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Bill’s blog archive: Daily Posts

Paul.j.stach .02
Paul.j.stach .02
Paul.j.stach .02

A Matter of Seconds

The target for June 6, 1944 was a road junction at Caen, France. The B-26 “Marauders” of the 323rd Bomb Group were on their way to Normandy. The plan called for bombing from 12,000 feet, but poor weather caused the Marauders to come down lower: much lower. The tail gunner of the crew of B-26 tail # 41-31961, Staff Sergeant George W. Fobes, described what happened next: “…as we came over the French coast we were shot at by 40mm guns. The gun fire lasted about 1 minute and as we...
American Legion Badge1
American Legion Badge1
American Legion Badge1
American Legion Badge1

Brooklyn honors immigrant son, SGT John Sardiello

SGT John Sardiello was born on August 17, 1918.  Like many of the men who served in World War 2, he was the descendant of immigrants. His parents, Joseph and Mildred (Millie), came to the United States in 1913.  Joseph Sardiello established a mattress-making business in Brooklyn. On January 24, 1941, Sardiello entered the Army, and was assigned I Company of the 119th Infantry Regiment, part of the 30th Infantry Division He was killed in the ferocious post D-Day fighting in the...
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...
Flying Officer checks settings on control panel on an Avro Lancaster B Mark III
Flying Officer checks settings on control panel on an Avro Lancaster B Mark III
Flying Officer checks settings on control panel on an Avro Lancaster B Mark III
Flying Officer checks settings on control panel on an Avro Lancaster B Mark III
Flying Officer checks settings on control panel on an Avro Lancaster B Mark III

B-Beer

Like many young Americans, Carl Joseph Van Horn, of Columbus, Ohio, was eager to “get into the fight.” So, in July of 1941, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, and was trained as a navigator. When America entered the war in December of 1941, Van Horn stayed with the RCAF, while being assigned 12th Replacement Depot of the United States Air Corps. While flying out of Coningsby, he flew a number of night missions, as Commonwealth crews typically did. He was credited with flying...
Kidd Hofer And Duke
Kidd Hofer And Duke
Kidd Hofer And Duke
Kidd Hofer And Duke

Caboose Blue Section

It was June 6, 1944. The 4th Fighter Group, flying the P-51 Mustang, was on a fighter sweep over Northern France in support of the D-Day landings taking place that day. No one saw the Mustang, piloted by 1st LT Harold L. Ross, Jr., of Greensboro, NC, go down. The only description of his last mission came from 1st LT Ralph K. "Kidd" Hofer, himself shot down and killed less than a month later, on July 2, 1944. “I was leading ‘Cobweb Red Section.’ We were split up due to abortives, so...
P 47 366fg Thruxon
P 47 366fg Thruxon
P 47 366fg Thruxon
P 47 366fg Thruxon
P 47 366fg Thruxon

“A Steady Stream of Gray Smoke”

The visibility was poor - 800 to 1000 feet - with localized rain squalls. The P-47 ‘Thunderbolts of the 366th Fighter/Bomber Group were going after German troop concentrations in the area of Bayeux, France, on D-Day, June 6, 1944. P-47 tail # 42-26292 was being piloted by 1st Lieutenant Arthur T. Krause, of Wyandotte County, KS. He had more than 35 missions to his credit. 1st LT Peter W. White was the last Allied flyer to see LT Krause. He provided the following testimony of what proved...
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts
Republic P-47 Thunderbolts

“Ace”

It was May 22, 1944. The 61st Fighter Squadron was over Rotenburg, Germany. Flight Officer (soon to be promoted to 2nd Lieutenant) Evan D. McMinn, of Pittsburgh, with the 56th Fighter Group (http://www.56thfightergroup.co.uk/index.html), described what happened next: Flight Officer McMinn had become an “ace,” the designation awarded when five or more enemy aircraft had been destroyed. Two weeks later, on D-Day, June 6, 1994, the newly-promoted 2nd Lieutenant McMinn was with his...
P 47 Thunderbolt In Bomb Blast
P 47 Thunderbolt In Bomb Blast
P 47 Thunderbolt In Bomb Blast
P 47 Thunderbolt In Bomb Blast
P 47 Thunderbolt In Bomb Blast

“Hit By My Own Blast”

The target of the 353rd Fighter Group on June 6, 1944, was a grouping of German armored trucks and other vehicles, six miles south of Mortain, France. A P-47 Thunderbolt, piloted by Flight Officer Earl W. Green, dove towards the target. His flight leader, Captain James N. Poindexter (himself shot down and killed over Germany months later, on January 3, 1945) reported that: F/O Green, 23 years old, from Klamath Falls, Oregon, had been in the military just short of four years. He was...
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...
AT-10-GF Wichita

Two Ships on the Final Approach

The greatest seaborne invasion in world history was taking place in France on June 6, 1944.  But for the Aviation Cadets at Ellington Field, Texas, it was just another day of training. Only a few minutes after midnight, at about 12:10 AM on the 6th, two AT-10 Wichita trainers were coming in to the runway at Ellington. Observers in the tower recognized that the two trainers were close - maybe too close.  A red light was given to the upper of the two planes, in warning.  Meanwhile, a...
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