New Member - Asking for Information

Discussion in 'Basic' started by thanks to the veterans, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. thanks to the veterans

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    Hello All.

    I am retired Army, but the reason I am here is because I am searching for any information that I can acquire and share with my 86 year old father-in-law, a veteran of WWII who served in the Pacific.

    His name is Noel G. Bracewell, but he was known as Herman Bracewell by many of his Air Force buddies during the war. He was assigned to the 8th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force. He served in the Pacific from Jan 1942 through sometime in 1944. He (and the squadron) was stationed first in Melborne, then to Canberra (sp), then Darwin (spent time at 27 Mile Strip), then to New Guinea. He also has mentioned a "grass strip" at Buna, 3 Mile Strip at or near Port Morsby, one of his pilots named Lt or Cpt Fielder, and another pilot named Winternitz. Noel was a crew chief (left the AAC as a SSG) and I believe his squadron had P-38's.

    He is rapidly aging, yet he so enjoys talking about his days in Australia. I want to add to this enjoyment by locating as much information as I can regarding the names of those who also served with him, and hopefully locate some pictures of his squadron.

    I would greatly appreciate any information you would be willing to share. If you know of someone who is doing or has done research on the 8th Fighter Squadron during their time in Australia/New Guinea, or you yourself either served with the 8th or knows of someone who served.

    I have been married to Noels' daughter for over 35 years and have listened to stories about the 8th, the war, Australia, and his old buddies more times than I can count. I want to be able to help Noel capture some memories he has forgotten.

    Any assistance is appreciated.

    Please feel free to either respond here or via email.

    Thanks for your service,
    Hal
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  3. thanks to the veterans

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    One correction to my original post - His aircraft was not the P-38, it was the P40.

    FlyboyJ - I appreciate the response. Do you know if we have any WWII Pacific veterans who post here?

    Thanks again.
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Not really, we have a few ETO vets who come on here time and again. BTW my wife's grandfather was a B-24 driver, 819th BS 30BG 7th AF
     
  5. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    can't help with your enquiry Hal....but welcome from down under mate!:D
     
  6. thanks to the veterans

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    Thanks for the replies men. I'll keep looking. If you come across anyone who has any knowledge of the 8th, I appreciate a "heads-up".

    Thanks again,
    Hal
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Like Wayne, I'm unable to help I'm afraid, but welcome from England, and I hope you can find some info to brighten Noel's days.
    Terry.
     
  8. Tony Hill

    Tony Hill Active Member

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    Hi Mate and welcome.

    I can't help too much but can add a little about New Guinea (I have trekked the "long" track as opposed to the "tourist" track, four times).

    Firstly, there were a number of airstrips near and around Port Moresby, mostly reffered to as "X Mile Strip" where "X" is the distance from town centre. The modern Jackson Airport, for example, was 7 Mile Strip and, I believe, the biggest.

    I can send you some maps etc showing a good few of the installations which your father in law may remember well. I am sure he also remembers the heat, humidity, mosquitos and rain that you can set your watch by!!


    cheers



    .
     
  9. thanks to the veterans

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    Thanks again men. Noel was at "27 Mile Strip" for a spell and mnetioned that location again to me this afternoon. I believe he said that was near a place named "tsili tsili" or something like that.

    It is quite hard finding someone with the first hand knowledge I am looking for. I have visited numerous boards and emailed folks all over, yet still nothing significant to tell Noel. But what the heck - I'm retired and have the time to continue looking. Please keep me in mind if you come across anything having to do with the 8th Fighter Squadron, the 49th Fighter Group, or our boys who served in Australia.

    Thanks again men. When I tell Noel about what I have found out, he jumps off in another story. It does him good!
     
  10. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Hi Hal and welcome to the forum!
    I´d start at ArmyAirForces.com
    Check this 49th FG
    Greeting from the Czech Republic8)
     
  11. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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  12. thanks to the veterans

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    Thanks for the tips men. Keep them coming.
     
  13. thanks to the veterans

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    FYI - I found some maps of Tsili Tsili and of the airstrip his unit used. Copied them and took them to Noel yesterday. You should have seen his eyes light up. He showed me the small grove of trees where his tent was pitched during his time there.

    I have visited all the boards you fine fellows have mentioned. Found some interesting data to pass on to Noel, just having trouble finding an individual he served with. Still looking though.

    Thanks men.
     
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