It sat amidst the English fields and hedgerows in a once quiet area of clustered towns. Quaint homes with roofs of slate and thatch sprinkled the countryside and co-mingled with the bustling airfields that had sprung up like mushrooms in East Anglia. The planes brought over to aid the war effort were grouped into wings, and wings were grouped into air divisions in an orderly and workable organization in a collective effort to defeat the Axis powers.
To live nestled amongst the buzzing aerodromes proved to be exciting and sometimes harrowing for the English citizens. Early in the war, the noise was deafening when all the planes went up.
The locals learned quickly to differentiate an American Liberator or a Royal Air Force Lancaster, as well as the occasional German Heinkel, each engine having its own distinctive sound. The two immediately recognized the shape and sound of it and knew it to be a Jerry German. The pilot manning the machine gun in the nose of the plane took aim and machine gunned the friends. Derek dove into the ditch on the side of the road, and Vic did the same on the other side as the bullets stitched a line down the middle of the road between them before it soared off into the distance.
Sneak attacks on the English coast at low level happened quite regularly as the war progressed. His house was nearly hit one morning when a Liberator B from Horsham St. Faith was taking off and could not gain altitude. It flew about fifty feet up just above the trees. Young Derek saw the tails of the bombs sticking up out of the ground across the field in front of the house. Fortunately, they were not primed. Like so many families, the Hewitts braved the danger and welcomed with open arms the American airmen who answered the call and were sent abroad to join the war effort in Europe.
Their loyalty would last for decades. In ever-increasing numbers, fighting men populated the English countryside, and new bomb groups were added. The first of them,. Faith at the end of January, Four months later a replacement crew headed by Henry Northrop joined them. Ten men became family as they experienced together the harrowing adventure of wartime Europe.
They were ten strangers destined to bond and survive—each life in the hands of the next that spring of The pilot, 2nd Lt. Henry Hank Northrop who hailed from Batavia, New York, was one of five brothers all serving in the military fighting in Europe. He grew up singing with his brothers in the boys choir in the s, as his father was a minister in Long Island. Northrop had worked at W. Dee J.
Butler, a Mormon from Ogden, Utah, served as co-pilot. As a child, he had long been a devotee of model airplanes, building many and marveling at the mechanics of flight. He was the eldest of four siblings and an avid reader. When jobs were scarce after the depression, he took a job as a gandy dancer repairing railroad tracks in Reno, Nevada.
For three months he slept in double bunks in a box car where fellow workers and bed bugs were his companions. He enrolled in Moench University of Business and worked as a janitor to pay for his education. The first day of school he met Miriam, his future wife. Butler was an excellent stenographer and typist. He was placed in Salmon, Idaho, to work for the Forest Service after completing his studies.
Butler enlisted in the Army Air Corps just two months after he married. He was one of three married men on the crew and was expecting his first child. Frank C. Deimel, the navigator, son of two German immigrants, was single and came into the service from Chicago, Illinois. He was the old man of the crew at twenty-seven. Deimel had studied in the seminary to become a priest.
The British would take the local girls to a pub for beer and to play darts, while the Americans could afford to take them to a good restaurant and pay for steak and a bottle of wine. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Bavarian Redoubt It was brightly shined and suitably decorated with sirens and spotlights and a four-star flag. Scharff was originally to be deployed to the Russian Front. The first of them, the th, began arriving at Horsham St.
Thomas F. Jeffers, another married man on the crew, served as bombardier. Jeffers, nicknamed, Jeff, had been raised in New York and spent summers in Massachusetts with his many aunts. He lost his father when he was fifteen and quickly became the man of the house. He was also expecting his first child. He worked for J. Penney in Texas selling to the Mexican clientele and later selling beauty accessories to drug stores and small shops until he was drafted. He thought the service would use him as an engineer, but the lieutenant in charge called his name and told him he was going to the Army Air Corps.
Cardenas protested saying they had made a mistake as he did not know anything about flying. He was the pretty face among the handsome crew, and they teased him about his attractiveness to the young women of England. Cardenas expressed his desire to Jeffers that after the war he would return to Mexico, the native land of his people, and find a blue-eyed senorita.
Joe Risko, of Detroit, Michigan, served as armorer waist gunner. He grew up on the east side of Detroit fascinated by. He loved to read and was an excellent actor in high school plays. He loved cars and worked several jobs supporting his parents who worked in factories aiding the war effort. He enlisted with his three best friends, leaving his girlfriend, Jean behind.
Staff Sgt. Harold Jack Flaugher, from Bloomdale, Ohio, with grandparents in Germany, flew as top turret gunner and was the flight engineer. In high school, Harold played football, basketball and ran track. Harold was the gentle giant of the crew who went to church in Norwich, England, after they arrived rather than go into town with the crew.
Need any money? Flaugher would often ask, as they left for town for fish and chips and beers. He looked out for all of them telling them to have a good time but warning them to be careful and come back safely, earning their tremendous respect. He was also working at Wright Field, but his path had not crossed with Jeffers there. Charles Durell Clifford, divorced, was the tail gunner from Fresno, California.
Born in Idaho, he was a bit of a loner, the son of a divorced mother. He worked on a ranch breeding horses. When he went into town with the crew, he always left their group and usually remained a bit emotionally distant. He was a member of the football and baseball teams and ran track. He graduated from high school and went to work at Douglas Aircraft Company while waiting for his orders to report for duty.
When he was eighteen, the call came. He was the second son in the family to go off to war, and his girlfriend threw a farewell party for him. He spent his last day at home swimming at the beach and then left for Florida for basic training at a hotel in St. He had three brothers still serving overseas when he returned home. Lawrence E. Dean, the radio operator, was from the small town of Kingsport, Tennessee. He was the oldest of eight brothers and five sisters and the son of a soldier who fought in France during World War I.
Oglethorpe, Georgia, before basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi. No one was left in Kingsport but women and children. Together, the group of ten, newly-acquainted and richly-diverse, put their lives on hold to fight for their country. Two months before the Northrop crew arrived in England, Big Week had dealt a severe blow to German fighter production. One Sunday, in late February, nearly a thousand American bombers, escorted by fighters, attacked fighter plane factories at Brunswick, Oscherleben, Bernberg and Leipzig in the heaviest assault of the war up to that time.
A large part of the force was directed at the Messerschmitt assembly factory and aircraft component plants at Leipzig. Production was stopped at the Leipzig and Bernberg factories, which together had been making thirty percent of all single and twin-engined fighters. Output at Brunswick fighter assembly plants had been interrupted by previous attacks, and the bombardment put them out of business for four additional months.
Enthusiasm and optimism were running high, and General Jimmy Doolittle decided to increase the pressure on the Luftwaffe with a series of raids aimed at luring the enemy fighters into conflict. But victory was fleeting, and morale was getting low northwest of the English Channel just before the Northrop crew arrived. Two weeks before, thirteen B Liberators crashed or crash-landed in east Norfolk in one night. Two more were damaged, and thirty-eight men were killed. Another twenty-three men were injured. Fires burned at the base at nearby Seething until past three in the morning.
That same day at Horsham St. Faith, one B was lost over Holland. Twenty-four planes returned, but German intruders intercepted them at six-thousand feet, ten miles southeast of the base. Control ordered the formation to fly northeast for twenty minutes before turning back, and an American plane was said to have been brought down by anti-aircraft batteries protecting Norwich. Besides that, tours were increased from thirty to thirty-five missions, and deep penetration raids ranked equal to short-haul missions.
Later, Air Corps Headquarters recognized the great risk of flying into heavily-defended Germany, and a fairer method of assessing missions was implemented.
Rhapsody in Junk: A Daughter's Return to Germany to Finish Her Father's Story Paperback – May 4, Marilyn Walton is an extraordinary woman whose quest to retrace her father's World War II footsteps, and those of his bomber crew, bridges a gap of over sixty years. Editorial Reviews. Review. A remarkable and singularly touching glimpse of human endurance Rhapsody in Junk: a Daughter's Return to Germany to Finish Her Father's Story - Kindle edition by Marilyn Jeffers Walton. Rhapsody in Junk: a Daughter's Return to Germany to Finish Her Father's Story Kindle Edition. by.
Having completed training, the Northrop crew, as well as their close friends on the Francis Red Morley crew were assigned to the th Bomb Group, th Squadron, flying over together and arriving in late May of The crews quickly became oriented to the area. The officers were pleased to find they were assigned to a brick building rather than the standard Quonset huts assigned to officers at the surrounding bases. Two bomber crews were assigned to each brick building. Jeffers and Butler shared an upstairs apartment with four men of the Morley crew—Morley himself, the pilot, Henry Hank Hier, the bombardier, Charles Davis, navigator and Bennie Hill, the co-pilot.
A simple fireplace with a grate was the only source of heat for the apartment. The crew gave it little thought upon their spring arrival but knew heat would prove challenging during their first English winter. The men soon settled into life at the base. The official song of the th was the popular, After the Ball Was Over.
They traversed the country lanes on purchased bicycles that often disappeared as quickly as they were bought. The crew learned about powdered eggs and morning fog and young, English children who followed and worshipped them like idols. Mostly, they learned what it was like to be a long way from home. Wives, parents, children and sweethearts were all left behind, and men untested in battle nervously anticipated their fates. Between the terror of scheduled missions and the comparatively calmer down time on the ground, the fresh-faced 8th Air Force boys explored Norwich. The Lido Club welcomed many a lonesome newcomer.
The clubs offered dancing and entertainment, and the American Club which sat in the middle of Norwich proved to be a very popular. The Hippodrome Theatre sat in the center of Norwich and held many a burlesque show. Dimensions : 6x9. Page Count : ISBN : Format : E-Book. Page Count : 1. About the Book. About the Author. Editorial Reviews. Foreword Review Marilyn Walton is one of very few people to my knowledge who has immersed themselves in the POW experience to the point where they can write about it as if they had lived the experience themselves.
Marilyn's father was a POW himself, and his daughter has told the story of his life as a member of the "World War Two" generation with love, pride and sensitivity. Her research has been thorough and has brought her new friends who sixty years ago were under her father's bombs. I have had the privilege of watching Marilyn's book grow as she uncovered aspects of her father's experiences as a B bombardier and built them into a rich document that will assist people to better understand our generation's Great War for generations to come.
Clark Lt. Marilyn Walton is an extraordinary woman whose quest to retrace her father's World War II footsteps, and those of his bomber crew, bridges a gap of over sixty years. Her indefatigable enthusiasm laced with quick-witted humor, attention to detail and endless compassion enabled her to not only bridge the time gap, but also create new cultural and personal bridges with all those individuals uniquely involved in her project.
Marilyn takes the reader from the United States and Mexico to Great Britain, Germany and Poland during the retracing of these footsteps from the beginning of the B24 crew training to the fateful day of Rhapsody's demise over Germany in June All Languages. More filters. Sort order. Elizabeth A.
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