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Wade  T.  Elliott

 

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WADE ELLIOTT
World War II History Diary

I went overseas as a ground crewman in May of 1943 on the Queen Mary along with 10,000 GI's, etc. You know the details.

After hopping around in typical fashion, I wound up with Captain McKee's armament shack on July 20, 1943. I had been trained in bomb racks, shackles, caliber 50, and Sperry Ball turret mechanics.

It was on August 27th when the boys returned from detached (two months service) to the 9th A.F. that they would need some additional air crewmen, i.e., gunners, etc. So a brave trio, Elliott, Alexander Favini and Herbert J. Wilson took ourselves to the Flight Surgeon, took the 64 physical and qualified as warm bodies to take on some gunnery training. That was August 30, 1943.

The prospect of flying 25 missions and returning home was just too compelling for us to pass up the chance. We had had the blessings of Captain McKee to enable us to take the exams.


WADE T. ELLIOTT
World War II
Memories and Biography

(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)

January 8, 1998

RE: "Consolidated Mess" - B-24 J-100-CO (42-100429)

Dear Will:

I'm writing to you for several reasons, chief among them is to relay information to you about my fellow crewmembers and their fates.

I have found our pilot, Col. John W. Grow (Ret), to be living at 4851 Umatilla Avenue in Boise, Idaho 83709-6142. His home phone number is (208)362-3567. John stayed in the Air Force after World War II, went to Japan and returned to Mt. Home, Idaho to the SAC Base for 12 years, then retired as Colonel to his home in Boise.

Also, our copilot, Lt. George B. Davis, who was living in Nashville, Tennessee, recently succumbed to the dire effects of a brain tumor. It was from George's widow that I learned the whereabouts of Col. Grow. Art Hand has the location of all our other crewmembers, except T/Sgt. Marvin T. Bolton, radio operator. We have not been able to find him. I also learned that our flight engineer, Jack Coyne, had died. He had been, for a number of years, a police officer in his native Pittsburgh, PA.

Our waist gunner, S/Sgt Aristides Litras, is also among the missing. His last known address was in Astoria, Long Island, NY.

I would appreciate it greatly if you could pass along to me what you might know of our plane "Consolidated Mess." All of her missions were flown, I believe, with the 66th (506th) squadron. Twenty-one of my missions were flown in her and the other ten with the 506th in several B-24s as a replacement gunner. While the boys were away on detached service (July, Aug 1943), to the 9th Air Force in Africa, I was ground crew, armament, working with Lt. McKee. When they returned, I took the physical and gunnery training and was assigned combat duty as a replacement gunner. I had been a trained Sperry Ball Turret mechanics at Lowry Field and it was in the ball for 21 trips.

Right now, I'm replacing some artwork on an A-2 jacket and I would like to know if possible, the tail markings of our 66th bomber. I frankly don't remember. It seems odd that something so very familiar for such an extended period of time could be misplaced in one's memory. If you have the serial numbers in your records, that, too, would be good to know.

Lt. or Capn. John Grow flew some missions in "Southern Comfort." Just when, I don't know. If these physical markings on "Consolidated Mess" are known to you or are easily attainable, I would appreciate your rough sketch or photo or whatever.

Do you remember her crew chief? You and he were active at the same time. I presume, or at least for part of that earlier period, fall of '43 and spring and winter of '44.

I hope you and Mrs. Lundy had a good time at the Fall Reunion. Jessie and I would have liked to attend but family requirements made it impossible. Who knows, maybe Savanna in Sept. '98?

At this writing, we are experiencing the effects of a New England ice storm (freezing rain). So I'm here at the old roll-top desk doing about the only thing one can do with weather like this.

My thanks to you in advance for that which you may provide and our regards to your wife.

Very truly yours, Wade Elliott




WADE ELLIOTT
World War II
Memories and Biography

(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)

4 March 1998

Dear Will:

Yesterday, I returned from Keene, NH where I had taken my A-2 jacket for some artwork to be done. The artist, a young man named Jim Laurier, did a masterful job of painting "Consolidated Mess" on the back, with 31 descending silver bombs. On the front left is glued the 8-Ball, and on the right front is my nickname used during the "hostilities" - "Kansas." Jim is a thoroughly accomplished artist and I'm delighted to be able to mention his talent to you and the other 44th troops.

My chief purpose is to tell you how much I appreciate all the information you passed along which enabled me to provide Jim with authentic information about the plane - call number, tail markings, etc. Without that detail the project would have been a hodgepodge. Jessie gave me the A-2 look-alike for Christmas and I wanted it to be "just right."

Incidentally, in poking through my diary, I came across some long forgotten information, which may have a place in your archives.

I went overseas as a ground crewman in May of 1943 on the Queen Mary along with thousands of G.I.s, etc. You know the details. After hopping around in typical fashion, I wound up with Captain McKee's armament shack on July 20, 1943. I had been trained in bomb racks, shackles, caliber 50s, and on Sperry Ball Turret Mechanics. It was on August 27th when the boys returned from detached two months service to the 9th A.F. in North Africa and I learned that they would need some additional air crewmen, i.e., gunners, etc. So a brave trio of Alexander Favini, Herbert Wilson and Elliott took ourselves to the flight surgeon, took the 64 physical and qualified as warm bodies, took on some gunnery training. That was 30 August 1943. The prospect of flying 25 missions and returning home was just too compelling for us to pass up the chance. We had had the blessings of Captain McKee to enable us to take the exams.

Our best to you and Irene - and thanks again.

Wade Elliott
 
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