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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

What I've found so far

Last week, encouraged by the magnificent Ken Burn's film, The War, I decided to take another chance to find information about my father's war records. As I said earlier, my father was very reticent to speak about the war and pretty much told us nothing regarding his war exploits. I know he flew a B-24 as a Second Lt in the Army Air Corp, now called the Air Force. I knew that his plane was shot down over Italy and that he ended up interned in Switzerland for part of the war before escaping and returning to his unit. That was the extent of what he shared with his family. Since he's deceased, there is no way to ask him more information, so everything I've found has come from research. And what a bonanza of research gold I found today. I give you photographic evidence of his war.

Click on the images to enlarge them.



This first photo is my father's crew. My father is the guy without a hat on the top left, with the big arrow pointing at him. He was the pilot of the plane. I have the names and addresses of all the crew members now, although the addresses are at least 25 years old and the men would be in their mid to late 80's currently. But I'm going to try and ferret them out and found out what I can from those still alive.


This next photo shows the force-landing during which the nose wheel gear collapsed, took
place at Dübendorf airfield, near Zürich. While U.S.authoritiesnormally issued a so-called
Missing Air Crew Report (MACR), none has been found for"Brown Nose" which took off
from its base at Pantanella in the Ofanto River valley, located about 11 miles southwest of
Canosa in Southern Italy.


This photo shows Logo with obvious gun damage. It was taken when the plane landed in Switzerland.


More disturbing, these are the B-24's bombs. That would represent 40 of the early 'smart bombs' which were used to blow up bridges, railroads and war related targets. Each bonb painted on the side of the plane equals a successful mission. 40 missions flown before the plane was destroyed.

This is huge for me. HUGE. I'm 55 freaking years old and just now starting to put together probably the most important part of my father's life, one he just would not share with his family. Now I've got contacts, photos, names and addresses of crew members, etc. This is BIG.

I still know nothing about his internment, and must wonder if the Swiss Government kept records on their war 'guests'. I don't know. But I'm going to find out.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Assertagirl said...

Wow, that really is incredible! Good luck with your continued search. So interesting.

7/10/07 7:32 AM  
Blogger JaniceNW said...

I am watching War right now. Wow about your dad. This could explain some of the things you have told me about him. I know I would be haunted if I had dropped bombs, but that's me.

My FIL was in a Japanese POW camp in Indonesia. I believe that is why this man could not truly love anyone. Part of him was missing.
He was drafted into the Dutch Navy and captured when the Japanese took over ever populated island in the Pacific. My MIL was interred in her own village. That was not fun but nowhere near as tough as being a POW.

7/10/07 6:55 PM  
Blogger amusing said...

Ever since I read that the "fitness reports" filed each year included a section for review of the wife and family, I have been curious to know what sorts of things might have been in my dad's reviews. Of course, we were perfect children, and the ideal military family -- but still.....

Especially when you read the guide for wives that advises NEVER to place a couch anywhere but against a wall, and the sort of dishes to use when putting out nuts and such for guests, etc. etc.

It's absolutely wonderful that you undertook your research mission -- and even more wonderful that you found such great information!

8/10/07 8:24 PM  

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