Recorded memoir of Elvin O. Cross (MC 371/882/27)
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Recorded memoir of Elvin O. Cross


MC 371/882/27

1 audio cassette

nd [c 1985]

445th Bomb Group

E.O. Cross

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[00:00-05:00] Summarizes his service in 703rd Squadron. Comments on his home in Texas, his nickname 'Buddy' and Army Air Force induction, Camp ?Walters, Texas, 6 December 1942. Describes training: basic, Sheppard Field, Texas; armoury school, ?Buckley, Colorado and gunnery school, Fort Myers, Florida. Anecdotes about gunnery training, including a aeroplane crash. [05:00-10:00] Training continued: promotion to sergeant and crew assignment, Boise, Idaho. Names crew: George Wright (pilot); Robert Krol (co-pilot); Robert T. Alexander (navigator); [Wendlin] Wittman (bombardier); Bill Cook (top-turret gunner and engineer); John van Bogelen (radio-operator); Harold Robinson (left waist-gunner); Marvin Tyler (right waist-gunner); Kenneth Dabbs (tail-gunner) and himself (ball-turret gunner). Comments on transfer to Sioux City, Iowa, and briefing by Jimmy Stewart (703rd Commanding Officer). [10:00-15:00] Briefing continued. Comments on journey to England flying the southern route [usually via Trinidad; Brazil, South America; Dakar, Marrakech and Morocco, Africa and Scotland or Wales] arrival in Tibenham and an air raid on Norwich. Comments on England: poor weather; stove in their hut; getting used to drinking tea and warm beer and English people's sense of humour. [15:00-20:00] Mentions first mission, 16 December 1943, Bremen, Germany, and his tour of duty increasing from twenty-five to thirty missions. Comments on first B-24, 'Bullet Serenade', shot down on a mission with another crew, and second B-24, 'Tennessee Dotty.' Anecdotes about memorable missions: Gotha, Germany, 24 February 1944, including fighter attack and engine problems; Zwickau, Germany, including bad weather and heavy fighter attack on the Group. [20:00-25:00] Fighter attack continued and difficulty landing aeroplane on return. Mentions final mission, 31 May 1944, and return to the United States, September 1944. [25:00-30:00] Comments on lack of time to make close acquaintances with English people. Remarks on his service leave: London, including sightseeing, pubs and a Sid [Sidney] Fields theatre show and on Norwich including the Castle, flea market, theatre and staying with friends of Harold Robinson. Comments on a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. Anecdote about asking an English girl out on a date on a train back to Norwich from London and reactions of English people on the train. [30:00-35:00] Anecdote continued. Comments on 'brash' behaviour of some GIs and patience of English people. In the official list of 445th Bomb Group personnel, Tyler is noted as the radio operator and van Bogelen as an armourer-gunner. For the official list, see [accessed 21 August 2010]. Recorded on side A only.