Picture taken April 22, 1944 Topeka Army Airfield - "Our Own Ship" in Kansas

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

 Army Air Force464th Heavy Bomb Group

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.