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Bill’s blog archive: Daily Posts

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...