Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Recent French Newspaper Article

I just received this French Newspaper article about the recent 70th anniversary of the death of my relative 1st Lt. William R. Perkins, a fighter pilot from Grand Rapids, MI.

It tells about Bill's unfortunate death on June 13, 1944. He was shot down and KIA while on a mission over Northern France.

My thanks to John Torchio, a fellow WWII researcher, for passing on my info and photos for use in the article!

The article mentions our video project and also gives out this blog's web address.

I used GOOGLE TRANSLATE to translate this news article. It may not be the perfect translation, but I believe it is very close:


Only Ed(on the right), the older brother of Bill (above), had the chance to return home. A DVD will come out, based on notes taken by Bill in a small notebook, who dreamed of being a writer.

70 years ago , the tragic death of young American Lt. Perkins.

On 13 June 1944, William Perkins, was flying his P-51 Mustang.

Age 23-year-old from Grand Rapids, state of Michigan (USA), a LT. in US Air Force, the young man left for a mission to Rennes, accompanied by three of his planes escapdron.

This day of June, around 6 am, the visibility is good and the weather clement.

Seeing a German column, the four planes descend to strafe.

One will fall at a place called the Mesnil-Rave.

Why, a highly experienced pilot, did he crash into the pole and power line and struck head-farm bakery and part of the house down the "Rave Mesnil," before crashing into the plant apple a hundred meters away?

Was it a response of enemies on the ground?

After many researches John Torchio, who grew up in the town, passionate history of the Second World War, announces the hypothesis "

"In these days of the landing, the pilots were very solicited. Could be a bad appreciation due to persistent fatigue"

Civilians happen on the scene.

Charles Simonson, a former camardes Bill, came in 1997 to unveil a plaque in memory of the dead monumnet the friend gone too soon.

A website created by Jon Teboe, his nephew, came in 2009 to fly over the scene and meet the last witnesses of the time, recounts the life of this hero of the shadow falls to Our Damepde Cenilly, so far of his native land.

Lt Perkins, after having been interred at the cemetery two months of the commune, based in American military land in St. James

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


One of the cool things about today's technology is being able to communicate directly with the members of the 354th Fighter Group on Facebook. I am friends with a few of the guys and their families on Facebook.

I just found this post from Charles Hawley, a fighter pilot from the 354th. It made me happy to read it again.

And what a unique adventure it has been to interview and create the videos to give these guys the credit they deserve!

(You know you can find hours of our video segments on youtube - where they have reached over 100,000 views!)

I am glad these guys are getting a chance to see that people still care about what they achieved in the 1940s!

All the best to you , Chuck Hawley!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

CAPTAIN JACK G. ROWLETT - 354th Fighter Group Flight Officer

A few days ago, Donna Murray Rowlett sent us this photo of her father-in-law taken in Northern France in 1944. His is Captain Jack G. Rowlett and he recently celebrated his 93rd birthday on June 6, 2014.

This is what Donna wrote about his service:

"He was honorably discharged as Captain in the 9th Air Force in 1/46. He trained on many planes including: A-20,24,31 - B-25,34 - DB-7 and continued flying until his early 70's. From what I can tell, from his military records, he was in the 310th and 406th bomb squadrons and was transferred to the 354th during the Normandy invasion and was a flight control officer. We asked him on his birthday, June 6, where he was on D-day 70 years ago. He said, "We were on the coast in Britain freezing our butts off and Eisenhower wouldn't let us light a fire because the German's would see us and kill us! "

She also sent us this neat photo of his uniform coats and and army issued flight jacket.

Jack became a doctor after the war. He along with the other doctor in his practice  delivered close to 4000 babies during their careers!

Happy Birthday, Jack! And thanks for your service!

Here is a newspaper clipping:


(thanks to Donna Murray Rowlett for letting us post these photographs)

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

IMDB has posted more photos of our documentaries

I have added a few new photos to our IMDB pages.

Our new movie poster for HEROES OF THE 354th FIGHTER GROUP is now displayed at

I also added a photo of 1st Lt. William R. Perkins on the ANGEL FROM HELL page at

Friday, May 2, 2014

Our Heroes of the 354th Fighter Group Page on Facebook

We also have a page on facebook devoted to The Heroes of the 354th Fighter Group.

While I try to put the same info and photos on both this blog and the facebook page, sometimes I am not completely successful. So if you are on facebook and want to "friend" us, please do!

Monday, April 28, 2014

354th Army film footage featured on MSNBC and HISTORY CHANNEL

On Daniel Carrizales' 354th site, he has two links to an MSNBC story that ran about a combat photographer who shot some film that featured the 354th Fighter Group. He also had a reel of gun camera footage from the planes that the 354th flew.

Here is the link to it:

This is a link to another story about S/Sgt. Albert E. Newton, the US Army combat photographer who shot the WWII war footage of the 354th that NSNBC. This is on the History Channel's site.

I have been trying to get the higher resolution from the Library of Congress but have not been successful yet.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

General F. Michael Rogers has passed away

I just heard from Tripp Alynn that 4 Star General F. Michael Rogers has passed on. He invited us into his home in 2006 to interview him about his military career that stated in the 354th FG. Rest in Peace.

Here are a few items from my collection.

1944 Press release

General Rogers(right) with his buddy Ken Dahlberg in 2007 Travis AFB

During out interview in 2006

A 1944 press photo

Ed Regis is far left; General Rogers is 2nd from right

General Rogers signing autographs - 2007 - Travis AFB