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Gratitude and Sorrow

Sebastiano Peluso’s parents had last written to George Edwin Farrar’s mother on June 27, but they felt compelled to write again two weeks later.  They assumed her son, the only known survivor from the Lead Banana on September 28 the year before, had returned home from the war.  Farrar had still not returned to the United States.  The Pelusos were still anxiously waiting for any word about their boy.

July 11, 1945
Coney Island

Dear Mrs. Farrar,

I am the father of Sebastiano and I have no word to express my gratitude for the kind of sympathy and cooperation you have show regard my son. Only a mother could understand and consider the sorrow we have, and really I want to thank you for what you are doing for us.

First of all I want to congratulate you for George coming home, and I wish happiness and success to a courageous boy, which deserves respect and honor from his nation.

Now I wish only one favor from you. First, let George rest and relax, and when he feels better the only think I ask to him if could give me any news of his friend Sebastiano. What happen after the plane was hit. If he saw my son coming down with the parachute?

He could write me a letter and if he have something important to tell me I could come myself and speak him personally. Although the trip is long. If I hear good news from my boy, I am sure I will not feel the trip. Maybe we could call George on the telephone and he gives details of what he knows.

So if George decide to speak with us just let us the day is home and we call him. The best hour for us to call is from 8 to 10 p.m. Again I thank you in advance and hoping to hear from George. Regard and happiness to a wonderful mother.

Joseph Peluso
2963 W. 24 St.
Coney Island

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

Erwin Foster Visits the Pelusos

Erwin Foster was the original ball turret gunner with the Buslee crew.  He trained in Ardmore, Oklahoma with Sebastiano Peluso and served with him on eight missions in WWII.  Foster was not on Lead Banana on September 28, 1944 and finished his tour with the 384th on April 22, 1945.  Foster was from Elmira, New York, a city in upstate New York about four hours (today) from the Pelusos in Brooklyn.  After returning to the states, Foster visited the Pelusos the weekend of June 23 – 24, 1945.

June 27, 1945

Dear Mrs. Farrar,

I dislike having to inconvenience you this way – but I would deeply appreciate a letter from you, with all the information your dear son can possibly think of. He most likely is home by this time. I know it’s the hardest mission for him, but as I have said in my previous letters, it means so very much to my family.

We haven’t received any news from the war dept. S/Sgt. Irwin Forest visited us over the weekend. Naturally there wasn’t much he could tell us for he did not go on that mission. It was good seeing one of Yono’s buddies.

Mrs. Farrar if George finds it hard talking about what happened Sept. 28, my husband would be only too glad to see George personally. Please let us know soon. You see our hope for Yono’s return is high and deep. We know he’s safe and any information would help us. We of course haven’t overlooked the other side of the story.

I’m sure you won’t let us down.

Sincerely Yours,
Mr. and Mrs. Peluso

The Pelusos thought that George Edwin Farrar should have been home by this time, but he had not, in fact, yet left the ETO.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

There is Always Tomorrow

The following day another letter arrived at the Farrar home, this one from the parents of Lead Banana radio operator, Sebastiano Joseph Peluso.  Peluso was the only crew member on Lead Banana on September 28, 1944 to have not been accounted for.  His parents were desperate for some news of their son.

June 6, 1945

My dear Mrs. Farrar,

Your lovely letter arrived yesterday. I can’t put into words how grateful I am hearing from you. For awhile I was beginning to think my letter never reached you. For such incidents do occur.

It must be quite difficult having to write all the crew members families, the information your dear son George will have for us. But your being a mother of three sons, can easily be understood how much this little information will mean to our families.

I haven’t received any news concerning my dear son Yono. The only thing I have received, was a letter from the war department with a check for $32.00, which was found among Yono’s belongings back in England. I believe that any day, I will be getting all his personal belongings since they send the money that was left behind before going on their mission.

While listening to the news on the radio this morning, I did hear something which gives me higher hopes. The commentator said – 25,000 soldiers who have been listed as “Missing in Action”, are on their way home. Next of kin haven’t been notified as yet. I hope and pray, with heart and soul, that my son is among the bunch. I do have very strong feelings that some news will come before this month ends.

Mrs. Farrar, I’m so happy for you, that your dear son is on his way home. May he be home by the time this letter reaches you. My sister is expecting her son home any day now. He was held prisoner of Germany for 16 months. He has a little boy 2 ½ years old that he has only seen once – when he was 4 months old.

I received a letter from Mr. Buslee this morning. He would like to know if we have heard of anything further. It seems to be quite strange that the War Dep’t never notified him as to how the six crew members were killed. Perhaps nothing ever did happen to them but just that the German Gov’t reported them “Killed in Action.” God! may this be true – and they should come home soon – George is the only one person who can really tell us what did happen.

It’s wonderful to know that you are preparing yourself for his homecoming. Forty-two chickens and good fresh vegetables should be more than tempting. Food here in New York is so hard to get today – especially “Meat.”

I can’t say the weather here has been very promising – we’ve been having some real Oct. weather. The temperature was down to 45 and 50 degrees and a top coat is still necessary.

Sorry to know that Mr. Farrar hasn’t been well. Mr. Peluso hasn’t been taking all this too easy either. I have to keep giving him courage – as for myself – I’ve been keeping my chin up. For I know with all my heart, Yono, is safe, but I do believe he must be wounded.

Mrs. Farrar, you’ve been wonderful, and I can’t tell you how I appreciate your writing me. I’ll be looking forward to your next letter. “Thank God” there is always tomorrow to look forward to. I sincerely hope your dear son is well – “God Bless him and keep him safe.”

Sincerely yours,
Mrs. Antonetta Peluso

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

Seven Months

Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, known as Yano to family, was the only Buslee crew member who was still unaccounted for.  George Edwin Farrar’s family knew he was a POW and all of the other families had heard that their sons had been killed on September 28, 1944 in the mid-air collision between Lead Banana, carrying the John Oliver (Jay) Buslee crew, and Lazy Daisy, carrying the James Joseph Brodie crew.

On the Brodie crew, all of the families had been notified except for Brodie’s family.  Three of the Brodie crew were POWs – Harry Allen Liniger, Wilfred Frank Miller, and George Marshall Hawkins, Jr.  The rest of the crew had been reported killed in the collision.

Seven months of not knowing the fate of their son gave the Pelusos hope that he was still alive.

April 20, 1945

Dear Mrs. Farrar,

I should have thought of writing you sooner. Kindly forgive me for putting this letter off so long. I am hoping that your letter in return will have some good news about your dear son. Since many German Prison Camps have been liberated by our armies. I do pray, and have prayed, that George was fortunate enough to be one of the many boys to be released.

As you know, the 28th of this month will make 7 months since the time our boys went down in Magdeburg – and since then, not much has happened. As yet, we have not received any news concerning our dear son, Yono. My husband and I strongly believe that our son is hiding somewhere. Lately we have all been impatient for some kind of news since Magdeburg is just about being captured by the 9th Army. I pray and hope that by the time this letter reaches you I will get the news I have been waiting for for 7 months.

Have you heard from any of the other parents and wife’s of the crew members? If so I will deeply appreciate you letting me know. May I hear from you soon – God Bless You – and may your son be with you soon.

Sincerely yours,
Mrs. & Mr. Peluso

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

First Correspondence from Mrs. Peluso

Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, Radio Operator/Gunner for the Buslee Crew

Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, Radio Operator/Gunner for the Buslee Crew

Mrs. Antonetta Peluso was the mother of the Buslee crew’s radio operator/gunner, Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, aboard the Lead Banana on September 28, 1944.  Both she and her husband, Joseph, were born in Italy and had immigrated to the United States.  Sebastiano, better known as Yano to the family, and his older sisters were born in New York.  Sebastiano was the youngest, born July 8, 1924.  Sister Sala or Sarah (different sources report different names) was nine years older, and Jennie or Jean (different sources report different names) was seven years older than Sebastiano.  During the war, the Pelusos lived in Brooklyn, New York.

January 12, 1945
2963 West 24th Street
Brooklyn, 24, New York

My Dear Mrs. Farrar,

I received your letter last week, and it makes me happy to know your dear son, George, is safe in a German Prison Camp.  Let us hope it won’t be long now, that he will be home once again.

As yet I have not received any information concerning my son Sebastiano.  I am waiting patiently for news that will lighten the heavy burden in my heart.

I was deeply sorry to read about 1st. Lt. William A. Henson II.  Mr. Carey S. Stearns has also received the same news about his son 1st Lt. Robert S. Stearns.  I am praying that the German Government made a mistake in the reports Mrs. Henson and Mr. Stearns received.

Mrs. Farrar, I wish you all the Luck in the world in your dear son’s safety.  I will inform you if I get news about my son.

Sincerely yours,
Mrs. Antonetta Peluso

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014