Tag Archives: Veterans

Kassel Mission ~ 71st Anniversary

An update from the Kassel Mission Historical Society 

As we reflect upon the 71st anniversary of the Kassel Mission of 27
September 1944, let us all bow our heads and remember the 136 wonderful men
on both sides who gave their lives that day. Let us rejoice that five of our
MIAs of the Hansen Crew are getting the attention they deserve as their
remains have been recovered at the site this summer. If you don’t know about
this, go to the Kassel Mission Historical Society group page on Facebook.
The details and a link to see the archaeological dig are there.

We are grateful to the DPAA for finally digging on this site, to our friends
in Germany who brought attention to it, to our military liaison, Rob Rumsby,
for contacting us in 2012 on our Facebook page and making it happen, and to
Eb Haelbig for taking the team there an showing them the hot spots that
resulted in a successful dig. We are still working on identifying two more
MIAs and hoping to locate the remains of the final MIA, Raymond Ische, who
was the lead 445th navigator.

Bless the hearts of all of you veterans of the mission who read this today.
You are true survivors and have stuck with this organization through thick
and thin. Congratulations to each of you on a very full, long life. And
bless all of you members, friends and family of our dear departed, and for
those of you who gather in support of our Cause–being sure the Kassel
Mission is remembered.

We still have work to do. The DPAA recovered much in the way of plane parts,
both from the Hansen plan and the nearby Bruce plane. They originally agreed
to give KMHS the pieces to display at the Kassel Mission museum in Eisenach,
but have now agreed to give them all to the German state of Hesse’s
archaeologists. We are protesting this and hope to resolve it in our favor.
We will let you know how it goes.

You will notice in the DPAA video from the Armed Forces Network news, if you
go to the Facebook Page, that the video says nothing about the Kassel
Mission. The focus is on the good work that the DPAA is doing; it mentions
the location of the dig-Richelsdorf; and that these are WWII bombers. We
intend to add the Kassel Mission and B-24s to that in the news in a press
conference we are organizing that will be hopefully in the next few weeks
where we will tell the story. Stay tuned.

To the men who died and the men who lived to tell about it, we salute you
all today.

Linda Alice Dewey
President, Kassel Mission Historical Society

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Conversations with Strangers – An Oral History Project

In October 2008, a series of interviews were conducted by students from Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA) with 2nd Air Division, United States Army Air Force veterans who were stationed in Norfolk during World War Two. The interviews were filmed in Dallas, Texas, during the 61st annual convention of the 2nd Air Division Association.

NUCA in Dallas

NUCA students in Dallas, TX (2008)

Recently added to our YouTube Channel, the students recorded interviews with:

Frank and Robert Birmingham (458th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

William and Betty Berry (Bill served with 389th and 93rd Bomb Groups) (Part 1)

Ray Lemons (445th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

Robert (Lee) Swofford (445th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2)

Jack Dyson (445th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2)

Jack Kingsbery (458th Bomb Group) (Part 1)

Oak Mackey (392nd Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2)

Dale Dyer (458th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2)

Herb Schwartz (445th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2)

James H McClain (389th Bomb Group) (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

(The above list contains all the links for each portion of the interviews found on YouTube)

This oral history project set out to capture the experiences of both 2nd Air Division (USAAF) veterans and the people of East Anglia during Word War Two, by gathering oral histories from USA veterans and also their “UK friends” attending the 2nd Air Division Association Convention.

The project generated a short 5 minute film ‘Conversations with Strangers’ for use by schools and young people for raising awareness of the contribution made by American airmen (and women) to the 2nd World War and the impact their presence had on the local community while highlighting the continuing “special relationship” between the people of East Anglia, and the people of the United States.

The 2nd Air Division Memorial Library gratefully acknowledge the funding received from the US Embassy in London, which enabled the students to travel to and attend the 2nd Air Division Association Convention in Dallas.

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Family Members Pay Tribute to 2nd Lt. Warren Freed

Jeff Foss and his wife Laura Freed are an American couple who came to the Library looking to find out more about their relative, 2nd Lt. Warren Freed, who served as a pilot in the 453rd. They are told he flew three missions aboard B-24 “Strictly Business”, before having to crash it into the North Sea and perishing. Freed’s name is featured in our honor roll.

During their visit, the couple visited Old Buckenham airfield where Freed was based. Of their visit they said, “[they] learned a lot about this particular aspect of WWII, and also about the people of Norfolk and the special bond between our countries. All of the tales the good-natured Norfolk locals during that period of wartime were reflected in our own meetings with people there during our visit.”

Jeff was kind enough to share his flickr album of their journey, including our museum and library, which can be found here:https://secure.flickr.com/photos/42893431@N00/sets/72157644966525926/

Jeff also works as a TV News cameraman and video editor and covered the 70th Anniversary of D-Day in his local area in Reno, Nevada. By chance, as he tells it, Jeff was assigned to interview two local veterans, one of whom served as a flight engineer at Tibenham.

You can catch a part of that interview here:  

Many thanks to Jeff and Laura for sharing and for visiting us! Until next time!


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‘VIEW OF NORMANDY D-DAY INVASION FROM 14,000 FEET ‘ as told by a B-24 Tail Turret Gunner

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day officially taking place today on June 6th, 2014, we present to you a preview of Richard C. “Dick” Robert’s ‘View of Normandy D-Day Invasion from 14,000 Feet.’ Robert was a B-24 Tail Turret Gunner with the 453rd Bomb Group; here is a glimpse of his story, the rest of which can be found in full at the link provided below:

RobertThe historic Normandy D-Day Invasion by Allied Forces in WWII, took place 70 years ago on June 6, 1944. But in my mind, it happened yesterday. I can never forget my grandstand view of the tremendous Allied Invasion from our B-24 Bomber, some 14,000 feet above the English Channel between England and Normandy, France. This was the largest invasion to ever take place. It involved 156,000 ground troops, 5,000 ships and boats, and 11,000 aircraft (bombers, fighters, transports and gliders). This D-Day Invasion was the sixth of my 35 bombing missions over enemy occupied Europe as a 23-year old B-24 Tail Turret Gunner with the 453rd Bomb Group, 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force, USAAF in East Anglia, England, during WWII.

Read the rest of Richard’s story here:

Click to access ncc081415.pdf

Be sure to keep checking out our Facebook and Twitter page @2ADMemLibrary as we continue to share all the services and news for D-DAY in the UK, across the continent and across the pond.

Also, be sure to check out the book by Dr. Sam Edwards who recently delivered his lecture on the Normandy Landings and Anglo-American Special Relationships for us on Wednesday. You can find all the information and reserve your copy here.



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Filed under American History, Books, Current Events, Local Interest, Memorial Library, Online Resources, Public Events, World War 2