Bomb Group

380th Bomb Group Association

Newsletter 39 ~ Summer 2009


from: Cheryl Sturm

to: Barbara Gotham

Wed, May 20, 2009 at 7:35 PM

Subject: Can you help with some info Barb?

My Dad is Alberth "Tom" Goga, Staff Sgt, Aerial Photographer for the 380th (528th Squadron); Leland Flint was his pilot. He just got word that Leland passed away last month. He called Flint often to talk & hadn't heard from him in a while & no one answering the phone. So his grandson left a message & I saw a note that he had passed away. I think his son called & left the message on dad's machine. [But Cheryl no longer has the message.]

He told us a story since we were kids about bailing out over the Mindora Islands in the Pacific into the ocean. It was May 12, 1945. Leland Flint was the pilot. Since he was a photographer for the Army & just switched to the Air Force, he wasn't trained to jump. He woke up in the back of the plane to see both pilots bailing out while everyone else was sleeping soundly!!! He guessed they were too tired to hear the call to bail. Dad was scared to death & one guy was crying he was so scared. They jumped or rather got pushed out the door. He could not get his parachute to open when he pulled the cord & just seconds before he hit the water he prayed & pulled open the chest chute. The others told him they were watching as they thought he was done for sure. He said another younger guy (the one that was crying) died when his chute pulled him under the water as it filled & he never released it. He still remembers how he was crying for help but no one would let anyone go near him since he would of only pulled them under & more would of died.

I would love to know if there are others still out there that possibly were on his plane at that time? Thanks for any help! Cheryl


from: Rick Cordell

to: Barbara Gotham

Mon, May 18, 2009 at 11:22 PM

subject: Some interesting items. 380th, 529th

Dear Barbara,

I was going through some of my father's WW II items [Robert E. Cordell, 529th, RCM Opr, Various Crews/ Ground Staff, Admin Clerk]. I found a couple of things you may be interested in. I found his flight log. I also found a memo and a commendation from Gen. Douglas MacArthur regarding a mission in '43. It is dated June 25th, 1943. The subject was the "Macassar Mission." The quote is "My congratulations on the success of 319th and 380th units. It was a daring flight to Macassar - MacArthur. Signed by William A. Miller, Lt. Col., Air Corps, Commanding."

Dad makes reference in his flight log to a crash landing at Biggs Field, Feb. 4th, '43 a night flight. "Crashed on takeoff. plane was completely demolished. Lucky to get out alive." There are many other letters and items in his box of WW II items. I also have many of his black and white photos and I need to spend time scanning these, too.

Kind regards,

Rick Cordell

from: Diane Whetstine

to:  Barb Gotham

Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 11:55 AM

subject: Sgt. William Hughes 531st

Dear Barb,

Does anyone have any information or picture of Sgt. William Hughes (531st)? My uncle Clyde [Whetstine] remembers him and had talked to him after the war. It shows he passed away in 1962. Clyde is 90 years old and he talks of that time just like it was yesterday. I would appreciate any info on Sgt. Hughes.

Thanks ... Diane


Name=Kathy Hebner

RE=PAUL C HEBNER -- 530th -- ASN: 0-736000, Navigator, Dennis Crew. Juarez Whistle

If anyone can point me in the right direction for information (stories) and photos of my father I would really appreciate it. Trying to put together a album for my mother.

Warm regards, Kathy Hebner

Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Hi to all,

I received the following email not too long ago from Tony Cafarella, who lives in Hawker, South Australia (about 100 miles north of Adelaide). Tony served with the RAAF in N.W. Australia in WWII and had ongoing contact with the 380th BG there (he was stationed at Corunna Downs for a while). He is a writer now and has written several short books about his memories and service there and other places in WWII Australia. His email below is self-explanatory. He also invites all of you to submit stories, photos, histories, etc., to him for his new book. I told him I would ask that his email be published in the Newsletter and I will be bringing it up at the reunion in Savannah. You can either email or write him directly or send any material to me and I will forward it on to him. Thanks.

Bill Shek

From Tony Cafarella:

Dear Bill,

Greetings from down under. Through a regular Sunday morning program on the ABC radio here, without my knowing, my Corunna Downs book was publicised. Soon I had people from Western Australia locating me and ordering the book.

It seems that very few Aussies knew anything about our secret Bomber base and are thirsting for knowledge. Would you believe that a recent attendance of 70 RAAF members at a regular monthly meeting was asked what they knew about Corunna.. The answer, Dead silence.

The upshot of it all was that I decided to put together a new book with stories of those who had served in the units in the whole nor-west area including Fenton.

Now if you'd like to put together a story of all you know about your Dad, his unit, his mustering, Rank, where he served in Aussie and elsewhere, and would like to have it published, I would include it and send you a copy when published. Also any photos (copies) of him in action, stories he told or anything to add to the text.

It is in its infancy at the moment as I have just begun to advertise from various units country wide and it will no doubt, take some time. Have not dreamt up a title for it yet except "book No. 15". Will leave it in your hands. Kind regards. Tony

T.A. Cafarella

Hawker S.A., 5434 Australia

from: Gene Brake

to: Barbara Gotham

Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 10:25 PM

RE: 529th Photos - Edwin Brake (38 145 487)

Edwin "Boots" Brake, passed away on 6-24-1966 at the age of 52 and we lived in Porter, TX at the time.
If as result of the printing of this TAPS listing anyone contacts you by chance or you hear of someone that knew him, I would very much like to speak to them if possible. My father passed when I was 10, so I have few memories of my father and never had the opportunity to speak with him about his years in the military. It's something I've always wondered about.

Thank you, Gene


Return to Newsletter #39 Topics page

Last updated:  08/10/2009 12:45 PM