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 Home > Looking for a Lost Crewmate?

Please contact 43 rd Bomb Group Historian at

Below are listings of people looking for lost Kensmen. Be sure, too, to check the page of known e-mail addresses for individual Kensmen to see if the person you're looking for is listed. You might also try Vet Search, AnyWho and Yahoo People Search.

Note that many of these entries are years old. Please, before writing out long emails, make contact first to ensure that the email addresses and other contact information are still relevant.

Mr John Cate writes, "I am writing you seeking information concerning my father, Ray C. Cate of Kodak, Tn. He served in the 5th Air Force in the 43 Bomb Group (?)/135 Bomb Squadron (?) as a B-24 Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner from 1942-1944 (?). Sadly, my father has just passed away (02 Nov 2004) and among his belongings I found a crew photograph with the previously listed information, 43G135B12FEBR44 listed in the lower left hand corner of the photograph. It is a classic crew photograph from that era with the crew standing on the left side of the aircraft between the nose gear and the left main landing gear. His crew's officers are kneeling in the front and the enlisted crew members are standing in the rear. The aircraft name is not completely visible, but the letters "tts" and the number "1" and the letters "st" with an upside down triangle under the "st" is visible. The letters "tts" are in script, the letters "st" are in block lettering. All ten members of the crew signed the back of the photograph in script and I can make out the names- Raymond H. Baker, LaMarr Davis and John B. Ratekin. Unfortunately, the other six names are unreadable to me. Additionally, I have a Bomb Group photo album and in viewing it I gather Dad was stationed in either Northern Australia or New Guinea, or maybe both. Any help would be greatly appreciated, as when I attempted to talk with Dad about his WWII experiences, dementia had robbed him of these memories. Again, thank you for your help and consideration with this request."

Write to Mr. Cate at John.Cate@dhs.gov
I am looking for any information on my father, who passed away in 1966 when I was nine years of age. His paperwork shows he was in the 63rd Squadron, 43rd Bomber Group in New Guinea. He was a tail gunner and flew missions from 10/12/1943 to 06/24/1944. He was awarded an Air Medal on 04/29/1944 and an Oak Leaf Cluster on 10/05/1944.

I have several pictures showing members of his crew and some that may be the whole bomber group. These are the men who were in his crew:

Lawrence Herber
John D. McNally
James J. Viton
Frank T. Joswiak
James Kitson
Harold E. Payne
Benjamin N. Patterson
Andrew M. McCabe
Robert D. Rebel

I would appreciate any info and can email photos to those who would like them. My father's name was Carl G. Frost.

Thank you,
Carl N. Frost

Write to Mr. Frost, Jr. at Skynyrd202@aol.com

LT. A. J. SIMMONS, 64th SQ
Dennis Charles writes, "Looking for information on a Lt. A. J. Simmons 64th Squadron, believed to be pilot of plane "Pride of the Air Force". Information on any thing to do with the plane would also be of interest." Contact Mr. Charles at dcharles@rrmc.org
I am looking for any information regarding my grandfather, Joe A. Helton. I know that he was part of the 63rd Squadron, 43rd Bomb Group at Owi flying B-24s and B-25s. I also know that at the end of the war he held the rank of Major. He lived through the war, but unfortunately died before I could ask him detailed questions. Please help me with anything possible. Currently I am serving in the Air Force, so this has become a very personal research project. Thank you for your help.

Kyle Helton

Write to Mr. Helton at Brandon.Helton@minot.af.mil
"Drew" seeks information about his grandfather, Brigadier General Paul H. Prentiss. Anyone who has information about the General's service, please contact Drew at Drew.Blaha@Alumni.Duke.edu
Juanita Hale writes that she's searching for information about her Uncle S/Sgt Lester Evans McMinis, and his crewmates. She writes:

"I understand was KIA when his plane the Yankee Diddler disappeared, Oct. 2, 1943. The crew with him at the time was:

1sr Lt Paul S. Lamos
2nd Lt Kenneth G. Bennett
2nd lt, Stanley J. Bucki
1st. Lt Clarence J. Fisher
F/O gilbert H. Grey
S/Sgt George Lewis
S/Sgt Charles J/ Zipay (Radio)
S/Sgt Jack Lattman
S/Sgt Hammond J. Rhodes (Nose Gunner)
S/Sgt Lester Evans McMinis

From a letter that my grandmother got from the government: 'The records concerning your son (Lester E. McMinis) show he was a crew member of a B-24 plane (Liberator). On 2 October 1943, while en route from Port Moresby New Guinea, a message was received from his plane that they were entering bad weather. The plane was then over mountaious territory about 250 miles southwest of Wemek. The crew was not heard from again and searching planes found no trace of plane or crew.'

I wonder if anyone knows of this plane or any of the crew. I was informed by his brother, the only living one now, that the plane's name was the Yankee Diddler."

Write to Miss Hale at: jjhale@bentonrea.com
I am looking for anyone who may have known my uncle Technical Sergeant Hyman Silverstein A.S.N. 31 201 941. He was with the 403rd Bomber Squadron, 43rd Bomber Group Heavy. He enlisted from Massachusetts and was recorded as KIA on 9/7/43. I believe over Lae, New Guinea. I have no specific information on what actually caused his death, and would like to know if any one can help. I do have all of the letters he wrote home, as well as his awards, training and qualification papers. I also have the letters sent to my grandfather commending his actions and informing the family officially of his death. He flew 8 missions, and was qualified for every position on a B-24. With all of the info I do have, I need to complete my research. I am assuming the plane was shot down. The body was recovered and buried in Hawaii until 1949. It was then brought home. Hy is now interned in Sharon Memorial Park. My mother believes all were killed. I would like to know the name of the plane, as well as any details. God Bless All.

Respond to: cwforever@comcast.net
I am looking for information about my grandfather. Unfortunately, he died when I was very young, and my dad doesn't remember too many details about my grandfather's service. All I really know is that he was a 1st Lt. and piloted a B-24. I have his jacket, but can't gain much more information from it other than the fact he was part of Ken's Men. His name is Robert "Bob" Brandgard, and he was from Cleveland, Ohio and moved to Indianapolis, IN shortly after the war.

Thank you,
Dane Brandgard

Write to Mr. Brandgard at: dbrandgard1@yahoo.com
My father "Billy C. Earles" from Bardvell, Texas was from my recollection a radio operator on a B-17. He was stationed in New Guinea. I would like to find out any information on other crew member, ground staff, etc. Would like to hear from anyone who remembers him. You can contact me at shirley@tstar.net. My father died of congestive heart failure in October, 1989, before my children were born. I would really like to share some of the stories with my kids - unfortunately, I didn't pay close enough attention when I was younger. Maggie Earles Shirley
Not sure if this pertains to one of ours, but here goes. Got this note:

"I am trying to find information about my Grandfather [Glenn A. Nelson]. I know he was a bomber pilot (possibly B-17) in WWII, Pacific Theater. Because of my Grandmother's death and my Grandfather's subsequent re-marriage, my family has lost all records of his service. He was stationed at Hickham Field, Hawaii for a short time. I have no idea where he was stationed after that. All I can remember is that he was put in as a tail gunner in his first mission and made the entire squadron turn around until he got his own plane. His closest friend, another pilot was Donald Tillett(?) who went on to fly commercial jets after the war. My Grandfather retired as a Major General."

Respond to: jcandres@snowhill.com
Hello, my uncle, Sgt. Thomas J. Hickey, 12 032 033, was assigned to the 5th AF 43rd BG SW Pacific. Tom was a 71-mission vet, 59 missions against the Japanese and 12 missions completed over the European Theater. Tom was awarded the DFC twice and the Presidential Citation with Oak Leaf Clusters. In the European Theater, Tom flew in the 547th Bomber Squadron, 384th Bomber Group (H). Tom was also chosen as a representative of all the American Air Forces, waist gun. Tom was killed in action on 3/19/45 and is buried in the Cambridge American Cemetery, England. I am proud of my uncle and the ultimate sacrifice that he made for his country. Any information that could be passed along would be greatly appreciated.

Joe Hickey JHICKEY2@bloomberg.net
I am looking for anyone who may have known my uncle Staff Sergeant James B. Moore. He was also known to friends as "Dinty". He was with the 64th Bomber Squadron, 43rd Bomber Group Heavy. He enlisted from Massachusetts and was recorded as dying on November 21, 1944. He is listed MIA or Buried at Sea. My family has no specific information on what happened to him and would like to know if any of his crewmates can help us. May God Bless you all.

Respond to: lvalante@comcast.net
David Thaler of Roanoke, Virginia writes: "My father was gunner/flight engineer on 403 Bomb Squadron, 43 Bomb Group 5th Airforce from Jan 1945-Nov 1945, Pilot was Lt. Calvin Mercer. Would be interested in any information about other crew members. My father is Leo H.Thaler (T/Sgt), presently living in New York City."

Write to Mr. Thaler at Ntadime@cox.net
I am looking for any information about Lt. Overfors who was KIA on November 25, 1942 on what was his 32nd mission. His serial number was 04736556 His birthdate was 11-23-1921 I am helping his lone surviving sister to attain this information. She said there was a letter received from a J. J. Capitan (sp) who also was later KIA . Also there was a photo of her brother with Gen MacArthur that was destroyed in a house fire a few years ago. There is a possibility that Overfors was flying the bomber that MacArthur had that famous photo of him watching the paratroop landing in Lae, New Guinea.

Write to this correspondent at GPERE@aol.com
Hi! Happy New Year. I am writing for my husband Michael Apple about his father Jack Apple (Richmond, Virginia) who flew on the Million Dollar Baby. He was with the 5th airforce, 43rd Bombroup, 403rd Squadron. Any information, stories to share or pictures would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,
Roberta Apple
Write to Mrs. Apple at: Roberta.Apple@med.va.gov

I am looking for any info. on Eugene Francis McGuire. All I know is that he was a 2nd Lt. He flew a B24. He was in the 65th squadron 43rd bomb group. His pilot B24 1092.His army serial no was 0-2024031. His air combat was Japan, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago Western Pacific Southern Philippine Luzon Ryukus China Offense.

He attended the Columbus Advanced Flying School. Please let me know if you have any info on him.

Crystal McGuire

My husband and I were going through some old pictures. My husband's Dad (Alvin Nellesen) was with the 65th Troop Carrier Squadron - Operations and Engineering. He was stationed at various locations in the US and also in the South Pacific during World War II. Some of these pictures have names and locations written on the back. I was hoping to find some of these folks or their families so I could forward pictures of them or their loved ones.

Thanks for any help you can provide in posting a message. Please feel free to shorten my message to you with only the pertinent data.

Here is the info I have on these pictures:

All in uniform...

  • Feb 1943 Alvin and Art Love in Miami Beach
  • Alvin and Grumhold - no location or date or first name
  • Alvin, Heffron, and Phipps in front of 65th sign - no location or first names
  • Alvin, Phipps and Heffron at Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Ind - no first names
  • Alvin, Bernard Schotter and Harold Whitford - no first names or location
  • Alvin and Cpl Kenney - no first name or location
  • Alvin and Pfc Phipps - no location
  • Alvin and Ralph Reinhart, Bernard Schotter and Zubb - no location
  • Alvin and Ralph Reinhart (Endicott, NY) and Bernard Schotter (Phla, PA)-no location
  • Alvin and Cpl. Heffron, Pfc. Phipps at Pope Field, NC barracks

A bunch of pictures from the South Pacific but probably for security reasons no names or locations are written on the back of the pictures.

And lastly, but most importantly, THANK YOU for serving so that people here and abroad can be free. We so appreciate the sacrifices made by you and your family.

Barbara Nellesen

Write to Mrs. Nellesen at smith27@alltel.net

My Father Sgt. Sherman Ascher was a gunner and aerial photographer on the B-24 Soldiers Bonus, 5th AAF, 43rd group, 308th wing. He passed away in 1993, and I am trying to piece together his years during World War 2, and find his crew members. email me at: jillsalberg@msn.com

Post Script:
I recently emailed you information on Sgt. Sherman Ascher, 5th AAF 43rd group, 308th wing. I have more to add for my search. He flew B24 M and B24 J. I discovered he also flew on Pappys Passion B24. I have a list of his crew I am trying to locate. I am not sure if this crew flew on Pappys Passion or Soldiers Bonus with him. Crew: Captain Lt. Kenneth Hillas (1092), Engineer John Raibel, James W. Dobb (1051) (not sure if he was co-pilot), Radio Operator Edward Shaw, Gunners Hubert Messex and Fred Cordaway.
My uncle, George E. Wisker, was a Tech Sergeant in the 403 Bomb Squad which I believe was attached to the 43rd Bomb Group. Although I never knew my uncle my father who passed away two years ago always talked fondly of his older brother but never knew the real story of what happened to him. All the family was told is that George was a radio man or navigator on a B24 stationed in New Guinea and that he would sometimes sub as a tailgunner. Apparently George had completed enough missions to rotate home but went for one last mission volunteering as a tailgunner.

On or about March 22, 1944 the aircraft he was in was shot down or crashed on the island killing all on board. George's body was returned to the family and is interred at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Westchester County NY. I think the passing of my father has piqued my interest even more as to who my father's older brother was and what happened to him. If you or any of the members in your group recall George I would be very appreciative of you sharing stories and events with me. I can be reached by e-mail (office location) at rwisker@dep.nyc.gov or by mail addressed to:
Robert Wisker
66 Trolley Road
Montrose, NY 10548

Thanks to you and everyone else for any help you can give.

I am seeking any information regarding my grandfather Joseph L. Wulkowicz. He was a tail gunner for a B24, stationed in New Guinea between 1943 and 1944. To the best of my knowledge he was a S/SGT in the 64th Bomber Squadron (H). I would appreciate any information regarding the crew he flew with and any recollections of him. I believe he was awarded the Navy Cross but he would never discuss it during our conversations about WWII. He passed away in 1987, but his fondness for his crew remained strong.

Reply to: todjendar@hotmail.com
Charles V. Meeder
Died in action: 6/13/1944
Belonged to the 64th Bomber Squadron, 43rd Bomber Group, Heavy

Looking for any information.

Write to: David.X.Meeder@questdiagnostics.com

12 MIAs
I am Researching, for a family member, the loss of 12 men, reported MIA as of November, 21, 1944. Believe, loss may have been earlier and this date may be date of Court-Martial issuing death certificates. MIA unit reported as 64th BS (H), 43rd BG (H). Air Force History reports no record of such loss in unit's history for November, 1944.

Names of men:

French, Edward R., 2nd Lt.
Heuss, Richard T., 1st Lt.
Kirkpatrick, Ivan O., SSgt
Bode, Charles A., TSgt
Miller, Robert A., 2nd Lt.
Moore, James B., SSgt
Mulgrave, William K., SSgt
Streckenbach, Robert R., Jr., 2nd Lt.
Surabian, Roy, SSgt
Oliver, Lucian, Jr., SSgt.

Helping active duty member, 'Over There" researching family history. If you can help, it would be greatly appreciated.

Write to Willis S. Cole, Jr. at ww1@ww1.org
My name is Don Bates and John Flanagan was my uncle. He served as a B-24 pilot in the 43rd BG and 65th SQ sometime during the period Oct-44 through Apr-45. I have found that he completed flight school in Alabama in Aug or Sept-44.

If anyone remembers my uncle and could provide me with any info concerning his time in the Pacific Theatre, I would be most appreciative if they would contact me at brdodgers@hotmail.com

Thank you,
Don Bates
clintfrederick@msn.com writes:

My father Capt. George F. Frederick was killed in the Admiralty Islands March 30, 1944. He was in charge of the 12th Air Liaison Party. Would like any information anyone has and particularly from the members of his crew:

1st Lt. James C King
S/Sgt. Martin W. James
Sgt. Mark D. Kohn
Sgt. Hugh H. Bement
Sgt. Roy H. Clark
T/5th Gr Gordon R. Rule

My father arrived in April 1943; according to one address it says 309th Bomber Wing, but he was a glider pilot, but flew reconnaissance and was assigned to the 7th Australian Infantry Division. According to medals he flew missions in the Ramu and Markum valleys in 1943.

Michael Gaines, son of Ralph T. Gaines, wrote:

"I would love to hear from anyone who knew my father, RALPH T. GAINES, who died in 1985. He was in the 43rd Bomb Group, 65th SQ. He was from Coal Hill, Arkansas, and enlisted in January 1941. His separation date was 9/3/45. He attended New England Aircraft School in 1941 (Class 16) before going to Australia on the Queen Mary in Feb./Mar 1942.

"He was an electrician, a flight chief and a crew chief. His picture is in the book "Down Under", and I have lots of pictures of him and others in Sydney, New Guinea, etc. Unfortunately, he didn't label hardly any of them - including several of a stunning young Australian woman named "Jean" that he referred to as his girlfriend.

"Dad told me many stories about the war, but I remember only bits and pieces. I recall one about "borrowing" a baby elephant from a circus, and another that had to do with the sign at the Japanese Cemetery.

I would love to learn more about this fine man."

Write to Michael Gaines at capitalgaines@hotmail.com
My father, Edward J. Berger was in the 43rd Bomb Group, 64th SQ. and I am looking for anyone that can provide me any information on his activities there. If you remember him and have a story or two (maybe some photos), I would like to talk. He passed away last year and I am just uncovering some of his memorabilia, but don't know any of his history there.

Edward J. Berger
43rd Bomb Group 64th SQ
02 077 694
Navigator on B-24's
First Lieutenant
Served: 11/44 through 9/46

Thanks, David Berger

Write to Mr. Berger at dberger@greenpencil.com

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who knew my father, Wallace (Wally) Suarez, 64th Bomb. Sqdrn, 43rd Group. He was a tail gunner on a B-24. He was killed when it crashed and exploded on take-off on April 2, 1944, at Nadzab, New Guinea. I've been lucky enough to find the pilot, Lt. Hugh Papworth, who's been generous with his time in reliving a bad experience and sharing his memories of my father. I'd still, of course, like to hear from anyone else who knew him and has memories of him they might share. I have a picture of him with other members of his crew who are identified as Lt. M.M. Schoonmaker, Bombardier/Superv.Arm't; Lt. L. L. Katzen, Navigator/logs; Lt. W. C. Williams, Co-Pilot/Security; Sgt. Cliff H. Stacy, Asst. Eng/Armament; Tech. Sgt. Wayne Smith, Asst. Eng./Engines; Staff Sgt. E. W. Sorensen, 1st Engineer/Superv.; T. Sgt. F. B. Rickard, Waist Guns/Belly; and Sgt. Dan Hopson, Radio/Top Turret. Thanks. Mike Suarez. m.msuarez@worldnet.att.net
Searching for information on my grandfather. John F. McEachron (479-12-2200). It's my understanding he was at one time a belly gunner on Lucky Lucille. He passed in March of 1973, and information has been tough to come by. I do know he was honored with the DFC. Any information/help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks and take care, Scott McEachron, Clinton, IA.

Write to Scott at samc65@msn.com

John Post writes: "My uncle was Nelson B. Brode, Jr. He was a tailgunner on a B-17 flying out of Port Moresby, New Guinea, in 1942-43. He flew 42 bombing missions during that time period. He was in the 65th Bomb Squadron, 43rd Group. I have a copy of all his memoirs of his experiences there. I am sad to say that he has been deceased since February 1989. I have just found out about this website and perhaps someone may remember him and would like to get in touch with me at my e-mail address: CousinJohn2@cs.com"
My dad [Marty McDonough, Sr.] was a G-2 with the 43rd from mid 1943 through late '44.- I think he started in the 403rd and then went to the 64th - He and I never really discussed his experiences - even after I came back from Viet Nam in 1971. I discovered after he died in 1983 a thinly fictionalized "novel" about his experiences - although never finished, it showed me a picture of my father I had never really seen. Accordingly, if anyone has any recollection of him - whether good or bad - I would be very interested in hearing about him.

Marty McDonough (Jr): martymcd@erols.com

Jeff Wright writes: I would be very interested in finding out if anyone here recalls serving with my father, Glen W. Wright, who was a crew chief and top turret gunner with the 63rd Squadron. I have one picture of him standing in front of an aircraft with the nose art "Barbara Jean", and think he may be pictured on this site in the 'Hockman Crew' photograph [63rd SQ BR]. Am also interested in a crew member friend he mentioned, Bob DeWitt. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Please contact me at jwp@jeffwrightproductions.com.
My uncle H.B.(Billy) Bowen was a tailgunner on a B-17 with the 43rd BG 65th SQ (H). He was KIA when his plane was downed over Buna, New Guinea on 8 Jan 43. I am told that the 65th and an Australian BG was on a mission to bomb a Japanese convoy. My uncle was hit and I believe he was the only one not to make it out of the plane.He had an Air Medal, so I am guessing he had a few missions under his belt.If anyone remembers Billy Bowen I would appreciate hearing from you.

Charles Bowen, dakotaduece46@yahoo.com

Hugh Grege of Ohio writes: "My late father, 2nd Lt. Robert E. Grefe was a bombardier in the 5th AAF, 43rd BG. I am slowly gathering his papers since my mom has sold her home and I am piecing together the story of his crew. I would greatly appreciate hearing from anyone who knew him. I know that his group flew night missions primarily against shipping targets and that they were among the first to land in Japan"

Write to Hugh at h.grefe@sylvania.sev.org

I would like any information on MSgt William W. (Bill) Gregg of the 64th Sq. I believe he was line chief for the squadron as well as flew a few missions as ball turret gunner. If anyone knows what airplanes he flew as crew member or any other experiences that are remembered I would be interested in hearing about them. Please contact his son, Robert, at rwgregg@aol.com. Thank you.
Don Carter writes:

I have been doing a lot of searching about my Dad [Sgt. Clarence Carter]. He was a support person in Engineering at Port Moresby. He flew some missions as a back up gunner, but was not a crew.

I have a lot of pictures, including a nice copy of a Hard Cover Blue Back book called "Down Under" I would like to know if anyone remembers Sergeant Clarence Carter. He was over seas for over 2 years.

Thanks a bunch.

Write to Don at dcarter@ou.edu

Harry Miller, Jr., writes:

My father [Harry Miller] would like info or to contact fellow members of his crew. He was in the 5th A.F/43 B.G/63 SQ. They flew black B-24's that bombed shipping at night in 1945. The name of his plane was "TWIN DISCHARGE POINTS" and the pilot's name was John Walsh.

Write to Harry Miller Jr. at: sevenout@ameritech.net

From David J. Thaler:

"My father was gunner/flight engineer on 403 Bomb Squadron, 43 Bomb Group 5Tth Airforce from Jan 1945-Nov 1945, Pilot was Lt. Calvin Mercer. Would be interested in any information about other crew members."

Write to David at: djydo@roanoke.infi.net

A note from Tom Smith, Jr. reads:

My uncle, Francis John "Buddy" Smith, was a pilot with the 65th stationed at Clark Field. According to the letter from his commander, they were on a mission to the Tainan Airdrome on Formosa. Again from the letter, they were lined up for the run when my uncle's plane took a direct hit to the open bomb bay. There were no survivors.

The commander was Capt. Paul B. Hansen.

Does this sound familiar or does anybody have a recollection of this? Please contact me at tsmith_54656@yahoo.com

P.S. By the way, Buddy was from Terre Haute, Indiana. There is also a ring, looks to be home made, with "MAC" inscribed on it.

Rick Sokora writes:

My dad was a navigator on B24's in WW2. I know he was with the 43rd Bombardment Group, 64th squadron. I would like to know on which aircraft he flew and to who's crew he was assigned. Thank you.

Write to Rick at: SokoraR@tyson.com

Lt. Col. Dirk Salverian writes:

My Father, SSgt Haig Salverian was the nose gunner on Lt Paul Cresser's crew, 63rd Bomb Squadron. They flew only one mission (on the last day of the war-out of Ie Shima. Plane's name- Irene) as your July [2000] newsletter states and sank two ships. He of course, has lost contact with his crew- other names and positions are as follows Cresser pilot, Griffith was the co-pilot, Voda was the Bombardier, Angeliniwas the flight engineer, Lamery was Waist, Delbert Dently was either Radar Nav or tail. The recent article in the newsletter spurred his interest in contacting any crew members. I know it is a long shot but any assistance would be of help. I was able to get copies of their mission from the History Office at Bolling AFB.

Write to Dirk at: jmmdh1@gateway.net

Lee B. Quilici is looking for Capt. Cassidy, Bill Boyd, or any info on Bombardier Phil Rice, all of the 65th SQ. Please send any information to Mr. Quilici at lbq.aal.tus@prodigy.net
Dayton Blanchard writes, "Looking for Lt. John H. Connors, 65th Sq., navigator on Lt Blanchard's crew, while at Clark AB in the Phillipines., 1945."

Write to him at DaytfromNM@webtv.net

Neil Driscoll is looking for info about his Dad, 2nd Lt. Neil J. Driscoll. He writes Lt. Driscoll "was a pilot/co-pilot in the 63rd Squadron of the 43rd Bomb Group in 1945. If you have any information or pictures re my dad, I would appreciate it if you would please contact me. My name is Neil Driscoll, III and my telephone # is (503) 241-0262 and my e-mail address is moomaw@teleport.com."
A friend of Leo Dunn wrote that Leo, who flew in the plane "Pretty Baby", is looking for old pals. Write to him at: papa1999@mediaone.net
Marc Rifkin, son of S/Sgt.Morris (Morry) Rifkin, who flew that hellacious Williams Mission (see History section), writes:

My Dad passed away in 1979 after suffering for two years with cancer. One week before he died he told me that he didn't so much mind dying at that time (age 58). He said, "I should have died in that plane in 1945, these last 34 years have been a bonus."

I would be delighted to hear from any of the surviving crew members. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to e-mail me or contact me by "snail mail," or phone.

Marc A. Rifkin, MD
7667 Seattle Place
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(800) 809-8429 E-mail: drmarcr@earthlink.net

Mark Gongol writes on behalf of himself and his brother:

My name is Mark Gongol, and I am a Cadet at the United States Air ForceAcademy. As luck would have it, my brother came across your page and referred me to it, where he had found a man identified as "A. Gongol" in a picture on your site. He is listed as the Flight Engineer for Crew 613 during training in Massachusetts, December 1944. Since our family name is so rare, the odds of our being related are fairly hight, and I would greatly appreciate any assistance in finding him or any of his relatives or crewmates. Finding family and an Air Force heritage would really mean a lot to my brother and I. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Cadet Fourth Class Mark Gongol
Cadet Squadron 12, USAFA
PO Box 5263
USAFA, Colorado 80841-5263   E-mail: c03mark.gongol@usafa.af.mil

An Australian woman writes "I am in search for individuals who may have known or served with my Father, Joseph Thompson, who was in th 63rd.Bomb Sqd., 43rd.Bomb Grp. (H) from May 1941 to Dec. 1943. Please contact me at

P.O. Box 352
Bridgetown, West Australia, 6255

or E-mail sankev@wn.com.au"

A note on this site's message board indicates that Joseph Thompson, a gunner, was KIA on B-24D 42-40475 ,"The Swan", which was lost on a mission from Dobadura, New Guinea on Dec. 4,1943. The pilot's name was Captain Robert Coleman.

Anyone know of these men?

Dec. 1944 through September 1945:
Bill Burwell, Pilot Urbana-Champagne, Ill.
Wally Leaske, Radar Seattle, Wash.
Everett "Bud" Sammis, Pompano Beach, Fla.
Al Buchta, Detroit, Michigan

If so, write to Jack Fultz at Flannelmouth@webtv.net
An unsigned e-mail reads:

"I am looking for any info (crew and plane) on Capt. Jack Thompson. His bombardier was a man named Rucker (nickname was Ruk). They were with the 64th BS, 43rd BG"

Respond to: stelcofn@voicenet.com

Bill Wynne writes:

I am Looking for Edward Downey a red head pal of mine who flew 40 missions with Ken's Men I don't know what Squadron. Ed was an aerial photographer/gunner. He was on Ie Shima when War ended. Were together with the 91 Photo Recon Wing Ed first transfered to the 20th Combat Mapping Sq. ( F -7s ( B-24s) and ended with the 43rd.

I was in contact with Ed in Pottstown Pa. about 10 years ago. He was from Norristown, PA. He Graduated from Villanova Business school and was an accountant. Lost track of him after my book was written . It was Ed who found the tiny dog in a New Guinea jungle foxhole in March of '44. This dog is the most famous of War Dogs of WWII and considered by the top dog authority as the greatest dog in history. Click [here to read about this dog, "Yorkie Doodle Dandy"] http://members.aol.com/bwynne/smoky.html [will open a new browser window. When you're done visiting that site, just close that window and you will find yourself back at this page]

If Ed is still with us I would want him or his family to have copies of this book.

Write to Mr. Wynne at: Billsmoky@aol.com

Bill Craig writes: "I wonder if you could find some information of two of my crew members who did not return when they were flying as substitutes with other pilot's crews. They were Sgt. Jimmy Smythe, radar operator and Sgt. Jack Quinn, gunner. We were in the 63rd Squadron and the missions were somewhere in the May-July 1945 time frame. I was in the hospital at the time and my crew flew with others when needed. If possible I would like to know the pilot or pilots they were flying with at the time---when it was---and the mission they were on. This much information may not be available but I would appreciate knowing whatever may be known." Write to Bill at billel@mindspring.com
I’ve have been trying to research the military career of my father-in-law, Michael Gorun. So far, I have been getting conflicting information. I wrote to the National Personnel Records Center, but they returned a Certification Of Military Service document stating that Mr. Gorun was only in service from July 1, 1943 to October 1, 1943. The problem with that is that I have old photos of him in New Guinea in 1943. I suspect that he might have been a part of your group. His discharge papers have been long lost.

Although I don’t have any documentation of this, I have an old family history book that says he was inducted 3-25-1942, New Guinea Campaign, Papuan Campaign (11-29-43 -----7-8-44), Awarded Asian Pacific Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Stars.

Vital Stats:
Michael Gorun ( No Middle Initial )
DOB: October 22, 1918, Evanston, IL
DOD: March 22, 1982
SS #: 350-10-0777
Service #: 36-757-458 ??

I have a photo from Hollandia, New Guinea with Mr. Gorun and some friends. Their names are: Owen, Richardson, and Choate. There are also pictures of him standing next to a B-17 that does not have a ball turret and has the number 317 painted behind the cockpit. I have posted these pictures on my web page at: http://freeweb.digiweb.com/games/Sax/ig.html [clicking there will open a new browser window]

If anyone can help at all, either in establishing his outfit, or even better still, finding someone that knew him, I would greatly appreciate it. Mike was rather vague in his later years about his service, and I would like to be able to pass along some correct information about him to my wife and our children.

Thank you in advance for any help.
Jerry Eubanks

PS...I'm not at all sure that Mike was with your group, but I figured a long shot was better than no shot at all. Thank you for your time.

Write to Jerry at: jeuba@bellsouth.ne

Victoria Compton writes:

"Help! I am desperately searching for my Dad's crewmembers and friends. His name was Irwin Russell ("Comp" or "Tex") Compton and he was a B-24 and B-25 pilot of the 43rd from January, 1942 to July of 1945 (I think). His flight jacket had a patch on it entitled "Mareeba Butchers", which is a picture of a dog wringing out his uniform, with bombs falling out instead of water droplets. The dog is wearing white/red striped underwear. Dad's planes were the "Red-Headed Gal" and "Geraldine". He flew with Scotty Blair and Grant Logan, both of whom I believe are now dead (Grant Logan crashed flying the DEW line in Canada). He flew over 1000 hours with the 43rd, so somebody (I hope) has got to remember him." Write to Victoria at victoriasji@yahoo.com

Kathryn Beaman Wagamon wrote in our guestbook:

"I'm looking for anyone from the 43rd who might have known my father to verify that he was a member of the 64th Bomb Sqn. He was First Sergeant Dennis C. Beaman. I've sent photos to Tracy Tucciarone. Any help would be appreciated to Katspawn@firstva.com"

Please take a look at these two pix and if you can ID any of the men or relate stories and memories to Kathryn: Picture of Dennis "Denny" Beaman Picture of Beaman's Crew. When you click on these two links, a new browser window will open. Just close them out when you're done and you will find yourself at this page.

Jordan Bennett writes:

"My father, Dick Bennett, was a pilot graduate of Class 42 I in late '42. He was in the 43rd bomb group, 65th squadron. He is wanting to know if anyone has reunion information on the class. He does not have computer access so I said I'd see what I could do to locate some information for him.

If you do have any information or know of any contacts or sources, we would enjoy having it"

Please write to Jordan at jordenb@flash.net

Francis E. Tucher, B-24 gunner/engineer for the 65th SQ is looking for his pilot, Hubert J. Frank, originally from Henderson, Kentucky, and all who flew with him. If you're out there, Mr. Frank and crewmates, please contact your engineer via his daughter at webmaster@kensmen.com.
A man named Michael Sullivan from Shenandoah, PA is looking for info on his Dad, Michael J. Sullivan, a tailgunner in the 43rd who died in 1979. Michael Jr. isn't sure about his Dad's Squadron but thinks it may have been the 65th. If anyone has any info they can give him about his Dad, please write to him at: sully1229@email.msn
Jim Yealy of Ft. Walton Beach, FL is looking for Lt. George Wood, a B-24 pilot. Lt. Wood lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was a member of Jim Yealy's wedding party. Jim Yealy can be reached at nanpopy@aol.com
Tim Heck of Zionsville, Indiana seeks information on Robert Ryan, B-24 bombadier out of New Guinea. Ryan flew sea-search missions and was killed in an At-21 crash on 18 October, 1944 in Pennsville New Jersey. Mr. Heck says he thinks Ryan hit a destroyer on his first sortie. He also seeks information on the Scott Project. Send any info to this e-mail address: timheck@hotmail.co
Vincent diGilio seeks information about his father, Joseph diGilio, B-24 nose gunner for the 64th Squadron from June 18, 1943 to Palm Sunday in April of 1944. The name of one of the Liberators he manned was "Black Magic". Send info to Vincent at:  vdigilio@worldnet.att.net
Looking for relatives of crew of "Double Trouble", 42-40671, crashed Port Moresby July 11, 1943. Crew members were:

1st Lt. Walter C. Hammond Pilot
1st Lt. Robert F. Johnston Co-Pilot
2nd Lt. Harry C. Shannon Bombardier
2nd Lt. Arthur N. Zuckerman Navigator
T/Sgt. Hartsill C. Rasor Engineer
T/Sgt. William E. Guinn R
S/Sgt. Dominic T. Rossi AE
S/Sgt. Glenn E. Slettin AR
S/Sgt. Jeremiah S. Connolly Gunner
S/Sgt. Daniel M. Costello Gunner

Please reply to:

Richard Siegel at: MarsFilmHQ@aol.com or
Kathy Costello at: Costellok@fuse.net

John Rosenberger, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL writes that his father was originally in the 19th BG but then went to the 43rd BG 64th squadron when the 19th was rotated to the US. He would appreciate any information about his father. His name was John W. Rosenberger (Rosy) and he flew with Pilot R. E. Holsey. Mr. Rosenberger Jr. can be reached at soulmates5@aol.com
Joe Falce, of Nashville, Tn is looking for information on his father, Nicholas Anthony Falce, who was a Radioman in the 5th AAf and stationed in New Guinea from approximately 1942-1945. Joe doesn't have his Dad' service ID number but knows this much:

"Entered Army 1/26/42 at Pittsburgh, Pa Basic Training at Ft. Meade, MD Additional training at Ft. Bragg, NC and Drew Field, FL (not sure if Drew Field is correct. Spent entire military career in New Guinea Had Malaria and Jungle Rot of feet and spent Time at Lettermans Hospital in San Francisco, and was also at Walter Reed in Washington, DC Family believes he was discharged at Walter Reed and processed at Ft. Dix, NJ. Was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. and returned there after the war for several years."

Anyone who can help Joe locate any information about his father please contact him at falce@nashville.com

Daughter of Lt Philip Van Keuren, navigator of "Satan's Sister", 403rd Sqd, looking for her father's New Guinea crewmembers: John Bond, Elbert Rice, James Smith, Ralph Powell, H.V. Milarski, Joseph Gosseaux, Fred Whitney, John Shaffer, or others. Carol can be reached at pgibson@blaireng.com
Members of my crew were: Pilot Angus Taff (Fla.), Co-pilot Robert E. Lee (CA), Navigator Orville Meadors (KY), Bombadier George Patterson (OR), Engineer Henry Sells (IN), Radio Operator Charles Upham (NH), Armorer Charner Skains (TX), Nose Gunner John Yerg (NJ), Tail Gunner Claude McMillan (TN), and me,  Jim Rodella, Top Turret Gunner. This crew was together from 6/44 to 9/45. If anyone has information about my former crew members, Please contact me at rodella@bellatlantic.net. I have not heard from these men since the war and would like to reminesce about old times.
Betty, the sister of Corporal Green writes: "I am looking for info on my brother, Cpl. Green. He was on detached service from the 90th BG to the 43rd. His pilot was Coutney. His plane crashed on 1-18-45. The serial # of their plane was 44-49472. "Write to Betty at trippworks@juno.com (Betty G. Tripp)
John Correll writes: "I am looking for anyone who might of known Charles Correll. He was, I believe, a part of the ground crew in New Guinea in 1942 & 1943. I believe he was wounded during a battle in or around November of 1943. He was from near Pottstown, PA. and was born in 1914.

He was my father and he very seldom spoke of the War.

I read a newpaper story of how he and some other crew members ran on to a burning plane that crash on or near the air strip and rescued the people and some of the supplies on the plane before it exploded. They were all decorated by Gen. MacArther. He denied it ever happened and never spoke of it again.

Now, he is gone and I would like to learn more about what happened there. I hope you can help.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time."

Write to John Correll at ELYNJAY@aol.com

Mark Carrell writes: "I would like to locate any of the members of my crew shown on the picture on the web site  [65th SQ Briefing Room area]. I flew both "Target for Tonight" and "Lucky Lucille". Would appreciate hearing from any one knowing any of their whereabouts." Write to Captain Carrell at Burboncar@aol.com
Crew 613 403rd Sq. member Andrew Stanko's son is looking for information on his crewmates: Pilot Joseph Casey, Co-pilot John Gallahan, Bombardier Ken Ahlesmeyer. He has found his Radio Operator Robert Burke, Engineer Al Gongal, Gunner Damon Coppess, Gunner Lavern Greene, and Gunner Lawrence Twigg! Andrew passed away October 2003 . If any of you men are out there, write to Jerry Stanko at STANKGE@aol.com
Greg Lake of Centerville, MA writes: "My father, Norman H. O'Brien, Jr., just recently passed this January [1999]. He was a member of the 43rd Group and 63rd Squadron "Seahawks". I would be interested in gaining any information such as people who served with him, pictures, stories, etc... Please contact me with any information or suggestions on how to find information. Thank you."

Please write to Greg at GML12@PRODIGY.NET

My father J. Kent Milton was a member of sq 403. He is attempting to find Carl Cramar. My father flew on a bB-24 named the Million Dollar Baby. He has a picture of the plane that apparently Mr. Cramer would be interested in seeing. He, or any other veterans can contact him through my e-mail address of kent51@gateway.net (son-Kent) note: Mr. Cramar may reside in Sutherlin, Or.
Alan Matisoff, of Draper, Utah writes "I am doing research looking for someone who may have know my Dad, Jack Matisoff. Nose gunner in the 64th Sq. of the 43rd from Nov. 43 to April 1944. Flew 46 missions. Crashed in a B-17 on Jan 7, 1943, in which Meyer Levin was killed. Would appreciate any information.Alan Matisoff, 14883 Steep Mountain Dr., DRaper UT 84020 (801) 212-2030". Alan's e-mail address is: alan.matisoff@slc2002.org
Robert R. Richardson writes:

Rodger W. Little's crew have all been accounted for except the navigator Thomas J. McCue, Jr. (ASN 08072492). Tom was originally from the Boston, Mass. area. We were assigned to the 43rd 63rd Sqd. in May 1945 and joined the sqd. at Clark

Field. Most of the crew including Tom returned to the states in late August or September l945, from Ie Shima flying a Black B-24M Crews in the 63rd during this period were not assigned a regular plane, we flew 9 combat missions in various planes.

The crew members were Rodger W. Little, pilot, Edwin D. Pheasant, co-pilot, Thomas J. McCue, navigator, James F. Hampshire, Jr. bombardier, Joseph L. Sosnowski, engineer (Deceased), Athill W. Irvine, radio op., John Klein, mickey man,(deceased),

Clifford L. McHenry, nose gunner, Robert R. Richardson, Jr., top gunner & David Fischoff, tail gunner (deceased). Six of the crew attended a mini reunion in Coco Beach, FL in 1998 a real blow out most had not seen each other since 1945.

Write to Robert R. Richardson at IRPILOT@worldnet.att.net

Patsy Schirripa Wilbur writes:

My dad, Frank J. Schirripa, was an armored gunner on Shining Example. The names listed on his crew photo are: Arthur Mulligan, Pilot; J. Pettis, Co-pilot; Clifford G. Unruh, Navigator; William T. Johnson, Bombadier; Harry J. Strickland, Engineer; Thomas L. Deen, Radio Operator; William M. Browne, Waist Gunner; Urban C. Nye, Nose Gunner; Warren W. Thompson, Belly Gunner.

I'm putting together a war book in my dad's memory. Please, any remembrances would be greatly appreciated.

Patsy Schirripa Wilbur
e-mail: wilburr@toad.net

"Help! I am desperately searching for my Dad's crewmembers and friends. His name was Irwin Russell ("Comp" or "Tex") Compton and he was a B-24 and B-25 pilot of the 43rd from January, 1942 to July of 1945 (I think). His flight jacket had a patch on it entitled "Mareeba Butchers", which is a picture of a dog wringing out his uniform, with bombs falling out instead of water droplets. The dog is wearing white/red striped underwear. Dad's planes were the "Red-Headed Gal" and "Geraldine". He flew with Scotty Blair and Grant Logan, both of whom I believe are now dead (Grant Logan crashed flying the DEW line in Canada). He flew over 1000 hours with the 43rd, so somebody (I hope) has got to remember him." Write to Victoria at victoria@athome1.com
Sheila Edwards writes, "My father, Sgt. Olin Edwards, was in the 43rd Bomb Group, 403rd Squadron. I was wondering if anyone remembers him?" Respond to Sheila at sheila.edwards@whihomes.com.

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