Clifford Puckett poses next to his ball turret in this U.S. Army Air Corps photo. Clifford was Kathy Puckett Herbert's father, and Kathy emailed me today with more information about the William Phillips painting on the cover of my book Untold Valor.
I received an email today from Kathy Puckett Herbert, whose late father, Clifford Puckett, was a gunner on the B-17 'Betty Boop/The Pistol Packin' Mama', the 390th Bomb Group B-17 that graces the cover of my book 'Untold Valor'. Kathy and I have been in touch for some time, but she gave me information about the painting that I never knew before, so I'm sharing it with blog readers. Her message follows:
"This was taken from an actual photo. My dad is on the plane during this mission. He is the Turret gunner. All of us (his children) were given a print (signed by four remaining crew members) to hang in our homes. The picture is absolutely gorgeous! My brother, I believe has this original photo. Thank you Rob for using this for the cover of your book!. William Phillips is a great Artist! Best wishes to you all, Kathy"
I had no idea that the painting by Bill Phillips was from a photo. I am very sad that I never got to meet Clifford Puckett the way I was able to meet Gus Mencow the navigator. And I had only brief conversations with pilot James Geary and gunner Shirl Hoffman. Gus and James are no longer with us, but as far as I know Shirl is.