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Blood on the Talon site

Started by 17thairborne , Feb 13 2012 05:07 PM

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#1 17thairborne

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 05:07 PM

I just launched a blog where I will post information on the 17th Airborne Division, mainly regarding the 139th Airborne Engineer Battalion. I plan on posting 3-5 subjects each week ranging from uniforms, equipment, history, unit actions and information on veterans. The blog post will include archival information where appropriate and hopefully serve as a repository for all thing s relating to the 139th AEB. The unit has a fantastic history that has been hidden for nearly 7 decades. For the past 12 years I have been conducting research, collecting information, looking for artifacts and was fortunate enough to do a few interviews of the veterans. All of the work will culminate in a book with maps, photos, documents and stories to be published for the coming Christmas season.

I look forward to your comments on the posts and hope that I can continue to learn from the many exceptional USM forum members. My hope is that the posts generate some discussion among collectors and historians, and I suspect some of my comments might stir a controversy based on my conclusions or suppositions, but I hope to keep that to a minimum by doing thorough research. There are only a few posts now, but over time it will grow. I humbly look forward to any feedback, criticism or recommendations on improving the site and the information presented there. Most of all I look forward to your visits and comments about the history of the 139th AEB.

Click to go to my blog: Blood On the Talon

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Thanks

Oz

#2 sactroop

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:04 PM

Oz, I'm looking forward to see how this thread evolves. You asked me a question awhile back about some Troop Carrier Pilots in which I wasn't any help. I know my Father-in-Law piloted Airborne troops into Wesel during Operation Varsity. I've assumed they would be with the 17th. I've recently uncovered some documents regarding his service and I'm in the middle of going thru things right now to see what might be useful. He was a glider pilot in the 440th TCG, 97th SQ got an Oak Leaf Cluster for his Air Medal during Varsity.

#3 17thairborne

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:19 PM

Oz, I'm looking forward to see how this thread evolves. You asked me a question awhile back about some Troop Carrier Pilots in which I wasn't any help. I know my Father-in-Law piloted Airborne troops into Wesel during Operation Varsity. I've assumed they would be with the 17th. I've recently uncovered some documents regarding his service and I'm in the middle of going thru things right now to see what might be useful. He was a glider pilot in the 440th TCG, 97th SQ got an Oak Leaf Cluster for his Air Medal during Varsity.

The 440th towed the 139th AEB into Germany on 24 march 1945. I am including a chapter on the 440th in the book and would welcome any information that you wish to share. I've got a few photos of members of the 440th and have a copy of the book DZ Europe which is from the 440th. Great book, but hard to find. It was an awesome source for my research.

#4 sactroop

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 08:00 PM

One of the things I've uncovered recently are his flight records. For March 1945 he was flying CG-4A gliders on the 2nd, 6th, 14th, 24th, and 31st.
1st Lt. Wilbur R. Lawn. Besides glider pilot I've found him also listed as flight leader, and Assistant Operations Officer.

#5 17thairborne

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:46 AM

One of the things I've uncovered recently are his flight records. For March 1945 he was flying CG-4A gliders on the 2nd, 6th, 14th, 24th, and 31st.
1st Lt. Wilbur R. Lawn. Besides glider pilot I've found him also listed as flight leader, and Assistant Operations Officer.

That is excellent! Does the flight log show the tail number of the glider? Does is indicate which Serial and What Chalk number he piloted on the 24th?

#6 sactroop

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:37 AM

No I'm afraid these sheets don't go beyond the aircraft type. In March when he wasn't flying gliders he was flying liaison planes. Mostly L-4 Piper Grasshoppers.

#7 17thairborne

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 02:04 PM

No I'm afraid these sheets don't go beyond the aircraft type. In March when he wasn't flying gliders he was flying liaison planes. Mostly L-4 Piper Grasshoppers.


Although not the greatest photo, this is of the Glider Pilots from the 97th TCS from DZ Europe. Do you recognize him?

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#8 sactroop

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:11 PM

Nobodies face jumps out. It could also depend on when the picture was taken. He was first assigned to the 95th Sq when he joined the 440th in Alliance Neb. And transffered to the 97th either late in 44 or early in 45.

Hereís a portrait he had taken in Kentucky before going to the ETO
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll61/sac_troop/Bills%20Military%20photos/Untitled-7-1.jpg

This is the only picture I have of him in the ETO. Probably later in 45 than Operation Varsity. Iím basing that on an assumption and the paint color of the Stinson L-5 heís standing beside.
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll61/sac_troop/Bills%20Military%20photos/Untitled-1-1.jpg

I wouldnít be surprised if this sketch isnít in DZ Europe somewhere. Billís near the lower right corner.
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll61/sac_troop/Bills%20Military%20photos/440th1stanncard.jpg

#9 17thairborne

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:50 PM

i could have sworn that was in the book, but I can't find it. I know I have the same shot somewhere in my collection. I was fortunate enough to find a few 440th photos and the caricature was one of them. It looks like your father-in-law was enlisted and then went to the AAC as an LT? Sounds like a great history.

He is listed on p 127 as: 1st Lt. Wilbur R. Lawn with Air Medal and 1 Cluster. He is also listed on p 141 as Flt./O. Wilbur R. Lawn rump't Operations Officer.

#10 sactroop

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:25 PM

i could have sworn that was in the book, but I can't find it. I know I have the same shot somewhere in my collection. I was fortunate enough to find a few 440th photos and the caricature was one of them. It looks like your father-in-law was enlisted and then went to the AAC as an LT? Sounds like a great history.

He is listed on p 127 as: 1st Lt. Wilbur R. Lawn with Air Medal and 1 Cluster. He is also listed on p 141 as Flt./O. Wilbur R. Lawn rump't Operations Officer.



Yes he was a Mustang and proud of it. Now I got to find out what "rump't" means. Oz I'm going to send you a PM soon. Thanks for the info.

Edited by sactroop, 15 February 2012 - 06:28 PM.


#11 17thairborne

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:56 PM

Need a context of full quote to decipher that.

Edited by 17thairborne, 15 February 2012 - 06:56 PM.


#12 sactroop

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:58 PM

Need a context of full quote to decipher that.

Sorry I was probably thinking in short hand. :blink:

ďIt looks like your father-in-law was enlisted and then went to the AAC as an LT?Ē
Yes he enlisted in 1938. He started his aircraft training with the rank of 1st Sargent. Promoted to Flight Officer and then to 2nd Lt.
From Wikipedia;
A Mustang is United States Military slang for a commissioned officer who began his or her career as an enlisted service member. Mustangs are older and more experienced than their peers-in-grade who earned their commissions from one of the service academies ,
ďHe is also listed on p 141 as Flt./O. Wilbur R. Lawn rump't Operations Officer.Ē
He would have been a flight officer at the time that he joined the 440th TCG and was appointed a 2nd Lt.(AUS) while there in Alliance Nebraska. I just donít know what the term rumpít Operations Officer would mean.

#13 17thairborne

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:51 AM

Well that's my gross error! :blushing: That should have been rump't Operations Officer.

#14 17thairborne

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:50 AM

I just figured this out. The word A-S-S gets changed by the profanity program to RUMP. So the abbreviation for Assistant cannot be used. I could not figure out how I had mistyped A-S-S-'T as Rump't!!

Doooh!

Edited by 17thairborne, 16 February 2012 - 05:51 AM.


#15 sactroop

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:31 AM

:w00t: This is rich! :lol:
Iíll remember this exchange a very long time.
Technology will save us from ourselves.
Thanks Oz, You made my day.

#16 17thairborne

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 02:49 PM

The latest post is up!

#17 17thairborne

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:58 PM

Several more posts up this week.

#18 17thairborne

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 03:51 PM

New posts made again. I'm looking for any constructive comments from members. What topics do you want to see regarding the 17th? Are the posts relevant, not enough detail, too benign? My hope is to provide items of interest to those interested in the 17th. Please let me know.

Thanks

#19 17thairborne

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:29 AM

After getting my family and things settled in our new location in New Mexico, I am back to writing occasional updates. I look forward to any comments or suggestions.

Thanks

#20 Bart P

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 03:45 AM

After getting my family and things settled in our new location in New Mexico, I am back to writing occasional updates. I look forward to any comments or suggestions.

Thanks


Just like we are looking forward to new updates!
Keep up the good work! :thumbsup:

rgds
Bart P


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