www.444thbg.org

The Official 444th Bombardment Group Association

SPECIAL “MEMORIAL DAY” EDITION!

 

FROM THE PREZ

 

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY to all Americans, Veterans, B-29ers & Relatives!!

Not much news to report this time around, it's been a slow 6 months to say the least. However, we are still here with four fans turning and all turrets firing! I once again would very much like to thank you Members for supporting the Association & website; without your dues we could not afford to operate. It is absolutely AMAZING to me that we don't actively ask for dues or donations, but you Members still always pay your dues. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. This Association is so important and I am still so very proud to be lucky enough to be involved.

 

We are still steadily adding new members, and as usual they will be listed later in this Newsletter. I have been behind and slow on updating the website (also as usual!). What can I say, it’s been a rough 6 months. However, I am happy to say that it is finally updated and current! I am quite sure that I have forgotten someone or something so please let me know if you have requested a page &/or update and it has not been done. Thanks again for your patience. I may be slow but I promise to ALWAYS be here as long as I am alive!

 

"Ding Hao"! (Very Best)

 

Bill Howe

Founder / President

 

444th BG Assoc.

www.444thbg.org

 

LET’S HELP THESE FOLKS OUT WITH INFO IF WE CAN

 

I have found letters from my father to my mother with the 444th as his address. My mother is still alive and says my father worked on the propellers of the Enola Gay on Tinian. Can anybody help with any information about my father?
Thanks, Paul Steffany

psteffany@yahoo.com

 

My brother, 1st Lt. William W. "Gus" Anderson, USAAF, Service No.: 0778688, was the co-pilot on the "Cajun Queen", first pilot as Major Harold "Shag" Sheldon. My brother died March 23, 1963. I have a 9 July 1945, photo of the crew of the Cajun Queen, which was sponsored by the 110th Naval Construction Battalion. Also, I have all the letters my brother wrote while he was in the 444th Bomb Group. If you are interested in copies I would be pleased to send them to you.

Sincerely, Vincent L. Anderson

United States Marine Corps, 1940-1946

Minutemancv2@aol.com

 

I wanted to update my fathers address on the unit roster below. I noticed you have his name and rank but not his address when he was in the Army Air Corps during WWII.

www.444thbg.org/0506Update/444th%20Roster.xls

He has passed away now. He was a member of the 444th Bomb Group, 676th Sqd, crew-chief on Super Mouse with Col. Root the A/C, and his picture is on your site with the aircraft and crew. This was his home address when he was over seas, on his military records.

Anthony J. Rich, M/Sgt

1019 Star St

Youngstown, OH 44505

Let me know if I need to send this info off to someone else that maintains the roster or you need any other supporting materials. Bob Rich 118rrich@gmail.com


I know my father Anthony M Steffany was on Tinian. I know he was a propeller specialist.
I think he may have worked on the Enola Gay.
Is there anybody who can help me find out about him?
Thanks, Paul Steffany

psteffany@yahoo.com

 

Howdy Bill,

I spoke to an old buddy from the 444th yesterday and for some reason he is not on the rolls of the 444 or the 58th.  Please send him what ever is available to put back on the rolls.  He was one of our old India troops, and officer as well.  His address is as follows:  Al Rinaldo, Atria Willow Glen, 1660 Aton Dr #R1, San Jose, CA 95125....Thanks John Misterly

col.misterly@gmail.com

 

I have been working with the records in Ancestry and I have a family member that was married to Robert Thatcher her name was Portia L. Oyler!

Was wondering if your Robert H. Thatcher was married to her in Florida???

I saw you pictures on the internet and that is the reason I'm writing to you!

Would appreciate any information you can give me!

Phyllis Mudd

muddpf@aol.com

I would like to submit Harold Charles Teubner for your consideration to add to your member’s page.  Harold Teubner stayed in the Air Force and reached the rank of Major General. His bio can be found here that mentions his activates with the 444th BG. 
www.af.mil/information/bios/bio.asp?bioID=7366
Market Garden cptfitzjr@yahoo.com

 

 

 

NEW MEMBER NEWS

Nicholas Walsh

My uncle was Sergeant Lawrence McCann.

 

Richard C. Gerber

My father was a flight engineer on the B-29. He reached the rank of 1st Lieutenant. November 20, 1944, before and after, he was attached to the 20th Air Force, XX Bomber command, 58th Wing, 444th Group, 678th Squadron, Detachment ?
I don't have info on his plane's names. He was based out of India (Where ?). Died May 24, 1974.

 

“LAST FLIGHTS”

Our recently fallen heroes.

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!

 

I am writing to let you know my great-great-uncle Antemio Reyes served on the 444th Bombardment Group and has a Certificate of Merit signed by Unit Commander O.F. Lassiter and H.R. Sullivan Colonel -Air Corps Commanding ( I have it).  He passed away September 24, 2010 and was 96 years old.  

If you have any questions, please contact me at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Denise Rios (909) 264-3172 or email me Drioscolton@aol.com

 

 

THIS MEMORIAL DAY...

 

“REMEMBER THOSE WHO FLEW WHEN THE SKIES WEREN’T SO FRIENDLY”

 

FUN AND INTERESTING STUFF...ENJOY!

 

Wikimapia image & description of Charra-first Indian base of 444th...Thanks Anupam!

 

Dear Sir, You may post the above coordinates. It has description & images by self

Anupam Bhowmik, Calcutta, India

www.wikimapia.org/#lat=23.3633741&lon=86.4086723&z=13&l=0&m=b

www.wikimapia.org/#lat=23.3583313&lon=86.4045525&z=13&l=0&m=b

 

Mary's Lil' Lambs serial number

I do not believe that 42-63332 is the correct serial number for Mary's Lil' Lambs.  According to information posted at the website for Aircraft Serial Numbers 1908 to present the block numbers 42-62813/63349 were reserved for the Timm CG-4A-TI gliders that were part of a cancelled contract. 42-63332 is within this range.

42-63350 was a Fairchild UC-86; 42-63351 was a Howard UC-70C Nightingale. The block numbers 42-63352/63365 were Bell Atlanta B-29-1-BA's. 42-63332 is NOT within this range. 

The listing at this website for 42-6343 has the notation: (444th BG, 678th BS) 5 min after takeoff spun in, crashing into a mountain. Kwandham, China Dec. 27, 1944 

It appears that 42-6343 matches up with the information you have for Mary's Lil Lambs. If you drop the final 2 from 63332 and change the second 3 to a 4 you have 6343 which may have been the number someone was trying to remember when they gave you the glider number instead. Patrick Stinson pmarstin@msn.com

 

Hello Bill, attached are two photos of the "Trojan Spirit" crew, 42-63446, 678th Bomb Squadron. My Dad, James Carlisle "Doze" Dozier, was the bombardier...I believe Ray Jonas, a gunner, is the only one still with us. Thanks, Keith Dozier

DVD feedback from a Japanese friend of the 444th

 

Hi Bill, How are you?  As you know, northern part of Japan is seriously damaged by the earthquake and huge tidal waves. I live in southern part of Japan, and there is no damage around here. But the power of consuming is decreasing now. There must be other invisible influences in near future.

By the way I enjoyed the DVD which you had sent me.  I was amazed at the some interview had Japanese subtitles. It must have been originally shot by NHK Japan. I had never seen any LeMay's interview. Who shot his interview originally? It must have been late 1970's?  I would like to quote some of his statements in the interview. Let me know if you do not mind. Fujimoto

 

B-29 Crew Rescued by Submarine – Actual film!

I came across the item below that was sent to me today. It’s live film footage of a B-29 that crashed at sea some 70 miles off the coast of Japan in 1945 and the rescue of the entire crew of 12 by a US Navy submarine that happened to be in the area and which filmed the crash and rescue (in color no less). It’s fascinating, and a Denver TV news channel recently interviewed one of the survivors, Richard Vanden Huvel of Green Bay, WI, who is shown being rescued at sea as a 20 year old tail gunner. The film was evidently stored in someone’s shoe box for some 65 years before being discovered.  The link below provides a 2-1/2 minute film clip from the TV station story, but there is a separate but longer video segment (8 min. with no sound) on the same link. Thomas E Baroody
http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid34762914001?bctid=672454611001

 

Ah, those were the days...the U.S.A. was on top of the world!

 

What an airshow this must have been----------1949 National Air Races. B-29 content!
http://www.airrace.com/1949%20NAR%20.htm

 

Homemade B-29 bomber – Radio controlled.

Even if you're not a model airplane enthusiast, you’ll enjoy this!  Unbelievable...not only in design, but in flying skills also. Even retractable landing gear, and carries a smaller Bell X1 rocket plane which it launches while in mid-air!!. This aircraft runs on four chainsaw engines. http://users.skynet.be/fa926657/files/B29.wmv

Bugs Bunny in the US Army Air Force  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1xqrdtJs8w

Incredible pictures of WWII Pacific Theatre http://blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2010/03/18/captured-blog-the-pacific-and-adjacent-theaters/#more-1547

Virtual aircraft museum

You will be able to lookup old, new, military, or civilian aircraft made in countries all over the world.

The amount of information is incredible. http://www.aviastar.org/index2.html

Enola Gay cockpit

http://www.davidpalermo.com/data/slideshow/4/index.html

 

Great video of Fifi’s first flight with new engines.

http://vimeo.com/17388627 

Carswell April, 2011 Air show, static & flying...with Fifi

http://www.valentine-photography.com/Airplanes/Texas-Airplanes/Carswell-AirShow-04-17-11/16752761_cV7mhC#1263841652_cjJQFRP

http://www.valentine-photography.com/Airplanes/Texas-Airplanes/Carswell-AirShow-Flying-04-17/16753169_rK9HWL#1263873742_S2nSZ3R

 

 

 

Mystery Bird...was she in the 444th?

 

Lady in waiting before repaint. 1st name  `Shaft Absorber`   2nd name was  `Shafted Again`  then final  `Lady In Waiting`

Some History

Never Flew Combat

Not positive she was ever attached to the 444th

Pushed off cliff in 1949 Bolo Point Okinawa.  She was with the 22nd BG at this time and they didn’t want to bring any B-29`s home.

 

B-29 "The lady in waiting" SN 44-84068
Crew 3-7 463rd BS  346th BG
Surplus Crew from 331st BG 356th BS McCook Neb

James Titsworth, Rex Moore, Richard Morgan, Charles Hambly, Herbert Kauffman, Carl Ojala, David Kellam, Harry Eastus, John Newby, Owen Maloney, Leon Mieczkowski

 

Spoke with some of her flight crew...they confirmed being on Tinian. But reason being, Mc Arthur chased off the B-29`s on Okinawa to prepare for the troop transports for the invasion of Japan.

 

And finally some thoughts on Memorial Day, 2011, as we remember the brave men & women in Military Service through the years.

 

 

"It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray-haired. But most of them were boys when they died, they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for their county, for us. All we can do is remember."

Ronald Wilson Reagan
Remarks at Veteran's Day ceremony, Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia, November 11, 1985

 

 

This note is from my friend, Don Collins, sharing some thoughts from his Dad, Stan. Stan was a United States Marine who “celebrated” his 18th birthday on the 2nd day of the Iwo Jima invasion. This is what young Corporal Collins would have us remember. I don’t know if this is original to him or not, it doesn’t matter, it’s what was in his heart:

 

“My prayer ever shall be that we did not fight in vain, and that my sons and grandsons shall not see the blood of their comrades; nor shall they forget the spilt blood of my comrades.”

 

Cpl. Stanley B. Collins

United States Marine Corps

Abilene, Texas U.S.A.

Written in the Colins’ Family Bible, upon his return from the Pacific Theatre of Operations, WWII.

 

THE SNOWY HEIGHTS OF HONOR

“Through our great fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire. It was given to us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and passionate thing. While we are permitted to scorn nothing but indifference, and do not pretend to undervalue the worldly rewards of ambition, we have seen with our own eyes, beyond and above the golden fields, the snowy heights of honor, and it is for us to bear the report to those that come after us.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, spoken on Memorial Day 1844.