Like a lot of people in my generation (well, usually the people about 10 years older than me in my generation, but still), I have grandparents who are WWII veterans.
My Granddaddy Neal was a clerk and part of the invasion in Normandy. (Interestingly, this past weekend when I was at his house, he showed me a picture of his “class” in stenography school. He’d had all of the people in the picture sign the back and put where they were from. Noticing that there weren’t many people from the South, my mom found that there was a guy from Atlanta Georgia…he signed his name…Truett Cathy. Pret-ty cool.) My Grandmama served in the WAVES. Two of her brothers, my Uncle Karl & Uncle Jimmy, served in the US Coast Guard stationed in Puerto Rico, where they married twin sisters, Ermess & Iris. My Uncle Jimmy actually remained there and raised his family, none of whom I’ve met and most of whom only speak Spanish. (Also pret-ty cool, I think.)
On the other side of the family, my Granddaddy Clapp served as a supply pilot in England and across Europe. Both he and my Ma-ee had brothers (both pilots) that died during the War. Ma-ee’s brother, Harvey Mathew Nix, Jr., never returned from a mission in the Philippines. Granddaddy’s brother, Clement Moore Clapp, was killed in route to North Africa, when his plane went missing over the Himalayas.
A couple of month’s ago, my Uncle Clem (this all gets a little confusing with the family names, sorry!) began finding new information about Uncle Son’s and Uncle Clement’s planes…this is the latest info.
Seriously, seriously cool:
Missing Aircrew Report for B-24D #42-40069
Site Report: September 20, 2008
This aircraft from the 308th Bomb Group was lost on a flight over the Hump. Aircraft #42-40069 “The Pregnant Swan” was lost with all aboard. Major Fensler was commanding officer of the 425th Squadron. Dead: 9.
Acting Pilot: Major Robert W. Fensler, xxxx7377
Pilot: 2nd Lt. Phillip G. Huffman, xxxx1437
Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Gerald E. Owens, xxxx0158
Navigator: 2nd Lt. Frederick W. Ossenfort, xxxx1623
Bombardier: 2nd Lt. Harvey M. Nix, xxxx8506
Engineer: TSgt. ErIe H. Thayer, xxxx6430
Assistant Engineer: SSgt. Aubrey Stevensen, xxxx8940
Radio Operator: TSgt. Norman A. Price
Assistant Radio Operator: SSgt. Louis F. Verhagen, xxxx8470
Gunner: SSgt: Sandav E. Rivardo, xxxx5460
11 May 2009
Subject: E-mail message of 22 April 2009 re B-17G “Dorothy Dee”
Mr. Clement Clapp,
In response to your e-mail message referenced above, we at the 390th Memorial Museum respectfully submit the following information:
Your uncle, 1st Lt. Clement M. Clapp, a member of Air Combat Crew No. 73 (later renumbered 88) under the command of Pilot – 1st Lt. Edward D. Lewis, flew a total of 35 combat missions with the 571st Bomb Squadron, 390th Bombardment Group, 3rd Air Division, 8t US Air Force. His crew position was that of Bombardier (32 Missions), or Navigator (3 Missions) for which he earned and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters. Of Lt. Clapp’s 35 missions, 24 missions were flown on aircraft S/N 238048-“Dorothy Dee”, 6 missions on aircraft S/N 337564- “Little Moron”, 2 missions on aircraft S/N 230388-“Cabin In The Sky”, and one mission each on aircraft S/Ns 231651-“Decater Deb”, 231134-“Gung Ho”, and 2107070-“North Star”.
We are forwarding to you, as an attachment, a photo of the B-17G aircraft “Dorothy Dee” per your request. The “Dorothy Dee” was accepted by the USAAF 11/26/43 and received by the 8th AF (UK) on 12/30/43 where it flew a total of 103 combat missions before its return to the United States on 7/03/45 and then on to Kingman , Arizona 12/18/45.
We thank you for your interest in the history of the subject aircraft and for the sacrifice your uncle, 1st Lt. Clement M. Clapp, gave to our country and the world during a critical time in history.
If we can be of any further assistance please contact us via our e-mail address or our guestbook.
Eugene Radtke, Volunteer
390th Memorial Museum Foundation
I found out this weekend that I had some of this info completely wrong…it turns out that my Uncle Clem actually returned from his action in Europe and was training to go into the Pacific when his plane crashed during a test flight in Colorado. I’m hoping that I don’t have too many other things confused, but if you know otherwise, please set me straight!