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Bill’s blog archive: Daily Posts

Windy City Dive Poster by Jim Greco
Windy City Dive Poster by Jim Greco
Windy City Dive Poster by Jim Greco
Windy City Dive Poster by Jim Greco
Windy City Dive Poster by Jim Greco
Windy City Dive Poster by Jim Greco

“Windy City”

Back on April 21, in a post called "Three Sprained Ankles", I blogged about "Windy City," a B-24 downed on June 6, 1944. Jim Greco, the son of a man who flew in "Windy City" (but not on June 6, 1944 mission) has created some excellent artwork of this B-24 Liberator, which I am honored to post here. Jim also sent along a photo of his father, August J (Gus) Greco. Gus flew for Crew 19 of the 451st Bomb Group (Castelluccio Airfield, Italy). Although injuring his back in a crash landing on May...
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...
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885
Maxwell House 42 94885

“Maxwell House”

The desperate search for 2nd Lt. Peter Pokrifcsak The letter was dated July 2, 1944.  Like so many tens of thousands written during the War, it was a plea for information, any information at all.  It was written by Ellen Kroboth, girlfriend of 2nd Lieutenant Peter G. Pokrifcsak and friend of his family. (Ellen's last name is misspelled in the typed letter.) Chaplain Frank L. Whitney: I am writing on behalf of Lt. Peter Pokrifcsak’s family and myself.  We want to thank you very...
WINDYCITY1 B24bestweb
WINDYCITY1 B24bestweb
WINDYCITY1 B24bestweb
WINDYCITY1 B24bestweb
WINDYCITY1 B24bestweb

Three Sprained Ankles

Luck played such a large role in it all.  For some, Lady Luck frowned, but for others, she gave her friendliest smile.  Such was the case for a crew with the 451st Bomb Group of the 15th Air Force, B-24 tail # 42-7757, nicknamed “Windy City”. On June 6, 1944, flying back to Italy from their target, the oil fields of Ploesti, Romania, “Windy City” was hit by German anti-aircraft.  The bombardier, 2nd LT Alex Chesbowitz, told what happened next: And the luck of the crew of...
Heaven's Above B-24 WWII
Heaven's Above B-24 WWII
Heaven's Above B-24 WWII
Heaven's Above B-24 WWII
Heaven's Above B-24 WWII

Five From the 464th Bomb Group

The 15th Army Air Force, based in Italy, sent hundreds of B-24 Liberators against the Romanian oil fields at Ploesti on June 6, 1944. This mission cost one of their units, the 464th Bomb Group, five crews. It was one of the worst days of the war for the 464th. B-24 tail #42-52449, nicknamed “Hard Hearted Hannah,” left the formation for reasons that could not be determined by observers. A top turret gunner in another plane in the formation testified that “…there was no smoke,...
459BG
459BG
459BG
459BG
459BG

Bailout Procedure Uneventful

While the world’s attention was focused elsewhere on June 6, 1944, the 459th Bomb Group, based at Giuilia, Italy, was sending its B-24 "Liberators" to attack the railroad marshalling yards at Braznov, Romania.  The pilot of their only B-24 lost on the raid was 2nd Lieutenant Joseph E. Buchler, of Ronkonkoma, New York. The plane’s nickname was “Jackie Boy”, tail # 42-52717 After bombing the target, another pilot noticed that “… (Jackie Boy) had begun to lag in the formation and I...
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,...
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...