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Laurel Park, NC resident and former Army nurse Marian Hines (in red sweater) relates some of her WWII experiences to acquaintances just outside of the Pacific Pavilion of the National World War II Memorial on Sep 24th, 2006.  Marian was awarded the Bronze Star after her action in the Philippines when she landed there five days after MacArthur's return.  She was married to Manley S. Hines, who was a photo reconnaissance P-38 pilot in Europe.
A Henderson County (NC) "HonorAir" WWII vet is in a good mood after having seen the National WWII Memorial, courtesy of many of the businesses and residents back home in Hendersonville.  (See www.honorair.com)
Former Marine and Hendersonville, NC resident Bob Cheadle (left) and another WWII veteran from Hendersonville await a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, Sep 24th, 2006.
A Henderson County (NC) WWII veteran runs a gauntlet of appreciative applause at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport after his visit to the National WWII Memorial on Sep 24th, 2006.  The two complimentary trips for about 200 Henderson County vets that weekend was arranged by "HonorAir".  (See www.honorair.com)
This could have been a B-17 tail gunner's view in a formation.  Actually, it's the Collings Foundation B-17G Flying Fortress "Nine-O-Nine" arriving at Denton (TX) Municipal Airport on Mar 12th, 2007.
Three of the officer crewmembers of the B-24 Liberators "Red Ass" and "Tupelo Lass."  Left to right - pilot Jake Epting (from Tupelo, Mississippi), bombardier Al Naum (from Lima, Ohio), and navigator Ed Weir (from Desdemona, Texas).  Weir is holding a navigator's sextant.  Fort Myers Army Airfield, Florida, 1942.
Three pilots of the 409th Bombardment Squadron, 93rd Bombardment Group:  (Left to right) Flight Officer Charles S. "Five By Five" Young, from Dayton, TX; Captain Jacob B. "Jake" Epting, from Tupelo, MS; and First Lieutenant Joseph Avendano, Jr, from Pomona, CA.  Both Young and Avendano had prior flying service with the Royal Canadian Air Force before the U.S. entered the war, and both were later killed in non-combat related flight accidents before the end of the war.  All three flew in the Ploesti raid over Romania on Aug 1st, 1943, Epting (as co-pilot) and Young (as extra co-pilot/gunner) in "Tupelo Lass," and Avendano (as pilot) in "Dogpatch Raider."  Epting was the usual pilot of "Tupelo Lass," which he named, but on the Ploesti raid his squadron commander, Major K.O. "Kayo" Dessert, assigned himself to the left seat in the "Lass."
Patch of the 409th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) of the 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) from WWII, worn by Lt Col Ed Weir, a former B-24 Liberator navigator.  A mini fruit salad bar of Ed's decorations earned over his 23-year Air Force career adorns his original WWII bomber jacket above the running panda patch.  Ed's medals include multiple awards of the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Inside the lobby of 1400 KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska, Aug 1st, 2007.  Station General Manager Mark Halverson (far left) and host Jack Mitchell listen to Scott Stewart, son of WWII vet and aviation author Carroll "Cal" Stewart, relate how former B-24 bomber command pilot Fernley Smith (far right) almost had a head-on midair collision with another B-24 over the Rhine River in Germany just after the war ended.  After surviving 18 combat missions before his 18th birthday, Fernley was giving his crew a low and fast sightseeing tour over the river, when they met another B-24 coming at them from the opposite direction doing the same thing.  Scott explains how the two planes narrowly  missed each other.  Edward "Red" Weir (back to camera), a former B-24 navigator, listens to Scott's story.
Aug 1st, 2007.  1400 KLIN (Lincoln, Nebraska) talk show host Jack Mitchell (far right) interviews Bill Kubota (far left) of KDN Films out of Michigan, director of the documentary film about former WWII heavy bomber gunner Ben Kuroki, "Most Honorable Son;" Fernley Smith (next to Bill), the second youngest U.S. Army Air Corps heavy bomber pilot in WWII (enlisted at age 16); and Lt Col (Ret) Edward "Red" Weir (center), a former B-24 Liberator bomber navigator and veteran of the Aug 1st, 1943 bombing raid over Hitler's oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania.
Fernley Smith, former B-24 bomber command pilot and the second youngest heavy bomber pilot in WWII, explains to 1400 KLIN radio host Jack Mitchell in Lincoln, Nebraska, what it was like to fly and be in command of a 9-man bomber crew at the age of 17.  Fernley was enlisted into the Army Air Corps at age 16 after truthfully telling the recruiter (who had not pressed Fernley for additional proof of his age) that he held a high school diploma.  By the time the war ended about two weeks before Fernley's 18th birthday, he had flown 18 combat missions with the 93rd Bombardment Group.  Former B-24 navigator Edward "Red" Weir, also a 93rd Group vet, listens to Fernley's story.
American WWII vet Ben Kuroki, a former gunner on 58 missions in B-24 and B-29 heavy bombers, acknowledges a standing ovation for him as he makes his way to the podium to make a speech after a crowd of over 600 invited guests have just finished watching the world premiere of Bill Kubota's documentary film about him, "Most Honorable Son," at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska on Aug 1st, 2007.  On his right lapel Ben displays the Distinguished Service Medal, which his former crewmates and veterans' association members lobbied to have bestowed on him in 2005.
WWII American veteran Ben Kuroki and his wife Shige take in the accolades heaped on Ben after the world premiere of the documentary film about him, "Most Honorable Son," shown in Lincoln, Nebraska at the Embassy Suites Hotel, Aug 1st, 2007.  The film, which at the private showing included a taped introduction by Tom Brokaw, chronicles Ben's struggles to overcome the policies and attitudes of some commanders and comrades in the U.S. Army Air Corps towards him because of his Japanese ethnicity, although he was born and raised as an American citizen in Hershey, Nebraska.  He eventually won the right to fight for his country, completing 58 combat missions over Europe, North Africa, AND Japan.  He wears the ribbon of the Distinguished Service Medal on his lapel.
Laurel Park, NC resident and former Army nurse Marian Hines (in red sweater) relates some of her WWII experiences to acquaintances just outside of the Pacific Pavilion of the National World War II Memorial on Sep 24th, 2006. Marian was awarded the Bronze Star after her action in the Philippines when she landed there five days after MacArthur's return. She was married to Manley S. Hines, who was a photo reconnaissance P-38 pilot in Europe.

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Laurel Park, NC resident and former Army nurse Marian Hines (in red sweater) relates some of her WWII experiences to acquaintances just outside of the Pacific Pavilion of the National World War II Memorial on Sep 24th, 2006.  Marian was awarded the Bronze Star after her action in the Philippines when she landed there five days after MacArthur's return.  She was married to Manley S. Hines, who was a photo reconnaissance P-38 pilot in Europe.
Laurel Park, NC resident and former Army nurse Marian Hines (in red sweater) relates some of her WWII experiences to acquaintances just outside of the Pacific Pavilion of the National World War II Memorial on Sep 24th, 2006. Marian was awarded the Bronze Star after her action in the Philippines when she landed there five days after MacArthur's return. She was married to Manley S. Hines, who was a photo reconnaissance P-38 pilot in Europe.

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Photo by: jawtex · See photo in original gallery.

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