Page 1

JULY 2008



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s of our trip to Tennessee will be our visit to the Jack Daniels 0’s it is the oldest registered distillery in the United States and is ric Places. The distillery is the maker of the world-famous Jack hiskey, Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, and Jack Whiskey. The day will include the 90-minute scenic ride to r coach, guided tour of the Jack Daniel Distillery, Family of hern Barbeque luncheon on BBQ Hill overlooking the beautiful includes a tasting bar with Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, nd coffee (all you can eat and drink!). There will be an e a 45 minute stop in historic Lynchburg Town Square for Tennessee.

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Captain Stew Gilbert

wboat offers delicious meals and world-class entertainment, while River. We will have reserved seating in the dinner showroom own and back. The buffet luncheon is followed by a spectacular ound fun family show. The ship is 300 feet long including the heel, three decks and can accommodate 1,200 passengers. The property, but located on the other side of the shopping mall. o and from the pier. The tour includes transportation, luncheon d gratuities.

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Personal Memoir of WW II


Country Music Hall Of Fame







Vicki McGowen


Guy A. Fortier



by Stew Gilbert



John P. Gratz




EPILOGUE by Diane Gilbert


THE NEED FOR SPEED . . . by Bill Kirschner


John Bybee




Jeff Hill Sr.

JULY 2008



Material contained in TARPA TOPICS may be used by non-profit or charitable organizations. All other use of material must be by permission of the Editor. All inquires concerning the is publication should be addressed to : John P. Gratz, Editor TARPA TOPICS 1646 Timberlake Manor Parkway Chesterfield, MO 63017 TOPICS is an official publication of TARPA, a nonprofit corporation. The Editor bears no responsibility for accuracy or unauthorized use of contents.

Captain Stew Gilbert Personal Memoir of WW II


Front Cover: Diane Gilbert Back Cover: Jon Proctor For timely updates and TARPA news go to www.


TARPA TOPICS EDITORIAL STAFF EDITOR John P. Gratz 1646 Timberlake Manor Pky., Chesterfield, MO 63017-5500 (636) 532-8317 <>

ASSOCIATE & GRAPEVINE EDITOR Jeff Hill Sr. 9610 Hidden Lane Woodstock, IL 60098 (815) 338-3551 <>

ASSOCIATE EDITOR David R. Gratz 1034 Carroll St. Louis, MO 63104 (314) 241-9353 <>

FLOWN WEST COORDINATOR John S. Bybee 2616 Saklan Indian Drive #1 Walnut Creek, CA 94595 (925)938-3492 <>

TARPA OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS PRESIDENT Guy A. Fortier Box 6065 Incline Village, NV 89450 (775) 831-3040 <>

INTERNET WEBMASTER Jack Irwin 33 Birkdale Circle Rancho Mirage, CA 92270 (760)766-2833 <>

FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT William A. Kirschner Box 3596 State Line, NV 89449-3596 (775) 721-4386 <>

PAST-PRESIDENT Charles L. Wilder 122 Wild Dunes Way Jackson, NJ 08527-4058 (732) 833-2205 <>

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT Dusty West 4700 Pinnacle Drive Bradenton, FL 34208-8497 (941) 538-0729 <>

DIRECTOR OF HOSPITALITY Robert W. Dedman 3728 Lynfield Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23452 (757) 463-2032 <>

SECRETARY/TREASURER Ed Madigan P.O. Box3565 Incline Village, NV 89450 (775) 831-1265 <>

TARPA TOPICS EDITOR John P. Gratz 1646 Timberlake Manor Pky., Chesterfield, MO 63017-5500 (636) 532-8317 <>

SENIOR DIRECTOR Robert C. Sherman 1100 Dranesville Rd. A-320 Herndon, VA 20170-2092 (703) 953-3804 <>


PRESIDENTS MESSAGE We just returned from sunny Ft. Myers, Florida...where the TARPA Board of Directors met during the TWA Seniors AGM. It was a fun time, as many of the seniors are old friends and former work compatriots from our various TWA jobs. We decided to meet there in support of the Seniors AGM, and also most of our directors were in Florida or near there at this time of year. What better excuses does anyone need for a winter trip to sunny Florida?? Several couples preceded the AGM with a seniors cruise in the Caribbean for ten days...a further respite from winters ravages. In spite of all this adult playground atmosphere, your Board had a highly productive meeting, and accomplished a number of important items. The minutes of the meeting are elsewhere in this publication...but the highlights were...tying down the details for the Nashville convention later this year...agreeing on a cruise out of Baltimore to New England and the Canadian Maritines in September 2009...and tentative plans for Scottsdale in 2010. You can read the rest of the details on your will probably put you to sleep faster than taking your flight handbook to bed when you were flying. The other highlight of the meeting was getting Charlie Wilder connected on a speaker phone...he was unable to attend in person due to his current medical treatments, but we all enjoyed hearing his voice and receiving his inputs. We are moving a little slow on reservations for the Nashville Convention...I realize that sitting down and writing another check during tax time can be aggravating. We do need any of you who are thinking of attending to "get off the dime" and send your applications in...failure to do so creates a high level of anxiety among your planners. I realize avoidance of that may not be high on your motivation list. Ed Madigan made an interesting point at the BOD meeting...the room rate that we are enjoying at this spectacular location, of one-hundred-thirty dollars would normally be in excess of three-hundred-thirty dollars off the street. That, plus all the outstanding tours available should inspire anyone to come. Everyone should have had their March TOPICS long enough to look thru the registration pages and tours. So whip out your pen and start filling them out...don't miss out on this, and hear how good it all was later...come join us. Cheers


EDITORS NOTE Our cover story is an incredible tale of courage and determination in the most difficult circumstances during World War II. The author, Stew Gilbert wrote his narrative shortly after the war detailing his days escaping and evading German and Italian soldiers after his B-26 was shot down over Italy. Stew Gilbert was a man of the west, quiet and reserved. He was well liked by all the TWA pilots who knew him. His TWA career spanned the years from 1946 through 1981. His daughter Diane mentioned his memoir when we discussed her Memorial for the Flown West Section in the March TOPICS. She did not plan on having his story published in TOPICS, but after she let us read it, and we begged for the privilege, Diane agreed to allow us to do it. We trust that you, our kind readers, will be as impressed and as proud as we are reading his memoir and remembering Captain Stew Gilbert as a fine pilot and as a friend. We hope that you are also moved by our President’s Message about Convention 2008 and seriously consider joining us at our down home style gathering in our very up scale venue! To assist you, we repeat the Convention information and sign-up pages with a few small additions. This year, our package should offer a rollicking good time for all who attend. One of the grand old men of TWA, ALPA and TARPA, Dave Richwine, is the subject of an article first published in the British Magazine, Aeroplane. They have graciously granted permission to reprint. This story covers a small part of Dave’s career, but it is well done and well deserved. I first met Dave in 1955 when he gave me an instrument check in a DC-3, an aircraft I had never flown. In the next few years, I flew trips with Dave and he asked me to get involved with ALPA. I never thought that I would get deeply involved as I held various dinky committee jobs in those early years in Kansas City, but as it happened, I followed Dave’s career path up from one level to another, only passing his long list when I took the job of Editor! Speaking of which, the time has come for me to pass the green eyeshade and quill pen to my friend Jeff Hill, Sr. My brother Dave and I are in our twelfth year as Editors, and while it has been a great pleasure, we have found that one can only take so much pleasure, but we have told Jeff that we will remain available to help with the transition for as long has he wants.

Jeff has in fact done almost all the work for this issue and has been a great help with previous issues. He has shown a sincere interest, and the skills to continue making TARPA TOPICS the magazine you have come to expect and one that we believe is the very best magazine of its type. Fraternally, John P. Gratz Photos in this issue of TOPICS courtesy of: Diane Gilbert, Bill Kirschner


SECRETARY/TREASURER REPORT April 30, 2008 As of April 30, 2008, the membership is as follows: ( R ) Retired: ( A ) Active: ( E ) Eagle” ( H ) Honorary: TOTAL:

719 25 459 133 1,336

There are also 46 subscribers to Topics and 11 who receive complimentary copies. We have added three new members since the last Topics. They are listed later in this issue. Following is the financial report for the period from January 1, 2008 thru April 30, 2008: 1/1/2008: Opening Balance Income Expenses Cash Flow

$66,791.59 $11,403.62* $19,187.24 ($7,783.62)

Balance 4/30/2008:


*Income reflects a low amount as a large portion of the 2008 dues was collected in 2007. As mentioned above we have three new members, but would like more. Please contact your TWA pilot friends and ask that they join us in future events. They can contact me or go on the web site at to get an application. Don’t let your TARPA Membership expire. Check your mailing label If it reads “2007”, it’s time for you to renew. Hope to see you in Nashville. Respectfully Submitted,

Ed Madigan


TARPA BOARD MEETING 16 APRIL EMBASSY SUITES ESTERO, FL ATTENDEES: CAPTAIN’S GUY FORTIER, PRESIDENT WM. KIRSCHNER, FIRST VP DUSTY WEST, 2nd VP ED MADIGAN, SEC/TREASURER JOHN GRATZ, TOPICS EDITOR BOB SHERMAN, SENIOR DIRECTOR BOB DEDMAN, HOSPITALITY DIRECTOR JEFF HILL, ASSOCIATE TOPICS EDITOR VICKI McGOWEN, CONVENTION PLANNER ABSENTEES: CAPTAIN CHARLIE WILDER, PAST PRESIDENT CAPTAIN JACK IRWIN, WEBSITE CHAIRMEN 1005 The meeting was called to order at 1005 by President Fortier in the executive boardroom in the Embassy Suites Hotel, in Estero, Florida in conjunction with the TWA Seniors annual meeting. He noted that a quorum was present. 1006 Captain Fortier asked for approval of the minutes from the, Oct. 15, BOD meeting. Motion made by Capt. West to approve the minutes as written, 2nd by Captain Dedman, carried unanimously. 1007 President’s review: Captain Fortier reviewed the past months activities since the last BOD meeting. He suggested that the BOD members arrive in Nashville on the 27th of September ’08 for the next BOD meeting on the 28th. A one-night hotel expense will be paid by TARPA, as usual. He mentioned that Vicki McGowan would update all the convention and cruise data later in the meeting. He noted that he and Captain Madigan attended the AA Grey Eagles luncheon in Reno, Nevada on 20 March ‘08. Captain Fortier recommended that the BOD members sign up for the Nashville convention registration as soon as possible. There will be no convention chairman. Those duties will be coordinated by the members of the BOD and on site person Captain Dick Nickerson who lives in the Nashville area. Captain Fortier observed, that should the need for a new website chairman arise, that person may not be a TWA flight deck crew member therefore there will be a need to keep the BOD at nine members. He suggested that Captain Gratz be kept on the board in some voting capacity in the event there is a change of editorship of TARPA TOPICS. Captain Fortier asked if anyone had been questioned by the membership about the ninety two thousand dollars in the TARPA bank account in conjunction with the dues raise last year. Sec/Treasurer, Captain Ed Madigan explained, because


of the way the dues arrived due to the timing of the November issue of TOPICS. If TOPICS is late because of the need to have convention pictures in that issue, such as a cruise or other situation, the dues may not be reflected in that year but will be in the next year. If TOPICS is early you may have two dues cycles in the same year. This is what happened in this case. The honorary membership situation was discussed. There are 132 honorees and 63 pay dues, resulting in a two thousand, two hundred and sixty five dollar savings to TARPA. Any change to the honorary membership policy was tabled at this time. Captain Fortier reviewed by-law changes on pages 69, 71, and 74 of the current by-laws and pointed out the clarification of the name change to “TWA Active Retired Pilots Association.” He noted that any changes to the TARPA by-laws suggested by the membership must be in writing to the Executive Committee as stated in Article VIII, Sec. 1 on page 74 of the by-laws. The award of merit is no longer needed and has been eliminated, but the TARPA BOD can present awards as needed on an individual basis. Captain Fortier reviewed the necessity for the TARPA President and the Sec/Treasurer to be bonded in the present legal atmosphere we live in. TARPA cost is only three hundred, twenty-six dollars and three cents for them and well worth the cost. 1032 First Vice President’s report: Captain Bill Kirschner: Captain Kirschner stated that he had lunch with Captain Art Culver, President of the AA Grey Eagles on 14 April ’08. He gave him a copy of the latest TARPA TOPICS and told him that the TARPA BOD had decided to make the current president of Grey Eagles a temporary honorary TARPA member for their term of office, which is one year. They will receive three current copies of the TOPICS during that year. It was much appreciated by him and all of the Grey Eagles that have seen TOPICS. They marvel at the content and superior workmanship of every issue. Captain Culver lamented the problem that most of the airline groups are having, low membership and attendance. He said several of the American Airline retirees’ dinners have been canceled for that very reason. Even though Grey Eagles is growing, participation is not and on a percentage basis, TARPA does better in that regard. Captain Kirschner stated that he will be attending the Grey Eagles, convention in Orlando, Florida 30 Oct. – 2 Nov. ’08. Captain Kirschner also visited Jean Jacobsen. Her husband Captain Harry Jacobsen recently passed on. She thanked the TARPA and the BOD for sending a beautiful floral arrangement and participation during the funeral ceremony and support since then. After an appropriate time Captain Kirschner suggested to her that she contact American Airlines about Captain Jacobsen’s passing because of the twenty thousand dollar life insurance policy flight deck crewmembers have with Met Life. She just received it and it comes in the form of a checkbook instead of a check. It is an interest bearing account that you write checks on but cannot place


any money back into the account once it has been withdrawn. Captain Kirschner contacted Jean Jacobsen regarding an obituary article for Captain Jacobsen and advised her of the 15 May ’08 TOPICS deadline. 1045 Second Vice President’s report: Captain Dusty West is contacting as many TWA flight deck crew face to face as possible for membership in TARPA. Captain Gratz would like to find out how many former TWA crewmembers are still flying with American Airlines for contact purposes. 1052 Break. 1102 Secretary/Treasurer’s Report: Captain Madigan reported that we have a twenty five thousand dollar CD in Community America CU. Because of Community America’s withdrawal of support from TARPA that money will be moved elsewhere; possibly the ALPA CU which pays a much higher interest rate. He stated that leaves approximately thirty six thousand dollars in the checking account. The next two issues of TOPICS will cost about thirteen thousand five hundred dollars each, for a total of twenty seven thousand dollars. That will leave us approximately nine thousand dollars in operating capital without touching the CD and incurring an interest penalty. (Captain Fortier suggested that the next CD be laddered in smaller increments.) So far there are two hundred and sixty nine members that have not paid their dues for this year but expect it to get better between now and the July Topics. He then revisited the explanation on the relationship between the mailing of TOPICS and receipt of dues as explained in the Presidents review above and the financial report listed on page three of the March issue of TOPICS. He reported that we did not break even on the convention/cruise however, due to Vicki McGowan’s superb negotiating with Royal Caribbean we were able to receive a refund check of nine thousand seven hundred and ninety three dollars and thirty cents. This money went into the seed money checking account for the next convention, which has a balance of approximately seventeen thousand dollars. For her hard work on TARPA’S behalf Captain Fortier and Captain Madigan presented Vicki with an I PHONE. She was thrilled. Captain Madigan made a comparison of the TARPA Gaylord Hotel rate of one hundred and thirty dollars for the convention and the normal rate, which is in excess of three hundred and thirty dollars. Captain Gratz requested a hotel registration sheet before the 15 May TOPICS deadline for publication. Captain West suggested, part of the Gaylord Hotel DVD be put on the TARPA web site. Captain Kirschner and Vicki McGowan will check into that the first part of May. 1123

Senior Director’s report: Captain Bob Sherman reported on the Flown West list in conjunction with John Bybee. The honorary list will no longer have deletions. Due to recent privacy laws, previous information coming to him was no longer available. However, thru persistence and determination it is now back on track and he is able to keep the database up. He mentioned that it is hard to report a death notice to American. If you call the American Airlines employee number


and use option number three it will make it much easier. Captain Hill suggested a death notification procedure notice be placed in TOPICS. 1138 Editor’s report: Captain Gratz reported that he has many articles for the July issue with a 15 May deadline and was happy that article contributions have increased. He reiterated the dues situation in relation to the timing of the November issue and the lack of 2007 Convention photos. He then passed around TARPA pins to all present. 1144

Associate Editor: Captain Jeff Hill reported that he has sold 200 + TARPA TOPICS ARCHIVES CD’s for fund raising. He has about 75 left and suggested giving them to various libraries making sure they do not get into someone’s drawer and forgotten. Also, he suggested putting the TARPA TOPICS archives on our web site, thus making them available to anyone; this in the interest of more widely disseminating the data base which should lengthen it’s endurance.


Hospitality Chairman’s Report: Captain Bob Dedman mentioned Royal Caribbean Cruises out of Norfolk, VA has cut back significantly and a ’09 fall cruise out of there is not recommended. He mentioned that because of the Tennessee liquor laws that we check alternate means of purchase and the need to see if the ABC stores are open on Sunday. Captain Madigan requested itemized receipts so he can put the liquor usage on a spreadsheet so we have an idea from convention to convention what and how much to purchase.


Past President’s report: A conference call was placed to Past President Charlie Wilder who was unable to attend the BOD because of illness. He reported that just a little over five hundred dollars was received for “The Families of TWA’S Flight 800” since the articles in TOPICS and the Senior’s Skyliner were published. This was in reference to Suffolk County Long Island’s withdrawing funds for the maintenance of the TWA’S Flight 800 memorial shrine as they had promised funding into perpetuity.

1201 Convention Planner report: Vicki McGowan reported she made reservations for the BOD but needed them to call the hotel and guarantee their own room rate ASAP. She mentioned we need to organize a registration desk, negotiate gifts and mount TWA posters that where donated at the last convention. She presented several convention gifts and it was decided to select a nice silver car kit as a convention gift plus colored luggage handles to be sold at the registration desk for one dollar. She plans to open with a Ladies luncheon at the Belle Plantation in the Rose Garden. Vicki described several of the tours that she is putting together and will be available in the July TOPICS for sign up or at the registration desk. Vicki then passed around various scenarios for the 2009 convention. Given the Royal Caribbean’s problem out of ORF she had three different departure terminals; BAL, NYC, and BOS, plus a comparison of a color cruise along the New England coast to Halifax, Nova Scotia or the Eastern Caribbean. A motion was made by Captain Kirschner for a Color Cruise leaving BAL, 24 September ’09, on


Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas. 2nd by Captain Sherman, passed unanimously Then Vicki handed out various budget scenarios for 120, 140 and 160 attendees for our BNA convention. The higher rate of attendance, the better the economics. 1245 Old Business: In regards to Captain Wilder’s report on the low income for “The Families of TWA’S Flight 800” memorial, Captain Fortier requested a motion for support. A motion was made by Captain Sherman that TARPA donate five hundred dollars for “The Families of TWA’S Flight 800” memorial. 2nd by Captain Kirschner, passed, unanimously 1250 New Business: Captain Fortier suggested a possible 2010 convention in Scottsdale, AZ at the Chaparral Suites. Room rates now are only seventy-nine dollars a night. He also mentioned having our annual convention in the spring as it was before. Vicki is checking on price differences and will address that subject at the Sept. BOD meeting. 1255 Captain Gratz made a motion to adjourn. 2nd by Captain Wilder via conference call. This passed unanimously. Minutes respectively submitted, 17 October 2008, by First VP, Captain Wm. Kirschner

Important Flown West Information Many survivors, be they spouses or children, are not aware of the need to inform American Airlines when a TARPA Member passes on. Lately, we have learned of Membersʼ deaths long after they occurred. The nature of our Association would seem to make knowledge of these procedures of importance to all our families. That is the reason we urge all Members to include the following information in their planning documents. The Flown West Section of TARPA TOPICS and the Flown West page online has from the very beginnings of TARPA included Notices and Tributes to deceased TARPA Members. We have a procedure to do these things which starts when the Memberʼs Survivors contact American Airlines Survivor Support at their main number of 1-800-447-2000. The main reason for that notification is to claim whatever Life Insurance is available, since American continues the TWA life insurance benefits. It is also to record the passing for Americanʼs permanent files and for ours at TARPA. When they receive such notification, American Airlines informs Flown West Coordinator, John Bybee, who then informs the President and the Editor. The Editor updates the Flown West page online and includes all Memorials that are received from Survivors and friends of the deceased in TARPA TOPICS.



 $400,000 IRA


$200,000 rolled out of the DAP to an IRA - Can be rolled into the DAP.

for both current & former DAP Participants

 $150,000 in a traditional IRA - Can be rolled into the DAP.

Both current and former DAP participants are now allowed to rollover assets from other accounts into the Directed Account Plan. Current DAP participants may rollover assets from other financial institutions into the Directed Account Plan even if the assets have been commingled or converted to an IRA. This also applies to former DAP participants who left the plan and are eager to come back. These participants may now rollover to the DAP all assets currently in IRAs (other than nondeductible contributions and Roth IRAs). This includes amounts in IRAs attributable to rollovers from prior employer-sponsored retirement plans, as well as amounts attributable to tax deductible IRA contributions and all other earnings, even if they are commingled with each other.

$25,000 Roth IRA - Cannot be rolled into the DAP.

$15,000 non deductible IRA contributions Cannot be rolled into the DAP.

 $10,000 of earnings attributable to nondeductible IRA contributions - Can be rolled into the DAP. Please share the great news with your fellow retired pilots who may have left the DAP. The Plan Office 314-7397373 is happy to discuss this great opportunity with you. The Directed Account Plan Overview is displayed below. Plan performance and details can be viewed at

Nondeductible IRA contributions as well as ROTH IRAs cannot be rolled into the DAP.

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The Directed Account Plan Overview The Core Options Stable Value 40% Wellington Bonds 45% Primco GIC

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THE “Q” CODE By Rick Bennett There you were – flying Flight 720 from STL to LGW (London Gatwick). It was smooth across the North Atlantic, but you had been up all night. The early morning sun was shining directly into your blurry eyes. As you approached London, the British accent of the controller made it more difficult to understand ATC than if you had been flying into Paris. As you listened to the ATIS, you heard him say that the QNH was 1013. QNH? What the heck is QNH? At that point, it was only natural to wonder about the origin of something as mysterious as QNH. After all, what else would you be thinking about as you prepared for an ILS? QNH is in a group of standardized three-letter message encodings called the “Q Code”. The Code was developed for commercial telegraph communications in the days when radio operators used Morse code. It continued to be used by some radio operators into the early days of voice communications. These were probably the same guys who still wanted to hand crank their cars long after the electric starter had been invented. Q Codes in the range of QAA-QNZ are still reserved for aviation today. QOA-QOZ is for maritime use, and QRA-QUZ is for all other services. To avoid confusion, the letter “Q” is not used in other related codes. In aviation, most of the Q Codes are no longer used (thankfully), however, this is a partial list of some of the codes that remain as standard ICAO radiotelephone phraseology. QNH – sea level air pressure. QFE – air pressure at field elevation. QNE – pressure altitude when the altimeter is set to 1013.2 mb./29.92” hg. QSL – verify time. QFU – runway in use. QTE – true bearing FROM a station QUJ – true bearing TO a station QDR – magnetic heading FROM a station QDM – magnetic heading TO a station. There are others, but aren’t we glad that we didn’t have to know them? Here is one more. I can’t resist. Did you ever fly on Qantas for a vacation trip to Australia? No doubt, you were probably wondering why the “Q” in Qantas is not followed by the letter “U”. Isn’t that a rule for spelling in the English language? Well, here is the answer. Qantas is not a word. It is an acronym. It means Queensland And Northern Territories Aerial Services. Now, with that little tidbit of knowledge, you will be able to win a free drink at any airport bar next time you visit down-under.


Nashville in ’08!

We are excited to announce the 2008 TARPA Convention will be held in “Music City” Nashville, Tennessee. For our headquarters hotel, we have selected the finest property in the Nashville area, “The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center”. Located next to the world famous Grand Ole Opry this nine acre complex is comprised of three unique, glorious atriums; The Garden Conservatory, the Cascades with waterfalls, tropical flowers and Caribbean greenery, and the Delta with the rhythm and fun of a New Orleans style town. Our special TARPA rate at the hotel will be $135.00 per night for single or double occupancy. There is an additional resort fee of $15.00 per room, per night that includes complimentary local and 800 phone calls, high speed internet access, complimentary use of the fitness center, a USA Today delivered to your room, 2 bottles of water per day and scheduled resort transportation. Call 615-883-2211 for reservations. Be sure and mention the TARPA group (code X-TWA) for our special rate. The hotel is within walking distance of the Opry Mills Shopping Complex, with over 200 discount and specialty retailers, numerous world class restaurants and just 10 minutes from the Nashville Airport. For more information visit


Our optional tours will include: x x x

Country Music Hall of Fame including a visit to Downtown Nashville for our opening Reception. The Hermitage: President Andrew Jackson’s’ Home with lunch at the Cabin by the Spring


An evening at the Grand Ole Opry


Cruising aboard the General Jackson Showboat


Ladies Luncheon at the Belle Meade Plantation


Tour and Bar B Que Lunch at Jack Daniels Distillery


Dinner at the Gaylord Springs Golf Resort

The official date of the 2008 convention are September 28 – October 3, 2008. The Convention Registration form is enclosed in this edition of TARPA Topics. Please complete the form, send in your check, and join us for a great time in Nashville!

Special note on Liquor in Nashville: The state of Tennessee charges a 15% beverage tax and a 9.25% sales tax on all alcoholic beverages. So you will find the cost of cocktails and wine higher in Nashville than you might expect. We’ll anticipate a good turn out in the Hospitality Suite where drinks are provided with your convention registration fees!

Questions, contact Ed Madigan or Vicki as listed below:



Ed Madigan Treasurer, TARPA 775-831-1265

Vicki McGowen McGowen Marketing 775-722-2811


2008 Conventio n Nashville, TN Tour Information Monday, Sept ember 29, 2008 Ladies Welco me Luncheo n Belle Meade Plantation, Nashville 10:00am – 1:30pm This beautiful, historic mansion and horse farm was founded in 1807 by John Harding. We will visit the home where the bloodlines of Sea biscuit, Funny Cide, Smarty Joes and Barbarro began. You can explore the 1853 Greek Revival mansion, meticulously preserved in the 19 century era, the original log cabin, 1890’s Carriage House and stables, and a replica slave quarters. The TARPA Ladies luncheon will be held in the beautiful plantation gardens just outside the mansion. The menu will include mimosas, a chicken salad sampler plate luncheon complete with fresh fruit, herbed biscuits, lemon squares and brownies for dessert. The tour includes deluxe motor coach transportation, admission and guided tour, the delectable luncheon and mimosas. You’ll have a chance to visit their fabulous museum store filled with unique southern gifts and food items. Don’t forget to bring a gift to share at the luncheon (valued at $15.00). Tour cost: $52.00 th

Welcome to Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame Museum Entrance & Opening Reception 2:30pm – 9:00pm Do more than hear the music. See it. Live it. Experience it. The Country Music Hall of Fame isn’t just a museum; it’s an experience and is an exciting and entertaining destination in Nashville with something for everyone. You can hear rare recordings of the country’s legendary performers; see behind-the-scenes films by today’s stars, along with stage costumes, instruments and other personal treasures from country music’s past and present. The award winning architecture alone is fascinating. Ebony piano keys, the fin of a Cadillac from the 1950’s, and a radio town, are all built into the unique design of the Hall of Fame. This 37 million dollar facility is a beautiful tribute to county music and the city of Nashville. Price includes the Celebrity Audio Tour that adds a whole new dimension to the tour. Celebrities guide and entertain you throughout the three floors of exhibits. After our visit to the museum we will be transported a few blocks to Big River Brew House on Broadway. We will have our welcome reception including hosted bar featuring Big River Fresh Ales, Lagers and house wines, soft drinks and family style hors d’oeuvres. At 8:30pm the motor coaches will begin our return trip to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. If you like you can stay downtown and visit all of the famous music houses and honkytonks on Broadway. You would return on your own to the hotel by taxi after a night of fun and excitement in the City of Music. Tour Price: $75.00


Tuesday, Se ptember 30, 2008 The He rmitage – Home of Pre side nt Andrew Jack son Tour and Luncheon 10:00am – 3:00pm th

Experience an American Adventure at the home of our 7 President, Andrew Jackson. Before he was President, he was known as the Hero of New Orleans, the brightest star to emerge from the war of 1812. “Old Hickory”, as he was called (because he was tough as hickory), built the Hermitage as a warm and welcoming home for his family. Guides in period costumes welcome guests to this grand 1837 mansion. An all new 90-minute audio tour will be provided to take you through the many highlights of the plantation, including great stories on his rise to political fame, explanation of the numerous historic structures and the Jacksonian Era. Experience being a slave on this 1120-acre farm and visit the tomb of President Jackson and his wife. Lunch will be served at the Cabin by the Spring and will include a southern style buffet including choice of two entrées, vegetable, salad, homemade dessert and beverage. The tour begins with a short drive to the Hermitage in a deluxe motor coach and includes a 16-minute introduction video of President Jackson’s history, a guide to the museum gallery, the mansion tour and exploration of the grounds and other historic buildings and our private luncheon. Handicapped accessibility is available throughout the grounds except the second floor of the mansion. Tour price: $48.00 per person

The Grand Ole Opry Featuring Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives 7:00pm – 9:30pm What began, as a simple radio broadcast in 1925 is today a live-entertainment phenomenon dedicated to honoring country music’s rich history and dynamic presence with a mix of country legends and contemporary chart-stoppers. Catch country music’s new stars, superstars and legends all on the same stage performing live. Our featured entertainer for this evening will be Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives. Marty, an accomplished songwriter and musician play the guitar, bass, mandolin and fiddle. He was inducted into the Grand Old Opry Hall of Fame in 1992 and has wowed audiences every since. The Opry house is within walking distance of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Please plan on meeting the group in the Delta Atrium Lobby by 6:40pm for the short walk to the Opry house. We will be escorted to our reserved section. We suggest you plan on having dinner on your own prior to the performance. There is a “stadium” food section and beverages available for sale at the concert hall (beer, wine, popcorn, etc.) Tour price: $41.00


Wedne sday, O ctober 1, 2008 Jack Daniels Distiller y Lynchburg, TN 9:00am – 4:00pm Truly one of the highlights of our trip to Tennessee will be our visit to the Jack Daniels Distillery. Established in the 1830’s it is the oldest registered distillery in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The distillery is the maker of the world-famous Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey, Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey. The day will include the 90-minute scenic ride to Lynchburg aboard a deluxe motor coach, guided tour of the Jack Daniel Distillery, Family of Brands tasting, and a special Southern Barbeque luncheon on BBQ Hill overlooking the beautiful Tennessee valley. The luncheon includes a tasting bar with Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, Lynchburg Lemonade, iced tea and coffee (all you can eat and drink!). There will be an opportunity for one of the buses to make a 45 minute stop in historic Lynchburg Town Square for shopping and experiencing rural Tennessee. Tour price: $68.00

Thursday, October 2, 2008 General Jackson’s River Boat Cruise Cumberland River, Nashville, TN 11:30am – 2:00pm The world’s grandest showboat offers delicious meals and world-class entertainment, while cruising the majestic Cumberland River. We will have reserved seating in the dinner showroom while traveling 14 miles to downtown and back. The buffet luncheon is followed by a spectacular performance by the Peking Acrobats. This exuberant entertainment event features live musicians and awe inspiring feats. They perform daring maneuvers atop a precious pagoda of chairs; they are experts at treacherous wire walking, trick cycling, precision tumbling, somersaulting, and gymnastics. This stage show has received rave reviews across the country and is sure to be phenomenal show. The authentic paddlewheel boat is an experience in itself. It is 300 feet long including the gang plank, has a 36 ton paddlewheel, three decks and can accommodate 1,200 passengers. The departure pier is on the Gaylord property, but located on the other side of the shopping mall. Transportation will be provided to and from the pier. The tour includes transportation, luncheon cruise, entertainment, all taxes and gratuities. Tour price: $68.00


Banquet Dinner Gaylord Spri ngs Golf Link s Gaylord Ente rtainment Complex 6:00pm â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 10:00pm Join us for a truly spectacular evening at the ballroom overlooking the Scottish Links Golf Course at Gaylord Springs. Windows line the reception and dining area overlooking the 18 hole with lush foliage a scenic creek and limestone bluffs. There is an outside verandah for our farewell reception. Dinner and dancing will be the highlight of the evening. We will feast on Georgia Pecan Crusted Chicken served with orange and peach chutney glaze, roasted vegetables, cheddar cheese mashed potatoes, fresh green salad, New York Cheesecake, home baked bread, hosted wine on each table, coffee or tea. A no host bar will be available for our reception and will continue through dinner for cocktails and beer. Dinner price: $80.00 th

ATTEN TION GOLFERS! Gaylord Springs and numerous other award winning golf courses are available to play during our visit to Nashville. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to put together a foursome, check out the options at: www.

Questions? Contact our meeting planner: Vicki McGowen 775-849-1377 OR the TARPA Treasurer: Ed Madigan 775-831-1265


Schedule for T ARPA 2008 Conv enti on Nashville, TN Date Depart



SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2008 Early Arrival 1600 1800 Board Meeting 1800 Board of Directors Cocktails & Dinner MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2008 900 1330 Registration Open 1000 1330 Ladies Luncheon – Belle Meade Plantation 1430 2100 Country Music Hall of Fame Welcome Reception, Downtown TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008 800 1000 Registration Open 1000 1500 The Hermitage – Home of President Andrew Jackson Includes audio tour, mansion tour and lunch on site 1630 1730 Hospitality Suite Open Dinner on Own 1900 Grand Ole Opry – Group Seating Meet @ Delta Lobby at 6:40pm WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2008 900 1100 Jack Daniels Distillery Tour, Lynchburg TN and Bar B Que luncheon 1600 1800 Hospitality Open Evening Dinner on Own THURSDAY, 800 830 1130 1600 1730 1800 1900

OCTOBER 2, 2008 1600 Registration Open 1000 General Membership Meeting 1400 General Jackson’s River Boat Cruise 1730 Hospitality Open Boarding begins for transfer to Golf Course 1900 Farewell Reception – Cash Bar 2200 Banquet Dinner, wine, entertainment Gaylord Springs Golf Links Club House

Welcome packets and registration materials will be available in the Hospitality Suite if Registration Desk is closed. ***Schedule could have slight changes during the 2008 Convention. Please consult your onsite registration schedule for updates and current information.*** for updates*** PAGE 19 ... TARPA TOPICS

Please submit registration form with payment to: TARPA Convention 2008 Attn: Captain Ed Madigan P.O. Box 3565 Incline Village, NV 89450

GAYLORD OPRYLAND HOTEL, NASHVILLE For Hotel Reservations call the Gaylord Opryland Resort: 1.866.972.6779 request rooms in the TARPA ( X-TWA) block at a special group rate of $135.00 per night, plus a resort fee of $15.00 per night and applicable room tax NOTE: The original rate was quoted at $140.00 with a $10.00 resort fee, these prices have been adjusted to meet the hotels new resort fee policy. We have negotiated a $25.00/person roundtrip airport transfer fee. Identify yourself to the Gaylord Opryland bus driver as a TARPA member

Remember yo u must pay your T ARPA annua l dues in o rder to attend t he 2008 Co nventio n. These dues fo r T ARP A members qualify their spo us es a s members. All others must reg ist er as Non -T ARP A members. Send yo ur dues in toda y! PAGE 20 ... TARPA TOPICS

Nashville, TN September 28 – October 2, 2008 Convention Registration Form

Last Name_____________________________________First*___________________________ Spouse/Other___________________________________First*___________________________

n r u t


City, State, Zip Code____________________________________________________________ Phone___________________________E-mail_______________________________________ * Please provide your name as you would like it to appear on your name tag.

e R




All Attendees Must Register TARPA MEMBERS

Fee $60.00





Fee $80.00




OPTIONAL TOURS (See attached pages for complete descriptions)

Ladies Luncheon

Fee $ 52.00




Country Music Hall of Fame And Welcome Reception

Fee $75.00




The Hermitage Plantation Andrew Jackson & Lunch

Fee $48.00




Grand Ole Opry

Fee $41.00




Jack Daniels Distillery Including lunch and hosted bar

Fee $68.00




General Jacksonʼs Showboat Including Lunch and Show

Fee $68.00




Final Banquet Dinner Dinner, Dancing & Wine

Fee $80.00






Make Checks Payable to “TARPA 2008”

- See next page for mailing address -


2008 Conventio n Nashville, TN

Would you like to volunteer for the convention in Nashville? We could use help at the registration desk, as tour bus leaders, and in the hospitality room. Please let us know if we can call on you to help make the 2008 Convention the best ever! Yes, I will volunteer at the 2008 Conventionâ&#x20AC;Ś Name(s) _______________________________________________________________ Home phone____________________________________________________________ Cell phone______________________________________________________________ Email___________________________________________________________________

Questions? Contact our meeting planner: Vicki McGowen 775-849-1377 OR the TARPA Treasurer: Ed Madigan 775-831-1265


Nashville, TN September 29 – October 2, 2008 Convention Registration Form Last Name_____________________________________First*___________________________

e v a

Spouse/Other___________________________________First*___________________________ Address______________________________________________________________________

City, State, Zip Code____________________________________________________________ Phone___________________________E-mail_______________________________________ * Please provide your name as you would like it to appear on your name tag. Self



All Attendees Must Register TARPA MEMBERS Fee $60.00









Fee $80.00

OPTIONAL TOURS (See attached pages for complete descriptions)

Ladies Luncheon

Fee $ 52.00 $________



Fee $75.00




Fee $52.00




Fee $41.00




Fee $68.00




General Jackson’s Showboat Including Lunch and Show

Fee $68.00




Final Banquet Dinner Dinner, Dancing & Wine

Fee $80.00




Country Music Hall of Fame And Welcome Reception The Hermitage Plantation Andrew Jackson & Lunch Grand Ole Opry

Jack Daniels Distillery Including lunch and hosted bar

Make Checks Payable to “TARPA 2008”




TARPA’s Cruising in 2009!

A “Fall Colors” New England – Canada cruise is in the making for our fall Convention in 2009. Mark your calendars now for one of the most scenic, historic, and unique cruises available. This is a 9 night cruise, departing Baltimore on Thursday, September 24, 2009. We will be sailing with Royal Caribbean on the Grandeur of the Seas. Prices for an inside stateroom will start at $1,185.01 per person. See back for full details. Reservation forms will be printed in the fall TARPA Topics and available at the 2008 convention in Nashville. If you’d like to confirm a specific room type now, contact Vicki McGowen and she will email or mail you a form in advance. Vicki McGowen McGowen Marketing Email: Phone: 775-849-1377


TARPA’s 2009 New England/Canada Cruise Cruise Schedule Thursday, September 24 Friday, September 25 Saturday, September 26 Sunday, September 27 Monday, September 28

Depart Baltimore, MD Cruising Portland, Maine Bar Harbor, Maine Saint John, New Brunswick (Bay of Fundy) Halifax, Nova Scotia Cruising Boston, Massachusetts Cruising Baltimore, MD

Tuesday, September 29 Wednesday, September 30 Thursday, October 1 Friday, October 2 Saturday, October 3

Full details with stateroom dimensions and amenities are listed on the registration form. M - Inside Stateroom H – Ocean view, deck 3 F- Ocean view, deck 4 D2 – Deluxe with balcony, deck 7 JS – Junior Suite, deck 8 GS - Grand Suite, deck 8

$ 1,185.01 pp/ $2,370.02 total $1,365.01pp/$2,730.02 total $1,495.01pp/$2,990.02 total $2,045.01pp/$4,090.02 total $2,545.01pp/$5,090.02 total $3,065.26pp/$6,130.52 total

There are a limited number of Suites available on this cruise. If you prefer a suite be sure and contact me soon so I can secure your stateroom now. Prices listed above include all fees: nine nights cabin fare, port fees, tax, fuel surcharge, gratuity and five private TARPA cocktail parties. Vicki McGowen McGowen Marketing 775-849-1377








Athena Parthenos at the Nashville Parthenon


Flown West

IN MEMORY OF CAPTAIN JAMES EDWARD FRANKUM FEBRUARY 25, 1921 – MARCH 2, 2008 James Edward Frankum, 87, former TWA Chief Pilot and Executive Vice President of Flight Operations, died of natural causes on March 2, 2008 at St. Francis Hospital in Manhasset, New York. Frankum, a 50-year resident of Manhasset, was born in Knox County, Indiana on February 25, 1921. The son of a trucker, Ed Frankum was an eight-letter athlete, and captain of his football, basketball, baseball and track teams his senior year at Lincoln High School in Vincennes, Indiana. It was at this time that he met Madalene Tharp, who would become his lifelong partner and wife. Frankum’s big break came at the age of 18 when he won a local academic competition offering a grand prize of free flying lessons. This would set a course for an illustrious career in the burgeoning airline industry. Prior to joining TWA in 1942 as a co-pilot, Frankum served as a flight instructor in Mansfield, Ohio, training Air Force pilot instructors. During the war years, the U.S. Air Transport Command commissioned TWA, where Frankum served as a pilot. After the war, at the age of 25, he was domiciled in Cairo, Egypt, where he piloted DC-4’s throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.


Upon returning to the U.S. in 1950, Captain Frankum was at the center of numerous company milestones, including commanding the Constellation, TWA’s first transcontinental aircraft, recently featured in the movie, The Aviator. In 1959 he commanded TWA’s first Boeing 707 to cross the Pacific. This signaled the inauguration of the company’s round-the-world service. He achieved this as the youngest TWA pilot to command its first commercial jetliner. Frankum’s reputation as a talented pilot and tenacious union negotiator caught the attention of corporate management to which he was soon lured. He rose quickly through the corporate ranks, ultimately becoming Executive Vice President of Flight Operations, where he managed over 7,000 employees: pilots, mechanics, flight attendants and ground personnel. Frankum never lost his passion for flying, though, and despite his executive responsibilities, he always maintained his pilot status. In early February 1970, he took delivery of TWA’s first Boeing 747 and test flew the world’s largest commercial aircraft around the world. It was seen by over 100,000 onlookers on its visit to nine European cities. The historic event was a 10,000-mile proving flight. Its flawless operating performance earned TWA FAA certification for transatlantic service. On Feb. 25, 1970, Captain Frankum celebrated his 49th birthday by commanding the first 747 commercial flight ever to operate in the United States. After this historic Los Angeles to New York flight, he was presented the Key to New York City by Mayor John Lindsay. In the years that followed, TWA’s first and only Executive Chief Pilot commanded the 747’s that transported Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II to and from the United States. He safely negotiated to the ground, an armed hijacker with a plane full of passengers, and commanded the company’s inaugural Lockheed 1011 flight, to name just a few more of the achievements that highlighted his amazing career and life’s experience. After 42 years of service, Ed Frankum retired to enjoy his second passion, playing golf. He was a member of Plandome and Nassau Country Clubs, and for the last 20 years, Sands Point Golf Club. Winters were spent with his wife, Madalene, at the Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor Florida, with the warm months back home in Manhasset. In addition to Madalene, his wife of 64 years, three children survive Ed Frankum: Stephanie Robich and her husband Dennis; Barbara Boyle; Jeff Frankum and his wife Mary; and seven grandchildren. Mark and Greg Robich, Scott, Jeffrey and Steven Boyle and Lindsay and Jim Frankum.


The “Captain” flies tonight … Off into the wild blue yonder my hero has flown his final destination a special place all his own… The trip of his lifetime, but I’m sure he’s not alone. I hold back tears with all my might, then I feel comfort because I know … The Captain flies tonight He traveled the world from Cairo to Baghdad hearing his stories always brought me delight I will hear them no more and again I am sad, but I worry not because I know … The Captain flies tonight When I think of Uncle Ed the memories held tight His peers kindly referred to him as the notorious “Black Knight” It was out of respect… they knew he was always right… I will miss him dearly because I know … The Captain flies tonight Fly free, fly high without worry or pain, We loved you dearly lest we never forget, the memories and the best of times … with no regret God’s speed on your journey may it all be right… and it will because … I know… The Captain flies tonight We take heart in remembering great things you’ve done, a fantastic life with family all around, and your blessings second to none. May your wings spread wide, we will miss you always Have faith, God’s speed and enjoy your last flight Peace and Love, because now WE all know… The Captain flies… SOLO … tonight… E. Woodrow Klepfer


In Memory of Captain Edward J. “Bud” Elliott October 30, 1918 – March 21, 2008 Bud was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania and grew up in Parkersburg, West Virginia. His first jobs were as a bowling pinsetter in Parkersburg, and as a heat treater with the Acme Fishing Tool Company. He recalled his first flight instructor as a high-heeled woman who swore at him, “Rudder! Dammit Elliott, rudder!” Her stern instruction motivated him to become a cadet pilot. Bud completed OCS and became an officer in the Army Air Corps. As a 1st Lieutenant, he copiloted 34 missions on a B-24 from 22 May 1944 to 15 August 1944, including D-Day target Caen, France. He served in the 8th Air Force, 2nd Air Division, 2nd Combat Wing, 453rd Bomb Group at Old Buckingham, Norwich, England. Bud felt privileged to have Jimmy Stewart as his Operations Officer because he regarded the actor as a “regular guy.” He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and The European-African-Middle Eastern (EAME) Campaign Medal. Bud served as a Reserve Officer in the USAF until 1950. His career with TWA spanned 33 years (1945-1978) during which he was based in D.C., Rome, Boston, LA, Detroit, Chicago, SFO, and JFK. Bud scouted for a post-war TWA airport at Milan, Italy. Later he flew MAC-PAC. He enjoyed many of the Pacific Northwest Chapter Ambassador events with his wife, Lucy. Bud was known for being a gentleman with a great sense of humor and humility. He loved Jeopardy, John Madden on KCBS, jokes, bocce ball, baseball, football, golf, strawberry ice cream, and his grandsons. His wife of 54 years, Lucy V. Yacobian; parents, William T. Elliott and Margaret A. Dennis; brothers David, Karl and Paul; sisters, Marjorie and Gretchen; and his nephew, Stephen Orcutt, predeceased bud. Bud is survived by his son’s family, Dennis Elliott and Judy Martin, daughter’s family, Jan and John Hodges with two grandsons, Sean and Kyle Hodges; sister, Ruth Orcutt; nephews, David, Don and Dick Wilson, Jeff Elliott, and John Orcutt; and niece, Susan Maruffo. Bud died peacefully at his San Jose, California home with his family present.


IN MEMORY OF CAPTAIN ORVILLE “OLE” OLSON APRIL 16, 1917 – JANUARY 25, 2008 Orville “Ole” R. Olson, of Leawood, Kansas, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 25, 2008,at the age of 90. Ole was born April 16, 1917, in the town of Leeds, North Dakota, to Ole Kristen Olson and Tillie Volden. He was a 1937 graduate of Chillicothe Business College in Chillicothe, Missouri. He married Carol Denslow of Stuttgart, Arkansas, in Kansas City on October 22, 1938. Ole was a 40-year employee of Trans World Airlines, beginning his career in 1937 as a clerk answering passenger letters. When World War II started, he took a leave of absence and learned to fly, then became a pilot with TWA’s Transport Command flying to Egypt and North Africa. On April 17, 1944, he was a second officer on TWA’s first Lockheed Constellation being delivered to the military. Piloted by Howard Hughes and then President of TWA Jack Frye, the 6-hour 57minute flight from Burbank, Calif., to Washington, D.C., broke the existing speed record. From 1959 to 1963, he was a Boeing 707 pilot instructor and in the late 1960’s flew the Vietnam airlift. He again trained pilots on the Boeing 747 when TWA began service in 1970. In 1976, Ole was honored by TWA and his fellow pilots with an Award of Excellence in the New York domicile at a ceremony in Vienna, Austria. He returned to flying flights to Europe and to the polar flight between London and Los Angeles. His last flight as a 747 Captain was from London to New York in April of 1977 accompanied by his son, Damon and daughter Diane, a TWA flight attendant. In the early years of their marriage, Ole and Carol raised and showed cocker spaniels to a national championship level. He wrote the column “A Letter Home” about his travels as an airline pilot for the Leeds, North Dakota newspaper. Ole worked behind horses in his years growing up in North Dakota and always enjoyed to ride his horse Ginger which he rode in the American Royal parade in 1949. Through the years he wrote articles for TWA publications “The Skyliner” and “Flite Facts”, and in 1979 began writing “The Grapevine” column for TARPA TOPICS, the TWA active and retired TWA pilots association magazine. He enjoyed going to reunions of pilot friends or high school classmates, listening to 1940’s band music and dancing cheek to cheek with Carol.


Ole was a loving and devoted husband and father. He will be greatly missed by his family and all who knew him. His father, mother, two brothers William and Morlin, and his loving wife, Carol, with whom he shared 67 years of marriage, preceded him in death. He is survived by his three children, son, Damon Denslow Olson, daughters, Amber Olson, and Carol Diane Olson Mitchell, grandchildren, Kelly Lorene Olson, Tara Diane Davis, Lindsay Denslow Davis, Nicole Iana Flourie, Annie Carol Denslow Olson and Kourtney Emily Anderson; great- grandchildren, Emily L. Olson and Caston Haithcock. by Editor

In memory of captain theordore “ted” white august 25, 1931 - october 7, 2007 Ted was born in Wilmington, Delaware. He graduated from Conrad High School in Wilmington and attended the University of Delaware. After U.S. Air Force Pilot training, he flew F-86 Sabre jets in the Delaware Air National Guard. He joined TWA on April 2, 1956. Ted flew pistons and jets. His favorite plane was the B-727. He retired on May 1st, 1986. He was a member ALPA, TARPA, and the F-86 Sabre Pilot’s Association. His survivors include his wife, Sonia, their daughter Teri and her husband Tom, and four brothers and their families. Ted and Sonia celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on October 5th. He suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage on October 7th and died at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore. In retirement he enjoyed many activities. he and Sonia moved from Fleminton, New Jersey to Marland, settling in Easton. This picture is one of Sonia’s favorites and captures the quick smile of Ted. by Klete Rood



IN MEMORY OF CAPTAIN GLENN G. BUCHANAN JULY 24, 1931 – JANUARY 31, 2008 Buck Buchanan was born in Superior. Arizona. He graduated from Arizona University. He enlisted in !he Air Force during the Korean War and flew the C·54 (DC-4) with MATS. Buck joined TWA in October of 1956 and flew for 30 years. Buck was a member of Lake Quivira Country Club and enjoyed playing golf with his many friends and especially the “Sandbaggers”. In the 19th hole, Buck, as our political expert, and his opinions were far to the right, and he always had the last word in any debates. Everyone who knew him will remember his warmth, sense of humor, and enjoyment of life. His wife Mary, daughter Barbara, son Doug, and their families survive him. Buck, will be sorely missed by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. by Bear Beck

IN MEMORY OF CAPTAIN JOHN T. “THAD” MAY OCTOBER 4, 1919 – DECEMBER 28, 2007 John Thaddeus May was born in Greensboro, Alabama to Emma D. dew and Ellery Brooks May. Thad attended public schools in Greensboro before he entered Marion Military Institute to meet the requirements to join the Army Air Corps. He was so anxious to pursue a flying career that he turned down an appointment to West Point from Senator John Sparkman. He had become obsessed with flying at an early age when a cousin Colonel Bryan Harper flew over his home one day tipping his wings, and young Thad was hooked forever, even more after seeing his cousin in his nifty uniform with the Sam Browne belt. His course never wavered, and from that day on he had a PAGE 39 ... TARPA TOPICS

passion for aviation. He joined the Air Corps in 1940and received his training at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He was assigned to the 7th Bomb Group. He was scheduled to fly to Pearl Harbor Hawaii on December 6, 1941. He was to join the 19th Bomb Group in the Philippines. A plane in his group developed engine trouble, and they were delayed a day, thereby avoiding flying into the massacre at Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. Lt. Mayflew patrols out of Hickham Field in Honolulu before going to the Fiji Islands en route to his base in Townsend, Australia. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, four oak leaf clusters, a Purple Heart, and promoted to Major at age 23. After the war, Thad immediately joined TWA where he had a long, unblemished career of 34 years. He flew the DC-3, DC-4, Martin 202 and 404 and all models of Lockheed Constellations. He later flew the Boeing 727, 707 and Lockheed 1011 jets. He was featured in the book, “L-1011 Tri-Star and the Lockheed Story,” by Douglas Ingells. Thad served as National Chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association. He wrote many articles that appeared in “Aviation Weekly.” During his 30 years as a resident of Mission Hills, Kansas, Thad was a member of the Indian Hills Country Club where he tied the course record with a 63. After retirement from TWA in 1979, Thad returned to Alabama, bought the family farm and began to beautify his property, and their place, “Blue Shadows” was chosen for a Treasure Forest Award. He became a tree farmer and his passion for Alabama and his land became almost as great as his passion for flying. Captain May is survived by his wife of 58 years, Janet Barker May, five children, fifteen grandchildren, three great-grandchildren a brother Ellery B. May, Jr. He also leaves a multitude of friends and colleagues around the world. by editor



In Memory of CAPTAIN HARRY A. JACOBSEN JULY 13, 1920 – JULY 28, 2007 Harry Arthur Jacobsen was born in Brooklyn, New York, July 13, 1920. His mother Ragnhild and father Hans were from Norway. They met in New York fell in love and married in the United States. Harry was a loving son, a helpful child and protector of his little sister Ruthie. During school he played trumpet and marched proudly in the band with the first uniform. He put together with friends a dance band and they played for parties, proms, etc. This was his focus until he discovered the joy of flying. He and some friends purchased an airplane naming it “6%”. They bought the plane together which enabled all of them to afford flying lessons. A new life began. World War II came along and Harry became a Naval Cadet, completed his training and got his wings in Pensacola, Florida. He flew PBYs and PBMs, became an instructor in Florida at Banana River and later in Whidbey Island, Washington. He married his high school sweetheart, Florence, in Washington. After the war he fathered Harry Jr. and Christine Ruth. TWA hired Harry in October of 1947. A joyous career began. He became a union representative, a pilot supervisor, Manager of pilots and completing his career as District Manager of Flying-Chicago. He was admired and respected by his fellow pilots. Always there for them to guide and to encourage them. Jake, as I called my husband, loved flying. It was the joy of his life. His fellow pilots were his best friends. Jake lovingly took care of his wife when she became ill with cancer. Flo made her transition in September, 1992. Several months later in December 1992 his good friend Joe McCombs made his transition. Jake offered his assistance to Joe’s widow, Jean, during her period of loss. A friendship began by telephone. Months later a new life opened up for Jean and Jake. A precious gift from the Universe. They married in February 1995 at the chapel at Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado. For five years they were able to travel and enjoy their homes in Florida and Colorado. In 1995 and 1997 they visited cousins in Norway. January 2000 Jake had quadruple bypass. Jean and Jake were still able to travel some and Jake was able to keep his position on the TARPA Board allowing him to enjoy the fellowship of his airline friends. In 2003 they found their “Home in the Sky”, sold their Boca Raton home and moved to North Hutchinson Island, Florida (Fort Pierce). Life was good. They went to Colorado to enjoy the fall season. All they had to do was close the shutters and the doors to their “Home in the Sky”, just as they had planned and off they went. February 9, 2004 a dramatic change took place, silently and quietly during the night Jake had a stroke. Rehab, therapy, good Doctors and nurses, loving Niece, Barbara, who is a Nurse Practitioner PAGE 41 ... TARPA TOPICS

and her husband, Joe, a Pharmacist helped us through the challenging times and making wise choices. Jake struggled with aphasis and apraxia, which affected his speech. His mind was alert, however, he could not write and never knew whether his speech would be clear or not. Our home nurse and primary physician helped us find all of the physicians we needed to expedite the healing and continue the care. They also helped us find the home therapy and as I call the CNA aides “the angel helpers”. Infection, acquired in rehab, was finally brought under control just in time for two-hurricane evacuations to daughter Chris and husband John’s home in Georgia. It built up our confidence that we could travel alone without the aids. We ventured to Colorado in late October and came back in early November. The drywall in our home in the sky was being replaced due to roof damage from the hurricane and we rented another condo in our building. Angel, Katherine, was helping and therapists were coming for speech and occupational therapy. Jake was recovering well but we still needed some assistance. In January 2005 we were able to move back to our home in the sky. Our extended family was expanded as we needed help getting Jake his Hyperbaric oxygen treatment which helped the recovery. We commuted 200 miles a day, five days a week for six weeks then three days a week for another six weeks completing treatment in December 2005. Family came to celebrate that Christmas and on Christmas night Jake fell and fractured his ribs. We needed to get a hospital bed because of the fall, which ended up helping him in the long run. Sleep apnea was addressed, as well during this time. Continued therapy helped further the healing and by his 86 th birthday, Jake was doing well. Only a few small seizures by then and those could be controlled by the “The Tone Box”, which is used for bio-resonance sound, Gaba (which tones down seizures) and medication. Jean and Jake could go to Church and out to dinner by themselves as he could make transfers easily. Then in October a second stroke all forms of healing. Mannatec has a product called Ambertose which helped for a while and we considered maybe some further Hyperbaric oxygen treatments. Our loving extended family was working together well. Jake needed help in transfers so Angel time was extended. Throughout this entire time of challenges I saw a strong loving grateful man be kind to all that gave us assistance. We all became a close loving family. We learned spirituality, the meaning of oneness. The three and one half years of challenges, one right after another, showed a man of great strength. I was blessed to be his best friend and loving wife. I treasure my life with my “Viking”. He jokingly told me at the beginning of our courtship “Never fear, Jean, your Viking is here!” He said it the first time as we were finding our way around St. Louis on one of our first dates there. Bless you Harry Arthur, my Jake, in your new life! You left this world a more loving place just being you. As my nephew Peter said, “What’s not to like about Jake”. He was welcomed and loved not only by my family but by the McCombs family, as well. Jakes family, son Harry and his wife Betty along with their girls visited with us the weekend of his 87th birthday. Daughter Chris, husband John and grandson Jason came July 13th and stayed with us until Sunday. Jake knew that everyone was there, it was a beautiful celebration. Harry made his transition peacefully, quietly and gently with no pain on Saturday, July 28, 2007 at 9:35 am with Angel Ann and Jean Olivia by his side. Thank You, Jake, for sharing your Love and Light. We will be following your request and releasing your ashes in the Gulf Stream on the weekend of July 27, 2008 with Barry Craig’s permission reading his beautiful poem “The Pilots” dedicated to the memory of Captain West Jacobs, our dear friend. Thank you, Barry, for sending this poem and the letter to Harry. Love and Light, Jean Olivia Jacobsen








History of Pilots Checklist, the Rest of the Story On October 30, 1935, at Wright Air Field in Dayton, Ohio, the U.S. Army Air Corps held a flight competition for airplane manufacturers vying to build its next-generation long-range bomber. It wasn't supposed to be much of a competition. In early evaluations, the Boeing Corporation's gleaming aluminum-alloy Model 299 had trounced the designs of Martin and Douglas. Boeing's plane could carry five times as many bombs as the Army had requested; it could fly faster than previous bombers, and almost twice as far. A Seattle newspaperman who had glimpsed the plane called it the "flying fortress," and the name stuck. The flight "competition," according to the military historian Phillip Meilinger, was regarded as a mere formality. The Army planned to order at least sixty-five of the aircraft. A small crowd of Army brass and manufacturing executives watched as the Model 299 test plane taxied onto the runway. It was sleek and impressive, with a hundred-and-three-foot wingspan and four engines jutting out from the wings, rather than the usual two. The plane roared down the tarmac, lifted off smoothly, and climbed sharply to three hundred feet. Then it stalled, turned on one wing, and crashed in a fiery explosion. Two of the five crew members died, including the pilot, Major Ployer P. Hill. (thus .... Hill AFB, Ogden, Utah) An investigation revealed that nothing mechanical had gone wrong. The crash had been due to "pilot error," the report said. Substantially more complex than previous aircraft, the new plane required the pilot to attend to the four engines, a retractable landing gear, new wing flaps, electric trim tabs that needed adjustment to maintain control at different airspeeds, and constant-speed propellers whose pitch had to be regulated with hydraulic controls, among other features. While doing all this, Hill had forgotten to release a new locking mechanism on the elevator and rudder controls. The Boeing model was deemed, as a newspaper put it, "too much airplane for one man to fly." The Army Air Corps declared Douglas's smaller design the winner. Boeing nearly went bankrupt. Still, the Army purchased a few aircraft from Boeing as test planes, and some insiders remained convinced that the aircraft was flyable. So a group of test pilots got together and considered what to do. They could have required Model 299 pilots to undergo more training. But it was hard to imagine having more experience and expertise than Major Hill, who had been the U.S. Army Air Corps' Chief of Flight Testing. Instead, they came up with an ingeniously simple approach: they created a pilot's checklist, with step-by-step checks for takeoff, flight, landing, and taxiing. Its mere existence indicated how far aeronautics had advanced. In the early years of flight, getting an aircraft into the air might have been nerve-racking, but it was hardly complex. Using a checklist for takeoff would no more have occurred to a pilot than to a driver backing a car out of the garage. But this new plane was too complicated to be left to the memory of any pilot, however expert. With the checklist in hand, the pilots went on to fly the Model 299 a total of 1.8 million miles without one accident. The Army ultimately ordered almost thirteen thousand of the aircraft, which it dubbed the B-17. And, because flying the behemoth was now possible, the Army gained a decisive air advantage in the Second World War which enabled its devastating bombing campaign across Nazi Germany." Author unknown


MISSING IN ACTION DOWN BEHIND ENEMY LINES IN ITALY March 28, â&#x20AC;&#x201C; June 25, 1944 By Captain Stewart B. Gilbert (written in 1946)

Lt. Stewart B. Gilbert (L) and his B-26 crew ca. March 1944

Bombing of supply and communication lines had taken a decided turn north of Rome during the early weeks of March and as spring weather became more pronounced, the missions became more frequent and the amount of Nazi supplies reaching the front decreased considerably. It was evident that soon they would have to rely almost entirely on supplies and rations stored near the front during the winter months when their transports and trains were so well protected by weather. Now that their lines were being so severely cut, it seemed likely that a push into the Hitler and Gustav line at the right time and place would be successful and advantageous. But when such a push would come about was a difficult guess because, although the rate of Nazi supplies was greatly decreased, it was far from cut off due to the extensive network of small roads through the entire boot that could readily be used in an emergency. Martin B-26


March 28 – At Gaudo that morning, it looked like we were going Martin B-26 to spend the day on the ground because of the usual reason – weather. I got up about seven A. M. and after a quick bite of C rations, I climbed into the Squad six-by-six, and went over to Group to find out what kind of mission we were scheduled for. In spite of the threatening weather overhead, we were thoroughly briefed by intelligence, weather officer, navigator, group bombardier, chaplain, and then the usual last minute talk by the group CO Colonel Smith. Because of the adverse weather, take off time was set for early afternoon, in hopes that it would break by that time. (Sentence struck by War Dept.) It had become a nice flying day by 2 P. M. – only a few white clouds in the area and not much wind but very cold at 11,000 ft. and l was thankful that I had such a good supply of warm clothes to wear.

Photo copies of the first two pages of the original manuscript after review by the War Dept.

Assembling over the field gave me a beautiful view of Mt. Vesuvius, still in quite violent eruption and throwing dust and smoke into the Mediterranean, almost obscuring Capri. Starting northward, we circled the mouth of the Volturno River to wait for our fighter escort to get airborne and assemble.


With out P-40 top cover, we were on course for Avezzano, the first check point along the irregular and zigzag course intended to avoid all the enemy flak positions, and then up the back-bone of Italy, flying slightly east of Rieti and Terni. Several places where it was necessary to cross roads or railroads, light and inaccurate 88 mm flak was encountered, but with our constantly changing course and altitude, few of the bursts were even close enough to feel the concussion and see the red ball of fire in the center of the black puff of smoke. At Terni, Lake Trasimeno (the largest lake on the Italian peninsula) was in view, our initial point for the bomb run. As we progressed deeper and deeper into enemy territory it seemed to become colder and cloud formations were beginning to build up below and above us, although they were quite scattered, I began

Bombing mission route Mar. 28, 1944 “…cut all lines supplying the German divisions in Central Italy”


to wonder if the target would be covered, and if so, would we be able to make a strike at our alternate or would we have to return to Gaudo with a full bomb load and wait through another rainy siege of weather. My feet and hands were getting numb and I could hardly feel the rudder peddles but the formation was tight and to keep it that way seemed to give some relief for the anxiety to get it all over with. Near Lake Trasimeno, we swung almost at a right angle and commenced our bomb run on the huge railroad bridge at Perugia. We were still 19 miles from the target but a purposely long run had been planned to assure knocking out our bridge. The scattered cumulus became thicker but a clear channel on the bomb run showed us that the target was wide open as far as the weather was concerned. Everything was going so smoothly that a milk run mission seemed evident. No doubt the Jerry anti-aircraft crews were just waiting for the whites of our eyes. Suddenly, the whole formation was engulfed in rapid bursts of 88 flak â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and accurate this time. Concussions were tossing the B-26 around like it was a feather. The first burst caught a ship not far ahead of us almost directly in the bomb-bay and the ship disintegrated in midair. From the same salvo, an 88 went crashing thru our glass nose inches from our bombardier. Pieces from the other airplane were blown through our windshield and probably crippled us in several other places. This damage was minor compared with our next hits. At almost the same instant that our bombs were away, we were thrown out of formation so suddenly and violently that I think we were all shocked out of our senses for an instant. The left engine had been severely hit and was whining and vibrating so that it sounded like it would tear itself from the airplane. Everything on the left side of the ship must have been damaged. The left vertical surface of the tail was blown away, several feet of wing tip and aileron were gone, glass broken out of every window, and the side of the fuselage caved in somewhat. With the left oil pressure reading zero, the prop completely out of control, our chances of rejoining our formation were impossible. Our P-40 escort was running low on fuel and had they stayed to protect us they would not have made the return distance to their field. To lighten our weight most of the .50 caliber machine guns were dumped over-board by the gunners and no sooner had they done this than we observed dust trails of fighters taking off to finish the job their flak had started. We had lost considerable altitude by this time and the ship was in range of their smaller caliber rapid fire guns. Evasive action was difficult on one engine and with the damage the ship had suffered it was beginning to shudder and vibrate violently. So violently that obviously we could not keep it under control for many seconds longer. (Paragraph struck by War Dept.) As I fell clear of the ship the cold wind in my face was like a stimulant. My chute blossomed out about 1500 feet above the ground and everything was suddenly deadly quiet. (There were four footnotes added at the end of the manuscript: Note 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; At about 1000 feet from the ground an ME-109 fighter came directly at me, at the last second, veered off. As he passed within about 100 feet, the pilot waggled his wings and I happily observed that he waved to me instead of shooting.) I turned in my harness just in time to see the old ship go straight into the side of a mountain and a huge column of black smoke shot into the air, followed in a few seconds by the roaring explosion, I felt happy and the thought that I was several hundred miles behind enemy lines did not enter my


mind at first. I was too thankful that I would at least be alive when I hit the ground. I scanned the surrounding sky to count the other chutes and there were five besides my own. One of us was either in the ship or had jumped earlier and was already in enemy hands. Getting closer to the ground I tried to predict where I would hit. The wind seemed to be carrying me directly toward a row of girders supporting a high voltage power line along the side of a paved highway. I made every effort to avoid the power line by pulling hard on the shrouds on one side and letting the air slip out the other side. The first indication of any activity on the ground was a Volkswagon (German Jeep), with five soldiers peering up at me and trying to determine where I would land. I hit the top of a steep rock cliff with a terrific jolt and was unable to get any footing on so steep a slope. As the air left my chute I tumbled to the bottom, falling hard on my right foot. Being in full view of the highway and only about two hundred yards up the slope gave me quite a helpless feeling. The Volkswagon pulled to the shoulder and as the soldiers started toward me, I rather hopelessly gathered up my chute, stuffed it under a rook and started up the hill away from the Jerries. In a few steps my foot had become so painful that I could hardly use it and I could plainly hear the Jerries shouting either at me or each other. A few shots glanced off a rock not far away as a warning that escape was hopeless. I was hurriedly searched by one while the others stood close guard. I couldn't understand a word of their conversation but the motions were clear enough. I was to start marching with the sharp end of a rifle muzzle in my back. A few steps convinced them that my foot was in no condition to do any walking and one of them, the largest, let me put my weight on his shoulder. Seated between the two soldiers in the back seat, we started up the hill in the Volkswagon. After rounding a few turns, we drove through a small village which I later learned was San Stefano. Every citizen of the village must have had his head out of a door or window, but all seemed afraid to come into the street. On the hill on the far side of town, we dismounted and I was led into a small school house which didn't look as if it had been used as a school house since the war had started. There I was glad to see Bob Bell sitting by the fire place, even though I would rather have seen him under different circumstances. He was very dejected looking and to see me seemed to have the sameencouraging effect as it did for me to see him. Presently we were asked to give our name, rank, and some other information by an English-speaking lieutenant whose English was so broken we couldn't understand much of what he said. We refused to give anything but our name, rank and serial number, trying to excuse ourselves for not giving more because we couldn't understand what he was talking about, even though we could understand a little. We sat there praying and wondering and once in a while hearing short bursts of machine gun fire and an occasional rifle shot. Jerries tracking down the rest of the crew we guessed. Between eight and nine o'clock, the rest of the crew were marched in, except poor Pvt. Fagan who, I found out from the tail gunner, had gone down with the


The Province of Perugia is the larger of the two provinces in the Umbria region of Italy, comprising two-thirds of both the area and population of the region. Its capital is the city of Perugia. The province covered all of Umbria until 1927, when the Terni Province was carved out of its southern third.

- Wikipedia The Apennines Mountains between Perugia and Rome

ship, (clause struck by War Dept.). The six of us were carefully searched and closely watched as we tried to guess what the next move in this game was to be. From the first I planned escape and was going to take advantage of the earliest opportunity. I knew that all American prisoners were shipped to Germany and with the Allied Air superiority it was a long and dangerous trip on an unidentified prison train. Many prisoners had been strafed and bombed by our own ships on the route to Brenner Pass and a chance of escape at the right time was not any more dangerous than the trip to Germany. I thought I'd have to wait a long time before I could even take advantage of such an opportunity because my right foot had become so swollen and painful that I couldn't support my weight on it. The original five soldier detail was all that remained to guard us that night. About midnight, we were still all wide awake and huddled around an open fire in the one room stone school house. We heard whistles and shouts, first from the direction of the mountain slope and followed immediately by an answer from the opposite direction. The Jerry guards seemed excited and all rose and jabbered among themselves. First they seemed to be talking about us and then they seemed more interested in something else. There was a salvo of light machine gun and rifle fire and the Germans all left through the front door with their rifles. We started out the rear window without knowing for sure what was going on, but just that it would be safer away from the fire light. Bob Bell gave me a hand in helping me to a clump of bushes several hundred feet from the school house and in the confusion we didn't notice where the rest of the crew had gone. There were confused shouts in German and Italian, none of which we could understand, but the firing continued for several minutes. March 29 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; It seemed like we hid in that clump of bushes for hours without moving or even whispering. When we did hear a shout in Italian we decided to answer and five or


six men and a woman came to our hiding place. When they saw that we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand anything they were saying they only talked louder and faster. When they calmed down a little we discovered that the woman knew a little English and had spent a little time in Pennsylvania before the war. Here we had something in common, anyway, but it made her much happier than it did us. Even though we were temporarily away from the Germans our future looked pretty dark. Our new woman friend' asked us to come to her house for the rest of the night and she would feed us, but her house was right on the paved road and we knew the whole area would be searched soon, so the men decided to take us with them to another small village several hours distant. A burro from San Stefano was led up the hill for me by another bunch of men, and each one (by this time about a dozen) was anxious to have the honor of lifting me on the animal's back. They all had a hand in it and off we started along a narrow trail up the mountain. It was three days before Bob and I saw any of the other crew members but from what we could gather from our new friends, they were safe with partisans. It was a long and uncomfortable burro ride and every time we passed a house or village we hoped that it would be our destination for the night. Most of the party stayed with us but some were far ahead and to both sides, making sure that our route was clear, shouting back the OK to us. Once we heard machine gun fire and saw tracers arch over a hill a mile or so behind us. Finally we reached a small group of farm houses and went into one where they already had a fire prepared for us. As I later learned, this house was very typical and almost the same as any Italian peasant house we visited. It was made of large stones with one heavy door leading to the only downstairs room and the windows were small and few with small separated panes of glass. There was a fire place in the center of one wall and hooks near the smoke outlet to hang pots for the household cooking. A pile of brush at one side of the fire place was their fuel supply and' they used it very sparingly. An iron pipe several feet long served as a poker and also blower to start the fire. It was flared on one end so that a narrow slit was left open and they would blow through the other end. There was not much furniture and the furniture they had was simple, old broken down pieces. There were many small personal belongings but nothing of any value, as we value things. Pictures on the wall were either very old photographs or printed religious pictures; always the picture of Christ appeared in the center or on top. There was a small wick lamp on the narrow mantel that burned animal fat oil, but most of the light was furnished by the fire place. The house smelled of dirt and filth, and a hog was asleep under the only table. The fire felt good and they brought us about a half loaf of bread, a small piece of cheese and a little clay pot of white wine. None of it tasted very good even though I was hungry. After a futile attempt at explaining a few things they asked us, by indicating with their hands and head, if we would like to sleep. One of the boys carried me piggy back to another house in the group and up a steep stair case to the second floor. We went down a narrow hall and into a room with one double bed with a thick straw mattress and


several coats and Italian army blankets. Bob and I both crawled in with all our clothes on and even wore our shoes that night in case we had to leave in a hurry. I laid awake for a long time, just thinking things over, praying that things would work out alright and wondering how my family at home would feel when they got the message that I was missing in action. I wondered if any of the other ships had seen us bail out, how many ships had gone down, how long it would be before I would be able to walk on my foot again and just what these new and strange people were going to eventually do with us. I thanked God that there were such good people in the midst of such a mess and wished they could be the dominators instead of the peasants that they were. I stayed in bed all that day and every few minutes women or children would come in with a piece of bread or a piece of cheese or just to satisfy their curiosity and look at me. Through all sorts of motions, they helped me to understand a few words and were much amused at my ignorance. That night I was carried down to another house and a member of the Partisan band was there. By his motions and attitude, he seemed to think that there was nothing for us to worry about. He brought the good news that the rest of the crew was safely with his band about twenty kilometers away and that it would be necessary for me to move in a few days. His name was Giuseppe and he was one of those in the battle the night before. As proof he had a leg wound to display. He was much like the partisan fighters that we met during the following months. He wasn't large, but the clothes he wore made him look large. He wore a light fur cap with the communist red star sewed on the front of it and all his clothes were shabby but practical. His pants were made from a German battle dress and his sheep skin jacket was home made and hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even been well cured. Around his waist he carried an ammunition belt and several old Italian hand grenades. He had an Italian army rifle and a small automatic pistol. March 30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I spent most of this day in bed and it was just about the same as the day before but I was beginning to get used to my condition and to make the best of what I had and to develop a taste for the bread, cheese and vino. People came in frequently all day and by that night I had traded most of my clothes for civilian clothes. Unfortunately, I was wearing a pair of boots I had procured in Natal, Brazil, and the soles were worn very thin. These I traded for a pair of low shoes which were several sizes too small but at least had soles on them. I had to cut them in several places to get them on easily. Several old women came in that day to look at my foot and massage it. They all shook their heads as if it looked pretty bad and hopeless. It was black and blue about half way to my knee and quite swollen but didn't seem to be broken. Time passed slowly but trying to think of things that would make life a little more pleasant for us helped. Bob was with me most of the time and by the end of the day we had started a crude vocabulary. March 31 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; About the middle of the afternoon we heard excitement in the village and one of the old men dashed into the room with tears in his eyes to tell us that the Germans were here. Time was short but he managed to pile hay against the room door


in the hall so that it would' look like there was no door there. We were very quiet all afternoon and several times heard shouts in German but no shots were fired and they went on their way. The old man returned to tell us that everything was alright and that they were just looking for some American flyers who had escaped. He seemed relieved that they were gone and even amused to think that he had put something over on them. It was obvious every where and from everything that there was a terrible hatred toward the Germans. Even old crippled women would indicate how they would tear Hitlerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyes out if they had a chance. It was decided that for us to stay any longer would be too dangerous, so early that evening we started out with our guide who was to take us to San Martino where the band was staying. We'd have to take a very round about route because troops were in one of the villages on the way. I had black trousers, a blue cotton shirt and an old knitted sleeveless sweater. My feet were so cold when I started, they were almost numb but soon I was cold all over and my feet ceased to bother me. I was mounted on a skinny burro like the one I had ridden three days before. Bob and our guide were both walking and the guide talked continually almost the entire night, about what, we couldn't understand. We wound our way through some rough mountains that night and dozens of small villages. We followed a paved highway for several hours and once in a while a truck would whiz by. One came so close that it hit my donkey and we almost fell into the ditch. These were all supply trucks headed toward the front and there was little possibility of their stopping to check our identity. Every village that we passed through, the people would come out to see us and it was obvious that our disguise fooled no one. Probably it was our actions that disclosed our identity more than our clothes and appearance. April 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Just before sunrise we arrived at San Martino which looked Just about the same as any of the other places we had passed. We stopped and waited at the edge of town while our faithful guide went ahead to investigate. We were finally motioned on to the most prosperous looking house in town. This was the house of Fosta, the leader of this band whom we had been hearing about and whom we were so anxious to meet. We were welcomed at the front door by the rest of the crew, except Fagan, and had a good visit discussing all the details of our misfortune. They were all dressed in civilian clothes similar to ours and we had a good laugh about how funny we all looked. The people stood around us amazed at hearing such a peculiar sounding language. We warmed by the fire and were given plenty to eat and drink which consisted of bread and vino, for which I was rapidly acquiring a taste. Many of the band that had helped us escape were there and all trying to tell us about it at the same time. They were all armed and dressed much like the first Partisan that I described. They had no respect for the dangerous end of a gun at all and were constantly pointing them at us and at each other loaded and cocked. Hand grenades were tossed around the room like baseballs.


Our reunion was cause for celebration they told us. In spite of our all night trip we had to join them in drinking large quantities of vino. It helped the outlook on the whole situation and we found we knew more Italian words than we had realized and the Italians were soon learning a few English words. We were regarded as heroes of the cause and anything that they could do for us was done. They fashioned a crutch for me out of a fork shaped branch and padded it with old rags and carefully whittled it off at the proper length. Fosta was away at the time on a mission of his own, so it was several days before we met him. We slept a little that afternoon and felt much more at ease knowing that we had sentries through the hills to give us plenty of warning of approaching troops. That night the signal vas given to move on up the valley and within a matter of minutes we were on our way. This time I was riding an old-grey horse that was in about the same condition as the donkey. I had thought the bed near San Stefano poor living, but it was the last bed I saw or was able to sleep in for a long time. Late that night we arrived at Fortcello after traveling through some even more rugged country. This was a night of no sleep because the German and Fascist troops were reported headed toward Fortcello and we would have to be ready to move within short notice. We passed through the streets of Fortcello and stopped at a house on the other side of town. Inside we shook hands with everybody and our story was related to these new acquaintances. They regarded us as heroes too and tried to explain how we were all fighting for the same cause. It sounded good and helped to make us feel welcome. The largest of this group of a dozen or so, was a half Italian named Stefano and from the authority with which he spoke, we could tell that he was one of the leaders. He was terrifically drunk when we first met him and had been arguing with a girl in the room who was one of the band too. Soon after we arrived he flared up and grabbed her by the collar threatening her with the butt of a revolver. It seemed to us to be quite an argument but we later learned that this was just a common disagreement and something that happened almost every day. Usually no one was hurt but sometimes there would be a few bullet wounds to doctor. We drank vino again, listened to one of the men play his fiddle and tried to be friendly with these characters. When Stefano's rage had ceased, I spent most of the evening talking with him and he was patiently trying to enlarge my Italian vocabulary. I tried hard to pick up all the words that I could, knowing that the more I knew the better I would be able to get along in this new country. Stefano and I became quite friendly and in spite of his roughness, he later became one of my best friends and one whose information I could confidently rely upon.


About midnight we changed guard shift and during the early morning hours I was able to get a little sleep sitting in the chair by the fireplace. It was bitterly cold outside and had begun to snow a little. Every time people would come in they had a terrible habit of leaving the door wide open so the wind could blow in and I'd have to limp over to the door to close it. In the early morning hours word came down from the sentries that troops were only two or three kilometers away on the road to Fortcello, so what there was of the band organized for an ambush and started out of town in the direction from which we had come. We would have been of little help with them since I was crippled and none of us could understand much of what was said. Mounted on Stefano's big white horse, I started out in the other direction with Bob Bell and a half wit member of the band who was always given the work details. He walked ahead to lead the way to the next village and was completely barefooted. The others had not considered him worthy of owning a pair of shoes, so even though there was snow on the ground and the rooks were small and sharp, he plodded on. He complained all the way but there was no use telling us his troubles. We had our own. After an hour or more on the road, we heard machine gun fire and even some mortar fire behind us. It lasted for several minutes so we judged that the troops must have come in quite a force. We learned the next day that the ambush had been successful and not a single soldier had reached Fortcello. Our half-wit guide was very frightened. Shooting always frightened him, even when it was at a safe distance. Bob and I became separated from him in the darkness so just followed along the mountain trail until we reached Resina where we would meet the other boys and spend the next night. The half-wit, whose name I can't remember, had chosen to hide in a clump of bushes all night and we didn't see him again until the next noon when he walked into Resina half frozen. In Resina we were given a stall in one of the cellars to sleep in. We were very tired and fell asleep almost as soon as we crawled into the hay. The cows gave out enough heat to keep us comfortably warm and we slept well. April 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Resina was well situated in that it was isolated and well off of the most used trails or roads. It would have been quite impossible for any kind of vehicle to pass over the steep trails leading to the village. The Germans and Fascists had been through only a few times since the war had begun and so naturally this had become one of the favorite hide-outs of the Partisans. Our first day in Resina was Palm Sunday and all six of us spent most of the morning in the little village church kneeling on the narrow knee boards between the seats. The church was only a single room, about twenty by forty feet, but was plenty large enough to accommodate the entire village. We could tell that the service was partly about us but could not, of course, understand any of it. The priest spoke very rapidly. After the ceremony the men all gathered in small groups in the streets to talk and play games.


Resina was, comparatively, in an almost self sufficient situation, with just enough cultivated soil on the steep slopes of the mountains to barely provide for the seven or eight families there. Their most noticeable shortages were salt and sugar which, before the war, they had been able to obtain in the valleys by trading potatoes and a little barley. Had it not been for the roving Partisan bands and bombed out refugees from larger towns, life would have been carried on in the village the same as it has been for hundreds of years. Almost the total population was related and all had some Yugoslav ancestry. Their ancestors had built their houses and except for a few glass windows they have stood practically the same for seven hundred years, we were told. It was decided that we split up among the village families for our meals so as not to be too much of a burden on any one family. Even as it was, I felt that my own requirements were too much to ask of the family I was boarding with. However, they seemed to feel actually honored to have me eat with them and to allow them to give me any assistance they could. I felt greatly honored to have-such fine people want to help me. The memory of their generosity and hospitality will always be with me. This family was headed by Giuseppe who said he was fifty two. He continually suffered from a severe cough in his chest. He did practically all the farming himself and this particular week he was busy pruning grape trees in which he took quite some pride. The trees were planted at about twenty foot intervals in the potato field and plowing of the field had to be done around them. Not an inch' of soil was wasted. Giuseppe’s wife was a husky, healthy looking woman, who helped with some of the farming and did the household chores. She was born in Rocho Franco, a village on the other side of the valley but in a straight line only about 1000 yards distant. They had three small children and a half-wit, no-good brother of Giuseppe and a grand-mother to support – in addition to me and various Partisans passing through. Giuseppe’s opinion of the Partisans or Rebels was rightfully not high. They, of course, were communistic and offered the protection of a village in exchange for the support of the band. However, Resina was so isolated the residents could see no advantage in having any protection, or why these rebels were even taking a side in the war. Hence, there was some ill-feeling between the villagers and the rebels. This put us in somewhat of a spot. If we were to go all out for the Partisans, we would no longer have the good help of the village and if we entirely adopted the villager’s ideas, the Partisans would not look upon it well and some of them might be tempted toward the 20,000 lire reward on each of our heads. So we just let things go as they were and made no effort to commit ourselves to one party or the other but were as friendly as we could be with all. April 3 – The people did what they could for my foot and I was able to get around fairly well on my crutch and was known as the man with the "male gamba" (bad leg). Tuesday, Fosta and a man named Franco were to arrive, the latter supposedly having some valuable news for us pertaining to a route to allied territory. We anxiously waited with our hopes high and all sorts of optimistic ideas as to what his plan might be.


April 4 – We climbed out of our filthy straw pile early with the usual taste of dust in our mouths and went through the regular morning procedure of getting most of the lice and ticks off of each other. They were very annoying and it was impossible to sleep unless we were extremely tired. I already had a rash all over me and several places on my hands and legs, where I had been nicked by flak in the plane, had become infected. One of my fingers had swollen to twice its proper size from a small scratch and was so sore that I had to use my right hand to reach my left pocket. All I had ever heard of the seriousness of infections caused a little concern because there were no medical aids available. And to keep clean with no soap and only cold water was a problem too. We spent most of the day sitting in front of a fire place trying to absorb a little of the warmth from the few hot coals. These Italians are the coldest blooded people I have seen. They seem to want to live like gold fish. In the afternoon the sun came out for awhile and I limped down the hill to join some rebels in watching for activity on one of the main trails. The rebels said they had been informed that an S. S. unit was moving in our direction. We could already see dust rising far down the valley. We heard airplanes and a few seconds later their machinegun fire. They were too far away to identify but probably were P-40s. We later learned that they had done considerable damage to a pack train in the valley. Three soldiers, fleeing to the mountains for safety from this unit, practically walked into us and we captured them. They were marched back up the trail to Resina and amazed to find themselves in the hands of six Americans. All were enlisted men and although none of them could speak Italian, one could speak a little English. He was very indignant until he saw how hopeless his position was. Then he became extremely frightened and made motions indicating various offers in exchange for his life. He ate in my house that night and did his utmost to make me comfortable, continually dashing about to get my crutch or a chair anything to win my sympathy. The rebels were much amused at my suggestion that we save their uniforms. They gave the Jerries rags in exchange for their uniforms and we kept the prisoners under vigilant guard in one of the stalls. All three seemed to be in their forties and obviously non combatants. They were taken to another village a few days later for exhibition, barefooted and in their rags. Later two of them were shot by the rebels end one was freed with the understanding that he would persuade the Germans to release a rebel prisoner. I doubt this ever came about but never learned definitely. April 5 – Franco and Fosta arrived in the morning with a band of some fifty odd rebels, all heavily armed – some even carrying trench mortars. Fosta was heavily built but not tall and had a long handle bar mustache. He was handsome with good strong features and spoke both Slav and Italian perfectly, we were told. Months later at 12th Air Force Headquarters, I found that he was working with American Intelligence and had a long record of outstanding accomplishments behind him. I learned then that he spoke English fluently but neither we nor any of his rebels even suspected he knew anything of our language. Even though he never intimated his true identity to us in any way, he must have been glad to see Americans again. Some very important movements and information were a direct result of his activities in occupied Italy. Thinking back, his activities did seem strange in that he would


disappear for days and no one knew where he went or had any contact with him. Then just as suddenly he would reappear and no questions were ever asked. I am sure that not even his closest associates in the band knew of his real job. He was making contacts through Rome to allied headquarters and contacting the more organized underground movements in the cities. He was usually well informed as to what was about to happen. Franco was a huge good looking fellow of about thirty, with a heavy mustache and beard and long wavy hair coming down below his shoulders. He was very friendly, well dressed and always eager to do all he could to help us. He even sent for a doctor to look at my foot but when the quack came, to look at it was all that he did. He recommended that I rest it! We were all anxious to learn what plans Franco had for our escape through the front lines. Franco, Fosta and the six of us proceeded to an upstairs room and the door was bolted for the important conference. Franco explained his plan in French to Bob Bell who had remembered some school French and Bob relayed it on to us. His plan was for us to split up and start a trek to a fishing village named Porto Civitonova on the Adriatic coast. Here we would be able to contact a fisherman whom Franco knew who had made several trips to allied posts carrying escapees for 30,000 lire each ($300.00). It sounded great and we were all very much encouraged at the thought of possibly being in Foggia in a few weeks. Fosta's opinion of the plan was not nearly so optimistic but he thought it might be possible and worth a try. He advised us that if we failed, we should return to this same place for protection. Also he gave us the safest route and pointed out danger points en route to the Adriatic (about 175 miles by road and trail). Fosta spoke of his plans for us to Franco in Italian and Franco repeated them to Bob in French. Then Bob gave us the information in English. After several more days in Resina, I was able to get about fairly well with the aid of my cane and could even help with the guard duty at night. The nights were bitterly cold and it was still early enough in the year to snow. During the day it would all turn to mud. We decided that it would be best for us to travel in pairs to avoid suspicion and to relieve the problem of bumming food, Sgt. Anglin and I started the day before Easter; Bob Bell and Joe Gately would have to stay in Resina several more days while Bob recovered from an attack of indigestion. Ted Jones and Jim Currie left at the same time we did but were taking a slightly different route. This was the last time we saw Ted and Jim. After reaching the coast and finding they couldn't contact anyone they gradually moved south and never returned to Resina. They safely made their way through the rapidly advancing line about two months later. As we climbed over the hill toward Piagia with Resina disappearing behind us, we were actually on our own for the first time and the realization of how alone we really were caused many thoughts to enter my mind. All the discouraging obstacles in our path seemed to occupy my thoughts. We were hundreds of miles into enemy territory with no immediate help at hand and with no one whom we felt we could sincerely trust or go


to for help. No money, no food and with clothing neither sufficient nor suitable for the country. In bailing out of the plane, Paul had sustained a rupture and this was giving him spasmodic pains. My foot was still very painful and above all we couldn't even speak fluently with the people we met. It seemed like a truly hopeless situation but to be alive and to think of how much worse it could have been consoled us. At least there was the possibility of getting home someday. Curious heads were poking out of all the windows in Piagia as we entered the village after about an hour walk. We stopped at a small shop on the only street to wait for the rain shower to pass over. When the farmers, gathered around the store, learned of our misfortune, they were all typically willing to help and gave us the impression that we were in a very dangerous spot. The partisan had presented me with a cloth map when I left and as I was going over it with the farmers planning our next course, we heard a bomber formation approaching. I haven't mentioned the allied air activity but almost every day that weather permitted, allied aircraft were in the air and if they were too far to hear the noise of the engines we could hear the roar and thunder of the bomb salvos on their targets. As these ships drew closer, we could recognize them as B-25s and it appeared to be two entire groups (about 72 ships). We knew, of course, that these were ours because only the 340th and 321st bombardment groups were in the Mediterranean Area. They were on course for Perugia and in beautiful stagger formation. It was a thrill to see them pass so close to us. As they approached their bomb run, they disappeared in the distance and all we could hear was the roar of engines, the bursting of flak and then intermittent rumble of the bombs as they fell flight by flight. When we told the people that the bombers were American they all crowded into the streets with excitement and gave Paul and me all the praise that they had for the entire American Army. It was as if Paul and I had ordered the bombers to come. As the planes turned off the target, we still couldn't see them but heard the shrill whine of a B-25 going down and then the explosion as it burst into flames somewhere near Perugia. I prayed that the crew would be as fortunate as ours but found out months later that only one had survived and he was then in prison. As they returned over our heads, the formation was widely scattered and several ships were trailing smoke from their engines. One ship had only about half the altitude of the others and both engines were smoking. In the distance we saw three parachutes blossom out and as the ship came closer it rolled over, went into a whining spin and crashed into a mountain only a few miles from Piagia. We knew that some of the crew were in the ship but I decided it best not to investigate. When an airplane dives into a mountain, as this one did, there are never any survivors and if German troops saw it hit they would soon be up there. The citizens of Piagia all wanted to know when the war would end in their village and when the Americans and British would liberate them form the clutches of the thieving


Fascist and German troops. I told them it would be only a matter of months and with the reputation we had among the people it was considered that we were authorities on everything. After getting what direction the people were able to give us, we started off on the trail for Rio Freta and it was, in general, a steep climb all the way. Up higher in the mountains we passed some sizable herds of sheep with their shepherds and barking dogs. Everyone we met would shake our hands and then nod their heads in discouragement at the thought of our trying to return to allied territory. In Rio Freta, we met some of our Partisan friends again and were introduced to all the houses and people of the village and in each we had to accept their vino. Rio Freta was perched at the peak of a small hill very steep on all sides, probably built there originally for protection against the enemies. It was high enough for the slopes to be covered with melting snow and the trails were all like mud troughs. We ate some boloney, bread and drank wine with the people and started out again in hopes of reaching L’Aschio by dusk where we were told we could find a stall for the night. The trail from Rio Freta climbed higher and higher into some really rough country and the snow drifts were deeper and deeper across the trail. By the middle of the afternoon a blinding snow began to fall and the snow became so deep that we lost our trail. We were above timber line and there were no villages or even shepherds. We were soaked to the skin and my feet both had large blisters from my misfit shoes. My shoelaces had rotted away and as the shoes became thoroughly soaked I had trouble keeping them on and in the waist deep snow had to continually stop, turn around and dig for one or both. Finally in desperation I left both of them in the snow and continued on in only my socks. Plodding through the snow was enough exercise to keep my feet from freezing but they were so numb, I could hardly feel the rocks and ice. I had a picture in my mind of the general terrain and although we must have gone considerably out of our way I felt that at least we were going in the right general direction. Coming down the other side of the mountain we made better time and just before dark we crossed a foot bridge and saw a small house but no village. It was a wonderful sight to see a house with smoke coming out of the chimney after that afternoon. We pounded on the door and yelled, “Permesso!” After a few moments an old man opened the door saying “Avante, avante!” Although he appeared frightened at the sight of us, we were welcomed and after he threw a few bunches of brush into the fire it seemed we began to feel the cold more than ever. He and his wife were alone and when they learned that we were Americans they became very frightened at the thought of what would happen if we should be caught there. It was such a cold dark night that they hesitated to turn us out and with a little persuasion on our part, we were invited to spend the night. I told them that the troops were far away, not knowing for certain where they were but thinking they wouldn’t be out on a night like this. We had bread and wine and sat barefooted for sometime in front of the fire. Paul showed them his pictures from home that he always carried in his wallet. I had left my wallet at the airfield. The Jerries also had failed to find an American dollar bill in Paul’s pocket. He frequently snapped it to demonstrate the strength of our paper money until finally it tore. We were taken to the stall and fell asleep as soon as we hit the hay. It seemed only a few minutes before we were awakened


by the old man. He was very excited and said the Fascists were coming and as tired as we were, we jumped up and started out. It was just getting light out and the sky was broken with no snow falling. If I had been in a position to appreciate the view of the snow covered valley would have been beautiful. The old man gave us a half loaf of bread, wished us good luck and said goodbye. Dead tired and in my bare feet, I started making my way down the snowy mountain slope toward L’Aschio. I don’t believe there were any Fascist troops nearby but the old man was frightened and wanted us to leave. He had done all that he could to help us anyway. Our way was slow and painful but I tried not to think of it. I thought about how I had my last Easter at home, going to church with Mother. It was certainly a far cry from this Easter. Down below the snow line we passed through villages again and the people were all going to and from church. Most of them just looked at us with tears in their eyes and I could see prayers on their lips. We were too tired and exhausted to speak to them and try to use what little Italian we knew. In one village an old man led us into a church where we spent a pleasant few minutes. Farther down the valley, we passed through some larger villages but there was no indication of nearby troops and still no roads, only narrow trails connecting these settlements. The people were not so friendly in these larger places. They probably would have liked to help us but were too frightened to risk it. In one of these places several families had been annihilated by Germans only two days before for refusing to surrender their children for forced labor. We were given bread but always told or motioned that we should keep moving. By mid-afternoon, my feet were so sore and bleeding that I was unable to walk at all so I just sat on the bank of a stream dangling them in cold water. We struggled into L’Aschio late that evening and had trouble there convincing the people that we were not enemy agents. When we had won their confidence, I began looking for a pair of shoes. Finally in an old bar we made a deal with a drunk Italian for the pair of shoes he was wearing. They were too large for me and must have been twenty years old. The leather was well rotted and they were covered with patches crudely sewed into place. The soles were covered with hob nails and cleats and would at least be some protection to my mangled feet. We traded Paul’s wrist watch for them and the Italian walked happily out of the pub with no shoes but with a new watch. We contacted a Partisan here and told him of our mission. He was part of the same band and I explained as best I could that I might return and would try to recruit new members along our route so that we could do some effective work if I did come back. We slept well in a stall but only because we were dead tired and exhausted. My feet were painful and I had begun to get lice and fleas in my clothes. I had not washed for almost two weeks and had not even had my clothes off.


We were awakened early Monday because troops were coming. All day we stayed just a jump ahead of the Fascists and could hear their machine gun fire and grenades in the village we had just passed. Fortunately they spent some time in each village getting grogged. I was delighted with my new shoes and could walk almost normally but blisters soon came in new spots and I had no socks. In this larger valley we were confronted with new problems. The people were not so well acquainted or informed of our spectacular bail out and we had to do more explaining. There was an automobile road through the valley too and the valley was so steep that when a car or truck passed we could just keep walking and hope we wouldn’t be recognized. I came face to face with two German soldiers in one place and tried to pass them as nonchalantly as I knew how. I said, “buon giorno” as I passed and they seemed a little surprised but pleased that I spoke. In Casaveccia, we arrived just several hours after the Germans and Fascists had left and saw a good example of their handiwork. Failing to capture any of the forced labor dodgers they set fire to two housed and burned all the bedding in town in the center of the street. Six people had protested and five of them lay dead in the street full of bullet holes. The other had been taken away to be exhibited in other villages after being thoroughly beaten. The people here were all frightened and excited so we didn’t stay long. One old woman gave me a very nice pair of wool socks though, that she had just finished for her husband, one of those killed in the street. I promised her that revenge on the Nazi and the soldiers of Mussolini would be taken soon. As time went on I became more and more aggravated and angered at the actions of these men who were calling themselves soldiers. In another village I saw bodies of two British escaped prisoners who had been shot by the road side. From this time on I carried a gun and grenades and forgot about all we had been told since entering the Army about Geneva Convention rulings. It was obvious that the Germans had never even considered such agreements. In Pieve Torina we stopped at the house of the Catholic Padre and he and his housekeeper fixed us the nicest lunch we had had – wine, bread, sausage and even some marmalade! The Padre offered us money and we accepted just enough to get a shave and a haircut in the village’s small barber shop. We were told that troops often passed through on the main street but seldom stopped. While in the barber’s chair several German cars, trucks and motorcycles passed but none stopped. A friendly Italian stood outside and offered to warn us if any of the troops were stopping. If they had we’d have escaped through the back door. Always we had to anticipate capture and have a rear entrance or some other method of escape in mind. The barber didn’t want to accept our money but we paid him two lire for the shave and haircut. Our shaves were with cold water and some poor imitation of shaving soap. The barber readily apologized for not having any American soap and wanted to know if we had sharper razors in America. I told him, in English, that we had sharper axes in America and not being able to understand he laughed heartily.


On the walls of this barber shop were some typical German propaganda posters. One that I remember in particular depicted a woman with several children hovering in the corner of the room. Hairy bearlike beasts (the American and English) were trying to force their way into the room and several handsome German soldiers were holding them out. A number of posters had pictures of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin with distorted sinister looking faces. They were about the same as our poster conceptions of Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito. We left Pieve Torina in the middle of the afternoon and began looking for a place to spend that night. Everyone we turned to was frightened and not willing to help and I felt that we were in no position to be persistent so on we pushed. By evening my feet had become so painful that it was impossible to go farther. And Paul had a fever from his malaria. We were exhausted and hungry when we stopped at a small farm house. The old woman there burst into tears at the sight of us and offered us bread and wine. Her husband soon came in from his field and we spent several hours trying to make conversation with them but to spend the night would have been too much to risk. He walked down to the road with us and pointed out the grave of an English Colonel whom he told us had walked through the snowy mountains all winter bare-footed and had been shot by the Germans on this road only about three weeks before. We left our friends and walked on a few hundred yards. We climbed into a thicket here to hide for the night. As usual it began to rain and became very cold. We were well concealed but in doing so had picked a very uncomfortable spot. By putting branches and leaves over the top of the thicket we had a little shelter but nevertheless the rain came through and drenched us. We got very little sleep that night and several times heard troops marching by in route step singing their German songs. They always seemed to sing when they were on the march and even though they were far away we could distinguish them by their abrupt words, from the fascist troops. In the morning the sun came out and we were able to dry our clothes. While we were waiting P-40â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dive bombed a convoy in the next valley destroying four trucks, we were told. It sounded good to hear the bombs whistle and explode and these things always helped to bolster our morale. At times I felt so low and discouraged that our situation seemed totally hopeless and had it not been for my resigned faith and prayers, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d certainly have turned myself in to


the Germans. At least we might have had shelter at night from the continual rains. But at all cost, I was going to continue on as long as humanly possible. We traveled only a few kilometers this day and in the afternoon reached a village near Muccia and Camerino, perched high on a hillside overlooking the two large towns and the winding highways. Here we gained the confidence of the towns people and spent two nights sleeping on the hillside at night and coming into the village during the day. Only one trail came up the hill of this village from the valley and by keeping a look out during the day and hiding in the bushes at night we were comparatively secure for a while. In this village we made many new friends and spent the long hours visiting with everyone around the village. While we were here two English escapees came through and we had a good visit with them. They had come from the direction in which we were headed and were able to give us a little information about the best routes. Radios, of course, were not allowed anywhere but one family had one they had hidden that worked very poorly. Paul being a radio operator tried to fix it but after his efforts it worked even less. I was interested in seeing what I could pick up on it but every time I got an English speaking station one of the Italian girls would change it, thinking that since she couldn’t understand it, certainly no one else could. I could hear just enough of the program anyway, to tell that it was a German propaganda broadcast (something about the Allied armies not having the nerve to attempt an invasion across the Channel and defying our air force to knock out German industry). In this same house one of the girls sewed a new seat into my completely worn out pants. I wore a pair of her father’s pants while she did the job. The girls were always talkative and were more interested in how the girls in the States live than anything else. They never failed to ask about Clark Gable, Greta Garbo or several others they had seen on the screen before the war. Partisans of the district were present and they had carried in a huge jug of vino. There was much dancing and merriment to the tune of an old worn out violin and the party lasted late into the night. A chandelier bowl hanging from the ceiling of the house was accidentally smashed and down with the broken glass (there) fell at least several hundred gold wedding rings. It’s hard to describe the excitement that this caused but it was reason enough for bringing in another flask of vino. I was anxious to have an explanation of all these gold rings but it was some time before I could get one person to explain it to me. At first they were all so anxious to tell me that they, at least a dozen strong, gave the whole story all at the same time and each in their own way. I learned that this had been an Italian Fascist’s home several years before and this particular Fascist had been assigned to collect all the gold rings from the people and in exchange give them iron rings. The gold of course was all to be turned over to the Fascist Government but the man who lived in this house had decided that it would be more profitable to save all the gold for himself by hiding the rings in the Chandelier. Later he was killed by the Partisans and no one ever knew of his hoard until this night.


Paul still did not feel well but was somewhat better after his rest. My feet began to heal and I helped plant potatoes in the fields. An old farmer friend I called “Pop” took great pains and pride in showing me exactly how they should be planted on the rocky slope. It was hard to believe that even a cactus could grow in such a place. By following his instruction implicitly I made him very happy and after several days he treated me almost as his own son. He was not happy we left but I told him I would return someday. Also I gave him a note to give the allies when they finally come telling about the good treatment he had given us. People possessing these notes were paid a certain amount for each day they protected us when the English 8th Army and the American 5th finally did come in June. Our leaving this village was sudden. I thought by this time we had completely thrown the S. S. off our trail but some one had reported our passing and we saw a patrolling Volkswagon coming up the hill at about the same time the people were telling us that our presence here was suspected. So we left through a field on one side of town just as the soldiers were coming in. I watched them from behind rocks and could see them arguing with the people in the village street. They seemed satisfied that we were not there and returned to Camerino. Camerino is larger than Muccia with a huge stone wall around it and at that time was the German headquarters for this section. As they were celebrating New Year’s Day the Partisans stormed the gate and took the town completely by surprise. They held it for several hours and removed all the German rations, then gave the village back to the Germans. Several ranking officers had been killed. Because of our recent narrow escape I decided to change our procedure slightly and from here on never told anyone of our destination and sometimes said we were heading south when we were actually going north. This made it more difficult to get road directions, but by now my vocabulary was increasing to the extent that I could explain and understand better anyway. When we left Muccia and Camerino we climbed over a high ridge and walked through deep snow all day. There were no villages and we ate bread crumbs from our pockets and washed it down with melted snow. It was hard going and cold but our two day rest had accomplished wonders. Down through the cloud layer and into the next valley and more rain, more mud and more Fascists and Germans to dodge. Now I was beginning to accept these things as more or less daily routine but still lived on the memories of how it had been to live a free life and have things like soap, tooth brush, clean clothes, comfortable shoes and above all, a dry place to sleep every night. But even the way things were could not be considered too bad. We were alive and at least free, to a certain extent – not being locked in a cell. Still, I could not quite conceive the fact that I was being hunted by the law like a criminal and my only crime was that I was part of the U. S. Army.


The next day Paul and I separated in an attempt to locate an Englishman with escape information who was supposed to be in one of several places. Paul went to Sarnano and I turned northward to Caldorola. We planned to meet the next day in S. Gignesio or near there. Paul was unsuccessful in Sarnano and was almost captured and I arrived in Caldorola ten days after the Englishman had left. I spent a rainy night in a loft in a village near Caldorola and awoke in the morning to find the Fascists had arrived and blocked all exits to the village for the purpose of checking identification papers. Whether my presence was suspected or not, I don’t know. I hid under the hay all day and the time passed very slowly. I hardly moved a muscle for twelve or fourteen hours and only had my bread crumbs to eat, with no water. After dark, I crawled out and walked down a side street to investigate this identification check that was being made. In the road were about four soldiers and I observed that they were only checking incoming passes, but no one was allowed to leave town. Those attempting to enter without a proper provincial pass were turned away and some were turned away who seemingly had nothing to show. Several trucks passed coming into town and the people had to unload so that the trucks cold be searched. I mingled my way into one of these truck loads as they were standing in the congested group so I appeared to be coming in instead of going out. I was promptly turned away with several others for not having a pass. It was fortunate that the soldiers were tired and did not seem enthusiastic about their detail. In S. Gignesio I met Paul who had waited a whole day because of my delay. Had to leave a wine Pub here very suddenly because Fascist troops came in and I was afraid that we might be recognized as being within the forced labor draft age. No one referred to age in this country by how many years old they were but always by the year in which they were born. For instance, I gave my age as, “classe 21”, meaning that I was 23 years old. It was the Fascist system to simplify their draft separations. All were drafted for Germany’s forced labor camps within the classes of 30 and 10, or between the ages of 14 and 34. It was later raised to include ages up to 55. From here to the coast daily happenings were much the same as they had been so I won’t describe it day by day. We passed near Tolentino, Corridonia, Montegranaro, Fermo, and did not go all the way to the coast but were within sight of Porto Civitonova which is a fishing port on the Adriatic. At Fermo we learned that all fishing in the coastal waters had been cancelled many months ago and that only military boats were in these waters. This of course, was a great disappointment and immediately squelched all the plans and hopes that we had een living for for weeks or since we had last talked to Franco and Fosta in Resina. Anyway, in spite of our not being able to get a boat the trip was not entirely futile. I learned much about the country, the people, customs, and language and how to best get along with them. Had talked with some of the much hunted youths along the way and sent them back to Resina where I told them they could be armed and fight with our band. I greatly exaggerated the advantages of going with us but it was the only way of


convincing them. Besides, the Italians always exaggerate and while I was in Italy I wanted to make myself one of them. In general, we followed the same route in returning from the coast because it was easier to get help from people with whom we had already made acquaintances and of course we had invitations to return. In one village the people had been robbed of almost everything – personal belongings, coats and even cattle had been taken. It was impossible for them to work their farms and produce at all without the help of their ox teams. It was not a very pleasant situation and none of them were in a position to do anything about it. On the road that night, Paul and I came across a big German transport stranded with a flat tire. None of the German vehicles carry a spare tire so the crew had gone for help and left one guard to watch it. He sat on a stone by the roadside and looked half asleep. In all probability this truck contained food and supplies of the kind much needed by the villagers who had been so badly treated by the Germans. Perhaps here was a chance for us to help. Paul covered the turn in the road while I crept along the side of the road toward him. There was a grassy meadow where I walked, so being very quiet was not too difficult. He had his helmet off and as he lit a cigarette I came down on his head with a sharp rock. A very effective blow because he hardly struggled. I threw his rifle into the ditch. My blow may have killed him but I never found out. Paul came down and we unloaded all the small boxes we could from the truck and carried them to our friends in the village where they hid everything in the woods. They came down the road with us to see what else they could salvage but Paul and I were anxious to leave and didn’t stay. We made the best time we could that night toward Sarnano. We wanted plenty of distance between us and the incident by the time the Germans found out about it. Had the truck been in or near a village the Jerries would have taken hostages but being some distance away from the town I was fairly confident that they wouldn’t bother the people – not knowing which village might be guilty. The people were delighted to have the rations and cigarettes and hid them all over the woods. By now my clothes were full of lice and fleas and a heat rash had broken out all over my body. I still had some bad looking infections and infected blisters on my feet and no way at all to keep clean or really wash. Soap was non-existent and the weather was too cold to jump into a creek. My beard had grown several inches long and even it had lice. It seemed like I scratched myself all day and night and unless I was terribly tired, it was impossible to sleep. If it was not the rain, it was the lice, and usually both. Paul had the same difficulties but instead of having infected feet to bother him he had malaria and a ruptured back. All along the return route we came across people and families that we had met before and they were all glad to see us again. But even with this to our advantage, it was difficult to get enough food, because it just wasn’t there. Everywhere there was want! In some places, more than in others. People had been so thoroughly deprived and robbed, it was a wonder that they could even exist. There was much insanity among the younger children – those who had been born since the war began. In one village I saw skinny


little children crawling on the ground making queer noises and they weren’t playing. It really was a shame that those who were most innocent suffered most. Because food was hard to get, Paul and I split and planned to meet in Resina. Coming over the mountains on this return trip, the season was noticeably changing. Snow had melted in many places and the sun had begun to come out more frequently. Leaves were beginning to grow on vegetation in the valley, and besides being pretty, it meant that I’d have more places to hide and my nights in the bushes would not be quite so uncomfortable. Actually many things were easier for me on this return trip. I was learning more and more of the language, how to get along with people, and even my old shoes were taking to the shape of my feet. Going up hill I got more blisters on my heels and down hill on my toes so the up and down traveling, I think, was better than if it had been level. Paul and I arrived in Resina the same day and all our Italian and Yugoslav friends were out to meet us. As everywhere, they had sad news for us. The Germans had been through several times and stolen sheep, bedding, burros and anything that appealed to them. The people were much more aroused than when we left them. Franco and Fosta were in the next valley and one of the village boys led me over the hill to their camp. Most of the band was there along with some of the recruits that I had sent back from villages I had passed through. They were camped on a steep hill in a thickly wooded area and although there were about sixty of them, I could never have found it alone. All the trails leading in were well camouflaged and the men were well dispersed throughout the brush and trees. They had built lean-to like shelters and had them well covered with green leaves so they couldn’t be seen from the air. Fosta and Franco were glad to see us but were sorry for us because we had not been able to get back to allied territory. They complimented me on the Italian I had learned on my three week trip (18 days, to be exact). They went over, with me, some plans on a raid of a material factory near Colfiorita (I believe) which was run by an old Fascist who sent all his material to the Germans. Most of it was wool in large rolls. The raid was to take place that night and from what we knew, there were no large German or Italian concentrations nearby. We took them by surprise about five in the afternoon – or, almost by surprise. I think some of the workers were warned as we came down the hillside, because the doors were all bolted when we arrived. A few potato masher grenades opened all bolted doors easily enough. The men rushed in through doors and windows and there were only a few shots fired before they began carrying rolls of wool material out and hiding them in the woods. I was standing guard in a ditch by the side of the main road with a 9mm German Bren stand machine gun, grenades and my Mauser pistol. I had a good view of the road and held my stand gun trained on a sharp curve in the road where it detoured a big rock. This particular machine gun was one that I had fired several times around the camp. It


was in very poor condition and somewhat temperamental. Sometimes it would fire and sometimes it would not. I fervently hoped it was now in a firing mood. Special warning whistle signals had been prearranged for the various guard positions. Soon my whistle signal was sounded by one of our lookouts, high on the hill. It was to warn me that troops were coming up the road. I waited what seemed like a long time for them to come into sight. Finally they appeared from around the rock marching in a patrol fashion on each side of the road. I waited until over a dozen were within sight and the closest were less than 15 yards from me. I didn’t want to wait until they saw me first so I fired a long burst – the gun worked perfectly – and all the Germans in sight went down. With the hatred I had developed for these Jerries, it didn’t seem any worse to be killing them than to be killing jack rabbits in west Texas. More were on the road that had not yet come around the curve and more were climbing the hill behind the mill and behind me. I could hear the other guards firing upon them. Those on my section were well equipped and a few seconds after I had fired, they began lobbing trench mortar shells over the rock and rifle fire was kicking up dust in the road an few feet from me. I couldn’t see anything to fire at because they were concealed behind the rock so I made myself as small as possible in the bottom of the ditch thinking it would be just a matter of time until they got me. Mortar shells were falling on all sides of me. They must have assumed that they had me because the patrol started around the corner again. I opened up as soon as I saw them and heaved a grenade over the top of the big rock This stopped them for a few seconds and I took advantage of the delay to make a break for the woods. This time machine gun fire followed me but the brush wasn’t far away and I dived in head long. As I climbed the hill, shells and machine gun fire practically encircled me, but they were firing at random and couldn’t see me. If they had tried to follow, they would have met an ambush and all been killed, but I imagine they suspected this, as they didn’t follow. We lost several boys on the raid, but that night (they) were able to go back and get the wool out of the bushes. This had been a really close one, but at least it gave me a lot of prestige with the band and I was no longer a newcomer. The material was distributed among several villages that were feeding us. This communism seemed to work pretty smoothly on a small scale. This band executed several more dangerous feats while we were together, but this was the only one in which I took a direct part. They all seemed to feel that my advice and plans were of more use to them than my direct help would be. The loss of our boys was mourned the next day but nevertheless we celebrated it as a successful mission with a lot of vino. The woods where we were camped practically flowed with the vino and the more of it we drank; the sooner we decided that the Americans and English would arrive. The German S. S. scoured the hills for any trace of us for days but we were too securely hidden and they were too stupid to find us. During the search, I saw their patrols many times at a distance from a hilltop and several times, I was just leaving town as they were coming in. Although I still carried my cane most of the time, I could travel at a terrific speed when there was danger near.


The weeks following were spent living like an animal – sleeping outdoors at night and roaming around the mountains west of Foligno during the daytime in quest of food and wine. What news from the front we were able to get was all discouraging. The two armies seemed deadlocked at Casino and every bit of good news that did come through by word of mouth, was soon cast out as rumor and nothing else. It truly looked like the American and British troops were being only held in Italy, only to draw German divisions away from the Russian front. The inactivity was hard to explain to the people as compared with the steadily advancing Russian forces on their front. I felt that if things continued as such I would loose my prestige with the people – and my prestige had been my only hope of survival! It looked as though I might have to spend a full winter in these mountains and I was already beginning to make plans. Paul was growing very impatient and disgusted with the whole thing. He would sit on a rock for hours and just pout. His strokes of malaria didn’t help any and his rupture seemed to continually give him more trouble. He wanted to start traveling toward the front line and take the small chance of getting through, so after arguing over this for days we decided to compromise and wait until July First. Certainly this would be time enough to give the allies an opportunity to take advantage of the improved weather and make a break in the front. I spent less time around Resina and with the band as time went on until I would pass through the village only occasionally and stop for a meal. Time passed more quickly when I was traveling and had something to do. We ran upon a New Zealand escaped prisoner and a South African escapee named George Heppenstall and Henry DeVilliers. They both had been captured in the Tunisian Campaign in North Africa and spent many months in Italian Labor Camps in Northern Italy as prisoners of war. When the Italian Armistice was signed in September of 1943, all their Italian guards changed to civilian clothes and simply went home leaving the prisoners unguarded. The Jerries were quick in reorganizing but already thousands of prisoners had escaped and were wandering aimlessly within their territory. Most of these were recaptured but George and Henry were two that were still roaming the hills. After almost a year of this sort of life they had learned Italian well and during my acquaintance with them I learned more Italian than through any other source. They were with another Partisan band near Preci and Spoleto but, like us, were roaming the hills, bumming food, and killing time. George was a nice looking lad about thirty years old and before going into the army had always lived on a dairy farm near Awa Mutu in New Zealand but had spent about a year traveling the world on a merchant ship. He was well dressed for this country and had managed to obtain a pair of English shoes dropped behind the lines by parachute. We all envied them and in this country they were priceless. He usually slept with them on so that they would not be stolen. I spent more time with Henry so learned more about him. For a time Paul and George traveled together, and Henry and I were together. Henry was forty five years old and lived in Krugersdorp, South Africa. He was over six feet tall and slender and wiry. He was of Dutch descent and because of his age and experience in these hills he could easily pass as an Italian peasant. Before his army career began, his trade had been


mining, so there we had a little in common. I would tell him of the mines in Colorado and Arizona where I had worked and he would talk for hours of the huge diamond and rich gold veins of South Africa. To him there was no place in the world to compare with South Africa. Besides being a miner, he was a botanist, a geologist, a sailor and a farmer. I found he could talk to anyone with authority on any subject. Above all, he was a vagabond and I don’t think he had ever done more work in his life than was required for his next meal. He disliked regulations of army life and I think this “missing in action” actually pleased him. Also he was quite a linguist and spoke Italian, French, some German, Dutch and Arabic. He talked constantly and had a natural ability for relating stories, whether they were true or not. His favorite subject was the customs of all the different South African native tribes and he knew many of their languages. He had many desirable traits but also some undesirable ones. Henry never washed and you could smell him yards away. Of course he had only one suit of clothes and these he had been wearing for two years. They were powdery with lice and although he always complained about them he was too lazy to even shake his clothes out. He always said that water was to drink not to wash with and since he drank only alcohol he had no use for water at all. He thrived on the vino and would drink over a gallon of it every day. This caused him to be a little unpopular in some of the settlements where he accepted more than his share. Henry was a good companion though and his talking helped pass away the time. He made himself so at home here that it helped to make me feel that way (too). He wasn’t anxious to be liberated and the last time I heard of him he was walking barefooted toward France about the time that Rome fell. To be liberated meant that he would have to return to his army. Many of the Italians that Henry had introduced me to became very good friends and especially near Verchiano, where I later spent several weeks. Henry had spent the whole winter here and the people knew him well. The last day I spent with George, he gave me a small box to carry tobacco in. It was a box from a Red Cross prisoner of war parcel. We had so little that any possession – even a tin box – seemed like a lot and I valued it highly. I had a four inch piece of a hack saw blade which I had made into a knife edge and always carried it in my tin box. This was practically my entire kit. I never particularly missed smoking but up here with so much time it gave me something to do. So I bummed all the tobacco I could and spent a little money on the black market tobacco. It was interesting making the contacts and going through all the channels necessary to obtain black market tobacco. The tobacco would always come in the crude state, just as it had been grown, so we would roll leaves into a long cigar shaped form, put it on a rock or table and cut slices off the end so that the pieces were small enough to roll into a cigarette. Sometimes we would soak the tobacco in vino and boil it to take some of the strength from it. It was terribly strong and almost impossible to smoke a whole cigarette without belching or getting a case of the hic-cups. There was some light tobacco that came from Spoleto but


it was very rare and expensive so when we were able to get it we mixed it stringently with what we already had. Matches and paper were almost as hard to get as the tobacco so it was seldom that we had all three at the same time. We would stop someone on the trail or go to a house and trade a few grains of tobacco for a match or a piece of paper. I had a Fascist school book that lasted for several weeks and from it I could trade a page as cigarette paper for both tobacco and matches. I became very proficient at rolling cigarettes but even so, to smoke one required several matches, because the tobacco and paper would not burn well. In an old deserted church, I found some altar candles and carried them in my pockets to burn while I smoked a cigarette, thereby using but one match. Of course, much of the time we were sitting around fire places and could use a glowing stick as a light. In one house, an old woman took my wet coat to dry in front of her fire place and the alter candles in my pocket soon began to melt and run through my coat. When the old woman saw they were altar candles, she scolded me for taking things from the church. The days began to get warmer the fields greener and we were having more sunshine than ever before. Often it was warm enough so that we could bathe in a secluded stream and wash some of our clothes. Of course we had no soap and the water was ice cold but at least it helped. I even had a rag that we used as a towel. One small village, that was deserted except for one old couple was Rocco Franco, directly across the valley from Resina. It was high on one of the steepest slopes and had a church larger than usual and only several small houses. We were told that before the war this church had been used only for special festivities and that the village had been deserted for many years because of its inaccessible location. I explored some of the passageways in the church with candles and found an inscription with the date 1160 on it. One underground passageway led to a fort, or a sort of defense tower, about twenty yards from the church. The walls of the tower must have been at least five feet thick and the whole tower was about thirty feet high. On top, had once been mounted a catapult used to heave boulders at an enemy. Many of these boulders were still there. They had been rounded into balls about six inches in diameter. This tower was the only one of this kind that I saw in Italy. The days dragged and I wandered aimlessly down one hill and up the next either alone or with Paul, George or Henry, or some member of the band. The patrols continued to make their rounds but I had become so accustomed to their ways, that I think could have dodged them indefinitely, had they not become more numerous. Almost every day I saw or heard Allied airplanes overhead and frequently German Aircraft but only in small numbers. I talked to the farmers in the fields, helped them a little and slept in the bushes at night. The nights were still bitterly cold and through the cold air the sound of artillery barrages carried well all the way from the beachheads near Anzio â&#x20AC;&#x201C; some two hundred miles distant.


One day Paul and I climbed the hill to look at the wreckage of the B-25 we had seen go down near Piagia. It was spread over a large area on the mountain side and there was hardly a piece of it left large enough to identify. We found part of an officer’s shirt and a small piece of scalp from one of the crews, but that was all that remained – that and a few charred bones. Again we realized how fortunate we had been. I had trouble finding strings long enough and strong enough to use as shoe laces, and here I found some radio copper wire that solved my shoe lace problem for a while. I carried some of the .50 caliber incendiary bullets away with me that had exploded from their shells but had not burned. Putting them in a fireplace heated them so that the tail would ignite and spew a red flame for a few seconds. This amused the Italians men but frightened the women. I believe some of them thought it was magic. Back in Verchiano one day I met a tailor who offered to make me a pair of pants out of the material we had stolen in our raid on the factory. It was a grey and black tweed material and I had them cut small at the bottom so that they would fit in my shoes and socks. It would make them more practical for mountain climbing. Paul’s were exactly the same but smaller. They were warmer and Photo by SBG on 1962 visit to Camino

altogether quite an improvement over the threadbare black trousers saturated with lice and with a seat that had been patched many times. The black trousers had about a 46” waist and I had to double them over. The new trousers were a good fit and we were proud of them. The tailor didn’t charge us a thing, but was glad to help out. He had used our only towel to make pockets and had to remove thread from the edge of the material to get thread for sewing them together. I gave my old black trousers to a farmer in Camino and he was very pleased with them. Paul and I stayed near Camino and ate in the village with friends for two or three days and not wanting to wear out our welcome, we left. They in They insisted that we stay but we left anyway and said that we would return for another visit. Paul went to San Martino di Verchiano and I went down the valley toward Salano and then up to Piagia and Todi. Near Salano the people warned me that more troops were coming in and that things would be very dangerous for me. Not knowing whether this news had reached the band near Resina, I started out in that direction to warn them and stopped for a meal with some people who ran a mill. This particular mill milled the wheat of all the farms in this vicinity and in turn (the owners) were given sausage, bread, wine and a few other commodities. There was no money exchanged for their services. This family was very frightened and said that the German and Fascists were near so after a quick bite, I left. At about the same time machine gun fire echoed up the valley.


I made my way up a twisting, out of the way road, and by midnight had walked to a hilltop near Piagia. This valley at Piagia was a mountain top valley and was wide and shallow. More than a valley, it was a glacial indentation upon the mountain top. There were at least half a dozen villages in it and the rolling terrain was crowded with vineyards and several plots of cultivated land separated by stone fences or low, thick hedges. The paths between and leading to the fields were just wide enough for an ox team and a sled. Sleds were used instead of wagons. Wood runners slid over the rocky trails. I was unable to get to the band, as the gunfire had been in that direction. The villages near Piagia looked peaceful enough, but knowing the danger was very near, I decided not to alarm any of the people by calling on them at this hour. A Partisan I met on the trail that night told me that Paul had become very sick and was back in Camino so I intended, after a meal in the morning, to go back to Camino as fast as I could. I was exhausted and found a deserted barn with some straw in a bin. It was a place we had used before as a rendezvous, so I wrote a note and put it behind a removable brick in the wall. I hid my watch and shoes under the straw and put my pistol within reach. I was so tired after my long day of climbing mountains that I fell asleep immediately after I lay down. Friday, May 19 – About six in the morning I was awakened by a rapid succession of machine gun bursts and the explosion of grenades. They were very close this time and I grabbed my shoes and dashed for the door without bothering to lace them, or to take my watch and pistol. I was going to see if the way was clear, and if the way was clear, I could get my gun and watch and make a break for it. If I was cornered, a gun wouldn’t have been of much help anyway. Just outside the door, as I was dashing around the building’s corner, three Fascist soldiers grabbed me; my situation was hopeless. I’d been foolish for not sleeping in the bushes, even though it had rained most of the night. They treated me roughly and hurried me off to Piagia where the troops were gathered. There must have been over 150 of them. I was surprised at their increased strength. I told them that I was an evading American airman officer, which didn’t help matters at all. In fact, I think it made them even more hostile. It’s a good thing I had left my gun in the straw, or I certainly wouldn’t have lived long this time. I was wondering how long they were going to wait before shooting me anyway. The Italian was of a city dialect, and difficult for me to understand. The troops had finished their business in Piaggia when my captors arrived with me, and we soon started the half day’s march to Salano, about fifteen miles away.... I knew that the German SS passed through there frequently and that would probably be where they would place me in the custody of the SS. At this point my future looked pretty dark and I blamed it all on my own carelessness in choosing such a spot to spend a night.


Starting down the trail from Piaggia, I was hustled along at the point of rifles and the guards were very much on the alert to see that there would be no possible escape for me. We traveled fast all morning and I was not given even a chance to tie up my shoes. I had to shuffle along the trails sliding my feet to prevent the shoes from falling off. The black shirts seldom spoke to me and when they did, it was no more than a firing of harsh swearing. One young fascist delighted in prodding me along by swatting me with the butt of his rifle and once hit me so hard on the side of the shoulder that I lost my balance and fell in the ditch beside the trail. I was jerked out bodily and kicked back into position. Those nearest me laughed and briefly scolded the youngster for hitting me so hard. To oppose their pushing me along probably would have meant my end but it was all I could do to resist turning around and tearing into them. After several hours I could feel that my feet were beginning to bleed from sliding around in my oversized shoes, but I think my anger at the predicament kept them from becoming too painful â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or maybe, I was just used to it. At several villages along the way we met other detachments of the same unit and several young Italian boys were added to the prison bound group. I remember, in particular, one small weak looking boy who could not have been over fourteen. It took several men to drag him along and they slapped him severely for crying. His poor father hobbled along the side of the trail, pleading with the fascists to free his boy, but was finally driven away with threats that he would be shot if he continued. For several minutes he followed along anyway and didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t turn back until they fired a burst from a machine gun at his feet. The poor little boy cried all the way to Salano. Salano was larger than most of the villages in this part of the province and was located on a mountain road leading form Foligno to cities on the Adriatic. The road was not heavily traveled at this time, but later it was one of the main escape routes for the Nazis as they retreated northward. I was placed in what had once been the town jail. There was only one cell and it was on the ground floor. It smelled of filth and had nothing but a large wooden box in it. Asking for food and water was futile and the only answer I got from the fascists was a spit through the bars. I noticed several women asking the guards if they could bring me food or water, but they were always rudely turned away. That night I tried to sleep by sitting on the box and leaning against the wall, but the night was bitterly cold and sleeping was hopeless. By standing on the box I could see out of the small barred window onto the village main street. About the middle of the night some German trucks rumbled through town right next to my window. They were en route to the front and I could tell that they were heavily loaded, but it was too dark to observe what cargo they carried. It was a miserable night and when the first light began to show in the morning I felt weak and had a terrific headache. It had been twenty four hours since I had had food and no water since the day before when I had been locked in the cell. Time passed slowly and I had nothing with me to attempt to bribe the guard for a drink of water. About the middle of the morning, an SS patrol came into Salano and the fascists proudly turned me over to the Jerries. With the Germans my treatment was a little better. They apologized for their shortage of rations and said that it would be only a few days until I would be taken to a prison


camp where I would wait for transportation to Germany. Instead of getting no food at all, I was given the equivalent of about four slices of black bread in the middle of the morning and about a pint of water in the evening. The Germans definitely had no water shortage, as there were several good springs in the village. The Italian women in the village continued trying to bring me more water and bread but were always turned away by the guards. After a day or two, the lack of food was beginning to show. I had a constant headache, always felt weak, and was too uncomfortable to sleep much. The principle relief from the monotony was to stand on the box at night, and watch the truck convoys pass through on their way to the front. They were always heavily loaded and the street was so narrow that they would sometimes scrape along the buildings on both sides. Some were hauling munitions and some were tankers hauling fuel, but the majority of them were carrying troop replacements. On the third or fourth day, a German patrol came through lead by a captain. I was taken to a house they had commandeered as their headquarters, and after reporting to the captain, he generously offered me a cup of wine. It was the first I had had for several days, and it tasted very good. The Captain spoke fluent English and talked to me for some time before he got around to asking me the routine questions --name, rank and serial number -- all of which he already had on his report. Then began his attempt at trying to get an explanation of my recent activities â&#x20AC;&#x201C; when and where I had been shot down; where I had been staying since, and who had helped me. After giving him no satisfaction, he became angry and warned me that if he didn't obtain this information now, things would go worse for me later. He told me what suckers the Americans were, because they had let the British draw us into a war which didn't involve us, etc., all of which sounded like it was being quoted from a field manual. When he finished he bluntly asked me if I liked the English, and whether I did or did not, I answered that I thought they were wonderful. Later I thought of many things I could have said, but in my weakened condition, I didn't feel like talking much and perhaps it was best that I didn't. He told me that I would soon be transported to a prison camp, and called for the guard to take me back to my cell. I went through some more of the same misery for the next four days. Bread and water once a day, watching the trucks go by, and wishing I were someplace else. By this time about thirty of the young Italians had been captured, and a bus was sent up to take us all down to one of the larger towns in the valley. I was happy at the thought of going someplace. It seemed like nothing could be worse than that filthy cell, and anything could be better. I was taken out and put with the group of Italians. The bus was a typical Italian civilian bus, with huge showcase windows, and it still had ragged old curtains in the windows. We were ordered to line up by the side of the bus, and everyone had to take his shoes off. The shoes were all put in a bag and were to be given back to us when we reached our destination, The idea was probably so that we could easily be recaptured in case we were scattered by an air raid while on the highway.


I was first in line and went all the way back to the last seat in the bus, sitting down beside one of the windows that had been smashed out. Instead of replacing the window, a heavy canvas sheet had been nailed over the opening. Two German guards climbed in after the bus was loaded, and sat down next to the Italian driver on the front seat. It was just about dusk when we started out, and the road through the mountains was long and crooked, and in some places hardly more than a long trail. I knew the road well, because I had already spent so much time in this section. Soon, some of the younger boys and especially those that had not been captives long, began to cry. The older boys and I did what we could to comfort them, but it didn't help much. They had never known anything but the quiet life of their own little villages, and to be taken away by force was just more than they could bear. They knew they were going to forced labor camps, and had been promised excellent wages and wonderful living conditions by the Germans, but their only wish was to be back in their villages and live as they always had lived. By some time after midnight I had elbowed loose the bottom edge of the canvas that covered my window, and had stretched it open far enough to slip out under the bottom edge. The guards hadn't walked through the aisle for several hours, and were apparently asleep. As the bus was noisily grinding up a steep grade in low gear, I quickly slipped out under the canvas and dropped down into the ditch beside the road. I watched the bus closely, and just before it disappeared they stopped. There was some shouting in German, and in a few minutes they were on their way again, much to my relief. Probably some of the boys had seen me go out, and were caught trying to follow. I was surprised when they didn't come back to search for me, but evidently they didn't even bother to count their prisoners. I was bare-footed and it rained without a let up all night, so even though I was at least temporarily free, things were far from being right. At the first break of day I recognized the shapes of a few hills and landmarks and started out in the direction of Verchiano where Paul, if sufficiently recovered, probably was waiting for me. The distance I covered that day was not much, and walking over the sharp rocks on the mountain trails bare-footed was slow and painful. The houses along the trail all had plenty of bread and wine, but after eating a very little of it, my stomach began to give me trouble; so I went without much to eat again this day. It was almost dark when I struggled into Verchiano. I knew some of the people there well, and those who saw me first could hardly believe their eyes. They all knew that I had been recaptured, and escaping from the Germans was practically impossible as far as they were concerned: To them this was a big occasion, and they thought that it should be celebrated. I was in no mood to do any celebrating and was most anxious to find Paul. They told me with tears in their eyes that Paul was still in Camino, and was very sick. Camino is a village of only seven families, and only about a twenty-minute walk from Verchiano. I started out up the trail, and hadn't gone far when one of the men-in the town came alongside me and insisted that I wear his shoes, and that he follow me along bare-footed to Camino and then get his shoes back. He didn't have to insist very long. We sat down on a rock and he generously handed over his shoes, then


walked to Camino with me, bare-footed, and there I gave his shoes back with many thanks, and sincerely told him I hoped he could come to see me in America some day. Paul had taken another stroke of malaria, and was very sick in one of the Camino houses. When I first saw him he was lying on a hearth bench by the fire in a cold sweat, and was almost too ill to speak. There was nothing that could be done for him except to keep him warm, and try to keep the flies away. After a few hours in Camino, a boy rushed into the house with the bad news that the Germans were coming up the trail. I quickly put Paul over my shoulder and started out for the woods. Several of the villagers offered me their coats as be left town, and I just had time to grab a couple of them under my arm. The troops were just coming in one end of town as we were leaving the other end. I thought surely that the excited mood of the people because of our narrow escape would cause the troops to be suspicious, but they were only interested in finding a place to spend the night. I left Paul well hidden and bundled up as best I could in a thicket and climbed the hill to see if there was any activity in town. My vantage point was only about two hundred yards from Camino, so I could easily see everything on the one street. All seemed to be quiet enough, but the Germans were still there making arrangements for the night. It was just turning dark when I went back down the hill to join Paul, and as luck would have it, it started to rain again. It was about nine o'clock when I recognized our friend Giovanni's voice on the trail. He was calling for us in a whisper, and I summoned him up to our position in the thicket. He had some bread and a flask of wine, and apologized for not being able to get away any sooner because the Germans were sleeping in his house. They were occupying all the beds, so that the family had to sleep on the first floor with the hogs. He also had brought with him an Italian army raincoat which is shaped like a tarpaulin, but has a head hole in the center, with a button-down flap. This we stretched between some branches, and made a sort of crude lean-to which at least helped to shed most of the water. Giovanni bid us goodnight, and promised that he would let us know when it was safe to come back to town the next day. Giovanni was forty-eight years old, and had never married. He lived with his brother, his brother's wife, their three small children, and his sixty-eight year old mother. Giovanni had been to America when he was young, and had worked for a short time in a coal mine in Pennsylvania. He still had remembered a little English, so that when we spoke with him, the conversation was in both English and Italian. During the night we were given a scare by a few of the soldiers staying in Camino, walking by on the trail, and passing within twenty feet or so of us. The Germans remained in Camino all the next day, so we had to stay in the woods. But the sun came out, making a beautiful, warm day, and by that evening. Paul was beginning to feel better. During the day I managed to get several bags of straw and we moved our hiding place to a more secure position farther back in the woods. The trees were large, and in between them were thick bushes four to five feet high. Our location


was on a hill so steep that it was necessary to level a place out of the ground to sleep on. I stretched the canvas over the leveled off spot, and padded the ground well with straw. The ground, of course, was still muddy, but the straw was thick enough to give us a comparatively dry bed. Paul slept well most of the afternoon, and we were so completely hidden that anyone could have walked within ten feet without seeing us. Military activity had greatly increased in this section, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to wander around the hills and yet dodge all the troop concentrations. From walking bare-footed over the rough rocks, my feet were badly cut up, and several places had become infected. Giovanni and his friends in Camino had offered to feed us in the woods until the allies came, and although I hesitated about accepting this because of the danger involved to them if we were found, it seemed like the only wise thing to do. So this lean-to in the woods was our home for the next three weeks. (Note 2 – The villagers hung their laundry on grape trees to dry and we had a signal system worked out. I could observe this area from my hiding place and, by their location, various signals were sent. For instance, three shirts on one tree meant “German soldiers in town – do not approach!”) The good people in Camino worked out a system for feeding us. It was a rotation plan whereby all the families in town would take turns feeding us either in town when the Germans weren't there, or in the woods when there were troops in town. Suspicion was avoided when our food was brought to the woods because the men were out in the fields, and usually the children were sent out to take their lunches to them. An extra loaf of bread, a flask of vino, or a plate of ministra dropped off to us in the woods wasn't noticed. Our hiding place was so secure that only a few of the people bringing our food knew exactly where we stayed. When it was about time to eat, we would come part way down to Camino and eat our lunch along the trail, or if they gave us the "all clear" from town, we could go down and into one of the houses. Someone would always meet us at the edge of town and guide us to the house where we were scheduled to eat. This was always a treat because we could wash our faces and hands at the village spring; but sometimes the interval between chances to wash was two or three days. And it felt good to sit at a table, too, once in a while. One of the older boys in Camino helped me to make a pair of wooden sandals, but when we finished, I found that it was more comfortable to wear nothing at all, as the straps cut into the top of my feet. So I went bare-footed a few weeks longer, and it wasn't until about a week before the allies came that they were able to find an old worn out pair of shoes from another village that I could comfortably wear. The boys of Camino, instead of hiding in the hills as they did in most villages to escape the forced labor draft, were hiding under the Germans very noses. Only about 20 feet from the village spring they had dug a hole straight into the ground and hollowed out a cave-like room underneath which was just large enough for the seven or eight boys of draft age in the village. The entrance to this cave was covered with a huge pile of brush, the kind they used to burn in their fireplaces. With very little warning, all the boys in


town could dive into their cave and pull the brush pile over the top of it, making themselves as secure as if they had been back in the woods. “My father took this picture in 1962 when we visited Italy. He enjoyed photography as a hobby and sometimes won prizes for his photographs. He had a darkroom. I am not sure if this was a double exposure on purpose but I know he liked the photograph. The people are Antonio and family and it was taken in Verchiano, a town near Camino where my father spent a lot of time.” – Diane Gilbert

One day I walked over the hills to the barn in which I had been captured near Piagia to look for my watch. I had hidden it under the hay, and in the excitement of leaving, forgot all about it. I found it just as I had left it. During the days that followed, we spent much time in Camino, and became well acquainted with all the families in the village. We even made a few trips into Verchiano, a distance of about three kilometers, but it wasn't good to even let the people in Verchiano know that we were staying near Camino. Giovanni, Antonio, Stella, and their families became our best friends. There was not much we could do but wander around in the fields, and help the farmers what little we could. As time went on, there was an increase in allied air activity and this helped to support some of the rumors we had heard about advances on the front. It soon became so that there was not a moment of the day when we could not hear allied aircraft overhead, or see them nearby. The B-17’s and the B-24’s en route to targets in Germany passed overhead often going northward early in the morning and returning to their bases late in the afternoon. About two miles from Camino was the main road from Salano to Foligno, and along this road every night passed the long German truck convoys taking replacements and PAGE 82 ... TARPA TOPICS

supplies to the front. Each morning before daylight, the truck convoys were taken off the roads, to the woods, and fully camouflaged as protection from aircraft. During the last days of May, we heard that the American Fifth Army had joined the Anzio beachhead front, and were on the march for Rome. In support of this rumor, we could hear the heavy artillery barrages growing louder night by night. Previously most of the air activity had been by bombers, sometimes with fighter escort; but now fighters were beginning to make low altitude sweeps and to keep a constant vigil of all the roads through the mountains. The majority of the heavy German equipment was protected by camouflage during the daylight hours, but whenever a scout car or motorcycle would attempt traveling the roads by daylight, the Spitfires, P-40's and P-47's were on the spot. Paul and I ventured down to within twenty feet of the road, and hid in a clump of bushes one of these nights to get a better look at the German equipment. The first vehicle that passed was a scout car coming up from Foligno. Just as it rounded the curve near us and crossed a little bridge, there was a terrific bang which made us both jump. We thought that it was a shot, but found that it was only a blowout. The scout car stopped directly opposite us on the road. There was evidently an enlisted man driver, and two officers in the car, and we had to sit without moving a muscle for about two hours while they took the wheel off and repaired the tire. None of these German vehicles had spare tires, so whenever they had a flat, it was necessary to take the wheel off and patch the tire. Later that night, many convoys passed by us, and most of the trucks were carrying troop replacements. It was too dark to get a good look at anything, but we could distinguish the troop transports from the supply transports, because the soldiers were always singing their German songs. On one of these mornings, the German convoy pulled into the valley below Camino to make camp, and all day long there were hundreds of German soldiers walking around through the hills, firing their small arms at anything they might see; so on this day Paul and I stayed in our lean-to, well out of sight. As the artillery barrages grew louder night by night, a significant thing happened â&#x20AC;&#x201C; THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC REVERSED DIRECTION, and we knew that the long awaited big retreat was on. Every imaginable type of vehicle was moving along the road, and about three-quarters of all the equipment was horse-drawn. They had beautiful, big, well fed horses, and an amazing amount of equipment, but judging from the amount of breakdowns, it was obvious that their equipment was in very poor shape. The bridges along this road were made to support ox carts, and the crude vehicles that the Italian farmers were using in the mountains. When the Germans began using these mountain roads as bypasses for the main roads that had been bombed out in the larger valleys, they had nothing but trouble with shoulders caving away and small bridges collapsing. It kept their engineers constantly busy repairing bridges and putting in steel spans. Some of the turns on the mountain roads were so sharp that it was impossible to swing the equipment around, making it necessary to back up on each turn and have


another swing at it. Some of their heavy artillery guns stuck out so far beyond the front of the truck that on these turns the muzzle of the gun would swing right into the side of the mountain. Then they had to go to work digging away big boulders and practically making horizontal trenches through the mountains for the muzzles of these guns to swing through. This went on all night every night by the light of dim black out lights that were arranged so that they pointed straight downward, making it difficult to see anything from the air. Every day there were more and more soldiers coming through Camino and this made it increasingly difficult for the people to get our food out into the woods. Sometimes it was necessary for them to leave us food enough in the woods to last for several days at a time. Each day the Jerries were getting more and more pressed for time and the hours of darkness were not long enough to sufficiently move out all of their equipment; so they were forced to travel on the roads a little earlier in the evening, and a little later in the morning. The Allied fighter planes took full advantage of this and doubled their patrols during these dusk and sunrise hours. During these short hours we witnessed the most exciting things that we had yet seen. We were awakened early one morning by the roar of Spitfires scarcely 400 feet over our heads. We saw them banking and turning about to make another pass at the highway. As they went back in at the highway we could hear the roar of their four .303 machine guns, and the burst of their 20 m. m. cannon shells as they poured into the equipment on the highway. We got up quickly and climbed to the top of a nearby hill so that we could see better, and just as we reached the top one of the Spitfires was making a right angle pass at the highway, and we could see the smoke from the wing guns followed immediately by their roar, and then he buzzed directly over our heads, missing us by about thirty feet. There was a band of about eight partisans camped in the woods only a mile or so from us, and I had known several of them a few months before. They had a larger lean-to something like ours, and had just recently moved from Resina. They had a box of dynamite that had been dropped by chute by the English, and had made several attempts with it to blow out a bridge near San Martino, but each time without success. I was anxious to do something, and with my knowledge of handling dynamite, and my familiarity with the terrain around this particular bridge, I decided to make an attempt at it. The fellows were all excited, and approved my plan. The largest one of them loaned me his shoes to go down for an attempt at it. That evening, soon after dark, I started out with my pockets full of dynamite, and as much as I could carry under my arm. San Martino wasn't far, but it was a dark night, and a slow walk along the narrow mountain trails. When I reached the main road, I waited till I could hear no trucks coming, then slipped across into the woods on the other side. I soon reached my objective and saw in the headlights of some of the trucks passing over that there was a guard on one end. This meant I would have to work quietly, but there was no particular hurry, because it was early in the evening. I checked my Mauser, and slipped down through the gulley leading to the bridge. It was


impossible to walk through the gulley without kicking rocks, but walking along the grassy banks helped some. When ever a string of trucks would cross the bridge, I would try to make as much distance as I could, because the noise of the trucks blocked out the noise that I was making. I had already prepared my dynamite by taking the paper off of it, and mashing it all together like putty. As a long truck convoy was passing over the bridge, I worked quickly and packed the putty-like dynamite into the crack of one of the main girders, struck a fuse, and started back up the gulley as quickly as I could. When I reached a safe distance, I sat down to get my wind and waited. I had almost decided that I had used a defective fuse when the explosion came. There was no visible flash, just a big boom, and then everything was quiet. The confusion caused by the destroyed bridge blocked convoys up for several miles along the road and they were almost bumper to bumper where I had crossed the road, and where I intended to cross back again, so I had to just stay in the woods on the other side of the road all night and wait. By morning they had taken all their trucks off the road and camouflaged them in the woods as protection for the following day. The next morning it didn't take the engineers long to put a temporary span across the blown out bridge, but it gave me a lot of satisfaction to know that I had delayed the retreat on that one particular road for a whole night. When I rejoined the partisan band to give my friend his shoes back, they had already found out about the destruction that had been done. They said two automobiles had been completely destroyed, and about a twenty-foot section of the bridge had blown out. The bridge was over a deep ravine, and not a very long bridge, so this twenty feet was most of its length. If this had happened several months earlier, the SS troops would have made a thorough investigation into the affair, but because their armies were so pressed for time, apparently nothing was ever done about it. The intensity of air activity was increasing every day. Fighters were continually strafing everything that appeared on the roads. Dive bombers were busy hitting troop concentrations, bridges and road transport convoys. The Germans were making a well organized retreat, and everything they did seemed to be done in a well planned manner. First the hospital units and non-combatants moved out, followed by heavy artillery, light artillery, anti-aircraft crews, etc. After these, the combat troops began pouring through the mountains with everything from motorcycles to heavy tiger tanks. They weren't wasting any time. When a vehicle stalled on the highway, they merely pushed it off in a ditch and set fire to its fuel tank, instead of trying to repair it. News had reached us that the Americans were in Rome, and the excitement of it all made every day seem like a week. We spent hours trying to piece together rumors that came through to establish some facts on what was actually happening. There were so many troops passing through that we were not able to get into Camino for about the last ten days of our stay in that locality. I just wandered through the


woods, watching the airplanes overhead, and talking with some of the farmers in their isolated fields on top of the mountains. Giovanni's brother had a plot on top of one of these hills, and to pass the time away, I tried my hand at plowing with an ox team, using one of their crude wooden plows. The ground was so hard and rocky that I found it was not nearly as easy as it looked. (Note 3 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; There was a drastic shortage of ox teams which were essential to the farmers for plowing the fields. The Germans had confiscated many teams for their food supply. The German army used a great many horses to pull equipment. I was able to catch several of these harness trained horses and with them we got some plowing done. It did not go well as the horses only knew German commands, so I very soon turned them loose. The villagers, however, were greatly delighted.) One day I came across a family in the woods--a man, woman and their daughter who was about thirteen years old. They were very refined looking people, and I found that they had been bombed out of their home in Foligno, and had fled to the mountains for safety. The man was a little fellow with glasses, and had been a history professor at the University of Foligno. The wooded hills were becoming quite the place to live. They were full of hundreds of bombed out refugees from the larger towns down in the valley. The combat troops that were coming through now were dirty, unshaven, and wearing ragged uniforms. They had no regard or respect for anything. They did as much plundering as they could in the time that they had. Many of the villages were completely burned, and all the peoples' cattle were driven off ahead of the retreating army. Camino feared the worst, but fortunately was spared from any serious damage. However, the people were not unprepared. The men and boys had all found guns and ammunition, and were determined to make the last stand for it before any of their houses could be burned. If any such thing had happened in Camino, I would have gone to the help of my friends with the gun I still had, and I don't doubt that we would have fought to the last man. On one occasion some drunken German troops came to the town and began crazily shooting their guns around town. One of them demanded a thousand lire from an Italian woman, which, of course, she didn't have. When she refused in no uncertain terms to give the soldier anything, he shot her in the stomach with his pistol. The bitterness it caused among the people in the village made them feel like killing every German they saw. On another occasion, two drunken German sergeants were tearing up the town, infuriated because the people wouldn't give them any more vino. Two German officers came to the village, and finding the sergeants in such a condition, apologized to the people for the soldiersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; behavior. They then marched the sergeants out of Camino about a hundred yards, ordered them to march so many paces out, and turn around. They were shot dead on the trail. After shooting the sergeants, the officers returned and took over where the sergeants had left off, drunkenly looting and tearing apart everything they could find. Because of these activities, all the women and children had been taken out of Camino,


and were hiding in a well protected ravine over near my lean-to. They had all their hogs, sheep and chickens with them. The children all cried and their frightened mothers were continually trying to quiet them. Paul and I went down to visit with them often. The women had slaughtered several of their hogs, so every time we visited them, we ate well. During most of this time, the Germans were coming through on their retreat. The men were up high in the hills taking care of Camino's sheep herd. They were far enough back so that there was a good safety margin between the main road and the well traveled trail used by the German troops. It was a long hard climb up there, but Paul and I went up several mornings, spent the day up there, and returned to our lean-to at night. One day we had a ring-side seat for the nicest piece of air coordination that we had seen. It was early in the morning, and there were still about a mile of German transports spread out along the highway. Four P-47's came into view in elements of two ships each. The first two peeled off and dive-bombed the front of the convoy, placing a one thousand pounder right in the middle of the road, and destroying several of the trucks. At almost the same time, the other two P-47's dive-bombed the rear of the convoy, and one of their bombs hit a gasoline tender. It caught fire immediately, and a huge black column of smoke rose over the spot. The P-47's hadn't been gone more than a few minutes when low flying Spitfires came in over the mountains and strafed the entire convoy in trail formation, and then turned around and strafed it the other way. Most of the troops had disbursed themselves in the bushes on the sides of the hills so casualties were light, but the entire convoy was destroyed, and the equipment had to be moved off the road before the road could be used again. By the middle of June the British Eighth Army was very near, and we could hear the continual chatter of the smaller guns all night. Standing on a hill at night, we could see artillery flashes all the way to the horizon in the East, and the same in the West. It looked like a peacetime fireworks celebration, and it was hard to believe that this was actually a war. On the 18th of June, the flow of traffic along our road suddenly stopped, indicating that the road had been cut off by the English between us and Foligno. That same afternoon people excitedly told us that there was a British patrol in Salano, and by that night, the whole sector would be under allied control. There were no Germans to be seen anywhere now; in fact, there were no troops at all, and except for the artillery barrages blasting away in the distance, one would never know that we were in the middle of a war. What had actually happened was that the British Eighth Army had bypassed our section and cut off the road down the valley toward Foligno. There were no military objectives in our area, and as long as the road was cut off, this section was of no use to the enemy. On the morning of the 19th, some Italian boys told me three soldiers were in the woods wearing German uniforms, but were unarmed. I went out to investigate, and found them to be Russians who had escaped from a forced labor camp near Rome, and had


taken with them three German horses and quantities of cigarettes, field rations, and other things that they had found in an abandoned transport. They had been captured on the Russian front more than a year before, and had been serving in a forced labor camp in Italy ever since, so they had picked up a little Italian. They wanted me to take them down to the British command and explain to the British who they were, but I decided against this, because it would be risky to approach the British with three men in German uniforms, so I wrote out a note, and gave it to them, which explained their situation. They were grateful, and gave us dozens of packages of German cigarettes. We departed, and told them to stay in the woods for at least a few days until they could be sure that they would contact the right troops. Paul and I wandered down to the highway in hopes of contacting a British patrol, as one had been reported coming from the direction of Salano. But to our disappointment, a German armored car echelon came around this bend going toward Salano. Paul and I jumped into the ditch to avoid being seen. We returned to Camino, and the people said they were sure that the English had passed through Casanova, so not wishing to waste any time, we started out. It was hard saying goodbye to all our friends in Camino, and several of the men and women whom we had known best cried as we left, town. They had begun to feel toward us as they did toward their own sons. Just before we left town, we made the rounds of all the houses, and had several drinks of vino in each place, and there was much handshaking, etc. On the trail toward Verchiano, it started to rain again, but with what we had to look forward to, the rain didn't make any difference to us. In a field just outside of Verchiano, we heard shots and discovered two Italian boys of about fifteen years old shooting at everything in the countryside with a couple of German rifles that they had found. We whistled at them, and when they came over, I grabbed their guns away from them, and told them that the war was over, and that there would be no more shooting around there. They turned away dejected to find something else to play with, and went back into Verchiano. When we stopped in the middle of the village, the boys, parents were out in the street to meet us, and we could see by their motions that they were very angry. They thought that we had taken the guns away from the boys so that we could have them ourselves, and they were jabbering so fast and so loud that it was hard to get a word in and to explain what had really happened. Finally I decided the only thing to do was take both the guns and smash them on a doorstep, and maybe by this means prove to the parents that we didn't want the guns, but only wanted them where they could hurt no one. The parents immediately changed their whole outlook on the thing, and invited us into their house for a drink of wine, apologizing with words and both hands for not listening to us in the first place. Giovanni, Paul and I left Verchiano, and started down the road from Casanova. There were numerous small villages all the way along the road. Giovanni stayed ahead of us several hundred yards to see if the coast was clear, or if there was still any German troops in the area. The road was littered with German equipment, and dead horses and men were everywhere, and the odor was suffocating.


About a week earlier the shoemaker from Verchiano had given me an ancient pair of work boots that I had been wearing around the past few days, and although they hurt my feet, they at least made it possible for me to walk down the rocky road. Paul had recovered from his malaria stroke of three weeks before, but now was getting another and felt terrible all the way down. In Casanova, we found that the English had first come through there the night before, and we heard a story that sounded like something from Hollywood. A German captain had been killed riding a motorcycle. Twenty-five hostages from Casanova were taken to be shot that same evening. First they burned almost every house in Casanova, and completely destroyed the town. The hostages were taken out into a field near the edge of town where they were to be shot. They already had some of them blindfolded when an English armored car echelon came into the other end of town. The Germans changed their plans immediately, and fled for the hills, and of course, then the people couldn't praise the English highly enough. Probably, several days before, they had disliked the English because they were so slow in getting there, or so they thought. An armored car echelon had just passed through the town, before we arrived, to do some mopping up near Colfiroita. As we were standing around looking at the ruins of the fire from the night before, one of our jeeps driven by a Scottish messenger came into town, and even Paul, feeling as badly as he did, was overjoyed at the sight of that jeep. After hailing the Jeep down, we told the driver who we were, but could hardly understand a word of his Scotch. We finally managed to understand him to say that the British armored car echelon had passed through and that they would pick us up as they returned to Foligno. So he drove on and we waited. When the British armored cars returned to Casanova, they had been notified by the Scottish messenger that we would be waiting there, and I have never seen anything that looked so good as those heavy armored cars as they rolled into town. The column pulled to a halt where we were waiting in the middle of town, and there was a lot of handshaking. It was hard to believe that the day we had prayed and hoped for so long had finally come, and our days of living in fear had ended. We had quite a chat with the Tommies in Casanova before leaving, and all the celebrating Italians in town stopped their festivities for a while to listen to this strange language which most of them had never heard before. I explained to the English who Giovanni was, and introduced him to the commander of the echelon. Then we all climbed into a truck and started off through the rain toward Foligno. They had a few extra GI raincoats and hats and wearing them seemed like an unbelievable luxury. Winding through the bombed streets of Foligno, we could see the results of the bombings we had heard from the mountains. In sections everything was absolutely flat, and in other sections of the city there was only slight damage. The armored car echelon was camped in what had been an Italian apartment house. As soon as the armored cars rolled to a stop, the Tommies pulled their camouflaged nets over the top. The apartment house was large enough only for a few headquarter offices with living quarters, and all the cooking was done outside. It was drizzling rain, but soldiers


everywhere were building little fires to heat their rations sheltered only by small tarpaulins or trees. The rations tasted good, but because of my excitement at being safe again, I couldn't eat much. We were given all the cigarettes, chocolate and rations that we wanted, and after visiting around amongst several groups of the soldiers, their commanding officer invited us to his quarters for a drink of the first American whiskey we had seen in months. The main spearhead of the advance was aimed at Perugia, which everyone expected to fall sometime the next day. The Krauts made an unexpected stand on the outskirts of Perugia, and held off for several days longer than was expected. All night artillery shells whistled overhead from the arms of the defending Germans in Perugia. Some of them exploded in Foligno not far from were we were. I had an extra cot in one of the British officer's quarters on the second floor of the apartment house. This was a night of very little sleep, because of the excitement of being back, and the noise of the war that went on all night. Once during the night, I woke up suddenly, and hearing the noise of the guards changing duty in the hallway, grabbed my shoes and was half-way out of the door before I realized that everything was all right. I have never been so excited in my life, and just wanted someone to talk to in English â&#x20AC;&#x201C; someone who could tell me what I had missed, and what was going on in the world. Next morning Giovanni and I parted, and he started back up the road to Camino with a good supply of cigarettes, chocolate, and a few old pieces of discarded clothing that the British had given him. The British had all liked him very well after listening to what I had to say about him. Paul and I were driven to the other side of Foligno to contact British intelligence officers to establish our identity. From a small tent jammed with radio equipment, they transmitted a radiogram to Foggia, 12th Air Force Headquarters, saying that we were with the Eighth Army, and would proceed back to Foggia as soon as possible. Practically all the traffic was going northward in hot pursuit of the German forces, and getting a ride southbound was going to be difficult. Had it not been for the constant rain and low visibility they would have flown us back, but at this time all aircraft were grounded, so we were told to contact a prisoner of war outfit, and since they were shipping hundreds of German prisoners southward, we could get a ride with one of their truck convoys, A British intelligence officer gave us his own personal driver, and a small weapon carrier, as transportation to the headquarters of this prisoner of war outfit. The driver was late in returning from another errand, so we sat around drinking tea with the English until he finally arrived. Then we learned that he was an Indian Ghurka, and couldn't speak a word of English; but from all reports he was the most dependable driver that could be found. About two o'clock in the afternoon we started out and drove for hours through narrow little muddy roads which seemed to lead nowhere. That they did lead nowhere was right, because about six o'clock that evening we pulled into the same place we had started from at two o'clock. Then we started all over again with new directions, and the somewhat peeved intelligence, officers reassured us that the driver would get us there this time, because


of his more detailed directions. It continued to rain, and the narrow muddy roads all seemed to go around in circles. As nearly as I could tell, our general direction seemed to be to the northwest, and as it grew darker, we grew closer and closer to the German artillery flashes, and I began to argue more and more with this driver in sign language, and by drawing picture maps on the windshield. Once he detoured a sign in the middle of the road stating that the road was still mined. The Ghurka, of course, couldn't read English, and drove right up the road beyond the sign where the mines were supposed to be planted. This was the last straw, so with some excited gestures on my part, we traded seats, and I took over the driving. His Hindustani seemed to be telling me that he was supposed to drive, and while I drove I had Paul convince him that we would get there sooner this way. Even though I didn't know the roads either, I could at least read the danger signs. By now we were hopelessly lost, and bright flashes could b e seen all around us from both the German and English guns. Actually we didn't know which side of the line we were on. (Note 4 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; In the midst of this bad situation I was able to hear bagpipe music in the distance. This was a great aid in knowing which way to go and I have loved bagpipe music ever since.) Casualties had not been extremely heavy in an advance as fast as this one had been, but there were many smashed vehicles along the roadside of both the German and British armies, some of them with their dead occupants. Later, we ran into a British patrol, and they had at least heard of the organization we were looking for. They gave us directions, and off we went on a new lead. Finally, we found the place where they had been, but they had moved several hours before, so with more haphazard directions, we started off again. It was midnight before we finally found the village where they were located, and I am sure in all our winding around, we had gone through this same village many times. They were using an old Italian hospital, and the prisoners were being held in the wards. We told a couple of the guards who we were, and they reluctantly dragged out some blankets for us, and we went to sleep in one of the empty wards. The next morning, the sun shone brightly, and it was interesting to see the kind of country we had been wandering around in the night before. We were near Todi, and looking out from the top of our hill, the country was beautiful. It was slightly rolling, and all divided into small patches of farm land with little villages or groups of buildings every several hundred yards. They had the prisoners divided into two groups. One group consisted of those who were known to be German soldiers, and the other group comprised those who-claimed to be forced labor workers for the Germans, or first forced into combat with the Germans through some other means. They had to be separated to prevent fights, but even so there was much arguing going on and throwing of rocks back and forth between the two barbed wire enclosures. About noon, I climbed into the cab of one of the prison trucks and we started off for Rome. The going was slow and rough, and I was so anxious to get back to the American forces that it made every day seem unduly long. Practically all the bridges were blown out and either had one-way by-passes, or one-way temporary spans.


As most of the traffic was going northward, we would sometimes have to wait at these bridge crossings several hours while convoys passed over moving toward the front. There were thousands and thousands of vehicles of every description moving northward carrying troop replacements and supplies of all kinds. It was hard to believe that an Army could be so large and still move with any degree of organizational efficiency at all. I had been issued an Indian uniform in Foligno, and someone had given me an English cap to wear, so with this sort of uniform, and my American accent, I was somewhat of a curiosity to the English troops and even to the German prisoners. The uniform consisted of khaki shorts with an extra long shirttail having large pockets in the bottom of each shirt tail. The shirt tail, of course, was to be worn outside of the shorts. In almost all of the Italian towns we passed through, the entire village would turn out to jeer at the German prisoners, sometimes carrying their jeering to such an extent that they would throw rocks and bricks at them. The Germans were packed in the truck bed so tightly that they couldn't move far enough to duck the blows, and some of them were injured quite seriously. I believe we were carrying forty head in the back of each truck. At one place, our truck had a blowout in the middle of a village, and while we changed the tire, it was all we could do to keep the Italians from tearing the German prisoners limb from limb. The Germans were obviously scared, but tried to pass the whole thing off by singing songs. Now we were a good safe distance from the front lines, and it was a wonderful feeling to be able to sit back and relax, and know that there was no danger nearby. After several days of this bouncing along over the rough roads, and making long detrours by doubling back over the road we had followed, we arrived at Narni, which is a large town not far from Rome. I was given quarters in Narni with the English officers in a large replacement depot, and Paul stayed with their enlisted men in an Italian gymnasium. That night, some of the officers invited me to have dinner with them in a building they used as a mess across the street. I found my way up the crooked narrow staircase to the third floor, and down the hall to the mess room. There were about a dozen officers here Including a couple of South African Indian officers, and Scotch Highlanders. I was quite impressed by the cordiality of all of them, and after our dinner, we had a good long bull session over a couple of jugs of wine. By midnight several had left, and I got up and excused myself. I groped my way down the dark hallway, and found the staircase. As I went down the first flight of stairs, I could see nothing but a rectangular square of light ahead of me, which I presumed to be the front door. Having forgotten how many flights of stairs I climbed when I first entered the building, I stepped out what I thought was the front door, and was soon to learn that it was a full length window from the second floor landing. I had expected to step down about six inches to the sidewalk, and instead, it must have been at least fifteen feet. I hit the sidewalk with a terrific jolt injuring my right foot again, and knocking me' practically senseless for about five minutes. I had just missed by several inches, one of the English officers who had had dinner with us.


He sat down on the curb next to me until I got my wind back, and was able to speak again. During our bull session we had been discussing the differences between the English and the Americans, and they had kidded me about all the peculiar characteristics of the Americans, and sitting there on the curb, the first thing I heard him say was, "As I was saying, these bloody Yanks will try anything once." Apparently he thought I had done this on purpose--being a crazy American, l could be expected to leave the building in such a manner. I still had my cane, and could now put it to good use again. I limped back across the street to my quarters. The next day I finished the journey into Rome, and there saw my first American soldier in several months. It seemed good to hear their voices again, and to be back with my own people. I borrowed some money and cabled my parents that I was safe. Already my whole experience was beginning to seem like an exaggerated nightmare.

“Dad made this photo with Chicago paper, reading glass and Bible” S.B.G Stew also enjoyed photography as a hobby; most of the photos in this article are by him – Ed.

(See next page for a postscript from Stew’s daughter – Ed)


EPILOGUE In 1962, when I was almost eleven, my father took my mother and me to Italy . I knew my father had been shot down during the war and that he had lived in the mountains and was very fond of the people who had helped him. I knew some of the stories, but I never could have imagined a place so different from any I had known. We rented a car in Rome and began to drive through the country. We eventually got to a town called Verchiano where the road seemed to end. My father wanted to go to Camino which was a few miles further into the mountains. He talked to someone and they offered to walk us there. Our guide had one donkey, which I got to sit upon. The

Diane Gilbert (L) and new friends in Camino 1962

track was steep and very muddy. I think someone must have gone ahead to announce us because when we arrived in Camino, the church bells were ringing and they had let all the children out of school. The entire village of possibly forty people was standing outside to greet us. They had not seen an outsider for eighteen years, and that last person had been my father. The older ones who remembered him were overjoyed, and they declared a holiday. We were taken to the mayor’s house and treated like royalty. A three-day feast and celebration followed and my father warned me to eat everything that was offered to me. There was much dancing to music from a wind-up phonograph. The adults drank wine, and I was very surprised to discover my father spoke Italian! Our hosts gave us their bed with their finest linen and hot rocks in the foot of the bed to warm our feet. There was only one water spout in town, and when my mother and I asked about the bathroom, the women led us to the cow barn. Life in this village had not changed much in four hundred years. I made friends with two girls a little older than I was, even though we could not converse. They were twelve and fourteen, and the fourteen year old girl was about to get married, which greatly impressed me. They had an atlas in their house and, by gesture, asked me to point out where I lived. I found the United States and pointed to Illinois , and then they flipped through the pages and pointed to Mars with what seemed to be a serious question. When we left, they offered to send some lunch along and my mother said,” Yes, that would be very nice.” Lunch was a live chicken! Everyone in Camino showed us great kindness and generosity and obviously thought of my father as a hero and a friend. It was a remarkable experience.

Diane Gilbert PAGE 94 ... TARPA TOPICS

“SOMETIMES THE NEED FOR SPEED IS OVERWHELMING” By Bill Kirschner <> Spring time, where the smell of castor oil, high octane fuel and nitrous oxide fill the air and a young mans fancy turns to speed. As a matter of fact he cannot think of anything else. Well maybe, a few other things like gardening etc. Springtime a few years ago a friend of mine called and asked if I would crew for him at a road race out of Ely Nevada. He didn’t elaborate but gave me a web site for something called the Silver State Classic Challenge,

Bill Kirschner

I went to the site and low and behold found that it is the fastest road race in the world and is in the Guinness World Book of Records as such. They have taken place mid May and September for the last twenty years. I thought it would be fun and signed on as crew member and course participant. Since this was his first race it was required that he and the car qualify at the NASCAR track in north Las Vegas a few days before the race. To save wear and tear on the new Corvette we towed it there with my pickup and his car trailer. Three days prior to the race he qualified on the road track inside the huge oval and obtained his race drivers certificate. Fast forward to January 2007 when an opportunity was presented to me to purchase a pristine 1999, titanium silver “Vette.” I have had several Mustangs, still have one plus a Ferrari and thought what do I need a GM piece of junk for. Then I drove it. It was a real shock when I discovered it is the best car I have ever driven and that includes Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche. The saying is and I believe it is true, “if you don’t want to own a Corvette, don’t drive one.” Now that I had a “Vette” why not race it. I contacted the SSCC in LAS for the May of ’07 race. Then I asked a few friends to crew for me. Captain’s Jim Winchester as navigator and Norm Gray as crew chief. Norm also races a midget that he build up and he knows his way around the track.


We towed the car to LAS and did the same drill my buddy did a few years earlier, except this time it was me, live and in color behind the wheel. Three days before race day it is show time 1. At the American Racing Academy track, they gave us a little ground school and explained “the rules of engagement” as it were. This was not a slam dunk, because any safety infractions at any speed, was cause for immediate disqualification. The instructions were to follow a pace car around the road course as close as possible but no tail gating which would also result in a DQ. We went around three times in groups of four cars, then around three times solo or until you felt comfortable and back to the pits. Then a professional race driver instructor got in, for your final check ride. The idea was to take him around the track as fast as you could go without spinning out, going off the pavement or scaring his helmet off. Handshake and back to pits. We were all, debriefed, no DQ’s and I obtained my race drivers certificate. What fun. It was then back to the staging area in LAS for the 137 race car caravan from LAS to Ely. About a four hour drive as we stopped several times to have the course danger areas explained to us by SSCC committee drivers. Once in Ely the required banquets and ice melting got under way, with an occasional “TARPAtini”. A “TARPAtini”, by way, is half gin and half vodka, concocted over the years by Captain Stu Nelson. They can be obtained at any TARPA convention. (See the items from Stu and Bob Dedman in this month’s “Grapevine” – Ed.) Up early on Friday morning for the cars second tech inspection as I had to have one prior to going to the LAS track. The SSCC is very serious about the safety everyone plus the cars. Therefore the car is gone over with a fine tooth comb for wear, tear, six point harness and required safety equipment for the speed category you are in, plus your fire retardant race suite, gloves, boots, arm restraints and helmet. For obvious reasons, they also pay very close attention to the tire type and pressure. Once the tech inspection is done and all the race emblems are in place we rendezvous at the local high school for a parade through town and giving rides to the kids. After the parade there is a mandatory driver navigator meeting and banquet. All of a sudden it is one day before show time ll. Sweaty palms time? Not yet. Being a rookie you can only enter speed category’s 95-100-105-110.mph. We were in the 105 mph class, which means we would cover ninety miles in 51.6 minutes, with a laser timer start clock and finish. Prior to race Jim, Norm and I flew out to Ely and rented a car to inspect the road and course. I didn’t want any surprises. Along the way Jim noted various reference points for a “how goes it chart” and created an excellent one. That way we could compare our actual times with where we were supposed to be in regards to time distance and adjust the speed accordingly. It was a requirement that certain tech speeds be observed. No slower then 80 mph and in our class no faster then 124 mph.


The course is Nevada hwy 318 and blocked off by NVHP for the race from 0500 to about 1600 from the towns of Lund to Hiko. The road itself is typical for this part of Nevada and runs down a valley with straight-a-ways of 12-14 miles and long sweeping turns until you get to a place called “the narrows.” That is a winding road going through a canyon for 2.8 miles. We planned 112 mph average to the narrows and go through it at 90 mph to be on our average of 105 coming out the other side with seventeen miles to run to the finish. Race day 0430: Shower, shave, into the racing gear, quick breakfast, last minute checks and leave for the start line at 0600. It is 23 miles and all cars caravan out. The cars are placed in their various assigned speed category spots for the start, which is about 0800 because the road is swept for debris prior to the start. There are no loose objects allowed in the car so all the luggage and car support items are left with the crew chief and his crew. They will catch up with us in LAS after the race. Creeping towards the start line which is marked by a huge yellow Shell Oil arch, the car, driver and navigator are inspected again and harnesses checked for tightness. Sweaty palms time? Not yet. I was so busy thinking of all the things we had do at the start line with only 30 seconds to do it. Also, after the start not burning rubber or spinning out on the first turn, and is less then a mile from the start. Each racer is launched 30 seconds apart. We are now on the line, zeroing out the GPS’s, odometer and rally clocks, one counting down and the other counting up and read the final checklist. Sweaty palms time? Nope. Not yet. 30 sec. and counting: 10 sec. looking at the starter and clock 3-2-1-0, green flag down and I punch it until just before she wants to burn rubber. First turn coming up and we are at 115 mph backing off to112 mph as planned for extra time until the narrows. I have the white line centered until the turns where I drift to the outside high and let her drift back low inside the turn and then out the other side. Referred to as “apexing the turns”. At these speeds you’re not steering, you’re using very light pressure almost like flying. Along the course the Course Participants call in your car number as you go flying by. Also, there are radar traps along the course to keep track of our tech speeds. I have a picture of Jim and me going through a radar trap at 120mph with a tech speed of 124 mph. I know it was a test. There are two fixed wing aircraft and one helicopter in the air at all times plus several EMT’S and ambulances at strategic locations. Approaching the narrows I backed her off to 90 mph as planned. The car handled beautifully through the winding turns as we came screaming out of the canyon, I asked Magellan “how’s the time?” Shouting over the roar of the engine, he says “I don’t have a clue.” Now it is sweaty palms time. All I had been doing so far had been hanging on, maneuvering and adjusting the speed as necessary. I glanced down at the GPS and saw


and average of 104, no idea where we were in regards to time with the finish line coming up fast. I went back to 115 mph, until the GPS read a 105 Average and I figured that would be close enough for government work. We screamed across the finish line 35 sec. early and came in third place first time out. What luck! Road reference points in Nevada get moved for all kinds of reasons. The reference point we were using coming out of the narrows was gone, hence Magellan’s predicament. In the September ’07 race we were in the 120 mph class and missed first place by 1.008 sec. and came in forth! We will be in the 130 mph class May ’08. It is not boring for the Course Participants either. In the May of ’07 race Norm, his wife Carol and Sam Mosely were at their assigned spot with my pickup and car trailer with radio in hand. After a while Carol thought she would look around and got out of the truck. Just as she steps out closes the door she hears rattle, rattle, rattle!! There a good size rattlesnake under the truck and in one smooth leap she was back inside. How she got the door open in mid air is still a mystery. Meanwhile Captain Norm is standing on the empty trailer, radio in hand and throwing rocks at the snake to keep it from going under the trailer. The snake makes the mistake of getting close to the left front tire. Norm hollers at Carol to fire up the truck and back up. Carol 1, snake 0. No sign of Sam during this whole episode. For you race fans, I am running Goodyear run flat “Y” 186 mph plus tires with dry nitrogen as in our AC. They have also been trued, where the tire and rim are spun at equivalent high speed and 1/32 shaved to make the tire round. Then it is balanced. Most “vetts” have a chip that shut them down at 187 mph. Mine is set at 210 mph. I don’t plan to get that high. Please come join us if “The Need for Speed Becomes Overwhelming.”

Jim Winchester (L) and Bill Kirschner




Barry on 1958: (Mar 2008 issue) “What a flood of memories”

March 1958, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association publishes the first AOPA PILOT. After half a century and 600 issues of “the best in aviation coverage”, it is the “world’s largest aviation magazine”. Not long after that first issue, our own Capt. Barry Schiff began writing for PILOT. Barry wrote: “My first article in PILOT appeared in the June, 1963 edition 45 years ago. I’ve been writing for the magazine ever

since.” Congratulations, Barry thanks for all the great material! We hope to be visiting with you in PILOT for many years to come. View the March 1958 issue at: <> The 50th anniversary issue is at: <> And visit with Barry at: <>

x FROM CHUCK TISEO LADY CONNIE The girl that every pilot that flew her fell in love with. The first Connie I flew was the 049 (no nose wheel steering) from that day on I was in love with Connie. From the L049 to the L-1649, she would take care of you if you were gentle with her. There is not a pilot that flew her that did not talk about her to their last days. Now that was a real lady. I am Captain Chuck Tiseo. I started with TWA August 14th 1942 (ICD-DC). It is a real joy to receive the TARPA TOPICS. My wife, Tomi (former TWA Hostess) and I attended the first TARPA convention in Phoenix (The Camel Back Inn) and many more meetings. It is great to see all the young men that I had the pleasure to fly with. Keep up the great work on “Topics”. Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers


Helen Calogredes April 26, 2008 If you ever passed through the TWA hangar at JFK, you met Helen. For more than 25 years her wonderful smile graced our presence in the chief pilot’s office. What you probably did not know was that she battled cancer for most of this time. Despite her agonizing treatments, she never complained and always left us appreciating how good life had been. Last summer, Capt. Rick Kisling and I visited Helen in her home. The mission was to present her with a check representing your generosity to a friend in need. Despite her weakened state, she reminisced in a humorous way and only conveyed positive thoughts. As Capt David Winterholler reflects, “she never had a negative word to say”. Intern Allen Cassino recalls Helen “sharing her beautiful sense of humor and love of life”. “Inspirational” is the word that comes to mind when I think of Helen. No matter what our perceived personal difficulties, here was a woman who made us smile, laugh and feel vibrantly alive, while she quietly felt unfathomable pain herself. Helen Calogredes was a true friend of the highest order. Hugh Schoelzel


FROM RUSSELL DROSENDAHL I am enclosing a couple of pictures of a Martin 404 that was (originally) purchased by TWA, Plane number 429. I flew it many times while based in Detroit (YIP) from 1952 through 1958. The airplane was purchased about fourteen years ago by Jeff Whitesell, a former Western pilot, now Delta. It has been based at the Camarillo airport at the Commemorative Air Force facility for all that time. Jeff is a member of the CAF, as am I. The pictures are (taken as) it’s leaving for Valle Airport in Arizona, which is about 18 – 20 miles south of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Jeff is donating it (for tax purposes) to the collection of other planes at this airport. Many years ago, as a TWA copilot on DC-3s, I flew through Valle and it had gravel runways. I understand some are now paved. I did get to fly (the Martin) some years ago while I still had my medical and it brought back many memories. The airplane arrived at Valle Airport on 29 February 2008.

“Clearonnaleff, Skip!” Yes, guys used to talk like that. x


“Here's a bit of history I picked up in my e-mail. Hope all is well with you.” Piece of Aviation History for May 1 1952 – TWA, BOAC and Air France launch the worldʼs first scheduled tourist-class flights on their transatlantic routes from New York, London and Paris Something went wrong in jet Crash, expert says


THIS MONTH WE FEATURE “THE BIG THREE HOLER” THE L-1011 TRISTAR Special thanks to CaptainTom Weitzel for the panel scans. It’s a big editing job if you don’t have good clean copy to start with, which he did not.





JOSE´ GRANT CELEBRATES 100TH BIRTHDAY Photos and text contributed by Captains Lou Burns and Hugh Schoelzel On Monday, March 24th, Capt. Jose Grant celebrated his 100th birthday. The party was held at Jose’s jewelry store in Stamford, Conn. Jose’ was born March 24, 1908 in Stockton, CA, four years later Jose’s family moved to Florida in an oxen-drawn cart. His birth preceded the rollout of Ford’s Model T by six months and WW I by six years. Jose’s first ride in an airplane was in 1925. In 1928 he headed for Texas where, three years later, he got his pilot license and landed a job with Allegheny Airlines. He went to Pennsylvania Central Airlines in 1939 and flew C-54s in the Air Transport Command during WW II. After the war Jose’ was sent to Saudi Arabia to fly the King’s DC-3, a gift from FDR and the beginning of Saudi Arabian Airlines, now Saudia. Jose’ came back home in 1947 and hired on with TWA. Jose’s interest in jewelry began when he met a Russian silver smith in Cairo who taught him how to make his famous “puzzle ring”. Jose’ retired in 1968 and for the past 40 years has continued the tradition of designing and creating those “puzzle rings”. Illuminati including President Truman and Elvis Presley have worn his rings. Jose’ told us he can still fly a mean ILS in his son’s Cessna 210 and we believe him. What an awesome guy! The party had been well planned by Lizzie Gray, and Capt. Hugh Schoelzel, who had put out a request for those still able, to wear their uniforms. Capt. Lum Edwards came all the way from CA. Accolades were received from people all over the state of Connecticut. Others attending included Capt.s Barry Hoffman, Dick Siano, Frank Scahill, Roger Wanamaker, Rick Kisling, Tom Quigly, Jerry Ardigo, Lou Burns and F/As Elaine Galloway, Marie LaCoeur and Priscilla Harrison. For more text and color pictures, go to: <>




“I received an e-mail the other day that mentioned doing an article for Grapevine about TWAers commuting vehicles. That immediately brought to mind a cartoon that Ed Schotting of PIT had featured in one of his TWA/PIT Retiree-Gram newsletters a while back.” “With a little help from Ed, he just located the cartoon and I subsequently found my copy of that issue. With Ed's permission, I have scanned a copy for you and cleaned it up a little to look better. Attached is the JPEG scan plus a PDF copy of same. The bottom of the graphic has a description written by Ed.”


Panda mating fails – Veterinarian takes over



Oh, the many happy hours we spent in this little play pen…





“(My) Stearman C3B is getting closer to flight. These pictures were taken Apr. 30, 2008. It should fly by the end of May.”

x FROM MARC BRECY <> Our TWA Seniors Club web master has added a neat 6 minute TWA “infomercial” from the ’40s featuring the B307 Stratoliner <> the exact page is <> And, this valuable “heads up” also came from Marc: “This is the most comprehensive collection of aircraft info that I have ever seen. Want to check out almost any airplane ever built in the World? Old, new, military, civilian? Browse this site for a few minutes. You will be amazed at what has been done in airplane design. The amount of info available is unbelievable. <> x FROM JACK MOSER …My thanks to all you guys. Classy magazine and classy people. As ever, Jack

12 yr. old “Class Clown” executed in China What timepiece has the fewest moving parts? What timepiece has the most moving parts? (See bottom of next page for answers)



FROM RICK BENNETT VIA EMAIL Do you recognize this airport? Most TWA pilots will. There is nothing special about the airport itself except the short runway with a dike at both ends. The main clue is the Rudy-Patrick grain elevator. This is landing north at MKC (runway. 01). How many times did we do that with a strong wind from the NW? I seem to recall that if we crossed Rudy-Patrick's at 1,100 MSL, we were right on. I borrowed this picture from the "old" Frontier Airlines web site. The caption with the picture suggested that they stayed high and fast to avoid a possible "sinker" over the river. That might have been acceptable in a Frontier CV580 or DC-3, but in a TWA 707-water wagon, that would have been looking for trouble. Does it look to you as though they are going to land half way down the runway?

x FROM BOB WALTER JAN 8, 2008 My best friend and darling wife died Jan 25, 2007. We were blessed to have over 63 years of marriage, four children an six grandchildren. We moved to Florida in 1990 and then to a continuing care community at the World Golf Village at the end of 2001. Doris had a seventeen year bout with Alzheimers. Our family has been very supportive. Best regardsâ&#x20AC;Ś Timepieces

Fewest parts

Most parts


x FROM BUD KUBALL JAN 6,2008 F/A Julie Paradise, her 94 year old father and I just returned from a two week holiday cruise aboard the Regent Seven Seas Mariner. (Julieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mom watched from above as she passed away in June 2007 at age 93.) We left L.A. 12/21 stopping at San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, Chiapas (Mexico), Punt arenas (Costa Rica), through the Panama Canal stopping at Cartagena (Colombia) and ending at Ft. Lauderdale on 1/4/08. It was our first transit through the Canal. When I drove my motor home to Panama in 2004 we only saw ships passing through the Canal from the restaurant at the Mira Flores locks. Our return to Las Vegas from Ft. Lauderdale was non-stop on a Spirit Airlines shiny new Airbus 319. They are giving Southwest a run for their money, price wise. By the way, I recommend Regent Seven Seas for future TARPA cruises.

x FROM FRED MORSE I'll be starting my 12th five year plan on December 29, 2007, no pin this year. Would much rather that TWA owned American as opposed to how it is. Anyway, things are still working although somewhat slower and sometimes with an occasional pain. The eyes can still see, and that's a plus. Wet macular in both eyes has been stalled by new medicine and are still correctable to 20/20. Memories come back every once in a while, such as being among the last to climb Cheops before it was stopped. I see Jim Smith at least once a month. Jim lives down the road in Freeport and puts in a lot of time at the food kitchen there. Kathv cooks for them with volunteers from church once a month, feeds 200 or so and I carry it there. I missed the 800 memorial this year but will try to go in '08. It is beautiful memorial and brings back more memories. I've become a Board Member of the Morse Society, a non-profit genealogical society. Found out I'm a direct male descendant of the first witch in the New World. Elizabeth Morse of Newburyport, MA., probably a lot of people won't be surprised at that. The best to everyone for the New Year, Fred

x FROM DOUG SHIFFLET PARADISE, CA. (To Ed Madigan) Just wanted you to know how much this TARPA member appreciates your efforts to keep our organization intact by the diligent handling of the financial end. Kindest regards, Doug Shifflet

Juvenile Court to Try shooting Defendant

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

School Shooter Inadvertently Starts 400 Meter Relay






x FROM JIM SCHMITT APRIL 23,2008 …I completed my Master Gardner Course during 2007 and now I “are an apprentice” – sort of like being a co-pilot, only with less pay. It’s a great program offered by all land grant colleges in the USA. We do a five month course on all sorts of gardening and then give back over the years in the form of presentations, Q&A (sessions), demonstrations of various gardening techniques (heavy on organic) and spend lots of time trying to infuse an appreciation for gardening and the land for little “kidlets” on up. As my father used to say about land, “Jim, they aren’t making any more of it.” Although he never got to see Honk Kong and now Dubai with their various land reclamation projects. My wife Carole still works part time for the State of NJ, Office of the Public Guardian. For myself, I am the only one in my town with a real fish cleaning station behind the garage. I hope to use it again tomorrow after a foray for panfish and maybe bigger. x


The martini, a favorite drink of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Franklin Roosevelt is reassuming its position as the beverage of choice for the elite of the civilized world. Since retiring from TWA, I vowed to contribute something to the economic and social system that has provided me with an interesting, remunerative career. The pursuit of the perfect martini, though not as glamorous as flying the big iron, appeared to be a worthwhile endeavor. The old “Someone has to do it” cliché applies here. My initial research centered on taste and appearance; serve them straight up; always use some vermouth. This is a class act; gin or vodka on the rocks is acceptable in the Bowery but not in polite society. An olive or onion is desirable-a twist of lemon mandatory. Watch it sprinkle like raindrops when you twist it. My years of devoted research finally led to the medical aspects of martini consumption. Several years ago, at the annual neurological symposium in Moscow, Dr. Ivan Skavinsky Gulag presented a paper defining the deleterious effects of vodka to the brain if taken excessively. Concurrently, in London, Lord Basil R. M. Smyth-Heathrow, assisted by Lady Gwenivere Ginebra, Liverpool concluded that an almost equal amount of gin could seriously damage the liver. There is general agreement that both are necessary for survival. If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, it May Last Awhile


To expand this data; here are two hypothetical situations: Subject A [alpha] retires from TWA at age 60 [what else] and enjoys two martinis a night. This equates to 730 a year or 7300 in ten years. For simplicity in this study leap years are ignored. His assumed limit is 7300 [in this case, vodka] martinis and he expires from brain damage at age 70. Note: Most TWA pilots can drink more than 7300 martinis in ten years, but empirical information, like flying capability over age 60, is unavailable. Subject B [bravo] also retires at age 60, consumes 7300 gin martinis and passes away at age 70 due to liver damage. Now, supposing that they follow the Nelson recommendation, the Tarpatini, and apply a 50/50 mix of the two beverages, they have immediately doubled their respective life spans, inasmuch as it takes 20 years to absorb their limit of both ingredients. Put another way, if x denotes gin and y denotes vodka, it is better to drink 2 x+y’s than 2x’s or 2 y’s. This formula is quite adaptable because you can assign a value to either x or y as it pertains to your individual tolerance. In conclusion, [about time] the Tarpatini tastes better, gives some meaning to the cocktail hour, and keeps you around the house for another ten years. Your heirs may not like that aspect of it.

x FROM BOB DEDMAN MORE ON THE TARPATINI When I was a very junior co-pilot, I could not and would not buy expensive liquor since money was tight. Always have loved my martini's and one day at a liquor store in NY, the owner mentioned to me, if you like Beefeaters and cannot afford it, here's what to do. Mix half gin and half Vodka..the taste of gin is still there but it is tempered by the smoothness of vodka. I have been drinking my martini's that way for well over 40 years. When Stu Nelson from Tarpa mentioned his Tarpatini years ago, it was like being home again and now since I am Director of Hospitality, I mix a good Tarpatini or any other way you might like it. The main thing is....come to the Conventions and we will serve you well.

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Is there a ring of debris around Uranus?

Miners refuse to work after death

War Dims Hope for Peace



Anecdotes – good “hangar flying” stories Biographies Photos and art work Interesting bits of information Interesting web sites Anything else you think fellow TARPAns might find interesting or entertaining


MEMOIRS OF A B-29 PILOT By Charles R. Reyher Major, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) Captain TWA (1947-1982) TARPA Member Merriam Press, Bennington, VT 228 pages, photos documents Paper back $19.95 Hardcover $34.95 order at <> This is a first person account, from a pilot’s perspective, of the WW II air war in the far east and a most remarkable aircraft; the B-29 “Superfortress”. With the U.S. and Japan at war, the world entered a new era of global warfare with no aircraft with the range and payload capabilities of reaching the enemy’s homeland. The development and production of the Boeing B-29 became one of the highest priority. The U.S. spent over three billion dollars on it, more than it spent on the entire Manhattan Project. There were 3,960 aircraft built between 1943 and 1946 – excluding 847 Soviet Tu-4 “Bull”s, an exact reverse-engineered copy which Russia and China flew well into the 1960s. Anyone who flew “big pistons” (or just is interested in them) will like Chuck’s account of the plane and the mission: “…An uncontrollable engine fire could even shed a wing. The engines were newly developed and huge at 2200 horsepower each with four-bladed propellers over 16 feet in diameter. The problem was with engine cowling, causing overheating, and another tendency was to “swallow valves” (cylinder failure)”….”Since the 315th Wing was stripped of all guns except the tail gun, we had two gunners each without guns. They were called Scanners and kept the engines on their side of the aircraft under constant observation. We had no fire warning devices in the cockpit, nor could we see the engines from the cockpit. When over Japan the Scanners were necessary observers for enemy fighter attack or an impending side collision with another B-29 on its own individual attack.” The B-29 must have been a lot like the L-1049 Connie; MGTW B-29 - 133,500#, Connie - 137,500#; the big difference would have been in performance, with the B-29 totaling 8,800 hp (4 x 2,200) vs. the Connie with R-3350 DA turbo compounds rated at 3,400 hp x 4 = 13,600! Chuck tells of 2,400 emergency landings at Iwo Jima by Air craft returning from Japan in the summer of 1945. “…(they) were brave men who had a difficult job which they performed with great skill and courage.” And, the same can be said of the author. Captain and Mrs. Reyher JJH







______________ AFTER


READING _________________

1. RESUME NORMAL BREATHING 2. SEND ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING TO THE GRAPEVINE ED.: ANY AVIATION RELATED ITEMS YOU COME ACROSS (ESP. AIRLINE, ESP. TWA) I – INCLUDING PHOTOS & GRAPHICS! ANY INTERESTING WEB SITES YOU COME ACROSS A PARAGRAPH OR TWO ON YOUR BEST TRIP, YOUR WORST TRIP, YOUR FIRST TRIP, YOUR LAST TRIP, YOUR MOST MEMORABLE TRIP, JUST LOOK AT YOUR OLD LOG BOOKS, THEY’LL GIVE YOU IDEAS! ANY NEWS ABOUT OUR OLD BUDDIES. WHAT YOU’RE DOING – HOBBIES, ORGANIZATIONS, ANY THING… RECOLLECTIONS OF UNUSUAL AND INTERESTING CREWMEMBERS. ANYTHING THAT YOU THINK WOULD FIT WELL INTO THE GRAPEVINE. INCLUDE YOUR WHOLE NAME, NICK NAME, YEARS AT TWA AND WHERE YOU’RE LOCATED – AND IF YOU HAVE AN INTERESTING IDEA FOR AN ARTICLE, BY ALL MEANS, WRITE ONE, OR AT LEAST PASS ON YOUR IDEA. __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________add as many pp as you like – or : Jeff Hill 9610 Hidden Ln Woodstock, IL 60098



MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION All former TWA cockpit crewmembers are eligible for membership in TARPA. Annual dues are $50.00. If you wish to have two addresses listed for Directory or Topics mailing, please provide months of the year at each location along with the appropriate phone number. Name ___________________________________ Spouse ______________________ Address 1 (From _________ to _________ ) Street _______________________________________________________________ City ____________________________ State ___________ Zip __________________ Telephone ( ___ ) ____ ______ E-Mail ______________________________________

Address 2 (From _________ to _________ ) Street _______________________________________________________________ City ____________________________ State ___________ Zip __________________ Telephone ( ___ ) ____ ______ E-Mail ______________________________________ Capt. ƛ F/O ƛ F/E ƛ Other ƛ _______________ Retirement mo/yr ___________________ Signature ____________________________________ Date ____________________

TARPA TOPICS SUBSCRIPTION For our friends who do not meet our membership requirements, TARPA offers regular subscriptions to our magazine, TARPA TOPICS. Simply fill out the application above, indicate “subscriber”, and make your check out for $40.00.

Make checks payable to TARPA Return form to:

Ed Madigan Tarpa Secretary/Treasurer P. O. Box 3565 Incline Village, NV 89450



Belle Meade Plantation


TWA Active Retired Pilots Assn.