Joseph G. Benoit|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
(24 February 1944)
I'm glad I could attend the meeting in Hurst and meet some of the guys of the 44th BG (66 Sq. gunner).
You asked about Sidney E. Hawkins. He is still alive and well. I visited with him last October. He has a bad back from when he parachuted and got stuck in a tree. He cut himself loose from the chute and fell in snow which he thought was deeper than what it was. He was captured by German Brown Shirt kids. They hit him in the face with a rifle butt and lost most of his teeth. He is doing fine.
Thank you for helping me remember the nine missions I was on. I am sending you a copy of my recollection of the mission as far as I can remember after Jorgensen went down, Harleman was assigned to us as our pilot and I flew all my missions with him except the first one. The crew was told before our last mission (Mont de Mansan) that our copilot Melvin J. Johnson would take over the crew and Harleman was not going to be our pilot anymore. We would get a new copilot.
Engineer was Fred D. Wood
Radio Op was Donald A. Lawyer
L. Waist was James J. Crane
R. Waist was Joseph G. Benoit
Ball gunner was Sidney E. Hawkins, Jr.
Tail Gunner was John J. Petricevich
I made three missions during the Big Week. My first one plus Gotha and Furth, I went to Berlin twice, the 6th and the 8th. I am sending you a copy of my missions as I remember them.
Thanks again and maybe we will see each other again some day.
J. G. Benoit