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Wm.  B.  Taylor

 

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WILLIAM B. TAYLOR, III
World War II
Memories and Biography

(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)

[Gen. Johnson data]

3209 N. Columbus St.
Arlington, VA 22207-2878

13 January 1997

Dear Will

Back in 1993, you wrote me that Cliff Bishop of East Anglio Books might be interested in reprinting the "pictorial" history of the 14th CBW and that is the last I have heard of the possibility. Will you please send me his address, and if you have their telephone and fax number. If he is interested in doing the reprint, I will be pleased to meet with him in England to work out the details. If there is interest, another possibility would be to reprint "Survivors of all three bomb groups to send in pictures and captions so we could publish a more inclusive book, which would have greater sales appeal. I would appreciate your thoughts regarding the project.

By the way, do you have my old Barkerdale roommate's current address? Colonel Dexter Hodge. The P.O. Box 4842, Bryon, Texas is no longer good as he has moved.

Sue and Sandy Vandenberg were at Shipdham this summer - I believe for the first time. They invited me to have lunch with General Johnson who was in far better health than when Mike Fusario and I were with him in May at the Fairfax Retirement Center, Ft. Belvair, VA.

How are things with you. Keep in touch.

With warm regards,

Barrett




WILLIAM B. TAYLOR
World War II
Memories and Biography

(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)

983 Narcissus Avenue
Clearwater, FL 34630
(813)446-2129

5 February 1992

Dear Will:

Regarding your letter of January 30, 1992, here is another Shipdham story. Shortly after General Johnson activated the 14th combat bomb wing (H) on the Shipdham WAAF site, I stopped by the little tobacco-candy-newspaper store just off the base toward Shipdham. While purchasing a newspaper, I noticed a Frigidaire emblem on the side of a cabinet that had piles of magazines and newspapers on its top. I asked if the cabinet was some sort of refrigeration unit. The shop keeper said it was a small ice cream manufacturing and ice cream storage unit that he had used for years before the war before its motor burned out. As the British government forbids the manufacture of ice cream, he found it useful to store items on.

I said at the U.S. Forces could manufacture ice cream if they had the equipment, and would he loan it to the 14th CBW for the duration of the war provided we repaired and returned it in good order. He happily agreed. I got Sergeant Backman, mass sergeant to take it to a base ship to repair and then to the mess. As the government did not furnish ice cream mix, we experimented with various recipes of powdered milk, powdered eggs, coca, vanilla extract and sugar, finally arriving at a professional product. From then on everyone in the 14th CBW had ice cream. Sergeant Backman found it useful to swap for many items, even with the Navy for Navy silverware -- ... bomb rings with the ordnance bomb delivery personnel - to burn in the little tea kettle size stoves in the site, etc. When the 14 CB wing moved down to busy St. Edwards to be consolidated with Bo Bobby Burns, 2nd CBW, (prior to leaving for the Pacific Theater of Operations), the Frigidaire unit was returned to the owner with our profound thanks.

Do you have Sergeant Backman's address? In civilian life he had been a chocolate maker with Nestles Chocolate Company. Also, that of Captain Louis Parker of the 14th CBW? And T/S Wiggins?

In the summer of 1944, when the buzz bombs were at their height, I returned to Shipdham around 9 p.m. from a three-day leave in London - where the buzz bombs were falling around you day and night. About 4 a.m. I sensed I heard a buzz bomb getting louder and louder. As I was still asleep, my mind told me it was only a dream as no buzz bombs came our way. Finally, when the noise became all too real, I woke up. The buzz bomb motor noise stopped and I looked out to see a buzz bomb hit a farmyard on the other side of the airfield. Do you recall this incident? Fortunately, no real damage was done.

Well, Will, this is the February quote of stories. Lets hope others send theirs in.

With warm regards,

Barrett

***

[Following sent to the editor of "Parade Magazine," a Sunday paper]

Dear Parade:

Since this is the 50th Anniversary of the Untied States entering and mobilizing the Armed Forces for WWII request you honor the actors who served their country by listing their names and branch of service such as Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Glenn Miller, Tyron Power, Eddie Albert, Lee Marvin, etc. As the majority of Americans were born after 1 January 1942, it would appear timely for the people to see who were the real heroes in the world of show business.

It is unfortunate that Hollywood, during and after WWII, featured actors such as Frank Sinatra, Van Johnson, John Wayne, etc. (who never served in the Armed Forces) but were portrayed in numerous films as war heroes.

Sincerely,

William B. Taylor

***

Shipdham
Scene: Officer's Club
Time: 2300 hours
Date: 24 December 1942

Scene 1

The club was decorated with natural decorations, i.e., popcorn strings, cuttings from trees, holly sprigs, and a Christmas Tree placed in the ping pong area. The tree was also decorated with native items - instrumental lights, hand-painted with different colors strung on instrument wire and battery-powered, paper rings and other hand-made items. Around 2100, someone went into the ping pong area and there was a lieutenant having a poke (to use the expression from "Lonesome Dove") at a local lass under the Christmas Tree. The friend said, "What in the hell are you doing?" The smiling lieutenant replied, "Well, I always did want Santa Clause to bring me this for Christmas!!!"

Scene 2 - Thirty minutes later - same location.

Another lieutenant ventured into the ping pong area and saw that a fellow officer had just "poked" another local lass on the ping pong table and was leaving the room. The local lass turned to the new-comer and said, "Who was that nice man!!"

Will, do you think you can print these???

The incidents are true.
 
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