Monday, November 24, 2008

My Quest to know more... Post #2

This is a photo of my Grandfather (second from left in the back row) and his regular flight crew - what a treasure to have received this from someone who actually flew with him!

As promised - here's more about my search for my Grandfather's military service information, continued from last Wednesday's post.

After reaching out and finding someone who flew with Granddad, and realizing that he wasn't with his regular crew on the day he was wounded I set out to determine just who he was flying with that day. Again, Chris knew much about this and let me know that I needed to find mission reports for the day. This would give us a clue about the damaged aircrafts and any lost during the mission... I must also note that Grandma told me that after he was wounded, Grandad was reported as "Missing In Action" and she receieved a telegram stating so. This was another clue - was it possible that his aircraft had to put down somewhere other than base and the crew originally thought to be missing? There are other documents (which apparently are MIA also) that detail the crew for each aircraft on any given mission, these reports which I believe are called Load Lists or Load Reports have been searched for by many - they're not available.

Knowing that I must have the mission reports for the day he was wounded, I went to the National Archives( website and placed an order for them. I must say this was the easiest transaction I've had with those folks - much more on that later. At any rate, after a couple months the 36+ pages of information came to me in the mail. This stuff is not light reading by any means and if you're not up on your military terms of the time its very easy to get lost in all the jargon. At this time, I am in the process of making copies of some of the pages to send to Chris. He will research further and see if we can determine what plane he was on.

Next week I'll tell you about the military paperwork that I found in Grandma's papers, what it contained and all the questions that it brought about.

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