JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to H. C. "Pete" Henry and forwarded to Will Lundy)
November 14, 1989
Thank you, and your wife, Mary, for sending me the information on the 2nd AD Association. My application and check have been mailed.
As I told Mary, on a recent trip to England, my wife, Marie, and I happened to arrive at the Norwich Memorial Library on 26 September in time for Tony North's 60th birthday. Enclosed is a photo of Tony with his B-24 birthday cake. I think he would be pleased if you included it in the next issue of the Journal. I hope it's not too dark.
Both Tony and Phyllis Hunt (Dubois) were very helpful and gave us directions to both Shipdham (44th, BG) and North Pickingham (491st, BG). At Shipdham, Ms. Richards, who as a young girl lived on the farm during the war, was kind enough to show us some of the buildings. As you know, they are vine covered and overgrown, but you can still see the (fading) mural on the club wall. There is not much left at North Pick; it's now a big turkey farm.
Tony North told me that when he was a young boy of 13-14 years old that he spent all of his free time at American bases watching the departing and returning bombers. He has a great collection of B-24 group photographs and I encouraged him to have them published in book form. He had copies of three previous books that are long out of print.
I was a tail gunner on Bob Meagher's crew. We were assigned to the 44th, BG (506BS) in September 1944 and then transferred to the 491st BG (855BS) after they lost 15 planes on one mission. We finished the war as lead crew and were given a nice new airplane to fly home when it was over. The picture of the 491st lead plane going down that appears in the 2nd AD Memorial Brochure was taken by our waist gunner, Skim Fulmer, on a mission to Harberg on 17 January 1945. We were made lead crew the following day.
I enjoyed reading the 2nd AD Journal that you were kind enough to send and look forward to many more.
Joseph E. Johnston