Lou Prucha WWII Service   




Lumir J. “Lou” Prucha enlisted as a private in the Army of the United States on Tuesday, December 9, 1941, two days after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, although according to his Separation Qualification Record, his official “Date of entry into active service” in the US Army Air Corps was December 12, 1941. (NARA, 2002)  His Army Serial Number as a private was 17037834. (NARA, 2002) The first digit (“1”) indicates Lou enlisted and the second digit (“7”) corresponds to the region of the country where he entered service – the Seventh Corps Area, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. (Gawne, 2006)


The NARA Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File entry for Lou shows he enlisted at “ALLIANCE AAF NEBRASKA”, but it is unlikely that he traveled 400 miles from Omaha to Alliance in western Nebraska to enlist.  The December 12, 1941 enlistment date from his Separation Qualification Record may possibly represent the date Lou arrived at his Basic training.


Basic and Clerical Training


Unfortunately, little information exists on Lou’s first 8 months of service.


According to the “Military Occupational Assignments” section of his Separation Qualification Record, Private Prucha was in Basic Drill Instruction for 3 months, with a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of “Duty NCO” (MOS code 566).  (Brown, 2010) No information is available about exactly where and when he attended Basic Drill Instruction, but it was probably between December 12, 1941 and early-to-mid-March, 1942.  


After Basic, Lou was in Clerical School (MOS code 629 – “Student”) for 4 months.   Among Lou’s military papers is a diploma from the United States Army Air Corps Technical School showing that on April 29, 1942 (Lou’s twenty-fifth birthday),  Private Lumir J. Prucha, 17037034, Air Corps Unassigned” satisfactorily completed the prescribed “Air Corps Clerks” course of instruction.   The “Military Education” section of Lou’s Separation Qualification Record shows he completed an 8 week Clerical School course at Fort Logan, Colorado.  I assume Lou began the Air Corps Clerks course early-to-mid-March, 1942 to graduate on April 29, 1942.   


Lou remained stationed at Fort Logan, Colorado (SW of Denver), at least through June or July, 1942.    On Monday, June 2, 1942, Lou was apprehended outside of the Isis Theater in Denver, Colorado at about 12:15 a.m., 45 minutes after the 11:30 p.m. curfew.  He was found guilty in a Summary Court-Marshal trial on June 12, 1942 at Ft. Logan, Colorado and sentenced to one-month hard labor and fined $14.00.  On June 15, 1942, the court-marshal findings were “Approved and ordered executed.  Fort Logan, Colorado, is designated as the place of confinement. At the time of his apprehension and court martial, Lou was a Private in the Air Corps Unassigned, "Special" Corps Area Air Corps Detachment, Attached 9th Technical School Squadron (Special) organization.


Mary Brennan’s diary entry of August 14, 1942 states “Lou left Nashville, Tenn. for Maxwell Field, Ala. today to start his flying training. There are no documents in Lou’s military files to indicate why or when he was stationed in Nashville.  Berry Field, (now Nashville International (BNA)) lies 6 miles SE of Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, and could be a possible location at which Lou was stationed. (Murdock, 1998) 


Pilot Training


Lou was promoted to Aviation Cadet (A/C) on August 15, 1942.  His Military Occupational Specialty during his 9 months as Aviation Cadet remained “Student” (MOS 629).


He then completed each of the following 8 week Pilot training programs:  

·         Preflight Pilot Training at Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama
     August 15, 1942 to October 17, 1942.

·         Primary Pilot Training at Souther Field, Americus, Georgia
     October 21, 1942 to December 27, 1942.

·         Basic Pilot Training at Greenville AAFld. Greenville, Mississippi
     December 27, 1942 to February 27, 1943.

·         Advanced TE Pilot Training at George Army Air Field, Lawrenceville, Illinois
     February 28, 1943 to April 29, 1943.


The National Museum of the USAF website includes descriptions the Pilot training program.  Their “Training During WWII” introduction states: (U.S. Air Force, 2009, id=1675) 

“One of the greatest accomplishments of the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II was the training of hundreds of thousands of flying and ground personnel for its armada. Coming from all walks of life, they were molded into the most formidable Air Force the world had ever seen. Before the war, few of them had had more than a casual acquaintanceship with aviation but by VJ-Day in 1945, when Japan surrendered, they had become experts in their particular fields of endeavor. In March 1944 their numbers reached a maximum of 2,411,294 -- approximately 31 percent of the total strength of the U.S. Army.”


Preflight Pilot Training

Preflight Pilot Training, the first course of Aviation Cadet Training, “is devoted to fundamentals involving general military training and preliminary ground work.”  Lou was stationed at the South East Army Air Field Training Center (SEAAFTC) at Maxwell Field (now Maxwell AFB), 3 miles NW of Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama, from August 15, 1942 to October 17, 1942. (Murdock, 1998)  


On September 11, 1942, Mary Brennan made the following entry in her diary: “I’ve been hearing from Lou every day.  He’s been made Group Ajutant [sic] (?).  I’m sure proud of him.”; and on October 22, 1942 “Lou sent me his warrant of his commission.  I’m sure proud of him for sticking it out.  I hope he continues to do so well.  I wish he'’ get a furlough for our dance but I guess there’s no use hoping.”


Primary Pilot Training

At the time of his transfer to Primary Training, Lou was a member of Squadron C, Group I.  Primary Pilot Training involved the first actual aircraft flying and cadets in flew Stearman PT-17 ‘Kaydet’ aircraft with a 220 horse power Continental motor.  Lou’s Class 43-D was trained through the civilian aviation training company “Graham Aviation Company” and held at the Army Air Forces Flying Training Detachment (AAFFTD), Souther Field, 3 miles NE of Americus, Sumter County, Georgia from October 21, 1942 to December 27, 1942. (Murdock, 1998)    The class designation of “43-D” was used to identify those in the pilot training program who were expected to graduate in April, 1943 – “43” indicates the year and “D” indicates the fourth month (April).


Per the National Museum of the USAF: (U.S. Air Force, 2009, id=1649) 

“When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, the USAAF continued with the type of pilot training program it had originally established in 1939 -- primary flying schools operated by civilian companies under contract and basic and advanced flying schools operated by the USAAF. The civilian primary schools had been started by 10 civilian contractors without contracts -- all they had was an urgent plea from Gen. Hap Arnold and his statement that he thought he could get the necessary funds from Congress the next year. Fortunately, the schools were already well in operation at the time of Pearl Harbor.


The civilian schools used Stearman, Ryan and Fairchild trainers owned by the USAAF; their flight instructors were civilian employees. Each cadet was given 60 hours of flight training in nine weeks before moving on the basic flight school.”


Lou had an adventurous time in Primary training.  His first training flight was in Stearman PT-17 Plane No. 89, on October 23, 1942, two days after arriving at Souther Field. He soloed for the first time just two weeks later on November 5, 1942 in Plane No. 64, and flew his final primary training flight in Plane No. 35 on December 18, 1942, at which time he had fulfilled his 60 hour flying time quota.


Mary Brennan had these entries in her diary during Lou’s time in Primary Pilot Training:

  • October 25, 1942 “I received an Air Mail from Lou yesterday saying that he was transferred to Americus, Georgia to start his flying.  I sure hope he makes it because it means a lot to him.”
  • November 09, 1942 “I found out today that Lou soloed last Th. (5th).  I’m sure glad he’s getting along so well.  I only hope he continues to do so.  He’s been writing to me almost every day.  He’s sure swell.  I took care of kids tonight. Exciting!!!


This Primary Pilot Training was obviously not easy since Lou had two accidents during his time at Souther Field.  The first on November 16, 1942 occurred when, according to his Training Pilots Flight Log book Memoranda entry, he “Ground Looped at Souther Fld, Ga, Stearman PT17, No. 75, Damaged rightwing and buckled right aileron on landing at airport.  Lou’s second accident was on November 29, 1942 when he crash landed on takeoff.  This log book memo states: “Crash landing on taking off by Byronville, Ga.  Plane No 47 Stearman PT 17, 220 H.P. Cont. motor.  Landed upside down, damaged prop, motor, tail assembly, upper wings, struts.  Motor stalled at about 5 ft off the ground. - Lost air speed, hit a fence with landing gear flipping the ship on its back.  Called Souther Fld for crash truck.  Accident happened at or about 11:45.  No injuries.  In both cases, Lou was back in the air the next day.

Mary Brennan’s diary entry of December 12, 1942 shows “I got most of my Christmas shopping done.  That’s a pretty good feeling.  It’s been a year today since Lou left.  I wish I could see him even if it’s only for a few minutes.


Basic Pilot Training

Lou’s Basic Pilot Training, from December 27, 1942 to February 27, 1943, was at Greenville Army Flying School (GAFS), Greenville Army Air Field (AAFld) (now Mid Delta Regional), 6 miles NE of Greenville, Washington County, Mississippi.  (Murdock, 1998)   


Basic Pilot Training as described at the National Museum of the USAF website (U.S. Air Force, 2009, id=1491)

“During basic flight training, a cadet received approximately 70 hours in the air during a nine-week period. The basic cadet made military pilots of those who had learned only the fundamentals of flight in primary school. In addition to operating an airplane of greater weight, horsepower and speed, such as the BT-9 or BT-13, the cadet was taught how to fly at night, by instruments, in formation and on cross-country from one point to another. Also, for the first time, he was operating an airplane equipped with a two-way radio and a two-pitch propeller. This was the point in his career where it was decided whether he would go to single-engine or twin-engine advanced flying school.”


During Basic Pilot Training, Lou flew the Vultee Class 35 BT-13A 'Valiant' type aircraft with a single 450 horse power Pratt & Whitney engine.  Lou’s first orientation ride in a BT-13A was on December 30, 1942 (Plane No. 713), first solo was January 23, 1943 (Plane No. 710) and his last basic pilot training flight with a BT-13A was on February 25, 1943.  At the end of this stage of training, Lou had flown 32:55 dual hours, 37:00 solo hours and 15:00 Link Trainer instruction hours.   Little additional information is currently available on Lou’s Basic Pilot Training.

Advanced Pilot Training

Advanced TE [Twin-Engine] Pilot Training at George Army Air Field, (now Lawrenceville Vincennes Intl), 3 miles NE of Lawrenceville, Lawrence County, Illinois was between February 28, 1943 and April 29, 1943.  (Murdock, 1998)  The advance trainer (AT) aircraft used in this phase of training was the twin Lycoming engine (combined 560 HP) Beechcraft, Class 26 AT-10 ‘Wichita’.


According to the National Museum of the USAF: (U.S. Air Force, 2009, id=1477) 

“Advanced flying school was to prepare a cadet for the kind of airplane he was to fly in combat, either single- or multi-engine.


Those who went to single-engine school flew AT-6s for the first 70 hours during a nine-week period, learning aerial gunnery and combat maneuvers and increasing their skills in navigation, formation and instrument flying.


Cadets assigned to twin-engine school received the same number of flying hours but did not practice combat aerobatics or gunnery. Using the AT-9, AT-10 or AT-17, they directed their efforts toward increasing their ability to fly on instruments, at night and in formation after first having mastered the art of flying a plane with more than one engine.”


Mary Brennan’s March 1, 1943 diary entry reads "The past couple of months have been hell on earth for both Lou and I.  I thought I was in love with Jim and told Lou about it.  I’m glad I realize now how wrong I was.  Lou has been transferred to Ill."


March 5, 1943 marked Lou’s initial 1 hour and 15 minute orientation flight in the AT-10.  His first AT-10 solo was on March 17th and final training flight was April 27, 1943, two days before graduation.  Advanced training involved both day and night cross-country and formation flying.


April 29, 1943 was a monumental day.  On this day Lou graduated his pilot’s training program as a member of Training Squadron 4 of Class SE-43-D, received his silver "wings", was rated Pilot, officially appointed 2nd Lieutenant (Serial Number O-802219) and ordered to Active Duty, relieved from the Aviation Cadet Detachment and assigned to the 30th Two-Engine (TE) Flying Training Group at George Army Air Field, and celebrated his 26th birthday.


According to information concerning the Pilot Class 43-D Association, “Class 43-D was one of the largest to enter training, 9,896 started, and 5,275 graduated from 29 training fiels [sic], plus Tuskeegee [sic] Institute.“ (Dutko, 2000)


For additional information on Pilot training, it is well worth reading Jim Phillips’ accounts of his military experiences, including early training.  His self-published book is titled Pillars in the Sky, World War II from the Air. (Phillips, 1982) Robert H. Berly Jr. also wrote about his personal military career, including descriptions of his pilot training experiences and has posted it on the Internet at http://www.psln.com/pete/pow_berly_1.htm. (Berly Jr., 2006)


Training Continues


The National Museum of the USAF website includes the following section on Transition Training. (U.S. Air Force, 2009, id=1677)

“The successful completion of pilot training was a difficult and dangerous task. During the four-and-a-half year period of January 1941 until August 1945, there were 191,654 cadets who were awarded pilot wings. But there were also 132,993 who "washed out," or were killed during training, a loss rate of approximately 40 percent due to accidents, academic or physical problems, and other causes.


Those who graduated from flying school were usually assigned to transition training in the type of plane they were to fly in combat. Some were assigned to specific squadrons already scheduled for overseas duty while others were assigned to replacement training units for subsequent assignment to squadrons already overseas. Regardless, it required two months of additional training before a pilot was considered ready for combat.”


Lou remained stationed at George Field, Illinois, assigned to the 30th Two-Engine Flying Training Group, and began transition training, still flying AT-10’s from May 3rd through the 18th. 


On May 28, 1943, Lou was reassigned to the 46th Bomb Group stationed at Will Rogers Field in Oklahoma City, OK, recommended for B-26 (Martin B-26 ‘Marauder’) and authorized 10 days leave of absence – May 31 to June 9, 1943.  According to Richard E. Osborne’s book World War II Sites in the United States, A Tour Guide & Directory, “In May and June of 1943 a devastating flood on the nearby Wabash River made the [George] field unusable for several weeks. At the time it was called the ‘Battle of George Field’.” (Osborne, 1996) This could have been a reason he was granted leave.


During this leave, he returned to Omaha, Nebraska and married Mary Margaret Brennan on June 2, 1943.


Lou reported back to duty on June 9, 1943 at Will Rogers Field, OK and continued training at various bases stateside until his transfer overseas in August 1944.  These bases included:

  • Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – June 9, 1943 to October 4, 1943.

·         Temporary assignment to Alachua Army Air Field, Gainesville, Florida and the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics in Orlando, Florida for Tactical Training – July 7, 1943 to August 5, 1943.

·         Temporary assignment to Barksdale Field, Shreveport, Louisiana for B-26 training – August 13, 1943 to September 1, 1943.

  • Muskogee Army Air Field, Muskogee, Oklahoma – October 4, 1943 to January 9 1944. 
  • Laurel Army Air Field, Laurel, Mississippi – January 9, 1944 to February 8, 1944.
  • Lakeland Army Air Field, MacDill Field Sub-Base, Lakeland, Florida – February 8, 1944 to March 4, 1944.
  • Columbia Army Air Base, Columbia South Carolina – March 6, 1944 to May 14, 1944. 
  • Morris Field Replacement Training Unit, Charlotte, North Carolina – May 14, 1944 to July 31, 1944. 
  • Hunter Field, Savannah, Georgia – July 31, 1944 to August 21, 1944.


Upon his arrival on June 9, 1943 at Will Rogers Field, (now Will Rogers World), located 8 miles SW of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, Lou was assigned to the 3rd Air Force, 3rd Air Squadron (AS) Command, 56th Bombardment Wing, 46th Bomb Group (L), 53rd Bomb Squadron (L). (Murdock, 1998)  During June and the first three days of July, Lou began training flights in Douglas RDB-7B (“restricted” variation of the A-20 ‘Havoc’) and North American B-25 ‘Mitchell’ (C model) aircraft.


Just one month after arriving at Will Rogers, Lou was assigned a 30 day temporary duty (TD) at Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics (AAFSAT), Academic Training Center, Orlando, Orange County, Florida to pursue a Key Personnel course as Flight Leader. He was to report on July 9, 1943.  Wikipedia, the free on-line encyclopedia states the following about the AAFSAT: (Wikipedia, 2009)

“Its function was to teach combat operations under simulated field conditions to cadres of Air Force aircrews as the cores around which new combat groups would be formed.


With a ground school in Orlando, Florida, presenting a two-week academic course, AAFSAT also taught a two-week field course utilizing eleven training airfields in Florida representing all conditions likely to be found in combat, from bare fields to prepared bomber airbases having 10,000-foot runways:”


During this training, Lou flew only the first three days in August from Alachua AAFld, (now Gainesville Regional), 3 miles NE of Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida. (Murdock, 1998)


While on his temporary duty assignment, Lou received Special Order # 191 on July 22, 1943 transferring him to the 646th Bombardment Squadron (L) of the newly formed 410th Bombardment Group (L), effective July 1, 1943.  The 410th Bomb Gp. (L) was constituted on June 16, 1943 and activated July 1, 1943 at Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma and was part of the 3rd Air Force, 3rd Bomb Command, 56th Bombardment Training Wing. (Maurer, 1983) At the time of its formation, the 410th was initially setup as an Operational Training Unit (OTU) to train all members to work together as a cohesive fighting unit.


On August 13, 1943, Lou received Special Orders # 77 temporarily assigning him to the 335th Bomb Gp (M), 475th Bomb Sq. (M) at Barksdale Field, (now Barksdale AFB), 4 miles E of Shreveport, Caddo County, Louisiana to pursue a course in flying transition in B-26.  This T/D assignment started August 17th and was not to exceed 15 days. On 26 August 1943, Lou was certified as Co-pilot on the B-26 airplane. (Murdock, 1998)  Lou continued training on both B-26B and A-20 aircraft flying from Will Rogers and Barksdale fields during the first half of September. 


The 410th Bomb Gp. received a temporary change of station to Muskogee Army Air Field (AAFld), (now Davis Field), 6 miles S of Muskogee, Muskogee County, Oklahoma.  The entire organization, along with Lou, moved there on October 4, 1943. (Murdock, 1998)   Lou’s training at Muskogee involved almost daily (and often two or three times per day) flights in North American B-25D ‘Mitchell’ and Douglas A-20 ‘Havoc’ (A, C, G and RDB-7B models) aircraft from October to the end of December, 1943.


During part of the time in Oklahoma, possibly as early as August 11, 1943 to probably the end of December, 1943, Lou’s new wife Mary was able to join him. They celebrated their first thanksgiving together in Muskogee, OK.   Lou was granted 4 days leave effective on or about December 23, 1943, which is probably when he moved Mary back to Omaha.    Mary has letters from her good friend Leatrice (Lee) Gallert addressed to 601 N.W. 16th St. and also Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma between Aug 11, 1943 and Oct 13, 1943, and others addressed to 422 No. ‘C’ Street, Muskogee, Oklahoma between Oct 27, 1943 and Dec 23, 1943.


On January 9, 1944, the 410th Bomb Gp. transferred to Laurel AAFld, (now Hesler-Noble Field), 2 miles SW of Laurel, Jones County, Mississippi, although Lou first flew there on Jan 5th. (Murdock, 1998) (Maurer, 1983)    While Lou was officially stationed at Laurel during January, he actually flew between many different locations, including Columbus, GA; Ft. Benning, GA; Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, TX; Muskogee, OK; and Radman Field, Ft. Knox, KY for maneuvers, demonstrations and training. Around January 11, 1944 Mary moved from her parents’ house at 3340 No. 47th Ave in Omaha to an apartment at 4155 Cuming St.


In a letter to his wife on 1 Feb, 1944, Lou described his pistol qualification testing:

   “ My ears were sore and I kept my left hand over the ear closest to the gun and couldn’t hit anything.  Coddington and Salmen were out there too, and finally qualified with Coddington at 185 points and Salmen 200 points out of a possible 250.

   After they left, it was getting dark, sweets, but I and another fellow still had to stay and qualify or we wouldn’t get our guns.  The range officer noticed I kept holding my ear and asked me if it hurt.  I told him it was still tender from the day before and he gave me some cotton. Honey, right after that I qualified with 217.  I made marksman and just a point short of expert.  I have two medals to wear now, sweets, and I think I can do a little better if it hadn’t got so dark.  I’ve qualified as expert in carbine and marksman in the pistol.”


The 410th moved to Lakeland AAFld, (now Lakeland Linder Regional), 4 miles SW of Lakeland, Polk County, Florida on February 8, 1944. (Murdock, 1998) (Maurer, 1983) Lakeland AAFld was a sub-base for MacDill Field. (Osborne, 1996) Lou continued his frequent flying in January and February, but most often in A-20 aircraft.   At various times in February, Lou was made assistant Engineering Officer and test pilot under official orders, and Squadron Duty Officer.  Some of his responsibilities included managing enlisted men, testing all the planes in the squadron and taking roll of the enlisted men.  On Feb 22nd, Lou got a scare when he got a letter from the Commanding General of the Third Air Force stating he was disqualified from flying duty.  After checking, they found that a clerk had written “5” instead of “.5” for his left eye hyperphoria.  They were able to get the problem straightened out so Lou could fly again.


The 410th Bombardment Group was transferred overseas to Birch, England between March and April, 1944 and assigned to the 9th Air Force. (Maurer, 1983) Prior to the 410th move, Lou was reassigned to Columbia Army Air Base Replacement Depot (CAABR), (now Columbia Metropolitan), 6 miles SW of Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina on March 5, 1944 at his own request. (Murdock, 1998)   In Lou’s letter to Mary about March 8, 1944, he writes:

   “I talked to the Colonel here on the post [CAABR] to-day and he said I could have any ship that I’d trained in.  I didn’t know whether to take that new B25 that is here or go to another field for an A20.  They’re both so nice to fly but I finally decided to stay with my A20 as I have more time in it.

   Honey the reason I left the Group was that Coddington had me flying so damned much I was getting jumpy.  I finally had to refuse to fly and told him if he tried to make me then I’d go and get myself grounded.  I guess Major Parrett heard about it and he asked me if I wanted to change.  I told him I thought it would be better.  He let me come up here as the Colonel here used to be at Will Rogers.  I’m sorry about it, honey, but it would have been the same in Combat and it might not have worked out so easy.”


He was granted 10 days leave on March 15, 1944 to allow him to travel back to Omaha, Nebraska for the birth of his first son, Edward John Prucha on March 20th.  He arrived back in Columbia, South Carolina on March 25th after spending three days on the train back from Omaha.


Lou had no flying time in March, 1944 and only one 4 hour 20 minute flight in April as co-pilot in a B-25J to Chattanooga, Tennessee and back on April 22nd, but he told Mary in a letter that did not like flying the B25.   Near the end of March, Lou asked to be transferred to Charlotte, North Carolina but was told by Capt. Stuki that he could not be transferred without a certified physical.  Unfortunately, his certified physical record had been sent to Washington, D.C. and could take a week to several weeks to get returned, so he was stuck in Columbia and unable to fly.  Lou ended up in the hospital for a few days on two different occasions, first in April for a slight touch of fever and then again in early May due to sinus troubles.


Special Orders Number 134, dated 13 May 1944, relieved Lou from his assignment at Section R, 329th AAF Base Unit, Columbia Army Air Base and transferred him to Morris Field Replacement Training Unit (RTU) (LB), effective May 14, 1944.  Morris Field, (now Charlotte/Douglas International), is 5 miles W of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. (Murdock, 1998)


According to Lou’s May 16th letter, he received his orders about 8:30 on the morning of May 14, 1944, was on a bus by 11:30, arrived at Charlotte about 4 in the afternoon and was initially assigned to the “U” Section, which was the “old 87th Bomb Sq.”.  Less than a week after arriving at Morris Field, Lou saw Col. Miller at the club and they asked Major Walker if Lou could transfer to Col. Miller’s squadron, Section “T” which was the former 50th Bomb Squadron.


Lou began frequent flights again on May 23, 1944, mostly in A-20 aircraft, and continued through mid July.  Lou began training with his gunners Sgt. Leland C. Ferguson and T. Sgt. Glenn C. Wilson on May 24th.   Lou noted that “the pilots here that are training us have all been overseas.  We’re really picking up a lot of good knowledge here, baby, and it will help a lot.  Lou’s training was intense with night flights every second or third night along with the normal day bombing missions, chemical missions, aerial gunnery practice, training the gunners how to inspect, start and taxi around the planes, along with being assigned as Airdrome Officer (A.O.) a several times.  Lou noted in one letter that he and his gunners are “getting to be a pretty good team to-gether” and hopes “they don’t bust this one up for me.


Lou landed in the hospital again for four days between about June 17 and 21, 1944 due to heat exhaustion because he was not taking salt tablets.  On July 2nd, Lou was in Miami, Florida for a checkup and got stuck there for about 5 days due to weather.  He got back to Charlotte for a couple of days to get some papers checked off, then went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina about July 8th with his gunners for an extensive specialized training program, some days “flying from 8 in the morning until 9 & 10 at night”.  On July 14, 1944 Lou was qualified as an unlimited pilot on A-20 type airplane.


On or about July 16, 1944, Lou was transferred to Squadron S, Morris Field RTU (LB), 3rd Bomb Command, 3rd Air Force and then was granted 11 days leave from July 17-27, 1944 so he could get back to Omaha for a few days to visit his wife and new child before his overseas transfer.  


On July 27, 1944, Special Orders No. 180 transferred Lou, Lee and Glenn as Crew 11 to Hunter Field, GA for assignment to Project AF JY-42 (A-20G crews), to arrive not later than 31 July 1944.  Hunter Field, which is now Hunter AAF, lies 5 miles SW of Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia. (Murdock, 1998) Two days leave was granted to Lou on 6 Aug 1944.  During his assignment to the 302nd Army Air Force Base Unit (BU) Staging Wing (SW) of the 3rd Air Force at Hunter Field, Lou only flew two days, August 18 and 19, 1944.    


See “Tour of Duty” for remaining information.


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