IN MEMORIAMThe following are reported deceased since last newsletter.
GEORGE D. ANDERSON...........Reported by his wife, Norma.
December 10, 2001 His notice reads in part, "George served in the U.S. Air Force in Italy and England during WWII as a B-17 navigator, flying 42 missions over Europe. "
JOHN C. FONDA............Reported to our website and relayed by Craig Harris December 1, 2001.
Craig Harris said this: "We are grateful for your letting us know about the passing of John C. Fonda, though it saddens us greatly. I know John was really interested in the 457th BG Association, and was a generous contributor to the fund for sponsoring a stained-glass window ... "
DAN GRAHAM.................Reported by Dan's sister Jewel, Tom Goff, and Hap Reese. November 16, 2001
Dan was a past president in 1982-83 and a charter member of our Association. He suffered a stroke in 1989 and had been an invalid since that time. Hap Reese says, "He was a fine man."
BILLY HIGHTOWER.................Reported by his wife Gladys and several members and friends of the 457th Bomb Group Association. February 16, 2002
Past President of our Association 1993-97. Radio Gunner on the "Vapor Trail"
Ray Kristoff says, "There never was a better person who served better than he did. I know because I was in the Ball Turret just below him."
Craig Harris said, " We lost a good man when Billy Hightower passed away. However, it was an example of God's Infinite Mercy, in taking Billy, because Billy was hopelessly ill... wife Gladys definitely is not well. I talked to Gladys a few weeks ago, and my heart broke for her. I ask you to pray for Gladys, as she needs all the help she can get."
WALTER H. KLEINFELTER..............Reported by his daughter, Lisa DeFrank.
December 22, 2001
She said, "His days in the war in a B17 over England were some of his most cherished memories that he often shared with many of us, and we will always be proud of him for that, and we now will keep those stories and memories close to our hearts forever."
JOEL LESTER................Reported to Hap Reese by Joel's wife Evelyn.
Hap Reese had this to say about Joel. "Joel was almost 80 years old and was the Bombardier with our crew and flew almost all of his 30 missions with me in the 751st Squadron. The first time I saw him in over 50 years was at the reunion in Savannah and the last time I saw him was at Gettysburg. I have many fond memories of Joel. Aside from sharing the dangers of missions together, we spent many hours together off the base at Glatton...mostly in London. Joel was always fun to be with and was ready for any adventure. I first met Evelyn, whom Joel talked incessantly about while overseas, while Edna and I were on our honeymoon in New York City. Joel and Evelyn were about to be married only short days after we dined with them in New York. I only regret that, like most of the crew, we went our own ways and failed to communicate over the years. I'm grateful that I did get to see him again and reminisce about old times...and then only because of the Association and the reunions we attended."
CHARLES O. WEBBER.............Reported by wife Muriel, as well as John Welch.
July 19, 2001
The passing of HAROLD FRANKLIN was reported in the last newsletter but we failed to include any information at that time. Robert "Bob" Springer (Ball Turret Gunner on the "Patty Ann") has resubmitted information as follows:
HAROLD "BRUD" FRANKLIN
October, 2000 (Lymphatic Cancer) Reported by Robert Springer. 750th Squadron...Co-Pilot of Al Caplow's crew Flew 35 missions Oct '44-Feb '45. B-17G #4337694 "Patty Ann"
IF YOU KNOW OF SOMEONE WHOSE NAME HAS NOT BEEN REPORTED IN A NEWSLETTER, PLEASE LET THE EDITOR KNOW. THANK YOU. NANCY HENRICH