While trying to piece together my dad’s timeline during his WWII service, I decided to dig through his box of WWII letters and memorabilia again. I ran across this treasure, “World Atlas of Today – War Edition.” I know I have thumbed through it before, but I did not remember my dad’s annotations I found on its cover and within it.
The inside cover calls it “Hammond’s World Atlas” and it was copyrighted 1943 by C.S. Hammond & Co., New York. It was printed specifically for WWII and includes a description of this volume which starts with…
With the whole of the globe the scene of the greatest upheaval since the birth of man – Maps – clear and accurate maps are absolutely indispensable to enable one to grasp the vast scope of the present world shaking conflict, and to form an appreciation of the tremendous distances involved.
Remember, this was a time before jet airliners and cell phones. Travel to distant places took much longer and news from those faraway places took longer, too. But my dad went to those faraway places and in the pages of this volume of maps, he recorded his travels, and in doing so recorded his history.
Dad wrote his name and station on the cover, George E. Farrar, 328th Hd. Sq., Kingman, Ariz. I know he was stationed with the 328 Hd. Sq in May 1943, so that’s probably about the time he received this atlas.
Inside the atlas on a map of the United States, Dad circled his home bases while he served stateside and drew some lines that I’m working to decipher. The bases he circled were:
- Kingman, Arizona
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Kearney, Nebraska
- Grenier Army Air Base, New Hampshire (three miles south of Manchester, New Hampshire)
Other than Kingman, I know Dad was in Albuquerque sometime between October 12 and December 18, 1942 as those were the dates a movie crew was in Albuquerque filming the movie “Bombardier.” Dad was there as part of the 383rd Student Squadron at Kirtland Army Air Base. I know this only from his notes, as his separation documents don’t list Albuquerque as a place he was either a student or instructor.
As for Kearney and Grenier, he and the Buslee crew picked up their B-17 in Kearney and I believe Grenier Army Air Base was their final destination in the states on their way to ferry their B-17 across the Atlantic.
Surprisingly, he did not circle Ardmore, Oklahoma, where for six months he administered phase checks and organized students and instructors, and completed his combat crew training, but he does have it marked on the map. Other points around the country that he connected with red and black lines were:
- Seattle, Washington
- Sacramento, California
- San Francisco, California
- Los Angeles, California
- Long Beach, California
- Reno, Nevada
- Flagstaff, Arizona
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Yuma, Arizona
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Denver, Colorado
- Wichita, Kansas
- Amarillo, Texas
- Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Mobile, Alabama
- Montgomery, Alabama
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Thomasville, Georgia
- Waycross, Georgia
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida
- Fort Myers, Florida
I don’t know the significance of these cities other than his hometown was Atlanta, Georgia, and he attended AC Instructors School in Fort Myers, Florida for six weeks. I also don’t understand the significance of the red lines vs. the black lines. Perhaps the lines were routes he traveled, possibly red by train and black by plane. The lines emanating from Kingman and Albuquerque could have been training flight paths. As I discover more information, perhaps one day I will better understand Dad’s annotations on his maps.
To be continued…
…with a map showing his route to the ETO in more detail.
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2017