History of the the 447th Bombardment Squadron from B-25 Pilot Richard H. Spingler
Dick Spingler appear in blue lettering
Left photo:"This is me as a Leading Aircraftman
(LAC) in Pilot Training Royal Canadian Air
Force (RCAF), 1941.
I had obtaind a Private Pilot License and applied for
assignment through the Clayton/Knight Committee
with the RAF. Pilots that applied were accepted for
training at a commercial flight school in Tulsa, OK.
At the time - early 1941- I was put on a waiting list
for a class. I don't remember the waiting time, but I
was talking one day to a Mr. Coffee at Clayton/Knight,
asked if there was another way, he said I could go to
Canada immediately, if I so desired. They furnished
the paper work and a railroad ticket, so in September I
joined the RCAF. After Pearl Harbor the US Government
asked the RCAF to allow Americans to return to the
USA, getting a discharge from the RCAF and entering
either the US Army, Navy or Marines. A US Government
Recruiting Train for the three services traveled
through Canada, starting on the East Coast and
traveling to the West Coast. I understand Canada
received compensation for each returned American. This
occured starting, I believe, April 1942. I was among the first RCAF
returnees and we were sent to Montgomery, Ala. They
were surprised to see us, claimed they had no
instructions regarding our future. Montgomery was a
Preflight Cadet Training School. So we were put on
leave and then ordered to report to the University of
Alabama, Vandegraff Field, Tuscaloosa, AL. So, we wound up going
through flight training over again. The upper Class at
the time was British. Finally commissioned January, 1943."
Right photo: "This picture had to have been taken shortly after
being commissioned. I was in Transition Training on
the B-25 at Greenville AFB, South Carolina, January, 1943."
Spikes and Spingler fooling around in North Africa- 1943.
Spingler and Olson with B-25 "Alley Cat" in North Africa- 1943.
"This picture is of me with my radio controlled De
Havilland Tiger Moth. This is a model of a 1930s
British flight trainer. It was in use at the beginning
of WWII. I trained in RCAF, 1941, in a Canadian plane
which was very similar - A Fleet Finch."
"Both of the above pictures were drawn by Art Holloway. Arthur Holloway was Navigator on a Special
Secret Mission from N. Africa to Italy carrying some Generals (if you know please email me) who were involved with the
Clyde Morganti was the pilot and William Williams was his copilot.
If I recall correctly, they landed at Brindisi. Williams was my
tent mate and was shot down Dec. 2, 1943 over Chieti, Italy.
It was a tough mission. The top picture is us landing on
the beach at Solomon, near Tunis. The flare burst above the plane indicates wounded aboard.
The bottom picture shows the noseart of my plane. 'Lady Luck' was the one that I brought over via Ascension Island.
Mostly we flew different planes. I think some did manage to stay with one for a few missions.
Kind of like the crew arrangement. Assignments changed due to personnel moving in and out of the squadron."
See more info about Spingler's B-25 'Lady Luck' and
some pictures of a model of 'Lady Luck.'