The Wild Blue Part 7

The Wild Blue -

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"I want you to tell him," the man went on, "that no matter what other Austrians think, I despised Adolf Hitler. We did see the bomber coming. I got my wife and children out of the house and we hid in a ditch and no one was hurt. And because of our att.i.tude about Hitler, I thought at the time that if bombing our farm reduced the length of that war by one hour or one minute, it was well worth it." The television station called McGovern and told him what the farmer had said. For McGovern, it was "an enormous release and gratification. It seemed to just wipe clean a slate."


THE AUTHOR AND HIS a.s.sISTANT would like to thank all those who helped us with this book.

Horace W. Lanford, former commanding officer of the 741st Bomb Squadron, deserves special mention because he allowed us to use a copy of his self-published history of the 741st, which contains a wealth of information. He also provided us with many contacts to veterans. We owe a great deal to Mr. Lanford.

111 We would also like to thank Francis J. Las.h.i.+nsky and Gus Wendt of the 455th Bomb Group a.s.sociation. Without their a.s.sistance and the a.s.sistance of other members of the board, we would not have been able to tell this tale. We gained a great deal of information from the a.s.sociation's newsletter, The Cerignola Connection. We also owe thanks to George and Michele Welsh and their staff at the International B-24 Liberator Club. The Welshes have been preserving the history and celebrating the accomplishments of the B-24 and the World War II Army Air Forces for many years. Their enthusiasm for their topic and willingness to share their knowledge with all and sundry is an inspiration. The International B-24 Liberator Club publishes a journal,The Briefing. The club's address is 15817 Bernardo Center Drive, Suite 102, Box 124, San Diego, CA 92127,

Almost all the photographs for this book come from the private collections of veterans or their families.

We would like to thank the following veterans for sharing their photographs with us and the world: Alex Boggio, Russell Clark, Harold Cook, Carroll W. Cooper, C. E. Ben Franklin, Jim Gordon, John Greenman, Kenneth Higgins, Joseph Maloney, William McAfee, J. S. McCullough, Dan McGeary, George McGovern, Leo Mercer, Anthony J. Picardi, Richard D. Rogers, John Skelton, Darrell Snook, Jim VanNostrand, Gus Wendt, and Matija Zganjnar. We would like to thank the following for their help in locating photographs and/or oral histories: the Airmen Memorial Museum and its curator, Sean Muskimins; Miles Todd of the San Diego Air and s.p.a.ce Museum; Ben Franklin of the Fifteenth Air Force a.s.sociation; Tom Gerzel of the March Field Museum Foundation; Air Force historian Fred Johnsen; and Rob Hoskins of the 461st Bomb Group a.s.sociation.

Thanks also to Charles Watry, an Air Force career man, who flew everything from transports in World War II to Mach 2 jet fighters in Vietnam. Colonel Watry provided us with invaluable technical advice for the book, whether it dealt with training procedures, plane instrumentation, navigation, armament, and all of the other details that accompany a subject of this scope and complexity. We offer our thanks to Judy Edelhoff, an American on Amba.s.sador George S. McGovern's staff at the United Nations in Italy. She helped us in many ways, most especially by organizing a trip to Cerignola for the amba.s.sador and us.

With her help, we met and interviewed Italians who remembered the airmen of the Fifteenth Air Force.

She also introduced us to the mayor of Cerignola, Dr. Francesco Musto, and his a.s.sistant, Luigi Pelligrino. We would like to thank Messrs. Musto and Pelligrino, who arranged for us to visit the old air bases, and for their help in connecting us with members of the community who remember the Americans.

We would like to thank the following Italians for allowing us to interview them about their experiences: Michele Barcole, Mario Carpocefala, Gionanna Pistachio Colucci, and Francesco Musto.

The following a.s.sociations made meaningful contributions and have our thanks: 741st Squadron a.s.sociation461st Bomb Group a.s.sociation 376th Bomb Group a.s.sociation449th Bomb Group a.s.sociation 450th Bomb Group a.s.sociation483rd Bomb Group a.s.sociation 455th Bomb Group, the Vulgar Vultures2nd Air Division a.s.sociation 456th Bomb Group a.s.sociationFifteenth Air Force a.s.sociation We would like to thank the following veterans and their family members for donating memoirs, collections of letters, diaries, and photographs for our research. We also appreciate those who allowed us to record their memories as an oral history. This book could not have been done without their a.s.sistance.

112 Kenneth AppleStuart C. BrownLensworth Cottrell, Jr.

Art ApplinMarie H. BruceJames E. Counsilman Ken ApplinHelen M. Bruce-Ireland (daughter)Marjorie S. Counsilman (wife) Alfred AschSterling BryantMary J. Crawford (widow of Benjamin) H. Homer and Louise G.

AschmannStanley BuckBill Crim Cecil Grant AshOrmond BuffingtonRichard Laurens Critz d.i.c.k AshburyLeon O. BurkeBruce H. c.u.mming William AshlockHenry BurkleGeorge M. Curio Charles R.

AyersJay CalkinsPaul Daugherty Albert J. BakunClifton CallahanRobert A. Davis Clyde G. BallRoger CapleKevin Day Robert K. BarmoreRobert S. CappsRobert W. Day William V. BarnesJohn CareyGeorge Defenbaugh Robert E. BasalaLinda CarryRobert DeGroat Donald BauerJohn W.

CarsonPaul H. Ditchett Stuart A. BemisGuy Robert "Bob" ChampneyJoseph Dolinsky Andy J.

BenedictTerri Champney (daughter of Bob)John R. Dominey Sheldon B. BenscoterF. C. "Hap"

ChandlerRene DuFour Gene V. BensonWilliam ChapinRobert F. Emick Alfred BergerMorris ClarkRichard J. Ennis Casimir E. BialasL. P. ClemensWilliam Feder, Sr.

Charles B. BlackJ. Walton ColvinRuss Felzer Bill BlockerHarold E. CookPaul L. Fergot Maurice M. Bloom, Jr.Carroll W. CooperDonald A. Fischer Alex BoggioHoward Robert CooperThomas K. Follis Kenneth P. BondyJohn CopelandJ. B. Foote Linda BoydAnthony CorselloDonald C. Foster Walter E. BradyHenry Hutchings IIIWalter Fox Douglas BrownTed A. HuttonRobert A. Long Robert FrankHoward JacksonDel Lyman C. E. Ben FranklinWilliam F. JohnsWilliam Tom Magee Kenneth FullerArt JohnsonJoseph L. Maloney Roland GeigerJohn JolissaintJohn W. Marsching Tom GerzelBetty (James) Karle (daughter)J. K.

Mattison Lamar H. GoodFrank KautzmannDonald J. Fitz-Maurice Alvin GoodmanDonald P.

KayWilbur W. "Bill" Mayhew Jim A. GordonMr. and Mrs. Roger E. KelleyWilliam McAfee Carl GrazianoLloyd C. KestnerHerbert F. McCollom, Jr. John W. GreenmanErling KindemThomas P.

McConnell Robert E. GreenquistDoug KirchenEd McConnon Walter GreenwellMonika Kokalj KocevarJ. S. McCullough C. Philip GressaniFred KonkelDan McGeary William O. GustafsonGene KoscinskiGeorge S. McGovern Paul Hallman, Sr.Paul Kuhns, Jr.R. N. McLean, Jr. William F. Hallstead IIIRobert LambornWalker Rob HammerHorace W. LanfordVictor McWilliams Norman M.

HardyRobert LankfordBetty Lee Meadville (widow of Joe W.) Bill HaskinsJohn LaRivee (son of Leo M.)Jim Merritt, Jr. C. HaynesGene LarsonJames B. Miller Herbert HengstFrancis Las.h.i.+nskySean Miskimins George C. HenryWillard S. Layne, Jr.Clarence Mitch.e.l.l, Jr. Louis HermanRonald Lee (son of Emerson)Robert W. Mitch.e.l.l Ruth J. HerrmannJohn L. LenburgSuzanne Mongomery Burton E.

HewettWilbur W. LeupoldVictor Murray C.Harvey HewitJack A. LevinRobert E. Newberg Kenneth HigginsEdward Lincoln, Jr.Peter Newman Royce M. HilliardBob SchuetzRussell B. Newton, Jr.

113 Raymond M. HookJerome SchwartzmanR. L. O'Connor Jules HorowitzRichard SeabridgeDavid T. Oliveri Chet HosacLewis F. Setzerd.i.c.k Olson Francis HosimerMorris ShaneL. B. Teator Eugene HudsonAlan B. ShawDavid Thayer, Jr. Robert R. OttE. D. Shaw, Jr.Samual R. Thompson Alex PalmerThomas SheehanRobert F. Thorne Henry ParisD. William ShepherdWilson Tuten Roland PepinRobert s.h.i.+nnickDonald H. Vance Anthony J. PicardiWalter ShostackDr. Raymond VanDerVeer Claude L. PorterJoseph W. ShusterJim VanNostrand David ProudLouis SiemborJames W. Walker Francis W. PurdyJohn E. SkeltonEdgar A. Walsh Thomas A. RameyJohn M. SmidlLinda L. Walter Robert ReichardIrving SmirnoffJohn T. Ward Glenn E. RendahlJames H. SmithWinston C. Watson Harley W. RhodehamelJohn G. SmithGus Wendt Charles W. RichardsEdward SoderstromDon West C.

E. "Ed" RiggsSamuel SpeakmanH. A. Wilkes Essie RobertsCharles E. StarkCharles B. Wills Woody Russel RobertsDwight G. StaufferFred B. Wilmot Raymond RoemerSamuel SteinDaniel E. Wilson Richard D. RogersDonald E. SternTimothy Wilson John RollinsC. E. StevensRobert E. Winter Albert RomeroJames S. StewartWilliam Wittman Louise Rorer (daughter of L. Frank "Mickey")Joan StintonMrs. Theresa Wittman McLauhlin Charles RosenbergMike Stohlman, Jr.David W. Wolf Hal A.

RossOwen SullivanLazarus Wolk Sgarro RuggieroRoy SwaffordRobert L. Woods, Jr.

Leslie RunningAdrain SwainHenry Wooten Robert B. RussellRobert M. TankTom Wright Al SaldariniDavid E. TavelBenedict Yedlin Bill SauerweinPaul TaylorJulie Zimmerman Donald W. Saunders Walter T. Zumpe E. Frank Schermerhorn Sam Scheider William Schnyer 114 BIBLIOGRAPHY.


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Briefing: Journal of the International B-24 Liberator Club The Daily Democrat. Woodland, California .

Friends Journal

About the Author.

117 STEPHEN E. AMBROSE is the author of numerous books of history, including the New York Times bestsellers Nothing Like It in the World, Citizen Soldiers, Undaunted Courage, and D-Day, as well as multi-volume biographies of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. He is founder of the Eisenhower Center, president of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans, and recipient in 1998 of a National Humanities Award. He lives in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and Helena, Montana.

Also by Stephen E. Ambrose Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863-1869 Comrades: Brothers, Fathers, Heroes, Sons, Pals The Victors: Eisenhower and His Boys: The Men of World War II Americans at War Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944-May 7, 1945 Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climatic Battle of World War II Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest Nixon: Ruin and Recovery, 1973-1990 118 Eisenhower: Soldier and President Nixon: The Triumph of a Politician, 1962-1972 Nixon: The Education of a Politician, 1913-1962 Pegasus Bridge: June 6, 1944 Eisenhower: The President Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890-1952 The Supreme Commander: The War Years of General Dwight D. Eisenhower Duty, Honor, Country: A History of West Point Eisenhower and Berlin, 1945 Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy, 1938-1976 Ike's Spies: Eisenhower and the Espionage Establishment Halleck: Lincoln's Chief of Staff Upton and the Army

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