www.444thbg.org

The Official 444th Bombardment Group Association

NOVEMBER 2009

VOLUME V, ISSUE NO.2

THE REEEALLY BEEG NEWS!!

 

Our long-awaited 444th BG Documentary, “Liberty through Victory” is finished and just released! This is the true story of the 444th Bomb Group from conception, to training, to India, to China, to Tinian…and Japan!

Not “just another” B-29 airplane video, this is the history of the first – and finest – B-29 unit ever established. The only unit to hold the unique designation, “Very Heavy Special”.

The regular price of the DVD is $29.00, plus $3.00 shipping. However, any member who is current on their dues, or any member who pays their dues by the end of the year, can email Bill directly for an online code that will get them the DVD for only $22.00 with FREE shipping…a savings of $10.00!

And...anyone can join or pay their dues for an annual minimum of $5.00, so why not join now and get 10 bucks off the DVD? That’s better than a stimulus check!

Our dues are on the “Honor System”. That is, we don’t send bills or solicit for them in any way. Pay what you think the Association & Website are worth, or what you can afford. There are NO profits taken at all from dues or sales and we will always keep your costs as low as possible.

Also, the "Web-Store" has many other 444th BG items for sale with 50% shipping discounts on multiple items. We have posters, books, patches, pins, photos, and other DVD's / CD's.

All sales directly benefit the Association only, as always. These sales & member dues are what keep the Website & Association going. Websites and Associations – like Liberty – are not free!

 

EDITOR’s NOTE: I saw “Liberty through Victory” and to say it is excellent is an understatement! If you love B-29s and the Vets, do yourself a big favor and get a copy!  Also, the DVD and other Web Store items will make fine Christmas presents…I’ll be doing much of my shopping right here!

 

TO ORDER ONLINE THE NEW “LIBERTY THROUGH VICTORY” DVD AND ANY OTHER 444TH BG ASSOCIATION WEB STORE ITEMS, CLICK THIS LINK:  http://www.444thbg.org/apps/webstore/

IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO ORDER ONLINE, YOU CAN ORDER DIRECTLY FROM A HUMAN (Bill!) BY EMAILING HIM DIRECTLY.

TO RECEIVE YOUR DISCOUNT CODE FOR EITHER ONLINE *OR* EMAIL ORDERING, JUST EMAIL BILL AT: rev_howe@sbcglobal.net

 

 

THE 444TH BG “FORUMS & MESSAGE BOARD”

 

Just a reminder of the handy & useful feature on the Website for keeping in touch with other members, asking general questions about the Association, and – especially – sharing 444th photos and information!

It’s simple, it’s free, it’s fun and it works. “Try-y-y it…You’ll l-i-i-ke it!”

  

 

NEW MEMBER NEWS!

 

Congratulations and THANKS to our newest members! It’s great to see all the interest in the 444th BG Association & Website…and the willingness to help with the financial support.

And wouldn’t a Membership make a nice Christmas present?

Here are the names, locations & comments from the new Members.

Remember, you can contact each other in the “Forums & Message Board” section of the Website.

A warm “Welcome” to you all!

 

Charles Potters, NJ

My Dad, Hal Potters, was in the 14th Air Force, and was a communications specialist.

His two jobs were:

    1. Working the tower radio in Kwanghan (I have tower pics if anyone is interested)

    2. Radio/Waist gunner B-25 (Kunming and Kwanghan)

 

Matthew Runte, WA

Great nephew of T SGT Edward Spangler.  Spangler flew with the crew of "The Big Poison" and "The Big Poison Second Dose" out of CBI and I believe Tinian. His plane was said to have gone down over the sea after a collision with another plane in clouds. We have an old photo of his crew in front of the "Big Poison" that matches ones on this website under the 678th heading, and also on Sgt. Salk's page of this site.  I believe I am able to pick out his face in several of the photos.  I would love to be associated with this group and learn any more info that I can on Eddie and any of the men that he served with.  We are attempting to expand the family history and any information we can find will be greatly appreciated.

 

Martha Couch, TX

Daughter of a 444th BG Vet. Since Mother's death, I am lost from the information about the Air Force Reunions.

 

Jay Featherstone, MA

Dear All, I'm writing a book about the airmen who bombed Nagoya late in the war, were shot down, and executed.  I would love to talk to comrades and relatives who knew them and remember them.  How can I find people who know about the airmen who were executed in Nagoya?  Thanks,  J.

 

Veleria L. “Val” Chambers, OH

 

Martin Nielsen, NM

Major USAF Ret 1956-1976

As a youngster, lived 20 miles SE of Fairmont AAF and watched B-29 training and flying over late 1944 thru summer of 1945.

 

Don Stockett, CA

My uncle, Marvin M. Stockett, was A/C of B29 #42-6261, lost over the Himalayas on June 15, 1944, after leaving Chakulia, India for A-1 base at Hinsching, China.  On their way to bomb the Yawata Iron & Steel Works, last heard from at 2:40 a.m. when they checked into Jorhat ATC, never arriving at A-1.  12 KIA, 11 crew and one passenger, never found.

 

James Sontag, TX

World War II Aviation fan.

 

John Grisnik, KS

I am searching for info on my uncle Eugene R. Thompson.  He died in a B-29 crash in New Mexico before I was born. He was on Tinian and I have a photo that he took out of his plane of the bomb at Nagasaki. I want any info that anyone might have about him. I don't know the name of the plane. I believe he was the photographer on one of the planes that accompianed the plane that dropped the bomb. This photo is of the mushroom cloud over Nagasaki.

 

James R. Drummy, CA

My father was a crew member on the 263411 Duchess. I have a lot of CBI photos - if you’re interested. Actually I think a couple photos on this site are mine (which I sent Sparky a long time ago, like the shot of Old Battler - Cpt. Bunenting & Co).. Like I said I have more, and I noticed I have some photos of ships on you missing photo list - like Mo Brown standing next to 26258 (diamond 58).

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

A WORD FROM YOUR ROOKIE EDITOR

 

I was the second member of the 444th BG Association but I’ve kept my mouth shut up until now as (I’m sure you’ve noticed!) our Founder / President / Webmaster / My Son, Bill Howe always has plenty to say. And he still does, but has “volunteered” my services as Newsletter Editor. That’s OK as it gives me a small chance to give something back to this great Association and especially the Vets, the B-29ers that have always been a treasured part of my life.

My Dad, C. M. Howe Jr. was a 444th B-29er and I have always been very proud of him, and remember so many of his stories. Bill never got to know him but has been “close to him” his whole life, thanks to CM’s stories, scrap books & souvenirs, and a good dose of Glenn Miller & Tommy Dorsey! His other Grand Dad, Daru Hopkins was a Navy Sailor during the War and also saw action in the Pacific…he helped shoot down a Kamikaze in one of the major Naval battles! So Bill grew up knowing, and understanding much about that “Necessary War”. And his Veteran Grand Dads.

I believe that’s what drove him to learn so much about the War, and the 444th Bomb group in particular, and to start this association to honor the Veterans he loves and respects so much. I am very proud of him…for lots of reasons, not the least of which is this Association and the hard work he devotes to it.

 

So you guys & gals bear with me on this newsletter, it will be a little rough this first time, hopefully better next time. And please let me hear from you…about any mistakes I might make, ideas for future issues, anything that’s on your mind.

And to you Vets…Thanks! I love you guys.

Dave Howe

Email: mrcycle1@sbcglobal.net