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Looking for information on the 72nd Bomb Squadron, 5th Bomber Group

Discussion in 'Heavy & Very Heavy Bombers' started by Dave1104, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. Dave1104

    Dave1104 New Member

    I have finally decided to conduct research on my uncle, PVT Edward R. Hughes of Martins Ferry, OH. He was assigned to the 72nd Heavy Bomb Squadron of the 5th Bomber Group based in Hawaii at the beginning of the war. He was KIA at Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941. I have located his service number but would like to learn as much as I can about his service until his death. At this point all I have is anecdotal evidence from his brother (my other uncle) before his death. (Unfortunately everyone from his generation has already passed, for which I am already kicking myself for not having taken the opportunity to get as much of the story as possible).

    I do not have his entry date into service, where he graduated from Basic Training, when he joined the unit, when he arrived in Hawaii, etc. I am not sure if there is any way to confirm the type of plane (B-17?) or his position on the plane (ball turret gunner?) or the name of the plane if that info is available, or if the plane was one that survived the attack. My uncle recalled that a service friend told the family that PVT Hughes was in the mess hall at the beginning of the attack and was one of the first out the door when a bomb went off just as he exited. I have a photo probably from his basic training graduation.
    Can someone point me in some directions to begin my research project? I am aware that the available info may be pretty thin, but anything would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Dave Speck
     
  2. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Dave,

    Do you know his date of birth? The enlistment records at the National Archives show an Edward R. Hughes from Ohio who enlisted in 1940, he was born in 1922. Could this be him?

    There is a Facebook page for the 5th BG, I do not belong so can't dig through it. If you are on Facebook here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/5th-Bomb-Group-H-118022234918726/

    EDIT: Here is his Military headstone application. It includes his Army Serial Number, with that number you might be able to obtain further records of his service.

    Hal

    HUGHES.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
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  3. Dave1104

    Dave1104 New Member

    1922 sounds right. I don't have it handy but the timing is right for his age difference from my mother. I don't have access to Facebook but my wife does. I'll try to check that out. Thanks.
    Dave
     
  4. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Ok, then here is his Enlistment record.

    hughes 2.jpg
     
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  5. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    What is his middle name? Is it Rhys as noted on the Headstone card? If so, someone has erroneously posted that he was in the Navy.

    hughes 3.jpg
     
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  6. Dave1104

    Dave1104 New Member

    That's it. I didn't see the application for headstone previously or I could have confirmed it from that alone. David E. Hughes is my grandfather. Thank you very much. Can you point me towards the next step?
    Dave
     
  7. Dave1104

    Dave1104 New Member

    It was in fact Rhys. My grandfather was an immigrant from Wales. Rhys was a typical family name in Wales. He was definitely in the USAAF. Looks like one of my cousins may have erred in showing him as USN. How do I get this corrected?
    Dave
     
  8. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    As he enlisted in September 1940 and died in December 1941 there honestly may not be too much history for you to find. By the time he was processed, went through training, etc. shipped out to Hawaii, he wasn't there very long before he died.
    Here is a link to a book you can download that might give you some background about the 5th BG that might be useful.
    https://archive.org/details/TheStoryOfTheFifthBombardmentGroupHeavy
     
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  9. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    To get that corrected you'd have to figure out which cousin posted it. I don't think that site has any other way to edit entries. Here is another page from the same site which says US Army which is technically correct as the Air Corps was still the Army Air Corps at that time. Here is the site, just enter his name.

    http://www.wwiimemorial.com/Registry/Search.aspx


    hughes 4.jpg
     
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  10. Dave1104

    Dave1104 New Member

    Thanks. Time to contact the cousins (if they are contactable.). Can you tell me what web site or data base is the one in error?
    Dave
     
  11. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

  12. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Dave,

    One last thing for tonight. Here is a contact for the 72nd BS. Might be worth an email to see if he has any info regarding your uncle.
    http://www.pacificwrecks.com/units/usaaf/5bg/html/72ndbs.html

    Most of these guys would have come after your uncle but you never know what info they may have in their files or what other contacts they might be able to give you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
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  13. Dave1104

    Dave1104 New Member

    Thanks. Looks like he has two listings, one for the Army and one for the Navy. Of course, the Army is the correct one. I'll have to chase down which niece entered the navy version.

    Dave
     
  14. Dave1104

    Dave1104 New Member

    I sent an email to the contacts for the 72nd BS. Unfortunately, two of them have bounced back. I'm afraid they may no longer be active. Maybe the third one will respond.

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  15. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Dave,

    In the interest of 'readability' and to save space it is not necessary to use the 'reply' button to restate what someone else has already posted. Thanks.
     
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