World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
15 April 1981
Sure was glad to receive your letter and happy that you and wife have been able to travel since you retired. Your trip around these Untied States and the trip to England sure sounded great. Was that the first time you had been back to England? I am glad that you are also "trailerist," too. Did you visit our old bomb base while in England? I have had a card from Pete Henry and he said that the 1982 reunion would be in Nashville, Tennessee and then to England in 1983. We have already been talking about going then. It would have been nice to have gone with someone like you and your wife, for it helps to be with someone who knows the customs of a country. We have gone to Mexico and to the French-speaking Quebec and found that we were at a great disadvantage because of the language.
I have been busy with my letters and phone calls trying to locate more of the crew. I have now located five of the crew. Arnold Richardson, the pilot; Ford, the copilot died several years ago from heart trouble. Schrock, the navigator, the nose gunner, Hanson, and Dorris, one of the waist gunners; I have come to a halt on the other three. I cannot find any telephone number for Rodriquez, the radio operator or for MacMullin and my letters have been returned. Spade, the other waist gunner lives in the Detroit area but has an unlisted number, so as of this time, I have been unable to get in touch with him. I have called the Ford Motor Company where I heard he worked last, but no record of him there among their salary personnel. If he was hourly rate, I would have to contact the plant where he worked. I have tried the UAW Union, but as of this time haven't heard from them. Boy, this sure does give one the lows and highs. I thought I had found a good number for MacMullin, in Arlington, VA. I called and found it to be another William, not related to the one I was trying to locate. I have mailed Pete the addresses of the found ones. I have written to some other guys that were in the 67th, but haven't heard from them. Some people just won't write. I always try to answer the letters I receive. Maybe later, but I do answer.
Curly, haven't heard from him for a time. Sure will be nice to get together with you fellows this October. I have lots of questions to ask Curly about our old "Iron Corset." We all thought Curly was the best ever crew chief. I remember one time they had changed a couple of engines on the plane, so when we went to slow time it, Rich asked Curly if he wanted to go up and he said, "No Sir!" Rich asked him if he was afraid of his work. That did it. Curly went up with us and lots of times after that. He went on the Trolley Missions and, of course, flew home with us, as you know. I feel that I have missed so much by not having kept in touch with the crew. I did try about six years ago, but didn't have much luck so just gave up. I wrote to Curly and he said he had answered, but I never received the letter and he had tried to call me but because we have an unlisted number, he was unable to reach me that way. I'm glad he decided to write to me again this past Christmas. Can't image what happened to his letter of six years ago for he said it didn't come back to him.
Will, I sent for a second AD Roster and see a lot of names of guys from the 44th, but not many that I can say I remember. I have corresponded with Roy Summa, 34th. BG, Mendlesham, and he sent me some names, but they are already members of the Second. We will all have to work hard and try to get more of the old 44th gang going to that reunion. One gunner that was in our hut in the 67th was on another crew (I have a crew picture of them) and was from NY state but I can't remember what town he was from. His name was Kenneth Hulbert. He should be listed in the book. I can't remember who his pilot was. If I knew his old hometown I would try and contact him.
The navigator, Schrock lives and farms at Kiowa, Kansas. He has a fifth wheel trailer that he and his wife use for their trips. They were in Texas for a part of the winter, somewhere near San Antonio. I don't know if he will be at the reunion or not. He said that was an awful busy time of year for him. I told him I would come work for him so he could go. I do plan to visit with him on the way out west this fall. The nose gunner, Jay Hanson is living in a small town near St. Louis (in Illinois). He went back to the service in 1952, finished his schooling, and is a dentist. He is at present teaching at the Southern Illinois Dental College. I haven't heard if he plans to go to the reunion or not, but he did say that he was going to live in San Antonio when he retired from teaching. I believe one of his offspring lives there.
Sure will be great to get together. Seems there is so much we have forgotten until someone mentions something that sparks the old memory. I was reading the bit by Leo S. Bielinski, Bail Out Bugaboo, a tanked up B-24 in the December 1980 journal, and we were one of the crews that took part in that mission with the napalm.
I did tell you that I had joined the 8th Air Force Historical Society and I have ordered and received all their issues of their news back to the 1975 beginning. I have enjoyed reading them very much. I will be looking forward to the new one each quarter. We were only over there for a short time, but did a good many missions for that short time.
Will, I know you are pretty busy so I want to thank you for your nice letters and all the help you have given me. I will keep you informed on how I do on my crew hunt.
ELLIS C. LEBO
67TH SQUADRON, 44TH BG
World War II
Memories and Biography
Our ground crew chief, Curley Nelson, sent me his December 1990 copy of the Journal and after reading both issues, I am sorry that I didn't' know of this organization many years ago.
The article in the December 1980 issue by Leo S. Bielinski, "Bail Out Bugaboo," a tanked up B24, sure did bring back old memories for we were flying Curly Nelson's old B-24 "Iron Corset" on the mission with Napalm, the Royan Estuary North of Bordaux. I was flight engineer for Arnold Richardson's crew.
Many thanks for your prompt reply to my inquiry about the Association and also to Curly Nelson and will Lundy for their letters and help with names of people in the Association.
I hope to meet you at the reunion this October in San Antonio. Thanks again for the good job you are doing.