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LT  Richard E. ELLIOTT

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BOM
SERIAL #: STATUS: CPT
MACR:

Comments1: 13 FEB 44 LIVOSSART & BOSREMPRE - NOBALL

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

REW

2ND LT  ROBERT L. HUGHES               P CPT 04 MAR 44 BERLIN
2ND LT DONALD S. DAVIS, JR.          CP CPT 13 FEB 44 LIVOSSART & BOIS REMPRE (NOBALL)
2ND LT LEONARD A. WICKENS          NAV CPT 13 FEB 44 LIVOSSART & BOIS REMPRE (NOBALL)
2ND LT RICHARD E. ELLIOTT          BOM CPT 13 FEB 44 LIVOSSART & BOIS REMPRE (NOBALL)
T/SGT JAMES W. ANGEL                 TTE RFS DUE TO CHRONIC AIRSICKNESS OVER HIS STRENUOUS OBJECTIONS
T/SGT JOSEPH F. BOYLE                 ROG KIA 05 NOV 43 GELSENKIRCHEN, SYNTHETIC OIL
S/SGT HORACE E. BARNUM,JR            BTG CPT 06 FEB 44 ROMILLY sur SEINE, AF
S/SGT TALMADGE P. BUNTIN          RWG CPT 06 JUN 44 OUISTREHAM
SGT GERALD H. GULICK                  LWG CPT DATE & MISSION UNK
SGT ROBERT L. McKIMMY                  TG NOC

351ST SQDN..  CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH GP ON 14 JUL 43; THIS WAS THE 351ST'S FIRST REPLACEMENT CREW. 

JIM  BOYLE WAS KILLED BY A FLAK SHARD OVER GELSENKIRCHEN.  A BURST ABOVE THE A/C SENT A SLIVER DOWNWARD JUST GRAZING THE TOP STEEL LINING OF HIS FLAK SUIT AND PIERCED HIS HEART.  HE IS BUIRED AT CAMBRIDGE IN PLOT B ROW 3, GRAVE 51.

H.L. HUGHES RETIRED AS LT. COLONEL AFTER 27 YEARS. BARNUM MADE A CAREER OUT IF THE AIR FORCE, RETIRING IN  1968. tHE RWG BUNTIN ALSO STAYED IN THE SERVICE RETIRING AS A MASTER SGT SEVERAL YEARS AGO.  THIS FROM JIM  BROWN IN THE EARLY EIGHTIES.

AFTER THE CHRONIC AIRSICKNESS FINALLY GROUNDED ANGEL, DESPITE HIS PROTESTS, HE SERVED ON THE GROUND CREW.  SGT GULICK BECAME THE TTE.

A/C FLOWN BY THIS CREW WAS "NINE LITTLE YANKS AND A JERK" 


Excerpts from Robert L. Hughes's War Diary

.."My crew was the first replacement crew in the 351st Squadron of the 100th BG(H). We finished our tour in and in all our leads we left but one man over enemy territory. (Big Frank Valesh had his tail gunner shot from his aircraft over the coast of France. The tail gunner was reported as a POW in good health. Frank flew his plane back and landed at Manston Air Field, minus his Tail Gunner and tail compartment.) He was flying my right wing and in close at the time."

October 10, 1943
"I remember the very young Robert Rosenthal as he returned from Bloody Munster; I had been debriefed and was holding fast for the return of the rest of the crews. Without saying a word, his face told the entire story, but he did say a few words."

"Nine Little Yanks and a Jerk aborted on the end of the runway on take-off, a large piece of flak was found to have cut the Magneto harness and shorted out our ignition. We took old 604 and after scrubbing cosomline off the guns rendezvous with Major Egan and the 100th BG(H) was made at the English Coast as the 13th Combat Wing headed for the French Coast. ...test fired our guns as soon a possible after clearing the English Coastline. Six guns were inoperative. Major Egan was advised and we were instructed to continue working on them. As we were nearing the French Coast we test fired again and had lost one gun for a total of seven inoperative .50 caliber guns. We had penetrated inland of the French Coast and were contemplating going on when Major Egan instructed us to take it home, because  of the probability of the rest of the guns seizing up after continued firing. As I recall, top and ball turrets guns were inoperative, Tail guns were frozen and one of the nose guns was inoperative. We swung back out to sea and headed for England after wishing John (Major Egan) good luck (which he never received). We later discovered that Armament had brought our new guns to #604 and that they had just been slipped into place without the usual GI soap and hot water bath required before the guns could be put into service. We did not ask credit for this mission, especially after seeing our returns...."

 
"Naming the plane- When we were assigned our B-17 at Grand Island Nebraska, we named her "NINE LITTLE YANKS AND A JERK".  After we crossed the Atlantic and were approaching Preswick, Scottland, Joe Boyle ROG forgot to pull in the trailing wire antenna which created havoc with the Scottish countryside.  Now we thought we knew who was the "JERK" on the crew.  However, when we flew our first missions on other crews to get experience, we found we had another "JERK" on th crew.  When the crew I drew with Captain Murphy as pilot had trouble with its plane, Piccadilly Lily, we went to another aircraft.  I left live ammunition in the chambers of the ball turret guns on the "Lily".  When I got a severe but just reprimand from Capt. Murphy, we thought maybe we should have called our aircraft "Eight Little Yanks and Two Jerks"- Horace Barnum, 1989, Splasher 6

"On my fifth Mission, to Regensburg on Aug 17, 1943, I was with Lt Tom Murphy's Crew in Piccadilly Lily again and Joe Boyle was in another plane.  We thought we saw each other shot down but when we arrived in Africa we really rejoiced because we were both alive.
We bombed Bordeaux on our way back to England from Africa and as we approached England Lt Col Bierne Lay Jr. called a RAF base asking for permission to land and get gas.  The answer came back that they had no gas because they used petrol.  They tried to divert us to another base forty miles away but Col. Lay said, "Forty miles, hell! We're coming in".  Our batteries were so dry of electrolite that we had to fly on to Thorpe Abbotts with the landing gear down to conserve electrical power"
           Horace Barnum, 1989, Splasher 6

Mission Log of T/Sgt Horace Barnum (mpf)

1. 25/7/43  KIEL- 27 holes by flak, hit sub pens.  Flew with Lt Murphy Crew in Piccadilly Lily
2. 26/7/43  HANOVER- Right elevator shot off and 168 holes in plane by ME 210, sunk part of convoy
           Flew with Lt. Murphy Crew in Piccadilly Lily
3. 28/7/43  OSCHERSLEBEN- Jumped by FW 110's and ME 109's just inside Germany.  Using stick incendiaries, 
     Dropped them in sea on way back.  Flew with Lt Murphy Crew in  Shack Rat
4. 15/8/43  MERVILLE/LILLE- Dropped half our load on each air field just four minutes apart. first time our crew flew as 
     a crew.  A/C Nine Little Yanks and a Jerk
5. 17/8/43  REGENSBURG-We flew last group and low group at 17000 feet and carried British incendiaries. Seventy-five
     percent destruction to target and we flew on to Africa.  Our Group lost fifteen planes (actually
     it was 9 Planes lost).  Story written about our trip by our co-pilot for the day Lt Col Lay in the
     November 6, 1943 Saturday Evening Post.  We shot down eight planes, one of which, I got.
     Our group got....and the 8th Air Force knocked down 307.  We lost 67 planes (actually 60)
     that day.  Flew with Lt Tom Murphy Crew in Piccadilly Lily
6. 24/8/43  BORDEAUX-MERIGNAC- Took off from Algeria, Africa and bombed a German bomber factory and repair depot.  Saw little
             enemy opposition and landed at our base in England.  Flew with Lt Tom Murphy Crew in 
             Piccadilly Lily.
7.  2/10/43  EMDEN-Bombed the sub pens through the clouds. First raid I was ever on where we had escort. They were
                 P-47 Thunderbolts. Good hits on target.  Flew with Hughes Crew-Nine Little Yanks and a Jerk
8.  4/10/43  HANAU- Bombed the town of Hanau but there has always been some contradiction as to whether it was 
      actually Hanau.  Hughes Crew-Nine Little Yanks and a Jerk
9.  9/10/43  MARIENBURG- We bombed at 12,000 feet and did 100% damage. Goering was dedicating a new runway at
                this factory the following Sunday but it was destroyed.  Hughes Crew-Nine Little Yanks and 
     a Jerk.
10. 14/10/43 SCHWEINFURT-We flew with the 390th BG (95th BG mpf) and got exceptional hits on the ball bearing works. 8th losses for
     the day was 60.  109 enemy destroyed.  Hughes Crew-Nine Little Yanks and a Jerk
11.  3/11/43  WILHELMSHAVEN- Bombed the sub pens there through a haze but could outline the target. Smoke pots
     were partly in effect.  Fair bombing.  Hughes Crew-Nine Little Yanks and a Jerk
12. 19/11/43 GELSENKIRCHEN-We were leading the Group but because of engine trouble, had to turn back before all the 
     way in.  We made a bombing run but bombs released too late and missed . 
     Malfunction of racks.  Hughes Crew-Nine Little Yanks and a Jerk
13. 26/11/43 BREMEN- Bombed the docks through a hole in the clouds, good hits.  Flak was heavy but low.
     Hughes Crew-Nine Little Yanks and a Jerk
14. 30/11/43 SOLINGEN- We bombed the town center.  Only our wing and one group went over.  Altitude 30,000 and 
     temperature 69 degrees below zero. Did not know at the time that my ancestors came from       Solingen.  Hughes Crew-Nine Little Yanks and A Jerk
15.  5/12/43  BORDEAUX- Went to the target but it was covered over so returned with bombs.  Our base was closed in and
     we missed runway upon landing.  No damage.  Hughes Crew-Nine Little Yanks and a Jerk
16. 24/12/43 NO-BALL-Supposedly Rocket installations near the coast of France.  Destroyed about 50 percent of the target
     Good Fighter escort.  Hughes Crew-Nine Little Yanks and a Jerk
17.    7/1/44 LUDWIGSHAVEN- Bombed a rail center and did considerable damage.  Flew with Lt Jansen in 
     Mason and Dixon
18.  11/1/44  BRUNSWICK-Bombed the city center. Went in and out through the Ruhr Valley and was under constant fire
     by flak for a solid forty minutes. Hughes Crew-Nine Little Yanks and a Jerk.
19. 14/1/44  NO-BALL- Supposedly rocket instillations, good fighter escort. Complete destruction of target.  Flew with
     Lt Chapman Crew in Katties Boys
20. 24/1/44  FRANKFURT- Recall over enemy territory just through Belgium and over Germany but cloud cover 
     prevented us from dropping bombs on any target of opportunity.  Returned with them.
     Hughes Crew- Nine Little Yanks and a Jerk.
21. 29/1/44  FRANKFURT- Did not get all the way to the target as we were called back but dropped olur bombs on a
     German city in the mountains on our return.  Flew with Lt Davis
22.  3/2/44  WILHELMSHAVEN- Bombed the sub pens and scored good hits.  This was a pathfinder mission.  Very little
     enemy activity. Flew with our operations officer Capt. Jack Swartout in Skipper
23.  4/2/44  FRANKFURT- Bombed the target and scored good hits.  Flew with Capt. Love in Fools Rush In.
24.  5/2/44  PARIS/ROMILLY sur SEINE- Bombed an air field at the south end of the city.  We scored good hits and the 
     target was nearly completely destroyed.  Flew with Lt Branon in  My Gal
25.  6/2/44  EVREUX- Bombed the air field with about 50% destruction to the buildings.  Some direct attacks.  Damaged
     one FW 190.  Flew with Lt Branon in My Gal.

Total of 184 Combat Hours for T/Sgt Horace Barnum


Subj: 100thBG Form Submission 
Date: 7/26/2001 1:30:07 PM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: GeraldGulick.BloomingGlen@deano.virtualscape.comTo: mpfaley@aol.comCC: janr@cei.net  
The following form contents were entered on 26th Jul 1Date = 26 Jul 1 20:29:17subject = 100thBG Form Submissionmessages = 164email = jergulick@aol.comuname = GeraldGulick BloomingGlen,Pa.18911comments = I was a member of the 351st squadron,top turret engineer on Nine little yanks and a Jerk.Robert Hughes was our pilot,an a good one.We were the first replacement crew in the 351st arriving on the last week of June 1943.We roomed with Oakes crew which landed in Swisserland on the Regenburg raid.I finished up on Brunswick the day before Berlin.I'm one of the lucky ones.I had 3 missions in fuselage before moving up to the top turret It was much warmer up front Our longest mission was Marienburg 12 hours at 12ooo ft we did not have enough oxgen for the full tripWe were there when the P47 came over and we had a practice mission when we were told not to load our gunsOur p47 turned out to be fw 190 I lucky I'm here to write this letter See you in Omaha in October.. 



Oral History Interview By Gerald H. Gulick As Told to Brent Gulick 
 (Questions furnished by the USAAF Historical Association)

1. Do you recall where you were when you head the news that Pearl Harbor was bombed?
"I was just coming home from a football game and I was in Perkasie at 4th Street....I knew where it was since we had relatives that lived there as missionaries, and my brother served there in the 1930's." 

2. At the time of Pearl harbor, were you working or going to school?
"I was working in the family business, wholesale foods, was 27 years old, single and made about $35/week.

3. What was your reaction and other peoples reaction when they heard the news that we are at war?
"Well, I knew I had to go to war. And knew that we were at war....and would serve. Some of the people (in the area) were not in favor of it, and declared themselves CO."

4. When did you join the Air Force?
"Well, I was drafted 1 June, 1942.  Draft board gave me several months to get business affairs in order, and turned over my part of the business to my older brother and hired man with a family.

5. Where did you receive your training?
“Had my exams at Ft Mead, MD and my Basic Training at Biloxi, Miss. Marched on the beach in the sand and they picked up the stragglers and put them in a truck (very hot).  They outfitted us with all our gear which were two duffle bags and then sent us to Oakland, CA for technical School.  The train ride took more than a week, and took us three days to get through Texas.  The trains cars were the oldest I ever saw.  The Oakland school was a Private School at the Oakland Airport. People would invite us to their homes for Sunday dinner. I made $50 a month as a private, and had to pay my room and board just like the officers.  This was also an Air Mechanics School.  I think I then went to Wendover, Utah (Not sure-been a long time) for Gunnery School and it was in the boondocks.  Wendover Field was next to Nevada, where they had gambling!!"  I went a few times."

6. What airplanes did you train on?
“We were trained on the West Coast, in Blythe, Ca......It was end of August, 1942. It was dessert training and had problems with the airplane.  It was a B 17.

7. Was there anything unique about your Bomb Group or Squadron?
“My Pilot was Bob Hughes. We were the 1st replacement crew in the 100th Bomb Group. We trained in Walla Walla, Washington and more training in Seattle.  Bob worked for Boeing before he joined and knew the B 17 well. We went  to Grand Island Nebraska and got a new plane.  Then flew to Gander Newfoundland and straight to Preswick, Scotland, and then to London, got another B 17 F model (9LYAJ) and flew to Thorpe Abbotts and the 100th.
 
8. Where were assigned/Stationed?
“Thorpe Abbotts was our base, next to Diss, England in East Anglia. Thorpe Abbotts was a small farming town. Farmers wife did my laundry. We went to dances in Norwich and got the train to London in Diss."

9. Did you go right into flying combat missions when you arrived in England?
"We started flying in July 1943.  We had some training missions up to Scotland. High squadron was dangerous and the low was better.  Think we flew low (squadron) for a while. we were in the 351st Sq. Our first mission was Emden, Germany, and I think Bremen was next.  Went to Bremen three times."

10. Was combat like you expected?
“I always expected to get shot down! When I first got to Thorpe Abbotts, and checked in I found thee crewmen who shared our Quonset Hut were reading the Bible.  You did not see that  stateside.  When  I  started  flying  had  three
missions in the waist, and was just so cold 50 --60 degrees below zero at 24,000...just so cold....and to then assigned to the Top Turret.... was the TTE then. The other TTE got a bullet hole in the Plexiglas next to his head and could not understand why it did not kill him.  They moved him or he moved himself to sick bay. When I flew in the TTE spot I never had my shoes and parachute on, they were at the bottom on the floor.  Thought I could get my chute on fast if we ever had to bail out.... always wondered if I could get my shoes on in time....I had glasses and saw 20-15 with them"

11. What was the typical procedure for a  day with a mission?  
“When we flew we always got fresh eggs, any way you wanted.  CQ got you up early if you were flying…cold 
then the briefing."

12. What was the briefing like?
"Enlisted got their own briefing. Told us the target and how many airfields to targets, and what Ack-Ack concentrations to expect on the way and back and where the fighter would be."

13. When you went out on a mission how may planes went out with at a time?
"Well, there were 21 planes in a Group. Put up more planes, 24 planes but then they were extras....Formations were stacked High to Low squadron.  We had a practice mission over the North Sea once, out Freeshen(Friesian) Islands, were going to practice linking up with our fighters…and we bumped into several FW 190's...and since it was practice we were TOLD not to load our guns!!!  Tried to load my twin 50 cal's but the plane was jumping around so much I could not get the 50 caliber rounds up the rollers…and then this FW 190 dove on us and then Bob (Pilot) dove us down to the Sea to avoid him.  He hit us with 20 mm and had bullet holes from the nose to tail…he just hammered us....they shot one of our planes down, and should have gotten us but Bob (pilot) avoided him…good pilot."

14. What was the debrief like?
"Everyone received a shot of liquor....we were still cold and hungry....they asked who got hit and how may chutes did we see and if anyone scored a kill or how many fighters did we see....We were hungry when we got back....candy bars were frozen stiff at 24/25,000 ft and we were not pressurized...50 60 below zero....always the cold....big problem the TTE is senor enlisted and had to check everything....had a walk around air bottle, and boy was the cat walk in the bomb bay small..."

15. Do any missions in particular stand out in  your mind?
"Marienburg's raid was our longest, half went there and half went to Aachien.  Marienburg was 200 miles past Berlin a 12 ½ hr mission.  Not sure we would have enough O2, so we flew at 12,000ft with fire bombs on board and flew out to the Baltic Sea....had Stukas dive bomb us, then the next day was Sunday and it was the Munster raid -did not like to fly on Sunday....We had a problem with the magneto in #3 engine (flak in it) on the runway, so they gave us a new plane that had been on the 1st Schweinfurt raid, and it had NEW guns with Cosmolean on them....could not stop them in test fire over the channel....and we then aborted, our only abort....100th only put up 13 planes that day....had holes in the formation and the fighters split the group apart…Wilhelmshaven and Emden…then there was Paris.  Thought the Sun was shot out of the sky that day over Paris....we had the biggest Ack-Ack Shell I ever saw…The explosion was a huge RED color and blocked out the Sun.  Had the right altitude too....and our pilot tried to push the bailout bell but we were jumping all over the sky-- thought we were hit and he could not reach it....we lost six planes over Paris that day....and we never bomb it."

16. Was there ever a time when your plane was shot up so badly that you wondered if you'd make it back to base?  
"First three missions we lost an engine, and never landed back at Thorpe Abbotts.  Landed at some limy base…Then there was the North Sea which I mentioned, and Bremen was always a rough mission..."

17. What cities or targets were the most dangerous to bomb?
“Well, Bremen was always a bad one, St Nazaire, and the sub pens, tough....We flew out over the Bay of Biscay with our bomb bay doors open, would not close and the Pilot had me stay in my turret…And then after the fighters left, I went down to close the doors and I saw the ocean…That was the mission we saw all the D Day ships out practicing....Thought it was the invasion.”

18. What were your duties as a TTE?
“Worked with the mechanics, and I had to fill out reports and log book on repairs...I was trained as a mechanic and worked close with the pilot both on the ground and at altitude…I also read out the airspeed at take off and landing.”

19. What kind of information about what you were to experience did you receive prior to arriving in England?
“Germans were very good flyers…We would listen to German Radio to hear how we did, how many planes were shot down, was factual…as far as I could tell, and tell how many planes were shot down and the number of POW’s were captured…We would count the chutes, and you might see 6, 7 or 8 but never ten... Pilot had to keep it level to jump...(Asked question again) Oh, we were trained like I said all over the country, for more than a year… before I got to the 8th. One thing, we flew with the Oaks crew, and they made a landing in Switzerland…were all shot up...”

20. Having experienced combat, how would you evaluate the training you received?  
“Good or as expected...”

21. What about your combat experience would you say no training could prepare you for?
“There is a shockwave, that you go through with combat, and some get over it an some don’t...Think being able to handle the stress of combat and the fatigue and keep going was it.  Some of those missions were really long...and the pilots had to always fly the B 17...and that was work....When I went on my first mission I was a Buck Sergeant, I was late getting back to the West Coast, we left form there, to go to Europe, and I wanted to go home, but they only gave us a 1,000 mile limit and I wanted to see my folks before I left, and I was late getting back and they took some stripes…Almost made back in time...” 

22. How would you evaluate the equipment you had to work with?
“Sperry Gun Sight was good…had to move plane to put gun sight…Had some cams on my guns that would not let me shoot into a wing, and they would cut out (guns) when I swung around to the tail....there was celluloid in the guns that had to be correct to fire, and you always needed a special wipe for the Plexiglas would frost up and you could not see out…that happened to some guys...”

23. How would you characterize the quality of the enemy’s ability and equipment? 
“German Ack-Ack was good and got better at the end (end of my tour)...the only reason I got through was ‘the luck of the draw’…the Germans were good pilots and some times they were hungry and sometimes they were not....and they had good planes and that 20 mm canon was very good…it’s hard to lead and hit a plane that is diving at 400 mph....the yellow noses (German nose cones) we called them ...Went through us like a dose of salts....and then they gave us an armored belly to shoot at.”

24. Is there a story that goes with these medals?
“Have a DFC for completing 25 missions, Air Medal with three clusters, European Medal....Think there is more but it almost 60 yrs since I flew....think we had a presidential Unit Award, but I am not sure...”

25. Did you have any superstition or pattern of behavior for ‘good luck?”
“Ritual, well, I always would relieve myself before we flew at the back of the plane....was farmers field and there be plowed fields and such....No rabbit’s foot…. Always checked out my voice....I really did not like the ‘relief tube’ on the plane…Was next to the bomb bay a door and the celluloid for the doors was there and sometimes would short out....frozen from you know what....it was cold...”

26. Most terrifying moment?  
“Over Paris when I saw that shell obliterate the Sun…What a BLOCKBUSTER it was...”

27. Did it get easier psychologically as the missions progressed?
“No. Never knew how the missions would turn out. Had missions that were overcast, which kept the fighters, and we went to a secondary target....so you just did not know...”

28. What were your feelings during a mission when you saw an airplane in your formation vaporize in front of you?  Did you keep your feelings numb until later?
“We would talk about it...the planes that went down...’we just had better luck’ than some others...the 351st had a better record and commander...I’m not sure why I made it...”

29. Were you partial to any one airplane in particular?
“Always like a B 17F…B17 G speed was slower, and a B 17 flew slower than a B 24 but you got home more often in a 17...Our takeoff speed was 120 mph and landing speed was 120mph…worked on fuel pump and turbocharger, and could feel an engine that was not in synch.”

30. What was the name of your airplane?
“Nine Little Yanks and a Jerk…. Jimmie Stewart’s plane was 9 Yanks and a Jerk...”...never knew that till later...”

31. Did you ever become as friendly with the replacement crewmembers?  How well did replacement crews fit in?
“We were the first replacement crew in the 100t BG 351st BS.  When Joe (ROG) was Killed, over…(??)[NOTE:Joseph F. Boyle, KIA November 5th, 1943 – Gelsenkirchen, Synthetic Oil Target]  I got a replacement ROG that was older or as old as I was...(30 yrs old when flying) at the end I had to fill in with other crews to complete my 25 missions...four of our guys went on the 1st Regensburg raid... The ARMY always picked better or smarter guys to fly...Higher IQ’s and better depth perception...Always did well with those planes. (alienate them)”

32. When you came in contact with the local British people, how did they react to you, and you to them?
“The British people were very nice people...Salvation Army were very nice, for they met us at the train station (Diss) with hot tea and a cookie...very nice...Red Cross gave us donuts...The local farmers wife did my laundry, and boy I was glad for that...She did the laundry of a lot of guys...problem was a lot did not come back and she never got paid, and then there were the uniforms...”



33. How did you spend your time when you were not flying?
“I went to library and studied French...Studied French Geography (should know that)...and I had a Bible and as a crew chief I had a Thompson Sub, which I never took on a mission, and my 45...would clean that... Sometimes we went to London and dances at Norwich…When I went to London, I would go to a Pub and buy a Beer and all Pubs had a piano, and would start to sing...loved to sing...and I never bought a beer after that…good beer...The Pub would close at 9 or 10:00 and the bar keep would say...’Time gentlemen, time...they had green beer on base which was terrible...”

34. What was the food like over there?
“Had powered eggs & milk normally...hard to put on weight with dried food...Real eggs on mission day. Hash in a can...and Spam would slice that...When I went out to eat I would order rabbit in London and got enough to eat...small portions lots of mutton and lamb…

35. How did you keep informed?
“Read the Stars and Stripes newspaper...and listened to German Radio...they would know who we were (Squadron) and where we flew from...how planes were down...and then there was always scuttlebutt. Was in the chow line...after Munster Raid, getting food in the chow line and someone was serving food said...’Gulick, thought you were dead...”

36. Do you recall your last mission?
“It was Brunswick, and it was not so tough...”

37. What was the funniest thing that happened to you during your tour of duty?
“Well, there was the time the O2 hose regulator came off Bob Hughes(pilot) and he passed out...I had to plug his air hose back in and slap him around to get him to breath again and wake him up...The Co Pilot had gone to the tail gunner spot...
    
38. Where were you assigned after you completed your missions?
“TCC, and while I was there I got shot in the face with a sheet gun, (in UK) and lost my eye site in my left eye...in hospital for two weeks before I could get on a boat and go home...

39. When did you come back to the States?
“Well, I was home May 44….before D Day, and came home on the New Amsterdam, and was not in a convoy...we went to fast for that...

40. When your tour of duty was over and you were sent back to the States, how difficult was it for you to get back to normal?  Did you speak of your experiences or were you unable to talk about it?
“I could talk about and spoke in front of the Sel-Perk HS...Must tell you that it is 58 yrs ago and it all seems like a dream...”

41. When you got home did you go back to your old job?
“When I got home I had a 30 day leave, and then was assigned to troop Carrier Command at Pope Field…I had the only B17 in TCC...We did experimental work and did a Bond Tour (55 guys with chutes and duffle bags, and almost got killed at Pope because they would not give us the long runway...ruin the engines) and filmed a GI movie in Ca. on how to load a B17 with people...The thought was that we would have to evacuate people in Europe and they wanted to know how to use a B17 to do it...I hold the world record for people in a B17, which was 72 people...They put orders in on me to go back to Europe with TCC, and I almost went but the Colonel got my orders changed...My brother was in a truck accident in June 1945 and was killed...and my father got the Red Cross to come home and out of the Air Corps to run the family business...

42. When you got home did you go back to your life? 
 “They were the most eventful yrs of my life and I'm still talking about them...”

43. Did you use your GI Bill and for what purpose?
“Always wanted to use my GI Bill and become a pilot and go into commercial aviation...but you get married and kids come along and time and money did not meet...”

44. Of all the movies and books about WWII were there any that captured your experience, as you know it?
“12:00 High” did it well...that was about the 100th….I like that one…...Did not like the new Memphis Bell movie...Liked the book “The Luck of the Draw,” and Harry’s book, “A Wing and A Prayer. And some others”

45. Do you keep in tough with your crew and Group?
“Yes, I do. But my pilot is dying of cancer (Bob Hughes) he is in a VA Home in Idaho and I am the last one of my crew alive...and I was the oldest one in my crew at 30 in 43…Would like to see Bob before he
goes...Looking forward to going to Houston in October for our 100th reunion and see Harry and Rosie, and maybe go see the 8th AF Museum in Savannah, Ga. sometime. The 100th Bomb Group has a wonderful website and I love to read all the stories on our site, learn something new everyday...and the other 8th AF stories...They are wonderful... I’m going to be 90 yrs old next week and I feel good, except for my feet, circulation problem…...but I get around, and that’s not bad for two world wars and a Depression….”

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PHOTOS:

 Robert L Hughes Crew - "NINE LITTLE YANKS and a JERK". Well known 351st crew. Bob Hughes and Cowboy Roane led composite groups of the 100th to Schweinfurt on Oct 14, 1943 - "Black Thursday" ; Flight and Ground crew members photographed nearing the end of their combat tour. Standing from left: James Angel,, Leonard Wickens, Donald S. Davis, Robert Hughes, the pilot, Richard Elliott & Gerald Gulick. Kneeling from left:Shell (Grd Crew), Robert McKimmy, E. Burgess, T. P. Buntin, Joseph f. Boyle, Horace E. Barnum & C. Johnson.. Robert Hughes Collection Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 

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Crew 1

ID: 1492