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Apr 9, 2005
Colorado, USA
I sometimes talk about my uncles on other threads, both served in the Air Force. Uncle Joe joined the USAAF after Pearl Harbor and was initially training as a flight engineer. He was selected for flight training but washed out. Later he was asked to be a bombardier and was assigned to a B-24 squadron. Just before he was to go over seas his B-24 crashed killing all on board except him. He spent a year in a coma and slowly made a full recovery.

Uncle Bill (Uncle Joe's younger brother) also had a great interest in aviation but was too young to enter service in WW2. Frustrated, he forged my mother's birth certificate putting his name "William" in place of my mothers name "Lillian" and entered the Air Force at the ripe age of 16. He became a radio operator and flew in B-17s (after WW2) B-29s and B-50s. He saw service during the Korean War and was actually shot down in 1950. He survived the crash and went on to serve through out the Korean War and then participated in special ops after Korea. In the photo he is in front of a B-50 preparing to go on a "ferret" mission over western USSR sometime in 1954. Uncle Bill completed a 24 year career with the USAF and retired a Master Sergent. He went on to get his Doctorate in Theology and was a college professor before his death in 2003.

These two guys were my aviation inspiration when I was a kid. I've always been real proud of them.....


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Nonskimmer said:
Come to think of it, your Uncle Joe looked a lot like a buddy of mine. Same little mustache and everything. :lol:

That's funny, my mom told me he was a real lady killer when he was young, he used to hang around with this young actor named Joe Levitch (not sure of the spelling). I guess they had the ladies lined up and were total party animals, 1940s style! Anyway his friend went on to bigger and better things when he changed his name to Tony Curtis!

Uncle Joe is still with us, about 83 right now. He was always a big practical joker and I think that's what got him washed out of flight training. His last CO was the legendary John "Killer" Kane, Ploesti survivor!
Yea - he (Uncle Joe) actually did some movie work when he moved to Los Angeles in the 1950s - mainly as an extra, but he did rub sholders with some well known folks, he was always pretty humble about the whole thing....

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