99th Bomb Group Historical Society - Thunder From The South

What's New

ACTION: 15th Air Force Bomb Groups Reunion September 15 – 18, 2022 Wichita, Kansas Registration Information
June 19, 2022

The 99th Bomb Group Historical Society (BGHS) supports and looks forward to this opportunity to participate and "Tag a long" in the 15th Air Force Bomb Groups Reunion September 15 – 18, 2022 Wichita, Kansas. We have been working closely this past year with Dave Blake, the Reunion Committee Chair, to share with you, our 99th BGHS membership, the opportunity to gather with our few remaining WWII combat Veterans to share old, and to make new, memories and preserve the history these gentlemen lived through, and for which all sacrificed.

If you plan to attend, please inform the 99th BGHS by email so we can try and coordinate an opportunity for our 99th BGHS members to get together at the Reunion in Wichita, Kansas.

If you have attended a previous WWII Army Air Force Reunion you already know what a unique and priceless experience this is to meet the Veterans and the family and friends of Army Air Corps Veterans who share a common passion and respect to learn more of the actual conditions and stories of WWII air combat and ground support.

For those who have not attended, we encourage you to give serious consideration to making plans to attend as soon as possible what may be one of the last opportunities to meet in person these Airmen of the "Greatest generation!"

Basic information is provided below, and the detailed Itinerary, Registration Form and Hotel Information are provided as linked files to this article.

LOCATION:
Wichita Marriott
9100 Corporate Hills Drive
Wichita, Kansas 66207
RATE: $102 + taxes per night

POC:
Dave Blake
461st Bomb Group Association
Fifteenth Air Force Bomb Groups
Reunion Committee Chair
Cell: 913-523-4044
Email: reunion@461st.org

DOCUMENTS:

ATTN: US will bring home and identify remains of unknown soldiers from only American cemetery in Africa
June 16, 2022

See the full article from KITV4 Island News in Hawai’i. »

NOTE: Although the 99th BGHS is not aware of any 99BG Veterans being buried at the American Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia, we wanted to provide this information in case there are cases we are not aware of.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) is who would perform (or have performed) any remains disinterment to bring back and attempt to identify. When crash sites are found with possible service member remains, they are the ones who send teams out to attempt and recover any remains and to then have them identified. See dpaa.mil for contact information.

New Book Review: Richard Eager - A Pilot's Story
May 7, 2022

A new book review of Richard Eager - A Pilot's Story by Colonel Richard Ernest Evans and Barbara Evans Kinnear can be found on our Information page.

In this book you are told the story of the Pilot, Captain Richard Evans, in his own words and the details of the missions he flew with Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, and in combat with the 99th BG.

This thoroughly researched book, written by Evans's daughter based upon his original rough draft, provides a detailed insight into the journey Richard Evans made during his life and Air Force career. Members of the 99th BGHS will find this detailed information very interesting, especially concerning the leadership of Colonel Upthegrove, and how he commanded. Captain Evans story also provides his view of how many of our 99th BG Veterans made their way from their homes through the Army Air Force training program as Aviation Cadets.

Read The Full Review »

SUPPORT The 99th Bomb Group Historical Society (BGHS)
  1. RENEW YOUR 2022 Membership DUES $35
  2. Buy Your Christmas Gifts NOW! 99th BGHS Supply Store!
  3. Make a Donation through "The Friends of the 99th"
December 12, 2021

Dear 99th BGHS Members,

Christmas and New Year holidays will soon be here and now is a great time to consider doing something for the 99th BGHS and for yourself, family and friends!

  1. Renew your Membership Dues $35.
  2. For those who have contacted us wishing to make a memorial financial contribution to the 99th BGHS in memory of your 99th BGHS Veteran, please see our Friends of the 99th for details, and note on your check your Veterans Name.
  3. Look at our 99th BGHS Supply Store list for the various 99th BG memorabilia we have for sale that perhaps you might want for yourself, or would make a great gift for family and friends! Orders received by NLT December 10, 2021 should be processed to be mailed and arrive before Christmas.

    Our new design "Diamondbacks Cap" at $25 (including shipping) is one of our best selling items, second only to our oversized hard cover history book "The Diamondbacks" of which we have a limited supply left at $75 (including shipping), and they are subject to quantity and membership restrictions. NOTE: Regretfully, due to increasing postage and packaging costs, we will be increasing the price to $80 for the book "The Diamondbacks", and $30 for the Diamondbacks Cap, on all orders postmarked or received after December 15, 2021.

    The 99th BG Squadron patches and pins are also in demand. Several 99 BGHS members have bought multiple patches for use in the display cases honoring their 99th BG Veteran, for wear on their own A2 or Bomber jackets. We are especially honored for those purchased to be worn by family members currently serving in our Armed Forces as remembrance of their Grandfathers service in the 99th BG to protect our freedom.

    Let us know how you are honoring the memory and service of your 99th BG Veteran by sending in to us photos of your display, or your story of how you remember and honor your 99th BG Veteran. I personally have purchased and donated copies of the "The Diamondbacks" to several public and service organizations in my home town including the Public Library, the Historical Society, and Veterans Post.

    With the Holidays coming soon, many of you will be having company and are cleaning up, and clearing out, your homes to make room for visiting family and friends. During this process, consider donating 99th BG related items to the 99th BGHS if they no longer have a place in your home, or with other family members, or just send us high quality electronic files of the photos, letters, records, memorabilia, etc. as Friends of the 99th. If you have any questions about donations, or any other 99th BGHS matters, please contact Mr. Gary T. Staffo directly to discuss.

    Best wishes to each and all for a very joyous holiday season filled with good health, good friends, and good times!
Sergeant Morton Carlis, 32754502 (1924–1944)
December 8, 2021

We encourage you to read an interesting new article about the life, military career and final mission of Sergeant Morton Carlis, 32754502 (1924–1944), 346th Bomb Squadron, 99th Bomb Group, U.S. Fifteenth Air Force. The article was written and shared with us by Lowell Silverman of DelawareWWIIFallen.com.

Read The Full Article »
ACTION: 15th Air Force Bomb Groups Reunion September 09 – 12, 2021 Albuquerque, NM Registration Information
July 22, 2021

The 99th Bomb Group Historical Society (BGHS) supports and looks forward to this opportunity to participate and "Tag a long" in the 15th Air Force Bomb Groups Reunion September 09 – 12, 2021 Albuquerque, NM. We have been working closely this past year with Dave Blake, the Reunion Committee Chair, to share with you, our 99th BGHS membership, the opportunity to gather with our few remaining WWII combat Veterans to share old, and to make new, memories and preserve the history these gentlemen lived through, and for which all sacrificed.

If you plan to attend, please inform the 99th BGHS by email so we can try and coordinate an opportunity for our 99th BGHS members to get together at the Reunion in Albuquerque.

If you have attended a previous WWII Army Air Force Reunion you already know what a unique and priceless experience this is to meet the Veterans and the family and friends of Army Air Corps Veterans who share a common passion and respect to learn more of the actual conditions and stories of WWII air combat and ground support.

For those who have not attended, we encourage you to give serious consideration to making plans to attend as soon as possible what may be one of the last opportunities to meet in person these Airmen of the "Greatest generation!"

Basic information is provided below, and the detailed Agenda, Registration Form and Hotel Information are provided as linked files to this article.

LOCATION:
Sheraton Uptown Hotel
2600 Louisiana Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
RATE: $118 + taxes per night

POC:
Dave Blake
461st Bomb Group Association
Fifteenth Air Force Bomb Groups
Reunion Committee Chair
Cell: 913-523-4044
Email: reunion@461st.org

DOCUMENTS:

New Book Review: The Broken Wings of Zlatibor
June 22, 2021

A new book review of The Broken Wings of Zlatibor by Dejan Deric can be found on our Information page.

This is the story of the rescue of ten 99th Bomb Group 347th Bomb Squadron airmen from the B-17 # 42-5340 from behind enemy lines in the Zlatibor region of the former Yugoslavia in 1944. Overall, I found it a very interesting, informative, and enjoyable read.

Read The Full Review »
ACTION: UPDATE - EAA B-17G Aluminum Overcast TOUR CANCELLED IN FL FOR 2021
April 22, 2021

The 99th BGHS was informed that EAA has cancelled the B-17G Aluminum Overcast tour in Florida for 2021.

We regret that our 99th BGHS President, Phil Moyer, a WWII Combat Veteran B-17 pilot will not be available to meet in person at Vero Beach airport the weekend of April 23-25, 2021.

However, mark your calendars for September 09-12, 2021 as the 461st Bombardment Group will be hosting a "15th Air Force Reunion" in Albuquerque, NM.

If all goes as planned perhaps we will be able to have Phil and other WWII Veterans in attendance.

For more detailed information check the following link: 2021 Reunion (461st.org)

If you have questions, call Dave Blake at (913) 523-4044
or E-Mail: reunion@461st.org

ACTION: Phil Moyer 99 BG 348 BS WWII Combat Pilot In Person at Vero Beach, FL April 23 - April 25, 2021
April 13, 2021

The 99th Bomb Group Historical Society (BGHS) is honored to announce that Philip F. Moyer, 99BG 348BS Veteran Pilot, and President of the 99th BGHS, will be attending the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Aluminum Overcast (B-17G) Tour at Vero Beach, FL the weekend of April 23 - 25, 2021. This is your opportunity to meet in person a WWII combat Veteran to hear his story and ask questions alongside the EAA B-17G Aluminum Overcast.

If you have never had a flight in the B-17 to personally experience the sound, vibrations, smell, and view from this historic WWII "Flying Fortress," now is the opportunity to book your reservation for a flight with the EAA. Each flight experience is approximately one hour, of which about 24 minutes will be in the air. Once the B-17 is airborne, you will be allowed to walk about the bomber. Take time to visit the various compartments of the aircraft and feel what conditions may have been like for those bravely serving in World War II. Here is the link for you to sign up now for $475 or less.

B17 Aluminum Overcast Tour (eaa.org)

Phil who is 96, flew his first mission out of Foggia, Italy on October 12, 1944, and wrapped up his 35th combat mission on April 12, 1945. Phil flew his missions in a B-17G Flying Fortress. Among other targets, Jim flew 7 missions to Vienna, Austria, and multiples to Blechhammar, Germany and Linz, Austria which were well known as heavily fortified targets. He also participated in bombing missions over Vienna, Austria, and Regensburg and Berlin, Germany that were known for their extensive flak defenses.

Please take advantage of this vanishing opportunity to meet one of the last of the 99th BG WWII combat Veterans. After the War, Phil went on to an amazing career as an architect making significant contributions to NASA for the Space Program facilities at the Kennedy Space Center. Phil is truly an example of America's "Greatest Generation" and everything they did to preserve our freedom.

Philip F. Moyer 99BG 348BS Veteran Pilot Assumes Presidency of the 99th BGHS
January 5, 2021

The 99th Bomb Group Historical Society is honored to announce that Philip F. Moyer, 99BG 348BS Veteran Pilot, is the new President of the 99th BGHS. Phil has served previously for many years as the Vice-President and has provided wise and sage advice and comments over the years to help us to continue to serve the 99th BG Veterans, our membership, researchers, and family and friends of the 99th BG veterans.

Phil who is 96, flew his first mission out of Foggia, Italy on October 12, 1944, and wrapped up his 35th combat mission on April 12, 1945. Phil would fly his missions in a B-17 G Flying Fortress. Among other targets Jim flew 7 missions to Vienna, Austria, and multiples to Blechhammar, Germany and Linz, Austria which were well known as heavily fortified targets. He also participated in bombing missions over Vienna, Austria, and Regensburg and Berlin, Germany that were known for their extensive flak defenses.

After the War Phil returned home where he became a renowned architect and continued to make significant contributions in service to his country on numerous government projects. Just last year he was recognized and honored for his work in designing and constructing the largest single-story building in the world, the Vehicle Assembly Building at the NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC). He was one of the speakers at the KSC 50th Anniversary of the Moon landing ceremony last year.

Phil is a member and active with the "Florida Aero Club," the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Vero Beach Chapter, and the "Quiet Birdmen." We are fortunate that Phil has these groups as an extended family of over 100 fliers and their families which look out for him and enjoy his company.

Please take a moment to send Phil a card or an email letting him know that you recognize and appreciate the contributions Phil has made with his 99th BG service to his country, and with the 99th BGHS as a contributing Board member.

Mr Phil Moyer
2150 Indian Creek Blvd E – Apt B304
Vero Beach, FL 32966-1382
Email: phileaster420@aol.com

Book Review Added To Our Information Page
January 5, 2021

NEW! Book Review: "The Second Most Powerful Man In the World" the Life of Admiral William D. Leahy, Roosevelt's Chief of Staff

This is a must read book for anyone who wants to know the facts behind why the Mediterranean Campaign was conducted, the overall strategy for this region, how it was supported, and most importantly how the decisions were made that effected the 395 combat missions that the 99th Bomb Group flew during WWII.

Read The Full Review »
ACTION: Final Mission January 15, 2020 for WWII 99BG 346BS Veteran and 99thBGHS Board Member Fred Troy
September 26, 2020

Our 99th Bomb Group Historical Society (BGHS) Board Member, Fred Lee Troy, a 99BG 346BS veteran flew his final mission on January 15, 2020.

He was trained as a B-17 bomber pilot and in two and a half years flew 35 combat missions over Germany and Europe. In 1945, at age 22, Fred was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and four Air Medals. Fred's WWII memoir, Flak Storm, is available on Amazon.

You can view his obituary with additional information at this link.

On behalf of the 99th BGHS Board of Directors, Officers and membership we ask that you take a moment to send his family a card or an email letting them know they are in your thoughts and prayers. Please take this action to recognize and appreciate the contributions Fred has made with his 99th BG service to his country, and with the 99th BGHS as a contributing Board member.

Mrs Carolyn Troy
11401 Drysdale Avenue
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Email: FTROY@aol.com

Fred's wise and sage advice and comments over the years helped us continue to serve the 99th BG Veterans, our membership, researchers, and family and friends of the 99th BG veterans.

Our thoughts are with his family in his final mission as he joins the 99th BG Veterans who have gone before him. We hope that his family is comforted knowing that he is free from pain and that the 99th BGHS will keep his memory alive in our hearts.

Read his obituary »

Book Review Added To Our Information Page
September 26, 2020

NEW! Book Review: "Collateral Damage" – A Journey in Dealing with Combat-related PTSD

This book is written by the son of a 99th BG 416 BS Veteran Navigator whose father flew 50 combat missions out of North Africa. George is also a combat veteran and in this personal story he tells us about his personal experience with combat related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during and after the Vietnam War, but more importantly the effect of his father's WWII undiagnosed PTSD (and his own) on his life and that of his family. This is a story about finding peace for one's soul in the midst of a battle with PTSD. Although the WWII Veterans may have been the "Greatest Generation," as George's story highlights to us, they also were one of the largest undiagnosed and untreated group of PTSD patients who came back home and struggled to deal with this while marrying and raising a family.

Read The Full Review »
ACTION: Final Mission August 23, 2020 for WWII 99BG 347BS Veteran and 99th BGHS President William Crockett
August 25, 2020

Our 99th Bomb Group Historical Society (BGHS) President, William (Bill) Crockett, a 99BG 347BS veteran who flew 9 combat missions as a B-17G Flying Fortress radio operator in the Mediterranean theater from February 12, 1945 until late April 1945 lost his final battle with cancer on August 23, 2020, with his wife Diane by his side.

You can view his obituary with additional information at this link.

On behalf of the 99th BGHS Board of Directors, Officers and membership we ask that you take a moment to send his family a card or an email letting them know they are in your thoughts and prayers. Please take this action to recognize and appreciate the contributions Bill has made with his service to his country, and with the 99th BG as a contributing member, officer, and President of the 99th BGHS.

Mrs William Crockett
7202 Blair Lane
Fox Lake, IL 60020-1026
Email: bdcrockett@att.net

Bill's wise and sage advice and comments over the years helped us continue to serve the 99th BG Veterans, our membership, researchers, and family and friends of the 99th BG veterans.

Our thoughts are with his family in his final mission as he joins the 99thBG Veterans who have gone before him. We hope that his family is comforted knowing that he is free from pain and that the 99th BGHS will keep his memory alive in our hearts.

Read his obituary »

99BG 346BG WWII Veteran James F. Mullen Final Mission May 2, 2020
May 8, 2020

Please keep the family, and friends of James Mullen in your thoughts, and prayers. Jim who was 96 passed away on May 2, 2020. Jim was a tail gunner with the 346th squadron, and was part of the Robert Jaenisch crew. He flew his first mission out of Foggia, Italy on March 30, 1944, and wrapped up his 50 on July 30, 1944. James would fly most of his missions on a B-17 G series plane 42-32068 "068 Heaven Can Wait." Among other targets Jim flew 7 missions to Ploesti, Romania, & multiples to Wiener Neustadt which were well known as heavily fortified targets. He also participated in the first Shuttle Bombing missions (Frantic Joe I) to Russia, landing in Poltava, Ukraine on June 2, just days before the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944.

99th BGHS and the Pandemic War - Make Your Own Face Mask
April 13, 2020
All of us with the 99th Bomb Group Historical Society (BGHS) hope that each and all of you, especially our WWII Veterans, are safe and in good health.

With that in mind we want to share with you this video which shows how you can easily make a face mask with materials you probably have at home.

Watch Here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mai-UqdNRi8

You can substitute regular paper towels if you do have the stronger shop towels. As a safety engineer by profession for over 40 plus years, I thought this video was well done and covers some important points about how to get a good seal. Just think back to WWII when each of our 99 BG Veterans flew off on a mission, once they got above 10 to 12 thousand feet, they put on their oxygen masks, sometimes for a few hours!

Therefore when you put your face mask on, and it gets a little harder to breathe, you feel the warmth of your breath, and the pressure of the mask and rubber bands, take a minute to think of your 99th BG Veteran and appreciate this experience and memory.

Thank you for your continuing support of the 99th BGHS and our mission to help preserve and spread the history of the 99th BG and the Veterans who fought and sacrificed to preserve our freedom.

Stay safe!

Book Review Added To Our Information Page
February 16, 2020

NEW! Book Review: "Over There" A Soldier's Letters Home From World War II

One of our 99th BGHS services to our membership is providing brief book reviews of matters of interest to our 99th BGHS members. We welcome your feedback and comments on our reviews, and you may send us your 99th BGHS or B-17 related book or others for consideration for review and publication on our Website. We currently have two books we plan to review later this year. Our latest review "Over There" A Soldier's Letters Home From World War II is a privately published book telling the WWII 99 BG 347BS story of William (Steve) J. Schultz (seen above) through his letters and related materials. These letters and materials cover the early period of the 99th BG in North Africa from June through December 1943. This is the period for which the official records of the 99th BG have never been fully recovered. This story is one that I believe many members of the 99th BGHS will find informative and enjoyable, especially for those whose family members also flew these early combat missions out of North Africa "beyond fighter escort."

See The Review »
ATTENTION: 99th BGHS Address Change!
February 13, 2020
If any of you sent email correspondence after December 01, 2019, please resend to the new address below. My apologies if you did not receive a response from me. My previous email address was disconnected on 12/31/2019 and email being sent there are not being forwarded to me. Please note the NEW address for all 99th BGHS contact:

Gary T. Staffo
99th Bomb Group Historical Society
2nd Vice President
6226 Garden Road
Springfield, VA 22152-1504
Email Address: 99BombGroupHS@gmail.com

99BG 346BS WWII Veteran Alan Axtell Final Mission January 20, 2020
February 5, 2020
The 99 BGHS was saddened to learn of the "final mission" of 99BG 346BS WWII Veteran Alan Axtell on January 20, 2020. On behalf of the 99th Bomb Group Historical Society (BGHS) our sincere sympathy and condolences on the passing of Alan. It was a privilege for us to have the opportunity to meet and spend a few hours with him at the WWII Memorial, exchange emails, and a few conversations about his WWII 99th BG experience. (NOTE: See our March 03, 2019 and July 04, 2018 articles for photos and more about Alan and the 99th BG) We will miss him, but his memory and story will carry on in our 99th BGHS history.

Read his obituary »