Alpine Community

 

World War II Airman Laid to Rest
The remains of 1st Lt. John E. Terpning, a World War II bomber pilot who had been missing in action since 1944, were laid to rest with full military honors on Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery. Terpning, of Mount Prospect, Ill., was a B-24D pilot who, together with nine crewmates, went missing during a bombing mission on May 7, 1944, in Nadzab, Papua New Guinea, according to the March 29 Pentagon  announcing the identification of his remains. The bomber had experienced mechanical issues prior to takeoff, states the release. The War Department in 1946 declared Terpning and his crewmembers to be presumed dead. Recovery efforts began in 1973 with the discovery of the crash site and human remains in mountainous terrain near Nadzab. Technology at the time prevented the identification of the individual crew members so the crew was buried as a group at Arlington in 1974. In April 2008, a US team recovered wreckage and additional human remains at the crash site. Forensic scientists subsequently used dental records and mitochondrial DNA to help identify Terpning's remains.

 

 

 

  Last SLUFF Bows Out
 
  Last crew member of Enola Gay has died.

 

Last Crew Member of the B-29 Enola Gay Has Died
​The last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, to accelerate the end of World War II, has died. Theodore Van Kirk died July 28 at a nursing home in Stone Mountain, Ga. He was 93. Van Kirk, known as "Dutch," was the navigator in the Enola Gay crew, led by Col. Paul Tibbets, who commanded the 509th Composite Bomb Group, which was formed to conduct the atomic bomb missions. Flying from an airfield on the captured Japanese Island of Tinian, the crew dropped the 9,000-pound weapon, called "Little Boy," over Hiroshima early on Aug. 6, 1945. Three days later, another B-29 from the 509th dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Japan surrendered Aug. 15.  Van Kirk always supported the atomic bombings for avoiding an invasion of Japan that could have killed hundreds of thousands of allied troops and Japanese. 
Enola Gay crewmembers (l-r) Maj. Theodore Van Kirk, Col. Paul Tibbets Jr., and Maj. Thomas Ferebee. File photo
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  Retired Col George E. "Bud" Day Dies

 

Retired Col. George E. "Bud" Day, a Medal of Honor recipient who spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, died on July 27 in Shalimar, Fla., following a long illness. He was 88. "I owe my life to Bud, and much of what I know about character and patriotism," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was Day's cellmate in captivity in Hanoi. "He was the bravest man I ever knew," said McCain. Day's funeral service is scheduled for Thursday in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., with burial at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Fla., according to press reports. A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Day was born on Feb. 24, 1925. He served as a marine in World War II and then became an Air Force pilot during the Korean War. On Aug. 26, 1967, the North Vietnamese shot down Day's F-100 Super Sabre during a dangerous forward air control mission. He endured extreme hardship and torture in captivity. On March 14, 1973, Day regained his freedom. After recuperating, he returned to active flying status. He then retired from active duty in 1977 as the most decorated officer in the service's history and went on to practice law in Florida, becoming a crusader for veterans' issues. Day chronicled his Vietnam War experiences in the 1989 book Return with Honor

 
  Doolittle Raider Thomas Griffin Dies

 

Doolittle Raider Thomas Griffin Dies: Retired Maj. Thomas C. Griffin, one of the Doolittle Raiders who, along with 79 other airmen, carried out a daring bombing attack on Tokyo on April 18, 1942, died in his sleep in a veterans' hospital in Cincinnati on Feb. 26, Cincinnati.com. He was 96. Griffin, a native of Green Bay, Wisc., served as navigator on aircraft No. 9, one of the 16 B-25 bombers under the command of then-Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle that took off from the deck of the carrier USS Hornet in the Pacific Ocean to bomb Tokyo on that spring day in 1942, just four months after Japan's strike on Pearl Harbor. Griffin, then a lieutenant, bailed out with his crewmates over China after the raid and made his way back to allied lines. Eventually returning to combat, he later spent 22 months as a prisoner of war in Germany after his airplane was shot down in July 1943. Griffin's death leaves four surviving Doolittle Raiders: retired Lt. Col. Richard Cole, co-pilot on aircraft No. 1; retired Lt. Col. Bob Hite, co-pilot on aircraft No. 16; retired Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, engineer on aircraft No. 15; and retired MSgt. David Thatcher, engineer-gunner on aircraft No. 7. Those four are scheduled to gather in mid-April in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., for the Doolittle Raiders' 71st reunion.

 

 

 
 
  George Vujnovich Dies.

 

Architect of Daring World War II Rescue Dies: George Vujnovich, the World War II OSS agent who orchestratedOperation Halyard, the largest ever escape of American airmen from behind enemy lines, has died, according to press reports. He died on April 24 of natural causes at his home in New York Cityreported the Associated Press on Wednesday (via the Detroit Free Press). He was 96. The Pittsburgh native, born to Serbian immigrants, devised a plan in 1944 to rescue hundreds of US airmen who bailed out over Serbia on bombing missions against the Axis-held Ploesti oil fields in Romania. Working with Serbian guerrilla fighter Draza Mihailovich, leader of the Chetniks,Vujnovich and his OSS team built a makeshift mountaintop airfield from which US cargo aircraft ferried some 512 airmen to freedom between August and December 1944,  In October 2010, Vujnovich received a Bronze Star Medal for his heroic service.

 
  Thirty Seconds over Dayton.

 

Thirty Seconds over Dayton: One of the largest gatherings of B-25 Mitchell bombers assembled since World War II will mark the 70th anniversary of the daring Doolittle bombing raid on Tokyo during commemoration events in Dayton, Ohio, next Wednesday, according to event organizers. The National Museum of the US Air Force plans to reopen a normally closed runway specifically for the B-25s to take off from one-by-one and then fly in formation over the Dayton area and the museum just prior to the Doolittle Raiders' memorial service at the museum. Twenty-one B-25s are expected to participate. Eighty airmen in 16 B-25s took off from deck of the USS Hornet on April 18, 1942, in the surprise raid that struck a symbolic blow to Japan and buoyed American morale at a crucial time early in the war. The five surviving Doolittle Raiders are expected to attend the memorial service and other reunion events. They are (each retired): Lt. Col. Richard Cole, Lt. Col. Robert Hite, Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, Maj. Thomas Griffin and SSgt. David Thatcher. (Dayton report by Rob Bardua)

 
 
  Flying Tiger Reunion

 

Flying Tigers Reunion: Past and present members of the Flying Tigers gathered at MacDill AFB, Fla., earlier this month for the latest in the series of reunions held since 1947. This year, five of the surviving original Flying Tigers pilots attended. So did some of the maintainers, intelligence, and medical staff who supported them when they flew P-40 Warhawks in defense of China against Imperial Japan during World War II. "It's an honor to meet with these generations of warriors," said Col. Ronald Stuewe, commander of the 23rd Fighter Group at Moody AFB, Ga., an A-10C unit that carries on the Flying Tigers name and shark's teeth nose art. "I've looked up to these guys since I was a little boy, so to actually meet them and hear their stories is truly, truly humbling," said Capt. Matthew Cichowski, a Moody A-10 pilot. (Tampa  by SrA. Brigitte N. Brantley)

 
 
  Remains of WWII Airmen Identified

 

Remains of WWII Airmen Identified: The DOD POW/Missing Personnel Office identification of the remains of four airmen, part of a 10-man B-17 crew lost in the Pacific in 1943. The airmen were on a bombing mission over Papau New Guinea in their B-17 Naughty but Nice on June 26, 1943, when the bomber was hit by antiaircraft fire and ultimately shot down by a Japanese fighter aircraft. The four airmen were:  1st Lt. William J. Sarsfield of Philadelphia; 2nd Lt. Charles E. Trimingham of Salinas, Calif.; TSgt. Robert L. Christopherson of Blue Earth, Minn.;  and TSgt. Leonard A. Gionet of Shirley, Mass. Their remains are to be buried as a group in a single casket at Arlington National Cemetery. Previously, DOD had identified other members of the crew that perished in the crash: 2nd Lt. Herman Knott, 2nd Lt. Francis G. Peattie, SSgt. Henry Garcia, SSgt. Robert E. Griebel, and SSgt. Pace P. Payne—all of whom were buried individually in 1985. A 10th airman, 2nd Lt. Jose L. Holguin, was the only survivor and was held as a prisoner of war until 1945.

 
 
  Last of the Piston Engineers retires

 

Last of the Piston Engineers: CMSgt. Michael Reinert, the Air Force's last piston-engine flight engineer, retired this week from the Missouri Air National Guard's 139th Airlift Wing at Rosecrans ANG Base. Reinert joined the service in 1970 and embarked on Operation Creek Party—the Air Guard's first sustained overseas commitment—as a KC-97 Stratotanker and C-97 Stratofreighter flight engineer. During two-week rotations to Rhein-Main AB, Germany, Reinert helped refuel fighter aircraft, allowing USAF's then-limited KC-135 fleet to focus on operations in Southeast Asia. The historic Creek Party effort, which took place between 1967 and 1977, "established a template for overseas deployments by the Air Guard" in support of Total Force operations, explained Charles Gross, ANG history program director at the Air Guard Readiness Center at JB Andrews, Md. When the Air Force scrapped the KC-97L, Reinert retrained on the C-130. (by MSgt. Mike Smit

 
  The Navy took delivery of PCU California (SSN 781) from Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (HII–NNS), Aug. 7.
 
  B-58 Designer Robert Widmer Dies

 

B-58 Designer Robert Widmer Dies: Robert H. Widmer, the aeronautical engineer who designed the Air Force's first operational supersonic bomber, the Convair B-58 Hustler, died in Fort Worth, Tex., at age 95. Widmer died June 20, 2011. Born on May 17, 1916, in Hawthorne, N.J., Widmer received an aeronautical engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and then earned a master's degree at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena CA, before joining Convair at its headquarters in San Diego. He later transferred to the company's aircraft factory in Fort Worth TX, where he established the design and engineering department. He worked at Fort Worth well into his 80s, as the company became General Dynamics, then Lockheed, and then Lockheed Martin. Among his accomplishments, Widmer also played instrumental roles in developing the F-111, F-16, and Tomahawk cruise missile.

 
 
  Last China Burma "Hump" reunion
They braved the highest mountains in the world, terrible weather, Japanese fighters, and routine equipment malfunction to supply troops during World War II. This month they met for the last time. The pilots who flew the notorious "Hump," airlifting supplies over the Himalayas from India to allied forces in China, have met up every year since 1946. With the average Hump pilot now 90 years old and with only six attending this year's reunion at JB Charleston, S.C., the decision was made that it would be their final gathering. Nonetheless, still spry and animated, enjoyed the fellowship at this year's gathering. "Every time we meet, the Himalaya Mountains get higher, the weather gets worse, and there are more Japanese fighters," joked 91 year-old-pilot Tex Rankin.
 
  Last World War I veteran dies
 
  Steel Buildings
 
  New kit from Alpine Division Scale Models, L.L.C.
 
  Doolittle Raider Dies
 
  Christmas Drop
 
  VA information
 
  Allen Dale June, Code Talker, Dies at 91
 
  New Ship for the US Navy
 
  UPS Store Branson, MO
 
  USS Denver Arrives in Inchon for Anniversary of Historical Landing
 
  Medal of Honor for CMSgt Richard L. Etchberger
 
  Maj. Gen. William Eubank Dies
 
  9-11-2010 OERM Swap Meet
 
  Harvey Girls Orange Empire Railway Museum
 
  Lt. Gen. David Deptula retiring
 
  Black Bark Mine and Shaft
 
  SSN 779 New Mexico commissioned
 
  USS Sampson (DDG-102) help Tao Fong Shan Christian Center
 
  WASP Women's Airforce Service Pilots
 
  Alcoa 50,000-Ton Forging Press
 
  Big River Train Town Hannibal , MO
 
  LeRoy O. King Jr. 1921 - 2009
 
  US ARMY MARKSMANSHIP UNIT
 
  Sierra Division Summer Picnic
 
  ECHO METAL WORKS
 
  NMRA Information
 
  Future NMRA National Conventions
 
  Doc Blanchard Fighter Pilot and Heisman Trophy winner dies
 
  Lt. Gen. William O. Senter dies
 
  Great Train Show check it out in 2010.
 
  Mt. Wilson Toll Road
 
  Orange Empire Railway Museum Swap Meet and Meeting
 
  U.S. Army Band Schedule
 
  US Army receives new locomotives
 
  1962 Vintage C-130 retired.
 
  WWII Airman Finally gets his DFC
 
  Old Town Brass Band schedule 2009
 
  Doolittle Radiers
 
  The Harvey Girls Historical Society at Orange Empire Railway Museum , Perris CA
 
  Join the Southern Pacific Hist. & Tech. Soc.
 
  CNC Cutting, Milling & Conventional
 
  The Scenic Mt. Lowe Railway Historical Committee
 
  USDA Forest Service Los Angeles River Ranger District
 
  Retired Brig. Gen. Gustav E. Lundquist passes
 
  Pacific Northwest Truck Museum
 
  Coal to liquid fuel
 
  Olde Town Brass Band Schedule for 2008
 
  Canadian Fighter Jets plug hole in US Air Defences NORAD
 
  Olde Town Brass Band Schedule for 2008
 
  NMRA Convention July 13-19, 2008 Manufactures Tour
 
  Napa Valley Wine Train in Town
 
  Trainfest November 10-11 ,2007 Milwaukee Wisconsin
 
  Grand Opening of J.B Hobbies
 
  October 28, 2007 Travel Throught Union Station Los Angeles CA
 
  Calico Ghost Town Narrow Gauge Railroad
 
  Brookville Equipment Corp.
 
  Famed Flying Tiger Tex Hill Dies
 
  The Nevada State Railroad Museum
 
  Earthquake Recovery in Peru
 
  Raptors in Alaska
 
  Cover the Cars
 
  Directions to the Illinois Railway Museum
 
  Legendary fighter pilot Gen. Robin Olds dies
 
  Chicago Fire Department Green Lights
 
  Pilot in Doolittle Raid Dies
 
  2007 USAF Outstanding Airmen
 
  Air Force Airman's Creed
 
  Ohio Firefighter Bikes for Burn Survivors
 
  Baskin-Robbins Scoops for Firefighters
 
  I watched the flag pass by one day.
 
  Lt. Col. Chase Nielsen service held March 28, 2007
 
  Train Show at Anaheim Conventation Center 1-6 & 7, 2007
 
  Personal Products needed for Wounded at Walter Reed
 
  Partners in Preservation
 
  Bamberger Bullet 127 at Orange Empire Railway Museum
 
  Cal Poly's Little Love Affair With Steam
 
  Amboy is purchased by a new investor!
 
  17th Annual Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous® Presented by Firestone,
 
  American Forest & Paper Association
 
  Rail Car Builder Moving to Philadelphia Naval Yard
 
  Kit #71 Hobby Shop 2 story. light green sides
 
  Laws Railroad Museum and Historical Site, Bishop, California
 
  Air Compressor Sales and Service in Southern California
 
  "Railfest 2006
 
  Building A 'Lift-Bridge Module' for a traction layout
 
  Used Eyeglasses and old greeting cards collected by LADWP
 
  Great Hobby Shop in Rancho Palos Verdes, California
 
  Membership Open Southern California
 
  New Web Site for Alpine Division Scale Models