Chapter Notes and References


(1) p. 74. Monticello, from 1900 to the 1940s, was known, at least to local residents, as the "patent medicine capital of the world." Several such remedies, including Dr. Caldwell's Syrup Pepsin, were developed and manufactured there. "Pepsin" was first manufactured in 1895. The product, which was a laxative, grew in popularity and a factory was built It provided employment for many Monticello residents for three generations. Details of the story are to be found in The Good Life in Piatt County by Jessie Borrer Morgan, published by Desaulniers & Company, Moline, Illinois 1963.

Mary Cynthia worked for Centaur-Caldwell for 4½ years. When she married Herbert in January 1942 she had to resign because the company had a policy not to hire married women. She then began work for the Selective Service Board with offices in the Piatt County Courthouse in Monticello. That office administered the military draft program in Piatt County. Of this employment Mary Cynthia said, "That was a job I didn't like very much--drafting men into the army, especially since Herbert was eligible for the draft."

(2) p. 74. Mary Cynthia recalled that they were at the famous Blackhawk Restaurant in Chicago one evening when Les Brown's orchestra was playing. His band was just getting started then. Later it played for Bob Hope's overseas tours of army bases and then for his television shows and movies.


(1) p. 75. Eisenhower, Dwight D., Crusade in Europe, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1948.

(2) p. 76. Eisenhower, ibid.

(3) p. 77. Eisenhower was elected President of the United States in 1952.

(4) p. 79. Daniels, Richard, The Norden Bombsight, Eureka, California, September, 1986.

(5) p 80. Nisos, Michael J., Air Force Magazine, "The Bombardier and His Bombsight," published by The Air Force Association, Washington, D.C., 1981.


(1) p. 89. Hoseason, James, The 1000 Day Battle, Gillingham Publications, Lowestoft, Suffolk. NR32 3LT., 1979.


(1) p. 91. Hoseason, ibid.

(2) p. 91. Kaplan, Philip and Smith, Rex Alan, One Last Look, Abbeville Press, New York, 1983.


(3) p. 92. History of the 453rd Bombardment Group (H)

453rd Bombardment Group (H)

Assigned Eighth AF: Dec. 43.

Wing & Command Assignments
    VIII BC, 2BD. 2CBW: 23 Dec. 44.
    2 BD. 2 CBW: 8 Jan. 44.
    2 AD. 2 CBW: 1 Jan. 45.

Component Squadrons
    732nd. 733rd. 734th and 735th Bombardment Squadron (H).

Combat Aircraft
    B-24H (from blocks 1--CF. 5--DT. 10--FO); B-24J, B-24L and B-24M

    OLD BUCKENHAM 22/23 Dec. 43--9 May 45 (Air ech. in ear Jan. 44).

Group COs
    Col Joseph A. Miller 29 Jun. 43--18 Mar. 44, MIA
    Col Ramsey D. Potts Jr. 19 Mar. 44--6 Jul. 44.
    Col Lawrence M. Thomas: 7 Jul. 44--25 Jan. 45.
    Lt Col Edward F. Hubbard: 25 Jan. 45--May 45.

First Mission: 5 Feb. 44. Last Mission: 12 Apr. 45. Total Mission: 259.

Total Credit Sorties: 6,655. Total Bomb Tonnage: 15,804 ton A/c MIA: 58. Other Op. Losses: E/a Claims: 42-12--19.

Major Awards

Claims to Fame
    733rd BS completed 82 consecutive missions without loss--record.
    James Stewart of film fame, was Group Executive Officer from May 44.

Early History
Activated 1 Jun. 43 at Wendover Fd. Utah. Established at Pocatello AAFd. Idaho, on 29 Jul. 43 and trained there for two months. Moved March Fd. Cal. 30 Sep. 43 to complete training. Ground echelon left March for port of embarkation 2 Dec 43.

Subsequent History
Removed from operations 12 Apr. 45 to prepare for return to US and possible deployment in the Pacific theatre. A/c apparently remained in UK. Group personnel left Old Buckenham 9 May 45 for port of embarkation. Established at New Castle AAFd, Del. 25 May 4[] as prospective very heavy bomb group but project dropped. From 1 Jun. 45 to 12 Sep 45 Group located at Fort Dix AAB, NJ. Inactivate 12 Sep. 45.

(4) p. 93. The author was fortunate to have the writings of others as source material for the description of Old Buckenham. The author is indebted to and pleased to acknowledge these sources: (1) Unit History, 453rd Bombardment Group (H), Andy Low, Editor; (2) The 1000 Day Battle, by James Hoseason; (3) The Mighty Eighth--Units, Men and Machines, by Roger Freeman; (4) One Last Look, by Philip Kaplan and Rex Alan Smith, (5) In Search of Peace, by Michael D. Benarcik; and (6) "The Second Air Division in East Anglia", in Second Air Division Memorial, 8th U.S.A.A.F. The description is a mix of information found in these sources.

(5) p. 94. Hoseason, ibid., p. 62.

(6) p. 94. Bowman, Martin W., Fields of Little America, Patrick Stephens, Ltd., Cambridge, England, 1983.

(7) p. 94. Kaplan, Philip and Smith, Rex Alan, ibid., pages 36--38.

(8) p. 95. Hoseason, ibid., p. 86.


(9) p. 95. Hoseason, ibid., p. 86.

(10) p. 96. Kaplan, Philip and Smith, Rex Alan, ibid., pp. 45--60.

(11) p. 97. The 453rd Bombardment Group (H) operated at Old Buckenham from February 5, 1944 until April 12, 1945. In May 1945 the airbase reverted to British Air Ministry control and was used for maintenance of RAF planes until it was closed down June 20, 1960. It was sold off during 1960-1964, demolished and returned to agriculture--and by 1948 hardly a trace remained.


(1) p. 100. Eisenhower, Dwight D., ibid.

Jeffrey L. Ethell wrote in Air Command--Fighters and Bombers of World War II, Lowe & B. Hould, Publishers, 1997, p. 7 that there were 2,411,294 men and women serving in the USAAF at the height of the war. The aircraft factories of America produced almost 230,000 aircraft of all types. Bomber construction was astounding: 12,677 B-17s; 18,188 B-24s; 9,815 B-25s; 5,157 B-26s, 3,760 B-29s; 7,230 A-20s; and 2,446 A-26s.

A million people were used to train 497,533 aircraft and engine mechanics; 347,236 gunners; 195,422 radio mechanics and operators; 50,976 navigators; 47,354 bombardiers, and 193,440 pilots.

Over 29,350 heavy bombardment crews were formed, and 7,600 medium and light bomber crews were created.

Ethell further wrote that the Eighth and Fifteenth heavy bomber air forces took a higher percentage of losses than any other American fighting force, from foxhole to destroyer deck. He says that in flying 264,618 bomber and 257,321 fighter sorties from England, the Eighth Air Force lost 4,148 B-17s and B-24s; 2,042 fighters were also lost, with 43,742 airmen killed or missing and another 1,923 seriously wounded. The RAF lost 55,573 men, a 20% casualty rate. He concluded: "To be in a bomber of any kind during World War II was not a safe proposition." Ethell's fine book is recommended reading!

(2) p. 101. Hoseason, ibid.

(3) p. 102. The Ploesti raid is chronicled in many accounts of the air war. See Hoseason, ibid., pages 39-52.

(4) p. 103. Hoseason, ibid., pages 47-48.

(5) p. 103. Hoseason, ibid., pages 53-54.

(6) p. 103. Freeman, Roger A., Mighty Eighth War Diary, Janes Publishing Co., Ltd., NY., N.Y. Excellent resource for statistical data on all missions.

(7) p. 104. Freeman, Roger A., ibid.

(8) p. 104. Freeman, Roger A., ibid.



(1) p. 107. The principal sources for this chapter are, (a) Birdsall, Steve, The B-24 Liberator, Arco Publishing Co., Inc., New York, N.Y. 1979. (b) Birdsall, Steve, B-24 Liberator in Action, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1975. (c) Perkins, Paul and Crean, Michelle, THE SOLDIER--Consolidated B-24 Liberator, Living History Series, Howell Press, Inc., Charlottesville, VA, 1994. (d) Hoseason, ibid.

(2) p. 113. Jeffrey L. Ethell, writing in his incomparable work, Air Command--Fighters and Bombers of World War II, Lowe and Hould, Publishers, 1997, (page 6) tells of the seemingly endless supply of aircraft built for the USAAF by the end of World War II:

From 1 July 1940 to 30 August 1945 the United States manufactured 299,293 aircraft. Of those, 69,118 were for the U.S. Navy and in the massive Lend-Lease effort to supply the Allies, over 43,000 aircraft were sent to the Soviet Union and Great Britain. By comparison, the United Kingdom built 128,835 aircraft from 1939 to 1945; Germany rolled out 113,514 (53,728 were fighters) and Japan produced 58,834 from 1941 to 1945.

He concludes: "There never was, and there never will be, another flying armada to equal the wartime U.S. Army Air Force."

(3) p. 114. Statistics are from the preface of Bowman, Martin W., Fields of Little America, Patrick Stephens, Ltd., 1983.


(1) p. 115. Hoseason, ibid., p. 71.

(2) p. 115. Hoseason, ibid. p. 71.

(3) p. 115. Freeman, Roger A., The Mighty Eighth War Diary, Jane's, New York, 1981. This excellent report of Eighth Air Force missions is the source of much of the data and incidents reported throughout this book.

(4) p. 116. Caldwell, Donald L., JG--Top Guns of the Luftwaffe, Ivy Books, N.Y., 1991, p. 207.

(5) p. 116. Lineage of 453rd Bombardment Group (H) is to be found in Notes. Chapter 4, (3).

(6) p. 117. Freeman, Roger A., ibid. p. 183--184.

(7) p. 117. Caldwell, Donald L., ibid., page 208.

(8) p. 117. Hoseason, ibid.

(9) p. 117. Caldwell, Donald L., ibid., page 213.

(10) p. 117. Hoseason, ibid.

(11) p. 117. Caldwell, Donald L., ibid., page 213.


(12) p. 118. Low, Andy, Editor, The Liberator Men of "Old Buc." The Story of the 453rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) in World War II, 29 June 1943--15 September 1945.

(13) p. 118. Caldwell, Donald L., ibid., page 217.


(1) p. 119. Norwich Public Libraries, The Second Air Division in East Anglia, Norwich Record Office, 1965, page 10.

(2) p. 119. Wilbur Stites' poem appeared in Benarcik, Michael D., In Search of Peace, The Michael D. Benarcik Foundation, Wilmington, DE, 1989. In October 1998, Mr. Stites wrote that he was pleased that his poem would be used in this book. He wrote, "As for my own story, I grew up on a farm in north central Illinois, enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942. I had been enrolled in ROTC at the U of Illinois and was accepted as a cadet trainee. The over-abundance of men who wanted to fly resulted in my transfer to gunnery school. I flew 35 missions as left waist gunner with the 453rd Bomb Group, 734th Squadron of the 8th Air Force stationed in East Anglia at Old Buckenham. near Norwich. Retailing to the U of I, I completed my education in Journalism. I worked for the Illinois Dept. of Conservation for five years and then was recruited by the Wisconsin Natural Resources Dept. In both I established radio and television programs--hosting and contributing to the production of both. I retired in 1984."

Mr. Stites and his wife, Jeane, publish the 453rd Bomb Group Association's Newsletter twice a year. His address at this writing is 9334 Kahl Road, Black Earth, Wisconsin 53515-9518. Many thanks to Wilbur for his assistance.

(3) p. 122. Freeman, Roger A., ibid., page 23.

(4) p. 122. Historical Section, ETOUSA, American Enterprise in Europe, The Role of the Services of Supply in the Defeat of Germany, Information and Education Division, USFET, 1945.

Supplying POL (petroleum products) was a function of G-4, Army Services of Supply in the pre-invasion period. All of it came from America (7,108,718 tons) to the ETO for all military operations--43 times the amount provided by America in World War I.

(5) p. 123. Bradley explained, "One might assume that we all went to our stations before take-off. Such was not the case for all of us. The Engineer, Navigator, Radio Operator, and Bombardier gathered on the flight deck with the Pilot and Co-pilot. This helped center the weight and was helpful for lift-off and for landings. After the plane became airborne we crawled to our positions. The Engineer remained with the Pilot and Co-pilot to call off air-speed on take-off and lift."

(6) p. 127. Freeman, Roger A., ibid., page 194.

Freeman writes that the bomb-bay doors were not hinged, but were flexible in operation and rolled up the outside of the fuselage. When fully closed, locking pins secured them in place, and the bomb release in the nose was then locked in a safe position so that bombs could not be dropped when the doors were closed. The problem was that when the doors were fully open, vibration sometimes caused the doors to creep an inch or two and the locking pins would engage, unknown to the bombardier, and prevent the immediate release of bombs upon the target. Perhaps this was Bradley's problem on the occasion bomb-bay doors or the bomb-release mechanism did not operate properly.



(1) p. 133. Again, the author expresses his gratitude to Hoseason for much of the information presented in this chapter.

(2) p. 134. Hoseason, ibid.

(3) p. 134. Benarcik, Michael D., ibid., page 151.

(4) p. 135. Benarcik, Michael D., ibid.

(5) p. 135. Benarcik, Michael B., ibid.

(6) p. 135. Low, Andy, ibid.


(1).(2).(3) p. 137. Angell, Joseph W., "Crossbow", in Vol. III, The Army Air Forces in World War II, Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate, Editors, by USAF Historical Division, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1951, pp. 84-106.

(4) p. 138. "Rhubarb" flight. Flights flown at very low altitudes seeking targets of opportunity--so low they said they could practically see the whites of the enemy's eyes in low strafing attacks on military trucks, railroad yards, trains, radio stations. Other targets were called "rhubarb" flights because they said they flew so low they could have clipped off the rhubarb plants. Fighter aircraft were also equipped as dive-bombers.

(5) p. 140. Of this target, Hoseason wrote (page 138, The 1,000 Day Battle), "The target at Marquise Mimoyesques was attacked again and again--a huge concrete construction. Despite the heavy bomb loads dropped on it, there was not much the bombers could do to prevent the Germans from using the site. There was mystery surrounding its real purpose, which was not known until it fell later into Allied hands. Initially associated with flying bombs, it was, in fact, an underground 6-inch multi-barrel, long-range gun battery. This was Hitler's V-3 weapon. Trained on London, only 100 miles away, the five giant 400-foot long smooth-bored barrels involved using a series of small charges in branches of the barrel to be fired electrically in sequence to accelerate the shell. To reach London, a velocity of nearly 5,000 feet per second was necessary. The guns were designed to fire shells with collapsible fins which came out into position when the shell left the barrel. But the sustained bombing by the Allies ensured the V-3 weapons were never used for their intended purpose."

This site was one of seven very large construction sites from which the Germans were preparing to fire their rocket missiles against London and other British and American targets in England. Bradley could not at that time have realized how important these "milk runs" really were to the outcome of the war.


(1) p. 144. Freeman, Roger A., ibid., p. 209.

(2) p. 144. The marking prior to this change was a black letter "J" in a white circle super-imposed on a black background

(3) p. 144. Hoseason, ibid.


(4) p. 145. Lt. Mailander was Co-pilot. One morning his ship crashed on take-off.

(5) p. 145. Hoseason, ibid.

(6) p. 145. Freeman, Roger A., ibid.

(7) p. 146. Freeman, Roger A., ibid.

(8) p. 147. Kaplan, Philip and South, Rex Allen, ibid, p. 7.

(9) p. 147. Thanks to Freeman and to Angell for these observations.


(1) p. 151. Hoseason, ibid., pp. 103--105.

(2) p. 151. Freeman, Roger A., ibid., p. 212.

(3) p. 153. Benarcik, Michael D., ibid., pp. 67--75.


(1) p. 155. Ferguson, Arthur B., "Winter Bombing" in Vol. III, The Army Air Forces in World War II, Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate, Editors, USAF Historical Division, USAF; University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1951. p. 22.


(1) p. 187. Of these 855 fighter aircraft, 202 were P-38s, 295 were P-47s and 358 were P-51 "Mustangs." These planes were escort for both the Berlin and Brunswick missions.(Source: Freeman, The Mighty Eighth War Diary. Low said it was P-38 fighters that came to defense of the 453rd after it reached the RP.

(2) p. 187. Low, Andy, Editor, The Liberator Men of "Old Buc"--The Story of the 453rd Bombardment Group (H) in World War II, June 29, 1943-September 15, 1945.

(3) p. 188. Olds, Don, Rolla, Missouri, shared official after-action reports of this mission with the author. These documents are the source of much of the information presented in this chapter.

(4) p. 189. Benarcik, Michael A., ibid., p. 134.

(5) p. 190. Stites, Wilbur. See Notes, Chapter 8, and Acknowledgments.

(6) p. 190. The 453rd submitted a report of the May 8, 1944 mission, to Hq., 2nd Air Division which included this statement, "Approximately 250 E/A consisting of Me 109s and FW 190s, equally distributed, were seen; only one crew reported seeing approximately 50 TE E/A, believed to be Me 110s."

(7) p. 191. Benarcik, Michael A., ibid., p. 140-143.

(8) p. 191. Benarcik, Michael A., ibid., p. 144-147.


(9) p. 197. Freeman, Roger A., ibid.


(1).(2).(3) p. 200. Freeman, Roger A., ibid.

(4).(5) p. 202. Fagg, John E., "Pre-invasion Operations" in Vol. III, The Army Air Forces in World War II, Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate, Editors, USAF Historical Division, USAF, University of Chicago Press, 1951. pp. 138-181. This source was used for much of what was written here.

(6) p. 204. Caldwell, Donald L., ibid. p. 383-393.

(7) p. 204. Caldwell, Donald L., ibid., p. 226.

(8) p. 205. Much of this account is from Blue, Allan G., The Fortunes of War, the 492nd Bomb Group on Daylight Operations, edited by Kenn C. Rust, Aero Publishers, Inc., Fallbrook, California, 1967.


(1) p. 210. "Nor'wester"--Pamela in Yank Magazine, July 2, 1944, British Edition.

(2) p. 211. Eisenhower, Dwight D., ibid., p. 248.

(3) p. 211. Hoseason, ibid., p. 128.

(4) p. 214. George, Robert H., "Normandy" in Vol. III, The Army Air Forces in World War II, Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate, Editors, UAF Historical Division, USAF, University of Chicago Press, 1951, pp. 193-194.


(1) p. 215. The referenced works are: (a) Eisenhower, Dwight D., Crusade in Europe, ibid.; (b) Hastings, Max, Overlord--D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, a Touchstone Book, published by Simon and Schuster, N.Y., 1984.

(2) p. 215. Eisenhower, Dwight D., ibid.

(3) p. 216. Freeman, Roger A., ibid., p. 264.

(4) p. 217. Eisenhower, Dwight D., ibid., p. 259-260.

(5) p. 217. Freeman, Roger A., ibid., p. 266.

(6) p. 217. Freeman, Roger A., ibid., p. 267.

(7) p. 218. Freeman, Roger A., ibid., p. 270.

(8) p. 218. Freeman, Roger A., ibid., p. 268-281.

(9) p. 220. Astor, Gerald, The Mighty Eighth, the Air War in Europe as Told By the Men Who Fought It; Dell Pub. Co., New York, NY, 1997.


(10) p. 220. Benarcik, Michael, ibid.


(1) p. 246. The Confederate Air Force (CAF) is a not-for-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to restoring, preserving and showing military aircraft. It was founded at Mercedes, Texas in the early 1960s. Bradley says the government was then destroying its remaining stock of military planes. A number of men were then forming an association for the purpose of acquiring some of these planes. Someone suggested they adopt the name, "Confederate" because, like the men of the Confederacy of the Civil War, they were resisting government policy--the policy of destroying the wartime airplanes.

CAF Headquarters was at Harlingen, Texas for many years; at Midland Army Air Base, Midland, Texas since 1995.

The Oklahoma Wing of the CAF was formed in July 1979. Bradley is a Charter Member. There are Wings worldwide now (1999).


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