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Earl  J.  Guy

 

Personal Legacy
EARL J. GUY, LT.
44th BG Equipment and Air-Sea Rescue Officer 66th Sq.

I was the Equipment & Air-Sea Rescue Officer, with "equipment" meaning flying supplies - suits, parachutes, Mae West, emergency radio transmitters, Verry pistols, etc.

As I remember, parachutes had to be replaced every 30 days. Flying suits were always in very short supply. That's how I started flying - to show the crews that the British suits worked also. They were made with a series circuit, whereas the U.S. suit used several parallel circuits.

At one time, earlier in the war, we used a grounded bombardier to travel to all the local depots, try to con them out of equipment. He was good, too, could talk most anyone out of anything.. But there wasn't any equipment. It even reached the stage where we were forced to wash suits where the man could hold it in no longer. The flyboys were not very respectful of their equipment.

I flew a total of five missions until the Captain grounded me. He said be couldn't explain to HQ how he lost a paddlefoot over Germany. Also, Captain Harrocks, with whom I flew most, wrote to my wife to tell her to get me to stop. It was silly to risk my life, so he had to write. Incidentally, I met one of his waist gunners with whom I flew at our antique shop after getting back home. He had married one of my former secretaries.

We also arranged trips for several crews to accompany us to Great Yarmouth to go out into the North Sea to pick up crippled aircraft that had be n forced to ditch enroute back to base. The British had a marvelous craft - I don't remember its name - which was larger, but as fast as our PTs. We got to see an airborne lifeboat dropped; it was a disaster. Anything that could float was out there to help any ditchings, etc.

The highlight of such excursions was, of course, the drama when you returned to port.

I had two permanent roommates, Lt. Morton R. Taylor, who died about age 45, and John Saladiak after he had tours with the RAF, the RCAF and then shot down on Ploesti. The remaining space in our room was transients. Other roommates with whom I have lost contact included Messerschmidt and Peter Karapin.

Saul "Sandy" Fineman lived just down the hall from us. He was a pilot who had completed his tour, and later was returned to the States as a trainer. However, I learned that he was killed during that period of training. I liked to fly with him because he would permit me to have my hands at the controls "just watch the artificial horizon, Guy!"

Our's was the only room in the barracks with running water. I took some valves, lines, connections, etc. from a junk B-24 and we installed it overnight. Of course the Captain was furious, but he never made me tear it out. Pete Henry did photographic work in the bomb shelter, but I did mine in our room. I invited him down, but he never took advantage of the offer. My enlarger was built from a bomb bay strut, and a lens that General Johnson gave to me.

Our "home town" was not Shipdham, but Dereham! That's because Sally married a girl whose father ran the hotel in Dereham.

***************************************

EARL J. GUY
World War II
Memories and Biography

44th BG Equipment and Air-Sea Rescue Officer

(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)

10 May 1990

I have a minor cancer which is being treated by radiation therapy and it leaves me fatigued. Yes, it's curable + 80% odds.

I was the Equipment Air-Sea Rescue Officer. Equipment means flying supplies - suits, parachutes, Mae Wests, emergency radio transmitters, Verry pistols, and all.

As I remember, parachutes had to be repacked every 30 days. Flying suits were always in short supply. That's how I started fling - to show the crews that the British suits also worked. They were made with a series circuits, whereas the U.S. suit used several parallel circuits.

At one time, we used Jim (James J.) "Smowy" Barry, a grounded bombardier to travel to all the local depots, try to con them out of equipment. He was good - could talk a 25-year-old virgin out of her virginity, but there wasn't any equipment. It even reached the stage where we were washing out crap from suits. The flyboys were not very respectful of equipment.

I flew a total of five missions until the captain grounded me. He said that he couldn't explain to HQ losing a paddlefoot over Germany. Also, Capt. Harrocks, with whom I flew most, wrote to my wife and told her to stop me. It was silly to risk my life, so he had to write.

Incidentally, met one of his waist gunners with whom I flew at our antique shop after getting back home. He had married one of my former secretaries.

We also arranged trips for several screws to accompany us to Great Yarmouth to go out into the North Sea to pick up crippled aircraft that had been forced to ditch enroute back to base. The British had a marvelous craft - I don't know its name - which was larger, but as fast as our PTs. We got to see an airborne lifeboat being dropped; it was a disaster. Anything that could float was out there.

The highlight of such excursions was, of course, the drama when you returned to port.

I had two permanent roommates, Bob R. Taylor (Morton R.-Ordnance) who died about age 45, and John (NMI) Saladiak, who was a grounded navigator. His nerves went out after a tour with the RAF, the RCAF, and then being shot down on Ploesti! He has subsequently lost his leg. The remaining space in the room was transients. They always put one flyboy in with us - I guess to keep us honest. Dick (S) Pick and I still stay in contact. He is a furrier in Chicago. He just had a portion of his lung removed, and is recovering well. And he never smoked! I just sent in a subscription to the 2nd ADA in his name. You can feel free to contact him - Richard Spiegle Pick (wife Millie), 306 Barberry Road, Highland Park, IL 60035.

We had several other roommates with whom I have lost contact: Messerschmitt, Peter P. Karapin and some character we threw out - couldn't stand his arrogance and large ego. I think he ended up living across the room from Pete Henry.

Bob Taylor was squadron armaments officer (Ordnance) as well as unassigned enlisted men mess. I think they gave him that job hoping he would screw up and then they could act. Bob and I would steal my ton truck or the Captain's Jeep late nights and go around the countryside trading with local farmers. The mess turned out so good we had the flyboys coming down there. I don't remember how Bob solved that.

Saul "Sandy" Fineman lived down the hall from us. He was a pilot who had completed his tour, returned to the States as a trainer and was killed during that training. I liked to fly with him because he would let me have my hands at the controls, just watch the artificial horizon, Guy!

Ours was the only room in the barracks with running water. I took some valves, lines, etc. from junk B-24s and we installed it overnight. The captain was furious, but didn't make me tear it out. Pete Henry did invite him down, but he never took advantage of the offer. My enlarger was built from a bomb bay strut, and a lens that General Johnson gave to me.

Our home was not Shipdham, but Dereham! That's because Sally married Doths, whose father ran the hotel in Dereham.

That's all!!

You asked for some impressions and memories - now you got them. Another five to ten years and none of us will be around to recall them.

Earl Guy
RR #1, Box 94
Boggstown, IN 46110
 
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