THE CREW OF THE 415TH SQUADRON OF THE 98TH BOMB GROUP
Kneeling from left: Sgt. John Norris, Sgt. Red Cochran,
Sgt. Harry Henry, Sgt. Raphael Gonyea, Sgt. Don Brown.
Top Row: Lt. Charles Estes, Sgt. Frank Delois,
John Congleton, Bob Swain.
(Not pictured - Lt. Valliant, Lt. Jim Mulligan,
Lt. Swanson and Lt. Joe Dobkin.
It's hard to imagine, but 66 years ago, March 15th, 1945,
on the "Ides of March", my father and the crew of their
B-24 Bomber were shot down over Yugoslavia after
a successful bomb run on the Schwechat Oil Refinery
near Vienna, Austria, a story my father retold
many, many times, and we as family members
never grew tired of hearing.
I have tried to honor my father and the members of
his crew by sharing their story. As the years
go by a lot of people will forget, but we won't.
We will continue to keep their memory alive
by remembering their heroism and sacrifice.
So how do we continue to honor them and their
sacrifice? Perhaps Ronald Reagan said it best in
a speech he gave on the 40th anniversary of D-Day:
"Let us make a vow to our dead. Let us
show them by our actions that we understand
what they died for. Let our actions say to
them the words for which General Matthew
Ridgeway listened: 'I will not fail thee nor
Strengthened by their courage, heartened
by their valor, and borne by their memory,
let us continue to stand for the ideals for
which they lived and died."
Ronald Reagan - June 6, 1984
God Bless.....Liz Bacher