KARL G. GRUBE, SR.|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy and J. F. Thomas from Karl G. Grube, Jr.)
3 Mill Brook Drive
Plainville, MA 02762
April 24, 1986
Mr. J. F. Thomas
8933-221 N. Biscayne Court
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
Dear Mr. Thomas
During the course of a recent visit to the ship Queen Mary, I came upon a sign indicating that you might be a source of information, which I am seeking. The sign to which I am referring listed 8th Air Force Bomber Groups (B-24s) and your name and address as a point of contact.
Of particular interest to me is the 44th Bomb Group, 67th Bomb Squadron. This organization was stationed at Shipdham, England throughout World War II. Among the people in the organization was my father. Finding the sign with your name has renewed my hopes that I may be able to contact persons who may have served with and known, my father.
I will be most grateful for any names and addresses you can provide or any other information you might be able to provide regarding the 44th bomb Group, and particularly the 67th Bomber Squadron. If, on the other hand, I can provide any information or material to you, please let me know.
Karl G. Grube, Jr.
June 26, 1986
Dear Mr. Lundy:
Your letter, with information about the 67th Squadron and the efforts by yourself and others to keep the knowledge and memory of the 67th alive and well, arrived this week. Prior to receiving your letter, I had heard from Mr. James Thomas and Mr. H. C. Henry. Hearing from both of those gentlemen, in response to my single letter, was both a pleasure and informative. Those two letters convinced me that, somewhere, there had to be at least one person who might be able to fill in some of the answers.
When your letter arrived, I knew that I was onto something good! Perhaps now I can learn something about the final three years of my father's life experiences from the people with whom he shared those times. He, my father, died in a plane accident in September 1945, before having an opportunity to get re-acquainted with us.
Equally as important, perhaps more so, I am strongly interested in acquiring the history of the 67th, which you have put together. Please reserve a copy in my name. As soon as it becomes available, please let me know.
If you can endure one more shot of why I was so pleased and excited to receive your letter, it was the inclusion of names which my father had mentioned in letters and whose faces showed up in a number of photographs that were included with the shipment of his belongings. (Incidentally, I have a fairly large quantity of photos from some place called Station 115 (Shipdham?). If you are interested, please let me know.) Needless to say, I shall send a brief letter of introduction to each of them and ask their help in my quest.
Mr. Lundy, thank you for the time you made to write to me about the 67th Squadron and 44th Bomb Group, and also all that you have done and are doing to recognize and remember all who were there. I hope to hear from you again about your publication and the other one mentioned above. I also hope that there is something I might be able to do, or to provide, that will be of assistance.
Karl G. Grube, Jr.
August 4, 1986
The previous six weeks I have provided some very interesting and surprising events. It began with your letter of June 19, describing your work on keeping the 67th Squadron alive in memory and history, as well as information on the 44th Bomb Group both past and present, and the 2nd Air Division Association. The most recent interesting experience was receiving your July 20 letter, the map of Shipdham Air Base, and the book "History of Liberators over Europe."
Your first letter included the names and addresses of William Cameron, Robert Ryan and Matthew Gatti. At about the same time that I responded to your letter (6/28), I wrote to each of those men, introduced myself, and wondered if they might recall a person from so long ago. I had some serious concerns about mailing the letters. Alas, they all went out the same day.
Soon thereafter, I was delighted to receive letters from Cameron and Ryan. Both letters interesting, loaded with information that I could never have learned without their effort, but most of all, both letters were gracious in ways seldom known these days. To both of these gentlemen I will soon respond.
Then, late in an afternoon, our phone rang. Upon my answering, a voice identified itself as Matthew Gatti. He was calling from his home in Palm Springs, where he now spends much of his time. At age 76, and after two careers (Air Force and civilian), and after multiple by-pass operations, he is finally enjoying retirement. Claims he likes to receive but not write letters, therefore phones. We talked for some time about the events at Shipdham and about my father whom he remembered well. To Mr. Gatti, I shall also respond soon.
Needless to say, Will, receiving your letters and the letters and phone call from the people you pointed me towards has been a continuing thrill for me - and at my age (54) thrilling events occur less often. In all of this, there is even a bit of the "incredible": the receipt of letters from Cameron and Ryan, plus the phone call from Gatti all occurred on the very same afternoon! Now, I'm not the kind of person who believes in omens and things of that type, but some day I might just play the numbers 7/10!
This is to be my week for responding to correspondence which has accrued over the past several weeks, during which time I concluded some business obligations and took several days to visit with relatives in Wisconsin.
After pursuing the book by Ursel Harvell, I realize that the pictures and stuff, which I have, from the effects of my father, are quite insignificant. In spite of that fact, I am enclosing most of the material. You are free to keep whatever you desire and dispose of the rest - with one minor exception: that which you don't want from the envelope marked "Use or Return," please return to me. I am quite sorry that the negatives from these pictures are no longer available. These items have been stored in boxes for the past 41 years and have moved all over the U.S. as we were transferred about.
Many questions about how you and the other members of the 67th lived and worked during those years in England keep arising, yet the questions seem so innocuous, that I sometimes wonder if they are worth asking. Things like what happened to Shipdham Air Base when the whole 44th Bomb Group went to Africa, was the base attacked by enemy aircraft, was there a feeling of "mission" among the people serving, etc. As you can see, my questions are not of the profound type, but rather of the homely type. Perhaps they could be classified as the kind of questions that could better be asked and answered over a cold beer. The primary reason for my curiosity is to know how you and the other individuals lived and felt about the unique life you were experiencing. Perhaps by learning how you and others felt, I will also know how my father felt. For all of you, it must have been a profound experience because of the willingness of so many people to make the 2nd Air Division Association a continuing body.
In that regard, I hope that your gathering of the 44th Heritage Memorial Group, this month, will be a splendid success. The Springs is an exceptionally good location for an event such as yours, what with the AFA only a few miles north and Peterson Field right there.
Karl G. Grube, Jr.
October 1, 1987
It has been more than a year since I last posted a letter to you. I hope that these past 12 months have been both exciting and rewarding for you.
Though my correspondence has been seriously remiss, I have kept up on reading the various publications such as the 2ADA Journal and a surprise-arrival, the 44th Logbook. Good stuff!!! The ties that bind you men together are strong and good. Those of us who can only look in from the outside are appreciative and, perhaps, awestruck.
It would seem that the 2ADA reunion in England was a highly memorable event for all that attended. I was wondering if you were there.
The Fall 1987 edition of Journal contains an article by Arthur V. Cullen of the 44th BG. Perhaps I will give him a call, one day, since he lives just a short distance from me. His article included some information about the restoration of a B-24 being done here in Massachusetts. Stow, MA. I will plan to get in contact with those persons, also. The only other B-24 I have ever seen was on the perimeter of a parade ground at Lackland AFB, Texas.
In your previous letters, you indicated that you were planning to have your history of the 67th Squadron re-printed. If that has occurred, I would like to purchase one of them. Let me know the cost and I will send a check immediately. The more I read about the 44th Group, but especially the 67th Squadron, the more I gain a sense of this mysterious part of my father and his life.
Karl G. Grube, Jr.