mission number – 95% of the members who originally were part of the group with him did not finish a tour – most finished as a POW.

Armanini's first mission was to Bremen, Germany, on June 25, 1943, aboard a plane named El Pisstofo. The Bloody 100th lost seven planes that day.

"It was just a matter of luck that you finished," Armanini said. "If you ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time .... You had to be lucky."

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_16509428?IADID=Search-www.santacruzsentinel.com-www.santacruzsentinel.com

A PBY gets it wings back

“Gerral’s Girl” is a PBY-5A Catalina flying boat at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station -- now has its wings back on.  The PBY is now an educational display after 10 years of restoration work.

The PBY did search and rescue, U-Boat hunting, anti-shipping at night in the Pacific, medical evacuation, cargo hauling – about anything someone could think of they make the PBY do it.

http://blog.seattlepi.com/whidbey-pi/archives/227663.asp

1941 Historical Aircraft Group Museum

If you drive along Route 63 and see the Geneseo NY campus on one side of the road look the other side and you will see a dirt road leading to a very unique museum.

They have a C-47 that dropped men of the 82nd Airborne division into Normandy.

They have the 1990 stand-in movie version of the “Memphis Belle” in the proper B-17F configuration.

http://media.www.thelamron.com/media/storage/paper1150/news/2010/11/04/KnightsLife/1941-Historical.Aircraft.Group.Museum.Preserves.Gems.Of.World.War.Ii-3954528.shtml

http://www.1941hag.org/

Virtual Airplane Museum

Want to find out the sepcs and view images of every possible aircraft from every country in the world starting with the very first aircraft? Check out The Virtual Airplane Museum.

http://www.aviastar.org/index2.html

What is this part and why type of Aircraft?
A request from Howard Mariteragi SUPVR Wreckage Analysis JPAC at a WW II crash site in Poland from has pieces of an aircraft and are trying to figure out if it is a B-24 or B-17 or some other a/c.

There are a total of 7 images. If you have any idea how to ID these two and the other photos please contact me. These are posted onto the Oregon 8th AFHS Web site for viewing.

Go to: http://www.8thafhsoregon.com/misc/index.aspx to view high resolution images of all 7 images. Contact me and or Howard with info. Howard’s e-mail: Howard.Mariterag@JPAC.PACOM.MIL

If anyone has a detailed parts manual for B-17 or B-24 that would be most helpful!

Master Sargent Gerald W. Hansen 449 BG(H)

At the age 91 Mr Hansen died in Wisconsin, but he had served and will live on as part of the legacy of the 15th Air Force during the Second World War when it was in Italy.

http://www.thenorthwestern.com/article/20101130/OSH010301/11300352/Gerald-W-Hansen

Number of B-24s Flyable Doubles – now 2 fly

The CAF B-24A is also now flying. It is doubtful if it will make it out of Texas for the full airshow circuit, but now there are two out of 18,000 that can fly: Collings Foundation and the Texas CAF Liberator are in the air.

Flying Over D-Day Shores in France

Technical Sgt. Bob Schmidt of Kendallville was a radio operator who flew in both B-24s and B-17s including a flight over the D-Day invasion beaches on 6 June 1944.

Hew flew 31 combat missions in bombers and then flew in cargo planes in the South Pacific.

http://www.fwdailynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9420:Remembering-the-air-war-over-Europe&catid=87:dennis-nartker

Vaughn Erickson of Vancouver Washington flew in his B-17 in the Utah Beach landing area on D-Day and took this picture of his group’s target.

 
Taken from the Bomb bay of a B-17
near UTAH beach by Vaughn
Erickson.

8th Air Force Medals

The Eighth's personnel earned 17 Medals of Honor; 220 Distinguished Service Crosses; 850 Silver Stars; 7,000 Purple Hearts (wounds) and 46,000 Air Medals. An Air Medal was awarded to a person after flying  5 combat missions; then a pin was awarded and added to the air medal for every 5 missions thereafter.

261 fighter aces and 305 gunner aces are recognized from the Eighth in World War Two.

Col John B Parker – B-17 Navigator

Assigned to the 467 BG(H) on 22 July as a replacement crew. He started combat in August of 1944 and finished his tour in February of 1944 after logging 240 hours in combat.

Twice his B-17 had both port engines shot out and made it home. His formation was also attacked by the German Me-262 jet fighter twice during his tour.

http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2010/nov/11/wwi-aviator-tells-surviving-air-war-over-europe-ar-529005/

Searching in Germany for Lt Roy Steadman

A family goes to Germany in search of their relative killed in the war. Lt Steadman was a bombardier in the 44th BG(H) flying in B-24 Liberators when his plane was shot down on April 8th 1944.

http://bainbridgega.com/news/publish/111110steadham.shtml

 Earning a Silver Star while wounded

On a “Milk Run” to an airfield target in France before D-Day Bombardier Lt Michael Connery figured it was going to be a easy since it was reported only 4 guns were around the airfield target – then his plane takes 4 hits as he makes the bomb run.

8th Air Force; 2nd Air Division; 392nd Bomb Group; 577th, 578th and 579th bomb squadrons.

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20101113/NEWS13/11130301/Bombardier-s-bravery-earns-him-Silver-Star

Mission To Berlin – Robert F Dorr’s book on pre-order

Robert Dorr’s book about the February 3, 1945 mission to Berlin Germany is scheduled to be published in march of 2011 but it can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

Mission to Berlin: The American Airmen Who Struck the Heart of Hitler's Reich

Dorr’s previous book last year was Hell Hawks! About P-47 pilots of the 9th Air Force in their air escort and ground attack missions in Europe.

A book about the March 6, 1944 mission:

Target Berlin: Mission 250: 6 March 1944 (Greenhill Military Paperbacks)

Looking for the Crew of A/C 42-31979 – MACR 2767

This crew was part of the 306th BG(H) 368th Squadron flying out of Station 111 (Thurleigh) and was shot down on February 25, 1944 at 1255 PM on the way to bomb Augsburg by Bf-109s.

If anyone knows if any of the crew is alive:

Bayless, Charles M 0-685944

Crowl, Clarance J 0-686252

Kalish, Michael  0-685635

Laughlin, James H. Jr 0-741191

Vought, William C 139822791

EHudson, Carl E 18166196

Willey, Kenneth E 15332706

Christian, William C 17080591

Please contact Martin Karcher at  m.karcher@gmx.net

He is doing research on this aircraft in Germany.

A Dog Tag Comes Home

Hank Sarnow was in one of the planes that were shot down on Aug 17, 1943 as part of the Schweinfurt ball bearing plant bombing phase of the “Double Strike” raid that also targeted the Regensburg aircraft factory whose crews flew onto North Africa as the first “shuttle” mission and landed there after the bombing. Flying in the B-17 named “Our Bay Bee” they were shot down over Belgium and he spent the next few months evading the Germans before he made it to Spain.

Hank died in 1999.

Last month a package arrived from Europe with his dog tag in it.

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/11/11/3176486/wwii-airmans-dog-tags-show-up.html

Doris Elkington Hamaker – WASP

Assigned to Stockton Airfield in 1944 they could not figure what to do with her – she was the first one to be assigned there. She ended up as being the test pilot of repaired aircraft (which could be dangerous depending on what was repaired) and being a check pilot for other pilots needing to log time.

http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101111/A_NEWS/11110337/-1/NEWSMAP

 William T. Follis Jr. – Shot down over Madgeburg

Up in Bellingham Washington William T Follis Jr lives now but at one time he lived in the nose of a Boeing B-17s as a bombardier – till he went to Madgeburg, which is about 75 miles west of Berlin on May 12, 1944; where he was shot down.  He ended up in Stalag Luft 1.

“The German interrogation officer was a one-legged major who had lost his leg at the Russian Front. He had a rather complete file on me, including knowledge of my family, my father's business, when and where I was married, along with articles from The Bellingham Herald with respect to my military training and when I was sent overseas.”

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010/11/06/1698419/bombardier-bill-follis-jr-shot.html

Celebrating Christmas with Colored Flak Bursts

As a waist gunner flying in B-17s with the 15th Air Force 97 BG(H) 340th Squadron Henry Yekel was aloft on Christmas day when instead of the normal black puffs of flak greeting them on the way into the target the Germans put up flak shells that burst with red and green colors.

http://www.reporterherald.com/news_story.asp?ID=30255

VWF Post 603

Audio recordings and written the transcripts of veteran stories of World War II by Jewish veterans.

Fighting against NAZIS while being Jewish was a special enhanced risk unique to these veterans. If captured it sometimes mattered which branch of the German military captured them and where. Toward the end of the war some NAZIS did try and single out Jewish POWs out the those captured but were usually rebuffed by those just captured to single out their Jewish members.

http://www.jewishjournal.com/veterans_day/article/the_jewish_war_veterans_of_post_603_20101109/

A Nose Gunner in the 460 BG(H) 15th AF

Leon Brady went from a ranch in Vernal Utah to being a gunner out of Spinazzola Italy flying 35 missions in B-24s. Included in that group of missions is one where they ran out of fuel and ditched their aircraft behind enemy lines, and they were able to get air-sea rescue to come land by them and bring them back to Spinazzola.

Their planes’ unofficial nickname “Seldom Available” – because there was almost always something wrong with it they always went flying in some other aircraft.

http://www.gillettenewsrecord.com/articles/2010/11/11/news/today/news00.txt

Chinese Americans in the War

At the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center there is a small exhibit about the men who went to war from the Chinese community there. Like Leon Brady above, Edward Chan joined the military, however he became a bombardier, and like Brady, was assigned to the same 460th BG(H) in Italy and was there at the same time as Leon Brady.

Sgt Haryy Lim parachuted into Normandy as part of the 101st Airborne.

 Harold Don, Wing Gee Lee, brothers Johnny and Loy Low, Harold Lim, Ray Lim, Paul Tom, Al Yee, Ray Tom. Also Jimmy Wong, Frank Lee, Chuck Gin, William Gin, Fung Wong, George Wong, Ray Quen and Don Wing all were in the military during WW II.

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/article_79446ed6-ae65-57d3-bcc0-7bcd0d30d9f8.html

A Museum Just for the B-24 Liberator

The Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum is home to the International B-24 Memorial Museum. They do not have a B-24, but they have 30 other aircraft on display.

They have as their mission a to tell the history of the design, planning, production and use of the Consolidate B-24 “Liberator”.

18,479 Liberators were built (by various firms) and only two are flyable.

www.pawam.org

Zamperini’s War

After their plane broke up in air in May of 1943 in the Pacific, Louis Zamperini and his pilot spent 7 weeks on a raft before finding land – and capture under the Japanese. Thereafter two years of purposeful torture by the Japanese were experienced by both before the end of the war. This book tells of his experiences.

Pasquale “Patsy” Gerron – B-24 Gunner in China

Flying combat missions out of China, literally the end of the supply road for anything, to Hing Kong, Canton, Hanoi he fought Zeros, a nighttime jump out of the airplane when they ran out of fuel and other adventures in the Far East.

http://www.morningjournal.com/articles/2010/11/11/news/mj3548024.txt?viewmode=default

Lucky Bastard Club – Certificate earned February 3, 1945

Herb Taylor was the combat pilot of a B-24 at 20, and finished his 35th mission on February 3, 1945 at the age of 21.

His co-pilot Joseph Mulhern, kept a diary of their missions as part of the 389th BG(H) 566th Squadron flying B-24 Liberators out of England as part of the 8th Air Force.

“Mission No. 4 - Sept. 8, 1944, 7:45 a.m. Target: Karlsruhe, just east of Rhine, marshalling yard for Siegfried Line. Took off on instruments, bad weather, broke out about 15,000 feet. Wild scramble to form.

Had short circuit and wire fire. Thought we might join the Caterpillar Club. (Those who bail out using parachutes of silk, hence the name Caterpillar Club.)

Had to go to 24,000 feet to bomb. Accurate flak. About five holes in ship. Too close for comfort.”

http://www.themountainmail.com/main.asp?SectionID=4&SubSectionID=4&ArticleID=20794

Flying Brothers in the Same B-24 Squadron

Courtney and Earl Shanken were borthers with different jobs in the same B-24 unit flying out of England.

There were a number of brothers flying combat in the sane unit, some even in the same aircraft.

Howard Hass and Courtney were both recently awarded the French Legion of Merit.

http://www.pioneerlocal.com/wilmette/news/2869614,highland-park-vets-111110-s1.article

Kassel Germany – September 1944

John R. Lemons was a waist gunner as part of the 445th BG(H) operating B-24s out of Tibenham En gland, Sussex, when on a supposed “milk run” to Kassel Germany the unit was attacked by swarms of German fighters – only 4 aircraft out of the 35 landed back at the base.

In 1990 a memorial was erected at the site of the aerial battled and 45 Americans, and 14 German fighter pilots, attended the banquet and unveiling of the monument.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/fea/travel/unitedstates/stories/DN-vetsreturn_1107tra.ART.State.Edition1.4f72c8b.html

“City of Savannah” Gets a Paint Job

The B-17 now housed at the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum nose art was painted on by Skip Shelton – himself a veteran of the 448th BG(H) – as a B-24 pilot.

“After he painted a sexy woman on his own plane, "Frisco Frisky," his commanding officer took notice. After that, Shelton was often grounded so he could paint nose art on other planes.”

http://savannahnow.com/west-chatham/2010-11-17/world-war-ii-veteran-paints-city-savannah-b-17-nose-art

What Would You Do?

Fred Millard was in the first wave of American soldiers to jump off a landing craft into battle at Omaha Beach on D-Day.

“We were the first ones in. They dropped us in nine feet of water.  The first thing I did was throw my gun away. Who was I going to shoot underwater?”

http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20101111/NEWS10/11110580/1027/%E2%80%98+Incredible+individuals+++Members+of+%E2%80%98+Greatest+Generation++treated+to+Famie+film

Still Waiting for the Purple Heart Paperwork

John Welterlen was part of a PB4Y (The naval single tail version of the B-24) crew hunting U-Boats in the Gulf of Mexico to bombing raids in the South China Sea, Okinawa and Japan itself he spent the war in the air over the ocean – but was wounded while on land inside his PB4Y.

However, his records – like hundreds of thousands of others – were lost in the warehouse fire in St. Louis and it takes two people to confirm that he was indeed wounded while inside his airplane.

So trying to go through the proper channels he is running out of ways to prove he should be awarded it.

On July 12, 1973 the National Personnel Records Center in St Louis has a hugh fire and 80% of all  Army records from 1912 thru 1960 was  destroyed and Air Force records from 1947 thru 1964 (starting with those names after Hubbard, James E.) 75% were destroyed. The building was designed without a sprinkler system due to fears of water damage to all the paper stored there.

Gunner Sgt. Michael Chiodo Buried 65 years after MIA Report

His B-24 bomber was shot down, along with 62 other aircraft, over Germany in April of 1944 and his remains were never found till 2007. On Oct 20, 2010 he was buried with full military honors with 1 of his surviving relatives in attendance.

http://blog.cleveland.com/sunmessenger/2010/11/mayfield_heights_womans_brothe.html

Tuskegee Memorial Re-Dedicated

An Urban renewal project long ago wiped out the plaque honoring William Armstrong who was killed in aerial combat on April 1, 1945.

A new plaque was made and set up at the intersection of Cranston and Dodge streets in Providence, Rhode Island.

http://www.projo.com/news/content/TUSKEGEE_AIRMAN_REMEMBERED_11-11-10_APKSNKS_v12.36d8bf5.html

New Exhibit on Pearl Harbor

Bill Barr, 91 offered to donate his old cameras to the Royal Oak Historical Society, but he also had taken pictures of Pearl Harbor on the 7th as the carrier he was on, the USS Enterprise, steamed into port – most of these pictures had never been seen before.

http://www.dailytribune.com/articles/2010/12/02/news/doc4cf876d141f7e317181260.txt?viewmode=fullstory

www.royaloakhistoricalsociety.org

Guam Still Fighting – Over Reparations caused by the Japanese Occupation but want the money from the US Government

Guam has been locked in a struggle with the US Government for over 30 years over reparations to the people who lived through (and for the many who did not) the occupation by Japanese when they invaded the island till the US took it back in 1944.  14,000+ natives were under Japanese occupation from 1941 thru 1944 when the US took it by after 1,438 servicemen died retaking the island. All US citizens were evacuated from the island at the start of the war since the war plans stated it could not be defended and thus was abandoned without a fight.

The claims process in the 1940s was word of mouth and short timed and thus most of the natives never even knew about it. Current claims amounts to $126 million dollars.

Senator McCain opposed the appropriation payment saying that it would set a precedent that US citizens could file claims against the US Government for actions done by other nations.

This is due to the hasty treaty made with Japan, seen by few, and approved of by Congress without anyone really reading it, after the war by the Government due to the Red Scare era and thus signed away the rights of the US citizens to seek compensation from Japan for slave labor, torture, purposeful killing, and starvation diets of POWs and Internees – unlike the postwar treaty with Germany.

http://www.stripes.com/guam-seeks-closure-to-its-nearly-30-year-quest-for-wartime-reparations-1.126894

George Reiner – At the Receiving End of a Kamikaze

Doing your job while an airplane is diving “right at you” is what George Reiner did on April 24, 1945 when his destroyer USS Haggard was the target of a Japanese Kamikaze – which hit just 60 feet away.

This Portland Oregon native was on destroyer picket line duty – a prime target of the first waves of Kamikazes in order to take out the radar – in the Okinawa campaign.

http://www.thebeenews.com/news/story.php?story_id=129032199258295300

Last Man Club

This is where people form a club to honor those that served with them, and have died and the last man left gets a great bottle of booze.

In the TV Series “M.A.S.H.” Col. Potter is the “Last Man” of his club of 6 that formed in a bombed out house in France in 1918.

http://www.lemarssentinel.com/story/1682032.html

On Board the USS CHUB

Ed Morrison was a machinist mate on the submarine USS Chub SS-329 catching a nap when a Japanese aircraft attacked the submarine one day in 1945.

The aircraft’s bomb missed the sub by some 40 feet which woke him up.

The US lost 52 submarines during the war – a 20% casualty rate.

http://waltontribune.com/news/article_f94ccac2-ec27-11df-9c33-001cc4c03286.html

The “Forgotten War” is Remembered

Sgt. Richard Frank Abbott, 24 was part of the 31st Infantry Regiment fighting their way north toward the Yalu river on November 15, 1950 at the Chosin Reservoir expecting the war to be over in a few weeks as did Marine Cpl. Dave Erkson only a few miles away on that same November night.

Only one came back to tell their complete story of the Chinese intervention into Korea.

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20101128/NEWS02/11280301/The-Frozen-Chosin-Vermonters-remember-costly-Korean-battle

A Routine Day on Iwo Jima

Richard Leslie was a machine gunner on Iwo Jima – but due to the terrain and even though he was in the front line he could do very little with his weapon. He unit went ashore as a replacement platoon.

“One Jap grenade did hit me in the nose and laid me back in my foxhole, but it didn't explode.”

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010/11/06/1698423/marine-thanks-lucky-stars-he-survived.html

From Machinist Mate to Flamethrower on Iwo Jima

Joe String was running the engines on landing craft at Iwo Jima when he, and 20% of the rest of the crew, were re-assigned to combat positions to replace the men already killed.

In a 4 man team setup: himself with the flamethrower, a man to operate the valves of the tanks on his back, and two riflemen as escorts, he would lead the group into caves, dugouts, and other fortified positions and kill any Japanese soldiers in there.

http://www.theledger.com/article/20101110/NEWS/11105021/1410?Title=Veteran-Ending-Longtime-Policy-of-Saying-Little

Moving Households as a job and Finds Diaries thrown away

Bev Gregory daytime job was “removals” – in the UK that means house movers -- and in the process has found diaries that were being thrown away as trash when the people moved. So far he has saved a diary of Aircraftsman Roy Hidderley and Gunner William Gee.

He has already transcribed them and now is trying to figure out how to get them published.

http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/southport-news/southport-southport-news/2010/12/03/southport-man-transcribes-second-world-war-heroes-diaries-101022-27759542/

"South Carolinians in World War II: A Time to Fight"

Is a three part series about the 184,000 South Carolina men and women who fought in WWII.

The "South Carolinians in World War II" series is part of a larger effort by ETV and The State newspaper to collect the stories of South Carolina veterans. The second and third episodes will air in 2011.

More information about the project can be found at http://www.facebook.com/scworldwarII

Richard McGlinn – 38 Days in Siberia

Bailing out of his damaged B-29 Superfortress after a mission to Japan, he and his crew were forced to bail out over the USSR – then still neutral – but he had to find people first in order to be interned.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/11/08/1408706/bellingham-pilot-endured-ww-ii.html

Findable on Amazon the book “Home From Siberia," published in 1990 book by Otis Hays Jr. details the experience of McGlinn's crew and other U.S. fliers interned by the Russians during WW II.

Lance Bombardier Manley Greets a soldier from the 2nd Byelorussian Front in Wismar

Is a key photo in a new exhibit in Barnsley, Yorkshire that also has photos of the Brest Fortress that it took the Germans over a month to capture when they first invaded the USSR.

However, the exhibit ended on November 18 and thus the photos are no where to be seen  . . .

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/Yorkshire-soldier39s-historic-handshake-recalled.6620529.jp

A Communist View of the “Great Patriotic War”

The war on the Eastern Front did decide WW II since from 78% to 60 % of the total German effort was in the East. But as to why the Soviets won  of due to their better government or if the German lost to their real lack of planning is still being debated.

http://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2010/1482/09-stalin.html

Serving on Cargo Ships Throughout the War

Shipping won the war for the Allies – without the massive ship building program to move the goods needed to fight the war it could not have been won. Jack Hillier joined in 1941 – before the war – and served throughout the war – including time on a tanker which was always a high priority target to sink.

http://www.citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101111/GJNEWS02/711119690/-1/CITNEWS

The AK-47 – Created as a result of WW II and Soviet Practicality

During the “Great Patriotic War” the USSR greatly relied on automatic weapons en masse to counter the skilled rifle marksmanship of the Germans and their allies. Mass of fire overcame skilled individual fire on the Eastern Front and the combat experiences drove the Soviets to design a better rifle to meet the needs of the battle field – and it resulted in the AK-47.

http://www.kansascity.com/2010/12/01/2488721/how-ak-47s-changed-killing.html

Local Aviation Groups

Old Bold Pilots Club                                                                                          

Meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from around 11:45 till when people leave.

Meetings are at The Village Inn Restaurant; 17070 SW 72nd Tigard right at Lower Boons Ferry Road and I-5 on the west side of I-5 at Exit 290. Open to everyone. No fees, no dues, it is designed as a gathering to talk aviation over lunchtime.

ANA – Association of Naval Aviators

--- No meeting in July or August --

Meetings are the last Thursday of each month from 11:30 till around 2 PM.

Contact: Lt Col George H. Bickford Sr. USN (Ret) at 503-656-6643. e-mail: bick @ teleport.com

Mailing address: Flying Beaver Squadron #39; PO Box 432; Clackamas, Oregon 97015-0432

Southern Oregon Warbirds Association

If you live in southern Oregon you can meet x-aviation personnel at the Southern Oregon Warbirds Association (SOWA) http://www.southernoregonwarbirds.org.

Meeting location: New Life Christian Center, 1723 NE Vine Street. Roseburg, OR and they meet on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 12:00 noon. The July / August dinner meeting is on the fourth Tuesday of those months at the American Legion Hall 406 SE Oak Street. 6:30 pm Elmer L Giles, Sec.. POC: Elmer L Giles, 102 Shadow Ranch Lane, Roseburg OR 97470 Cell phone 541 430 4165. Dues $10 a year.

Breakfast at Twin Oaks Airpark

EAA chapter 105 http://www.eaa105.org/ holds a breakfast at Twin Oaks Airpark www.twinoaksairpark.com on the 1st Saturday of each month. Cost is $5 and you get to eat in the hanger. Their next breakfast is at the same time as our 8th AFHS meeting on November 7th. It is a pancake breakfast so you could go there and then still get to the 8th AFHS meeting that starts at 10 AM.

Bomber Restaurant Breakfast

On the first Friday of each month people meet at The Bomber Restaurant (find the B-17 along McLaughlin – hard to miss) at 10 AM till noon. The Bomber Complex, Inc.

13515 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd.; Milwaukie, Oregon 97222; 503-659-9306


The B-17 restoration project has its own web site at: http://www.b17wingsoffreedom.org/

Aviation Breakfast Club

This is the Walt Bohrer Chapter and they meet on the 2nd Sunday of each month (except Easter and Mother’s Day) from 10 AM till 12 Noon at various places now that their long time meeting place shut down. Call for details: 503-254-5555; e-mail: aviationclub @ aol.com

“Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway." -- John Wayne

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