54TH Troop Carrier Wing


June, 2001

News from groups under the 54th TCW

2nd CCG, 7th CCSís 15th reunion will be at the Best Western Midway Hotel near Mitchell International Airport, Milwaukee, WI on Oct 17-19. Curt Krogh, who is the Squadronís scribe, will be the host. He reports the room rate is only $69.00 + tax and no charge for the hospitality room and breakfasts. Sounds good! Incidentally they changed their plans from San Antonio because of excessive hotel rates. Curtís address is 601 Indiana St, Racine, WI 53405-2227 -- e-mail is cakrogh@execpc.com

2nd CCG, 8th CCSís 13th reunion will be at the Hampton Inn in downtown Indianapolis, IN on Oct 14-16. Room rate of $92.00 includes free hot breakfast and hospitality room. They hope to tour the city, visit the Motor Speedway Museum and have a ride around the famous racetrack. For more info contact Harold Henneke, 359 W Edgewood Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46217 Ė e-mail address ------ HALTLI@aol.com

The Hq, 41st TCS & 40th TCS of the 317th TCG will meet at Washington, DC., September 26-30. They have reserved rooms at the Holiday Inn Eisenhower Metro Center at $89.00 per night. Notice they are planning a longer time, four nights instead of three, which must mean that their reunions are getting better and better. Tours will include the White House, Arlington Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, and the Air & Space Museum. Hosts will be Mac & Mary Ellen McCoy along with their daughter and son-in-law, Ellen & Glen Comstock. For more info contact Ellen McCoy-Comstock at 20 Washington & Lee Blvd, Stafford, VA 22554-6434, 540/720-2808: e-mail--gcoms2000@va.prestige.net

The 374th TCG, 33rd TCS wonít be having a reunion until 2002. It seems that other squadrons of the 374th havenít been having reunions. Maybe sometime there can be a 374th Assn. such as the 433rd has. Note above that the 317th TCG is one step closer since the 40th TCS has now joined with Hq and the 41st TCS.

The squadrons of the 375th TCG seem to be doing well. The 55th will meet Sept 21-24 at the Grand Plaza Hotel in Branson, MO. Charles Lemons will be the host. His address is 6340 Cuesta Pl NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120: 505/898-5472óe-mail---LemonsCF@aol.com. Last year the 56th met in Branson and some members of the 57th and 58th joined them. Joy Weaverís granddaughter, Joyce Chrisman, chaired the event at the Welk Hotel. They got a special discount on the golf course and thoroughly enjoyed the many great shows. They planned for a Mississippi River Cruise next and Joyce will again be hostess for them. The 58th will meet Oct 5-7 at Dayton. No further details on these events. Gene Diemand, the 375th scribe, can be reached at 625 S Wheaton Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187--630/668-9575--e-mail: eadiemand@aol.com

Note the good idea: Enlist help from the children and the grandchildren!!!

The 433rd Assn will meet Sept 4-9 at the Wyndham Airport Hotel, Seattle, WA. The cost is $98.00 per night which is a greatly reduced rate for the Seattle area. As reported in the last Newsletter Carmen Kight is their new chairperson, having volunteered when Ted Casper decided it was time for him to retire. Carmen is planning a great reunion with visits to Boeing Plant and Museum, and the Tillicum Island Indian Program in addition to the regular dinner dance and hospitality room activities. Carmenís address is 4164 Inverrary Dr 12-414, Lauderhill, FL 33319ó954/484-7230. Her e-mail address is Ckight887@aol.com

Note another good idea: Let the wives take charge.!!! (Thatís what has happened to your 54th TCW Newsletter, as you know)

The 54th TCW, 333rd SC plans to hold their regular biennial reunion this year on Oct 5-7 at the Best Western Midway Hotel in Elk Grove Village, IL. Phone 847/981-0010 by Sept 1 for your reservation. Hosts are Werner & Lorraine Palmblad, 4752 N New England Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60656: 708/867-7755

John Cantando, 54thTCW, 820thMAES, writes that their reunion will in Elmira, NY, September 11-16. Their first one was held there in 1977, but heís afraid this may be their last. However, everyone reported a great time at the last reunion in Laughlin. Now after a good time in Elmira this year, letís hope that they will decide to have a 2002 one.

WWII Memorial-----Finally, Congress has passed legislation that removes the last barrier to the memorial honoring all veterans who helped to win WWII. One newspaper put it this way "Enough is enough. No more hearings, no more lawsuits. After 22 rounds of public hearings, repeated endorsements from Congress, fine arts commissions and the White House, time has run out for those who wanted to block the memorial from being built on the Mall in Washington, DC." The estimated date of completion is early 2004. Only 5 million of the 16 million in uniform in WWII are alive today and probably only 3.8 million will be here in 2004.

James Fiedler, 375th TCG, 58th TCS, attended the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Memorial November 11, 2000. He said there were about 13,000 there and "Everyone who attended left with a great feeling of pride." He enclosed a copy of the program, and noted that one speaker, Rep Marcy Kaptur, who sponsored the bill to establish the memorial, is from his home state of Ohio. He also said that the National Chairman, Bob Dole, gave a great speech.

The 317thTCG, 41stTCS voted at their last reunion to place a 12" by 10" bronze plaque on the Memorial Wall at U S Air Force Museum on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The cost is about $1300 and has been raised from the $20 annual dues the members pay. The 39thTCS has already placed a plaque on the wall. Do any other squadrons have a memorial there?

Advice found in Noahís Notes:Donít miss the boat; Don't forget we're all in the same boat; Plan ahead-It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark; Stay fit--When you're 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something really big; Don't listen to critics; just get on with what has to be done.

Gary Auxier is hoping to find in which squadron his father, CMSgt. Reggie C Auxier, flew. He was a radio operator on a new C-46 that left the states in May, 1945. They flew to Hawaii and then to the Philippines. Later they flew supplies to New Guinea, lifted prisoners of war from the front lines and at times carried General MacArthurís personal items. He was in the Philippines when Japanese aircraft, painted all white with green crosses, landed with a contingent to plan Japanís surrender. He later transferred to the 8thPRS at Johnson Field. After peace came, his wife, whom he married the day before he left the U S A, was able to join him in Yokota. If you can help, contact Gary at 1021 University Ave, Salinas, CA 93901-831/772-6222 or e-mail him: Gary.Auxier@wcom.com

Note: Many of you have already shared about your WWII service with your families, both written and orally. If you havenít, please do it before itís too late and your family has to try to find what you did in WWII after you are gone.

Here, with a few tidbits for thought, are stories from some of your letters to your 54thTCW "Newsletter" Editors. Do keep them coming!!!

Lyle Albrecht,54th TCW , Hq, is a good example of one who has kept a record and picture album of his service days. Among his pictures are bombers showing the "art work" on their noses, such as "Baby," "Virgin", "cookie," and "Honeymoon Express." He sent a clipping about the Queen Mary, which was the ship he rode on for 40 days from Boston, MA to Australia. When his group of 120 arrived in August, 1942, they found all their records had been lost. They were lined up in the street, questioned about name, address, etc. and then without any training formed into the 35th Fighter Squadron. By cattle boat they went to New Guinea and then became a part of the 374th TCG, and finally, the 54th TCW. When he got enough points to be sent home, he sailed across the Pacific to San Francisco, thus completing his round-the-world journey.

Take time to laugh, itís the music of the soul.

Ned Smith, 374thTCG, 6thTCS, who had 2,000 hours as pilot or co-pilot in the South Pacific, wrote about one exciting time on Leyte. He lost a C-47 when a B-24 put a wing through the cockpit of his plane. Only he & the co-pilot were aboard and they escaped injury by jumping into the companionway .

Remember to forget things that make you sad-Donít forget to remember things that make you glad.

Walter Turner, 54thTCW, Hq, sent a note of "Thanks" that he has been found and now gets the Newsletter. He said it seemed strange to write "Glenn" without prefixing it with Sgt. He made his last flight into Tachikawa, Japan, minutes after peace was signed. In December, 1945, he returned home on the ship that had been christened "Ernie Pyle.".

Curt Krogh, 2nd CCG, 7th CCS, and his wife have been reviewing some of the letters he wrote home. In one he tells about the intense heat in their tents while studying Long Range Navigation (Loran) at Nadzab in December, 1944. Others were written while they were building pyramidal tents at Dulag. He became ill because he didnít drink enough liquid to overcome the profuse sweating. However, they were proud of their neat line-up of finished tents. Then, all too soon, they had to move to Okinawa where living conditions were "at best, miserable."

If you get up more times than you fall down, youíll make it through


Dick Loach, 54th TCW, Hq, sent a program of the "MUSICALE" presented by the Chapel Choir on November 6, 1944, at the "54th TCW Theatre." The choir members were from the 375thTCG, 54thTCW, 333rdSC and 374th TCG. Were you there?

"He who loves not his country, can love nothing" Lord Byron

Frank Hathaway, 374th TCG, 6th TCS, wrote about a supply run in a B-25 he and Blaine Loudin made to Australia for the 6th Officersí Club. They returned with cases of gin in the nose and cases of beer in the bombbay. He also told about getting the first C-46ís which he calls "a great airplane, but more of a handful to fly."

"He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sam Cammisa, 374thTCG, 6thTCS added a note to his Christmas card. He said Sydney Goldstein had written to him about the C-47 lost on a flight out of Port Moresby while they were stationed at 7-mile strip. The plane was found in 1984 by Aussies, and four years later the recovered remains of the crew were buried at Arlington Natl. Cemetery. Sydney Goldstein is not on our mailing list, but if you want to know more about this, contact Sam Commisa at 152 Hillcrest Dr, Florence, SC 29501-5912.

Miscellaneous notes from our U S mail & e-mail: Don Willey, 415thSIG, had an e-mail inquiry about the "Jolly Rogers." If anyone has info on this group, please let both him and your editor know. His address is 26385 Oak Plain Dr, Santa Clarita, CA 91321-1382: e-mail--- willey222@webtv.net

Sam and Carol Parker have embarked on a very ambitious project of collecting and distributing information on U S Military Insignia. They publish a quarterly professional-looking catalog showing those they have identified and some they want to know more about. Sounds like a very big job as they are collecting from all wars. If "insignia" is your special interest, you can reach them at 104 Lincoln Mill RD, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062 or e-mail: insigniadetect@cs.com

From Mel Mergenhagen 54th TCW, Hq: Some medical troubles, but other than lung problem, doing better now.

From John Murphy, 54thTCW, Hq: His oncologist, cardiologist, urologist and ophthalmologist have him on yearly visits-on top of all that he broke his little toe just before leaving on a trip to Quebec. That was more painful than all his other problems. (The old saying must be true: "Itís the little things that get us down.")

From Alan B Glover, 374thTCG, 22nd TCS: He and Joe Giovanetti met in Sedalio, MO, where they were assigned to the same crew. In Nov. 1944, they went to Finch and joined the 22nd. Through the years they had kept in touch yearly. Now since they both moved to central Florida, they visit weekly. They also were able to visit with Col. Imparato.

From Jack Harrier, 54th TCW, 333rd SC: He reports a bout with pneumonia last year, but is fine now. Heís planning a month-long trip with his daughter, first to Lewistown, MT, his birth place, then on up through Canada, back south to Chicago for the 333rd reunion, to OK to visit friends and back home to Los Angeles.

From Al Miziura, via his sonís e-mail: He had a bout with pneumonia and has kidney problems that require dialysis. His sons take good care of him.

Note: Please, everyone: Get flu shots yearly and a pneumonia shot as directed by your doctors.

From Wm Thompson, 374th TCG, 6th TCS: He has decided against moving to a retirement home, thinking it might have an adverse affect on his psychological well being. Instead, heís decided to proceed, within reasonable limits, to act as if he isnít old. Therefore, he took a trip to Thailand and Hong Kong and had a wonderful time.

From Max Elliott,54th TCW, Hq: Heís been in the VA hospital several times during the winter and his Dr. advises moving out of the mountains. (No definite word yet of his new address)

From Gerald Randa: He was in 433rd TCG until it was deactivated, then in 375th in Japan until itís deactivation, and later in the 317th. This last year he went to his university reunion, high school reunion and two Army Air Corps reunions. What fun!!

From Doug Southgate, 374th TCG, 6th TCS: Over a year ago he had a kidney removed and in Dec. reported successful recovery. At 80 he still does oil painting and studies French. Great! Keep on doing!

From Ira Adams, 374th TCG, 33rd TCS: He first had a stent put in his leg and a few weeks later became a member of the "heart by-pass" club to which a number of you already belong. He reported that Bob Carlson had a 6-bypass surgery about the same time and bounced back faster than he did.

FromVince Krobath, 317th TCG, 41st TCS: David Winshelís history of the 41st, "Downwind," is out of print, but he will have it reprinted if enough demand. His address is 22 Lantana Dr, St Louis, MO 63123-1016óPhone 314/842-2484

From Margie Kraft for Bob, 54th TCW, Hq: He has a number of health problems, but the VA is taking good care of him. They have given him a walker, wheel chair and hospital bed, and also saved his life a couple times. Thank you, VA!

From Dick Loach, 54th TCW, Hq: He had some health problems early this year, but doing better now. He celebrated 55 years of marriage in January. He says of his wife, Eunice, "she is the best choice I ever made." (Who else has 55 years or more-any 60 or more?)

From Emilio Parese, 54th TCW, Hq: Heís still keeping his "Parese Motors" going, but for the first time is thinking about retiring. (He made us wonder just how many on our mailing list are still going to work each day. Let us know if he gets the prize)

******************************************Internet alert: The Internet information in your December Newsletter seems to be wrong about what to do if you fear a heart attack. In fact, the Rochester Hospital that was cited as a source denies endorsing the "coughing" remedy. Some studies have shown coughing may help in controlled medical environment, but itís best to call 911, take an aspirin, sit or lie down, and try to get to the nearest emergency room. Of course, some on blood thinner probably should avoid the aspirin. (This is from a newspaper article that claims that getting medical advice from the Web is like winning a trip from a Telemarketer. ) Oh, me! What to believe!

This advice from the Internet about dealing with Telemarketers sounds good to me:

1. If they want to loan you money, tell them you just filed for bankruptcy and you could sure use some money.

2. If they start out with, "How are you today?" say, "Why do you want to know?" Or, you can tell them, "I'm so glad you asked, because no one these days seems to care, and I have all these problems: My sciatica is acting up; I have a toothache, etc.

In Memory

Adrian Friedman, 54th TCW, Hq July, 2000

Tracy Levy, 54th TCW, Hq July, 2000

Bob Borchert, 374th TCG, 33rd TCS Dec, 2000

Edward Imparato, C.O. of 374th TCG Dec, 2000

Charles (Pete) Duffy, 54th TCW, 333rd SC Jan,2001

Note: We are all aware of the books Col. Imparato wrote about WWII, but probably most knew little about all his other activities after his military retirement in 1961. Then at age 43 he started a 2nd career in finance and investments. He wrote 7 books on money management. Among the many institutions he supported with his time and money were his church, YMCA, UPARC, Abilities, Inc, Arthritis Research Institute, Florida Gulf Coast Art Center, and the Pinellas Animal, the Morton Plant Hospital, the Senior Citizens, and the Downtown Childrenís Center Foundations. (A very full life!!)

From your editor: First a big "Thank You" to all who were so generous in sending postage money and words of appreciation for the Newsletter. You make all the time and effort worthwhile. We are solvent again and can finance the letter for a couple more years. Whether it is of value, depends upon your letters & reunion info from unit contacts. Please keep us up-to-date on whatís happening. Recently, Glenn was in the hospital a week with a slight stroke. There doesnít seem to be any serious permanent damageójust needs recovery time. Most troubles due to his original stroke, a slight heart problem, and usual "old age" problems. He enjoys reminiscing about WWII days and loves hearing from all of you.

Darlene & Glenn McMurry
8944 Krueger St.
Culver City, CA 90232-2437
Phone 310/559-8331
e-mail - mcmurrys@bigfoot.com
Internet addresses:  http://www.gregssandbox.com/mcmurry