716th Bomb Squadron, 449th Bomb Group (Heavy)
15th U.S. Army Air Force
“Silver Babe” B-24 Liberator-Raymond Nicholson’s crew
left waist gunner- 50 missions flown from Grottaglie, Italy air base over Europe
Gail Barber Popowich
Rochester, NY USA
H. Frank Stubbs joined the WWII effort immediately after his high school graduation with Honors , in Yakima Washington.
He trained and served as Pilot in the 449th BG . After WWII ended, Frank returned to Washington state , attended the University of Washington in Seattle, then attended and graduated from University of Washington School of Law . Frank became a top notch Attorney , and was included in more than one edition of “Best Trial Lawyers in America” . He was married to Joy Nichols Stubbs before joining the Army Air Corp., and Frank and Joy had 6 children . H. Frank Stubbs always admired his fellow 449th members and attended each reunion he could .
His family , wife , and much of his community admire him for his talents , patriotism , kindness, and loyalty .
My father, Richard Lent, (1921-2015) was a navigator in the 449th, and was in combat from June 1944 – October 13, 1944. His aircraft went down over occupied Yugoslavia following a mission (his 50th) to Vienna and alternate targets. Among the crew aboard was flight surgeon Captain Leslie Caplan, author of “Death March Medic.”
My father bailed out, but landed badly, breaking bones in both legs. He was found by Yugoslav partisans under Tito’s, who managed over five days to bring him down from the area where he landed to the coast, thence to an island controlled by the Allies, and back to Italy. There his injuries were treated (broken bones repaired with metal sleeves, two in one leg, three in the other) and returned to the US in late 1944. There’s much more to the story.
Accompanying photo is of his aircrew in Idaho before heading east and the journey to Italy. Lt. Richard Lent is second from left in the back row.
My Uncle Harold was a ball turret gunner on “TWO TON TESSIE” 42-52117. The rest is history. I’m in the midst of making a model of his B-24H-10-FO. Archives only have three photos. Does anyone have Info. about tail and fuselage (both sides) numbers. See enclosed picture I used 42-52150 for reference.
Robert D Carley
Today we laid to rest retired Master Sargent Loman Lee Largen. Born March 27, 1925 he made his final flight on March 6, 2021. Born in Winston Salem, NC. to Charles Elmer and Mary Elizabeth Faulkner. He had nine sisters, two brothers, three aunts, two uncles, two wives, three children, six grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. He joined the Army Jun 16, 1941 at the age of 16. He was his unit’s postmaster in Winston Salem and studied for pilot exams, passing only to find the billets were already filled. Determined to fly he went to flight engineer school in Chicago and was assigned to the 449th Bomb Group. Now a flight engineer and top turret gunner flying in the B-24 liberator out of Italy. He flew 50 missions before his 18th birthday, one was daring thousand plane raid on the Romania oil fields. He later told the story of the horror of running in place for 4 hours when the electrical system providing power to their heated suits took a hit. After WWII Loman continued his career in newly formed U.S. Air force. He went on to invent a wrench to adjust the afterburner on the F-86DE and ended his Air Force service as a crew chief on B-52’s in Michigan. Having twenty-three years and four honorable discharges from two branches of the military Loman received the following medals: Air Medal Ribbon W 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Good Conduct, Army Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Three Bronze Star Devices, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korea Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, Small Arms Marksmanship Ribbon and the United Nations Korean Service. Loman wasn’t done working and went on to be a private pilot, flight instructor, lime juice plant manager, assembly mechanic on packaging machinery, watch and clock repairman, machinist. Loman was a life member of the NRA and VFW and an amateur radio operator “K4TWS” for 69 years.
My dad was in the 15th AF, squadron 719 of the 449. Reading thru old letters and see names of tent mates Mink, Burnside, Kaplan and others. Sgt. Neel is mentioned. Trying to find out if my dad flew in Flying Fortress or Liberator and would love to know the name if the plane/planes. I will keep reading but if you can provide any information I would be grateful.
Beverly Joyner Walker
My father-in-law, Collman Ketring, was a pilot in the 719th Squadron. His name is sometimes misspelled as “Colman” in military information. His daughter, Nancy Ketring Kennedy, is my wife. There seems to be scant mention of his name on the webpage, In addition, some of the contents have been misplaced in connection with Ross E. Kettering, a pilot in the 718th Squadron. Interestingly, Dick Downey was a member of Collman Ketring’s crew. Also, Louis Newton was a member of that crew, and the story of naming the plane “Darling Vi”, which is given under Ross Kettering’s page, should actually be contained in a page or section for Collman Ketring. We have a significant amount of information relative to Lt. C. H. Ketring and the Ketring crew’s record. Attached is a photo of the Ketring crew for starters. Thanks.
My grandfather will be 100 years old on Dec. 9!
Raymond was shot down on 4/4/1944 over Bucharest, Romania.
He was part of the Thiem Crew. A member of the 719th Squadron.
He was first buried in a Catholic Cemetery at Giurgiu, Romania.
Buried a second time at the American Military Cemetery at Sinaia, Romana.
His final resting place is the Ardennes American Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium. He was buried with full military honors
[Historian note: Raymond Sunderland was a member of the Easters crew. He was flying with the Thieme crew on 4 April 44 when lost.]
My dad was the belly gunner in the Harper’s Ferry 449th bg 718th squadron. They were shot down 2 times (?) And the final time they were shot down, in Austria I believe, the became part of the Forgotten 500 eventually rescued and flown home. He married my mom, Frances Allenby and they had 4 children. 2 of which were my older brother & sister from my mom’s previous marriage, my dad then adopted them. He was proud of the part he played in WWII. They eventually took some of there grandchildren to reunions with them.
Beverly Ann Fritsch