Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Header Photo on Blog

(Photo credit, Co de Swart)

In May, 12 members of the 95th Bomb Group returned to their base "somewhere in England"--the B-17 Flying Fortress base at Horham, Suffolk, near the North Sea.
My new header photo, taken by Co de Swart, shows some of the 95th's bomber boys with reenactors outfitted in World War Two Air Corps fight gear.
The 95th flew 321 combat missions from May 13, 1943 to April 20,1945. In addition, it flew 7 'Chowhound' missions, dropping 465 tons of food to the starving people of Holland in 1945 and four 'Revival' missions to pick up POW's and Displaced Persons.
156 B-17s were lost in combat; 36 in other operations. Over 1,000 received battle damage.
599 95th Bomb Group airmen paid the ultimate price and were killed in action, with seven missing and presumed dead. An additional 851 men became POWs, internees, evaders, and 171 were wounded in action.
The 95th was the first American bomb group to bomb Berlin, on March 4, 1944.
I am currently writing the unit history of the 95th Bomb Group, and the book on this prestigious and tight-knit outfit will be out next year, I'm thinking.
I visited Horham last year while researching the book, and made many new friends "on the other side of the pond". Hope to return someday.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 22 Meeting With Louey

[Disclaimer: 'Louey' is not my friend's real name]
Visited my new friend 'Louey' in the nursing home yesterday. This time, I picked him up a reading lamp with a gooseneck because he was having trouble reading. His bed is in a double room with a curtain down the middle, and he is away from the window. The only light is a flourescent light halfway up the wall and it does not shed enough light for him to read, either in bed or in his chair. The new light will do the trick. We gave it a 'test-read'.

We got to talking about England, as we've both been there--he in 1943-44, me last summer. Louey was stationed at a fighter base near Cambridge, which worked out nicely because he loved to play golf. The hard part was getting to the golf course. Fighter pilots at his base were not allowed to drive, because the CO was afraid they might get hurt and be unable to fly. Louey would hitch rides to Cambridge and then find a golf partner when he got there. Most of his partners were teachers at Cambridge, as they were some of the only men still around after the British draft. Louey gave up golf some years ago "when it became more work than fun" in his words.
Cambridge, England.

We talked a little about the duties of a fighter pilot in the 8th AF in '44. According to Louey, the P-51s spent most of their time on heavy bomber escort, protecting the B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators that flew out of England and bombed Occupied Europe. It was in this capacity that Louey got his three aerial victories. None were ground victories, which he discounted as "not being worth a damn".

After escorting the heavies, the P-51 pilots were allowed to drop down to very low altitude and attack ground targets. However, when the pilots "went over the Ditch"--back across the English Channel--they would climb back to high altitude, because the British anti-aircraft gunners would shoot at them. "They didn't care who was up there. They didn't really like us very much--we drank all their beer." We laughed about the common British expression that American troops in England were "overpaid, oversexed and over here". As the war went on, rationing in England became strict. The bartenders gave the Americans "soldier beer"--meaning watered down. However, they told the pilots up front that they were getting the weaker version. Also, Louey told me that not all British beer was served warm. Cold beer was also available.
In London, Louey liked to hit the private clubs or take in a show.

Louey's tour ended when he hit the required number of flying hours. "It wasn't hard to do, because we flew four to five hours at a time," he says.
Louey is now in his nineties, and spends his days reading or watching television, except for the two or three times a week some strange guy shows up to visit. It is an honor to talk with this old flyboy and share a few stories and laughs three times a week.

Military Writer Eric Hammel Opens New Website

This book is due out this fall. Wish I had it now to use while working on my own 95th BG book!

Eric Hammel is one of my favorite military authors. I've been enjoying his books for years before I 'met' Eric via the internet. Eric has opened a new website that is visually stunning and is packed with interesting and useful information about military history books and military history in general. Drop by and take a look. You'll be glad you did.
Here's the link:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

2nd Visit with Louey

Items belonging to "Louey", my friend at the nursing home. Louey is not his real name. Louey was a P-51 fighter pilot in England during WWII and had two kills. I picked up this historic stuff at an estate sale, then tracked him down.

339th Fighter Group Mustangs on the flight line in England, 1944. This was Louey's outfit.

I visited my new friend Louey again today for a couple hours at the nursing home. I brought him a set of padded headphones to jack into his TV because he was concerned he was going to disturb his roommate when he watched TV at night, as well as a framed photo of a P-51 Mustang to put under his TV table, and a book about fighters in WWII.

We had a good visit, with some good laughs. Louey told me he really has no interest in WWII fighters any more. "I got out of that plane and never looked back." I said, okay, no problem, what do you like? He enjoys travel and nature books, so that's what I'll bring in the future.
A P-51.

My next visit, in a couple days, I will bring him a reading light to mount on his headboard, because he can't read in bed and he would like to. Got it okayed with the director of the nursing home. Also, Louey and I talked about how we are both losing our memories--me because of concussions, Louey because of Alzheimers. When I first showed up, Louey didn't remember me from the first visit, but remembered me later. We laughed, and I said if we have to start from scratch every visit, it doesn't matter.

This was actually Louey's plane, according to my research. It has been restored and belongs to a man in England.

Englishman Ray Howlett Completes 95th Base Diorama

One of the new crewman at the 95th Horham is Ray Howlett. Ray is the gentleman who put together the excellent museum display of Leonard Herman's 95th BG artifacts. But it turns out that Ray is a man of many talents. Here are photos, used with permission, of a diorama Ray built of the Horham air base, 95th BG, during WWII. It's amazing. Can't wait to see it in person.

Ray writes: "Firstly my diorama, it measures 11 ft 7 ins X 8 ft 3 ins [ 3.5 mtrs X 2.5 mtrs ] which includes the full airfield, bomb dumps, Horham Village and the Technical Site.
To try and cover the time span of 1943 through to 1945 I have included such events as B-26 Marauders, C-47 Skytrains, B-24 Liberator and a A-10 Catalina ASR. In the road transport, 6x6 trucks, jeeps, runway control vehicles plus many civilian vehicles. Finally, people and base personnel.

All is in 1/700th scale. All the buildings are made from scratch-- built from plasti-card and plasti-strip. I must say I was amazed at the interest especially from the local people, the one big and continuous question is, "where is the Red Feather Club"? I am pleased to say that I have started work on the Group's living quarters, hospital and communal sites [ including the RFC]. This section will measure 5 ft X 6 ft 6ins [ 1.53 mtrs X 2.00 mtrs This will complete the picture and help the school children that visit see the size of Station 119."

Main street through Horham, base on left. Where the road turns to the right at top, you can see the St. Mary Church. One of the base entrances was right next to it and the Old School.

Model of the 95th celebrating the first daylight raid over Berlin. The 95th was the first heavy bomber group to bomb Berlin in daylight.

Town of Horham, with St. Mary church (tall gray structure) in lower center. While I was in Horham, I stayed with Alan Johnson in the house at the very bottom of this phot in the center. the brown area is the village green, and the buildings right below it are the Horham Community Center.

Base visitors.

95th Base in Horham, Suffolk Adds a New Building

When I visited Horham, Suffolk (a small town in East Anglia not far from the North Sea) last June, the British museum board was just writing a grant proposal to the English government to help raise funds to build a long Nissen hut perpendicular to the existed entrance to the Red Feather Club on the 95th Bomb Group's old air base at Horham. The Red Feather Club served during the war as the enlisted men's club and bar, and was rebuilt from derelict condition by British volunteers some years ago. This is my favorite museum anywhere, not because it is the biggest but because it presents its topic so lovingly and accurately.

The 95th at Horham has been very fortunate to gain the services of Roy Howlett, who since joining the group, has done some great things. More about those in the next post. First of all, some photos, sent by Roy, of the building of the Blue Room Nissen hut--from foundation to Big Band celebration in well under a year. Congrats, and hope to see it in person soon.

British readers, I would appreciate names of those in the photos if you can help me out. I'd like to post them.

Visit the 95th Horham Museum here, and consider making a donation:
I recognize John Blott in the blue denim. Help me out with the other workers.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Visit to an Airman, June 15, 2009

"Louey", in his fighter pilot uniform, in a photo from the album shown beneath it.

The thin man, covered in a blanket, sat in an armchair in his half of the room in the nursing home, separated from his room-mate's bed by a nylon curtain. His half of the room was away from the window, and the light was off, making the area small and gloomy.

Many years ago, I had volunteered in this same nursing home, visiting male residents until the three old guys I came to see each week all passed away. For some reason, I had stopped coming. But a chance visit to an estate sale several days ago had inspired me to come back, and give a little bit of myself to others.

The gentleman sitting before me, whom I will call Louey, (I will not use his real name as he is a patient) had no idea that everything in his house had been sold at the estate sale several days before. It was at this sale that I ran across his old photo album, some of his old pilot manuals, and Eighth Air Force flag, and a lone silver and gold pilot's lapel pin.

I'd also found a program to a reunion banquet of the 339th Fighter Group, and taking the man's name and the group number, had run a search and found him listed as a fighter pilot in the group with two kills. The 339th was stationed at Fowlmere, England, in the months leading up to D-Day, part of the United States Eighth Air Force. Louis had been in the 504th Fighter Squadron, a unit with 52 victories to its credit. A fairly comprehensive website states:

"The 339th destroyed almost twice as many German aircraft on the ground as in aerial combat. This made for more impressive individual pilot totals than those scored in the air. L/Col Joseph L. Thury, 505th Squadron CO, was second highest in the 8th Air Force with 25½ destroyed on the ground; the highest scorer being L/Col Elwyn Righetti of the 55th Fighter Group with 27 destroyed.
The 339th Fighter Group started combat operations with 87 pilots. Casualties and combat tour completion required replacement pilots and 261 of these made a total of 348 pilots who flew on combat operations with the 339th during the War."

After I sat down on his bed (there were no other chairs) and we got to talking, I found Louey to be a soft-spoken, polite man who seemed genuinely glad for the company. As would be expected, he was a little curious as to why I was visiting him out of the blue, but he seemed appreciative. His family lives out of state and he rarely gets visitors.

I told him I'd written a book on the air war and was at work on another two. He was singularly unimpressed, but fortunately in a polite way.

I asked if he still enjoyed watching shows about World War Two fighters. "No, not really," he said, furrowing his brow. "If it's on, I'll watch it, but otherwise, I'm just not that interested. It was a time in my life, a long time ago, and it's long gone. After the war, I went back to work and that was it. Never flew again."

I thought of all the books and models of airplanes I'd seen in his house at the sale, of all the items he'd so carefully saved all these years.
How did he like flying the P-51 Mustang, perhaps the greatest fighter aircraft ever built?
"Well, it was a very, very good aircraft at the time," he admitted, "but it's not so great compared to the newer fighters. It did get me out of trouble a few times, when German fighters were on my tail. I remember one time I got back from a mission and dug all these pieces of bullets out of my plane. I kept them as a souvenir. When I got back to the States, I was visiting a friend at his place in New York City and I forgot them. I wish I still had them but that's the way it goes."

He wondered aloud what had happened to his house, his car. What's more, who was paying for his room and board?

The only ornamentation in 'Louey's' room was a needlepoint hanging of a cat and some framed pictures of flowers. I asked if they were his, and he said they'd been there when he arrived. He had a small color television, that he hesitated to listen to out of respect for his room-mate, who went to bed earlier than he did. I told him I'd bring him some earphones next time I visited so he could watch at night.

Two eight by ten framed photos were on the night stand next to his bed. One showed a lovely dark-haired woman, his wife. The other showed a handsome young man in a 50-mission crusher and pilot's wings. In front of these large photos was a smaller photo of his son and daughter-in-law.
I bade my new acquaintance goodbye and went to watch a volunteer training film that is required by the home. Then I ran into the director of the home, whom I know. He mentioned to the volunteer coordinator that I had written some books, and then mentioned that there was a fighter pilot in the home who had flown for the Eighth. Yes, it was the same gentleman. Except according to the director, the gentleman loved to talk about his experiences. So I was left to assume that perhaps I would learn more after we knew each other better.

I'm going back in a few days, and am going to take a set of earphones for the TV, and a picture of a P-51 for the wall, which I can bring home if Louey doesn't want it. In any case, it was a good visit, probably much more fun for me than for Louey, but I am committed to visiting this gentleman as long as he'll have me. As he said, "I'll probably never leave this place."

God bless this man and all our aging WWII vets. They are heroes and we must never forget them.

The 339th fly over Hitler's Eagles Lair in 1945.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More on Yesterday's Story

L-R: Eighth Air Force flag;Photo album filled with interesting photos, none of which are captioned; lapel pin;classified pilot information file; Brooks Field, Texas Aircraft Identification book (also restricted); 1 Jan. 1944 Instrument Flying Techniques in Weather manual; Instrument Flying handbook, 339th Fighter Group 1987 San Diego Reunion Banquet Program.

Yesterday I wrote about running across an estate sale in Idaho Falls where the possessions of a former 8th Air Force P-51 Mustang pilot of the 339th Fighter Group were being sold along with everything else in the house that the man and his wife had lived in for over forty years. It was a sad experience, but I did try to find everything related to this man's WWII flight experience and buy it so it can be preserved.
Photos, a single pilot lapel pin, an Eighth Air Force flag, and some old training manuals were all that were left to testify to the distinguished record of this airman.

Research on this individual shows him to have gotten two kills in combat during 1944, and that he reached the rank of captain. I am adding some photos of the priceless pieces of this man's war experiences today.

Photos taken at San Antonio, Texas during pilot training. These are all aerial shots taken from the aircraft.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Memories for Sale

As I drove down 17th in Idaho Falls today, I noticed a sign advertising an estate sale. Since I knew the guy running the sale, I thought I'd go ahead and check it out, though I rarely find anything at estate sales.

I showed up, parked my car, and made my way to a nice middle-class home on 23rd Street in Idaho Falls. Nothing to distinguish it from the houses around it in any way. But when I walked into the garage, I saw some WWII fighter pilot manuals. Okay, my interest was up now.

This estate sale was one of the saddest kinds. The family was selling everything left in the house when the occupants passed away, right down to the shaving lotion in the bathroom and the the slippers in the closet.

I picked my way from room to room, and could tell early on that the man of the house was a former fighter pilot from WWII. And then, I realized that this man was my brother, my fellow parishioner at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, and his wife had been the organist and the lady who made the roses bloom like brilliant bursts of red each summer.

I found bits and pieces of the life of a former 8th Air Force fighter pilot. I asked the sales person at the sale where the man and his wife were now. It turns out the lady passed away recently, and the husband is in the Alzheimers Ward at a local nursing home. I suddenly realized I was on hallowed ground in that house.

I found an old photo album showing the pilot's service in the 8th Air Force. I found all his old training manuals, and even his flight wings from cadet school.

This individual had two kills as a P-51 Mustang pilot in the 339th Fighter Group in the US Eighth Air Force in WWII.

I will go visit this elderly vet next week at the nursing home. I will tell him how much his service meant to me, and will try to support him in his final months.

No name necessary in this story, out of respect for this great American and his wife, whose life was put on the auction block today, and I am so glad I stopped and found his records of his WWII service.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

George Wahlen Passes Away, Iwo Jima Corpsman, Utah's Last Surviving WWII Medal of Honor Winner

I never met Mr. Wahlen, but I do have a signed copy of his book, which I consider recommended reading for any WWII historian.
Read about the book here:

Reluctant WW II hero was a champion of veterans causes
By Matthew D. LaPlante
The Salt Lake Tribune

Updated: 06/06/2009 03:57:35 PM MDT

(Paul Fraugton / Tribune file photo)

Every now and again, when her husband was feeling strong enough, Melba Wahlen and her children would take him for a drive.
He could have gone anywhere in the Weber Valley, but George Wahlen always wanted to go to the same place.
"Let's go watch the construction of the nursing home," he would say. "Let's see how they're coming along."
Utah's last surviving Medal of Honor winner, a zealous advocate for veterans' rights who helped lobby for cemeteries, hospitals -- and, most recently, a veterans nursing home in Ogden -- died Friday morning after a long battle with cancer. Doctors said Wahlen passed comfortably at the Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Medical Center which, much to Whalen's humble chagrin, was named in his honor in 2004.
He'd never liked the spotlight, but in his waning years, he understood his place in it.

A hero is born
It all began on Feb. 19, 1945. U.S. military leaders, prepping for an invasion of Japan, had set their sights on a little-known island 600 miles south of Tokyo, known as Iwo Jima.
Wahlen, a 20-year-old Navy corpsman who had never seen combat, rushed with his platoon from a beach-landing craft -- right into machine gun and artillery fire.
Seemingly unconcerned for his own well-being, according to those he treated, Wahlen set immediately to work tending to the wounded. But the Ogden native quickly learned he could not save everyone.
"We turned over one Marine and he had been shot between the eyes and was bleeding all over," Wahlen told The Salt Lake Tribune in 2004. "That was quite a shock."

Wahlen would spend the next two weeks trying to keep his comrades alive, often dashing through machine gun fire to reach the wounded.

Trying to reach several injured Marines about a week into the fighting, he came upon a Japanese grenade bunker that was holding U.S. forces at bay. He called to a Marine to throw him a grenade, then crawled to the bunker to kill those inside. Wahlen, hit by grenade fragments, bandaged his own right eye and helped a badly wounded Marine off the deadly hill.
Several days later, Wahlen was trying to pull a wounded Marine from the lines when a shell landed nearby, hitting him in the shoulder and the back. Wounded once again, he could have been evacuated. He chose to stay.

"When you've been with these guys, they're like family," he said. "You don't want to let them down."

The next day Wahlen was headed to an artillery crater to attend to five wounded Marines when a shell landed in their position. A piece of shrapnel struck Wahlen near his right ankle, breaking his leg. "I bandaged myself up, took a shot of morphine and crawled over and started helping a Marine that had both his legs blown off," he recalled.

After putting tourniquets on the Marine, Wahlen was too badly injured to continue. The medic was put on a stretcher and evacuated.

Seven months later he received the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman while recovering in a Marine hospital in Camp Pendleton, Calif.

In and out of the spotlight

Friends and family said Wahlen never wanted his life to be defined by the blue-and-white-ribboned medal he'd received "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life."
In fact, Melba Wahlen said she didn't know that her husband had won the U.S. military's highest honor for heroism until a peculiar letter arrived, several years after they were married.
"It was an invitation for an event with the president at The White House," she laughed. "I had no idea what it was for."

As word of Wahlen's heroism drew attention in Utah after the war, his wife recalled, the quiet man longed for anonymity.

He found it back in uniform, enlisting in the Army and serving in Korea and Vietnam before finally retiring to take a job assisting veterans at Weber State University.

In the post-Vietnam era, when many Americans wanted to forget about their nation's wars, Wahlen found some of the obscurity he'd been seeking. But he also found a lack of attention to the needs of those who had answered their country's call.

As veterans groups sought state funding to improve the Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Camp Williams, they leaned on Whalen's fame.

Melba Wahlen said her husband reluctantly obliged -- and "found that he was very good at it. He would do anything for veterans."

When the cause was right, Department of Veterans affairs Director Terry Schow said, Wahlen would make an appearance, give a short speech or go shake a few hands on Capitol Hill -- all in the name of loosening purse strings for fellow veterans.

But Wahlen never did grow used to the spotlight. In brief remarks at a 2004 ceremony in which the Salt Lake City hospital was named for him, Wahlen said nothing about his fateful fortnight on Iwo Jima.

"I just represent the veterans, that's what this is all about," he said.

"The way George always rationalized in his mind, he was a symbol for all of the other veterans," said Gary Toyn, who wrote about Wahlen's war experiences in the biography Quiet Hero . "He got all the attention, and he never liked that, but he understood that he had a role to play. At one point he realized, 'You know, I can really do some good with this.' And that's how he continued to serve."

A legacy continues
Just hours after his father's death, Brock Wahlen stood before television cameras in a hastily arranged press conference in the medical center lobby. Patients passed by, some shuffling with walkers and others gliding through in wheelchairs, en route to medical appointments.
Brock Wahlen made a vow: "He always fought for the veterans and their rights. We're going to continue that legacy as a family."

Schow had asked George Wahlen to speak at the November opening of the Veterans Nursing Home in Ogden. And Wahlen was looking forward to doing so.

But when Schow visited, last week, it was clear that his friend would not make it.

"But his thoughts were still on what he could do to help," said Schow. "We gave him a progress report and he asked about sponsoring a room there."

Schow choked back tears at the loss of a man he called his hero. "He won't be there to speak at the dedication," he said. "But he will be there. By God, he'll be there."

"Our state has lost our humble hero."
Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr.
"His service to this country and Utah will not soon be forgotten."
Sen. Orrin Hatch
"His real contribution came from a lifetime of dedication to those in the military and his fellow veterans."
Sen. Bob Bennett
"Though he could have easily acted like the celebrity he was, George never thought of himself as anything more than a humble friend to those he met."
Rep. Rob Bishop
"He said, 'So many other people have done so much.' But we all know the truth."
Department of Veterans Affairs Director Terry Schow
"He was a hero in his own right, but he viewed all veterans as heroes."
VA Hospital Chief of Staff Ronald Gebhart
"Our hearts are broken... he was part of our famliy."
VA Spokeswoman Jill Atwood

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Leonard Herman Display Now Open at Horham, England

This shot shows Len's service flimsey, his bombardier's briefcase, identification, and news articles about him saved by his family during the war.

Last summer, when I traveled to Horham, England for research on my upcoming history of the 95th Bomb Group (H), I donated, with Leonard Herman's permission, the things he had saved from his time in the 95th Bomb Group, and other items from his training. Leonard was so excited to know his stuff would be on display back in Horham, and when I visited him last summer, we talked about going over to visit this summer, even though he was ailing. Sadly, Leonard passed away in October, so he never got to see his exhibit at the museum. But I know he would have been so pleased and proud had he seen the marvelous job on the display by museum worker Ray Howlett, who put this display so lovingly and accurately. In fact, I wept with happiness when I first saw these photos today. Thanks so much, Ray, and to all our English friends who do so much to honor the legacy of the bomber boys in WWII.

This shot shows Len's stencil, escape currency, a letter from his pilot's wife to Len after pilot Johnny Johnson was killed on a mission, a crew photo, and on the far end of the case, the telegram informing his parents of his being wounded in action on the same mission Johnny Johnson was killed.
Crew photo, some of Len's chest ribbons, Len's bombardier briefcase, embossed with his name, a roll of chaff, and Len's Purple Heart License plate.
Close-up of Len's Jewish Prayer Book, issued by the U.S. Military, as well as service records.

Len and me, July 2008, Columbus, Georgia.

D-Day Teton Pass Run: Mission Accomplished

D-Day, 2009. 65th Anniversary of the great event that changed the world.

5.9 miles, 2,200 vertical climb, 80 minutes, and the top was reached.

Thanks WWII vets! See more about this effort at my Teton Pass Weblog.

Friday, June 5, 2009

D-Day: June 6, 1944: Lest We Forget

B-17 'Sentimental Journey' Walkaround, June 5, 2009

This photo was taken by my friend Roger Gottlob as the 'Sentimental Journey' flew over his house in Ammon, Idaho a few days ago. I had no photos of my own of the plane in flight, so I was very happy to get this one. Rog also took the photos below on June 7. The bottom photo shows his grandson.

My photos follow.

The Sentimental Journey arrived in Idaho Falls this morning. Of course I went to see it. Here are my pictures. This is one of the very few flying B-17s left in the world. One is struck by just how tight and cramped it is inside. Imagine flying at 25,000 feet, at fifty below zero, on oxygen, with bulky flying clothes, on the bomb run, while watching flak burst around you and fighting off German fighters. Can't do it? Me, neither. God, I admire those men that flew the heavies. I'm proud to know them.

.50 cal. waist gun

Looking aft from top turret gunner's position.

Majestic bird. Tail gunner position.

Top turret visible in front of tail.

Radio Operator's Compartment

Navigator's Table

Navigator's position (L) and Bombardier's position (C) in nose.

"Leonard's Office", also "Maurice's Office". Two dear friends who risked it all over Europe so we could be free.

Bombardier's position, chin turret, pilot and copilot position above.

Bob Cozen's office (pilot's position) Not to mention all the other great pilots I've known, like Gale House, Dewayne Bennett, Lefty Nairn, Grif Mumford, Bob Morgan, Lyle Shafer, James Geary and too many more to mention....

Gimbel for ball turret (at bottom). Where my dear friend Bob Capen rode out his missions, as well as Les Poitras's grandpa Leslie Moore.

Lovely lines...

Ball turret gimbel, from waist position, looking foreward through bomb bay towards flight deck.

Cockpit. "Fighters, twelve o'clock high!!"