Army Air Force
Army Air Force in WW II - my father was a Martin Gunner on a B-24G Liberator four engine bomber, 15th Air Force named the "Little One", brave men with luck.
Front row - left to right;
Navigator - J. E. Lidiak - Lieutenant
Co-Pilot - J. C. Rucigay - Lieutenant
Pilot - T. J. McDonald - Lieutenant
Bombardier - R. E. Dennison - Lieutenant
Back Row - left to right
Ball Gunner - Charles Cartmille - Sargent
Martin Gunner - Merle Weik (my father) - Sargent
Tail Gunner - John Lewis - Sargent
Waist Gunner - Guy Howard - Sargent
Nose Gunner - Bob Marcum - Sargent
Waist Gunner - Bob Garin - Sargent
If they were shot down they each had their "Escape" kits which consisted of;
$42.00 in US Currency
Bullion soup cubes
Needle and thread
Maps of Southern France, Northern Italy, and Yugoslavia made of waterproof silk.
On July 19, 1944 their mission was to release bombs near Munich. Flack was heavy and their plane received damage, engines failed and they had to abandon their plane by parachute. They all landed safely in Partisan's hands which would get them back to a spot where they could be picked up by their USA counterparts. They had to depend on people who did not speak English to get them to a safe place. The Army Air Force was an important group of men who took on the challenge of defending our country against the Germans.
These were a group of men from all over the United States that came together as a team effort to fight for their country. After the war they kept up with each other over the years by cards and letters. Some members even went back years later to the barn where they stayed hidden against the Germans by the Partisan Camp Group.