54TH Troop Carrier Wing
Dec, 2005

News from groups and squadrons of the 54th Troop Carrier Wing:

2nd CCG, 6th CCS--Fifteen veterans, and family members to swell the attendance to 74, met as planned Oct 5-9 at the Embassy Suites in Phoenix. At their first reunion 50 years ago, 34 had signed in their log book.  Eleven who had signed then were at this reunion.  Four families have made it to all 17 of their reunions. What a record! Gudrun Jones had prepared an elaborate 6th CCS calendar for each family.  It has pictures from WWII of squadron members plus dates of special events of the war.  Clark, son of squadron member Dale Root, read a poem he’d written as a tribute to the veterans.  Here is  one verse of his poem which can fit all of you:

“The bodies may be aging  now and your move-ments  may be slow,
But start telling the stories in the Ready room and you can see the eyes begin to glow.
Despite the aches and pains you feel, you still can laugh and share a smile,
Your youthful days have long since  passed,  but you’ve aged with grace and style.
We  mourn for those who have  passed  away,  for them we say a prayer,
We  miss  them,  but  take  comfort  knowing  that they’re held in God’s loving care.
Few will ever be so close as you who flew together.
The fellowship you still share today will surely last forever.”

2nd CCG, 7th CCS--As reported in the June 54th TCW Newsletter, they have finally decided, after 18 good reunions, to keep in touch through just  their “5 by5”  edited by Agnes and Curt Krogh.  In the last edition, the Krogh’s told about a trip to Washington, DC given to them by their daughter and son-in-law.    Of course, they visited the WWII Memorial and many other DC sites.   An additional surprise was a display case containing medals and insignia from Curt’s service days, which was presented to him in their Congressman’s office. What a nice present from his family!

2nd CCG, 8th CCS--Last October, fifty plus, including 19 of the original squadron members, had a successful 17th reunion at the Airport Hilton Hotel in Wichita, KS. They had great fellowship, movies, dining and fun at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper Restaurant, and their Sunday evening banquet climaxed the reunion. According to their scribe, Harold Henneke,  the next reunion will be at the Hampton Inn, in East Peoria, IL, Sunday, Oct 15 through Tuesday, October 17, 2006.

317th TCG--Their 2006 reunion will be at St. Louis sometime in October, and details will be announced soon.   If you were in any Squadron under the 317th and are not on Vince Krobath’s mailing list, call him at 314/842-2484, and make yourself known.

374th TCG, 33rd TCS—B. J. and Naomi Plog will host their 22nd reunion at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Indianapolis, April 20-22.  Bob Monson, scribe of the 33rd “encourages your family to join us as well as any of the
374th TCG people interested”.  Call the hotel (800/444.2326) to reserve your room.  The cost is only $70 plus tax for reunion attendees.   Also write to or phone the Plog’s at Box 332,  RidgeFarm, IL 61870, phone 217/247-2491 to tell them you are coming.

375th TCG, 55th TCS--Despite some rainy weather, they had a good reunion last October in Washington DC.  Since it rained five inches on the day they planned to visit monuments, they visited indoor attractions that day, and took in outdoor sights the next day.  It’s nice to be flexible!  At their banquet each member was given a Memory Book with the story of the 55th, and a Certificate of Appreciation signed by the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.  These were provided by the daughter and son-in-law of Charles Lemon.  He and Bill Cunningham are now polling the members to see if they want another reunion next fall, perhaps in Albuquerque.  Originally the 2005 was to be the last, but they just couldn’t quite decide to quit after the good time they had  together, even in the rain.

375th TCG, 58th TCS--Since they stopped having reunions, Bill Woznek has been their scribe for  great newsletters, six to eight pages long, full of both memories and current news of their members.  Quoting from his December, 2005 issue, which came several weeks ago, “My computer is long overdue at a land fill----I hope it will stay with me for this last newsletter.—I’m running out of steam and feel it is time to quit production.”  What sad news! I’m sure his readers are thankful to him and will surly miss getting the 58th TCS Newsletter.

433rd TCG--They felt so lucky to have warm, sunny days for their reunion last October in Tampa.  If they had planned it a week later, most would have stayed home because of Hurricane Wilma.  The group highly recommends the Harbour Island Wyndham Hotel.  From their 8th floor hospitality room,  they could watch students daily prepare for the sculling races. Because of the war, they were not allowed to see planes or other restrictive places at MacDill Air Force Base. However, they did have  lunch one day and Champagne Brunch another day at the Officers Club.  Gerry Randa is their new chairman, with Carmen Kight, co-chairman.  Carmen will continue to do their correspondence.  (Speaking as one who gets her letters, I must say they are lucky to have her.  She does so much for the group while still caring for her husband, Major, who is an alzheimer patient and went to the reunion in his wheelchair.)    No dates have yet been set, but their 2006 reunion will be in Albuquerque next fall.


In Memory

Helen, Ed Stein’s wife of 58 years, died in June.  Ed, 375th TCG, 33rd TCS, has now moved.  His   new address is 12085 SW Settler Way, Beaverton, OR 97008-7919.

In December last year, we reported that John Rains found our website and introduced us to his friend, Russell Holmes, 375th TCG, 56th TCS.  Russell wrote immediately and in June we shared an e-mail from him about his memorable visit to the WWII Memorial.  Sadly, we learned later that he had died in March so he didn’t get to see that Newsletter.  Just hope some had been able to contact him. He  was eager to hear from others in his squadron.  Sorry we didn’t find him sooner.

Chris Haggerty wrote about the death of his father, Robert Haggerty, 54th TCW, HQ, on June 2nd, after a short bout with cancer.  He said his father always enjoyed the Newsletter.  To quote from his e-mail, “I believe my dad’s tour of duty was one of his most honorable moments and our world is a better place because of the sacrifices men like my dad made to give us freedom.”  (Let this apply to all of you men like his dad)

Peg Willey sent a short e-mail to tell us that Don Willey died in January, 2004.  He was a member of the 415th Signal Company. She thanked us for sending him the Newsletters.

Mel Clack, 374th TCG, 22nd TCS, died July 22nd.  Dorothy, his wife of 60 years, sent his obituary and a tribute to him from their local paper.  Mel called and wrote often, sending names to be added to our mailing list and/or recommending a book to read.  Although he lost his sight at age 45, he kept very active in his church, his lodge, and the Lions Club.  In 1980 he founded the Yavapai Center for the Blind.  Just June 15th a note came from Mel (via Dorothy) saying, “I’ve had lung cancer surgery 2-21-05 and am on oxygen 24/7 but don’t let that stop me.”  He wanted to recommend Prescott and some nearby areas for reunions.  He included the Grand Canyon, the Phelps Dodge copper mine, the old mining town of Jerome, and the land of “red rocks” in Sedona.  (See your Dec, 2004 Newsletter for other information he had sent because he wanted to show how one person can make a difference in the world.)  From the above info, one can tell that he was certainly one who made a difference!


Nose Art: In the June issue, Fiona Hocking asked for her father if any might have photos of the nose art on the C-47’s.  B. J. Plog, 374th TCG, 33rd TCS, sent a page from Look Magazine, 1942, with nine pictures.  Since Billie L was one requested, it is shown below.  The others can be found at http://www.gregssandbox.com/54th.  Click on the last item of the index.

Harold Schultz, 374th TCG, 22nd TCS, sent info on several issues of National Geographic, with photos of various insignia, including nose art.  The issues are  June, 1943, page 652 on, October, 1943, page 409 on, and January, 1948, pages 95-96. These may also be on the Internet, and libraries may have back issues.  Thanks to his wife Carol, (whom he calls “The Lovely Angel on loan to me for 42 years by the Almighty”) for doing the research.

Charles Channell,  father of Lynn Channell, 21st Air Service Group, found a picture of “Quivering Sal” nose art on sale on ebay last September. It was labeled from a C-46 of the 2nd CCG, 6th CCS.   You computer users may find more by now.

Don Ayres, 374th TCG, 22nd TCS, has prepared a biography of Harold Jekel.  He sent a picture  of the nose art on Jekel’s plane.  It showed an upraised arm with closed fist and the title “HERADNAW”. However, Don said he wasn‘t able to discover the meaning of the word.

Thanks to all who wrote about “Nose Art”

Internet users continue to find our 54th website: Valerie Schier wants information about her father, Milford W Lambert (Buck), 374th,TCG, 21st TCS He is now deceased and she has no information about his service and the circumstances under which he received the Flying Cross.  She has his picture showing the “BEEliner” patch and would like to know where she can find one.  If you can help her, e-mail her at mvschier@sbcglobal.net and/or write to her at 783 Yellowwood Dr, Greenwood, IN 46143.

Judy Thorn is writing a brief history of her father William Sneed, 415th Signal Company, now deceased.  He was in New Guinea from late 1942 – June, 1944.  He also served in the Philippines with Co. A1715th Signal Service Battalion through July, 1945.    She has a picture of  “Camp Meadow” and wonders where it was.  If you knew her father, and/or can explain anything about the specific duties of these units and places where they served, e-mail her at judypthorn@hotmail.com or write to her at 68 Saratoga Ct, Winona, MN 55987.

Dan Bartold, son of Chester Bartold,  a medical technician in the 54th TCW, 21st Service Group, sent an e-mail.  His father died in 1979, when Dan was 19.  He had talked vary little about what happened “over there” and Dan would like to know more about the time from his father’s induction at Fort Custer and his discharge at Fort Sheridan. He has the “Moresby to Manila” book and wishes his father could look through it with him. He knows that  Chester had a friend from Buffalo, NY named Wild.   Dan’s e-mail is   kellydanbartold@aol.com.

Dan Schenkein e-mailed a request for information about the 21st  Service Group (ASG) in which his father, Clarence Schenkein served.   His father died 30 years ago and as so many others, never mentioned much about his experiences “over there”. His father’s discharge came from the 54th TCW  Headquarters and was signed by 1st Lt Paul B Holme Jr.  His orders also included 1st Lt Richard Johnson and Captain Earl Schriever.  The complete title of his group was “3d ACC Sq 21st Air Sv Gp APC 704”.  Maybe that will mean something to someone??   Dan’s address is 202 N 3rd St, Grand Forks, ND 58203, phone 701/772-7271, e-mail   dschenkein@gfchamber.com

Ben Owen, 374th TCG, 21st TCS, was in Biak during 1944 and early 1945.  He returned to the states in March, 1945, on the USS General AE Anderson, a troop ship carrying survivors of the Bataan who had been rescued by the Army Rangers from the prison at Cabanatuan in the Philippines.   He’d like to hear form anyone who might have been on that ship.  E-mail him at    n7lbw@juno.com


--The WWII Memorial in Washington, DC--

When they were building the memorial, you probably sent a contribution and/or asked to have your name listed in the archives there.  (I always wondered if they were really compiling such lists.  However, these names are now on the Internet and I found Glenn McMurry’s name with his home town of Hutchinson, Kansas.)   You can check at http://www.wwiimemorial.com to find your name.  Be sure you give the city you put on the form at the time, which may or may not be your present address.  If your name isn’t there, you can enter it.  If you don’t use a computer, asked a friend or relative to help you.  All of you should be there!

Have you heard about the Honor Flight program?  Earl Morse of Ohio, a physician assistant for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Springfield, got to worrying about veterans who wouldn’t get to see the WWII Memorial  because of either physical or financial problems.  He proposed the idea for Honor Flight at a flying club last January and in a flash he had 11 volunteer pilots and planes.  Now once a month several small planes filled with veterans fly from Springfield to Washington and return the same day.    One pilot said, “The intent of the flight is to thank them.  It seems a little weird that they‘re so thankful.”

“Some people make things happen, some people watch things happening, and some people wonder what happened”

The National D-Day Museum, now designated by Congress as the America’s national World War Museum, is located at 945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA.  It’s mission is to provide an overview of the economic and political roots of the war and tell the story of the build-up and military mobilization of the Allied Forces for the 17 D-Days around the world.    Museum personnel are pleased to report that Katrina caused  no serious structural damage or flooding.  Although there was some looting in the gift shop, none of the priceless artifacts and displays were bothered.  A staff member, Jake Staples, lived in and guarded the museum for two weeks.  Construction on Discovery Hall is continuing and a major international WWII conference originally planned for October, 2005, is being rescheduled for sometime in 2006.

        Note on the meaning of the “D” in D-Day---It stands for “Day”.  The phrase represents the date of an attack while not actually revealing the actual date. True, it’s a little repetitive, but the army seems to like it as they have also been known to use “H-Hour” following the same principle.

The Silent Wings Museum, located at 6202 N. I-27, Lubbock, TX , was asked to assist the city in caring for Katrina evacuees from New Orleans. Within two hours, the staff and volunteers transformed the museum into a shelter.  Although the evacuees were eventually taken to Reese Technology Center, the museum hosted medical staff, fire fighters, and law enforcement personnel, as well as Salvation Army and Red Cross workers.    To quote from their newsletter, “Not only can a museum educate and inspire, it can also aid its community in times of crisis”.

Also in the museum’s Newsletter, all veterans were advised to send for the publication called “Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents”.   The address is Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Public Affairs (80D), 810 Vermont Ave,. N.W.Washington, DC 20420

Work is progressing on the Air Force Memorial near the Pentagon. Harold Henneke, 2nd CCG, 8th CCS, sent the following interesting information.  50,000 cubic yards of soil has been removed, the purest black granite for the inscription walls has been procured, and the 24 caissons to support the 900-ton spires have been completed.  Dedication is planned of October 14, 2006.   However, some 2.8 million is still needed to fully fund the memorial.     Contributions are tax-deductible and can be sent to the Air Force Memorial Foundation, 1501 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22209-1109.

When Carmen Kight attended her first reunion,  and heard members telling their stories, she decided they should be in a book. Some nine years later, after collecting stories and pictures from some 65 members of the 433rd TCG, she has published  ”There’s Rocks in Those Clouds”, a very professional, 10 1/2 by 8in, 295 page book. On the cover is a color picture of a C-47, from a painting by well-known artist, Barbara Schade.  The pictures and stories will warm your heart and bring back memories..  You can order a copy for $25 plus $5 shipping from Carmen—369 Sandalwood Ct, Lakeland, FL 33813.

News from some 54th TCW, Hq members—John Murphy has a new address-4 Alton Rd, #201, Augusta, ME 04330-7641--Dick Loach, who keeps in touch via his daughter’s e-mail, had successful cataract surgery--Editor’s note: So have I.  Don’t put it off if your Dr. recommends it—Emilio Parese, contrary to earlier reports, is still running his Parese Motors.  He decided not to retire, which seems a wise decision—Jay Heckman is also still keeping busy.  He sells real estate (anyone want to move to Buffalo?)

Let’s hear from more of you 54th Hq members.


Good advice from Robert Louis Stevenson::

Make the most of the best and the least of the worst.

Hoping all your holidays are happy and you have a wonderful 2006 all year!

Darlene McMurry
8944 Krueger St
Culver City, Ca
Phone 310/559-8331
e-mail: 54th@gregssandbox.com
(Note new e-mail address)

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