"Early in August 1944 I flew on a mission with a slight cold and got an earache. The flight surgeon really reamed me out . I guess he was concerned with having healthy flight crews for the invasion of Southern France on August 15 but he did not tell me that. So for about two weeks starting then the 489th was on the Southern France campaign and we had no targets in Italy. We lost some planes at "sur le pont d'Avignon" on D_Day so I did not mind being grounded."
"My only diary is my flight record but there may be historical
details in my V-mails to Mom which are in a box in the attic.
That fellow Underwood must have a detailed diary. I don't remember seeing H-models on Corsica at all. His story sounds to me like a pre-war Dare Devil Aces magazine since he went on missions where they cruised around looking for targets of opportunity. None of that in the 489th. The radiomen went to briefing with the officers and we knew exactly where we would go and when and where the German flak guns were and if we would have escorting fighters or area cover. I always felt that the Air Force was taking care of us."
This is a nice drawing of a typical B-25J Mitchell from the 489th.
Click here to see a partial list of the 489th B-25s.
Below are three more pictures from Dominique Taddei of 489th squadron personnel. These pictures were taken during the summer of 1944 at Alesani, Corsica. "In Dominique's pictures, one of them is from my squadron book and I recognize most of the fellows. There is another picture of many men and I think I recognize the one on the upper left as the mess sergeant. Most of the men in that picture are Italian prisoners of war. They did not wear hats. The ones wearing hats are American G.I.s."
Gunners from the 489th. This picture is in the 489th Squadron Book and the men are from left to right: L.H. Vehige, R. Stewart, P.V. Bourque, J.R. Vincent, R.L. Eikhoff, E.J. Cooper and V.W. Malone.
This picture, also in the 489th Squadron Book, is labeled "Communications Group."
Left picture: Italy, March 5, 1944, two 489th men on leave- Billy K. Walker from Samnorwood, Texas and Joseph J. Moore who was born in Paterson, New Jersey and grew up in Lakewood, Ohio. Joe Moore's note on the back of this photo: "Billy K. Walker with me- boots and all. The occasion- B.K.'s birthday- what a time we had!" Billy K. Walker was killed on May 13, 1944 at Alesan Air Field, Corsica during the surprise German air raid. Joe Moore became the crew chief of a brand new B-25J with tail letters 9D after the previous 9D was damaged in the German air raid. Joe named the new 9D Briefing Time. His crew maintained Briefing Time so well that it never missed a single one of its 126 missions. Today, the Mid Atlantic Air Museum maintains a B-25J as Briefing Time 9D with Joe Moore's name on it, just like the original. Joe Moore passed away in 1983. Photo contributed by the family of Joseph J. Moore.
Right picture: Corsica, 1944, four 489th men in a relaxing pose. Back row, Bill Reinhold of New Hampshire. Bill was the local representative for the 1983 reunion. Millard Harper of Dallas. Millard never misses a 57th reunion. Front row, Bob Martin of Portland, Oregon. Bob was killed in a plane accident after returning to the states. Al Borden of Indianapolis, Indiana. Al died in 1983. Photograph contributed by George Bleimes of Gahanna, Ohio.
This 489th B-25D is being restored at the Yankee Air Museum complete with a "greenhouse" nose acquired from a B-25 graveyard in southern California. To my knowledge, this plane is the only remaining combat veteran B-25 from the 489th bombardment squadron in Corsica. Now known as Yankee Warrior, this plane flew the missions shown below as Ellen E. & Son 9C 634 from Alesan Air Field, Corsica in 1944: