New Attlebridge Video Available

The new 466th Bomb Group video-VOICES OF ATTLEBRIDGE is now completed and available. To children, the war was a time of great excitement. The village population suddenly grew by 3000 as it was invaded by the Americans, who gave them candy and cigarettes, took them to the base movie house, and even visited in their. homes. The video features interviews with local village residents who share their childhood experiences of the War. "Interviews of people who were school children at that time, telling their memories through the eyes of a child, Happy, Sad, emotional stuff, this is how it was.."

The 43-minute DVD can be purchased for only $20 including shipping from

Bill Curtis 466th BGA Treasurer

515 West Ariel Avenue

Foley, AL. 36535

DVD's shipped in Sleeves in a mailer

(special hardshell box with printed cover add $12 to cover costs)

Make checks payable to Bill Curtis; sorry no credit cards

 To order :  Call (785) 766-3351 or email bcurtis419@juno.com

OR

In the UK DVD's are available from 

Paul Hindle-eileenhindle@talktalk.net 

All proceeds will go to the 466th Visitor Center Project 


Individual boxed DVD's are $32.00 (Covers cost of box, printing, and priority mail)


_____________________________________________

ATTLEBRIDGE VISITOR CENTER

PROJECT VIDEO TRAILER 

Please donate to the 466th Visitor Centre Project

via Pay Pal : eileenhindle@talktalk.net  

See the weekly updates on the building progress

at https://www.facebook.com/466historian/?fref=ts

_______________________________________


Veteran EARL WASSOM BIOGRAPHY



Earl Wassom has written and published a biography and family history. It's a very limited edition and Earl paid for the publishing.

It is a large volume with his own personal history including detailed accounts of his WWII service and his association with the 8th Air Force Historical Society and the 466th Bomb Group Association. It is very entertaining and very easy to read.

Any serious 466th Bomb Group History buff should have it!

We will be making them available to 466th Bomb Group members for $75. Checks Payable to 466th Bomb Group

Anyone interested in a copy should contact Bill Curtis for details.


AVAILABLE by mail 

bcurtis419@juno.com   Tele: (785)766-3351



 466th Bomb Group Association News


Notes & Questions from Members

Visitor Center Project at Weston-Longville

Veteran Photo & Memorabilia Collections

466th (Squadron Patches)

Formation (Assembly) Ship "Ready & Willing"

Memorials & Honor Roll Graves in the Netherlands

466th Memorial Museum- Hethel

Visiting Attlebridge?    



Question?

Why did they have to dry the parachutes after every mission?

Answer: The environment was so cold at the altitudes they were flying -30 -40 degrees F, that any moisture left in a parachute would turn into ice crystals that were sharp enough to cut strips in the parachute canopy when deployed rendering the parachute useless. After each mission the parachutes were opened and hung up to dry.

I received a note from Larry Wilkinson who's father Sam R. Wilkinson  was the nose gunner on the Daniel Harris Crew #717. They were shot down on April 8, 1944. It was only their 4thmission and and a costly mission for the the 466thwith a loss of 6 aircraft and 60 men. Sam survived the mission with 9 others from his crew and spent the next 13 months as a POW in Stalag Luft XVIIb. Waist Gunner, Eldon Slager was killed on the first wave of ME-109's 

Attlebridge Diaries accounts describe the mission:

They don't come any harder that the one we flew today to Brunswick The Jerries threw everything they had at us, fighters and flack. It was the big “maximum effort” raid our operations had long predicted”Clade Meconis (CP Dike Crew #504)

From Attlebridge Arsenal:

John Bushing who was the flight engineer on the Harris Crew wrote:“Our aircraft was hit by cannon and machine gun fire. The #2 engine suffered a direct hit. We had an intense fire in the bomb bay and fell from formation with a rapid loss of altitude. We dumped the bombs which diminished the fire somewhat. I extinguished the rest of the fire with the on board fire equipment.” 


______________________________________________


MEMORIAL GIFTS to the 466th BGA

Special thanks to 

Pauline and Kenny Souther for their Memorial gift in honor of William Campbell and 

Margaret Caldero for her Memorial gift in honor of  John Horan

Ed O'Brien for his Memorial Gift in Honor of the Clinton H. Caverne Crew lost 9 April 1944

Jim Haseman for his special gift in support of education projects


_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Bombs Away?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question sent from LIZ:

I am trying to find any information on a particular mission- 27 March 1944 - where a/c was misloaded with multiple 100# bombs and several hung up and did not release. This happened on my father's crew and they had to be removed and repositioned by hand onto another shackle so they could be safely individually dropped. Did this happen to anyone else?


I put out the question on our Facebook site & the Army Air Forces Forum and Veteran Ralph Lynn replied:


"Bill,It was not uncommon for bombs to hang up. I think frigid temperatures was one reason. It happened at least once on our plane. Crew members would kick the bombs loose. Others would use a screwdriver to pry the bomb loose from the offending shackle. Sometimes the pilot would try to shake the bomb loose. However, I never heard of moving a bomb from one shackle to another. And as you noted, Bill, crew members had to try the various methods of dislodging bombs sans parachutes ---- no room for a parachute when you work from a catwalk and narrow spaces between bomb racks.

Ralph

Another Reply from the Army Air Forces 466th Bomb Group Forum:


I can't imagine why they would do this (or even how they would do it). There are 4 bomb racks in a B-24, a pair in the front bomb bay and and 2nd pair in the back bomb bay. The each bomb hooked by two lugs to a bomb shackle and the shackle is hung from two hooks on the "outside" of the bomb rack. When you are standing on the catwalk, say at the front bomb rack, the bomb shackles would be on the "outside" of each rack. For 100 lb bombs, each rack would contain 5 bombs for a total bomb load of 20. If the bottom bomb in the rack did not release, I suppose it is possible that a bomb above it could land on it and not fall. But if you could somehow pull that bomb off the hung bomb, I would think you would just take step our two along the catwalk and then drop it out the bomb bay . Even easier, because of the small size of 100 lb bombs, I would think you could just push the loose bomb off the hung bomb and there would be enough clearance that the bomb would fall free and not hit the outside of the ship. (When a man was working on a hung bomb the bomb bay doors would be open. )

As mentioned above for the hung bomb, I think they would try to kick or pry it free of the shackle and let it fall.



 


 


__________________________________

JOIN the 466th BGA!!!!

We're looking for a few good men, women, grandchildren-

sons, daughters, nieces, nephews,-  

people who are interested in keeping the history of the

 466th Bomb Group Veterans and the 8th Air Force going!

Send your request with your name address, e-mail, and  your connection to the 466th Bomb Group or why are you interested in joining- to the address below and include your tax-deductible non-dues contribution.

HELP !

If you receive the ATTLEBRIDGE NOTES

We are appealing for you to send $20 a year to cover our costs. The newsletter is mailed to    700  466BGA members.

From January to November, 2018 we have received a total of 30 donations. 

At this rate we will run out of funding for the newsletter in 3-5 years

 Please mail to: Bill Curtis-Treasurer, 466th Bomb Group Association, 515 West Ariel Avenue, Foley Alabama 36535. All donations are used for preserving the wonderful history of the veterans who served, and in memory of our Honor Roll of the 466th Bomb Group 



466th Bomb Group

Crew Collections and

Airmen's Diaries and Shared Photos

These items  belong to veteran families and are posted for historical information only

and we ask that they not be copied for other purposes.


                                       James L. Bruner 

was Co-Pilot on the Wallace Clay crew who flew 32 combat missions between May and September,  1947. His collection includes photos and newspaper clippings, as well as a mission list. (More to Come)

                                                             W. Robert Wagner

 was navigator on the John Garison Crew # 543 and #467. He kept a handwritten notebook with a short description of each mission and also kept newspaper clippings from Stars & Stripes: 

                                                                       JACK DOUGHERTY CREW COLLECTION

The Dougherty Crew arrived in May of 1944 and completed 32 missions by mid-October, 1944. Jack Dougherty had a camera (which was frowned upon) and shot photos and gave copies to his crew members. They flew "Dirty Gertie" with the 786th Squadron.

The 466th Bomb Group

 and Squadron Patches 

History of the FLYING DECK

"Attlebridge Diaries" records that in December of 1943 at Alamogordo where the Bomb Group was assembled, there was a contest to come up with a name for the 466th Bomb Group. The $10 prize went to M/Sgt Gerrard Dieffenbach, who was in the Intelligence Branch. He came up with the Group Name "The Flying Deck' with each squadron being named for a suit. 784th- Clubs, 785th Diamonds, 786th-Hearts, 787th-Spades. In addition the crews would  be numbered with the numbers of their suit, For instance Crew 715 from the 787th would have  a ten and a five of spades-. The group name The Flying Deck was popular but crew designations were never used. 

The Bomb Group emblem was later designed in England after another contest was held on base. Fourteen ideas had been submitted and Corporal Ernest Ender's design was chosen.The designs ended up being painted on walls at the base. I don't believe the Flying Deck was made into a patch until post war. The only patches for the squadrons were found after the war 1950's and according to my expert Ralph Lynn, (Co-Pilot, Hayes Crew) who saw one once, were kind of flimsy and it turned out they came from Hollywood and were made for some war movie.

 

FORMATION " ASSEMBLY "

SHIPS

 This was the "formation ship" for the 466th Bomb Group known as the "Ready and Willing". Most crews referred to it as the "Striped Ass Ape". It was a war weary B-24D that was stripped down of all armor and weapons, and then painted to be easily recognized in the air. Each of the 2nd Division Bomb Groups had its own assembly ship. When the 466th bomb group left on a mission they would fly north to Cromer, along the coastline to an area over the North Sea  that was designated "Splasher Five".  The Group would fly counter-clockwise in a large circle to get into their bombing formation. The Formation Ship was at the front of the line and all the other B-24's formed up behind. The process took about 90-minutes. At the same time a number of other bomb groups were forming on their own assembly ships in close proximity. There were a number of mid-air crashes during this process. Once the airplanes were all in their formation, The Assembly ships would peel off and return to their bases and the formation would continue on to their target.  

Ready & Willing was used for a number of special assignments. It was used to haul the instruments and Glenn Miller's band to Attlebridge for their "100th Mission Party". See photo and the story of that trip below.

   According to James Sharp " A great many of these assembly ships were originally with the 93rd bomb group who were the first B 24 group to arrive in England. After being deemed battle weary these B24s became assembly ships throughout southern England"

This particular aircraft was flown out of North Africa on the historic "Ploesti Oil Fields Raid" and survived that costly mission.

 

Above was the original paint scheme for Ready & Willing but the tail markings were probably changed two weeks after the 466th's first mission on April 6, 1944. On April 15 all 466th B-24's had the outer tail fins painted red with a white horizontal stripe. The big letter L for the 466th then was painted over the star on the fuselage on the formation ship and was probably lighted to allow easy identification in the dark early mornings of winter, when the red striping could not be seen. All 466th aircraft also had the Circle "L"  on the top end of the starboard wing. On the middle of the white stripe of the tail was the red letter "Q"  which was part of the radio call sign. Ready & Willing'c radio call sign was "109Q".   The SN# of the airplane was 42-14109.

From "ATTLEBRIDGE DIARIES" 'Fred McConnell remembers that we flew (the Formation Ship and two other airplanes) down to a fighter strip with 4000 foot runways to bring back Glenn Miller's Band for the party. "We took parachutes and strapped one on each one of the eighteen musicians. We put 6 or 8 on the cat walk (of course we didn't close the doors all the way- they needed air) and my engineer and radio operator carried on about not being able to get off on that short runway. You can imagine with this buildup what happened- A short field take-off  with full throttles, straining the brakes. Needless to say we had an excess of flying speed when the Engineer yelled "Oh My Gosh, we ain't going to make it"! About that time the grass went under their feet. The way that B-24 climbed would have done any fighter credit. Had to give one of the trumpet players first aid!'"

ELMO FLEW IT!!

 When I spoke with Elmo Maiden at the reunion in October, 2016 (Pilot Crew 664) I showed him the Model Box of our formation ship and he said "You know, I flew that airplane." He had flown it on several short hops to go and see his brother, Clint, who flew B-17's at another base in the area. (BC)


Glenn Miller Band unloading instruments for 100th Mission Party at Attlebridge  - photo: Jack Dougherty


  

 Mini-Craft Models

have released a 1:72 scale model B-24-D kit  The box cover artwork is the above print by Bill Curtis. The kit includes all the striping decals for the 466th Assembly Ship- "Ready & Willing"  Models can be purchased now at Hobby Lobby and other hobby shops. 

( Signed Photo Prints Are Available from (bcurtis419@juno.com)

Sizes: 8x12  13x18  16x24


New Model box design

Still available at Hobby Lobby