Hello. I'm looking for information on my dad, Earl "Bill" DeCastro, an original member of the 5th Air Force, 5th Bomber Command, 345th Bomb Group, 500th Bomb Squadron "Rough Raiders". He was an aerial photographer and top turret gunner on a plane he said was named "My Fair Lady" I can't find anything on his crew, the pilot or plane - plane nose art and name were patched over when repairs were made.
He was at Port Moresby, New Guinea shortly after April, 1943 when the original cadre was shipped over seas.
Dad and the rest of the men had to literally build a base there. One of his first jobs was running a bulldozer to get the base underway; I guess all of them pitched in to construct it.
They almost immediately started the low altitude straffing and parafrag bombing the 345th was famous for. He and his squad took part in the battle of Rabaul in New Britain then continued on to the Helmar Islands, Ceram,and Java.
They flew missions to Moritai, Mindanao, Bataan, Corregedor and Leyte Dad flew three missions to Okinawa before being shipped home in late spring of 1945. His squad continued on to Japan.
Dad had buddies over there but I only have one name and a couple of nicknames for two others: Alvin(?) Shalla, "Moose"- a large, muscular man, possibly from the Boston, MA area ndArkie/Arky from Arkansas(?) Shalla or possibly another in his crew was from Des Plaines, IL.
He found a stray puppy and took him in. Dad said his whole unit loved the pup who went on many missions with Dad and his crew. The 90th took the pup when he had to be left on base due to the extreme risk of the mission. Dad said his unit got soecial permission for him to go to the 90th's base to retrieve the pup but he wasn't able to get him back. Unfortunately, I don't knowthe pup's name.
I realize this is long-winded but I have been searching for information for a long time. Anything that could help me would be so very appreciated! Thanks and God Bless!
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