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Monthly Archives: November 2013

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September 11, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 192

Big Dog, Aircraft 42-102661

Big Dog, Aircraft 42-102661

September 11, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 192.

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 192 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 623.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 42-102661, Big Dog.

The primary target was the oil industry in Luetzkendorf, Germany.

Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – Chester A. Rybarczyk
  • Bombardier – James B. Davis
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Paul Leland Watson
  • Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)

The same crew as mission 191 from the day before.  Again the regular Buslee crew without Erwin V. Foster.  Paul Leland Watson again replaced Foster as Ball Turret Gunner on this mission.

Source:  Sortie Report, Aircraft Photo

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

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September 10, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 191

September 10, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 191

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 191 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 619.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 43-38213, name unknown.

The primary target was the BMW Motor Component Parts Plant in Sindelfingen, Germany.

Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – Chester A. Rybarczyk
  • Bombardier – James B. Davis
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Paul Leland Watson
  • Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)

The regular Buslee crew without Erwin V. Foster.  Paul Leland Watson replaced Foster as Ball Turret Gunner on this mission.  Foster did not fly again until September 30, 1944, two days after the Buslee crew was involved in the September 28 mid-air collision with the Brodie crew.  Foster completed his tour with 35 missions on February 28, 1945, returning to the US.

Watson would also replace Foster the next day on mission 192, but would not fly with the Buslee crew again after that.  Watson flew 29 missions in all, his last on November 16, 1944 when his aircraft received a direct flak hit to an engine, setting it on fire.  Six chutes were observed, with one on fire.  The aircraft crash-landed in Belgium, with an injured pilot and engineer, and a dead co-pilot.  Five of the crew became POW’s, including Watson.

Rybarczyk is back as Navigator after sitting out the September 9 mission.

Aircraft 43-38213 only flew three more missions after this one, for a total of fourteen combat missions.  On September 13, 1944, immediately after bombs away, the aircraft was seen going down in flames.  Four of the crew members on this flight were killed, with five becoming POWs.

Source:  Sortie Report

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

September 9, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 190

Lead Banana, 43-37822

Lead Banana, 43-37822

September 9, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 190

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 190 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 614.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 43-37822, Lead Banana.  This was their second of three missions aboard the Lead Banana.

The primary target was again, but for the last time, the chemical works industry in Ludwigshaven, Germany.

Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – George J. Jacobson
  • Bombardier – James B. Davis
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Erwin V. Foster
  • Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)

The regular Buslee crew without Chester A. Rybarczyk.  George J. Jacobson replaced Rybarczyk as Navigator or this flight.  Rybarczyk did not fly this mission.

Erwin V. Foster was back as Ball Turret Gunner.  Foster had not flown since the August 24 mission.

Source:  Sortie Report

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

August 14, 1944 Letter from Ed Farrar to His Mother

At this point in his combat career, George Edwin Farrar has flown four missions, the roughest being his first on August 5, 1944.

August 14, 1944

England

Dearest Mother:

Haven’t heard from you in a couple days, so thought I would go ahead and write.  Hope everyone is doing all right.  I guess by the time you receive this, school will be started off again.  I hope everyone will do as good as they did last term.

It only takes nine days to receive your letters now, but I have never received a V-mail letter.  I don’t know what is wrong, as I think you told me several weeks ago you sent me one.  Maybe it will get here before I leave.

I still like England all right, and the food is getting better each day, that is on the base, because you just can’t get anything to eat in town.

I sure hope I can finish up and get home by Christmas, or the first of the year.

I got a letter from the little Bryant girl, and she was raising all kind of hell about a blonde.  I only know the girl, and she said in the letter she wasn’t playing second to anyone (what a laugh).  I guess she will learn.

Well I guess I had better cut this, as I will be up early in the morning, and the sleep will come in good.

Love to all,

Ed

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

384th Bomb Group Wing Panel Signing Project

The Eighth Air Force played a crucial role in WWII.  The 384th Bombardment Group was part of the Eighth and was assigned to the Grafton Underwood Airfield in England.  My dad, George Edwin Farrar, was a waist gunner in the 384th.  As part of my research into my dad’s war history, I learned of a special project – the 384th Bomb Group Wing Panel Signing Project.

The project provides 384th veterans an opportunity to inscribe their names on a piece of history – a skin panel from the wing of a WWII B-17G.  By signing the panel, 384th veterans show their affiliation, pride and respect for each other, their service to Country, and honor the sacrifice of many in the war.  The panel travels all over the United States for interested 384th veterans to sign.

The Wing Panel Project is coming to Florida in January.  The organizers of the project have located one 384th veteran in Ocala who will be signing the panel, but they are seeking more 384th veterans in the Ocala area.  They are seeking only veterans of the 384th Bombardment Group (Heavy) who served during WWII, specifically from December 1942 through the end of the war in mid-1945.

The opportunity to sign the panel is not restricted to combat crewmembers.  All who served in the 384th during training in the US, at the Grafton Underwood airfield in England during combat operations, and in post-war activities in Istres, France, are qualified to sign.

The panel will be in Ocala the latter part of January, currently scheduled from January 24th to the 27th.  Qualified 384th veterans who would like to sign the panel are urged to contact Fred Preller at B-17WingPanel@384thBombGroup.com.

June 28, 1944 Letter from Ed Farrar to His Mother

Ed Farrar’s last letter to his mother before leaving the states for combat duty.  The reference to “my boy” is his younger brother, Gene, who would have been 13 at the time.  Also at home would have been his younger sister, Beverly, only 7 in 1944.  Ed needed to be able to send money home to help support the family as his father was gravely ill and bedridden, unable to work.  Payday in the service during WWII must not have been consistent as you can read below.

June 28, 1944

Dear Mother:

In just a little while and we will be on our way.  I wish I could tell you where to, but it just isn’t being done this season.  I can tell you we will stay once more in the States, and I will try to drop you a line from there.  I am in the ship now.  We have everything packed, and we are taking time about watching it until take-off time.

This is one of the best places I have been in some time, and I hate to leave it without going to town once more.

I am sorry about sending you any money before I leave, but they didn’t pay us, and there was so much to do, that there was nothing we could do about it.

The card inside is the address of the jewelers where I left my watch.  If they don’t send it to you in a couple of weeks, please write them a letter and ask about it.

I guess that covers everything except how much I would have liked to see everyone before we leave.  I would have phoned, but I had such little money, I thought it best to hold onto it.  Take good care of everything and I’ll be back soon.  I hate to be running around so much, but I am used to it by now.  I never know where I will be from one day to the other, and that does make the time go by fast, but I’ll be glad when this is all over.

Tell everyone and especially my boy hello.  Will drop you a card later.

With all my love,

Ed

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

Departing the States

According to his Honorable Discharge documents, George Edwin Farrar departed the US on July 1, 1944 and arrived at destination ETO (European Theater of Operations) on July 3, 1944.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

June 26, 1944 Letter from Ed Farrar to His Mother

Another letter to his mother before departing the states.  Janet and Dot are two of Ed’s sisters.  The reference to Forts must be an abbreviation for Flying Fortresses, another name for the B-17 aircraft.

June 26, 1944

Dear Mother:

One more day in this place, and we will be going.  You should receive my A.P.O. address in a couple of days.  And you can write me then.  I will be where I am going in a few days, or by the time you receive this letter.  I wish you would write me one letter air mail, and one V-mail letter at the same time, and see which one I receive first.  We are not being paid here, as we thought.  I’ll try and tell you when I fly my first mission, but am not sure they will let it through the mail.  Just keep up with the papers and you will see what the Forts are doing.

Tell Janet and Dot I really appreciated the letters, and will write them the first chance I get.  Maybe there will be a little more to write about next week.  I’ll write you every other day if we are at our base.  You know they are flying from one base to the other, and bomb each way.  You can also get the thirty missions in that way.  I’ll try to drop you a line again before we leave the states.  I am sure glad that we are flying over, as I don’t care to take the long ride it takes on a boat.  We can go over in a matter of hours.  So after all I won’t be so far away.  Will close here, until I get another chance to write.

Love to all,

Ed

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

June 25, 1944 Letter from Ed Farrar to His Mother

On the move and on the way to England, the Buslee crew has arrived at the location where they received the plane they would fly over.  The letter does not indicate where they were at the time.

June 25, 1944

Dear Mother,

Just a line to let you know that everything is fine.  There is no use in you writing me here, as we will only be here four days.  We have our own plane, and will fly over.  We should be there next week this time.  If I get my new address before I leave, I will send it to you.

I left my watch in Ardmore to be worked on.  They were going to send it to me, but there will not be time, so I am having them send it to you.  There will be a little charge on it.  I will send you the money before we leave here, as we will get paid.  I may have some things to send home so you can look for them.  I will write you where you can send my watch when I get over.  Be sure and save the letter so they will let you send it at the Post Office.  You have to show them the letter that I asked for it before you can send it.

You know I may be home for Christmas.  I hope so anyway.  Don’t count on it too much, but I am going to try.

Tell Gene he should see our plane.  It only has twelve hours on it and guns all over it.  They are giving each of us a cal. – 45 pistol and a large knife.  You would think we were going to look for a fight.

That is about all for now, but will write again when I have time.  Please don’t worry about me as I know what I am doing, and love it.  Tell every-one hello.

With love,

Ed

Farrar’s mother did get the watch to him in England, but the watch did not make it back to the states with him after the war.  More on that later.

Questions:

  1. Where would the crew have picked up the aircraft they flew to England?
  2. What serial number/name was the aircraft?

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

June 22, 1944 Letter from Ed Farrar to His Mother

On June 8, 1944, while at the 222nd Combat Crew Training School in Ardmore, Oklahoma, George Edwin (Ed) Farrar received combat duty orders requiring “regular and frequent participation in aerial flights.”  Two weeks later he wrote a letter to his mother.  He would leave the states in about a week, but still didn’t know where he would be permanently stationed.

June 22, 1944

Ardmore Army Air Base

Ardmore, Oklahoma

Dearest Mother,

Received your sweet letter this noon, and also the one from Gene [one of Ed’s younger brothers].  I enjoyed both very much.  I don’t guess I’ll hear from you any-more from this station, but will send you my new address as soon as I learn it.  There is a lot of talk that we are not going to England, as we thought, but will find out at our next station.  We will be at the next place just long enough to get our plane.  It should take from three to seven days.  I’ll write you as often as I can, and I want you to know that I haven’t waited this long to start asking God to help me.  That is one thing I have never been too proud to do, and I think it helps a lot, too.

There is one thing nice about not going to England, and that is we won’t run into as much flak anywhere else.  All we will have to worry about is fighters, and we have damn good guns on our ships to take good care of them.  That is why we fly more missions everywhere else.  When we are not flying, we don’t have to turn our hands, and in less than a year I’ll be back with thirty days to spend at home.  We may even finish by Christmas, as I am going to fly every mission I can, and finish up soon.

Well, I had better cut this here as we have a long hop in front of us.  Will write again soon.

Love to all,

Ed

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013