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.
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
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.
NEW! Book Review: "Collateral Damage" – A Journey in Dealing with Combat-related PTSDThis 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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-UqdNRi8You 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.
NEW! Book Review: "Over There" A Soldier's Letters Home From World War IIOne 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."
Gary T. Staffo
99th Bomb Group Historical Society
2nd Vice President
6226 Garden Road
Springfield, VA 22152-1504
Email Address: 6226GardenRoad@gmail.com
Eric Ward made a video and sent it to the 99th BGHS that shares the story of our 95 year old WWII Army Air Corps 99BG 347th BS veteran, Daniel F. Francesco, flying in a B-17 again after 75 years.
Eric's Dad (Phil Ward) met Danny Francisco a few months ago delivering meals to senior citizens. Danny flew 33 Combat Missions from April 12, 1944 - July 24, 1944 as a tail-gunner in a B-17 at the age of 18 years old. His plane was called 'The Silver Dollar' and was based out of Foggia, Italy during the waras part of the 15th Air Force. Eric decided to get him into a B-17 again after 75 years and film the experience.
The message of his video is for us to understand that there are heroes around us every day - our veterans. They live in our communities and have stories as deep as this. If some of our younger generations could slow down and find the time to talk and listen to our senior citizens, veterans or not, our country might be a bit more understanding and grateful.
Watch Here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzRjg0Qfv38
We have sent Eric our sincere "thank you" on behalf of the 99th BGHS and have requested he get back in touch with Daniel Francisco and family so we might contact Daniel directly to provide additional recognition, and to obtain additional information to prepare a follow on article with photos and remembrances from Daniel about his 99th BG 347BS missions as we have done for previous Veterans. You may send your personal email notes of appreciation to Eric Ward at email@example.com.
Stay tuned for updates after we hear back from Eric and hopefully directly from Daniel and family.
Gary T. Staffo
2nd Vice President
99th Bomb Group Historical Society