Monday, July 23, 2007

Lest We EVER Forget

John F. Ryan Crew (left to right)Back: James F. Healy (BTG), George Sherback (ROG), Harold Whipple (RWG), Marv Fenner (TTE), Archie McFarland (LWG)Front: Joseph Tobiczyk (CP), John Ryan (P), Carl McGinty (BOM)Missing: Hans Chorpenning (NAV), Elmer Andersen (TG) (Source: 100th BG Photo Archives)


My good friend Les just sent me this gut-wrenching photo of a young crew who went down with the 100th Bomb Group on the crew's very first mission. All but one were killed in action. Sherback was the only survivor. Their names are listed on the Wall of the Missing in Cambridge. All bodies and debris ended up in the sea.




These young men had their whole lives ahead of them. Their girlfriends married other men. They never had children. They never had the joy of watching their kids grow up, or the pleasures of old age. They are forever young, forever idealistic and smiling.


Les writes: "One of the hard parts about doing the website work for the 100th is that there are so many KIA's and pictures of them. It's very sobering. All of them look so young, handsome and brave. There's no way they deserved their fate. I've mentioned this before, but this particular crew photo always gets to me. All but one, KIA on their FIRST mission.

They all must be in a very special place in heaven."

God forgive us if we ever forget them.




8 comments:

Les said...

Thank you for posting this Rob. At various times in my life I've stood in front of memorials, with a lump in my throat, and seen lists of names of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

With the advent of the internet, the reality becomes all that more real when you can put young, handsome, brave faces with those names.

"Lest We EVER Forget"

r morris said...

Amen.
God bless the boys who never had a chance to live full lives. They made it possible for us to do so.

Richard Havers said...

I just love that painting too!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir, I want to thank you for posting the picture of my father and his crew mates. I know he would have been pleased that there are people out there who respect the sacrafice his friends made and keep their memory alive.

Best regards,

Meg Sherback

Marvin said...

Thanks for keeping the memories current. Someday I hope to pay my respects to their memorial site in Belgium. If anyone has been there, I'd love to hear from you.

-Marvin E Fenner (nephew)

Unknown said...

I am the niece of Joseph Tobiczyk. He had married before his death and he has a daughter. Though she never met her dad, she loves him just the same. Love never dies...it lives on. Kathy Fillo

Unknown said...

I am the niece of Joseph Tobiczyk. He had married before his death and he has a daughter. Though she never met her dad, she loves him just the same. Love never dies...it lives on. Kathy Fillo

Marv said...

Every June 6th (ok - much more often) I think about these guys, as they were part of the push that eventually ended the war in Europe. I wonder what kind of life all who died would have had after the war, and I'm so glad that Mr. Sherback survived.

Godspeed gents, and thank you for having the resolve to do the terrible job that needed doing.