Locked[Archive] Re: Introduction and questions

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2002/02/12 00:53:00 (permalink)

[Archive] Re: Introduction and questions

Bill wrote in part:
>My name is Bill and I live in Lincoln Nebraska, just about 20 miles from
>the SAC museum (which is excellent BTW). My grandfather was a ball
>turret gunner with the 452nd BG, 731st BSq in 1944. He was shot down May
>12th 1944 returning from Brux, Czechslovakia and spent a little over a
>month with the Belgian underground before being captured by the Germans on
>June 27th. He spent the remainder of the war as a POW, and I'm still
>working on pinning down the details of his POW time. I think he was in
>Stalag Luft IV, but I haven't confirmed it yet.

>Now the next bit of info I'd like to find is the call letter that was
>painted under the serial number on the plane. Anyone know how I could
>find that? (The crew doesn't remember)
>As a general question, does anyone know of any special painting "quirks"
>that the 731st, or the 452nd had? Specially painted prop hubs for

Paul M. Andrews and William H. Adams' _Heavy Bombers of the Mighty Eighth_
lists the call letter of this a/c as "G-" and indicates that squadron
codes, though issued, were not used. Instead, the placement (or absence) of
a + or - before or after the call letter indicated squadron. A minus sign
after the letter indicated the 731st BS, according to Andrews and Adams.

The authors also indicate that the Missing Air Crew Report for this is
#4819 and that there is an Escape & Evasion Report, #1050. The also
indicate there is a photo of the plane in Marvin Barnes, _452nd Bombardment
Group III_ (Privately printed sometime in the 1980s). Perhaps someone
in the group association could help you locate that photo.

You might want to locate some works by Roger Freeman as references. His
_The Mighty Eighth_ has information regarding markings and some nice
color profiles. His _The Mighty Eighth: Warpaint & Heraldry_ is also
useful. His _The Mighty Eighth in Colour_ has one photo of a 452nd a/c in
natural aluminum finish.

However, Andrews and Adams and Freeman's _The Mighty Eighth_ list the plus
and minus signs as mentioned above. Freeman's other two books (which are
his later works) suggest a different system. _The Mighty Eighth: Warpaint
& Heraldry_ lists the 731st as using a plus sign after the letter. I can't
resolve the disparity from the sources I have available. Again, the group
association might be able to help.

Bill, I hope all is well in Huskerland. My graduate degrees are from the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln and my wife, whom I met while we were
students there, have fond memories of our time there.

Terry Lindell
Professor of History
Wartburg College
Waverly, Iowa 50677


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