NORMAN B. JOHNSON|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
Prairie City, Oregon
March 15, 1986
I received your letter and was glad to hear from you again. I had lost all contact with my crewmembers until I heard from Mrs. Henning last November. Her father, Hyram Palmer, died when she was about two years old, which would have been about 1948 of 1949. I did correspond with Palmer's mother for some time after that.
Mrs. Henning has been trying to locate the crewmembers but so far has only found Kruse, Long and myself. Paul Brown died some time ago. That, with Hybarger, Feinstein and Palmer makes four of the original crew that have passed on.
Babich and Dave Putman were temporary crewmembers and were with us the day we landed in Sweden.
Our ship, "Pistol Packing Mamma," was hit in the right wing with a 20-millimeter cannon shell over Kiel, Germany. It blew a large chunk of skin off bottom and top of the wing. We couldn't make it back to England, so went to Malmo, Sweden.
The nose wheel landing gear was damaged and wouldn't come down, so we made sort of a crash landing without it. This was April 9, 1944, Easter Sunday.
I am glad to hear the 44th Group is having a reunion and I plan to go if possible. I have a nephew, who lives at Craig, Colorado, and can visit him and go on from there. The thing is I am 74 years old and can't drive too far anymore, so may go by plane or bus.
I don't have Jim Gillespie, Steinbeck, Babich or Putman's address so can't help you there.
Hope to hear from you again.
Norman B. Johnson