A Redhawk Midway Connection

The following article was published on the 142nd Fighter Wing website on June 9, 2017 for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, which took place between 3-07 June 1942.  As one delves deeper into any unit’s history, more connections to historic events and people can be found, as in this case.

A Redhawk Midway Connection

Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore. —

 

This week marks the 75th anniversary of the epic Battle of Midway, Jun 3 – 7 1942, in which the US Navy achieved an “incredible victory” over a superior Imperial Japanese naval force.  It was a pivotal battle, essentially negating the early war advantages the Imperial Japanese Navy had in the war in the Pacific.

As the anniversary passes, we find there is a Redhawk connection to the battle, and there may be more we yet don’t know about.  One of the great combat leaders of the 371st Fighter Group in World War II (the 142nd Fighter Wing’s previous designation) was Lt Col John W. Leonard.  The son of an Army colonel and a military family, he graduated from the US Military Academy in 1942 and by the end of that year earned his pilot wings.  He later became a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilot in the 371st Fighter Group and deployed with the unit for combat overseas in Northwest Europe, initially to England, and later after D-Day, to France.  But he wasn’t the first Leonard to fly and fight in World War II.

 

Leonard John

Lt Col John W. Leonard, Commanding Officer of the 405th Fighter Squadron, pictured here in 1944, was a well-regarded P-47 Thunderbolt pilot and combat leader in the 371st Fighter Group. Unfortunately, he was fatally wounded in a dogfight with German fighter planes near Worms, Germany, in January, 1945. His older brother William was a distinguished Navy fighter pilot and ace in the Pacific who participated in the Battle of Midway in June, 1942. Source: (Courtesy Mr. Jürg Herzig, Stand Where They Fought website, used with permission)

Enter his older brother William “Bill” N. Leonard, who graduated from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, in 1938 and became a naval aviator.  When Japan attached in the Pacific in December, 1941, Bill was a F4F Wildcat fighter pilot assigned to Fighting Squadron Forty-Two (VF-42), a Navy fighter squadron that deployed to the Pacific aboard aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5).

 

Leonard William

William N. Leonard, USNA 1938, older brother of 371st Fighter Group P-47 Thunderbolt pilot John W. Leonard (USMA 1942), was designated as Naval Aviator #6953 in 1940. He is pictured here after the Battle of Midway, circa 1943 as a US Navy Lieutenant. Source: (Wikipedia)

From the decks of this famous warship Bill participated in the early battles of the Pacific War.  He flew on combat air patrol (CAP) for Yorktown during her raid on Jaluit and Mili in the Marshall Islands and Makin in the Gilbert Islands on February 1, 1942.  On March 10 he flew as escort for strike aircraft in a raid against the Japanese landings at Lae and Salamaua in New Guinea.  On May 4, Bill achieved two aerial victories against a new type of Japanese navy seaplane encountered during the attacks against the Japanese landings at Tulagi, near the infamous island of Guadalcanal.  He even made a highly accurate sketch of the Mitsubishi F3M aircraft he fought with, a kind of hot rod of single-engine seaplanes, later known by the code name “PETE.”

At the Battle of the Coral Sea he escorted Yorktown’s torpedo planes in their May 8 attack against the Shokaku, one of the six Japanese carriers involved in the Pearl Harbor attack.  His division of four Wildcats tangled with defending enemy Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters from two Japanese carriers and successfully kept them away from the lumbering TBD Devastator torpedo planes, his team downing two Zeroes and damaging a third in the process.  On the way back to Yorktown, he spotted a lone Japanese Aichi D3A dive bomber returning to its carrier after the Japanese attack on US carriers and shot it down – this was probably the senior aviator and commander of the carrier Shokaku’s air group.  He received the Navy Cross for his actions at Tulagi and Coral Sea; by the time of Midway he was a seasoned fighter pilot.

After an unfortunate accident enroute to Midway, Bill became the executive officer of Fighting Squadron Three (VF-3) which had replaced VF-42 aboard Yorktown as she received hasty repairs at Pearl Harbor in between the battles at Coral Sea and Midway.  VF-3 was a blend of VF-42 and VF-3 pilots and all VF-42 ground crews and thus benefitted from the experience accrued in these early battles.

On the day of principal actions at Midway, the big carrier battle of June 4, Bill Leonard flew three combat sorties in F4F-4 Wildcat Bureau Number 5244.  His first mission was on an uneventful CAP of 2.8 hours duration over Task Force 17, centered on Yorktown, as American carrier aircraft made their devastating attacks on the Japanese fleet knocking out three Japanese carriers, Akagi, Kaga and Soryu.  He was out of the cockpit back aboard Yorktown when shortly thereafter the Japanese made their first counterattack with dive bombers at 1210 hours; with the rest of the crew he had to endure being on the receiving end of three bomb hits as the carrier fought off her attackers.

Bill soon joined seven other pilots who were to augment the CAP over the damaged flattop.  His aircraft had not yet been serviced after his earlier mission due to the dive bomber attack and battle damage actions and had maybe only 30 gallons of gas.  In fact, the next attack, by Japanese torpedo planes, was inbound at 1440 hours as Bill and the others hastily launched from Yorktown as the carrier and her escort ships opened fire with their anti-aircraft guns on the attackers.  He had barely taken off when he achieved an attack position against an incoming, low and fast Nakajima B5N torpedo plane amidst the defending anti-aircraft fire and hammered it, forcing the crew to drop their torpedo too early to be successful against Yorktown in a vain effort to survive – he pursued it through the exploding shells and fired again – the Nakajima flamed and crashed into the sea.

Midway 1

Japanese Type 97 shipboard attack aircraft from the carrier Hiryu amid heavy anti-aircraft fire, during the torpedo attack on USS Yorktown (CV-5) in the mid-afternoon, 4 June 1942. At least three planes are visible, the nearest clearly having already dropped its torpedo. The other two are lower and closer to the center, apparently withdrawing. Smoke on the horizon in right center is from a crashed plane. It is possible that the object very close to the horizon, in center, is another attacking aircraft. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives. Source: (U.S. Navy)

 

Midway 2

A Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat fighter (Bureau # 5244) takes off from USS Yorktown (CV-5) on combat air patrol, during the morning of 4 June 1942. This plane is Number 13 of Fighting Squadron Three (VF-3), flown by the squadron Executive Officer, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) William N. Leonard. Photographed by Photographer Second Class William G. Roy, from the ship’s forecastle. Note .50 caliber machine gun at right and mattresses hung on the lifeline for splinter-protection. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Source: (U.S. Navy)

Midway 3

Two Type 97 shipboard attack aircraft from the Japanese carrier Hiryu fly past USS Yorktown (CV-5), amid heavy anti-aircraft fire, after dropping their torpedoes during the mid-afternoon attack, 4 June 1942. Yorktown appears to be heeling slightly to port, and may have already been hit by one torpedo. Photographed from USS Pensacola (CA-24). The destroyer at left, just beyond Yorktown’s bow, is probably USS Morris (DD-417). Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives. Source: (U.S. Navy)

Unable to gain a position of advantage on the other swift attackers in the swirling battle with his relatively low airspeed after takeoff, he ascended through some clouds to patrol for any possible dive bomber threat.  Instead he encountered a lone A6M Zero fighter which seemed to be observing damaged Yorktown and pursued it.  But the enemy pilot fled the scene before Leonard could engage him, perhaps to bring word of the damage the torpedo attack had caused, hitting Yorktown twice and immobilizing her (the gallant carrier later succumbed to an enemy submarine attack).  For this action defending his carrier against the enemy torpedo plane attack Leonard received his second Navy Cross.

At the end of his 1.1 hour sortie, Leonard recovered aboard USS Enterprise and as the senior VF-3 pilot aboard, was rushed up to flag officer spaces to report personally to Rear Admiral Spruance, the Task Force 16 commander.  He flew his third sortie of the day from Enterprise, another quiet CAP of 2.3 hours duration over forlorn Yorktown.  Had a second American attack against the Japanese fleet that afternoon not disabled the last Japanese carrier in the area, Hiryu, which was near to launching a third attack, he may have again had opportunity to engage the enemy of this most remarkable day.

After Midway, Bill Leonard played a role in the test and evaluation of a captured A6M Zero fighter that shed much of the mystery about Japan’s frontline fighter plane.  He then flew a combat tour with VF-11 ashore at Guadalcanal in the Solomon’s campaign of 1943 and served on staff with Task Force 38 in the Western Pacific later in the war.  He was ultimately credited with six aerial victories in World War II.

Leonard served postwar as one of the Navy’s first test pilots and commanded the supercarrier USS Ranger (CV-61); he flew everything in his career from the N3N biplane in 1940 to the F-4 Phantom in 1961 and eventually reached the rank of Rear Admiral before he retired in 1971. He passed away at age 89 in 2005 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery with other members of his family.  Famous World War II aviation historian Barrett Tillman called Bill Leonard a “national treasure” because of his generosity “…with his time and knowledge, records, and photos.”

We can speculate as to how much Bill’s example of courage in battle at Midway and the other early Pacific War battles inspired and influenced his younger brother John.  John reportedly wore a Navy leather flight jacket his brother had given him, which could be seen to demonstrate pride in his brother’s achievements.  But there is no doubt that both men showed incredible bravery in combat, and never waffled in doing their duty.

Like his brother Bill, John Leonard distinguished himself in aerial combat.  He was an original member of the 371st Fighter Group’s 405th Fighter Squadron and eventually commanded the squadron from September 1944 to January, 1945.  He flew and led many combat missions in support of Allied ground forces, including General George S. Patton, Jr. and his Third Army’s dramatic sweep across France.  With his squadron, John developed renown for expertise in finding and destroying railroad locomotives, train busting, on interdiction missions.

John Leonard played an important role in the aerial resupply of the “Lost Battalion” (First Battalion, 14th Infantry, 36th Division) in the Vosges Mountains of France in October, 1944.  His leadership in these low-level resupply missions in terrible weather was vital to ensure the surrounded unit could hold out until relieved, even though he himself was shot down by “friendly” anti-aircraft guns.  He survived the low altitude bailout to have a chat with the gunners about aircraft recognition.

This lion of the air was lost in battle when he and his squadron engaged in a large aerial dogfight on January 15, 1945, his formation outnumbered at least 3 to 1 against a bevy of Luftwaffe Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf fighters.  He shot down one and shared credit for another before he was hit and wounded, not surviving his bailout.  He was 24 years young.

A tribute by a 405th FS pilot Flight Officer Robert Marks, who was his wingman and also shot down on this mission says a lot about the kind of warrior John Leonard was:  “I might add one more word about our squadron commander—he was as honest and sincere as any man you would ever wish to meet. He never asked anything of any of us that he wouldn’t do himself.”

For his service and sacrifice, Lt Col John Leonard received the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart (posthumously), the Air Medal with 21 oak leaf clusters and was awarded the Croix de Guerre avec Etoile de Vermeil from the French Government.  He is also buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

On this 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, we remember with pride John Leonard, and salute the accomplishments of his brother Bill, a brave air warrior who helped turn the tide of the war in the Pacific in that epic sea battle.

 

Source:  http://www.142fw.ang.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1209478/a-redhawk-midway-connection/

 

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Protecting Our Skies: Taking flight with the fighter pilots who protect Oregon, Washington

Last month KATU Channel 2 Portland reporter Ms. Jackie Labrecque did a story on the 142nd Fighter Wing, showcasing the air defenders of the greater Pacific Northwest.  It’s good for the civil-military bond in our country for the media to help tell the story of our Citizen Airmen on duty 24/7 defending our country.  You can ready her report and view her video at the link below.  Thank you KATU News!

http://katu.com/news/local/protecting-our-skies-flying-with-oregon-air-national-guard-fighter-pilots

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142nd Fighter Wing in the News

Local Portland TV station KOIN TV Channel 6 visited the 142nd Fighter Wing of the Oregon Air National Guard at Portland ANG Base last week, and on Monday, 29 January ran the following story about the unit. http://www.koin.com/news/oregon/where-we-live-portlands-142nd-airborne-is-a-national-force/943193079

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National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day 2017

Today is National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day on this, the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Bataan in the Philippines, 1942.  President Donald J. Trump issued a proclamation for this day, which is viewable at:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/07/president-donald-j-trump-proclaims-april-9-2017-national-former-prisoner

The 371st Fighter Group had 18 P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilots taken prisoner by the Germans in combat missions flown over the Continent in 1944-1945.  This number includes two pilots that subsequently escaped enemy captivity and another one detained under unusual circumstances by some curious French resistance forces.  Their names are listed in an earlier web log posting at:  https://371stfightergroup.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/remembering-the-former-pows-of-the-371st-fighter-group/

Last year the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Fighter Wing published one 371st Fighter Group former POW’s story titled “Kriegie on the Move:  The POW Experience of Luther P. Canup,” which you can view at:

http://www.142fw.ang.af.mil/News/Features/Display/Article/864343/kriegie-on-the-move-the-pow-experience-of-luther-p-canup/

So on this National Former POW Recognition Day, 2017, let us render a hand salute to those 371st Fighter Group men who served and sacrificed as a POW for our country.  These former captives deserve our recognition and appreciation.

P.S.  Regrets to all readers for the absence of new material in recent months.  A sudden family health crisis required priority attention and still does, so updates will likely be slow for the foreseeable future.  But if you have found this web log, please do look through all the material posted already and you will surely find something else that is interesting.

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What’s in a Number Anyway?

There is little doubt that the post-World War II renumbering of many USAAF combat groups and squadrons coupled with their allotment to the Air National Guard has confused and confounded many people over the years, whether those who wondered what ever happened to their old World War II unit or folks on the other end of the relationship wondering about their historical roots.

 

As for Frisky and his 371st Fighter Group, there is no need to fret.  This postwar change is explained in a recent post on the 142nd Fighter Wing website, titled “What’s in a Number Anyway?  The Origins of the 142nd Fighter Wing,” posted on the wing’s website at:

http://www.142fw.ang.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123474219

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Any landing you can walk away from…

…is a good landing!

//BREAK//UPDATE//

Information received on Valentine’s Day from a friend in Europe from a P-47 in the ETO expert in France indicates this film is of “P-47 – 42-28929, crash landing on 10 April 1945 at Eschborn (Y-74), in Germany”

Correlating information on the Joe Baugher serial number webpage indicates this serial number fell within the range of 42-28439 to 42-29466, which equates to a Block 28 P-47D (or more formally, a Republic P-47D-28-RA Thunderbolt, built at the Republic aircraft plant in Evansville, Indiana), and which comments as such:   “28929 (405th FS, 371st FG, 9th AF) in landing accident at Eschborn Airfield Y-74, Hesse, Germany Apr 10, 1945.  Pilot survived aircraft badly damaged, unknown if repaired.”

Source:  http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1942_1.html

//BREAK/ORIGINAL POST//

It’s not every day that one finds a film clip of one’s own fighter group on the internet, but snippets of the 371st Fighter Group do seem to emerge over time. The latest discovery by this web log writer is of a 405th Fighter Squadron P-47D Thunderbolt fighter making a wheels-up belly landing at an airfield on the continent of Europe. View the short 16-second clip at:

Although the exact date and location are unknown, one can look at a year (1945) shown in the original posting on YouTube, at the aircraft and the view of the open fields which may give an impression of Y-1/Tantonville Airfield, where the 371st FG was based from 20 December 1944 to 15 February 1945.

The squadron code on the fuselage reads 8N, which is the code for the 405th Fighter Squadron, and the blue colored engine cowling is another visual identifier for a “Discharge” (405th FS radio call sign) aircraft.

Note also this aircraft is an early “Bubbletop” of the P-47D-25-RE (Farmingdale-built) or P-47D-26-RA (Evansville-built). The Bubbletops built from either the Block 27 or Block 30 on, depending on source you use, had a dorsal fin fitted at the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer to improve directional stability.

According to the Joe Baugher website’s P-47 page describing the first Bubbletops, “These batches also had the R-2800-59 or -63 engines, the paddle-bladed propeller, and the “universal” wing first introduced on the “razor-back” P-47D-20-RE. Stronger belly shackles capable of carrying a 91.6 Imp. gall. drop tank were fitted. This tank, together with the 170.6 Imp. gall. main fuselage tank, an 83-gallon auxiliary fuel tank and two 125-gallon underwing tanks, made it possible to carry a total fuel load of 595 Imp. gall, providing a maximum range of 1800 miles at 195 mph at 10,000 feet.”

The pilot lands the aircraft smoothly, and has the canopy cracked open for a speedy exit if needed. He puts it down nicely on what looks like the field alongside the runway, a wise move so as not to foul or damage the runway for other aircraft. The landing appears good enough that perhaps the aircraft was repaired and restored to service.

Note the B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber in the background at :13 as the P-47 slides by, and the possibly cannibalized B-24 Liberator heavy bomber in the background near the end of the clip as the P-47s slides to a halt.  The tail markings on the B-24 appear to be a natural metal vertical surface with a black bar down the middle, like something the 44th Bomb Group (H) would have had.

An aircraft serial number would help in researching this, but the film quality doesn’t allow for such identification. Plus, it appears the olive drab camouflaged tail and rudder may be battle damage repair “replacement” parts from a cannibalized Razorback. Which begs a question as to whose serial number may have been o the tail of the aircraft, the Bubbletop’s or the Razorback’s?
References:

368th Fighter Group P-47 Thunderbolt variations, serial numbers and production webpage, at: http://www.368thfightergroup.com/P-47-2.html

Joe Baugher website, P-47 webpage, at: http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_fighters/p47_4.html

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A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

There’s no evidence to indicate Santa Claus flew the P-47 Thunderbolt with Frisky during the war, but if he had, he might have taken part in one of the six combat missions the 371st Fighter Group flew on Christmas Eve, 1944, before his night work.  Perhaps his missions would have been recorded as seen below?  His all-weather flying skills would have been quite handy in those missions flying supplies to beleaguered troops such as the men of the “Lost Battalion” on the ground in late 1944. He could have been handy up north around Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge too!

Santa in P47D

Santa Claus signals mission success from a late-model P-47D Thunderbolt.  (Courtesy “Panzer Juan” posting on the Philippine Scout Heritage Society Facebook page)

Flying from Tantonville (Y-1), France, during Christmas of 1944, Frisky might have heard French Christmas carols echoing around the surrounding villages or countryside. Maybe something like:

Regardless, from Frisky (and Santa above) to all readers of this web log, a hearty Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Frisky’s First E.M. Club

As the Battle of the Bulge blazed up north in Belgium and Luxembourg, on 20 December 1944, Frisky was amidst a move from Advanced Landing Ground Y-7/Dole to Y-1/Tantonville Airfield. It was a non-flying day for the group, which allowed for the Group Headquarters to make the move to the new field. The planes followed in two days. At the new base, Frisky would remain assigned to the 1st Tactical Air Force (Provisional).

But something new at the new field was the 371st Fighter Group Enlisted Men’s Club. It officially opened at 1900 hours on 20 December 1944 – Col Kleine and the squadron commanders were invited to attend. This was the group’s first Enlisted Men’s club and was a big boost to the morale of the men.

371FG EM Club founder

First Sergeant William H. Wheatly of the 405th Fighter Squadron, pictured at top left, was the senior enlisted man in the group that organized Frisky’s first EM Club, at Tantonville Airfield, France (Y-1) (The Story of the 371st Fighter Group in the ETO)

Those who were key to getting it organized and started included 1st Sergeant William H. Wheatly (405th Fighter Squadron), T/Sgt Paul L. Demers (Group HQ), T/Sgt John J. Monaghan (405th), Sgt. Nathan Dietch (405th), Sgt. Neigh and Miss Nancy Orr of the Red Cross field office attached to the 371st Fighter Group.

371FG Red Cross Nancy Orr

Miss Nancy Orr of the American Red Cross was a value-added member of the 371st Fighter Group Team in the E.T.O.  (The Story of the 371st Fighter Group in the ETO)

The club quickly showed its value as a place where the men could gather and socialize off duty.  A number of dances were held there as well, presumably with local ladies, and hopefully that added to positive Franco-American relations.

Given that Tantonville was out in the countryside, it was a good thing to have the EM club to help combat the boredom and monotony of performing the same vital work tasks every day and then retiring to a drafty tent in the winter weather. It would not be until mid-January when arrangements were made for the enlisted men to go to the city of Nancy on pass, so a local hangout was most welcome for the hard-working enlisted men of the 371st Fighter Group.

371FG EM Club

Enlisted men of the 371st Fighter Group relax as they toast with a little brew (The Story of the 371st Fighter Group in the ETO)

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A Frisky Mystery: The Loss of 1st Lt. Roger P. Trevitt

Roger P. Trevitt is not apparently mentioned in The Story of the 371st Fighter Group in the E.T.O., published in 1946. Not in the general history section, not the organizational sections, nor in the membership directory at the end of the book.

He’s not found in the official history of the group either. Not in the troop listing for those who went overseas in early 1944, nor in the monthly mentions of newly assigned personnel, nor any mention of him in the monthly narrative portions of the history.

But according to the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) which oversees the military cemeteries overseas, Roger P. Trevitt, service number O-910873, was an officer assigned to the Headquarters, 371st Fighter Group. His body is interred in the Rhone American Cemetery in Draguignan, southern France, at Plot B, Row 10, Grave 8. The Find A Grave website provides photo evidence of his association with the group.

Roger P Trevitt grave marker

Cross marking the grave of 1st Lt. Roger P. Trevitt in the Rhone American Cemetery, France.  (Courtesy of Find A Grave.com)

So, what else do we know about Roger P. Trevitt? The information on the ABMC website indicates he died on 9 July 1945, after the war, while the group was assigned to Fürth/Industriehafen Airfield (R-30) in occupied Germany.

Page 23 of the War Department’s Honor List of Dead and Missing for the State of Texas (June 1946) has a listing of military casualties from Dallas County, Texas, and indicates Roger P. Trevitt’s death was DNB, a non-battle death.

He was a First Lieutenant at the time of his death, so had been in the service for more than a couple of years.

According to the HonorStates.org website, Trevitt received two military awards, the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. This would suggest that he served in the United States in some unit with a defensive role prior to going over to Europe.   The absence of a medal for the European-African-Middle Eastern campaign is perhaps odd, given Trevitt presumably died in Europe.

It’s unknown why he is absent from the Group’s war book (The Story of the 371st Fighter Group in the E.T.O.) and official histories.  Perhaps he was a new postwar arrival in the unit, and was lost in the shuffle of personnel in and out of the group.  New guys don’t garner much attention among older hands hankering to return home.  And by July, 1945, the group’s war book draft was well-along in development and would go to military censors in late August in pre-publication coordination actions.  Perhaps Trevitt arrived too late in the unit to be mentioned.

As for what connection the 371st Fighter Group has with southern France, The Story of the 371st Fighter Group in the E.T.O. (Chapter 6, page 51) mentions that after the move to Metz Airfield (Y-34) in eastern France in mid-February, 1945, leaves began in earnest, and makes mention of pilots beginning rest and recreation leaves in the Riviera of southern France while ground officers and enlisted men went on 48-hour passes to Paris. Seven day leaves to England also began.

It is only speculation to surmise that Lt. Trevitt may have died while on leave in southern France. But absent any other information at this time, this would appear to be only a possibility.

If anyone knows something more about the fate of 1st Lt. Roger P. Trevitt, please contact the writer of this web log by leaving a comment.
References

The Story of the 371st Fighter Group in the E.T.O., Army & Navy Pictorial Publishers, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1946

371st Fighter Group official histories, April, 1944 through August, 1945

Roger P. Trevitt, entry in ABMC Burials and Memorials Database, at: https://www.abmc.gov/node/546901#.Vl0dUeL3i7N

Roger P. Trevitt, Service Details, at HonorStates.org: http://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=344465

War Department Honor List of Dead and Missing for the State of Texas (June 1946), accessed on the Fold3 military historical research subscription website on 30 November 2015

Roger P. Trevitt, entry with images in Find A Grave website, at: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=trevitt&GSfn=roger&GSmn=p&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=56511387&df=all&

American Campaign Medal, Wikipedia entry, at:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Campaign_Medal

European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal, Wikipedia entry, at:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European-African-Middle_Eastern_Campaign_Medal

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Frisky’s Happy Thanksgiving in 2015!

No doubt Frisky enjoyed his first postwar Thanksgiving 70 years ago and the many since then.  And well he should, having served the nation so well in World War II.

9QX & 9QV

An element of 371st Fighter Group P-47 Thunderbolts prowl the skies of Northwestern Europe during World War II. These aircraft are from the group’s 404th Fighter Squadron (squadron code 9Q).   (Courtesy Doug Harrison)

He could probably reflect that his was not the first, nor would it be the last, generation of servicemen and women to celebrate a Thanksgiving, in peace or at war.  And he probably did well to remember that through it all in his wartime experience, training, deployment, combat, the heat, the cold, even loss, or return, to “…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

On this Thanksgiving Day, 2015, take a look back at how America’s servicemen and women have celebrated Thanksgiving, courtesy of John Clark at the Task & Purpose web log, in his posting “Thanksgiving Through The Years And Wars,” at:  http://taskandpurpose.com/thanksgiving-through-the-years-and-wars/

To all who served with Frisky in the 371st Fighter Group, assigned, or attached, family and friends, a wish for a Happy Thanksgiving!  We have much to be grateful for.

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