George Edwin Farrar was my dad. He was the Waist Gunner on a B-17G on the Buslee crew. He enlisted with the Army Air Forces on June 4, 1942 at Fort McPherson (Atlanta), Georgia.
At the time of his enlistment he was 20 years old and was employed as a vending machine repairman. He had quit school after completing 10th grade to help support the family. His father, Carroll Johnson Farrar, Sr., was very ill and, being bedridden, could no longer work.
Before becoming part of a B-17 crew, Farrar was an Army Air Forces Gunnery Instructor. Beginning in May 1943, he instructed military personnel in flexible gunnery for 7 months at Kingman, Arizona. In Kingman, he conducted and administered training classes and gunnery tests.
After his stint in Kingman, he administered phase checks, and organized students and instructors for training in aerial gunnery for six months at Ardmore OTU, Oklahoma. The Ardmore assignment must have started around December 1943 and lasted until May 1944.
On June 8, 1944, while at the 222nd Combat Crew Training School in Ardmore, Oklahoma, Farrar and future crewmate, Eugene D. Lucynski, received orders to duty as combat crew members requiring regular and frequent participation in aerial flights.
Farrar left Ardmore around June 22, 1944, with the crew making several other stops in the states before finally departing the states between June 29 and July 1.
Farrar and the Buslee crew were eventually stationed at the Grafton Underwood Airbase with the 8th Air Force, 384th Bomb Group, 544th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy). My dad’s first mission was on August 5, 1944 and his last on September 28, 1944.
According to his Separation Qualification Record, Farrar flew as Armorer Gunner in lead ship and was responsible for inspection and repair of bomb racks, gun sights, and turrets. He fired 50 caliber machine guns from Waist position when in combat.
On the September 28 mission, another 384th plane collided with his plane coming off the target in Magdeburg, Germany. He was the only survivor on his plane. He became a prisoner of war, endured the Black March in the winter of 1945, and eventually returned home.
He married Bernice Jane Chase of Meno, Oklahoma, and had two children – me, Cindy Farrar Bryan, and my sister, Nancy Dunlap.
Sources: Enlistment Record, Farrar’s Separation Qualification Record
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013