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Gloria Diane

Gloria Diane

Gloria Diane

During WWII, units throughout England adopted children whose fathers were lost in the war. One was named Gloria Diane.

Gloria Diane

Gloria Diane

Gloria Diane was seven years old at the time, and had a Flying Fortress named after her when she visited her foster fathers, the 545th Bomb Squadron of the 384th Bomb Group, at Grafton Underwood air base in the Midlands of England.

Gloria Diane and 545th Bomb Squadron Commander Raymond Paul Ketelsen

Gloria Diane and 545th Bomb Squadron Commander Raymond Paul Ketelsen

In the photo above, she looks very comfortable on the shoulder of Major Raymond P. Ketelsen of Houston, Texas, commanding officer of the squadron, which contributed 100 pounds ($400) to support her for five years.

Gloria Diane

Gloria Diane

Today, Gloria Diane would be in her seventies. Gloria Diane, if you see this, do you remember the boys of the 384th Bomb Group during WWII?

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2016

The Foxy Theatre

The Foxy Theatre was the site of entertainment for those stationed at Grafton Underwood airfield in the UK. Movies and live shows were held at the theatre.

Location of the Foxy Theatre at the Grafton Underwood Airfield

Location of the Foxy Theatre at the Grafton Underwood Airfield

During Dale O. Smith’s command, and possibly later, free ice cream cones were served there. Smith believed that one of the reasons of low morale at the camp centered around the messes and quality of food being served. He started his “reforms” by integrating the messes. Ground and air personnel, who previously were served in separate messes, were served together. Following that and some other rearrangements, Smith turned his attention to improving the food served to his men.

The poor quality of the food was blamed on the rations being provided, but Smith knew that the Polebrook outfit received identical rations and still produced better meals. After sending his cooks to Polebrook to find out their secrets, they found ways to make the powdered eggs and powdered milk palatable by mixing it with water at high speed for twenty-four hours. The Sub Depot even found a way to rig the mixers with B-17 starter motors and ran them continuously to produce this mixture in large quantities.

Smith relates those stories and the following story in his book “Screaming Eagle.” A mess officer found a closed ice cream factory in the nearby town of Kettering. Officers’ Club funds were used to buy the factory and move it to Grafton Underwood. They were able to produce delicious ice cream from the powdered egg and milk mixture and served the free ice cream cones in the Foxy.

These photos of the Foxy Theatre at Grafton Underwood are provided courtesy of the 384th Bomb Group.

The Foxy Theatre - from the Leonard R. Niemiec Collection

The Foxy Theatre – from the Leonard R. Niemiec Collection

 

The Foxy Theatre - from the Leonard R. Niemiec Collection

The Foxy Theatre – from the Leonard R. Niemiec Collection

 

From the collection of William F. Touton - Abbott & Costello in "Lost in a Harem" was playing at the Foxy Theatre

From the collection of William F. Touton – Abbott & Costello in “Lost in a Harem” was playing at the Foxy Theatre

 

The Foxy Theatre, photo courtesy of Tony Plowright

The Foxy Theatre, photo courtesy of Tony Plowright

 

The Foxy Theatre, from the John N. Smith album

The Foxy Theatre, from the John N. Smith album

 

The Foxy Theatre, from the John N. Smith album

The Foxy Theatre, from the John N. Smith album

 

The Foxy Theatre - from the Leonard R. Niemiec Collection

The Foxy Theatre – from the Leonard R. Niemiec Collection

 

The Foxy Theatre, from the Quentin Bland Collection

The Foxy Theatre, from the Quentin Bland Collection

 

William Gilbert Barron, known as Billy Gilbert, an American comedian and actor known for his comic sneeze routines, performed USO shows during WWII. Photo from Ken Hammond.

William Gilbert Barron, known as Billy Gilbert, an American comedian and actor known for his comic sneeze routines, performed USO shows during WWII. Photo from Ken Hammond.

 

The Foxy Theatre, from the Robert Bletscher collection

The Foxy Theatre, from the Robert Bletscher collection

 

A photo taken by Richard Denney in 2007. To the right is the site today of the 384th Officer's Club and Foxy Theatre.

A photo taken by Richard Denney in 2007. To the right is the site today of the 384th Officer’s Club and Foxy Theatre.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2016

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

Hollywood Comes to Albuquerque

My dad, George Edwin Farrar, spent time at the 383rd School Squadron in Albuquerque, New Mexico before heading overseas with the 384th Bombardment Group of the Eighth Air Force.  While in Albuquerque he had his photo made with Hollywood movie star Anne Shirley.

George Edwin Farrar and Movie Star Anne Shirley

George Edwin Farrar and Movie Star Anne Shirley

Another photo of my dad and Anne Shirley.  The man on the right and the man in the background are not identified.

George Edwin Farrar on left with movie Star Anne Shirley 383rd School Squadron in Albuquerque, New Mexico

George Edwin Farrar on left with movie Star Anne Shirley
383rd School Squadron in Albuquerque, New Mexico

He was even able to get her autograph…

Movie Star Anne Shirley's Autograph

Movie Star Anne Shirley’s Autograph

My dad also crossed paths with Margie Stewart, the official poster girl of the United States Army during WWII.

George Edwin Farrar with official United States Army Poster Girl Margie Stewart

George Edwin Farrar with official United States Army Poster Girl Margie Stewart

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

 

 

Farrar Boys in WWII

Farrar Boys in WWII

Farrar Boys in WWII

Honoring the Farrar boys of Atlanta, GA – my dad and his brothers – who served in WWII on this Veteran’s Day:  from left to right, Carroll Johnson Farrar, Jr. who served in Army Air Force Service Squadron 315 from 1941 to 1945, Robert Burnham Farrar, who served until 1945 with the US Navy and was injured on the US Intrepid, which was torpedoed, and my dad, George Edwin Farrar, who served in the 8th Air Force, 384th Bombardment Group, 544th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) from 1942 to 1945, was a POW at Gross Tychow, and survived the Black March in the Winter of 1945.  All three returned home from the war.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

Lazy Daisy

Lazy Daisy

Lazy Daisy

 

The B17-G aircraft with serial number 42-31222 was assigned to the 384th Bomb Group, 546th Squadron.  Known as Lazy Daisy, it completed 45 missions, returning safely to base on 44 of those missions.  Its first mission, on December 5, 1943, was to a German Air Force (Luftwaffe) Fighter Airfield in St. Jean D’ Angely, France.  Its last mission, on September 28, 1944, was to a steelworks plant in Magdeburg, Germany.  The crew was able to complete its assignment and drop its bombs over Magdeburg, but was involved in a mid-air collision coming off the target.

James Joseph Brodie, Lloyd Oliver Vevle, Byron Laverne Atkins, Donald William Dooley, Robert Doyle Crumpton, and Gordon Eugene Hetu, all aboard the Lazy Daisy, did not survive the crash.

George Marshall Hawkins, Jr., Wilfred Frank Miller, and Harry Allen Liniger, became POWs.

Wilfred Frank Miller and Harry Allen Liniger were confined at Stalag Luft IV.

George Marshall Hawkins, Jr., was confined at Obermassfeld Hospital #1249 (Serves Stalag 9-C),  Obermassfeld Thuringia, Germany 50-10.

Donald William Dooley was not part of the 545th Bomb Squadron.  He was assigned to the 384th Bombardment Group Headquarters Complement.  September 28, 1944 was his only flight.

The crew chief for Lazy Daisy was James F. Flynn.

Source

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

Buslee Crew When Assigned to the 384th Bomb Group

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – Chester A. Rybarczyk
  • Bombardier – Marvin B. Fryden
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Clarence B. Seeley
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Erwin V. Foster
  • Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski
  • Waist Gunner/Flexible Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Waist Gunner/Flexible Gunner – George Edwin Farrar

Source

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

The Lead Banana

Lead Banana

Lead Banana

 

The B17-G aircraft with serial number 43-37822 was assigned to the 384th Bomb Group, 544th Squadron.  Known as The Lead Banana, it completed 27 missions, returning safely to base on 26 of those missions.  Its first mission, on July 20, 1944, was to an aircraft plant in Dessau, Germany.  Its last mission, on September 28, 1944, was to a steelworks plant in Magdeburg, Germany.  The crew was able to complete its assignment and drop its bombs over Magdeburg, but was involved in a mid-air collision coming off the target.

John Oliver Buslee, David Franklin Albrecht, William Alvin Henson, II, Robert Sumner Stearns, Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, Lenard Leroy Bryant, George Francis McMann, Jr., and Gerald Lee Andersen, all aboard the Lead Banana, did not survive the crash.

The only survivor, George Edwin Farrar (my dad), became a POW confined at Stalag Luft IV.

Most of these men had flown on The Lead Banana on previous missions, but for George Francis McMann, Jr., and Gerald Lee Andersen, September 28 was the first and last time they set foot on this plane.

Source

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

The Buslee Crew

The Buslee Crew

The Buslee Crew

The Buslee Crew, Eighth Air Force, 384th Bomb Group, 544th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)

Crew photo, back row, left to right:

  • Lt. John Oliver Buslee, Pilot, from Park Ridge, Illinois
  • Lt. David Franklin Albrecht, Co-Pilot, from Chico, California
  • Lt. Chester A. Rybarczyk, Navigator, from Toledo, Ohio
  • Lt. James B. Davis, Bombardier, from New Castle, Indiana

Crew photo, front row, left to right:

  • Sgt. Erwin V. Foster, Ball Turret Gunner, from Elmira, New York
  • Sgt. Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, Radio Operator/Gunner, from Brooklyn, New York
  • Sgt. Lenard Leroy Bryant, Waist Gunner, from Lubbock, Texas
  • Sgt. Clarence B. Seeley, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, from Halsey, Nebraska
  • Sgt. Eugene D. Lucynski, Tail Gunner, from Detroit, Michigan
  • Sgt. George Edwin Farrar, Waist Gunner, from Atlanta, Georgia, (my dad)

Notes:

  1. The Buslee crew departed the US on July 1, 1944.  They were stationed with the 544th Bombardment Squadron of the 8th Air Force at the Grafton Underwood airfield.
  2. Original crew members were Pilot – John Oliver Buslee, Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht, Navigator – Chester A. Rybarczyk, Bombardier – Marvin B. Fryden, Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Clarence B. Seeley, Ball Turret Gunner – Erwin V. Foster, Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski, Waist Gunner/Flexible Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant, Waist Gunner/Flexible Gunner – George Edwin Farrar.
  3. The original Buslee crew’s bombardier, Lt. Marvin B. Fryden, was killed on the crew’s second mission on August 5, 1944.  The photo must have been taken after Lt. James B. Davis replaced Fryden on the crew.
  4. The crew must have trained together in the US as a crew of ten, but by the time they saw action, the B-17 crews were made up of only nine men.  One Waist Gunner manned both waist gunner stations and was called a Flexible Gunner.  As a result, this crew of ten never all served on the same mission together.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

September 28, 1944

George Edwin Farrar

George Edwin Farrar

September 28, 2013 is the 69th anniversary of the mid-air collision of the Lazy Daisy and the Lead Banana after coming off a target in Magdeburg, Germany during WWII.  My dad, George Edwin Farrar, was the only survivor from the Lead Banana.  Harry Allen Liniger, George Marshall Hawkins, Jr., and Wilfred Frank Miller survived from the Lazy Daisy.

John Oliver Buslee, David Franklin Albrecht, William Alvin Henson, II, Robert Sumner Stearns, Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, Lenard Leroy Bryant, George Francis McMann, Jr., and Gerald Lee Andersen, all aboard the Lead Banana, did not survive the crash.

James Joseph Brodie, Lloyd Oliver Vevle, Byron Laverne Atkins, Donald William Dooley, Robert Doyle Crumpton, and Gordon Eugene Hetu, all aboard the Lazy Daisy, did not survive the crash.

I salute all these men for their bravery and heroism and the sacrifices they made to defend our freedom.

Sources:  Lead Banana and Lazy Daisy.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013