New guy here with a request.

Discussion in 'Basic' started by Radman95611, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. Radman95611

    Radman95611 New Member

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    Hello everyone. While I am not exactly new to this site (I've visited for many months now), this is my first post. I've enjoyed all of the model building and discussions about everything military aircraft. I am an Air Force vet (20 years) and have been around the world a few times. I have a story and then a request to ask of you.

    In March of 2012 the B-17 Memphis Belle (the one from the movie) flew into the Tallahasse airport. I took my youngest son (27years old) and girlfriend to go see it. As I was looking at the gift rack that was set up I noticed this frail man sitting in his walker in full WWII uniform. His daughter was talking to the gentlemanselling some book and tee-shirts about her father. How he was a waist gunner in a B-17 that was shot down over Germany. When she was done I introduced myself and asked if I could talk with her father and that I was interested in his story. She said I could and told me everything she knew (which I found out was quite a bit. I talked with the old SSgt.and found out that he was wounded on his last mission before being shot down. I asked if I could take some pictures of him and they said that was ok. So I took a few. I found out that SSgt. Fink was in a retirement home here in town and that his daughter lived up north somewhere. After I got home and say the picture, I made contact with the daughter and shared all of the pictures that I had from that day. I also made a DVD of the pictures with music from the 40's. They loved it and was really appreciative of what I had done. IMG_5008.jpg

    Jump to present day. SSgt Fink past away on Febuary 11, 2015. My girlfriend came across his obit. She agreed to go to the visitation with me. I had a very strong feeling that I should go, but could not understand why I should go for someone I only knew for a total of four hours. When I walked in to the viewing room I now understand. The DVD I had made was playing. I paid my respects and snapped the best parade ground salute I could. When I turned around I ran into one of his friends and she asked how I knew SSgt. Fink. I told her I took the pictures that was used in the DVD playing. I then talked to all of the family members and then left.
    IMG_5015.jpg
    His first time back into a B-17 since being shot down in 1943.

    Here is all of the info I have of his last mission.

    He was a B-17 waist gunner in WWII and was shot down in the second raid on the ball bearing plant in Schweinfurt on Oct 14, 1943. Loren spent 19 months as a German POW, and survived the Death March at the end of war - 86 days and over 600 miles.

    My question to all of you is this. Where can I find out more information about the aircraft he was in? Maybe a tail number or a photo of the aircraft? His family could not help me much because SSgt. Fink's memory was already failing him when they started asking him about his wartime missions. The photos that had did not show a tail number either (at least the ones that I saw at the funeral home).
    IMG_5021.jpg

    Any and all help would be extremely appreciated.

    Radman.
     
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  2. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Definitely need the tail number. I'm sure some will be along here in a few to help. You almost had me a SSgt Fink. A few years ago I went to an airshow where an airman Fink was talking to the crowd. He was in the MTO and not the ETO. And good job on the DVD!!
     
  3. Radman95611

    Radman95611 New Member

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    Thanks NJACO. I'll get with his family and see if they have found something in a box in a closet somewhere.
     
  4. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    You did a great thing for the family Radman. Do you know if the aircraft had noseart? I have a book at home that links serial numbers to noseart. I don't know how complete or totally accurate the book is hut it could be a start.

    Geo
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That was first class thing you did sir!
     
  6. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    If Sgt. Fink's B-17 was downed on that raid, there owuld be a MACR of the incident. We have the target, the date and a crewman's name...that should help quite a bit, actually.

    And welcome to the forum, Radman...great job on the DVD.
     
  7. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I think you win the award for the best "first post". Good job sir and welcome aboard.
     
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  8. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    #8 Crimea_River, Feb 17, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
    According to a question asked at another forum I'm on, TSgt Loren M. Fink was a left waist gunner in the 305th Bomb Group and flew on B17F s/n 42-3195 and the pilot was Verl Fisher. The poster was asking for more info but there was no response.

    From Joe Baugher's website:

    3195 (305th BG, 366th BS) shot down by Obfw Heckmann in Fw 190A of JG 1/1 at Waldenrath, Germany Oct 14, 1943. 4 KIA, 6 POW. MACR 916

    EDIT: This picture is purported to be Fisher's aircraft. SOURCE: B-17 42-3195 305th Bomb Group | ArmyAirForces

    42-3195+Verl+...jpg
     
  9. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    From the IWM Website re 42-3195:

    Delivered Cheyenne 17/3/43; Presque Is 27/4/43; Assigned 366BS/305BG [KY-O] Chelveston 22/6/43; Missing in Action 14/10/43 with Neal Fisher, Co-pilot: Clinton Bush, Radio Operator: Harvey Bennett, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Clinton Bitton, Waist gunner: Loren Fink,Tail gunner: George LeFebre (6 Prisoner of War), Navigator: Carl Booth{body never recovered}, Bombardier: Don Hissom, Ball turret gunner: Harry Insdorf, Waist gunner: Tom Therrien (4 Killed in Action); enemy aircraft, crashed Waldenrath, near Geilenkirchen, 17 miles N of Aachen, Ger. Missing Air Crew Report 916.
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Good job digging up the info! :thumbleft:

    And I meant to include this in my earlier post:
    81157d1232310183-smilies-icon_salute_proper.gif
     
  11. Radman95611

    Radman95611 New Member

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    To all of you who replied, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will pass on all of the information to the family. And from me to each of you.... a very sharp salute!! You guys are the greatest!!!!

    One last but of information I found out from the family members, Tsgt Lorren M. Fink was the last surviving member of the crew. They are all together again, on patrol, as a crew.

    Again, thank you all.

    Radman
     
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  12. Radman95611

    Radman95611 New Member

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    One more thing to add. I talked with the family and they had made a video interview and posted it to youtube. It's only 3 minutes long but it says a lot. Here is the link to the video.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azw93Gq-mSM

    One last thing. He was wounded in the shoulder and yet never received the purple heart. It also took many years after he came home before he received veterans status with the VA. Sad but true.
     
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  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great stuff all round !
     
  14. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Nice and quick Andy! Very nice.

    Geo
     
  15. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    Great story all around...RIP Sgt. Fink.
     
  16. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    One More Roll

    We toast our hearty comrades who have fallen from the skies, and were gently caught by God's own hand to be with him on High.

    To dwell among the soaring clouds they've known so well before. From victory roll to tail chase, at heaven's very door.

    As we fly among them there, we're sure to head their plea. To take care my friend, watch your six, and do one more roll for me.

    — Commander Jerry Coffee, Hanoi, 1968


    [​IMG]
     
  17. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Yep great story, :salute:
     
  18. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Great story and great work on the DVD!

    :salute:
     
  19. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    With all! Great story, and great info there by Andy.

    Any chance of posting your video here too?
     
  20. Radman95611

    Radman95611 New Member

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    I would like to, but the file is about a Gigabyte large. I guess I could post it on youtube and the link to it here, but I would have to get permission of the family first.
     
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