MEET UNCLE BILL AND UNCLE JOE

Discussion in 'Personal Gallery' started by FLYBOYJ, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    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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  2. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Outstanding. Quite a pair. :thumbright:
     
  3. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Great people, and great pictures. :thumbright:
     
  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Wow. great piece of familt history there.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    thanks guys!
     
  6. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    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!
     
  8. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Woah, hold up! Ya lost me at Tony Curtis! :shock:
    He palled around with him?
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    that's what mom told me - and he dated Edie Gormet
     
  10. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Hanging out with movie star's, that's pretty cool!
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    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....
     
  12. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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  13. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Neat piece of family history, Joe!
     
  14. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Must be great to have a family history like that! I know nothing about my relatives.
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Uncle Bill's son (Bill jr.) just retired from the USAF as a LtCol.
     
  16. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Great pics, thanks for sharing.
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    THANKS!!!
     
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I always enjoyed looking at old photographs. There is just something about them that you will not see in todays photos.
     
  19. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I'm with ya!
     
  20. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Sort of in a Chivalry kind of way.
     
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