The Arrowhead Club

Home » 2015 » January

Monthly Archives: January 2015

Advertisements

The Ring – April 17, 1948

To review:  After Z recounted his experience of witnessing the crash of Lead Banana, his father wrote a letter to the Buslee’s detailing the event.

Z’s father wrote again very soon with more news about the ring.

Richmond, Texas, April 17, -48

Dear Mr. Buslee-:

Here is the translation of Z’s father’s letter, but please kindly correct all the errors in spelling-!

* * *

Prague, 4-8-1948

Esteemed Mr. Buslee :

I am informing you, that to-day, that is 4-8-1948, I have send the ring, which belonged to your son. It will be send to you by the Military Attaché of the US Embassy in Prague. I gave the ring personally to him and he thank me very nicely. Now I have only one wish, that is, you get the ring, which belonged to your beloved son.

After the information from the Military Attaché, you will have the ring in 3 weeks and please, after you will receive it, let me know.

I wish to tell Mr. B about this too, but I forgot his address at the office of the Attaché and will write to him soon, as I get home.

Please be sure, how happy I am, that with the help of Mr. B I was able to do this for you.

With respect:

Z’s Father,

Czechoslovakia

* * *

Well, Mr. Buslee, I am sure you will have the ring in next 2 weeks, and I too, just like Z’s father, will be very—very happy-!

Yes, it is hot here in Texas, but you just get use of it, but I tell you, Mr. Buslee, if I would be in Chicago only one winter, I guess I would freeze to death-! For three years, our daughter – she try to get us to New York, but I am afraid the winter would kill me. She told me lately, “daddy, I will find a little home and Shoe Shop for sale, /I have a Shoe Shop here/ and you must move to New York-! But we still don’t like the idea-! You know, the winter here is very mild. July, August and September, well, this three months are “no good”,-too hot, but the nine months of the year, just fine-! The only trouble I have here, is my Arthritis, which tortures me for long time, and the climate is no good for this kind of trouble, because it is here very low. Next July we are planning going to Hot Springs, Ark., and I hope to cure that “so and so”-Arthritis-!

If we ever will travel to New York to see our daughter, we will go via Chicago and see you, Mr. Buslee. And if you ever will travel to the South, please, do not forget Richmond-!!!!

Sincerely yours:

Mr. B

This transcription is a careful reproduction of the original except for occasional spelling and punctuation corrections. Some names have been masked to protect the privacy of those individuals and their families.  In some circumstances, based on relevancy or a desire to mask locations, some material may not have been transcribed.

Thank you to John Dale Kielhofer, John Oliver (Jay) Buslee’s nephew, for sharing these letters with me.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2015

Advertisements

The Ring – April 12, 1948

To review:  On March 26, Mr. B sent a translated letter to the Buslee’s explaining that it would be possible for the finder of their son’s ring to send it to them from Czechoslovakia.

In a follow-up letter, Z’s father explains that his son was home on a short visit and told of the crash of the Lead Banana on September 28, 1944.  In a previous letter, Z identified the date of the crash as September 22, and in this letter as September 24.

Richmond, Texas, April 12, 1948

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Buslee-:

Thank you for your nice letter Mrs. Buslee and please, forgive me, it took me two days to answer your letter. First, here is the translation of Z’s father’s letter. Please kindly correct those words, they are written in “my” English, that mean, there is plenty of errors in spelling, but, I do hope, you will understand-!

Esteemed Mr. Buslee,

In addition to my first letter, I am informing you, that my son Z came home on very short visit and was unable to answer your letter and asked me, to do so for him and to tell you about the plane in which your dear son found his death.

First I have to state, that the ring really belong to your son, Mr. Lt. John O. Buslee and the No. 0-764209 is correct-! His name is engraved inside the ring and no doubt everything is correct-! /Here Z’s father means, that I found the right kins./

My son Z left the ring here with me and now I am waiting for your directions how to send the ring to you, or I will take care of this myself and send it. Mr. B, who helped us to find you has told us, that he suggested to you, to ask the Amer. Consul, who would take care of it. /I told Z’s father in last letter, if he is SURE, he can send the ring direct to you, Air Mail-Registered, it would be the best way, but, he MUST be SURE, that the Czechoslovak authorities would let him send the ring-!/

And now to the unfortunate death of your son, my son Z stated this:

On Sept. 24, /Sunday/ about 14 hours, /That is 2 P.M./ came a swarm of bombing US planes and the direction was Magdeburg in Germany. One plane was separated from the swarm and the way it looks, damaged. Finally after a while, the plane came down in flames near the village. My son, who have been in Germany on forced labor in lager close to village, went to the scene and came there sooner before the German authorities did. The plane was burned, motor deep in the ground and the way it looks, everybody in the plane was dead and burned, too, because there was no sign of any body of the dead flyers. Because the place, where the plane came down, is out of populated places, it is not possible, that the flyers, dead or injured, have been removed, before Z and his friends came to the wreckage of the burned plane. The very next day, Sept. 25, 1944, my son and his two friends, one Czech and One Frenchman, went to the place again and in the ruins they were looking for some souvenirs. My son found the ring, and at first he thought, he found some little part of the instruments of the plane. But after cleaning the little thing from all the sticky material on it, he find out it is a ring, which must belong to one of the dead flyers. Then he found the name, the serial number and the engraved Emblem of the USA. The stone – the color of the stone – is damaged by flames and it is not possible to tell the original color of the stone.

After Z came home from Germany, in Dec. 1944, he hide all the things he found in the burned plane, it was some papers and some money besides the ring, and after the liberation in 1945 he went to the Amer. Consul in Prague, /I will return to this point of Z’s father’s letter-!/where he told them all he know about the plane and asked them to find out the kins of the flyer, so he can send them the ring. They kept the half-burned papers and money, but asked Z to keep the ring till they find out the family of the flyer.

With the help and kindness of Mr. B it will be possible for my son, to return the ring to you, and it will be a great honor for me, to return this memory-ring-which belonged to your heroic son.

Please, forgive my son Z for not writing to you, but he is in service now, and is changing place very often. /Here Z’s father can’t say, where his son is stationed-! /I will be happy to answer all your questions and please, do not bother yourself about the expense with sending the ring-! It will be only a happiness for us to deliver to you the ring, which, we know, will be treasured by you.

My son have only one wish to you and that is, if you would be so kind and send him a picture of your son, which he would be happy to have as a memory for unknown hero and which would be the only reward he is asking for; that would be the best reward for the safekeeping of the ring-!

And now I have only one wish and that is, to deliver the ring to you soon as possible, because I know, how it would and will be treasured by you-!

I am looking forward to your instruction and your decision how to send the ring.

Yours: Z’s Father,

So that is the translation of Z’s father’s letter. And now, dear Mrs. Buslee, let me tell you, that you DO NOT bother me and please, do not mention this again-!!! You don’t know, how happy I will be, after you will send me a letter, that you have the ring-! And I do hope, it will be soon. Z’s father in his letter to me last week told me, he believes, you will have the ring in hand in the second half of April. A pray for this-!!! I made the suggestion to you and to Z’s father too, that it would be the best way to send the ring to the Amer. Consul General in Prague, but after the information, which Z’s father gave me about those things his son have to the Consul in 1945, I believe it would be the best send the ring direct to you. I told Z’s father to go to the Czech authorities and explain them what it is all about and I am sure, they would let him send it direct. I would not care, to write direct to President Beneš and I am sorry Jan Masaryk is dead-! If I would write to him, he sure would fix it up and the ring would be here in 10 days-!!

PLEASE, Mr. and Mrs. Buslee, DO NOT send any money to Z’s family-! You know, they have plenty of money in Czechoslovakia, but—they can’t buy nothing for it, because, there is nothing to buy. The boy, Z, he is a Philatelist-stamp collector-and I already send him US stamps about 20 dollars worth and I send him about 40 beautiful “First Day of Issue” covers and he is very happy about them. All Z is asking you is a picture of your son John. And you, dear Mrs. Buslee, in letter to me, are promising the picture not only to Z’s family but to us too. Please, believe me, we sure will be happy to have one too.! So please, DO NOT send any money to Z’s family, but, if you really would like to send something to make those people happy, I will give you a suggestion, but after you will have the ring-!!! You know, piece of cloth or pair of stockings, that’s something, which they can’t buy for no money and how happy they would be- ! But—only after you will have the ring, then we will discuss it further-! Once again I am asking you PLEASE, do not mention any bothering, Mrs. Buslee and we too hope, we meet some time. In case you came to the South, please do not forget Richmond and the B’s-! Sincerely yours: Mr. B

The next day, Mr. B wrote a quick note to the Buslee’s with some information he forgot to include in the previous day’s letter.

Richmond, Tex., 4-13-48.

Dear Mrs. Buslee-:

By translating Z’s father’s letter, I forget to tell you that the time when the plane came down, is given in CET /Central European time/ that mean, if the plane came down 14 hours /2 P.M./CET, that would be 7 A.M, CST, or 8. A.M, EST.

Sincerely yours:
Mr. B

The time of day of the mid-air collision between Lazy Daisy and Lead Banana noted on Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 9753 was 12:11 p.m. – just after noon.  I assume this would have been the time of day at the Grafton Underwood air base.  I believe there is an hour time difference between Grafton Underwood, England and Magdeburg, Germany.

This transcription is a careful reproduction of the original except for occasional spelling and punctuation corrections. Some names have been masked to protect the privacy of those individuals and their families.  In some circumstances, based on relevancy or a desire to mask locations, some material may not have been transcribed.

Thank you to John Dale Kielhofer, John Oliver (Jay) Buslee’s nephew, for sharing these letters with me.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2015

The Ring – March 26, 1948

To review:  On March 16, 1948, the Buslee’s wrote to the American Consul General in Czechoslovakia asking for assistance in the delivery of their son’s ring to them from the finder of the ring in Czechoslovakia.

Mr. B, the translator of the letters between America and Czechoslovakia, received a letter from the finder of the ring’s father.  Mr. B translated the letter and sent it to the Buslee’s, adding some information of his own.  In the translated letter from Z’s father, Mr. B occasionally also inserts commentary of his own by placing the information between slashes.

Richmond, Texas, March 26, 1948

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Buslee:-

Thank you for your letter, dear Mrs. Buslee, and I am very happy to know, it will be possible for Z, to send the ring to you direct. That is the way, I understand his letter. But first, here is the translation of Z’s father’s letter. Please, you must understand, Mr. and Mrs. Buslee, my English is no good, and to be true, I am ashamed for my bad English, but I came to this beautiful and FREE country, when I was 32 years old, and I am telling you, English is a very hard language to learn. We have a daughter, she was six years old, when she came here and her English is better than those born here. But she started from “ABC” in school and that is different. In 1943 she join the Cadet Nurse Corp and went to New York, and she is still there. So please, forgive my bad English, and here is the translation of that letter:

Esteemed Mr. Buslee !

I received your letter dated 3-8-1948, and I am informing you, that I am answering your letter for my son, who by now is in the service in certain town, which is located far from us. /You know, Mrs. Buslee, they cannot tell in which town, because there must be a censorship in Czechoslovakia and I am sure, it is forbidden to mention that/So I am not able to give you all information about the plane and Mr. Lt. Buslee, who found his heroic death. But soon, as my son will come home for furlough, he will tell you all he knows.

As far as I know, my son he has the ring, which belong to Mr. Lt. Buslee and the other things, which he did have, he send some time ago to the American Consul in Prague, where he asked for informations about the kins of Lt. Buslee./Here Z’s father means some things which his son found by the plane. And I just wonder, why the American Consul General in Prague, did not inquire in Washington, D.C., and did not try to find you-!!!/

It will be a great honor for us, to deliver the remembrance /he means the ring/ to the kins of a dead, who sacrificed his life for the restoration of human rights.

I do not believe /this is the part of Z’s father’s letter, which pleased me very much, because – as I told you Mrs. Buslee in my letter, – I was afraid it would not be possible to mail the ring directly to you by Z/ there will be any difficulty from the Czechoslovak authorities, to deliver the ring to you, and soon, as my son will come home, we will do so. /that mean, they will send the ring/

Please, forgive me, I am late with my answer, but there is nobody here, who would be able to read English and I send the letter of yours to the city to be translated in Czech. Forgive me again please, I am answering in Czech, because I hate to keep you waiting, by sending my letter in Czech, for the English translation and so I am writing in Czech and hope, you will find someone, who will read it for you. After my son will come home, he will tell you all, he know about the plane and the crew and I am terribly sorry, I am unable to ease your sorrow.

I am wishing you a very pleasant Easter and remain with a friendly respect yours:
Z’s Father
Czechoslovakia

Over-:

So, dear Mr. and Mrs. Buslee, that is the translation of Z’s father’s letter. He is the father of that boy Z and the letter shows, they are good peoples. I am very—very happy, it will be possible for him, to mail the ring directly to you. As you know I suggested in my last letter, to ask the Amer. Consul in Prague to ask for the ring and I told Z, in case, the Amer. Consul General will ask for the ring, just mail it to him. But, now, after Z’s father told you- and I am greatly disappointed about that kind of service from US Consul- that his son some time ago asked the US Consul for information and send him some things he found by the plane, and the Consul DID nothing to find you, it really will be better, if Z will be able to send the ring directly to you. I am writing this very moment to Z and tell him about that, and will ask him, if it is possible for him, to send the ring to you direct, just forget all about my idea, to send the ring to the Amer. Consul in Prague, and send the ring Air Mail and registered and I will pay all the expense, or send some my stamps from my collection.

I and my wife, dear Mr. and Mrs. Buslee, we will be so happy, after you will have the remembrance – the ring – from you beloved son-! We have only one child too, -daughter- and we know, how terrible it would be if she would be lost for us, because she is all we have lived for, just like your dear son was-! May God bless you and please, write to me again and after I will know, you did get the ring, we will be happy with you-!!

Please Mrs. Buslee, do not thank me-! It was not a bit of trouble for me, but pleasure to help such a wonderful people. We too, are wishing you a Happy Easter and please, believe me, how happy I would be, if I would be able to ease your sorrow.

Sincerely yours:
Mr. B and wife

This transcription is a careful reproduction of the original except for occasional spelling and punctuation corrections. Some names have been masked to protect the privacy of those individuals and their families.  In some circumstances, based on relevancy or a desire to mask locations, some material may not have been transcribed.

Thank you to John Dale Kielhofer, John Oliver (Jay) Buslee’s nephew, for sharing these letters with me.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2015

The Ring – March 16, 1948

To review:  On March 11, 1948, the Buslees received a letter from Mr. B with directions for them to send a letter to the  American Consul General, Prague, Czechoslovakia, requesting assistance in the return of the ring.

The Buslees wrote the following letter to the American Consul General.

411 Wisner Avenue
Park Ridge, Illinois

March 16, 1948

Mr. Lawrence Steinhardt
American Embassy
Prague, Czechoslovakia

Dear Honorable Mr. Steinhardt:

We have received a letter from Czechoslovakia, as enclosed.

The letter from Z was sent originally to Mr. B of Richmond, Texas. While these two men were not personally acquainted, it seems that through a mutual friend, Z secured the name of Mr. B. Z was so sincere in his efforts to return the ring to the next of kin that Mr. B turned to the Veterans’ Service Officer at Richmond, Texas in an effort to secure the home address of the next of kin of John O. Buslee.

The result is that we received a letter from Col. Carle, which we enclose. This you will observe makes possible Z in Czechoslovakia learning as to the address of the parents of John O. Buslee.

We are quite confident that you will appreciate the feelings of a mother and father who lost their only son, and thus far, due to the extenuating circumstances, have had little or no definite information as to what actually happened on the fatal day of September 1944.

We would greatly appreciate your lending your effort and assistance to dispatch this ring to our address as below. Our feeling is that with the disturbed conditions in Czechoslovakia it might be difficult for an individual, namely Z, to dispatch a piece of jewelry to this country, and that in your position it would facilitate and make possible sending the ring to us promptly.

We thank you most sincerely for your attention to this matter and assure that any effort you make will be greatly appreciated.

Believe us to be,
Sincerely yours,
Mr. and Mrs. John Buslee
411 Wisner Avenue
Park Ridge, Illinois, U.S.A.

This transcription is a careful reproduction of the original except for occasional spelling and punctuation corrections. Some names have been masked to protect the privacy of those individuals and their families.  In some circumstances, based on relevancy or a desire to mask locations, some material may not have been transcribed.

Thank you to John Dale Kielhofer, John Oliver (Jay) Buslee’s nephew, for sharing these letters with me.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2015