World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
222 High Street
Milton, PA 17847
January 28, 1993
Enjoyed hearing from you. The following is a brief history of my military service in the Air Force.
Enlisted December 13, 1941 at Hazelton, PA - Left Berwick, PA (my hometown) on the 26th of December to Philadelphia, PA, where I was sworn in and given my choice of what I wanted to do in the service. So I chose radio. From there to Fort George Meade for indoctrination. From there to Jefferson Barracks, MO for basic training. From there to Scott Field for radio school. After a couple of months and having attained a code speed of 25 words a minute, I applied for radio-gunner, but was turned down because of my eyes 40-30, not good enough.
About that time, August 1943, radar was coming in and they asked for volunteers to take the course. I did and was sent to Boca Raton, Florida for training. While in school, they gave me my choice of being a mechanic or an operator. I chose operator and in no time at all I was flying - a couple of flights in an A-29 bomber and a couple in a B-18 - no problems.
From there to Langley Field, VA, where I was assigned to a B24 crew - more training and tests and on to Westover Field, Mass for training and tests and so to Gander Field, Newfoundland for sub-patrol over the North Atlantic until August 1943.
We were then sent to the southern part of England for sub-patrol over the Bay of Biscay. Some time in September the Navy took sub patrolling over and our squadron was broken up and distributed among different bomb groups. I do not recall the group I was sent to but for over two months and being a radar operator, I was not allowed to fly except for the four hours I needed for combat pay. In December, we were sent to a base just outside of London for more radar. This type was for jamming flak units over Germany. Six of us were then sent to Shipdham and the 44th bomb group. We were not assigned to a crew. We flew with the squadron that had the equipment installed (my 26th birthday was spent in the air over Hamburg).
To sum it all up, I was credited with 31 missions for which I received an Air Medal, a cluster and the DFC which was pinned on me by Brig. General Leon W. Johnson. I also have a book (44th Liberators over Europe). IF it would help you, let me know.
Respectfully, Robert D. Harvey