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Bill writes about: Operation Varsity, Rhine River

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...
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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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...