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Elvin  D.  Ours

 

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ELVIN D. OURS
World War II
Memories and Biography

(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)

November 4, 1996

Dear Will:

I was thrilled to get your letter. Actually, I joined your group because I had first joined the 8th Air Force Historical Society and saw information in their publication that led me to you all. I'm certainly glad I did.

I am enclosing a picture of my crew for any possible use you might have. I have a couple of musty, old, bunker-developed pictures of parts of the plane we crashed on December 18. I am enclosing photostats of my "Individual Flight Record" for my time in England.

I am sorry to say that Sully Handy died a few years ago. He was living in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, from whence he came. He was our belly gunner, who became a "spare" gunner when we found there were no ball turrets on the 24's over there.

I was in the College Training Detachment at Marietta, Ohio, and had completed all the training there and had qualified for any of the things I wanted, i.e., pilot, bombardier, navigator. Then came orders that without prejudice, for government convenience was relieved from the program and sent to Yuma, Arizona for gunnery training. It was ironic that those of us who were passing, ended up being only staff sergeants, whilst the dropouts all ended up Tech. Sgts.

Our "Flak House" was near Blackpool, I believe, Southport. I don't remember the names of our planes, but we knew the one we flew most to be J-. We flew it on its 100th mission, got shot up and diverted to San Quentin, France to a Brit Base I remember being for Spitfires. Anyway, our bomber was too heavy for their park places and sunk into the mud, belly deep and we were there several days, sans clean clothes, mess kits, etc. Worse, we couldn't contact our ground crew chief and so he had to delay the celebration of his planes, 100th mission till we got back, if we ever did.

Other stories come to mind, e.g., diversion to Paris, binding up a fluctuating turbocharger with copper wire and having it melt (the wire) and totally closing the gate and blowing out the plugs, etc. If you want more, just ask.

Sincerely,
Buzz Ours




ELVIN D. OURS "Buzz"
World War II
Memories and Biography

(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)

158 Singhass Rd., RR 4
Winchester, VA 22602-2166

3 December 1996

Dear Will:

I was pleased to get your letter and attachments. You may keep the crew picture as I have a larger, original one. A little more about me. I served with CIA from January 1951 to January 1989. I was a finance officer and had six years in Germany and two in Japan as well as lots of time in Zaire.

You were correct about the stay in Villa Coublay. I am enclosing a copy of my pass to Paris that date. We drew straws to see who would go to Paris and who would stay and "guard" the plane. Never did get to bed. We turned all the little bistros and though I can't remember was told I played the drums in a couple of the local bands. Then we met some girls who told us about a fine dance hall way out in the suburbs, so we got on the Metro and went out. They were closed because of no fuel or food, so we went back to the subway station to find the last train had gone. We walked many miles in the snow, complete with flying boots, etc. and arrived at our billet in time for departure for the plane. So much for the life in Paris.

The time I spoke of in San Quentin was 16 February. I remember that most of all because we could only go downtown in Paris, armed, because the feelings against Americans was high because we had bombed the airfield adjoining and had strayed a few bombs over the town. There was a wrecked JU88 on the base and we extricated a clip of about 37mm cartridges from it and the tail assembly to take back to England. When we took our cartridges to the armorers, they were horrified and said they were extremely dangerous and they blew them up. The tail assembly ended up over the officer's club mantle.

I am enclosing some pictures of the wrecked V-, which was what we crashed on 18 December. There are also a few crew member pictures. Please return the above listed items. I did fly on 3 January. Our target was Coblenz.

I have enclosed a copy of orders transferring me and others from Shipdham to return to ZI. You will note Collins and Petzoldt weren't on there. Collins stayed on to fly a weather ship as I best remember. Also enclosed is a copy of an order transferring some of us to Topeka. I have circled those of us on Collins' crew. I sent you this because it had addresses of all the guys.

Sincerely, Buzz
 
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