Bushmaster News



        Initial plans have been worked out for a reunion in Milwaukee 11
- 15 July 1997. This is out of sync with the Oshkosh Fly-in but in sync
with the Wondrous Week of the Great Circus Parade which makes Milwaukee
the Circus Capital of the World. The main event for us will be the parade
on the 13th followed by dinner at Maders, one of Milwaukee's famous
German restaurants.
        The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) wont be left out
though. The 12th will be devoted to a visit to the outstanding EAA Air
Adventure Museum adjacent to Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh. This
facility is the largest non-government aviation museum. It has over 90
full size aircraft from the Wright Flyer to the modern home built of
today. Most of the museums displays are inside the huge air conditioned
building with good handicap access.  Adjoining the museum is Pioneer
Airport where six hangers and 40-50 aircraft recreate the "Golden Age of
Aviation" with flying and static aircraft and memorabilia in a setting of
the 1920's and 30's. A highlight of the day will a picnic on the EAA
        After a short business meeting at the Midway Motor Lodge on the
14th, we will again enjoy a luncheon cruise on the Edelweiss. This has
always been a fun thing in the past.
        You should receive a card in the mail shortly giving you more
        As was reported in the last newsletter the 78th is currently
active as part of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw AFB near Sumter South
Carolina. They are equipped with F-16C Block 50 aircraft. They seem to
have a liking for the middle east. They have had several deployments to
the area over the past year and a half. The first was to Saudi Arabia
where they spent over three months patrolling the southern Iraq no-fly
zone. They also spent a month in Quatar on an exercise with the marines.
This was followed with a deployment to Bahrain.
        I hope that most of you caught the missing man flyover by the
78th of this years Super Bowl at Tempe, Arizona. The flight was led by Lt
Col Chris Dodd the squadron commander. The missing man was Captain Rich
Skobee ("Scobes"). His dad was  Commander Dick Scobee of the ill-fated
shuttle Challenger. The Super Bowl fell on the tenth anniversary of this
terrible disaster. Rich's mother, Dr. June Scobee was also honored at
Super Bowl XXX.
        In early December Secretary of Defense William Perry presented
the Commander and Chief's Special Regognition for Excellence Award to the
 78th. This award is given to units that maximize resources, demonstrate
care for people, and facilitate communication and new ideas in areas such
as quality of life, quality of service, leadership and mission
efficiency, officials said.
         The 78th was honored for making the transition to new aircraft
in just 41 days. The squadron had been flying 24 Block 42 F-16 Fighting
Falcons equipped with infrared navigation and targeting pods, and made
the transition to 18 Block 50D F-16s equipped with systems to strike
enemy air defenses.
        General Joseph Ralston, then commander of the Air Combat Command,
said "This achievement reflects exceptional dedication and commitment and
recognizes their leadership, professionalism and teamwork as among the
best in the air Force". "All ACC salutes them on a job well done".
        There is an excellent rundown on the squadron in the August 1996
issue of the Air Force Magazine. The article includes a description of
their mission, their Block 50 F-16C aircraft and its weapons. There are
lots of good photos included.
        The squadron address is:
716 Fighting Falcon Street
Shaw Air Force Base, SC 29152
        The above information was gleaned from conversations with Col
Dodd and Capt Ross Anderson, articles in the Los Angeles Times and Air
Force Times, Air Force Magazine, and clippings sent in by Ernie
        We have learned from Dave Bruton that a decal sheet for 1/48
scale models are available for four 7th Fighter Command Mustangs. The
sheet has decals for Stinger VII, Robert W. Moore, 45th Squadron, My
Achin Ass, Harry C. Crim, 531st Squadron, Delta Queen, J. B. Baker, 458th
Squadron and Margaret IV, Jim Tapp, 78th Squadron.  They are made by Aero
Master Decals, 3615 NW 20th Ave, Miami, Florida 33142, Tel (305)
635-3134, Fax (305) 638-4197. Dave sent me a set. They look great.
        Dave Bruton is a FAA Air Controller at DeRidder Louisiana who
feels "that  it is about time the VLR/EMPIRE missions got some popular
recognition" and has been working to that end. His home address is:
        401 Picone Drive
        Harahan, Louisiana 70123
        (504) 737-6102
        350 Dee Street, #2
        DeRidder, LA 70634
        (318) 462-6772 - home
        (318) 462-6111 - work
        Dave has  been in contact with the 4th ERS. The 4th was based on
Iwo and flew the B-17s with the boats and the OA10s (Catalina Flying
boat). I have received a letter from Chet Gunn who is Secretary of the
4th ERS Association. Chet and Historian Willie Edmond are "trying to
expand their very incomplete Squadron Records to create  meaningful
documentation of our rescue activities". Their "ultimate objective is to
enable surviving Rescue and Rescued Airman to contact one another". They
have information on Capt Mikes, Capt Collins, and Lt Schroeppel and would
like information on Lt Carey and Lt Worton. Does anyone have any details
on Carey's rescue.?  My records show Lt Worton as a member of the 47th
and that he was rescued by the 4th ERS on the July 23rd and KPC at Iwo on
July 27th. Does anyone have anything to add to that ? On July 28 near
lower Tokyo Bay one P-51 pilot was found and another observed bailing out
by a B-17. A smoke flare was dropped at the first survivor location and
rescue sub was directed to both. The second survivor was picked up 10
minutes after the first. On an unknown date a P-51 with smoke trailing 3
miles off Japan was assisted by a B-17. The emergency IFF signal was
picked up by the radar operator and the P-51 pilot contacted by radio and
given headings to the rescue submarine. When the smoking P-51 was
observed he was told to roll over and bailout. He landed a few feet off
the bow of the slowly moving sub. Twenty three seconds after splash down
a roped swimmer grabbed the pilot and the sub crew immediately pulled
them on board. ?? On another unknown date about 40 miles southeast of the
designated rescue location (Rally Point?)  A P-51 pilot in the water was
being circled overhead by another P-51. The P-51 was relieved by a B-17
which attempted a boat drop but the chutes didn't open. The B-17 was
relieved by a B-29 which in turn was relieved by a B-17 dispatched to the
site arriving at dusk. A successful boat drop was made and the pilot made
it into the boat after the B-17 made 3 passes using his landing lights to
illuminate the scene. Flares were dropped and spotted by the sub which
made the rescue before the low on fuel B-17 made it back to Iwo. You know
that the 4th ERS would really appreciate any information that we can
provide them on their support of us.
        Chet Gunn
        237 Franklin Street
        Reading, MA 01867-1030
        (617) 944-6616
        The reunion was held as planned at the Hawthorne Suites Hotel in
Kent, Washington on the south side of Seattle on 6 through 10 September
1995.The accommodations were great and certainly away from the hustle and
bustle of downtown. Congratulations to Mark Stevens for a job well done.
The highlights of the gathering were the Boeing Museum of Flight, the
salmon feast and show on Blake Island, the Boeing Renton plant and the
                At the Museum they split us into two groups and provided
excellent docent guides for us. These two dedicated gentlemen made our
tour of the facility very enlightening and enjoyable. They covered the
history of aviation and explained in detail some the characteristics of
the museums aircraft from the Wright Flyer to the SR-71. 
        The Blake Island affair had many enjoyable facets. The boat ride
out included a guided tour of the Seattle harbor area. After getting off
the bar equipped boat we were treated to a cup of stewed clams. We then
went through the lines inside the Long House and picked up our dinner. We
were served fresh Pacific salmon cooked over an Alder fire. It was 
delicious. As we finished the dinner the show began. The whole island
operation is put on by the local Indians. The show, entitled "The Dance
of the Winds", depicts some of the lore, practices and mysteries of the
northwest Indian tribes.
        The trip back to Seattle was a treat. The weather was clear
which afforded a gorgeous view of Seattle at night as we headed in. By
the way, Blake Island was the site of the Pacific Rim Nations Asian
Pacific Leadership Conference attended by President Clinton a few years
        The Renton plant tour was an "eye opener". Renton is where the
Boeing Company assembles their wide bodied 747, 767, and the new 777
aircraft. We had a briefing and movie at the visitor's center and then
got aboard a bus for a tour of the flight line for a look at the aircraft
in flight test and awaiting delivery to the various airlines of the
world. We then went to the assembly plant and got to see the 747 assembly
line process. This building is the largest building in the world by
volume. Its 472 million cubic feet cover 98.3 acres. At the end of the
line was a 747 in the final process. Our view of it was from a mezzanine
directly above it. You really got to see what a huge airplane the 747 is 
from that viewpoint. You could park 45 medium size cars on its wing.
        Some folks took advantage of the opportunity to see some of the
other attractions of the area such as, the Space Needle, the Pike Place
Market, "Underground Seattle" etc.
         On the 9th we had an excellent banquet at the hotel. Emmett
Kearney, after a little urging, told us how he got the name "Pilot Ben". 
        We held a business meeting on the  morning of the 8th. All the
incumbent officers of the association agreed to serve another term. It
was decided that another reunion would be held in 1977 - God willing. It
would be somewhere in the middle of the country to make it more
accessible. We discussed a letter from John S (Sid) Kennedy a Pearl
Harbor Survivor who was stationed at Kaneohe on December 7th. He was
writing a book on the activities at Kaneohe during the war and wanted an
input from the 78th Squadron. We decided that we would try to put
together a coherent 78th history for the whole period from its
reactivation at Wheeler till the end of WWII. The first phase would cover
the Kaneohe experience for use by Sid. Jim Tapp would compile the works
using inputs from existing historical material but would expect a major
input from all the people who lived the experience in order to "humanize"
the resulting works. Any volunteers who want to help out?
        Your editor contacted Sid on returning home from Seattle and put
together what it was thought he wanted and sent it to him to review. This
was a narrative and photographs. He was real eager to go to print so went
with what was sent him. I guess it was enough detail for his book. His
454 page book is now available from him for $39.00, postpaid. His address
        John S. Kennedy
        17271 Via Carmen
        San Lorenzo, CA  94580
        This is an all branches of the service organization of people who
were involved in the Land. Sea, and Air operations before, during and
after the Iwo Jima invasion and battle in February and March of 1945.
They had a large reunion at Wichita Falls in 1995 with participants from
40 states. They are having another, February 20 - 25 1997, at the DFW
Harvey Hotel in Irving, Texas. An outstanding program is being planned
with lots of special guests, speakers and special events. They are
preparing for 500 Survivors, family and friends. They are anxious to get
us involved. One of their committee members is a P-51 pilot. If you are
interested in attending write to:
  Iwo Jima Survivors Assoc. of Texas
  P O Box 668
  Wichita Falls, TX 76307-0668
for a reservation packet. They asked that I include the following:
Searching for all veterans who served time in Japanese Prisoner of War
Camps during WWII to be our guests at the All-Forces Banquet during our
next Iwo Jima Survivors Reunion.
Searching for family members of all Iwo Jima veterans (living and
deceased) that would be interested in a National Iwo Jima Family Group.
For more nformation on the above two items contact:
 Iwo Jima Survivors Assoc. Of Texas
 P O Box 1657
 Bowie, TX 76230
"Of War and Weddings " Author - Jerry Yellin. One of Jerry's sons married
a Japanese girl. The wedding was held in Japan. Takako's dad was in the
Japanese Army during the war but wanted to be a fighter pilot. It took
some patience but he and Jerry finally hit it off. Robert and Takako now
have three children. 
        "Of War & Weddings" is a superbly written odyssey of two families
- Japanese and American - coming to terms with the legacy of World War II
enemies through intermarriage. Touching, sometimes painful, but in the
end a paean to the human spirit. Wonderful".
        - Winnner of the 1989 Journalism Award
        Jerry says the book is currently sold out in the U.S. but hopes
it will have a second printing soon. The first edition sold for $17.95.
Jerry rebates $5.00 to the 78th Association treasury. Bing Gibson has a
copy as well as Joe Fahey. Bing says "Jerry did a pretty good job". 
        Jerry's house in Fairfield, Iowa 52556 was struck by lightning on
May 27 1996 and burned to the ground. They expect to have it rebuilt by
December 15th. His P O Box is 1824.  His phone is (515) 472-8886. His
E-Mail address jaywhy@lisco.com

"The Last Mission" The max effort B-29 raid on 14 Aug that ended the war.
Author Jim B Smith, PO Box 892, El Segundo, CA 90245. Price $40.00.

"Rain of Fire" B-29s over Japan in 1945. It says that it includes the
first P-51 Escort. Author Charlie Phillips, 11875 Pigeon Pass Road,
B-14-357, Moreno Valley, CA 92557 Price $19.95 plus $3.00 shipping.

"Blankets of Fire" US bombers over Japan during WW II. Smthsonian History
of Aviation Series. Author Kenneth E Werrell, Professor of History
Radford University. P O Box 6941, Radford, VA 24142. Price $39.95

Jeffery L. Ethell, aviation writer, would like to know if any of us took
color slides from before WWII through the Korean War. Since he is showing
all areas of the Globe and all aspects of military aviation life, both
ground and air scenes, every slide would be of interest. He would like to
borrow original Kodachromes, duplicate them himself and return them. He
says that in writing over 50 books over the past 25 years, he has never
lost or damaged anything loaned. Should they be published, proper credit
will given. He would also like any recollections about our wartime tour,
whether they be funny, tragic or hair-raising, in the air or on the
ground, combat or not. Jeff has written or collaborated on books such as;
WWII Pacific War Eagles, Republic's P-47 Thunderbolt, The Lockheed P-38
Lightning, Fighter Command, Bomber Command, G. I. Victory, Flying the
Hump etc. These are all in color and available from Widewing Publishers.
Jeff's address is: 9017 Stonewall Jackson Hwy, Front Royal, Virginia
22630. Phone (540) 636-1816.

        Are you interested in a Bed and Breakfast in the Blanco, Colorado
area? How about the White Mountain Ranch? Want to fly? Try Flying Scott's
Aviation Enterprises for aircraft leasing, FAA flight exams, flight
instruction - private, commercial, instrument, mountain, airline
transport. The motto
is; "I Love to Fly - Lets Go!" Phone; (719) 379-3833.


William W. Jones - Born August 3, 1916. Died May 28, 1995 after a long
stay in the VA Hospital in Kerrville, Texas. He joined the Army, in
January 1933. Served at Ft Bliss, Randolph, and Langley. On December 7,
1945 he was at Wheeler in the 78th which he stayed in until the end of
the war. After returning home he re-enlisted and went to Germany during
the occupation. He and Grace were married in June, 1948 on return to the
States. They served at Salina, Shreveport, and Upper Heyford. He retired
from the Air Force as a Master Sergeant April 30, 1957. He was the
recipient of numerous commendations and medals. Bill then worked for the
Navy at Alameda and then the Air Force at Kelly as a Civil Servant.  He
retired in 1973 and he and Grace moved to Boerne. He is buried at the
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

William F. McClain, Jr. Died November 1993. No other information

Daniel S. Miles Born June 26, 1921 in Youngstown, Ohio. Died April 2,
1995  at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper. He graduated from the
Douglas High School in 1939 and attended Hastings College, Nebraska
before becoming an Aviation Cadet. After his tour with the 78th he
attended  the University of Michigan. He married Jeanne May 29. 1953.
They lived in Douglas. He worked for the Wyoming Highway Department for
20 years and then worked for Exxon Uranium as an engineer for several
years. At the time of his death he had a mail contract between Lusk and
Wheatland. Danny is survived by Jeanne: children Catherine Valance of
Longmont, Mary Young of Glendo and Daniel T. Miles of Salt Lake City: two
grandsons, three granddaughters and one great-granddaughter.

Jack M. O'Hare He died suddenly December 22, 1995 at his ranch in Salida,
Colorado he was preceded in death by Dee earlier in the year. After tours
with the 78th and 73rd Squadrons he returned to the States and was an
advanced instructor. He was involved in two AT-6 accidents and medically
retired. He was in the carpet business in Chicago. He and Dee raised two
sons. John who is in Singapore and Randy who lives in Dallas.

Walter F. Shea   Born October 16, 1919 in Jersey City. Died of a stroke
July 2, 1996. At the time of his death he lived in Noblebro, Maine. He
was a Crew Chief in the 78th from 1942 to 1945. He is buried in
Damariscotta, Maine.

John W. Mitchell   Born June 14, 1914 and died at his home in San Anselmo
California of pancreatic cancer November 15, 1995. His ashes were
interred at the Golden Gate National Cemetery. John was the last 15th
Group commander of WWII. He had a tour in the Solomon's and a short
stint in P-80 jets stateside before joining the 15th. While at
Guadalcanal he lead his 339th P-38 Squadron on the Admiral Yamamoto shoot
down mission  April 18, 1943. He had 8 kills in the Solomon's, 4 while
with us and 4Migs in Korea. He was awarded the Navy Cross, Army
Distinguished Cross and many other awards. He retired as a Colonel after
23 years of all fighter unit service.

Gerald G. Sweet  Ken Sweet"s brother who we got to meet and like through
his assistance with the reunions in Milwaukee, died August 25, 1996 at
the age of 72. He had undergone his second by-pass heart surgery on July
12 and never got out of the cardiac care unit.
Sick Call Bob Ruby had a stroke in January and has been in the Battle
Creek VA Hospital since then. He does get home on week ends. Loretta says
that he is doing as well as can be expected and has shown improvement
recently. His address at the hospital is:
 VA Medical Center, Bldg.. 84, 2nd Floor
 5500 Armstrong Road
 Battle Creek, MI 49015-1014
 Phone: (616) 966-5600 ext 3846
 Home: 525 S Moorland Drive
 Battle Creek, MI 49015
 Phone: (616) 962-3917

(Your editor would like to provide balanced reports in this section but

in some cases only limited information is available. Please help me by
providing substantive information. The news paper obituaries are usually
fairly comprehensive and therefore a good source.)
78th Web Page  courtesy Mark W. Stevens: 

 - This news letter will be on  the Web Page.
 MarkStevens E-MAIL: 

Jim Tapp E-Mail: 
   News letter generated on Pentium 100mhz
multi-media computer w/16meg ram, 1.2 gig HD, 4x Cd-rom using Word
Perfect 6.1 running in Windows 95. Master printed on Epson Action Laser

78th Fighter Squadron Association(WWII)
4210 Constellation Road
Lompoc, CA 93436-1233