China - Burma - India
Sep 1942 - Nov 1945
( mail was posted 2 May 2000 )
29 Apr 2000; Lee Cunningham ( deceased 2001) wrote:
Subject: CREW NAVIGATOR 425TH BOMB SQDN
I served from May 1944 TO May 1945 as navigator on Jay Levan's crew; as navigator on Col. Hightower Smith mission to Weinsten and crew navigator Col. Bill Hopson mission to sink the 'Conte Verde.' Plan to attend the Reunion at Charleston.
(editor note: that's the 'Flying Tigers of the 14th Air Force Association Convention, which will be held 10 - 14 October 2000, in Charleston, SC)
14 Apr 2000; Brian P. McDermott ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Subject: My Dad
My Dad was Fred McDermott. He passed away a few years ago. I am making up a little booklet to give to mom. Dad was at Kunming four 39 months. He was not a pilot or on an aircrew but he was a good man. Thanks for sharing your history with me. I am a veteran myself.
12 Apr 2000; Robert Gerrone ( email@example.com ) wrote:
I just heard from an accident researcher who states my uncle, Patsy Gerrone, was in a serious accident on 11/16/43, 15 miles from Hsintu, China. The crew bailed out and the plane was lost. I'm going to order the report and see what its like. Thanks so much, Bob Gerrone
11 Apr 2000; Robert Gerrone ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
I'm looking for info on my uncle, Patsy Gerrone who apparently was a member of the 14th AAF. I have a newspaper article from the 1940's after visiting his mother (my grandmother) for a 21 day furlough. It states; that he flew 75 missions and 337 combat hours. Flew over the "HUMP" 30 times and involved in raids over Hong Kong, Canton, Hankow and other Japanese bases. I'm looking for the specific bomb group or any info to find out about him. He enlisted in 1940 and trained at Chanute and other sites. I ordered an accident report from a company in NJ about a crash he was involved in.
he was a Tech. Sgt, top turret gunner and engineer on a B-24 and served 14 months with the 14th under Chennault. He is still alive and I could always ask him, but he lives out of town and is expected to visit here soon. I just want to surprise him with my research.Any info will be greatly appreciated.
10 Apr 2000; Angela Reed ( ReedAngela@otc.army.mil ) wrote:
Subject: 2nd Lt. Charles E. Bruntraeger
I'm looking for information - especially a photo of any kind - for a Navigator from the 373rd Bomb Squadron - 2nd Lt. Charles E. Bruntraeger. He participated in the China/Burma conflict and was one of those part of the sea-sweep of 15 January 1944 that was reported MIA. Their status was changed to KIA in March of that year.
His widow is a very dear friend of mine and she has precious little information and no pictures of her beloved 'Edwin'. I gave her my word that I would find out what I could for her and I know a picture and/or any personal information about his time there would bring her great joy.
Thank you so much in advance for your kind consideration.
4 Apr 2000; BOB FENSLER ( email@example.com ) wrote:
Subject: ROBERT WILSON FENSLER
MY FATHER IS ROBERT KENNETH FENSLER SR. IF ANYONE HAS INFORMATION ON CAPT ROBERT WILSON FENSLER PLEASE E-MAIL ME. I'M SURE HE IS A RELATION. MY FATHER WAS A CAPT IN THE ARMY AIR FORCE IN WWII, BOMbArDieR ON B-25. I (ROBERT KENNETH FENSLER JR) RETIRED FROM THE USMC CWO4 AFTER 22 YEARS. MY SON (ROBERT KENNETH FENSLER III) IS AN ARMY SGT CURRENTLY IN BOSNIA.
THANK YOU FOR ANY INFORMATION ON ROBERT W FENSLER.
2 Apr 2000; Shirley Fensler ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Subject: Capt. Robert Wilson Fensler
Good Afternoon: I was proud to find the name of my third cousin, Capt. R. W. Fensler on your beautiful website. I knew he was MIA, but was never told the circumstances. I had imagined him being lost while piloting a C-47 "over the hump", but perhaps you can give me correct information--the type of plane he was flying ( a B-24, I would imagine, since you were a heavy bomber sqadron), approximately where he was lost, etc?
Any information you have will be gratefully received. And again, you have a website to be proud of.
Regards, Frank Fensler Detroit, MI
30 Mar 2000; Valette Randall ( email@example.com ) wrote:
Tony, I have four or five letters written by Capt. James M. Everly of the 373rd. He was a navigator on the Daisy Mae that went down September 15, 1943. I also have a picture of Jim in his uniform while visiting family in California. Would there be a spot for these letters on your site? If so, should I just type them in or transcribe them and sent them to you?
Sincerely, Valette Randall
6 Mar 2000; Donald Day ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Subject: First contact
My name is Frederick D. Day of the 373rd Bomb Sqd., 308th Bomb Gp stationed at Yankai - Yunnan Province. I was with the original Air Cadre and on the B-24 piloted Dana Hill. I note that, for the 373rd, Glenn A. Roberts provided you with the Flying Dragons patch. Glenn was the radio operator on our crew. I would greately appreciate any contact imformation you may be able proviide me for any members of my crew. 1943-44, that's only 56 years ago. I was the youngest member of the squadron & the last last of the original crew members to leave. Painted under my top-turret position was the name "DONDE from Texas". I only stumbled across your Web Site today. My address is: Transversal 4, No. 84-71, Apto, 202, Bogota, Colombia, So. Amer. Ph. 057 1 635-0908.
Many memories have returned this date, Thanks,
5 Mar 2000; LaneNA7340@aol.com wrote:
Subject: 373rd Gordon Mallory
My dad served with the 373rd Squadron from late 1944 until it's move to Okinawa in 1945. He then moved to occupation duty in Japan after the hostilities ceased. He was a tail gunner on a B-24 during his time in China.
I have four other names that were on his crew: Edward Garich, Melvin Spilkowitz, Edward Wallent, and Donald Esky.
If anyone knows any of these men or would like to relate anything to me about these times in China, I'd enjoy hearing from you. Also, would like to know how to research the actual planes he served on.
24 Feb 2000; someone ( Picekl@cs.com ) wrote:
Subject: Ralph Opheim
I am searching for information on my father's cousin - Ralph Opheim. Any hints as to where I might look.
21 Feb 2000; Joann Presson ( email@example.com ) wrote:
Subject: Ding How Dottie pictures
Thanks so much for responding to my e:mail. You've answered a lot of my questions. My father was Pvt. Stanislaus J. Jaracz. I've also attached some pictures for you to use on the website. If you'd like any other pictures from that unit of men I would be happy to scan them for you. I assume from the picture of seven men that they must be the squad. Maybe you will be able to identify the other men in the picture. My father is the first one on the left kneeling.
Thanks again and keep in touch,
Joann (Jaracz) Presson
19 Feb 2000; John Eley ( JohnEley@prodigy.net ) wrote:
Subject: 373rd Bomb Sqd.
Hi , my name is John Eley. I was stationed in Yangkai, Luliang. I was there from August 1944- Februrary 1945. I have my log of my "C" time. I was a flight engineer on Taylor and Taylors crew. I have a few photos of the squadron area of 373rd when based at Luliang. The most memorable mission was the raid on White cloud airdrome.
Write me at JohnEley@Prodigy.net
11 Feb 2000; From: Joann Presson ( JPresson@att.net ) wrote
Subject: ding how dottie
Hi, .... I have my father's service record book. I have been trying to sort out what I have but I can't figure out exactly what area he was in. I have a Motor vehicle operator's permit that he had that has 373rd bombardment squadron, and have pictures of him with 6 other men standing in front of a plane that has a picture of a girl in a swimsuit and "Ding How Dottie" on it. I remember my mother telling me that he was stationed in China, Burma, India. I also have photos of him as a gunner. My mom says he was a mechanic that worked on the planes for the Flying Tigers. I have a round blue patch with a tiger on it and one with wings and a star under it. I identified it with the 308th number 1 and 14 insignia. If you can, would you please help me sort this out. If he was in the Army, I don't understand how he had worked on planes? Isn't that the Air Force?
The only thing I know for sure is that he was in the 373rd bomb squad (H) AAF. I also have a picture of the plane with "Gremlin Haven" on it.
Thanks for any help you can give me.
6 Feb 2000 Ernest Hancock ( Littlemiss97261@aol.com ) wrote:
Subject: B24 'Massas Dragon'
My name is Ernest Hancock. I was a tail gunner on the B24 "Massas Dragon" Piloted by Lt. Strickland, Co-Pilot Flight Officer Bird. Stationed at Chengtu. I was with the 374th Bomber Squadron 308th Bomb Group. Duty time was '44. This is my sons e-mail account. He was the one who found this site. Any information that you can send pertaining to anyone or anything in my squadron/group, would be really appreciated. I am a member of the 14th Air Force Association. Thank you and have a great day.
29 Jan 2000; Harold Kickliter ( HKickliter@aol.com ) wrote:
Subject: No Subject
Hello. My grandfather, Col. (Ret) James S. Edney, was in the 375th bomber squadron. He recently passed away and I was fortunate enough to receive his leather bomber jacket. I don't know if any of you can help me, but I would like to have it repaired and cleaned, but I'm afraid to take to someone other than a specialist (silk chit inside). I'm wondering if any of you have had this done, or if you may possibly know anyone who has? Thank you very much.
29 Jan 2000; Michael McNamee ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Subject: The Doodlebug
I looking for pictures of the "Doodlebug" and her crew. My name is Michael McNamee and my grandfather was SSgt McNamee.If you have any info at all I would greatly appreciate a reply. My e-mail address is email@example.com.
GM3 Michael McNamee
17 Jan 2000; Jim Knox ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Subject: Capt. Hiram Manning; "Thunder Bird"; B-24D
My Uncle, Hiram Manning was pilot of the Thunder Bird in the 375th Sq, 308th BG for 84 missions from May '43 until Aug '44. I have pictures of the airplane and crew and have written a short book about his life, including stories of AF training and missions in the CBI. If you would like the picture, please let me know.
Thanks for your efforts on the 308th website. Keep up the great work.
James E. Knox
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000; Denny Swenk ( email@example.com ) wrote:
My Dad was in this group and I am wondering if anybody out there remembers him or some of his buddies. his name was Neeley J. Swenk, he was a radar operator but I can not find anything about radar operators mentioned from any body. would like to hear any news on the radar operators, they was not on a certain crew but was on certain planes !! would appreciate any one who could tell me something about any of them.. his fellow radar operators name where. Bill Hartegan. Posner..and a Murhey, I believe.
Thank you and God Bless all the brave men who served with him.
10 Jan 2000; Ron Covey ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Subject: Information of 373rd BS
Looking for any and all information regarding the 373rd Bomb Sqd. as a friend was a member of that squadron. His name was Arthur A. Belter. Thank you
30 Dec 1999; Dierck ( email@example.com )wrote:
Subject: "BLACKIE" LEBLANC
Hi, I'm trying to contact crew members of my uncle Gene "Blackie" Leblanc. He would like to talk to them. He's doing well and is hoping that his crew members are too. This is his first attempt at contacting any of them. You may also contact us at 253-884-4524, ask for John. My uncle was in the 374th.
23 Dec 1999; ryan wills ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Subject: Lt. Col Daniel J. Palmer, Navigator of "Goon"
My name is Ryan Wills, I am the grandson of Daniel J. Palmer, deceased. I wanted to inform you that there was a type error in which he is listed as Sam Palmer on the crew list of "The Goon", B-24D, co 41-24183 14 .
Also I felt obliged to briefly describe his story. As soon as I can gather all of the facts about it I will send that also along with some more pictures of "The Goon" and its crew.
Daniel Palmer survived the bail out but was severely injured. He evaded capture by the Chinese army and was found by Chinese monks who hid him and smuggled him from village to village while he was recuperating. I have various items that he was given by Chinese villagers who regarded him as a hero. He eventually made it back to allied territory and continued his Air Force career. He did not know the fate of his best friend "Sandy" Sanders but he did say that he saw a couple of the crew members land in the West River where he believed them to have drowned. My family has his log book, which I am presently trying to obtain, which, I am sure, contains quite a bit of information. I would like to share everything that I find with you, it is truly a remarkable story.
Ryan D. Wills
12 Dec 1999; Fordon Livengood ( GMA1TRAIN@aol.com ) wrote:
Subject: LOOKING FOR TAIL GUNNER
My wife had a brother in the 373rd Bomb Squadron--308 Bomb Group, any information about him or his aircraft would be greatly appreciated. He was a tali gunner, shot down over the China Sea. Only survivor was Lt W. H. Stafford, navigator. This was around Feb 1945. His name was S/Sgt Johnnie W. Skurka, s/n 38232022, from Jarrel, Texas.
Thank you so much, hope you can help us learn something about Johnnie.
Gordon R. Livengood
7140 Premont #13
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX. 78414
10 Dec 1999; DANIEL BROAD ( email@example.com ) wrote:
Subject: time at kwanghan
trying to hear about some of the guys stationed at Kwanghan, just outside of Chengtu, in 44and 45. Gordon Roberts was the pilot and Gus Keriotis was the co-pilot, I was the bombardier. Interested in any info available.
08 Dec 1999; Shirley C. Hughes ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
My father was a tail gunner with the 425th in '44-'45. His name was Shirley Waits. I don't know anything else. Can you help?
4 Dec 1999; Garry Murphy ( GWMJ5699@aol.com ) wrote:
Subject: SB-24 Snoopers'
Can you help with any information on the 868th Bomb Squardon (H) 13th AAF on Okinawa or in that area in late 44 or 45'.
You have a very impressive site. Many Thanks for any help.
29 Oct 1999; Mary M Bailey (email@example.com) wrote:
Subject: My Dad was in 374th BS (H)
I have been going through some of my fathers things, trying to determine, what to keep after his death in June 1997. I found a box with some old war "stuff" in it. Although I grew up knowing that Dad had been in China, Burma and India during the war, didn't realize he was part of the Flying Tigers until my mother died in 1985. I'm trying to find someone who knows a lot about the 374th and who may have known my dad while in the service. This box indicates that he was a medical officer for the 375th Bomb Squadron (H). Includes:
1. Army Serial Number: 0 447 780
2. AUS. Grade: Capt, Arm or Service: MC(AC)
3. Date Started Active Service: 20 Apr 1940
4. Address at Entry to Active Duty: Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan
5. Battles and Campaigns: China India Burma Southern Phillipines GO 33 WD 45
6. Decorations and Citations: Soldiers Medal GO 83 14AF 44 and Asiatic Pacific Service Medal
7. Departure/Return dates for Foreign Service: 15 Feb 1943 Asiatic Pacific 1 Apr 1945
8. Attendence to School of Aviation Medicine, Randolph Field, Texas
On the back there is a certification that John H Bailey 0 447 780 Captain 82nd Depot Repair Squadron 3rd Air Depot Group (I think this is just his demobilization unit at Fort Logan CO) honorably served in Active Federal Service in the Army of the United States from 20 April 1942 to 5 January 1946 Sign by Clemont C Parrish, Lieutenant Colonel CAC
There was also a talley out sheet indicating the receipt of medical supplies issued to John H Bailey, 1st Lieut., M.C. for HQ & HQ Squadron, and the 364th, 365th, 366th and 422nd Bomb Squadrons, 305th Bomb Group, Geiger Field, Washington. It is dated 16 Jun 1942. However, other papers indicates he was reassigned from 364th Bomb Sq (H) and assigned to APSC, AAB, Wendover Field, Utah, (13 July 1942?) and Randolph Field (20 Jun 1942?). Another sheet indicated movement from Randolph Field to Santa Ana, CA for temporary duty of 6 weeks, dated 4 Aug 1942.
1. B.O.Q./Mess Dec 1942 374 Bombardment Sq
2. Receipt for Misc Collections - sent money to spouse
a. 8 Aug 1943 Capt John Bailey 374th Bomb Sq, 308th Bomb Group Signed by E. K. Reynolds, 1st Lt AC Adjutant 374th Bomb Sq
b. 3 Dec 1943 Same data
c. 1 Jun 1944 same, but signed by Lau??? C. Bo[n?]t Jr, 1st Lt, FD
d. 31 Dec 44, signed by J.B. Kissinger, Capt., FD
3. Receipt for Rations for 31 Oct 1944 to 30 Nov 1994, Kunming Air Base, Signed for Capt Smolkin, Mess Officer, by Sgt Rhodes
4. Receipt for Officers Club, Dec 1944, 3rd Air Depot
5. Receipt from Parke's Apollo Hotel, Bombay, India, 30 Mar 1945 (last days before departure for home!)
Typed copies of letters sent from China to friends at Harper Hospital dated June and September 1943 and signed from John H Bailey, Captain, 374 Bomb Sq, 308 Bomb Grp (H). In the September letter he mentions that he recently had to treat a chap who parachuted out over the jungle between China and India and took 26 days to walk into camp. Although covered with flea bites, only treatmen table to give was soap and water followed by "Genetian Violet". He was gripped by the "stuff which these boys have. People at home can always be proud of their boys overseas."
26 Sep 99; Michael J. Whitacre (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
Subject: Picture and names, Stories to follow
Dear AKFF26e (Tony Strotman),
I am enclosing a Picture for you site of my dad and his plane (King's X) and crew. He was assigned to the 375th Squadron during WWII.
He has many interesting stories and I will write you a few of them as soon as I talk to him and get all the specific dates. For now here is the picture and a crew list with their associated nicknames. Standing Left to Right
Bombadier: 1st Lt. Jack Nichols
Co-Pilot: 1st Lt. Mitchell
Pilot: Capt. Byron Cosgrove
Navigator: 1st Lt. Braniff (Little Rebel)
Front row Left to Right
Armoured Gunner: SSgt Don E. Bresher (Big Wheel): he's my dad
Nose Gunner: Sgt Klose
Tail Gunner: Sgt Robert Krackenberger (Little Wheel)
Flight Engineer/Waste Gunner: Tsgt Douglas Oglivie
Lower Ball Gunner: Sgt Norbert Knapp (Nubs)
Radio Operator/Waste Gunner: Sgt Bjorn Holm
I want to thank you for the opportunity to not only publish this Photo but also relate some of my father greatest memories.
Michael J. Whitacre MSgt, USAF, Ret
13 Sep 1999; Bob Lightfoot, Jr. (BRYCEINN@aol.com) wrote:
Subject: 373rd squadron info
My dad is Robert K. Lightfoot. He is looking for some of his war buddies. they are: Louvern M. Freeman, pilot-of "the joker"(b-24)308th bomb group, 373rd bomb squadron, and also David McNeil or(Mcneal) from Pa, gunner on same plane.
if you have any info or can tell me where to go for info, it would mean a lot to my dad.
25 Jul 99; Sam McGowan (BlndBat@aol.com) wrote:
Subject: Transfer to India
A question has arisen regarding the status of the 308th after it transferred from China to India on June 27, 1945. Since India was the responsibility of the Tenth Air Force and Fourteenth was in China, it would appear that the 308th was under Tenth after the transfer. What info do you have on this?
25 Jul 99; Brad Daum (email@example.com) wrote:
Subject: father any info
just checking to see if you got my mail tony ? father adam f. daum, hope you had luck.
thanks, brad daum
25 Jul 99; John H. Harding (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
Subject: Suichuan, China
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:
I fought in the CBI in WWII, a year in India where I witnessed and took part in the Great Bombay Explosion of April 14, 1944 (what a mess), and a year in China where I served at such fields as Kunming (air-to-ground), Suichuan and Poseh (control tower operator), etc. I am now retired as a technical writer but am freelance writing full-time. (A chase I've been following part-time for years) I've done a great deal of research on and writing about WWII, particularly China as well as the part the Japanese played in that epic.
At the moment I'm concentrating on a major article on my time at Suichuan (mid-summer 1944 until we were forced to evacuate in the face of the Japanese Operation Icy-Go in late January 1945). I have much of the information for my piece in my head but memory is at best limited. I need some additional facts to accurately portray the final months of that great airfield. Facts like what kind of a runway was it? I think gravel or crushed rock. Where was the pilot's alert shack? Exactly where were the barracks located? Weather? The mess hall? The tower? Did the tower stand alone or was it slapped on top of the administration building? I can't stand by my memory alone. It's been too long and far away. I've received excellent cooperation from the Japanese and have maps of Suichuan which they've supplied, details of the invasion force that took the city and air strip, an outline of action and so forth. But even they stump me. What was Suichuan Castle?
I can easily write around these roadblocks but I prefer reality, facts. I'm quite sure the 308th flew out of Suichuan so perhaps some member(s) can help me. Also, I have a small collection of pictures but the editor needs more. These include shots of Suichuan being evacuated. This effort will eventually fall to the editor, however. But he will be coming back to me for direction. Do you know of anyone who can contribute to this effort? I'd be most grateful and credit would be given.
John H. Harding
12 Mar 99; John Eley (email@example.com) wrote:
Subject: I was there too
Hi , my name is John Eley. I was stationed in Yangkai, Luliang. I was there from August 1944- Februrary 1945. I have my log of my "C" time. I was a flight engineer on Taylor and Taylors crew. I have a few photos of the squadron area of 373rd when based at Luliang. The most memorable mission was the raid on White cloud airdrome.
Write me at John.Eley@axom.com
08 Mar 99; Chiqui A Grubic (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
Subject: Tribute to a former CO of the 375th BS
I would like to offer a small tribute Jack Edney, a former commanding officer of the 375th BS (the outfit of my late father, George Grubic). I am very sad to say that I have recently learned that Jack Edney passed away in San Antonio on the 13th of February. Many people that read this may have known him well. Although I went to high school in the same city in which he lived, I only had the opportunity to know him for about two hours: I met him at a squadron reunion in San Antonio during the 14AF Association reunion there in September of 1998.
As the former commanding officer, he was the master of ceremonies so to speak at the squadron party. He was, without a doubt, the true leader of that gathering. Despite the fact that he was in a wheel chair, and suffering many ill effects from diabetes, he was more vibrant and charismatic than anyone else in that room! He recognized and honored the achievements of his men and minimized his own role and deeds. He also answered my questions about my father's missions in the 375th without pausing to even to have to think about it.
Although I will always stand in awe of the courage and character of all of the veterans of World War II, I will also always remember Jack Edney as symbol of those who had to shoulder the burden of command: The responsibility to "fight the fight" and bring the men back home alive. Those that knew him well must bear a deep sadness at his passing. I too am sad that he is gone, but I am also sad that I knew him but for a moment.
Andy Grubic Oceanside, CA
25 Feb 99; Sam Salazar wrote;
Subject: 308th, 374th - Rupsi, India
hello from sam salazar in san diego, Served with 308th, 374th - Rupsi, India (1945).
please call me 619-464-6698, or write - 4900 rose hedge drive #209, la mesa cal, 91941
25 Feb 99; Ferdinando (Fred) Di Matteo (email@example.com) wrote:
Subject: Crew member, 374th 1944-1945 radio op, gunner
I'm so happy to see this web page looking so good, congratulations.
There is so much history about the 308th Bomb Group and its 4 squadrons, I am certain that if the entire story could be told the volume would be enormous. I'm 85 years old now and I find it very difficult to remember all of the details during my time with the 374th. 33 combat missions began at the Kunming Hdqs base with the crew piloted by Lloyd B. Lyon of Youngstown, Ohio and later on with the Stanley Raduses crew of Bayonne, New Jersey.
Medals included the DFC, Air Medal, Good Conduct, and several ribbons, all of which helped me gain more than enough points to get me home to Boston, Massachusetts. I now live in Fort Myers, Florida enjoyind plenty of warmth and sunny weather.
It would be nice to see some pictures in this web site. I have a few like Ubangi Bag III, Miss Beryl, Damsel Easy. And also some pictures of a few of the squadron ground crews.
So far I have outlived at least two of my closest buddies since gunnery school at Buckingham in Fort Myers, Florida. We were first students and upon completion of the school, we were made permanent party instructors. That job got boring so we volunteered for combat duty, stayed together all the way to Kunming. The ship, General Billy Mitchel, took 45 days to go from Newport News to Bombay, India.
I sure would love to hear from any that were in either or both of my crews too. Best wishes to all survivors of the 14th AAF.
10-Feb-99; James Lichtenfels (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
My father, James J. Lichtenfels, was a member of the 374th and received a distinguished flying cross for action on Aug. 21, 1943. I have written to some Air Force agencies and received info on his citation and also microfilmed copies of the daily unit history. I also have a box of photos from China with lots of pictures of B-24's and group photos. Of course they are all unlabeled and I don't know who anyone is in the photos. I can e-mail some of the images if anyone is interested.
01 Feb 99; Victory (email@example.com) wrote:
Subject: Innocent Infant? Hi!
Daniel Stockon from B-24 Best Web directed me to your site in my search for more information about a B-24L I had interest in.
'Innocent Infant' - a B-24L from the 308th, 375th Squadron.
I was wondering why the pin of the 'Innocent Infant' nose art is sold at airshows along with other famous bombers like the Memphis Belle. The Innocent Infant must have a story behind it? Yet I can find no information on the internet about it.
Any assistance you can provide about this B-24 would be appreciated.
Thanx in advance. James
18 Jan 99; Robert O. Pettingell (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
Subject: Last Resort
My son Brian forwarded to me the initial e-mail he had received from you back in December. I must apologize for taking so long to get in touch with you, the Holidays and setting up a new computer have left me far behind in my correspondence.
I am pleased that you found the prospect of our contribution so rewarding. We would be honored to have a few photos and a momento or two incorporated into your excellent tribute to the 341st and the 'Last Resort'.
As you may remember, Robert C. Pettingell Jr., was in the 491st BS. Although not shown as a pilot on your 491st Roster, he flew B 25's through his entire career in the CBI. How and when he arrived in Yangkai is not known to us but we gather that he was there from the early formation of the 491st, perhaps being part of the original unit, as he often spoke of his adventures in Burma and India. It is also not clear to us when he left Yangkai, but we know he was stationed at Clovis, N.M. in late 1945. It was at Yangkai that dad met my mother, Barbara Ogden Vatter, who was with the ARC.
Barbara, known as "Boots" and/or "Bubbles" at Yangkai, lives in Albuquerque, N.M.. She is 84 and still quite sharp for her age. I had an opportunity to spend a week with her before Christmas and we sorted through dozens of old pictures of the Last Resort and Yangkai that she had managed to find in an old suit case in the garage. She hadn't been through those pictures in at least forty years and identifying people, places and when the picture might have been taken was difficult for her. None of the photos were annotated, so this became quite a challenge and sadly, many were not identified. These photos are now in my possession, along with an audio tape of our discussion of these photos and I will do my best to get most of them labeled. More about that later.
"Boots" arrived in Kunming along with a gaggle of ARC girls in 1943, we think. There the girls were split up and sent to different bases in the area and mother and at least one other ARC girl were assigned to Yangkai. She remembers arriving in Yangkai to find no sick bay, no doctor and no place for the boys to relax and be entertained. She, Phyllis Dolloff ( ARC gal ), Chaplain Claire and Commander McIntyre (sp), set about building the "Last Resort" with the skills and trades of almost every airman at the base and a lot of local labor. The end result was a very professional theater with stage and even a lighting system, a sick bay staffed later by two Chinese nurses and a visiting doctor, and the canteen area complete with a grill to prepare those tasty "buffalo burgers". A phonograph was donated sometime later and was put to good use playing all the hits of the 40's as they found their way into the 'Last Resort'. Mother remembers having a 'Classical Music Night' and was surprised at how many of the guys showed up.
She accompanied many ambulance flights to Kunming where the gravely sick and injured were taken. Mother remembered crash landing in a frozen rice field after an engine gave out on take off, further injuring an airman who was strapped to a gurney in the bomb bay of the B- 25. The pilot and co-pilot scrambled out the cockpit widows and yelled that everyone had to get out of the plane as it would probably catch on fire. Mother did what she could to get the airman in the bomb bay out and, with the aide of another airman, finally got him out the cockpit window. Then it was her turn to go out the window, but her dress ( she was going to dinner in Kunming ) caught on something inside the cockpit and she was left hanging out the cockpit window, suspended by her dress, until someone came back to cut her free. The plane never did catch on fire but she made it sound like a real Chinese fire drill trying to get everyone out of that plane.
Well, I see that I'm rambling on about all this and I wanted to get this off to you with details to come at a later date. In any case, there are dozens of photos that will have to be identified and finally, scanned. After pulling out many photos that I thought would be of little interest, I am left with about two dozen photos of the 'Last Resort', stage show, and people, and another two dozen or so photos of airmen, crews and planes of the 491st, 490th, and 373rd Bomb Squadrons. I'll leave it up to you to decide which photos you can use. Some of the photos may include Kunming and India or Burma, it was difficult to tell where they were taken. There is also an article about dad, written by Maj. Robert B. Hotz, in what I think is a very early 1945 edition of Air Force Magazine. I only have the one page, rather than the entire magazine, so I'll let you help in determining what it is from. Our house is settling back into it's normal routine after the Holidays, so perhaps I will find time to get started on all this in the up coming weeks. Scanning the photos may present somewhat of a problem, if I can't locate someone with a scanner I may have to box up the photos and send them on to you, if that meets with your approval.
Once again, I would like to commend you on your tribute to the 341st and the 'Last Resort'. With sites such as yours, we will all come to understand a little more about the sacrifices our parents made yet spoke so little about. Keep up your excellent work.
10 Jan 99; Robert Bailey (email@example.com) wrote:
Subject: Info on 425th
I am searching for information on my great uncle 2nd Lt. Irvin Shaffer, from Pennsylvania, who was killed on July 8th 1944. He was only in China a short time. According to the letter from 308th headquarters, he was the copilot of an aircraft taking off for "an important combat mission" when the aircraft "suddenly crashed". One enlisted man survived, I think by the name of John Johnson or Will Williams, something like that, according to my grandmother (Irvin Shaffer's sister). If you have any recollection of my uncle, or have any other information that might be interesting, please email me back.
Thanks, Robert Irvin Bailey
06 Jan 99; Jack Averitt (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
Subject: Re: 425th
The best info on the 425th and other 308th squadrons probably should come from the 14th Air Force Association...(some names and addresses if you really want them.)
Everyone sees a war from his own point of view and I was no different...just out of high school/aerial gunnery instuctor and, from Kunming and Kwanghan, flying with different crews as a radio operator and aerial gunner. Between missions, we gambled, played cards, went for walks, chased rats, went duck hunting with my Colt .45 (never hit anything), wrote lots of letters, bartered with the house boys for had-made cane furniture which we used in our Kwanghan tents.
The house boys also dealt in the black market.
We sometimes went shopping in Kunming or Chengtu (near Kwanghan where dead rabbits were hung in store fronts, surrounded by flies....I never asked how much they cost.)
At Chengtu, I hailed a ricksha and went shopping for a typewriter....found one that was about 40 years old, but it worked....paid $100 US for it....wrote sadisic poetry and drafted a book (which I later trashed as amateurish when I was in college).
Oh yes, using by Signal Corps radio in a B-24, I sometimes was able to get the war news from San Francisco radio stations...the news reports mentioned only Europe and the South Pacific.
Jack Averitt, Indianapolis
05-Dec-98; Bill P. Duley ( email@example.com ) wrote:
Subject: 375 th BOMB SQ.
DO YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON THE 375TH IN THE 1950'S. ?? I WAS ASSIGNED TO THE 375th AT HUNTER AFB, GA IN 1953.
02-Dec-98: Philip Grossman ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Subject: 374th Bomb Sq, 1945-46
Just found the CBI & 308th websites; Hi!
I was a sgt and squadron clerk of the 374th, joined it in spring 1945 in China and stayed until my discharge at Camp Kilmer Jan 5, 1946. Unfortunately my memory's pretty poor with regard to any details; I have a photo of myself being awarded the unit citation, by the group or sq commander, with a B-24 named "Buzz-z Buggy" and a drawing of a baby carriage in the background. I wrote on the photo "Assam, India 1945".
Subject: Hello to Fellow crew members 425th.
My name is Arthur Lambert. I was there from Feb 45 thru Aug. 45. I returned to the states on 'U.S.S Collins'. Just want to say hello to everyone I met there. I will never forget.
You can e-mail me through David Taylor at email@example.com, and he will pass them on to me as I am not online yet.
" LEST WE FORGET OUR POW"S and MIA's"
30-Oct-98; Tosborne ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Subject: 'Shootin Star' #42-73249 14th AAF, 308TH BG, 374th sq.
My name is Tom Osborne. I thought you might be interested in this story since you have started the 308th Web site. I have enjoyed looking over the information on your site and will enjoy watching it grow.
My uncle, SSgt Albert D. Jones was the belly gunner of the B-24 ' Shootin' Star' lost on 12 Jan '45. The only thing our families were told by letter was that the 'Shootin Star' was on a single plane recon mission to the South China Sea. It was never heard from after take off. For years, my grandparents wrote missionaries in China, searched news reels as POWs were released, hoping Albert would appear. But hope faded away and the worst was finally accepted. Growing up I saw the things my uncle had sent home form China and the things sent back after his loss. I wondered he was like and what really happened to the 'Shootin Star.'
My interest in this mystery was again sparked in December of '96 when the wreckage of a B-24 from the 375th sq. was revealed in China I began a net search for anyone who might have know the crew of the 'Star'. On the B-24 web board I found the nephew of the nose gunner, SSGT Ted Jolley. We started trading information and discovered that our grandparents had talked and met each other in '45 after the loss of their sons. He was trying to get a MIA marker for his uncle's plot. He had a hard time even verifying military service due to the loss of records due to a fire the veteran files years ago. As he tried the government route I kept hitting the web board with questions. So fifty some years later, by searching the web board I found people who had pictures of the plane and an author John T. Foster, who finally told us the true story. The 'Shootin Star' was shot down by U.S. Marines F4U Corsairs. He had little information except that they had radioed for help, that Navy fighters had them under attack. Miss Beryl of the 374th went to assist and was approach by the fighters but by waving out all of the windows convinced them they were friendly. What a shock this was to my mom and my uncles and aunt. My grandparents passed away in the '80s without ever knowing. This account is in John's book 'China - Up and Down'. The book is out of print and my sister finally found a company in VA that had 5 and I bought two.
When I e-mailed Mr. Foster and told him of the find he said "Great, I have information for you that I came across researching another project." It was the whole story as told by the 3 Marine pilots to their investigating officer, his report, gun camera pictures of the plane and more. Marines off the CV-9 (USS Essex) on an unannounced carrier raid claimed they took it for a Jap flying boat (EMILY) that was unmarked and that the waist gunner fired on them. THEY MISSED THAT BIG TWIN TAIL AND TIGER MOUTH?. They were warned about possible Navy PB-Ys in the area but nothing about the many B-24's that had been patrolling these waters for months. They each made firing passes and smoked the port inboard engine. They watched her go down into the clouds with a smoking engine.
It is a very sad story for me. There is now a nose art and crew picture on the 'B-24 Best Web' site. The crew lost was not the original crew of the 'Shootin Star'. There are also pictures of her when an earlier crew had her in "Chennault's Forgotten Warriors." Thank you for your time.
Sincerely, Tom Osborne
06-Oct-98; Carolyn Harriger ( email@example.com ) wrote:
I am searching for information concerning my uncle, Carl F. Waskiewicz, who served in the 425th Bomb Sqnd, 308th Bomb Group. He died in 1968 or 69. I am interested in learning more about his service in WWII. Thank you.
Dr. Carolyn Harriger
20-Sep-98: Larry Herpel ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Subject: Seeking 308th Veteran
I am looking for a B24 pilot by the name of Abram B. Dannell, Service # O-413576. He was in the 308th and deployed to China with the orginal crew on 15 February 1943. He became a Captain prior to December of 1944 and eventually was assigned to the 308th HQ. He is not listed in the 14th AF Association membership. I would appreciate knowing what BS he was in and if anybody might know his whereabouts now. Good luck with your web page. It looks like a good one.
06-Sep-98: Howard 'elchymist' Thomas ( email@example.com ) wrote:
Subject: No Subject
I was a member of the 425th Bomb Squadron from about Aug. 3 1944 to Feb. 15 1945. I presume my screen name will show on this message. I also have a 2nd screen name of B24Tom. I was the crew commander of aircraft no. 0833 until someone else wrecked it. Would be glad to hear from other 425th members.
06-Sep-98; Ian Quinn ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Well done - I'm sure the site will grow. Have been away for a few months so was pleased to see that the 308th will get a mention in cyber space... Still researching the activities over HK of which the 308th were part so let me know if I can help with dates etc.
02-Sep-98; Scott Highley ( email@example.com ) wrote:
Subject: 308th Home Page
My father, Lyndell T. Highley, now deceased, was the Squadron Navigator for the 375th BS in China. He went over with the first group, and left in 1944. I have a photo album that he put together and when I can get it scanned I will email you the photos for your use. In additon, I have a booklet of exerpts from his letters home from China, get me your mailing address and I will forward a copy to you.
Other books you may want to use:
"General Chennault's Secret Weapon, The B-24 in China" by A.B. Feuer, published in 1992 by Praeger Press. This is still in print and available by order from your local bookstore.
"China, Up and Down" by John Foster. This is still available from the out of print book dealers. Let me know if you want one and I will search the net for you for it.
The Glines book ( "Chennault's Forgotten Warriors: Saga of the 308th Bomb Group " ) is very good. Some of my fathers letters were used in the book and his photo is in it several times. Thanks for starting the 308th Home Page.
01-Sep-98; Bernard Einson ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Subject: Formerly a bombardier of the 425th Sqdn,
I served from about July 44 through April 45 as bombardier on Dougall McCallum's crew. The same McCallum who was the CO who took the squadron home. Other COs during my tour were Jamie Gough, and Harry Marshall. I will be at the reunion at San Antonio
30-Aug-98; Ed L. Atkinson (veco) ( email@example.com ) wrote:
Subject: 308 BG
Thank you, great start and wish your web site utmost success. After a year of following the B24 Vet site I had come to the conclusion that there wasn't much interest in this BG or at least not many of them left to contribute.
My father was a pilot with the 374 BS over-seas from May '45 until the end of the war. He started the trip home in "SQUEEZE". I live in Alaska, he and my mother live in Colorado Springs, and will be taking them to Midland for the Air Show the first weekend of October. The museum will unveil the restored nose art panel of "SQUEEZE" at that time, I understand that the original artist will also attend. I'm sure that you have seen her picture on the web Dad's last name and the name of the other crew's pilot, ADAMS, is still on the panel just below where the pilot's side window would have been.
They assigned two crews for the ferry trip back to provide relief on the long legs. Also this was the only time that their names were put on the plane because they flew missions in many of the squadron's aircraft depending on which were air-worthy at the time.
Are you going to include pictures at some future date? ( editor's note: We certainly hope to!! )
With gratitude, Ed Jr.
29-Aug-98; Glenn Roberts ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Subject: Re: Web Page
It seems to me that one of the old 14th AF Year Books had colored emblems of the three squadrons. I will check. Also, if all fails I do have the 373rd Bm Sq. It's a photo of an original patch that I have. It was for the son of one of the fellows that went down (KIA) on mission 19 at Haiphong. Do you receive the JBJ? The second installment came out this month and I would guess that there will be a couple more installments coming.
The original C.O. of the 373rd was Capt O'Brien, a Westpoint Man. He made it up to Major there at Yangkai. He was KIA over Rangoon on Nov 25, 1943 when the 308th group flew over to India and combined with the tenth AF b24's and ran a series of raids on Rangoon and other surrounding targets. The gunners up to that point had been popping away at the Jap fighter planes at any range-- to keep them off till at least we had dropped our bombs. In doing so, we were using a considerable amount of ammo. O'brien was riding in the top turred of the lead ship that day and was fire control officer. O'brien didn't see the Oscar diving out of the sun, and everyone just sat there waiting for the signal to fire. The jap put a cannon shot right through the center section of the ship and it blew up. Needless to say, no more conservation of ammo. We went back to popping at those planes at any range, to keep them off us.
After O'brien, the C.O. was Crockett. I don't immediately recall his first name. Col. Eugene Beebe was original 308th commander. Capt. Walter was the original C.O. of the 374th. Capt Henry Brady the 375th. Capt Robert Fensler the 425th. Get your hands on a copy of Foster's "China Up and Down" and you can finally dig out the other names. Also, "Chennault's Forgotten Warriors" by Carrolle Glines.
I do recall that as we flew from India on over to China on that first flight to locate the places we would be based, the ship"Pregnant Swan" took off with the 425th's C.O. Capt Robert W, Fensler as passanger. The ship never made it and was never found. He was first of several 308 commanders to die.... five from the 425th Sqdn alone.
28-Aug-98; Eric Nagy ( email@example.com ) wrote:
Subject: 308th web site
Try your local public library for "China Up and Down". My local library was able to locate a copy for me through their exchange program. This book is out of print. If you locate a copy, you should be happy with it's content.
Also, John Foster has been known to watch the B-24 website. Check the old postings.
I am also doing research on the B-24 "Sack Time" mostly as a hobby. (308th BG, 375th BS)
Good Luck- I will check out your web site's progress.
28-Aug-98; Daniel L. Stockton ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
Welcome fellow webmaster! Feel free to obtain any info, images, or patches from my site. I will try and add a "link" to your site this weekend.
Keep up the good work and Keep in touch...
B-24 Best Web
308th Bomb Group Tribute
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