Harold M. Ferrara
World War II
Memories and Biography
20 June 1944
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
Re your April 7 letter. Let's see if I can answer all your questions:
1) As to the ferry flights to return the interned A/C from Sweden to England, only the flight crews that were interned were used, also these same men maintained the planes. We ran the engines once a week and flew them once a month. We only had minimum fuel and a Swedish officer with a side arm was along. The Swedes did not have big enough jacks to swing the landing gear so that's the reason for the flights. The only help we received was from the stripped down B24s flown from England to Sweden with some parts we needed (also a Jeep we requested).
This program has been written in the 2nd Air Division newsletter. They were known as the "Carpet Baggers." Maybe you heard of them.
2) Yes, the papers I sent to you are yours to keep.
3) Unfortunately, I only have prints of the photos and at this time I want to keep them, but I will instruct my family to forward all my WWII "stuff" to you as part of my last wishes. 4) As to my missions, my notes show:
6/12/44 Illier L'Eveque, France as a German Air Force Base
6/14/44 Chateadun, France. Also an air base and by the way, the home of the famous "Abbeyville Kids." Their ME109s were equipped with spiraled stripes on the spinners giving the appearance of corkscrewing through the air.
6/16/44 Autheux, France. A VI bomb launching site (we were told)
6/19/44 Hamberg, Germany. An oil refinery
6/20/44 Politz, Germany. Also an oil refinery.
The dates may be mixed up but we made all the above missions.
As to keeping in touch with the crew. As I wrote, Capt. Richard I. Keller died shortly after returning home. I met W. West once in New York City and some of the crew wrote Christmas cards, but slowly the chain was broken. I did, however, meet Joe Niedwick at a dance in New York City a few years after the war.
Joe was our ball turret gunner and was assigned to another crew when the group decided to remove the ball turret position from the B24. Well, Joe made his 25 missions with that crew and all the time, he thought we had "bought the farm" on that trip to Politz. Let me tell you, he thought he was seeing a spirit.
I'm enclosing a copy of "Flak Burst." This was the newspaper the interns wrote to keep the troops posted.
All the very best,