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Bill’s blog archive: Daily Posts

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Help me find WW2 stories that deserve to be researched for free

2014 marks the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy. By some estimates, we’re currently losing about 1,000 WWII veterans per day – not to mention the non-military survivors of the second Great War. I want to find somebody who really needs some research done and deserves to have it done for free. For the next 30 days, I’m inviting anyone to tell me about a member of the U.S. military who died in active service during World War II, whose story you need to know – and why. ...
Ruth Less Crew B0826a78b2f6b542b503230ccc9424e94cb0af85 R
Ruth Less Crew B0826a78b2f6b542b503230ccc9424e94cb0af85 R
Ruth Less Crew B0826a78b2f6b542b503230ccc9424e94cb0af85 R
Ruth Less Crew B0826a78b2f6b542b503230ccc9424e94cb0af85 R
Ruth Less Crew B0826a78b2f6b542b503230ccc9424e94cb0af85 R
Ruth Less Crew B0826a78b2f6b542b503230ccc9424e94cb0af85 R
Ruth Less Crew B0826a78b2f6b542b503230ccc9424e94cb0af85 R
Ruth Less Crew B0826a78b2f6b542b503230ccc9424e94cb0af85 R
Ruth Less Crew B0826a78b2f6b542b503230ccc9424e94cb0af85 R

Incoming Message: Classified, Ruth-less

Along with 94 other B-24 Liberators of the 2nd Air Division, “Ruth-less”, B-24 tail #41-24282, rumbled down the runway at Shipdham, in East Anglia, England.  The bomber was named in honor of the pilot’s girlfriend, Ruth: since he was away from her, he called himself, and his bomber, “Ruth-less." Their target was a mysterious construction site at Pas-de-Calais, on the coast of France. Although the purpose of the site was yet unknown, it would turn out to be one of the launching ramps...
Shadle800MagnificentFrigatebird
Shadle800MagnificentFrigatebird
Shadle800MagnificentFrigatebird
Shadle800MagnificentFrigatebird
Shadle800MagnificentFrigatebird
Shadle800MagnificentFrigatebird
Shadle800MagnificentFrigatebird
Shadle800MagnificentFrigatebird
Shadle800MagnificentFrigatebird
Shadle800MagnificentFrigatebird

Frigatebird

by Bill Beigel White and black wings, almost mirage and full-breathing shadow Spinning, skimming arabesque above the water The slightest turn to the surface of the wings A radical shake and shift in flight and speed and balance and more balance Right-angle-sharp wing tips leave their course in the water For only the briefest glance of a second, maybe it is just a fast joke As fleeting as everything else on and under the sea Except the colors, without argument The sunken, deep, dirty,...
Motgrand

The Last Tight Mountain Turn

by Bill Beigel The jeep sped around the last of the tight mountain turns, and soon was making great time along the road that crossed the alluvial fan at the base of Monte della Torraccia.  He’d probably be back in time for dinner in the mess tent. He looked forward to some good strong black coffee. Everything looked the same to Staff Sergeant Keyes as he passed the Brazilian field artillery battalion and the Canadian aid station. He slowed down the vehicle to make the final turn...
B 26 Marauder

Bill’s WW2 Almanac for January 21: Featuring Col. Randy’s Flying Circus

These entries are from my World War II Almanac for January 21 (1944 - 1945). Alley, Archie D., 1st LT, 1030th Army Air Force Base Unit, died of 1/21/45 of “tumor cerebella involving the left hemisphere” at the AAF Convalescent Hospital, Santa Ana, CA, copy of “Physical Examination for Flying” results, possibly serving as an instructor in a training squadron (Austin, TX) Barszcz, Regina, PFC, WAC, Detachment Buffalo AAA, died 1/21/44 of brain inflammation at Fort Dix, NJ,...
B 25 El Aguila Ct02
B 25 El Aguila Ct02
B 25 El Aguila Ct02

LOST B-25 “El Aguila” (“The Eagle”) With Crew and Passengers

It was an ordinary flight, an “Administrative” mission. A B-25 "Mitchell" bomber, nicknamed “El Aguila” (“The Eagle”) was ordered to make a cross-country flight, from Nadzab, on the island of New Guinea, to Owi Island, off the north-east coast of this large Pacific island.  Weather forecasts included some light rain, but no major problems were foreseen. The bomber left the field at Nadzab on August 30, 1944, as scheduled, but did not reach Owi Island.  It was years later that...
Pebbles In Water1

Simmons’ Creek

by Bill Beigel Walking the beach at dawn is a habit. There are many places where I can find a crescent ring of tiny shells. The shells are embedded and enmeshed in a tangled mass of sea grass and feathers and dark, coarse sand. They are nearly hidden. But when the sun is just right, the shells shine out to me. I have picked up many handfuls, but usually end up tossing them back into the ocean. I enjoy the small splash they cause, and the ripples that tickle the surface for a few...
Enterprise 13
Enterprise 13
Enterprise 13

Bill Beigel’s WWII Almanac for January 15

By now you might have found the interactive calendar feature in my new web site. It's my WWII Almanac. After more than a decade of researching American military casualties from WWII, I created a log of all of the individuals that I've researched. They're all listed in my Almanac by the date of their death with a summary of how they died and some other details. There is far more to their stories than I can put into the Almanac; in most cases, only I and a small handful of others know these...
6 Installation Complete
6 Installation Complete
6 Installation Complete
6 Installation Complete

Three men among many who died from Torrance, CA

Torrance, CA has been my hometown for many years. The City of Torrance created a memorial to the war dead of our city, which has a partial list of names of our citizens who died in wars ranging from World War I to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among the many heroes of Torrance who gave their lives in our nation’s wars, here are stories of three of them who ultimate sacrifice in World War 2. I've researched many others and will share more in the days and weeks to come. 2nd LT...
Uss Grampus

Lieutenant Edward P. Haupt and the USS Grampus

The submarine USS Grampus (named for a species of dolphin) was commissioned by the Electric Boat Yard at New London, CT, on May 23. 1941. Few there that day would have guessed that its service in the United States Navy would be of less than two years' duration and that its crew of 71 men would be lost forever.           A line officer on the Grampus was Lieutenant Edwin Paul Haupt.  Although he was born in Los Angeles, he spent much of his boyhood in Tulare, California. As a young...
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