Jump to content

Identified B24 Engineer/Waist Gunner cut-down uniform-53 Missions


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

 

Today it is my pleasure to share with you the results of my latest research project, collaborating with fellow forum member Captainofthe7th to tell the story of a jacket pair I got awhile back. One is a standard AAF four pocket with removed pins and insignia while the other is a cut-down four pocket boasting the original ribbons, patches, and insignia. The only thing added onto this jacket is the Aircrew wings, which I only decided to replace after rubbing my fingers across it, discovering the original pin holes, as well as seeing it specifically mentioned in the research below.

 

This first excerpt was written by a family researcher (with a few details added by myself) who happened to interview McReynolds' wife as he passed away in the 1970s.

 

"Marvin McReynolds was drafted into the US Army on April 6, 1942. However, he loved the idea of flying and after extensive testing, was granted

his wishes to become a member of the Army Air Corps. He was assigned to a 5th AAF Base Unit and trained at Gowen Field in Idaho in the

Flex Aerial Gunnery School. At Chanute Field in Runtaul, Illinois Marvin trained as Apprentice Pilot and Engine Mechanic School. In his 3 and 1⁄2

years of duty, he served as Mechanic, Aerial Photographer, Flight Engineer, Waist Gunner and Bombadier. He served in the 5 Air Force, South Pacific Theatre and was stationed in Papua, New Guinea. He left the USA on August 5 , 1943, arriving on August 23.

 

Marvin flew in the B-24-D Liberator "Sure Pop My Cherry" with the 65th Bombardment Squadron, 43rd Bomb group, and his first combat mission (5 hrs. 20 minutes duration) took place on Sept. 28, 1943. While in the South Pacific he flew a total of 53 Combat Missions, the last one of 11 hours and 55 minutes duration. One year and a day after his arrival in the South Pacific he departed, arriving in the US on Sept. 11, 1944.

 

Among the awards Marvin received was a letter of commendation from Lt. Gen. George C. Kenny for a Reconnaissance Mission in the Bismarck Sea. In the Summer of 1944 he was awarded the air medal F.E.A.F., Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Crew Members Aviation Badge, and the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with four campaign stars. An A.P. Machine Gunner 748, Marvin attained the rank of Technical Sergeant. He was separated from the military on September 27, 1945 at Lawry Field in Colorado."

 

This is a good overview of his service, however, recent research yielded an even better description. The independent family research compendium "Buster's Book: Family Voices to and from the Front, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam", includes an interview with Robert White, tail gunner aboard "Sure Pop." The book also contains the day-to-day log that White kept of the actions of the crew from July of 43 all the way to August of 44.

 

The countless stories he tells about him and the crew are incredible, and McReynolds is mentioned regularly as their Waist Gunner and Flight Engineer. One story talks about how they were attacked by 8 Japanese fighters, 3 of which were German FW-190s painted in Japanese colors from the lend-lease program between the two countries. Another time he discusses how their navigator got sick so they brought on board a completely green replacement. To freak him out, the pilot and a couple of the gunners got together in the tail and played leap frog on the way back from their mission. Supposedly the navigator’s stomach did not take this well. I was also able to find a crew photograph and the name of the plane. In the photos, I have included one of my favorite humorous excerpts about McReynolds :)

 

 

I have long loved the AAF but my luck as a collector has never truly matched up. I managed to pick up this set off of a goodwill a few months ago and my risk was more than substantially rewarded in my eyes. This is my first attributed flight crewman uniform and after reading all about the daring exploits of these guys as a child, I couldn't be happier. Thanks again to Captainofthe7th for the research help and I hope you all enjoy what is one of my new favorite uniform sets.

 

Posted Image

 

McReynolds is the furthest right standing

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

A not-so-wonderful story

Posted Image

 

Clearer nose art

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

Link to post
Share on other sites

The two jackets as I got them from Goodwill

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.