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
My great uncle, 2nd Lt. John Bob Marshall, was copilot of the B24 Liberator “Shack Happy,” part of the 449th Bomb Group, 717th Squadron. He was shot down en route to Ploesti on 5 May 1944. The story of that mission is well told here: https://donmooreswartales.com/2014/06/23/bob-herres/. John Bob did not make it home (according to the MACR 4714 documentation, he bailed out successfully, and seems to have made it to the ground unharmed, but then was killed by a peasant weilding an axe). With clues from the MACR documentation and help from the local Romanian consulate, I’ve recently determined that he is most likely buried in Ciuperceni, Romania, as are the three other KIAs from the same crew. I’m now trying to make contact with officials in Ciuperceni to verify that. I have a great photo of the flight crew which was sent back home from Topeka KS by John Bob to his brother, my grandfather, J.H. Marshall Jr. I’d love to know if any other members of the next generation of the Shack Happy crew members families have other details, photos, etc. that would tell me more about this man I never had the opportunity to meet.
Born and raised in “The Bronx”, NYC. Served with his twin brother William “Bill” Kor. They both attended NYU and both played basketball there. They both taught in the New York City school system. Dick retired as Dean of Administration at Bronx Community College. At the time of his retirement he worked with Roscoe Brown of theTuscagee Airmen Fame. Richard currently resides in Scarsdale, NY, spending summers in Wrightsville Beach, NC.
Lest too much time pass by (it already has), I want to share the attached photos with you.
My father, George Edward Thomas, was a gunner on the Shirley Jean, B24. While he didn’t open up about the war until I was much older, the stories he eventually shared of his missions (37 or 39?) made me realize how brave, selfless and patriotic his generation was – they are truly the greatest generation.
Thank you for all you do to honor these courageous men who fought for our freedom. May their heroism not be forgotten nor glossed over in the historical annals of our future generations.
George E. Thomas, Jr.
John attended the University of Iowa, earning his BA degree in Economics. As a Freshman he lettered in Basketball and was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. War interrupted and John joined the 449th in November 1944. He flew 30 missions as Pilot in the 719th Squadron and left Italy in June 1945. He was assigned to a B-29 to go to the South Pacific, but that was cancelled before departure.
Upon return to the US, he earned his degree in Optometry from the University of Illinois. He practiced in Shenandoah, Iowa for 58 years. John married the girl next door, Carole and they had 54 wonderful years together. They have two sons, Jim and Joe who live in Omaha, Nebraska.
John was an excellent golfer and played in many tournaments. He was a member of the Shenandoah Country Club for 70 years! At 97 he still lives in his own home in Shenandoah, Iowa as of July 2020.
Denise Meek Riegel
Santa Maria, CA