When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 Eldon Mengel of Venice, Fla. was about a week away from becoming a “90-Day Wonder.” The 89-year-old local man joined the Army almost a year earlier because he had a low draft number and he knew he would be called once war broke out.
Tagged The Hump
Larry Rhodes of Venice was gunner on B-29 bomber flying over Tokyo during WW II
Larry Rhodes of Venice grew up in Far Rockaway, N.Y. Just out of high school in 1941 he went to work for Republic Aviation building P-47 “Thunderbolt” fighter planes on Long Island, N.Y. for World War II.
He flew the longest bomber mission of WW II in a B-29 over Japan – Capt. Harold Keathley bombed Aomori in ‘Skookum’
It was Capt. Harold Keathley’s 33rd combat mission flying “Skookum,” a B-29 “Superfortress” over Japan loaded with incendiary bombs. The target: Aomori, located along the coast of Honshu, the northernmost main island. What made this bombing mission special was that the crew flew from Tinian Island in the Pacific to Aomori and back, a distance…
Bill Lightfoot of Quail Run condominium Englewood, Fla. taught British cadets to fly in WW II
Bill Lightfoot was in his fourth year in a small Presbyterian liberal arts college in South Carolina in 1941 when he got his civilian pilots license. He decided to quit school and become an aviation instructor for he United States Government.
Man flew some of Merrill’s Marauders to safety
It wasn’t the brightest move on his part, former Sgt. Pete Chisholm admitted more than 60 years later in the comfort of his Southwest Fla. apartment. “I volunteered to help some of Merrill’s Marauders out. At the time I was an engineer on a C-47 (twin-engine transport) flying out of Dum-Dum Air Base just outside…
He helped CIA depose Diem regime
Lt. Col. John Dyer had no idea the planeload of .50-caliber machine-gun ammunition he flew to Tonsonnhute Airport in Saigon was part of a CIA plot to topple the Ngo Dinh Diem government in South Vietnam.