ARTHUR V. CULLEN|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
51 Broad Reach T71-A
Weymouthport, Mass. 02191
July 20, 1983
It was nice to hear from you and better still to see you and Irene in Norwich. Hope you both enjoyed the visit as much as I did. Could have done without the Nelson Hotel fire, but then East Anglia has always been a source of unusual and unexpected experiences for most of us.
Thank you for your consideration in saving the Norwich at War book, but I was successful in finding two copies, probably at the same store near the Maidshead Hotel. I gave the other one to Bill Robertie. Thanks anyway. By the way, I also found another similar type of account East Anglia at War while looking for the Norwich book. This is also very interesting and relates the attempts, many humorous, to fortify the coastline of the three counties in East Anglia. The store only had one copy so if you would like to read it, I'll send it. Not much in it regarding the second AD but he does make the usual British pitch about the noisy, "overpaid" Americans arriving in the area with the consequential drift of the local females from the British to the American affections. Also bleated about the destruction of some Norfolk and Suffolk real estate when an occasional B-24 would crash-land with or without bomb load. Sometimes I don't understand some of these people.
Bill and Hazel, Evelyn and Lil Cohen and the Veynars and I had a great tour of Scotland in a van. Hathy Veynar and Evelyn found the pier on the Clyde where they landed on arriving in 1943. Before I left Norwich, I made my usual pilgrimage to Shipdham. Always very moving however, the facilities are slowly crumbling. All except the hangars, which are maintained.
By the way, Will, I have always intended to express my gratitude to you for the labor of love you performed in publishing that history of the 67th squadron? It is a great and detailed piece of work and you are to be congratulated for accomplishing it.
You mentioned Bill Robertie and his archives of pictures and other historical material. I agree that it is a shame that this collection is not coordinated with other sources to provide a most accurate and complete history of the 2nd AD.
I am planning, at the moment, to retire in June of 1984 and Bill and I have often spoken of collaborating on some project which would utilize the value contained in all of the material he has stored away. Perhaps something could be worked out to include your talents in this project.
I concur that some of the stories from the other side would be of great interest. Bill mentioned that he was using some of your material in the next issue of the Journal. Although your friend in Amsterdam would probably be too far away, I would be greatly interested in finding some details relating to my crew's demise over Dunkirk. I wonder if there are individuals in that area of the Channel Coast who have kept records or researched the crashes of American aircraft in their areas? Would the police records or fire department files have any information?
I'm including a copy of a letter from Doc. Young, our flight surgeon, to Mildred MacDonald. She sent it to my mother who referred it to me. I believe it is an accurate assessment of the crew's fate.
I do remember R. I. Brown. He was Howard Moore's copilot and eventually took over Howard's crew, but I don't believe he inherited the "Suzy Q." I'll drop him a line. Thanks for the information.
Have a nice summer and stay well. My best to Irene.
Kindest personal regards,
Arthur V. Cullen
15 February 1943 [legacy, Art Cullen]
Will sez: page 30 - Letter to a Windy. To Howard Moore.
Art Cullen (letter to Howard Moore)
United States Army
October 15, 1944
Dear Windy (Howard Moore):
You'll probably be surprised to know that I'm back in the good old USA, but you won't be nearly as surprised as I am.
I was repatriated last month and arrived in New York September 27. Boy, it's wonderful to be back. I'm in the hospital now but don't expect to be in very long. My right leg and arm were broken in the fiasco of February 15, 1943, and I remained four months in France curing which time the arm healed okay, but the Germans tried out some goofy idea of theirs in setting my leg with rods down the center of the bones, which were left in 'til I got to Germany, then the British doctors (prisoners from the '40 campaign in France) pulled the rods out and started over again. The leg healed okay, then one night I was getting up from supper and I twisted the leg and the top break snapped again. By this time, the Swiss Medical Commission had come around and passed me for repatriation, so I just waited to be sent home.
While in Germany, I only met one man from the 44th, Sgt. Costello from the 68th. He told me about McCoy and a couple of others, but, otherwise, I know very little concerning the fates of the original group. Marie told me that Bill Cameron has done very well and was back here for awhile. He certainly was a fine boy and deserves the best of success. She also said John Young was down.
About what happened that day: We were on the bomb run. Caldwell (bombardier) said he had the target in view. I flew P&I about ten seconds and he made a big correction to the right about eight to ten degrees. We flew that about ten seconds and I saw the "bomb release" light go and then everything flew to bits. Must have been a direct hit with 88mm under the flight deck, about the nose-wheel section. It stunned me for awhile and when I could think reasonably, I looked around. We were in a dive. No ships in sight, no roof on the cabin, just the windshield, No. 2 and 3 were smoking and the cowling blown off both engines and very little control on the wheel. I couldn't try the rudder because my leg was broken. When I looked over at Major Mac, he made motions to bail out and I noticed he had a wound in the stomach. By this time we quit fooling with the airplane as she was on her right side and going down. Mao unstrapped his belt and with lots of effort on his part (it must have been agony for him) and a little pushing on my part, he went out the roof, or rather where the roof used to be. He got down all right, but he died on the operating table at a German Luftwaffe hospital in France. I'm sure they did the best they could for him.
After Mac left (the plane), I went and hit the tail of the ship, broke my leg in another place and my arm. What a mess. So that's the last I heard of my crew except Mackey and the Germans told me he was killed in the airplane.
Also, hear you are Director of Maintenance out there at Fresno. How do you like the job? Speaking of jobs, if you've got any suggestions or bits of advice as to what I might apply for when I return to duty, I would appreciate them very much. Honest, I haven't the slightest idea what to head for. Well, Howard, that's about all for now. I hope you'll drop me a line and let me know something about the old 67th and about yourself. My best regards to Margaret, "Suzy Q," and little Howard.
Art Cullen /s/