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RAYMOND SHIRLEY
World War II
Memories and Biography

(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)

22 July 1994

Dear Will:

Haven't heard from anyone in Poland yet. Not unusual from what I heard from some of the other ex-POWs.

I'm sure you and Irene enjoyed your trip to England. I want to go back some day myself even though I think I was there only 13 days (April 14-27). Tell me, does the "44th BG Tower Association," have tax-exempt status? Let me know when and if I can assist further in this. Keep me posted on the status of the new organization.

I went to Rapid City for the deactivation, attended the banquet Sunday evening (some of the HMG were there on the other end of the room), speech by the commanding officer, two state senators, one state representative, and there were a lot of stars there (generals). The meal was good but I did not go to the base on Monday, the 4th. Was afraid it might end up in conflict with my return schedule.

Ray Shirley




RAYMOND SHIRLEY
World War II
Memories and Biography

(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)

1018 Diamondhead Blvd. S.
Crosby, TX 77532

21 December 1992

Dear Will:

Thanks for your letter and the formation sketch. If you have them, I would appreciate sketches for 20, 21, 22 and 26 April. I flew on all of these in addition to the 27th.

On the mission scheduled for 21 April and recalled, we got caught in prop wash and lost a good bit of altitude. Was more scared that day than on the 27th.

And now to crew. I really don't know where Howard Clarey was in December 1943. At that time we were in Colorado Springs (Peterson Field) with Rhodes as 1st pilot and Meyerricks as copilot who stayed with us all the way until we got to the 44th when we flew the above five flights with Clarey as 1st pilot and Rhodes as copilot. Meyerricks was flying with other crews. If I remember correctly, I think 27 April was Clarey's 25th mission.

You checked your order files for January, February and March. Would you please check them for April. I think we were one of the two crews assigned to the squadron on 16 April as noted in your history.

We flew a new 24 from Topeka, KS to Morrison Field, FL. From there to Borrenquin Field in Puerto Rico where we spent about ten days getting a waist section bulkhead repaired/replaced, on to Trinidad, then Belem and Forteleya, Brazil, then to Dakar, to Marrakech where we stayed almost two weeks waiting for an APV from the states, then to Wales where we delivered the plane, then was sent to Northern Ireland for about a month (we landed there from the ferry on St. Patrick's day 3/17), then back to England to a replacement depot called Stone? Then to James Stewart's group for one night and then to the 67th some time in April.

Our crew stayed together all through training. We had a Robert Taylor who died with pneumonia while we were at Colorado Springs. I escorted his body home to Maywood, Illinois (near Chicago) for his funeral. His replacement was either Phillips or Rieger. I'm not sure, but in the end, overall, we had a short and busy stay at the 67th.

So, again, Will, please check your April orders and see what you find. That's when we got there!

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Sincerely,

Ray Shirley

P.S. On the 27th, our boys were checking "chaff" out of the plane but it didn't help. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. I'm sure the Germans were sighting visually.
 
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