Saturday, October 25, 2008

August 3, 1944 - Charles Simonson Protects a Damaged B - 26

I interviewed Charles Simsonson at his home and he told us of a mid air collision of two B-26s from the 397th Bomb Group.

After the collision, one plane had its tail ripped off and the other has its nose damaged. The plane with out the tail went down. The other plane was still able to fly and Charles Simonson flew wing to that plane and helped it get back to the round safely in Caen.

I have been editing this segment today and spent some time researching the event on the web. I was able to find a great website where there are three mentions of the accident. The main page is at

Here are some still screen captures from the website. (I have an email to them asking permission to use the diary pages in the documentary.)

1) From the diary of Allen Wright Stephens - He dated the event as having occurred on August 2 (not the 3rd)

2) From the diary of B 26 pilot Marvin Schulze

3) From the diary kept by Albert Neil McGinnis

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Update and New Art Owen Photos

Well, the new house I had put an offer on did not work out. The home inspection went terrible! So I am staying put for while here in Porter Ranch.

The last few months have been spent looking for a house, working lots of overtime and evacuating fire zones. Things seem to have calmed down quite a bit. I was able to get all my computers up and running tonight (they had been in my garage since we were able to return from being evacuated.)

And so now I have some free time to work on the documentaries again.

I just scanned some photos that Art Owen's family gave me at the last reunion.

Here are 2 of the scans.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sesnon (Porter Ranch) Fire

My roommate and I were evacuated due to the Sesnon Fire in Porter Ranch, California on Monday. Luckily my roommate had called me at 11:30 am and I was home by 12:00 noon to pack as much as I could. (The fire had started at 10:30 am.)

The fire had grown so quickly, that by 2 PM the fire trucks came through the neighborhood and called for a mandatory evacuation. (By this time most of the residents were gone.)

The smoke and ash was thick. My roommate helped me pack as much of the video and photos and computers as we could. We then drove out of our gated community and were astonished how the heat of the fire could be felt through the side of our cars. The smoke was so thick you could not see more than ten feet ahead.

Once we got down the hill, we spent a few hours at a friend's house.

We did not return to our house until late Tuesday night. Luckily there was no damage to our house. The fire department did a great job saving all the houses in our community! They are heroes!

Thanks to everyone who has called to check on us! Everything turned out fine for us!

(This photo is from The LA Times)