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41-24130 McPeters crew

Discussion in '93rd BG - Hardwick' started by Airwar, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    B-24D # 41-24130 " Lady of the Lake ", 93rd BG/ 409th BS, 13 July 1943

    1/Lt. Foster C. McPeters - P
    2/Lt. Charles L. Cates - CP
    2/Lt. Irving E. Kunin - N
    2/Lt. Harold J. DeKeyser - B
    Sgt. George T. Ciccarelli - BTG
    Sgt. Thomas M. McManus - R
    S/Sgt. George A. Reagan - E
    Sgt. John L. McGibony - RWG
    S/Sgt. John J. Maruna - TG
    Sgt. Clifton A. Skinner - LWG

    Lost flying from North Africa with the 9th AF,assigned target Vibo,Valencia. Aircraft crashed 7 miles from base,shortley after take off. Bombs exploded and all 10 were KIA.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  2. Mike reagan

    Mike reagan New Member

    My Uncle S/Sgt. George A. Reagan was on this crew - I wanted to offer a couple of minor corrections. He was not the ball gunner - he was the flight engineer/top turret gunner. Sgt. John J. Maruna is noted in my uncle's surviving correspondence as the tail gunner. I am not positive on this final note, but from photos, Ciccarelli was a man quite small in stature - I think it likely he was the ball gunner. I was absolutely thrilled to finally see the name of their aircraft and the serial number, two bits of information I've been seeking for a long time. I have not yet uncovered a complete crew photo, or a photo of their aircraft. The notes regarding the loss of the aircraft are accurate, but there is a bit more. Besides engine problems, one account also notes that the aircraft was trailing fuel from one of the wings.
     
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  3. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Attached Files:

  4. Mike reagan

    Mike reagan New Member

    Thank you. Indeed, not a lot of detail, but I doubt there was time for any kind of detailed investigation. I am in possession of some letters exchanged between surviving family members. The families were initially told that it was a training accident. Perhaps it was because the unit was working up towards Ploesti; some sort of information control for security.
     
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  5. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Some articles. Mike do you have more information about your uncle.

    Jaap
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. Mike reagan

    Mike reagan New Member

    Hello Jaap, thanks for the articles - three of them are utterly new to me. There's no such thing as too much information when you're trying to compile a biography. I would be happy to share information about my uncle. Most of what I have is letters and cards he sent home from home. naturally, most of them are from his various training assignments, and a few cards form the time they completed their crew training in Lincoln, NE, stopped in Maine before heading across the Atlantic. Once they reached the UK, they were there a short time, perhaps a few weeks, then were sent to join the rest of the squadron at Benghazi, carrying the group's mail with them. And three days later, all of them were gone. I am in the process of putting all of his letters into chronological order, which will make the arc of their brief story a lot easier to lay out. A fair number of the letters I have were exchanged between my grandparents and the wives of the pilot and co-pilot. They sort of had their own grief counseling group, which lasted until the widows both remarried. My Uncle George was known as "Buddy" to friends and family. He was one of the older members of th crew. He grew up around Nazareth PA, but was living in Oxnard, CA when he enlisted. He was particularly close friends with the tail gunner John Maruna. One of the photos I have is Buddy, John, and John's wife Anne. After the crew was killed, Anne Maruna went to PA and stayed with my grand parents for some time - she was living in NY and must have been quite alone in the world at that point. I can tell from remarks here and there that this was a tight crew that got along really well. In one letter, he states that the radio operator (McManus) was really good at picking up the Kay Kaiser show on the plane's radio when they were flying training missions. My dad was in flight training at St. Xavier, OH when Buddy's crew was about to be deployed, and Buddy was able to visit my dad (who went on the be a B-17 co-pilot in the 15th). Dad was the last family member to see him. After Buddy was killed, he was given one day off to mourn - then back to training. If there is something specific you'd like to know, I will be glad to share. I will post some photos soon - trying to get all of this info sorted out. It's too bad that these men had such a short time together. One of the Holy Grail items I am still after is a complete crew photo - hoping that is one thing not lost in the great records fire. I have no idea if any photos exist of "Lady of the lake". I will lstay in touch - thanks again for posting the articles.

    I am proud to be the conservator of Buddy's effects that were sent home from North Africa - a Yello-Bole brier pipe, a shaving kit, and a pair of his wings. There wasn't much.
     
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  7. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  8. Mike reagan

    Mike reagan New Member

    Thank you kindly. I've added one for each of the crewmen that I could - there is one for McManus that was set up by his nephew, and one for McGibony that another party oversees. I was touched that someone took a photo of my uncle's marker in Tunis and posted it for me. So long as there are folks like us around to care, these brave people will not be forgotten. I should go back and edit, to add the name of their aircraft.
     
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  9. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

  10. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Mike,
    You are most welcome. Time permitting you may wish to post those crew photos you used there in this thread to help bring it to life. Who knows it might also help in finding a picture of " Lady of the Lake ".
    It seems the crew didn't have much time for nose art painting maybe just selecting the name which must have been a hit with the Brit's https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_of_the_Lake
    and I'd like to see what they had in mind for art; I suspect she would have been wielding a sword "Excalibur" to be specific.
     
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  11. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Mike I can only find a B-29 with noseart Lady of the Lake. Like Scott said,they dont having time to paint it on the aircraft.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Trying to track down the origin of this aircraft there seems to be a little conflict. My theory was that it was unlikely that this crew would have named this aircraft without ever having flown a mission. So I wanted to see what the odds were that she had been flown by other crews in the past. Still haven't answered that part of the question but find that the info on B24bestweb does not support the name Lady of the Lake but rather has this a/c shown as Thar she Blows Again. To add to this the few MACR pages that exist do not provide the serial number of the a/c (and why would there be a MACR anyway since they crashed on takeoff?) Only place I can find the name Lady of the Lake is on the American Air Museum web site. Further B24bestweb refers to a transfer document from 28 August 1943 a month after this incident. Perhaps there is an Accident Report filed somewhere that might help with the identification.

    CORRECTION, OF SORTS:
    Wallace Forman and Bishop and Hey both identify this s/n with the name Lady of the Lake. So perhaps the mistaken identity is with b24bestweb OR was this one of those a/c that had two names?

    41-24130.jpg

    41-24130 b.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
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  13. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  14. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    The B-24 Best Web page for 41-24130 http://www.b24bestweb.com/tharsheblowsagain.htm is disturbing. You'll note the photo contributor there is Don Morrison Historian 93rd BG. It will be interesting to see how Daniel Stockton and Don Morrison resolve what appears to be an error or at best a discrepancy on this page identifying this aircraft, which also begs the question who is that crew in that photo.

    Part of the issue for me is the "big picture" and citing sources in general. All it takes is one error from an (original?) source and then it is cited repeatedly in later historical citing leading to it being gospel.

    This instance of 41-24130 is a prime candidate for this citing issue and where citing begins in these aircraft histories which unfortunately are hardly ever if ever dated lead to the chicken and the egg syndrome.

    As such it is a crapshoot where to even begin so for the lack of a better place here we are at the The American Air Museum (AAM) in Britain website page for 41-24130 http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/19626 you will note a contributor of record here is General Ira Snapsorter but it is not completely clear to me what he added or change. Here is an additional citing source http://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/125709 same website but different citing source at page bottom "Drawn from the records of the http://www.mightyeighth.org/ Savannah, Georgia / Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. I by Bishop & Hey p. 180". Maybe this is where the s/n and name identification came from???

    Additionally at the bottom of the first AAM citing the noted source is the fold3 postwar MACR 16077. No where in those few pages is the aircraft involved in this 13 July 1943 crash ever identified by s/n and certainly not by aircraft nickname. Additionally as Rolland pointed out Joe Baugher http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1941_3.html also shows this loss by s/n and name, but again where is the citing for this s/n and this name in this incident for this aircraft?
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
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  15. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Scott,

    You are totally correct about how mis-information graduates to gospel. But until we find the 'truth' we still don't know which part of this is mis-information. This Ira Snapsorter is a screen name for a Phil Jackson. Touch the hot link at the bottom of the page to see his bio, such as it is. His info apparently comes from the boys in Savannah, the post war MACR, and Bishop and Hey. Which one came first is anybody's guess. But as you have noted nowhere in the MACR is the serial number or the a/c name given. I did correspond with Stan Bishop some years ago, if I can find his email address I'll try to make contact and see if he has anything to add. I saw Daniel looking at this thread last night, I hope he comes back and offers some insight that might clarify this as it appears the correct name and serial number would be of great interest to Mike in post #2.

    Hal
     
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  16. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Hal,

    I absolutely concur! I must have been clumsy in making it clear that the 'truth' is what is desired here, and completely agree that it is unknown what part of this accounting of 41-24130 fits into the true or false categories; but something is definitely "wrong" between BBW and the rest of the world accounting for this serial number "apparently". I do hope you will be able to make contact with Stan Bishop for another opinion, as I will not be buying "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" (Any Volume)" any time soon. At these prices http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-D.-Bishop/e/B00MM3GJOY/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1 I think Stan should come to your house and read them to you, and answer any questions one might have.
     
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  17. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Interesting mark-up on Amazon. You can buy them direct from Bishop's web site for about 60 pounds plus shipping. Still not cheap, about $100 bucks delivered but a lot less than Amazon.
     
  18. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

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  19. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Hal.

    My, what a candy store! and this is the first I am learning of any of these volumes. Does anyone own any of these volumes to offer a review / opinion as to which volume might be best purchased first?

    In review of the page sample, these publications do seem to have a flavor similar to Dave Osborne's Master Fort Log. I think I'll wait to purchase until it is learned how Vol. I reflects on 41-24130, if Hal can secure input from Stan.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
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  20. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Scott,

    I have volumes 1, 2, and 3. They are very well done and have come in handy on more than one occasion. BUT, their value would depend on the size of the discretionary book budget. I have thus far refrained from ordering the 4th volume but will probably give in one of these days. Not sure if they (he) will ever finish the 5th book. As far as which to get first, I went with the time frame of a project I was working on at the time and got the rest later. If you have something particular I can scan the page and send you so you can form your own opinion.

    Hal
     
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