54TH Troop Carrier Wing


Dec, 1999

News from groups under the 54th TCW

2nd Combat Cargo Group:

Dale Root, 6thCCS, e-mailed information about their group. They were constituted in April, 1944. When the war was over, they were stationed in Tokyo. At a final get-together, before some were going home, one member offered to compile a "Poop Sheet" of names and addresses so they could keep in touch. Now for over 50 years, Dale has kept the "Poop Sheet" going. After their first reunion in 1955, they have met every 3 to 5 years. However, future reunions are uncertain, but Dale says he'll keep the annual "Poop Sheet" going.

Curtis Krogh, 7thCCS, has shared with us the very comprehensive 45 page history he wrote several years ago entitled: "The Story of the 2nd Combat Cargo Group, 54th Troop Carrier Wing, 5th Air Force, Pacific Theatre"

What a great job he did! Not only that, last year he wrote a detailed history of the 7th Squadron which includes biographies of 63 members and their families. (Does this inspire any of you?)

He reported that their 13th reunion, held at Lawrence Welk Resort Hotel in Branson this year, was terrific.

However, their numbers were down-only 18 men and 18 women.

Paul Vaughan, 8thCCS, reported in his newsletter that at their 11th reunion in Seattle, WA, all 60 folks who attended had a rewarding time--good service, good food, knowledgeable guides, nice weather. Jack Nicholson and Bill West were hosts. As they have some very talented members---the "Yankee Doodlers" and equally talented wives--the 8th Combat Cargo "Belles", they provide their own banquet entertainment. Their 2000 reunion will be Oct 22-24 in Birmingham, AL with Jim & Lenora Cobb as hosts.

Bill Bielauskas,10 Cayuga Trail, Wayne, NJ 07470, phone 973/694-1366, has started a Combat Cargo http://www.web-site-comcar.org.  He was in the 3rdCCG, but wants to add info about the 1st, 2nd and 4th Groups.

Some of you 2ndCCG folk should enlighten him.

Jack Harrier, 333rd Signal Corps, reported via e-mail about their Oct 15-17 reunion at Best Western Motel, Elk Grove, IL, near Chicago O'Hare Airport. Attending were 11 members plus wives and his daughter. Werner & Lorraine Palmblad were hosts. They enjoyed good food and a fun evening where each shared his most memorable moment in the South Pacific. Their next reunion will be in 2001.

The 415th Signal Corps will have a 2000 reunion. Those who are interested should contact Bernard Williams, 5845 Durham Ct, South Bend, IN, 46614

Richard Korthals, 317thTCG, HQ & 41stTCS, calls their 10 Annual Reunion one of the best ever. It was held at the LeBaron Hotel in Colorado Springs, last Oct 14-17. Unlike so many of our groups, theirs seems to be growing. They had 67 in attendance and the most unforgettable moments were during the memorial service held in the beautiful Protestant Chapel at the Air Force Academy. They also went to the Garden of the Gods, the Flying W Ranch and the Cripple Creek Resort.

Bob Borchert, 374thTCG, 33rdTCS e-mailed the following info about their upcoming reunion. It will be April 7-9, 2000, at Embassy Suites Motel, Grapevine, TX, just north of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport. Hotel info: phone 1-800-embassy; Fax: 972/724-2670; Internet: http://www.embassy-suites.com. Further details from Mo Berg, 202 Oak Lane, Euless, TX 76039; e-mail moveraberg@aol.com; fax 817/267-1908.

Earlier we got a note from the Bergs saying other groups were welcome.

Gene Diemand, 375thTCG reports that the 55th, 56th and 58th squadrons' 1999 reunions went off fine, and the 55th has already made plans for 2000 in Tuscon, AZ. He says they probably will not have another 375th Group reunion as the squadrons that are interested are planning their own reunions.

All of you with access to the Internet should check out his great 375th home page. He, like we, has a talented son who has helped him with it. Here's the web page address --- http://www.ecentral.com/members/diemand/375thHome.html

Interesting info from the 375th Home Page: The Defense Department is taking applications for a "Cold War Recognition Certificate" for those who served on active duty, in the Reserves, or National Guard from Sept 2, 1945 through Dec 26, 1991. There is no charge for the certificate. You can apply via the Internet: http://www.coldwar.mil/ ; e-mail at: cwrs@fairfax-emhl.army.mil; Fax 703-275-6749; or mail to: Cold War Recognition, 4035 Ridge Top Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22030.

All who received the DFC Award are eligible for the Distinguished Flying Cross Society. The info given wasn't clear about whether they hold reunions, but they do have memorabilia, such as caps, plaques, and patches. The address is:

The Distinguished Flying Cross Society
8430 Production Ave
San Diego, CA 92121.

Ted Casper, 433rdTCG Association, reports their reunion in Williamsburg went very well despite the fact that they had to change hotels because of hurricane damage. They already have plans for their 2000 reunion at the Inn Suites Hotels, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, Oct 11-16.

He also says they still have some of the color lithographs of the C-46 and the C-47, which were pictured in our June Newsletter. They are 17 1/2 by 21 inches and sell for $50 for one or $95 for both plus $3.50 postage. Contact Ted at 4164 Inverrary Dr. 12-414, Lauderhill, FL 33319, phone: 954/484-7230, or e-mail: tedellie@aol.com.

Remember-We pass this way but once--unless your spouse is reading the road map

New and changed e-mail addresses:

Joe Eken- jeken5par@juno.com

Jack Harrier-jeh21@pacbell.net

Curt Krogh-cakrogh@execpc.com

Dale Root-daldor2@juno.com

Phil Sanborn-psanborn@jps.net

Advice for 2000:

Remember that yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, today is cash in hand; spend it wisely. (Anonymous)

In Memory:

Arthur Ehrlich's son, Paul, sent an e-mail note to tell us of his father's death on November 5th. Our sincere sympathy to Arthur's wife and children.


In the last Newsletter was a note requesting information about the 820th Air Evacuation Squadron of which John Cantando was a member. We just discovered the article "Nurses and Air Evacuation" in the "Moresby to Manila" book. After Troop Carriers delivered their cargoes to the battle lines, the "Biscuit Bombers" could be quickly converted into hospital ships. On such a mission a nurse and medical enlisted man would be aboard. The 804th Squadron arrived in Port Moresby in September, 1943, and the 820th followed in April, 1944. Later they were joined by the 801st of the 13th Air Force. Maybe John or someone else can tell us more.

From our mailbox and e-mail notes:

Worried about the Y2K bug?  Be sure to look on your Internet or a friend's and open this address: http://www.thesitefights.com/wepatrol/mil_bug.gif
(This came from Bob Borchert. He finds all the good ones.)

Veronica Mato sent these definitions of "secure:"

To a Marine is means take a platoon and assault.
To the Army it means surround the building.
To the Navy it means go in, turn off all lights and lock all the doors.
To the Air Force is means sign a 3-year lease with option to buy. (Now that's looking ahead!)

Col. Imparato wrote that Turner Press is sold out of his 374th History but he has about 100 in reserve just for personnel of the Wing. In fact almost all copies of all his books are sold out. Congratulations to him for all his efforts to keep alive memories of the part the Army Air Force played in the South Pacific during WWII.

Doug Southgate, of the 374thTCG, 6thTCS, sent an interesting note about his years in the service. When he left the Philippines in Jan, 1946, he stayed in reserves, was recalled for the Korean War, and retired Lt. Col. in 1980. He and his wife celebrated their 50th anniversary last July. At age 79 he is taking oil painting and French lessons. Can anyone top that?? Write to us so we can share your retirement activities and be inspired to do more.

Ned Smith, another member of the 6thTCS, wrote that he ordered the litho of the C-47 as he had a memorable experience in one of them. Near Wewak, as he was returning to Nadzab from Biak, he blew a cylinder on his right engine. Luckily the extinguisher on the engine put out the fire. They headed for the coast and landed on the first Aussie strip they saw. With only four parachutes and six people on board, they were thankful for that strip!!

Tim Daly thanks us for helping Bill Woznek find him after 56 years. Together they had left from Hamilton Field about midnight on September 22, 1943, heading for Australia in their C-47 "Douglas Racing Machine." He was assigned to the 375thTCG, 58th TCS and Bill to the 433TCG, 70thTCS. Tim has fought a good fight against cancer and is still active at 84 years, has good eyesight and reflexes, and with his "child bride" of 77 enjoys many activities.

Blaine Loudin, 374thTCG, 6thTCS, reported on his recent trip to the Pacific Rim. He visited areas where he piloted C-47's and C-46's in 1944-46. He spent time in Manila, Tacloban, Cebu City, Corregidor, Tokyo and Taiwan (Formosa then). It was hard to find many landmarks. As near as he could tell the tower at Nielson Field is now a restaurant and the Peninsula Hotel is about where his tent was. Landing mats at Tacloban are gone and the strip is now 9000 feet long with a black top surface. The terminal building is where their operations shack was. The gravel strip at Cebu City is an industrial park. On Corregidor are a few building remains along with the guns, a museum, and an impressive memorial. He has 16 tapes and 200 pictures he will share with any who come by.

Harold Schultz, 374thTCG, 22ndTCS, recently saw a picture of a Troop Carrier Shoulder Patch, but no info on where to get it. Anyone know?

"Roe" McClure, 54thTCW, HQ, reports he is back home after nine months in a care facility. His home has been remodeled so he can use his wheelchair and walker. He sends his love and prayers.

A continuing feature---an Irish Blessing from Dan Brennan's Irish Notepad:

May the frost never afflict your spuds.
May the leaves of your cabbage always be free from worms.
May the crows never pick your haystack.
May your donkey always be in foal.



T'was the night before Christmas. He lived all alone, 
In a one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone 
I had come down the chimney with the presents to give
And to see just who in this little home did live.

I looked all about . A strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree. 
No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands 

With medals and badges, awards of all kinds.
A sober thought came through my mind
For this house was different. It was dark and dreary.
I found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone, 
Curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home. 
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder 
Not how I pictured a United States Soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight. 

Soon round the world the children would play.
And grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year
Because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice
"Santa, don't cry. This life is my choice.
I fight for freedom. I don't ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps."

The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours so silent and still
And we both shivered from the cold night's chill.

I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark, night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over and with a voice soft and pure
Whispered, "Carry on Santa. It's Christmas day. All is secure."

One look at my watch and I knew he was right.
"Merry Christmas, my friend, and to all a good night."


This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan, and this is his request:

"PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe by making people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who have and are sacrificing themselves for all of us." 

(Thanks to Bob Borchert, who sent this to us by e-mail)

Carlyle Olcott, 374thTCG, 21stTCS, is doing much better health wise since surgery to alleviate a serious sinus infection. Received a note from his wife just before finishing this Newsletter. She gives tribute to their wonderful "kids" who do so much to help them with tasks that are increasingly difficult. Lots of us with physical disabilities as we age can really understand that blessing of thoughtful children.


Your editors want to thank all of you who have sent contributions and notes of appreciation. So long as you send us bits of information about yourselves and your groups, we can fill a couple Newsletters a year.

Happy Hanukkah (sorry, a little late this year)-Merry Christmas-& A Great New Year 2000!!

This Swedish proverb seems appropriate for a New Year's Greeting:

Fear less, hope more;
Eat less, chew more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more; and most important
Hate less, love more
And all good things will be yours.


54th Troop Carrier Wing - Constituted 26 Feb 1943, Activated, Australia, 13 Mar 1943, Assigned to 5th Air Force, engaged in troop carrier and transport operations from May 1943 to end of WWII. Inactivated, Philippines, 31 May 1946. (Renamed 54th Fighter Wing Jun 1946, inactivated Oct 1950) Serving under the Wing were the Headquarters; the 2nd Combat Cargo Group; the 317th, 374th, 375th, and 433rd Troop Carrier Groups; the 333rd and 415th Signal Corps; and the 801st, 804th, and 820th Air Evacuation Squadrons.

Note: If you know more groups, please inform your editors