(310) 791-3949

Bill’s blog archive: Daily Posts

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...
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...
D Day Waco CG 4A USAAF Assault Glider 2013 6 5
D Day Waco CG 4A USAAF Assault Glider 2013 6 5
D Day Waco CG 4A USAAF Assault Glider 2013 6 5
D Day Waco CG 4A USAAF Assault Glider 2013 6 5

“Machine Guns Concentrated”

Technical Sergeant Arthur L. Perez submitted the following brief testimony: The glider carried a crew of two, as well as two infantrymen from the 82nd Airborne Division. But the glider’s cargo, in military eyes, was just as important, if not more so.  The equipment on board LJ 161 when it went crashed on June 6, 1944, near Blosville, France, was: 1 Jeep 1 Net Phone and wire Gun tools 15 rounds 57mm ammunition 1 57mm gun Pioneer tools Tow Rope Loading Equipment 1...
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,...
Cloudy Sea
Cloudy Sea
Cloudy Sea

Debut for Debach

It was the very first combat mission for the 493rd Bomb Group, based in Debach, England. Thirty-six B-24’s took off for their target on June 6, 1944. But when they reached their objective, a road and railroad crossing at Lisieux, France, it was completely covered by cloud. The decision was made for the group to return to England without dropping their ordnance. Somewhere over the English Channel, at 10:28 AM, two of the B-24’s collided.  A witness stated “the right wing of A/C...
RobertCFrascotti
RobertCFrascotti
RobertCFrascotti
RobertCFrascotti

Night Take-Off

The P-51 Mustang, tail #43-6685, prepared for takeoff early in the morning of June 6, 1944. The mission of its unit, the 352nd Fighter Group, was to support the ground troops landing in Normandy that day. The weather was listed as “changeable and at the time of the accident the sky was overcast and there was a slight drizzle.” At 0251 hours, the aircraft was seen to crash into one of the large lighting towers that surrounded the field at Bodney, in East Anglia, England. “The ship...
B 26 Marauder
B 26 Marauder
B 26 Marauder
B 26 Marauder
B 26 Marauder
B 26 Marauder
B 26 Marauder
B 26 Marauder
B 26 Marauder

“Flying Around Beneath the Overcast”

Sometimes the reports are sparse, despite the tremendous loss of life and damage to property. On June 6, 1944, B-26 ‘Marauders’ of the 394th Bomb Group (Medium) were among those attacking coastal batteries at St. Martin de Varreville, in Normandy, France.  As students of the D-Day invasion know, the weather was very poor that day.  In the rainy bad weather and the early morning dark, two B-26’s of the 394th collided in mid-air, in the area of Gillingham, England. The crash report...
Kittyhawk Landing
Kittyhawk Landing
Kittyhawk Landing
Kittyhawk Landing

West of Terni

The city of Rome had been in Allied hands since June 4, 1944, but much fighting continued on in the area.  Sixty-five miles to the north, German forces were regrouping near the town of Termi. P-40 "Warhawks" of the 27th Fighter-Bomber Group at Santa Maria, Italy were ordered to attack these German positions on June 6, 1944. West of the city, a flight of four P-40’s went down low to attack 5 camoflaged German military vehicles. One of these planes, piloted by 2nd Lieutenant Ralph F....
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...
Page 1 of 212