THOMAS C. OSMUNDSON|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
4945 Providence Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
23 February 1985
I was one of the original "cadre" that were transferred to the 44th Bomb Group in the summer of 1941 to McDill, Tampa. Graduated from Chanute Field School of Radio Operators and Mechanics, 1937.
Assigned to 21st Reconnaissance Squadron, flight duty, B-18s. August 1939 we were assigned TDY Miami, Florida based at the Miami International Air Field in tents. We patrolled the Southeast Atlantic, subs and etc.
After extensive training and preparation for battle, we received assignment of operational training unit at Barksdale Field, LA early 1942. We did a terrific job with what we had!
We eventually OUT'd ourselves and left Barksdale for Oklahoma and arrived and began preparations for departure of USA.
The ground personnel sailed September 1942. The flight personnel flew. We ground boys arrived at Cheddington, England several weeks before the flight crews.
I retired from USAF October 31, 1958.
I live in the Navy area and I don't get lonely. The op. Path is over my domain. I don't get that too retired feeling!
T. C. Osmundson
THOMAS C. OSMUNDSON
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
June 25, 1983
I received your mail in August of 1982. During this period and now I've been preoccupied with family problems and my own health. I am somewhat adjusted now and ask your forgiveness for any failure to respond much sooner to your communication.
I hope that you and yours are healthy and happy.
Thanks to the Navy, I am back in good health and will celebrate my 71st birthday next month. The Lord has been very good to me and I am thankful for the good life I've had, especially the military portion (34th infantry, Army 1934 Air Corps, 1936. Retired 1958 from USAF.
Langley AFB, 1937, 21st Reconn. Squadron B-18s radio operator, gunner and graduate of Chanute Radio Technical School, 1939, 21st TDY entire squadrons to Miami Municipal Airport, temporary TENTS, sleeping, eating and working, our mission was submarine patrol Carolina's to the Keys. In 1941 my crew chief and I were transferred to MacDill, Tampa to from the cadre nucleus of the 44th Bomb Group. Later in '41 we moved to Barksdale AFB as "The OJT" to train and organize flight crews for B-24s combat flight. The last group we trained we went over with them from Barksdale '42 to Oklahoma City thence to NY - Queen Mary - Glascow, Scotland, Cheddington, Shipdham.
I was senior NCO of the group and was removed from flight and assigned special assignments, training in electronics by RAF, 44th Gp. Inspector, etc. I was, again, part of a cadre nucleus to make up and operate the new group 492nd at North Pickingham (a short drive from the 44th). This was in '43. In '44, I transferred back to the states for B-29 assignment in September '44.
After R&R, about three months in Florida, the AACS grabbed me and I was assigned as NCOIC of all Langley AFB, maintenance of all flight and ground navigation electronic equipment and radar! That was some bundle to walk into! Whew, I'm glad that is behind me! I found out what it is like to carry responsibility topped with pressure 24 hours. My last special assignment prior to retirement was NCOIC AACS Wing Inspector European Theater headquartered at Wiesbaden.
I am pleased to find you as a member of the old 44th. My closest buddy was NCOIC of the supply for the 67th squadron, M. Sgt. Steve Horvath. He was an original from MacDill. I happen to own a beautiful large photo of the 67th flight and ground, plus all other personnel of the squadron taken on the ramp at Shipdham.
I am very interested in the planned document reference specific data of the 67th and 44th in World War II. Please advise relative to this document. I still have the information you sent me in August 1982 but feel you should have the opportunity to indicate any possible changes.
Wish you luck as the 67th historian.
I'm in the middle of researching the family heritage of my father's side. It's terrific and interesting.
Hope to hear from you before too long regardless of document status.
May God bless you and yours, Will.
Thomas C. Osmundson
"A" and "AF6852355"
"Ozzie" in the "AF"
January 13, 1985
Howdy to the Lundy's:
A little late, otherwise I am in very good health.
Just finished a short letter to Col.,. Atcheson. Sure appreciate the list of fellows in the 67th. I Knew most all of it you noted. I was sent to MacDill to assist in organization of the squadron and group. I was one of the few that became the "cadre" of the 67th and sent to Shreveport, LA Brooksdale Field.
Maj. George left the gap at Shipdham, England.
By the way, how about your new book? Still waiting on one. Hope I get one!
Oh, yes, I definitely recall most of the names you sent me.
By the way, my recall on processing for overseas, England, is September 1942, our aircraft arrived later -approximately two months.
Happy New Year to you all!
February 12, 1985
I thank you so very much for the book! I'm thrilled with it. I can hardly keep my eyes off of it to take time to let you know I received it okay and thanks so much.
As I Begin to read and note items relative to our beginning and other things relative to what I was reading began to run through my mind, even recognizing names I hadn't heard or seen in 40 years.
I am thrilled to pieces for this opportunity to read the greatest experience I ever had and made a real man of myself.
By the way, we spent several long months camping at Pope Field, NC before we got to Barksdale.
Field maneuvers with George R. Acheson, a real man! His "pet name" of me was "Ball of Fire." I was very proud to have him as our commander. It was very fortunate in my service. I never had an unpleasant commander. I ran into one 2nd Lt. A little chat with Captain McDonald helped the Lt. to see the situation more clearly. Before the 67th I was with 21's Reconn. and we covered southeast Atlantic sub patrol seven days a week, out of Miami International Airport. All canvas covered tenting. We pitched tents September 39.
Enough for now. Thanks again. I'll drop you some more data as it comes back to me.
God Bless you,
T. C. Ozzie
February 21, 1985
Thanks for the info and data you sent me. I have already forwarded my request and dues to Ms. Cohen.
I was one of the original "Cadre" early '41 assigned 44th BG, 67 squadron tech. sgt. I transferred from 21st Reconn., radio operator/mechanic, graduate '39 Chanute Field. We flew B-18s on submarine patrol out of the Miami '39 (September) on "TDY" at Miami International Airport; Home base was Langley. M/Sgt. Simmons and I were flight members usually with Capt. Fitzsimmons. Later Gen. Simmons was elevated to captain. I sure wish I had his address. He was one of the best flight engineers. He and I qualified as gunners at MacDill in the nose of a B-17!
Thank God, I was fortunate to be a member of the 67th and 44th Group Hqd. Bomb Group. I later was cadre for 492nd Group Hdqs. as an inspector of all radio equipment aboard aircraft. There was a difference. The organization did not have the drive that we always had in the 44th.
Yes, I am very interested in availability of addresses of 44th Hqs and 67 squadron people.
When I returned to the states, I requested assignment to the Pacific. However, I got assigned into "AACS" and sent to Langley! I became NCOLC of all ground "flight" facilities in '45.
I remained in AACS until I retired October 31, 1950, at Langley. I left my heart in the 44th BG and I am very pleased to learn that the 44th is still alive and very active as 44th Strategic Missile Wing (SQC). The experience made a man of me and gave me the knowledge necessary to do a very good job.
Oh, yeah, before I close, Pete, we had a Captain Henry, pilot of B-18s at Langley, 1938, 21st Reconn., Sqdn. Related? He was No. 1 officer! One of his specialties was electronics!
I received a notice from the 44th Strategic Missile Wing regarding a reunion at Ellsworth AFB, home of the 44th, 22 to 26 May 1985.
Pete, I'm looking forward to a pleasant relationship with you all and even a visit or so. I must tell you, I swore when I retired I would never board another airplane of any kind. I've had many close calls and I often reflect back to them and read of so many midair and the controllers are over loaded and etc.
Happy Landings, Pete!
Thomas C. Osmundson "Ozzie"
P.S. In July I'll be 73, in good health and having a ball! The Navy does enough flying over for me. TCO.
No date on this letter.
Here is a snap shot of Steven J. Horvath and me, taken at my place when he and his wife, Jean, came to visit. It was the last time I got to chat with him.
I took him over to visit the NASA facilities. We hit it off when I first met him in the supply room at MacDill.
I heard from Jean last Christmas and she's well and okay.
Please return this as it's the only one I got. Make a copy if you like.
We were in Japan, Tokyo area in 1949. I was in AACS at that time.
Like Acheson, here is another special kind of a man, Steve. There are not words available to adequately describe Steve.
Anyway, I'm providing this picture to show you my appreciation for your friendship.
P.S. I wear a beard and mustache now to enhance my appearance and distract attention from my balding head. I shall sign off for now. Drop a line at your convenience.
I will pass on anything that I feel you may be interested in.
T. C. Ozzie
One of the first 27 assigned to 44th
Electronics technician and radio operator and gunner; master sergeant.