This blog is about the making of the World War II documentaries called "The Heroes of the 354th Fighter Group" and "Angel from Hell - The Bill Perkins Story".
If you want to contact me, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alton Harvey told me that MSNBC has some gun camera footage posted online.
I see that there is gun camera footage from Chuck Hawley and Lowell Brueland (two of the men we interviewed) at the end of the video! And there is even footage from Bill Perkins's gun camera and one of his diary entries explains in detail what is happening on the film!!!
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 www.b-26marauderarchive.org
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)
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.
General F. Michael Rogers and Capt. Bruno Peters talk about friendly fire and one of the first missions into Germany of the 354th Fighter Group. Crew Chief Fred Stagnaro talks about a special kind of gas tank.
I have been editing a section of the film involved two of "The Heroes of the 354th" and their destruction of two enemy jets.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Bruno Peters and Ralph Delgado about a mission on March 2, 1945. Peters was leading the flight and both Peters and Delgado shot down an ME 262 German Jet near Kassel.
Take a look at the official document about the event.
Using a computer program from Apple called MOTION, I will be adding some 3-D movement to the original 2-D photographs that the men and the families of the 354th have let us use for the documentary.
Thanks to everyone who has been kind enough to let us use their personal photos for our important documentary!!!
Especially to Daniel Carrizales and William W. Louie who were the first to loan us photos and get the ball rolling on this documentary project!
This photo from Will is of a man named Jack Wimer. Will has also let us use hundreds of scans from his collection of Jack's personal documents from the war. Among these documents are scans of the original typed historical record of the 356th Fighter Squad and Jack's typed note cards that documented important events from the 354th Fighter Group. Some of these scans will be used to accent dates in our film. You can see an example of these in the "Hitler's Secret Weapon" clip I added to this blog a few days ago.
Here is another great photo from Pete Wilson's collection.
I recently received an email from the author of "Immigrants of War," a WW2 book about the men who flew with the RCAF/RAF before flying for the United States. His name is Wally Fydenchuk.
He was able to send me some very useful information about William R. Perkins, my relative who served in the 354th Fighter Group.
Re: William Perkins : RCAF Service Number: R 137297
Received his RCAF pilot wings at No. 8 Service Flying Training School, Moncton, New Brunswick on November 6, 1942. Upon graduation received Pilot Officer commission J.20640. Retired from the RCAF September 27, 1943 to transfer to the USAAF.
This will help with my timeline for the "Angel From Hell" documentary.