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Bill writes about: Researched Groups

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...
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,...
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...
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...
20f8750f1b7b578b195f7224768eb362
20f8750f1b7b578b195f7224768eb362
20f8750f1b7b578b195f7224768eb362

The Quiet Edition – Research Tour Travelog

On US Highway 34 west bound from McCook, NE. Past the Frenchman Valley Co-Op Silo. Rail cars on the left of me, cornfields to the right, black clouds up ahead. There are dozens and dozens of flag poles at the Culbertson NE cemetery.  Each one has at least one small metal plaque attached, bearing the name of a veteran from the area, the year he was born, and the year he died. There is a headstone for SGT Harold L. Propp, of the 680th Glider Field Artillery Battalion. He was killed in...
Ucla Royce Quad 1940s Lrg
Ucla Royce Quad 1940s Lrg
Ucla Royce Quad 1940s Lrg
Ucla Royce Quad 1940s Lrg
Ucla Royce Quad 1940s Lrg
Ucla Royce Quad 1940s Lrg
Ucla Royce Quad 1940s Lrg
Ucla Royce Quad 1940s Lrg

The World War II Dead of University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)

More than 260 UCLA students, faculty  and alumni were killed in World War II; only Harvard University suffered more casualties.  As a two-time graduate of UCLA, I was honored to research every one of their stories in order to memorialize their sacrifices, their humanity, and their often heroic last acts. A summary of how and where they died provides a snapshot of the American military experience in World War II. My files consist of many hundreds of pages of military service records,...
ArthurThomasParker 12

“Character Excellent”

Arthur Thomas Parker had a short career in the Marine Corps.  Due to his age (he was born in Texas on November 11, 1924), he needed his father to sign a permission form for him to enlist.  His father, Willis M. Parker, signed the consent document December 26, 1941, three weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Unlike many of his fellow Marines, Parker was a high school graduate, and had completed one semester in college.  Under the “hobbies” section of his enlistment form, he...
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...
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...
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