Friday, November 16, 2007

Joseph A. Kronek - Crew Chief

We had the pleasure of meeting Joseph A. Kronek and his daughter at the 2007 Reunion. He was a crew chief in the 354th Fighter Group.

(Joseph is in the middle just above the sign.)

All of the pilots we interviewed made a point of telling us how important the ground crews were for them. The pilots' lives depended on the expertise of the flight crews and especially the crew chiefs.

Joseph gave us a great interview and he let us use scans of his incredible World War II Service Record Scrapbook for our documentary. His daughter Linda sent me a cd with over 100 images from the war! All of them are great! Many feature Joseph with his crew, working on planes, traveling on a ship, standing next the train that will start their return trip to the states and many other images.

Of all the photos, this one is my favorite. He is on the left and is sharing a drink with a friend, relaxing and taking "time off from the war" (if that was possible).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

2026th Fire and Rescue Unit

The 2026th Fire and Rescue Unit was an important part of the 354th Fighter Group. This unit joined them in October of 1943 while the group was stationed at Boxted Air Base near Colchester, England.

James Blevins was one of the men who served in this Fire and Rescue Unit. His son, John Blevins, sent me an email a few months ago and I met him briefly at the reunion in Columbus. He took the time to scan several photos of the unit for me.

(James Blevins, James Flinchum, James P. Love, Ansel Burchfield and Richard Jones in France 1944.)

James Blevins was recommended for a Soldier's Medal for his actions during a fire on July 23, 1944. According to one of the documents given to me by John, a fire occurred in the Army Class III dump near Longeuville, France at 2230 hours. At the same time, an air raid by enemy aircraft was in progress.

Blevins and others from the 2026th combatted the flames and extinguished the fire in a "manner worthy of the highest commendations."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Best Birthday Gift

(With Thanksgiving coming up, I thought this would be an important posting.)

At the 2007 Reunion, I met Mark Radojits, who is the son of Tony Radojits, a pilot in the 354th Fighter Group. I had first heard of Tony from Ed Regis. Ed told us that Tony Radojits was also a former POW in Germany's Luft III.

From Mark, I have been able to learn a lot more about Tony and Luft III.

For a while, Tony was listed as MIA and his mother did not know if he was alive. She later received a telegram telling her that Tony was alive and a prisoner of war. It was very good news!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

355th Squadron Tech. Supply

This is a photo of Earl E. Sheets, Felix Militello and Patrick Reilly of the 355th Tech Supply in Nuremberg, Germany in 1945.

I met Earl E. Sheets' daughter Peggy at the 2007 354th Fighter Group Reunion. We had exchanged some emails over the last few months about her father. This is one of the photos she gave me.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Photos From Norm Davis Arrive!

I just received about twenty photos from Norm Davis and his wife Miriam. They are great and will help illustrate his portion of the film. I met Norm, his wife and family at the 2007 Reunion in Columbus.

Here are two of my favorites:

Norm and Miriam in Washington, D.C. in June of 1944.

Norm "gets directions from some local French boys" in this staged photo shot for a magazine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

From the Archives: Bob Halferty Gets Married

I had a very nice talk with Bob Halferty a few days ago. He was a pilot in the 356th Fighter Squadron. His armorer was Pete Wilson.

Bob told me about his time with the 354th Fighter Group. He got married while overseas. As luck would have it, I found this paragraph about it in my 354th Fighter Group papers.

Click on this image and to get a larger view of this document.

Click Here to go to our 354th Archive section in our Facebook account to see this and some other documents.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Our Meeting in Early 2007 with Chuck Tighe

In January we spent an afternoon with Chuck Tighe. He showed us many photos and intriguing memorabilia from his personal collection. Among them were items from his official "Escape Kit" He still has his silk map, miniature hack saw and photos of himself that could be used in the creation of fake IDs .

Friday, November 2, 2007

Ken Dahlberg and Young Fan

I just received a great photo of Ken Dahlberg and a young fan taken during The Gathering of Mustangs and Legends Air Show. It was held a few weeks ago in Columbus, Ohio.

The boy's father found our website/blog and sent it to me. It is great! The next generation meets a legendary fighter pilot.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

D-Day Radio Broadcasts is a great website that has many great audio and video/film clips.

On the previous website I began posting radio broadcasts on June 6, 1944 - D-DAY!

Here is a link I recently found that has the complete 24 hours posted on the website.

Click on the link and then listen to them by clicking on each mp3.