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Information Circular No. 10

I believe this letter was the one that followed the New Year’s Eve telegram to the Farrar family that brought the news of their son George Edwin Farrar’s imprisonment by the German government.

A sample of Information Circular No. 10:

Headquarters Army Service Forces
Office of the Provost Marshal General
Washington 25, D. C.

Information Circular No. 10
Germany, Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria

The Prisoner of War Information Bureau, Office of the Provost Marshal General, receives and records the names of American prisoners of war and civilians reported interned by the Enemy Powers.  It answers inquiries and furnishes available information concerning American prisoners of war and civilian internees to those interested.

The following information, subject to change, is substantially all that is available at this time.

TREATMENT AND CONDITION OF PRISONERS OF WAR – Reports received from neutral sources indicate that American prisoners of war interned by Germany, Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria are receiving fair treatment and these Governments are complying substantially with the terms of the Geneva Convention considering all the circumstances which accompany war.  This convention requires each interment camp to have a properly equipped infirmary with adequate medical personnel in attendance.  Prisoners of war must be medically examined at least once a month, and any who are ill must be given treatment.  It requires also that notification concerning capture indicate fact of wounds or serious illness.  The letter accompanying this circular gives all information in possession of the Bureau at this time.  If no mention is made of health, wounds, or hospitalization, such matters were not mentioned in the cable received.  If information of that nature is received, the emergency addressee and other interested persons will be notified promptly.

INSPECTION OF CAMPS – The Geneva Convention provides for the inspection of prisoner of war camps by representatives of the Protecting Power and delegates of the International Red Cross.  If the representative or delegate finds grounds for complaint that cannot be settled at the time inspection is being made, he submits such complaints formally to the Detaining Power concerned.  Since the Protecting Power and the International Red Cross act independently, there is double scrutiny of conditions in the camps.  Reports of these inspections are forwarded periodically to this Bureau.

The document in its entirety:

Page 1 of Information Circular No. 10

Page 1 of Information Circular No. 10

Page 2 of Information Circular No. 10

Page 2 of Information Circular No. 10

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

New Year’s Eve Telegram

On New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1944, a telegram arrived at the Farrar household in Atlanta, Georgia.  The news that George Edwin Farrar’s family had been waiting for had finally arrived.  Their son was alive.  He was a prisoner of war, but he was alive.

It had been ninety-five days, more than three months, since the September 28 mid-air collision between the Lead Banana, on which he was the waist gunner, and the Lazy Daisy.  It was the first word any of the families of the boys in the crew had heard that one of their own was safe.  As telegrams tended to be, it was short, but this one was oh so sweet.


The telegram reads:

Report just received through the International Red Cross states that your son Staff Sergeant George E Farrar is a Prisoner of War of the German Government.  Letter of information follows from Provost Marshal General=

It was signed

Dunlop Acting the Adjutant General.

Farrar’s mother, Raleigh Mae Farrar, did not waste any time contacting the families of the other boys on the Busee crew to share the good news.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

First Letter from Mrs. Andersen

Gerald Lee Andersen

Gerald Lee Andersen

The same day she received the US Army Air Corps’ December 26, 1944 letter about her missing husband – the tail gunner on Lead Banana – and accompanying list of crew members and their next of kin, Gerald Lee Andersen’s wife, Esther, penned a letter to Raleigh Mae Farrar, George Edwin Farrar’s mother.  Mrs. Andersen dated her letter December 26, 1944, which was the same date of the letter that included the next of kin list from the Army Air Forces.  Perhaps the Army Air Forces pre-dated their letter or Mrs. Andersen wrote the wrong date on hers.  Her letter is as follows:

December 26, 1944
Stromsburg, Nebraska

Mrs. Raleigh Mae Farrar
79 East Lake Terrace Northeast
Atlanta, Georgia

Dear Mrs. Farrar:

Today I received from the War Department the names of the crew on the B-17 (Flying Fortress) on which my husband, S/Sgt. Gerald Lee Andersen, was reported missing in action since September 28 and also the names of the next of kin.

I received the information that the plane was damaged by antiaircraft fire and forced down near their target over Germany.  I would like to know if you have received any information concerning your son, S/Sgt. George E. Farrar, safety.

I wish to keep in contact with all next of kin in case any of us receive any information that we may exchange.

My anxiety as I know yours has been great and we hold on to every hope of their safety.  My sympathy is with you.  May I hear from you soon.


Mrs. Esther E. Coolen Andersen
Box 282
Stromsburg, Nebraska

Teaching address:
Mrs. Esther E. Andersen
Box 38
Scotia, Nebraska

Esther’s husband, Gerald Lee Andersen, was the tail gunner on the Joe Carnes crew in the 544th squadron of the 384th bomb group.  Andersen’s first mission with the 384th was the August 7, 1944 mission 174 to an oil depot in Dungy, France.  Andersen flew nine total missions with the Carnes crew, the last being September 13, 1944.

Eugene D. Lucynski was the tail gunner on the John Buslee crew, also in the 544th squadron of the 384th bomb group.  Lucynski’s first mission with the 384th was the August 4, 1944 mission 171 to a rocket R&D facility – CROSSBOW (V-Weapons) – in Peenemunde, Germany.  Lucynski flew twelve total missions with the Buslee crew, the last being September 11, 1944.

For reasons unknown, Lucynski flew his next two missions with the Carnes crew, replacing Gerald Lee Andersen as tail gunner.  Mission 195 on September 17, was a tactical mission to s’Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands.  Mission 196 on September 19, was to the railroad marshalling yards in Hamm, Germany.

On the September 19 mission, the Carnes crew was aboard the Tremblin’ Gremlin.  The Gremlin was struck by flak, and after bombs away, left formation under control.  The crew, including Eugene Lucynski, who had replaced Gerald Lee Andersen as tail gunner, bailed out over Binche, Belgium.  Landing in allied territory, the crew eventually returned to duty, with the exception of seriously injured ball turret gunner, James B. King, Jr.  The temporary absence of the Carnes crew left Andersen to fill in with other crews.

Andersen’s next mission was mission 198 on September 25 to the railroad marshalling yards at Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany.  He flew as tail gunner on the John Buslee crew replacing Eugene Lucynski, who had taken his place on the Carnes crew.  The Bulsee crew didn’t fly on September 26, so on that date on mission 199, Andersen flew with the Joseph D. Patella crew.  Andersen’s next two missions on September 27 and September 28, however, would be back on the Buslee crew again, replacing Eugene Lucynski.

This series of crew changes resulted in Gerald Lee Andersen flying as the tail gunner aboard the Lead Banana on September 28, 1944 when it collided with Lazy Daisy coming off the target at Magdeburg, Germany.  Whatever the reason behind the switch in tail gunners for the two crews, it saved Lucynski from being on the Lead Banana on September 28, and put Andersen on that ill-fated flight, where he lost his life.

Gerald Lee Andersen was born on June 20, 1923.  He was only 21 years old when he lost his life on September 28, 1944 in the mid-air collision between Lead Banana and Lazy Daisy.  He is buried in Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell (Lincoln County), Nebraska in Section F, Site 1229.

The photo of Andersen was sent to Raleigh Mae Farrar (George Edwin Farrar’s mother) on April 7, 1945 by Andersen’s wife, Esther.  On the back of the photo she described her husband as 5-feet 7-inches tall, weighing 140 pounds, with dark wavy hair, green eyes, and a fair complexion.  She noted his age as 22, which he would have been, had he lived, in June of that year.

Esther Andersen’s letter of April 7, 1945 will be published in a future post.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

Next of Kin List Released

The day after Christmas 1944, at ninety days missing in action, the US Army Air Forces wrote to the Buslee crew’s next of kin and enclosed a list of the names of the crew members on the Lead Banana on September 28 and also included the names and addresses of next of kin in case the families wanted to communicate with each other.

December 26, 1944
Headquarters, Army Air Forces

Attention:  AFPPA-8
(9753) Farrar, George E.

Mrs. Raleigh Mae Farrar,
79 EastLake Terrace Northeast,
Atlanta, Georgia.

Dear Mrs. Farrar:

For reasons of military security it has been necessary to withhold the names of the air crew members who were serving with your son at the time he was reported missing.

Since it is now permissible to release this information, we are inclosing a complete list of names of the crew members.

The names and addresses of the next of kin of the men are also given in the belief that you may desire to correspond with them.


Clyde V. Finter
Colonel, Air Corps
Chief, Personal Affairs Division
Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Personnel

1 Incl
List of crew members & names
& addresses of next of kin
5-2032, AF

1st. Lt. John O. Buslee
Mr. John Buslee, (Father)
411 North Wisner Avenue,
Park Ridge, Illinois.

1st. Lt. William A. Henson, II
Mrs. Harriet W. Henson, (Wife)
Summerville, Georgia.

1st. Lt. Robert S. Stearns
Mr. Carey S. Stearns, (Father)
Post Office Box 113,
Lapine, Oregon.

2nd. Lt. David F. Albrecht
Reverand Louis M. Albrecht, (Father)
Scribner, Nebraska.

S/Sgt. Sebastiano J. Peluso
Mrs. Antonetta Peluso, (Mother)
2963 West 24th Street,
Brooklyn, New York.

S/Sgt. Lenard L. Bryant
Mrs. Ruby M. Bryant, (Wife)
Route Number Two,
Littlefield, Texas.

S/Sgt. Gerald L. Andersen
Mrs. Esther E. Coolen Andersen, (Wife)
Box Number 282,
Stromburg, Nebraska.

S/Sgt. George E. Farrar
Mrs. Raleigh Mae Farrar, (Mother)
79 East Lake Terrace Northeast,
Atlanta, Georgia.

Sgt. George F. McMann
Mr. George F. McMann, (Father)
354 West Avenue,
Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The above list is also a part of MACR (Missing Air Crew Report) 9753.  For a diagram and list of each man’s position on the Lead Banana on September 28, 1944, click here.

The Brodie crew’s next of kin must have gotten the same letter and a list of those on the Lazy Daisy.  The following list is attached to MACR9366.  For a diagram and list of each man’s position on the Lazy Daisy on September 28, 1944, click here.

1st Lt. James J. Brodie
Mrs. Mary E. Brodie, (Wife)
4436 North Kostner Avenue
Chicago, Illinois.

2nd Lt. Lloyd O. Vevle
Mr. Oliver E. Vevle, (Father)
240 Sixth Avenue, North
Fort Dodge, Iowa.

2nd Lt. George M. Hawkins, Jr.
Mr. George M. Hawkins, Sr., (Father)
52 Marchard Street
Fords, New Jersey

T/Sgt. Donald W. Dooley
Mr. Guy T. Dooley, (Father)
711 South Rogers Street
Bloomington, Indiana.

S/Sgt. Byron L. Atkins
Mr. Verne Atkins, (Father)
Route Number Two
Lebanon, Indiana.

Sgt. Robert D. Crumpton
Mrs. Stella M. Parks, (Mother)
Route Number One
Ennis, Texas

Sgt. Gordon E. Hetu
Mr. Raymond J. Hetu, (Father)
3821 Webb Street
Detroit, Michigan.

S/Sgt. Wilfred F. Miller
Mrs. Mary Miller, (Mother)
Rural Free Delivery Number One
Newton, Wisconsin.

S/Sgt. Harry A. Liniger
Mrs. Estelle P. Liniger, (Mother)
Box Number 251
Gatesville, North Carolina

If the US Army Air Forces had told the families of the two crews what actually happened to their sons’ aircraft and provided the lists of both crews to the families, the families of the two pilots, Buslee and Brodie, would have discovered that they lived only seven and a half miles apart in Chicago, Illinois.  These families would most likely have been very interested in communicating if they had been made aware of each other.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

Merry Christmas…

On Christmas day, George Edwin Farrar was allowed to write home again to his family.  He was a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft IV, and now out of the hospital and in a regular barracks in the prison camp.  His family still did not know if he were dead or alive following the mid-air collision of September 28, 1944.  He had previously written two letters home from prison camp – on October 24 and November 9 – but neither one had been received by his parents at the time he wrote this third letter.

He wrote:

December 25, 1944


Dearest Mother:  Hope everyone had a nice Christmas.  We had as good as can be expected here.  I am sorry I can’t send you a birthday card but do hope that you have a nice one.  If you get a chance I wish you would send me some cigars, as I still don’t smoke cigarettes.  Love to all, George.

His mother, Raleigh Mae Farrar’s, fifty-fifth birthday was a month away on January 25, 1945.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

A Second Letter from Mr. Buslee

My grandmother, Raleigh Mae Farrar, must have replied to Mr. Buslee’s first letter of November 27, as this second letter from Mr. Buslee indicates.  Since that time, both families apparently received the same letter from the Army Air Forces providing some details of the September 28 incident in which their sons were reported missing.  Mr. Buslee wrote to my grandmother again on December 16, 1944.

Your recent letter was duly received and I have delayed a reply in the hope that each day would bring some word about your son and the rest of the crew.  Thus far the only definite word is a letter from the War Department dated the 10th of December which advises that the plane was shot down by enemy flak over the target at 12:10 P.M. at Magdeburg Germany on Sept 28th.  They state that they have no further word pertaining our son John Oliver and that when they do they will advise us.

From what we have heard from many friends such word is supposed to be very encourageing.  In other words a delay usually means that the men are safe and will be reported in due time; so it seems that we must have faith and be patient.

We too had a letter from the navigator and in it he tells us the same as sent to you.  Well that is perhaps the best he can do with the restrictions placed on him and we are very appreciative of his writing to us.  From what we have heard the missions are indeed strenuous and truly it is a wonder that the boys that made these trips ever feel like writing.  Our son was quite a faithful correspondent so you can realize what the absence of any mail from him means to us and especially his Mother.  Then too the letters that we sent to him are returned as well as boxes all of which are a sad reminder that the boys are really worse off than we at home.  However the youth of this country are showing what a wonderful lot of boys they are and I marvel at the spirit they have under these trying times.  They should be an inspiration to the older folks.

I note that you have a crew picture and thinking that you may not know who they are I am sending a list of names in the event that this will interest you.  To look at that group one can well understand what I mean when I say the youth are wonderful.  To my mind that is as fine an assortment of manhood as one could find anywhere and I count it a privilege that my son is among so fine a crew.  Yes I had the good fortune to meet all of them in Ardmore last June and I trust it will be my pleasure to again meet all of them and more that this may be real soon.  Should you or any of your family get to Chicago I trust that we may have the pleasure of your call as we live in a suburb of Chicago only 17 miles from downtown.

Mrs. Buslee and my daughter join me in sending to your our sincere greetings and that you will soon hear favorably from your fine son with the good word that he is hale and hearty.

The navigator mentioned in Mr. Buslee’s letter was Chester Rybarczyk, the original navigator on the Buslee crew who flew with a different crew on September 28.  He sent a letter to the Farrar family on October 12, 1944.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

First Details from Army Air Forces

George Edwin Farrar and the other boys aboard the Lead Banana and Lazy Daisy have now been missing for seventy-two days.  The only official communications the families have received have been a letter from the 384th Bombardment Group Chaplain, Dayle R. Schnelle on October 9, 1944, a telegram from Adjutant General Ulio on October 14, and a letter from Adjutant General Ulio on October 17.  All reported the same information – their sons were reported missing in action on September 28.

Finally, almost two months from the original communication, the families received the following letter providing the first details of September 28.  The details provided at this time were partially inaccurate.  Surprisingly, the letter informs the parents of the target location and time of day of the incident.  The report does not state the fact that their son’s bomber collided with another 384th bomber.  Also, neither of the bombers were reported to have sustained any anti-aircraft fire in any official reports of the mid-air collision.  This letter states otherwise.

December 8, 1944

Headquarters, Army Air Forces


Attention:  AFPPA-8

AAF 201 – (9753) Farrar, George E., 14119873

To:  Mrs. Raleigh Mae Farrar,
79 East Lake Terrace Northeast
Atlanta, Georgia.

Dear Mrs. Farrar:

I am writing to you with reference to your son, Staff Sergeant George E. Farrar, who was reported by the Adjutant General as missing in action over Germany since September 28.

Further information has been received indicating that Sergeant Farrar was a crew member of a B-17 (Flying Fortress) bomber which departed from England on a combat mission to Magdeburg, Germany, on September 28th.  The report indicates that during this mission at about 12:10 p.m. in the vicinity of the target, your son’s bomber sustained damage from enemy antiaircraft fire.  Shortly afterwards the disabled craft was observed to fall to the earth, and inasmuch as the crew members of accompanying planes were unable to obtain any further details regarding its loss, the above facts constitute all the information presently available.

Due to necessity for military security, it is regretted that the names of those who were in the plane and the names and addresses of their next of kin may not be furnished at the present time.

Please be assured that a continuing search by land, sea, and air is being made to discover the whereabouts of our missing personnel.  As our armies advance over enemy occupied territory, special troops are assigned to this task, and all agencies of the government in every country are constantly sending in details which aid us in bringing additional information to you.

Very sincerely,

E. A. Bradunas,
Major A. G. D.,
Chief, Notification Branch,
Personnel Affairs Division,
Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Personnel.

December 8, 1944 was an important date for another reason back in the states for the wife of one of the Buslee crew members.  The co-pilot’s wife, Patricia, gave birth that day to her and David Franklin Albrecht’s baby.  With her husband now missing in action for seventy-two days, this day must have been bittersweet for Mrs. Albrecht.   As she welcomed her daughter into the world, her thoughts must have been on her husband and that someday he would be home to meet his child.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014