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Bill writes about: WWII

Parker Fondren Phyllis Lee Fondren 1
Parker Fondren Phyllis Lee Fondren 1
Parker Fondren Phyllis Lee Fondren 1
Parker Fondren Phyllis Lee Fondren 1
Parker Fondren Phyllis Lee Fondren 1
Parker Fondren Phyllis Lee Fondren 1
Parker Fondren Phyllis Lee Fondren 1

Parker Fondren’s Daughter

Clients come to me from many places and for many reasons. Some come from universities or towns, hoping to learn about the WW2 military service of their students or citizens. Some are from overseas, hoping to find out the story of a particular American serviceman who died in the liberation of their nation. Many are family historians, such as Donna King of Tennessee. In September of 2017, Donna wrote to me with a poignant inquiry about her uncle, Parker Fondren. As many clients who are...
2nd LT Robert L. Schanen

Lt. Robert L. Schanen, Navigator of “Ascend Charlie”

Yesterday, I received this email from the relative of the navigator on Ascend Charlie's final mission. Ascend Charlie was a B-17 Flying Fortress (tail #42-5903) from the 390th Bomb Group, 571st Bomb Squadron. You can read my full article on "Ascend Charlie's" last mission here.. Dear Mr. Beigel, I just want to thank you for the piece you wrote about the "Ascend Charlie'" crash. Lt. Schanen was my grandmother's cousin and she speaks so fondly of him. I had always known he was killed in...
Joseph H Reus Wwii

Shot Down Twice

People who visit ancient battlefields or ruins of ancient cities will see evidence of great dramas played out, but they may be left with many more questions than answers. Who were the actual men who fought in the wars? What were their experiences? Their thoughts? Their fears? Who were their families and their friends? Sadly, the answers to most questions like this are lost in the distant past. Fortunately for me, I am an historian who researches the American flyers of the 8th Air Force,...
Cornelia Clark Fort and fellow female pilots
Cornelia Clark Fort and fellow female pilots
Cornelia Clark Fort and fellow female pilots
Cornelia Clark Fort and fellow female pilots
Cornelia Clark Fort and fellow female pilots

Women in WWII: Cornelia Clark Fort

In the course of researching the World War 2 military casualties buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth, TX, I came across the name of Cornelia Clark Fort, who is buried in a cemetery by the same name in Nashville, TN. Cornelia’s headstone reads, “Killed in service to her country.” It’s an interesting and meaningful inscription, since women were not allowed to enlist as flyers in the military. And although women were extremely influential in the war effort, and some even died...
Mount Olivet Cemetery, Ft. Worth, TX
Mount Olivet Cemetery, Ft. Worth, TX
Mount Olivet Cemetery, Ft. Worth, TX
Mount Olivet Cemetery, Ft. Worth, TX
Mount Olivet Cemetery, Ft. Worth, TX
Mount Olivet Cemetery, Ft. Worth, TX
Mount Olivet Cemetery, Ft. Worth, TX
Mount Olivet Cemetery, Ft. Worth, TX

WW2 Dead buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Texas

Mount Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas, is named after the Jewish cemetery in Israel. “Mount Olivet” means “Mount of Olives”; the Jewish cemetery is of ancient origin, famous for its many biblical associations, and still in use today. More than 60,000 souls lay at rest at its central Texas namesake in Tarrant County. Among them are fifty-two men who gave their lives for our freedom in World War 2. In late 2010, a private citizen – a hospital administrator and local resident,...
PFC Max Poster and Wife Sophia
PFC Max Poster and Wife Sophia
PFC Max Poster and Wife Sophia
PFC Max Poster and Wife Sophia
PFC Max Poster and Wife Sophia

The final notes of Pfc. Max Poster

Max Poster’s personal effects were like those of most of his fellow infantrymen of the 86th Mountain Infantry Regiment. At the time of his death, his possessions included a tobacco pouch; a plastic box, contents not specified; two books, and one lot of miscellaneous papers. Not much to mention or remember. But they also included an ocarina. An ocarina is a wind instrument of ancient origin, perhaps first used 12,000 years ago in China and Mesoamerica. Typically, it is in the shape of a...
PVT Perry Franklin-POW-Funeral-by-Germans

His last thoughts

The article in the Torrance Herald of Thursday, January 25, 1945, was brief: Next to his photo, it read: “MISSING IN ACTION…Sgt. Perry Franklin, 22, son of Mr. and Mrs. Victor Gossiaux, 1640 W. 219th Street, has been declared missing in action since December 24. With a tank destroyer company, he has been in action in France, Germany, and Belgium since ‘D’ day….” Private (not Sergeant) Franklin was serving with C Company, 807th Tank Destroyer Battalion, when his unit was...
Mi Seal 2 Lg

Bill Beigel Researches Michigan WWII Casualties, MIAs, and POWs

These summaries are posted to honor these selfless men from Michigan who served and lost their lives. This list includes Medal of Honor recipient 1st Lt. George H. Cannon ~ Bill Abel, Andrew W., TEC5, Camp McCoy, died of “poisoning acute, carbon tetra chloride, adema, pulmonary”, 12/21/44 at Station Hospital, Fort Sheridan, IL. TEC5 Abel was on temporary duty assisting the Postal Department as a truck driver. While at Antlers Hotel in Milwaukee fell asleep in bed; a fire occurred, and...
41 Basset Ave 1945 1
41 Basset Ave 1945 1
41 Basset Ave 1945 1
41 Basset Ave 1945 1
41 Basset Ave 1945 1
41 Basset Ave 1945 1

“How am I to know?”

"How am I to know?" is the ironic caption on William Hummer’s yearbook photo from Dover High School, class of 1941. William “Bill” Minton Hummer was killed in Operation Varsity in WWII at the age of 22. He was a stand-in for a regular crew member on an extremely dangerous mission, dropping supplies at tree-level to troops in heavy fighting in Germany just before the end of the war. According to the 44th Bomb Group historian, due to the risk of friendly-fire accidents, the B-24s on...
Leonard J. Crandell 44th BG 67th BS
Leonard J. Crandell 44th BG 67th BS
Leonard J. Crandell 44th BG 67th BS
Leonard J. Crandell 44th BG 67th BS
Leonard J. Crandell 44th BG 67th BS
Leonard J. Crandell 44th BG 67th BS
Leonard J. Crandell 44th BG 67th BS

2nd Lt. William M. Hummer of Mine Hill, New Jersey

2nd LT William M. Hummer, born Nov. 3, 1923 in Dover, NJ, was the son of John W. and Beatrice V. Hummer, living at Basset Avenue in Mine Hill.  He was a very active youth, as his Physical Examination for Flying medical report shows.  In 1939, he broke his right clavicle playing football.  In 1940, he broke his left leg playing baseball, and in 1941, he broke his jaw wrestling. He entered the Air Corps July 22, 1944, and was assigned to the 67th Bomb Squadron, 44th Bomb Group, based in...
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