RICHARD L. THORNTON|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
It's like a voice out of the past!
I greatly appreciate your fine work and great newsletter.
I completely lost track of all my great crew. I don't have the names of the rest of my enlisted men, but I do have the officer'' names: Ralph Johnson, copilot; Mike T. Boomer navigator, who was borrowed before we flew one mission. He was shot down and was a prisoner of war. I believe he was from Mesa, Arizona. Lawton (NMI) McCandless, bomb. One of the astronauts was a McCandless. I hope he is one of the Lawton boys.
Years ago on Ed Sullivan's TV show, he introduced Col. Johnson. The only difference was that he had three stars. Lt. General no less.
I had no idea the old 44th was almost active.
It's really marvelous what you have done and are doing. After the war, I had my own construction business for awhile. Then I put 30 years in the postal service (more uniforms) and enjoyed every minute. Since then, my wife and I have been traveling quite a bit.
We had four children who gave us nine grandchildren, one great grandson. We've had good lives and I sincerely hope you and yours have had the same.
R. L. Thornton
21518 SW 99th
Tualatin, OR 92062