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Caterpillar Club Research

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#1 HBT

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 08:43 PM

I have a Bombardier group that included the vet's laminated Caterpillar Club card. I researched the bomb runs he participated on and was not able to find records of aircraft he was on going down.

Is there a way I could research how and when this vet became a member of the Caterpillar Club, or this is a needle in a haystack?



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  • Wickander.jpg

#2 HBT

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 08:44 PM

Here are his bomb runs.

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#3 DwightPruitt

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 09:51 PM

Wow, 12-24-44 Kirch-Gons, Germany. I was stationed there in the late 70's.




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Posted 16 July 2008 - 10:03 PM

Your best bet is to try and get a copy of an " Aircraft Accident Report" if it exists for him.

These guys can help :



#5 ehrentitle

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:11 AM

These Caterpiller Club cards and pins were issued by the companies that made parachutes upon application from the individual who used them in an emergency situation. Many like Irving, who issued this card, still exist and probably have the information in their archives. Irving is now Irving Aerospace and their website is:

When I was researching parachute riggers several years back I contacted the Switlik Parachute Company for some information. The owner wrote me back and indicated that they still had all of the original files with correspondence on their Caterpiller Club. As it happened former president George H. W. Bush used a Switlik parachute when he bailed out in WWII and they still had all of his application info on file.

Edited by ehrentitle, 17 July 2008 - 09:12 AM.


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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:36 AM

That's a nice group! It is a little hard for me to clearly see his name from the documents, but I believe it is Wallace Wickander. If so, Wickander flew with the 546th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 384th Bomb Group. The following information is for one of his missions flown during the Battle of the Bulge. His aircraft for this mission was a B-17G aircraft number 43-38548.

Mission Date 27 December 1944
384th Mission Number 244
8th Air Force Mission Number 764
Primary Target Tactical
Altenahr, Germany

Position Crewmember Status
Pilot Gilmer, Charles E Completed, Uninjured
Copilot Edwards, Robert A Completed, Uninjured
Navigator Newmann, James H Completed, Uninjured
Bombardier Wickander, Wallace H Completed, Uninjured
Engineer/Top Turret Sainsbury, Joseph A Completed, Uninjured
Radio Operator Allessi, Vincent (NMI) Completed, Uninjured
Ball Turret Anderson, Carl E Completed, Uninjured
Flexible Gunner Drew, John E Completed, Uninjured
Tail Gunner Scarce, Jr, James Richard, Dick Completed, Uninjured

#7 316th FS 324th FG

316th FS 324th FG
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Posted 17 July 2008 - 11:03 AM

This is from the 384th's website:


It comfirms Beasts information.

#8 HBT

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 02:27 PM

Thanks for all the help with my search. I have visited the 384th BG site before and it is very informative. Someday, I plan to go through all the pics and see if I can ID my vet in any of the images. My plan is to get nice pics of the full group and write a blog on my site.

Thank you for the aviation link! I will email them and see if they can help me.


Chris Hughes

#9 bigredone

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 06:16 PM

Here's a pic of my uncle Robert Paulson and his wife Bette. On his uniform jacket you can see his Caterpillar Club pin.

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#10 Mark M

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 03:22 PM

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