THOMAS B. HOBSON|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
2512 Dorset Road
Columbus, Ohio 43221
29 December 1980
What a nice surprise to receive your informative letter and how nice it was of you to look up and send the information about the 506th. The data you sent indicated that the 506th was formed in October 1942 at Pueblo, Colorado. This is correct as I was at Pueblo AB at that time and was a member of one of the original crews.
After the Ploesti raid (8-1-43) the 506th was sorta busted up to fill the ranks of the other 44th squadrons who had large losses. The 506th was, I believe, the only 44th Squadron that lost no planes over Ploesti that eventful day - just lucky, I guess.
My crew was transferred to the 66th and I was in the 66th when shot down over Weiner Neustadt 1 October 1943.
You indicated that you were in the 67th. A very close friend of mine who I grew up with was a CP in one of the 67th crews (could have been the 66th or 68th) that was shot down soon after the 506th arrival in early 1943. His name was Bob Forrest and he was CP that day with the squadron commander (I believe) on a raid over one of the French coastal cities like Rouen. Anyway, I was wondering whether you had ever run across his name and anything about his fatal raid as his family has never been able to find out a thing.
I am in contact with Joe Warth and for some reason I had in the back of my mind that Fabring was from Columbus, Ohio - you might ask him the next time you see him.
I did locate a good old friend, Dick Butler, who lives in Riverside, California. I do not know whether you recall him or not, but I am sure he finished his tour with the 67th - he was one of the very few original 506th crewmembers who finished his tour. Over the years, one forgets names and I can no longer recall the names of any of the ground crew people who were our best friends in those combat flying days.
Again, it sure was nice of you to write - like Dick Butler, who lives at Riverside, California, I remained in the service and retired a few years ago.
The best to you and your family. Maybe we can get together at a reunion or the like.
21 April 1981
It is not good to be in a position where you must prefix a letter with an apology, but I must. You so graciously obtained some information for me that I had not been able to obtain about Bob Forrest, a copilot with a 67th Bomb Squad crew and also about the 506th Bomb Squad. Bob Forrest had been a good friend of mine. We grew up together in Grandview, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. He was quite an athlete - all state in both football and basketball. His parents had been unable to find out much at all relative to what happened to him. I'll send them this info if they are still alive. I doubt it though as they would be in their late 80s or early 90s.
Also, I appreciated what you sent about the 506th Bomb Squad. I had seen none of this. You know, little history keeping was made in the early days of the 44th in England, although a great deal has been written of happenings of the Ploesti. Your effort is certainly appreciated and I hope you have success in completing your goal. I took the privilege of giving your name to a David H. Klaus who is with the current 44th, a missile outfit in South Dakota - he apparently is working on a history of the 44th so you may hear from him.
I was wondering how many crews you went through. During my tour, the 67th was the "hard luck" squadron, losing many planes. Then some groups seem to have much greater losses than others even though the people flying are all about equal. As I remember, the 44th seemed to have had a more difficult time than the 93rd - maybe not. Looking back, if no one was getting killed, the war period was very exciting in many ways. Will, if there is any information or assistance that I could provide, please don't hesitate to ask as I would be more than happy to help in any way that I can. I see where the 2nd AD is having a reunion in San Antonio in October. At this time, I am planning on attending, are you?
7 January 1986
Again, thanks for the information you sent last November relative to my crew. I wrote Dick Tuttle, but have not received a reply.
You mentioned Cutshall. His name, I am sure, was Ernest Cutshall. He was the A/Engineer, a S/Sgt. And his home, at that time, was Ashville, N.C. Relative to M/Sgt. Gordon J. Dunaway, I believe he was our crew chief, possibly the crew chief for the 506th Bomb Squad. Yes, he rode over with us and was not, as I recall, an air crew member.
I hope to get to the reunion in Colorado Springs as my daughter lives there and we are planning on Norwich in 1987.
Take care and my best,