World War II
December 18, 1984
Letter to Will Lundy
Dear Will Lundy:
You've taken on a difficult but interesting project as the Historian of the 44th. I am sorry that I can't help very much. It's all very foggy to me now. I was with the 44th most of its missions but can't remember very much. Haven't heard from the remains of my crew since 1945.
I can't understand the record of transfers except that we were a "made-up" crew picked because of our various skills and then sent to Pathfinder school for several weeks. A combat leadership school that employed radar. We were called Big Bear Leader or Bourbon Leader and manned special radar ships that led the 8th Air Force or the Second Air Division. We did this from February of 1944 until our various tours were completed. Because we didn't start together, we didn't finish together and, I'm afraid, didn't have the same comradeship that a real crew would have had.
From about March of 44 through August of 44 we were headquartered at 2nd Combat Wing Headquarters and General Timberlake then returned to the 44th in August as more Pathfinders were trained.
I finished my military career as Group Bombardier of the 44th and later as Staff Bombardier and Planner for USTAF. Our crew led the air strike on D-Day.
I think that Armstrong (great officer and pilot) finished his tour first so this broke up the crew. Sneff was a class behind. I cannot remember much after that because I was doing a great deal of traveling and was into the war up to my neck.
Thanks for your news. I realize that I have no information to offer but I did want to answer your letter.
Best wishes in your endeavor.