@DivaMarie I read the article years ago but remember he was hailed as a hero and couldn’t believe Japan had lost the war when he saw all of the gleaming cities!
@golddigger14s That is awesome. Do you know the name of the plane? If it had one.
My dad had a Cessna 172 so I grew up flying. From before I was born, up until the mid to later 80’s, down past our hanger at my local airport, beyond the Ag-Cats, Pawnee’s, and a pair of Thrush spray planes that were in current service Reeder Flying Service had 8-10 disused but complete TBM’s that sat out on the flight line. They had been converted to use as spray planes somewhere in the 50’s I’m guessing.
When I was 12 or so, PB Blaster in hand, I walked out and got in the rear side door of one, crawled through the tunnel and got into the cockpit so I could unlock and open the canopy. I eventually got into every one of them, lubed up the canopies, rudder pedals, stick etc. and got them working like a dream. Good fun playing in them as a kid and even as a young adult. LOL
Way down at the far end of the tarmac, past all of them was a Flying B-26 Marauder. I always wanted to go down an get in it but it was off limits when I was little and it was gone by the time I was a bit older in the late 70’s.
In addition to playing in the TBM’s as a kid, as an adult I have gotten to be aboard a B-17, B-24, the B-25 (Maid in the Shade), and the B-29 ( FiFi )
I got to sit at the Norton bomb site in the nose of “FiFi”. Wish I could have gotten a pic like this one with me sitting in the Glass.
Unfortunately the last flying B-26 crashed in 1995:
@golddigger14s That is very interesting. After reading your link I remember that crash happening. I used to be a member of the CAF at one time. The B-29 “FiFi” also belongs to them.
I should amend my previous post a little bit.
I actually never saw the one that I referred to flying. I did see it running however, and to my knowledge it was flown in to our airport ( I have no idea when. It was there as far back as I can remember) and then was flown out again sometime in the late 70’s.
I will have to do a bit research and maybe I can find more specific details as to her history and eventual whereabouts or demise. Maybe it still exists in a collection as a static display aircraft somewhere.
My dad has passed away, along with all the other old timer pilots that I knew growing up, so at this point I’m not even sure who to ask about it these days.
@jeffing65 isn’t the CAF called something else now? I wonder if everyone still has the rank/title of colonel?
Commemorative Air Force ( formerly Confederate Air Force)?
@dave67 ah…I was just thinking with the times they might have changed their name. Guess I was right.
This is what I found online as far as CAF Colonel?
CAF Colonel…$200.00. As a CAF Colonel, you are eligible to: (1) receive a CAF name tag, wings and commission certificate, (2) become a member of a CAF Unit or Aircraft Support Team, (3) fly in CAF air craft on a space-available basis as qualified crew, (4) receive the monthly member magazine Dispatch and GiftShop discounts.
CAF Preservation Colonel…$300.00. Your additional support as a Preservation Colonel will assist in the preservation of the CAF’s collection of World War II artifacts. Includes the same benefits as CAF Colonel.
@dave67 man you are quick with that internet search!
Years and years ago we had a family friend who was a member. He owned a PT19 and an AT6 that he regularly flew out of Chico.
Doing some research the other day, and there is one remaining flying B-26.
@golddigger14s Cool! I haven’t had time to do any research on the one that was here. Or any other research for that matter. I haven’t forgotton about it and still have it on my backlog list though. LOL
I did come across some more pics though. A B-24 I was on. "Diamond ‘LiL’ and an interior shot. Also a shot of the Norton bomb site and out the nose of the B-29 “FiFi”.
I have this hanging in my basement. My Great Uncle. Staff Sargent Lawrence Arent, KIA in France, January 16th, 1945. Obviously I never had the opportunity to meet him, and those that did are long gone also. From what I was told in my youth, he flushed out a den of German snipers, hense the Bronze Star for Valor, awarded posthumously, as well as the Purple Heart. I wish I had known him.
@Jperr That is very cool.
I also noticed your last name. My home town, Twin Falls Idaho, was founded by I. B. Perrine. He is a noted early settler and responsible for the canal and reservoir system that transformed the Magic Valley.
Not that I would be aware of. Although, I. B. a Perrine. Lol
That has been framed probably since 1946 or earlier. Way longer than I’ve been alive. By his mother, or my Great Grandmother if you will. That’s why the purple heart is crooked, it was in storage for years, not displayed as it should be. Part of me wants to take it apart to see if there are other documents behind there that she felt were important, but not really displayable. But a bigger part of me says to leave it alone. It’s been like that for 73 years now, so don’t mess with it.
@Jperr That’s a good thought. That would be interesting if there were more documents. It was obviously very important for your family. You never know what you might find.
Do you know if it was it framed by family? It would be reasonable to possibly include other related items, by your Great Grandmother for instance.
@jeffing65, I have no idea who or how it was framed. It looks professional, but I really don’t know. People took a lot more pride in what they did back then, coupled with the fact that this was her son, she could have just done an equisit job on it. The documentation of the Purple Heart IS displayed, but not the Star, and that doesn’t nake sense to me. I guess if his mother did it it would be whatever was more important to HER at the time. Her son was killed, and the Purple Heart kind of commemorated this more maybe? This has caused some (small, From in-laws, not blood)debate that this is NOT a Bronze Star, but a mother’s gold star, commonly displayed at the time. From my Grandmother’s story, it IS a Bronze Star. My visual reasearch agrees with that. But it would be nice to see the documentation on it. But all this happened about 25 to 30 years before I was even thought of. So I have no idea.
@Jperr I believe that IS a bronze star as well. From what little I know the mothers gold star was a window service flag.
and in later years (beginning in 1967) became a lapel pin.
I will do some more research as time allows and see what records might be found in archives.
If you know any other info that would be helpful maybe. What infantry, brigade or ?. I can’t read what the document says in the pic.
@Jperr Yes, the other one is the bronze star medal.
@jeffing65 I believe the gold star pins were available from at least the 40’s. I have two blue star pins from the 40’s and see no reason why the gold star wouldn’t be too.
For those who don’t know about these star flags:
They were started during WW1. The blue star honors the living service member during combat and the gold star honors the service member that was killed during combat. With a maximum of either four or five stars per flag and can have both blue/gold stars on it at the same time. Multi-star flags were very prominent during WW2 with all those large families that had multiple siblings serving at the same time.
In the U.S., the last Sunday in Sept is dedicated as the “Gold Star Mother’s Day”.
The official government issued Gold Star lapel button/pin was originally created in 1947 (and retroactive to WW1) and revised in 1966.
The Next of Kin pin was approved in 1973.
Unofficial but widely accepted blue star pins aka: mother’s pin, son in service pin, sweetheart pin, etc. There are many variations but most resemble the blue/gold star banner flags.
Vintage unofficial gold star pin.