54TH Troop Carrier Wing


December, 2000

News from various 54th TCW groups:

Gene Diemand, 375 TCG, reports that the 56th and 58th TCSs held their combined reunion in Branson, Mo. Approximately 60 members and wives were in attendance. Next year the 56th plans to take a steamboat trip for their reunion. No further details or exact date yet, but sometime in late September or early October.

Bill Cunningham, 55th TCS, reports 65 registered for their October Tucson reunion and 59 got there. Of these, 34 were members. He says the Holiday Inn-Palo-Verde was OK, but that he really doesn't recommend it wholeheartedly for a couple reasons which he didn’t specify. However, Tucson is a great place to meet. They had two full days of tours of the area which all seemed to enjoy. They also had five planned meals and being together for all the events was the best part. Although they know some of their members are getting too old to travel, (where have we heard that before??) they are optimistic and plan to meet in Branson next year.

William West, 2nd CCG, 8th CCS, forwarded their "HOT FLASHES" newsletter. They changed their reunion from Birmingham, AL to Milwaukee, WI. Mel & Joyce Behnke hosted 50 plus members and their families. In addition to interesting tours and good food, they also had some "home grown" entertainment----Joyce and her church choir sang WWII era songs at their banquet, Cris and the Moshi-Moshi boys did an extended version of their signature song and then sang it backwards, and the 8th CC Cargoettes, in full costume, offered a parody of the Andrews Sisters singing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of company C". The ladies played their popular (and loud) game, "[blank] Your Neighbor"

They even made the following plans: 2001 – Indianapolis – Harold Henneke (host); 2002 – Branson – Chuck Tobin (host); 2003 – Pensacola – Bert Stumpe (host) and added "Good Lord willing and if the creek doesn’t rise…" {Ed. note: You’ll have to asked one of them more about that "[blank]" game and those other entertainers.)

The 374thTCG, 33rd TCS is planning its 2002 reunion in Denver, CO. with Earl Kohler as host. His address is 8060 E Girard #211, Denver, CO 80231. They are happy to have some 6th and 21st members interested in joining them.

Curtis Krogh, 2ndCCG,7th CCS, reports that the accommodations at the Fairborn, OH. Holiday Inn were superb and only a few miles from Wright Patterson Museum. We learned from Bob Monson’s 374th TCG, 33rd TCS Newsletter that Bob Carlson of their group was the guest speaker. The 7th came in their C-46’s to the Southwest Pacific a while after the 33rd arrived in Nov ’42. Curtis Krogh was a C-46 pilot who logged over 1000 hours.

Don Willey, 415th Signal Aviation Battalion (Signal Corps) reports a super good reunion at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. He says it’s not a 1st class hotel but was very nice and their banquet was in a beautifully decorated room. (Remember they had mini-suites for only $40 and some might appreciate that) He says all who registered came, but didn't give a number. Sadly, he feels this may be the last for the old "cobbers".

We received the following information from Ervin Fox and Don Willey about the 415th. They were originally at Port Moresby with the Advanced Echelon of the 5th Air Froce. (That’s probably when they had a connection with the 54th and why some members of each became acquainted with each other.) Then later, under General MacArthur, they became the 5277 Signal Aviation Battalion and were in charge of all 5th Air Force communications, having people on many islands.

Ted Casper, 433rd TCG Assn., reports that although their cancellations were heavy, they still had 63 at a great reunion in San Diego, CA. They visited the CVN Stennis at Coronado Naval Base, enjoyed the Miramar Air Show, and toured San Diego Harbor.

Ted says he decided it was time to retire from organizational duties & insisted on a new slate. The new Chairperson is Carmen Kight, 369 Sandalwood Ct, Lakeland, FL33813 CKight8887@aol.com.

The 317th TCG, HQ & 41st TCS held their October reunion at the Radisson Hotel St. Louis, hosted by Al & Trudy Conrow and Vince & Celeste Krobath. Have been waiting for a report, but am sure they had a good time on their city bus tour and their visit to Grant’s Farm. They still hope to get other 317th squadrons to join them.

News from our members interspersed with bits of this and that:

Bob Marshall, 317th TCG, first reported he would have to miss his group’s reunion to attend his 50th wedding anniversary celebration. However, he and Pat were forced to postpone their 50th wedding anniversary celebration. Pat was under therapy for a replacement joint in her thumb and a carpal tunnel release. After recovering from all that, she then had a cataract operation. Finally, their daughter was suddenly sent to Japan for a couple weeks. So, even if their 50th celebration is now on hold, we still offer our CONGRATULATIONS.

A jockey was asked how he was able to win so many races. He said, "I just whisper in my horse’s ear: ‘Roses are red, Violets are blue, Horses that lose are made into glue.’"

Mrs. Dorothy Holsopple sent a note of appreciation for the Newsletter and for others who have written to her during the 12 years since her husband Bob died. She gives thanks for her family and says she still sews, quilts and plants flowers and tomatoes. She closes with "Memories are good to have. God bless you all with as good health as can be expected at our age." (Ed note: I’m sure all of us agree with her and wish the same for all our 54th friends.)

Worry is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.

John Cantando, 820th MAE Squadron sent his request for an announcement of their 18th reunion too late for the June Newsletter. It was to be at Ramada Express, Sept 19-23, in Laughlin. NV. We hope it was a big success. John requests that anyone interested in their group contact him at 1064 Admiral Pl, Elmira, NY 14901

Jim Coutts sent a copy of Colonel Ed Imparato’s letter from the Combined Arms Research Library, at Ft. Leavenworth, KS. thanking him for donating copies of his first four books. Jim also says that Imparato has now written a couple more books: "MacArthur Acclaimed" and "Wisdom & Vision".

In our June Newsletter, Glenn McMurry asked if any remembered the Christmas program he directed in ’44 at Biak. Jim Frew, 6th TCS, says he doesn’t recall it, but thinks he had moved on to Leyte by then. He along with Hartley, Woods and Art Rich arrived together in early ’44. He’s in touch with Art, but would like to find the other two. Can any 6th member help him?

Blaine Loudin, also of the 6th, says he sang in the Christmas program. He found himself in the "Moresby" book choir picture, 4th from the right in the last row. He says he wishes the 6th would have a reunion. Can any 6th member help him?

Alice Anderson wrote for her father, James Anderson, to say that he was at Biak for the Christmas program. He is 85 and has some health problems, but still enjoys the Newsletter and talking about his 415th Signal Aviation Battalion days


How many can relate to this bit? "Seen it all, done it all, and can’t remember most of it?"

Veronica Mato writes that Frank is still holding his own in his bout with cancer, and we all wish him the best. Hang in there, Frank!

She sent a clipping about the burial in August at Arlington of crew members from a B-24J Liberator that left Liuchow, China, Aug 31, ’44 on a mission to Takao Harbor, Formosa. They never returned. In ’96 the president of the People’s Republic of China presented President Clinton with five identification tags from a crash site in Guangzi Province. Later, in ’97 and ’99 remains of most of the crew members were excavated. Such burials are not unique at Arlington according to the superintendent. They are still having frequent crew burials, even from WWII.

Two 54th TCW HQ members found! O C Wilkins mentioned in talking to his neighbor one day that he was in the Pacific during WWII in the 317th TCG, 46th TCS. His neighbor, Walter Turner, replied that he was in the 54th TCW HQ. His address is 32701 Westwood Loop, Leesburg, FL 34748-8118. He’s in the "Moresby" book, pages 337 and 282.

Jay Heckman called one day with the good news that he had found Frederick (Freddie) Howard. Jay

happened to be visiting in Hanover, NH and noticed Dartmouth College signs about an alumni reunion. He remembered that Freddie has attended the college so went to see if they had his address. He was successful! On Aug 15, Jay, Amilio Parese and Freddie had a reunion in Bennington, VT, their first in 55 years. Freddie’s address is 3920 Oakmore Rd, Oakland, CA 93602. He’s also in the "Moresby" book, pages 316 and 287.

It’s not how much you have, but how much you enjoy what you have!

E-mail addresses:

Al Miziura, 54thTCW HQ - jborden@flashcom.net
Donald Yeske, 374th,21stdandlyeske@juno.com
Joseph Meyash, 374th 46thmeyash@wicon.net

Curtis Krogh, 7th CCS, wrote about his Christmas, ’44. He was encamped at Biak, but had been sent down to Nadzab for "Loran School". There was nothing to remind them of Christmas except singing a few carols. The Chaplain’s assistant accompanied them on a little organ with foot pedals that he had to pump up and down vigorously. After Christmas they returned to Biak for lots of flying in the "Big Ass Bird," the C-46.

We received an e-mail letter from Donald Lundy, 317th,46th, with pictures and information about his book, "Flying with the Jungle Skippers". He had found Glenn’s autobiography on the Internet. Since his granddaughter, a senior at IA State U, had to learn do a web page, she put in his book. It’s at http://public.iastate.edu/~akfisher/skiptext.html He really had quite a career as a pilot, especially as one of those 102 pilots who did the Corregidor drops. Wm B. Breuer has included Lundy’s name in the book "Retaking the Philippines".

Lundy’s e-mail address is dlundy@rconnect.com

Some of you may be new to the Internet since we gave the Internet address for Glenn McMurry’s autobiography. www.gregssandbox.com/mcmurry

The e-mail address for your editors, Glenn and Darlene McMurry, is mcmurrys@bigfoot.com

Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: We find the present tenseand the past perfect.

Bud Malmstone received a model of a C-47 from a friend. To his surprise the name on the plane was "Swamp Rat 11", the name of the plane in the 6th Squadron piloted by Frank Church. He called Frank’s widow to tell her about it and is going to try to get one for her. Bud also reported on his recent visit to the Air and Space Museum in D. C., and he agrees with the rest of us that our branch of the service has been badly neglected in the displays.

In Memory

Mrs. Nell Cornell wrote to let know about the death last February of her husband, George Wesley Cornell, 317th TCG. On the funeral folder that she sent was this poem by K. Kline:

Lost from the Formation

Air Corps men – They never die.

Into the clouds, and away they fly.

Up and up, beyond the blue

With steady hands and a course that’s true.

And as they fly, they look below

To see their friends in grief and woe.

And then they pause to say a prayer,

"DearLord, comfort my friends

Who live down there

Tell them I’m going to receive my wings

In heaven above, from the King of Kings!

"To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die."

Harold Schultz enclosed his "business?" card in a note . His motto is "When I have the urge to work, I lie down until the urge passes."

Jack Harrier often sends us interesting messages via e-mail. This information seems worth passing on:

If you are alone and experience sudden severe pain in your chest that may be leading to a heart attack, you should cough repeatedly and vigorously. Take a deep breath before each cough. Repeat this every two seconds until you can get help or until your heart seems to be beating normally again. The deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and the coughing squeezes the heart to keep the blood circulating. (From a Rochester Hospital Newsletter}

Our continuing feature–an Irish blessing from Dan Brennan’s Irish Notepad:

We drink to your coffin!

May it be built from the wood

Of a hundred year old oak tree

That I shall plant tomorrow.

Some words from your editor, Darlene McMurry:

In the June Newsletter we wrote the following:

"Now that we are no longer having 54th TCW HQ reunions, we need to know if there is enough interest in a 54th Newsletter for us to keep it going. We realize that each group has its own Newsletter, and we feel that may be all that’s necessary. We certainly will not feel bad if you also feel that way. Unless we get loud protests, we plan to make our December issue the last."

Since many of you wrote, called and e-mailed to tell us how much you will miss the Newsletter and to ask us to continue, we decided that your responses qualify as "loud protests." We certainly say a hardy Thank You to all of you for your kind words. I think most of you know that for over a year now Glenn, due to several health problems, has not been able to use the computer. His reading and writing skills are very limited. However, he always loves to hear from any of you with whom he served in the Southwest Pacific. I have increasingly taken over the responsibilities involved with address files, all correspondence, and the editing of the Newsletter. I also want you to know that I really enjoy doing all those things. Those of you who have written and called, and shared so many experiences, are now my friends also. I realize that if I quit doing the Newsletters in June and December, you would quit sending us all those interesting letters. Both Glenn and I would really miss them. SO, I’ve decided to continue the Newsletter for now, so long as you continue to send, by U.S. mail or e-mail, bits and pieces of information that we can share with each other.

However, I’m sure that many of the 340+ people now on our mailing list really don’t care whether or not they get the Newsletter. Many of you are on the list only because someone else sent your address to us. If you want to stay on our list and you have not written since our JuneNewsletter, please send a note. If we don’t hear from you, we will remove your address from our files. A few dollars for mailing expense would also be appreciated. Some of you have already contributed this year. Pleasedon’t feel you must do so again. Also, those of you who send your group’s Newsletter to us need not write and certainly don’t need to send money. We enjoy reading your Newsletters and hope everyone likes to hear about the activities of other groups that we share in our 54th Newsletter. Remember, you all served your country during the same years in the same places, and our country owes each of you a great debt.

Much Happiness throughout the New Year, 2000


Here is some advice about your New Year’s resolutions:

If you make your resolutions too broad, you won’t be able to keep them.

Give yourself a chance to succeed!

Modify your resolutions; limit them to something you can realistically achieve


I won’t eat any sweets—after dinner—standing up—in July—during a snowstorm!