Saturday, September 25, 2010

Coming in 2011: New Book about the 95th Bomb Group

The new 95th Bomb Group history 'Into the Wild Blue Yonder and Beyond' is in its final publication stages with Potomac Books and will be released in 2011. The book tells the story of the Bomb Group and its subsequent Foundation from its inception through the current day. Included are chapters on wives, POWs, ground crews, entertainment and London, the British, and much more. The book is arranged, for the most part, chronologically, except for specialty chapters such as wives or Entertainment.

95th Bomb Group (H) Reunion in Washington DC: Photos Batch One

Lt. Keith Murray, missing in action. Keith walked over the Pyrenees Mountains to Spain in the fall of 1943. Of the twenty-odd men making the trek, only three survived.

A photo of the young, handsome Keith Murray taken before shipping overseas.

Keith Murray today. Bigger muscles than most twenty-year-olds, Keith pumps iron and plays golf despite having lost a number of his fingers: he plays with a left-handed club. Keith was one of the very first men in the original cadre of the 95th, joining the Group in its infancy in Spokane, Washington .

Charlie Besser and his wife were my tablemates at the final banquet. Charlie won this wooden B-17 model for being the oldest attending veteran at age 94. Charlie was one of the original cadre of the 95th, as was Keith Murray.

Adam Hinojos and his family at the banquet. Adam spent the entire war at Horham as a member of the 457th Sub Depot.

L-R: TT Gunner Irv Rothman (POW); Pilot John Walter; Bob Spinnenweber; Pilot Ed Jacobson; Bob Inman. Men whose crew position is not listed are those that I am unsure of.

Top Row, L-R: Irv Rothman, John Walter, Bob Spinnenweber, Ed Jacobson, Bob Inman, Harry Hull, Jack Bertram.
Bottom Row, L-R: Keith Murray, Charlie Besser, Fred Kennie, Herb Wilkov, Bob Fay.

Rob Morris, Red Dillon and Paul Dillon. Red was shot down on the Broman Crew over Munster in October 1943 and became a POW. He is one of the top-scoring ball turret gunners of the European Theater. Paul is the illustrator of my new book on the 95th.

Mary and Dub Vandergriff look at the 95th's plaque at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery.
Ben 'Rojo' Rojanksy and Herb Wilkov confer.

Herb Wilkov, a shot that captures his humanity and goodness.
My dear friend pilot John Walter, who wrote 'My War' and who helped me write 'Into the Wild Blue.
Thumbs-up from Red Dillon!
Jack Bertram, a quiet hero.
Ball turret gunner Bob Fay, a good friend and a great contributor to the unit history.

Keith Murray and his daughter. Keith proves that real men wear pink.
James Mutton presents Karl Voss with his old kit bag.
Band of Brothers.

Another wonderful reunion filled with stories, friendship, and history. The 95th met at the end of August for its annual reunion. Around twenty veterans of the Group were in attendance, as well as many family members and friends. Here are some photos from the reunion.