www.444thbg.org

The Official 444th Bombardment Group Association

 

 

SPECIAL “WWII CHRISTMAS” EDITION!

 

FROM THE PREZ

 

It's been a long 6 months since our last communication, but things are going great. As you can see the website is back up and running with new pages and new information. There are too many changes and additions to list here so you'll just have to look around!

 

The 444th Bomb Group Documentary DVD "Liberty Through Victory" is available once again! We were finally able to afford professional duplication - We are now able to offer the DVD at HALF the cost. We would like to extend a VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to all of you who paid the original price. Your purchases allowed us to pay for the mass duplication and thus lower the price and hopefully sell more total copies.

 

More information will be coming in the next few months regarding the 444th BG Museum Project. We now have three museums that we have narrowed it down to. That's all I can say for now but I will definitely keep you all informed.

 

As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact me directly or via the 444th BG website.

 

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from all of us at the 444th BG Association!

 

"Ding Hao"! (Very Best)

 

Bill Howe

Founder / President

444th BG Assoc.

www.444thbg.org

 

 

 

 

 

LET’S HELP THESE FOLKS OUT!

 

I am a volunteer for theRetired Activities Office located in Wyoming, Pa. 18644. I am attempting to help an Air Force retiree locate his buddies. He was assigned to the 444th Bombardment  Group, 677th  Bombardment Squadron as an Engineer aboard the B-29  Talie Ho during WWII toward the end of 1944-1945. His Captain was Paul Burnor. Any information or contacts would be helpful.Thank You.   

Jerry Pace

gop590@comcast.net

 

Hello, My name is Daniel Kost and I'm interested in any info you might have regarding my wife's Great Uncle who I think was in the 444th when he was killed. The family story is that Robert Finneran was an engineering officer that was killed in a B-29 Crash on Tinian. I remember asking my wifes grandfather who was Robert's older brother about it and he did not give any more information. Unfortunaly grandpa passed several years ago (he was 11th AAF in Alaska). As for Robert, My father in law has his purple heart and I believe an air medal, but I do not recall any paperwork. The thing that piqued my interest is when I searched for his name I found him listed in the KIAs for the 444th.

Daniel Kost

bkost@columbus.rr.com

 

I am attempting to get information about T/Sgt Floyd E. Lane Serial # 15086150.

As I recall he was a navigator/bombadier on a B/29 based in Tinian in 1945. His aircraft was downed over Osaka, Japan around May/June of 1945. I have looked on your web-site and could not find any information relating to him. I had tried to get information from Archives in St. Louis and was told his records were destroyed in a fire. At one time I believe he was buried in Yokohama Japan.

Any information you could provide appreciated.

Kenny Vaughn

317-996-3707

Wkkvaughn@aol.com

 

I am contacting you regarding the Princess Eileen I - IV. My wife’s father Donal D. Bloodgood operated the central fire control station on Captain Siler’s crew. I have enjoyed your site very much, I have a correction. You have him listed as Daniel Bloodgood. Please note that his name was Donal Dilly Bloodgood (no D at the end of Donal). He passed away in 2000. He is buried in the Riverside National Cemetery in California. My wife Debra got them to change his tombstone as even they misspelled it.

I understand he was in the first B 29s to arrive in the Pacific and the Princess Eileen crew was one of the most experienced in the war. They were shot down May 26, 1945. He told us of the last moments on the plane before it went down, and of his horrendous experiences at the hands of the Kempei Tai as a POW in Tokyo . I know that it bothered him that he was one of the few to survive.

After WWII Don went on to become a pilot in the United States Air Force. He served in Korea , SAC and Viet Nam .

We have saved his entire scrap book from his service in the Pacific. I believe we have photos of the Princess Eileen I, II and IV. They are much better photos than you have on your website.

I was honored to have known this man for 28 years. Let me know what information would be of value for your website.

Stephen Bochinski

Cell: 760-207-4804

stephen@bochinskiinc.com

 

 

 

NEW MEMBER NEWS

 

Welcome to our new members, thanks for your support.

And thanks for the info on

 

Jamie Vergenz, WI

My Grandfather was assigned to this until during WWII.

 

Bill Van Luchene, AL

I am an Aviation fan, and son of WWII vet. (And a good friend...Hi Bill! ED.)

 

Carey D. Tremaine, WA

Son of Capt. Elliott S Tremaine, deceased.

 

Fran Jackson, MO

My father served in the 20th Air Force, 444 Bomb Group 58th Bomb Wing 677 Squadron.

This is the first time I've truly looked carefully at the site and I'm thrilled. My Dad was so special and he was proud of his service. So are all of us. He died in 1995. He was the Radioman of his crew and he maintained his interest as a hobby throughout his entire life.

 

Alex M. Felser, NJ

I am a Veteran. (Thank you for your service, Sir! ED.)

 

 

Sewall P Bronstein, FL

I was a maintenance officer in the 444th group in India and China in 1944.

Does the Ass. have a list of living members of the 444th how could I contact those whom I knew? (Thank you for your service, Sir! ED.)

 

Owen Ashurst, WA

My uncle, 1st Lt Owen P Walls, was a B-29 pilot in the 678th Bomb Squad. His crew is featured in the article supplied by Betty Gracie about "Pete Sabo." I provided some of the photographs that are used on the site.

Is it possible to contact other members thru this site? Like to contact vet's who may have known my uncle under these circumstances. Many thanks in advance to for your efforts!

 

 

“LAST FLIGHTS”

Our recent Fallen Heroes:

 

Alfonse A. Stevens

Our dad was ground engineer in the 444th. He passed away on May 5, 2010. The funeral was May 11. I have seen his "year book" of the 444th. We just need to find it. I wish we had known about this website so dad could have seen it. He lived in Raleigh from 1954 until present. A B-29 came to Raleigh Durham Airport in the early 80's and dad got to see it. I saw it fly overhead, it was so loud!!

I saw dad's name on the register. Do you know which squadron he was assigned to?

From Bob & Ricky Stevens, NC

bsuscwmse@aol.com   rickystevens@earthlink.net

 

Guido E. Ransleben Jr.

My father passed away this weekend. He was a contributor to your site and spoke about his service time often.
I just wanted you to know.
Winnie Schubert
Daughter
wdschube@yahoo.com

 

“LAST FLIGHTS” is the only part of this Editor’s job that is unpleasant, or at least sad. 444th BG Association Prez Bill (my Son) and I lost our B-29er (my Dad) years ago, still miss him dearly, still feel the hurt when one of his comrades goes to join him. We would like to honor our fallen heroes with these thoughts:

THE FINAL INSPECTION
The soldier stood and faced God, 
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

'Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you ?
Have you always turned the other cheek ?
To My Church have you been true?'

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

'Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'
(Author Unknown)

 

And a gentle reminder...to those of us fortunate to still have a B-29er in our lives, please do not delay your visits, phone calls, thoughts and prayers for these brave Americans, our “National Treasures”. Some day it will be too late, and they deserve all the love, respect and gratitude we can muster before that day comes!

 

 

AND NOW SOME GOOD NEWS...SOME VERY, VERY GOOD NEWS!

 

FIFI is flying again! Good work CAF, and all who are part of this noble effort.

 

www.commemorativeairforce.org  -  http://www.cafb29b24.org/


Honoring American Military Aviation through
flight, exhibition and remembrance

Photo by Kristine Pilgrim

          

 

With this new stamp, the U.S. Postal Service honors Bill Mauldin, one of America’s favorite cartoonists. During World War II, military readers got a knowing laugh from Mauldin’s characters Willie and Joe, who gave their civilian audience an idea of what life was like for soldiers. After the war, Mauldin became a popular and influential editorial cartoonist. The stamp goes on sale in March.

In 1945, he won a Pulitzer Prize “for distinguished service as a cartoonist” and the Allied high command awarded him its Legion of Merit. His illustrated memoir, Up Front, was a bestseller. That same year, his “dogface” Willie appeared on the cover of Time.

U.S. Postal Service art director Terry McCaffrey chose to honor Mauldin through a combination of photography and an example of Mauldin’s art. The photo of Bill Mauldin is by John Phillips, a photographer for Life magazine; it was taken in Italy on December 31, 1943. Mauldin’s cartoon, showing his characters Willie and Joe, is used courtesy of the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.