Issue #92 | April 2022
In This Issue of
Saving Military History One Soldier at a Time
Welcome to the April 2022 Newsletter.

Spring is here, time to come out of hibernation and we get you going by testing your knowledge on ribbons and insignia.

We honor the service of Air Wacs with a period piece and also a story about cocktails and we are not talking about the 5 o'clock variety.

A story about another history rescue ...

Volunteer opportunities for 2022 ...

An X-File ...

And much more.

So read on ...

Thank you for all of the artifact donations we have received last year; a remarkable quantity and quality of history has been entrusted to our care.

We want to send out a special thank you to all of our volunteers who have been helping us on many projects. We could not have accomplished so much without your assistance!

Thank you for your support!

Artifacts help tell the stories, money makes the engine run, please

We tell history! Saving Military History One Soldier at a Time.

Remember those that made the #ultimatesacrifice #mia #pow #kia #sonsofliberty. #patriots #army #navy #marines #aircorps #airforce #coastguard #merchantmarine; all those that have worn the cloth.

Join us on this journey.

In Their Memory,
Robert Coalter, Jason Weigler
Executive Directors

"Saving Military History One Soldier At A Time".SM 
"Saving History One Soldier At A Time"SM
Rescued History & Museum Quality
We rescue a lot of military artifacts; items destined for the trash heap. From torn papers and faded ribbons to moth damaged uniforms decades pass and the condition of items deteriorate. These artifacts still have a story to tell.

Many museums only want items in pristine condition, we say differently. Some so called museums only want materials from a well known commander written up in history books or the fighter ace or a man who would fly to the moon or a Medal of Honor recipient.

While we have artifacts such as these we also have the items of the draftee who answered their nation's call and served their tour and then went home. Some were not so fortunate. in our mission of "Saving Military History One Soldier at a Time" it is about all who have worn the cloth of our nation's military. Artifacts help us bring stories to life no matter their condition.

We accept donations of artifacts in ALL CONDITIONS.
This 15th Air Force tunic was recently donated to us by a person, so technically they rescued it. The jacket was left at a fast food restaurant many years ago and the manager kept it hoping the owner would return. Alas, that never happened. Instead of disposing of it, he donated it to us. There happens to be a laundry number in it and we are hopeful that we may be able to determine the serviceman and thus SAVE some more history! Stay Tuned.
Volunteering in 2022
If you are looking to volunteer with a non profit in 2022 we would welcome your assistance. We have a need to transcribe over 150,000 of these index cards. Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Soldiers Medal, Bronze Stars and Purple Heart. Getting this information into our database will allow us to make this data searchable. Contact us to get started!
Museum Expenditures-Donations
As a non-profit it's important to let our patrons know where some of their money is going.

This riker-mount display box is one of the most important pieces that we use. They contain ribbons, medals, patches, pictures and other small memorabilia items.

Last year we purchased 534 of these items. We will fill them all in less than 12 months.

Constant Contact charges us $1200 annually to create, store and send this newsletter.

Our web servers, domains and hosting cost $7100 / year.

The annual total for just these three components is $13,3000. Naturally, we have other expenditures, but 100% of monetary donations go to operations. All staff and directors are volunteer.

Monetary donations are needed and very welcomed to support these efforts.

Please consider a DONATION today. Thank You.

Missing in Action & Buried Unknowns
There are still thousands classified as Missing in Action or as Buried Unknowns. In our partnership with the MIA Recovery Network we have established data on our websites regarding MIAs. We are in the process of cataloging research materials instrumental to the researcher and families in this search.

The quest to account for those of our nation's Missing in Action is one of the most noble of endeavors. There are also a large number of recovered remains that are buried in ABMC cemeteries where the identity is unknown.
The recovery of MIAs pose a number of challenges. For example, Navy or Merchant Marine ships that were sunk in are unrecoverable and thus ship manifests are the primary and often only source of names for those that have perished but are still accounted for as Missing In Action.
Each conflict has had its own challenges. At the end of World War II the military had established more than 360 temporary cemeteries, but the dead were being found continually, in farm fields, forests, small church cemeteries, and isolated graves and the shores of combat zones. These dead were collected and the remains consolidated into the fourteen permanent European, Mediterranean, and North African Cemeteries maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission, and two permanent cemeteries in the Philippines and Hawaii.

Throughout 2022 we will be providing stories of MIAs, and research efforts.

Monetary donations are needed and very welcomed to support these efforts.
Please consider a DONATION today. Thank You.


On the 25th of November 1946 a German company involved in demining near the
town of Sinz, Germany recovered three sets of remains from an active
minefield. One of these remains was assigned the X-file number of X-04479.
The remains were few and fractured but among them were a pair of size 7B
combat boots and a remnant of cavalry boot. The remains were from a man of
5'4" and weighing 135 pounds. There was also a pendant inscribed with"
Mozart". Dental remains were recovered but could not be associated with the
skeletal remains of any of the three although tooth charts were made.

X-04479 was recovered by the 610th Quartermaster Graves Registration
Company and buried as an unknown in the Neuville-en-Condroz cemetery in
Belgium. This remains was one of nearly 3,000 buried as unknowns in the
European Military Cemeteries of the American Battle Monuments Commission. 

The pursuit of identifying these remains continues even now, and the
ability of scientists to utilize DNA as a method offers hope that many of
these buried unknowns may eventually be identified. The United States is the
only country which still attempts to identify and honor their fallen, even
decades after the end of hostilities. 

#neverforget #bringthemallhome
The Cinema
The Cinema, another way to describe it is it's our own Netflix.

130 combat films represented by 209 clips and 1436 minutes of footage will keep you watching for hours.

Army, Army Air Forces, Navy, Marines. WW2 and Vietnam. There's something for everyone.

This is a subscription service of $14.95/month.

Take a few minutes and go see what's "Now Showing" and decide if you want to signup and start watching. Go now !

Sons of Liberty Museum

The Sons of Liberty has hundreds of uniforms and thousands of other artifacts in our collection from the U.S. Revolutionary War to Present day. Our web presence now numbers in excess of 325,000 pages. We continue to accept new material for education and research programs; a number of these items will make their way on to the website.

Our collection includes memorabilia from the front line soldier to the rear echelon clerk. Drivers, infantrymen, pilots, tankers, seaman, medical, artillery, armorers, engineers, quartermasters and much more. Those that were drafted or volunteered; those that did a single tour or made it a career. Those that returned with all types of injuries and those that gave their full measure being killed in action (KIA). All MOS are welcome from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines.

We are Saving Military History One Soldier At A Time. We are honoring the service of the Citizen Soldier.


We need volunteers to transcribe award and roster documents. You will place the material into a spreadsheet where it will be added to our database and website. We welcome new dedicated volunteers to work from home and help us with this project!

Interesting Links & Resources


We welcome donations of papers, books, photos, gear, uniforms, jackets, medals, ribbons, weapons, equipment, scrapbooks, biographies, diaries and more. Please Contact Us

Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Cold War, Gulf War and current conflict donations accepted. From small to large multi-item donations, they all tell a story.

We need you ! We need your help to further our mission of preserving and bringing this history to you and your families. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit your qualifying donations are tax deductible.

Army Air Corps Museum

The Air Corps Museum online presence encompasses over 225,000 web pages with thousands of photos and other materials. Our artifact collection contains hundreds of uniforms, albums, logs, medals and more from the Army Air Service, Army Air Forces and U.S. Air Force.

World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Cold War, Gulf War and current conflict donations welcome!


We need volunteers to transcribe documents, placing the material into a spreadsheet. We welcome new dedicated volunteers to help us with this project! Work from home.

Interesting Links & Resources

Trace a Family Members Military Service:


We welcome donations of papers, books, photos, gear, uniforms, jackets, medals, ribbons, weapons, equipment, scrapbooks, biographies, diaries, letters and more. Please Contact Us

You can make monetary donations. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit your qualifying donations are tax deductible.
Jack Williams
498th Bombardment Group
873rd Bomb Squadron
B-29 Navigator

The 498th was stationed on Saipan and part of the 73rd Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force of B-29 Superfortress aircraft that flew missions against the Japanese home islands.

Pictured are his navigator wings, identification tag, 2nd and 1st lieutenant bars, uniform collar 'US' and prop and wing insignia, his dog tags an overseas cap, newspaper article, uniform buttons and a graduation book from the AAF school in Hondo, Texas.

Items have a story, what tale do yours tell?

The ribbon rack and various devices that may surround it are a mini-resume for the wearer. They can tell you a lot about the their service including the time in which they served.

Over the next months we will highlight some service racks from the different branches of service and various conflicts. This month we will highlight a few Marines.

Some basics. It must be noted that there were and are regulations for the wearing of these on the uniform. Some will adhere to the regulation while others may stray; this is not done on our part, but rather how they may have come to us in donations.

Ribbons are placed in order of precedence with the highest, most prestigious award situated toward the top left on the rack.
4th Marine Division patch on this khaki jacket. The first ribbon is the Silver Star for Gallantry in Combat. Followed by the Bronze Star. The Purple Heart is for wounds received in combat. The Marine Presidential Unit Citation completes the second row. The American Defense is for those in service before Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7 1941. This followed by the American Campaign received during training and or stateside service. This is followed by the Asia-Pacific Theater Ribbon. Below the ribbons are shooting badges. Different scores on the shooting range rated different badges. The badge on the right has two qualification bars also known as qual-bars or clasps. This Marine was rated an expert with the Carbine and a Sharpshooter with a rifle, likely small bore.
This is an interesting ribbon rack on a USMC uniform. The first is a Navy Unit Citation award, likely for shipboard service. The second is the American Campaign ribbon; this has a single campaign star on it which makes it likely that this Marine was at Pearl Harbor. To top row finishes with the American Campaign ribbon of World War II. Row two is the Asia Pacific ribbon with a single campaign star, then the World War II Victory, The National Defense ribbon for service during 1950-1954. The bottom row: Korean Service with two campaign stars, the United Nations Korea service and Korea Presidential Unit Citation.
The top row consists of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Followed by the Presidential Unit Citation, the USMC Good Conduct and the China Service ribbon awarded for service in and around China during the period from 1937 to 1957. The American Campaign ribbon with campaign star making this Marine a person at Pearl Harbor or Wake Island. next is the American Campaign followed by the Asia-Pacific ribbon with a campaign star. Additionally, are the shooting badges, of both expert and sharpshooter. Rifle and Submachine Gun.
By Charlotte Knight

The girls have proved them­selves to the AAF, and thou­sands more are joining up.

They are officially the Air Wacs now. Radio operators and grease mon­keys, dispatchers and draftsmen, pharmacists and photographers, chemists and car­tographers, typists and teachers, pigeoneers, plotters, meat cutters, cooks, dog trainers-200 different jobs in the Army Air Forces at about 200 different stations. That is the record achieved by the AAF contingent of the Women's Army Corps in less than a year. 

But still there aren't enough to go around. More Wacs are needed at every AAF station. The AAF has launched a nation-wide campaign to add 46,000 Air Wacs to its ranks immediately.

For the first time since the Women's Corps was organized, WAC enlistees may now request assignment to the Army branch of their choice and may also be recommended for the type of job they de­sire. And from all reports thousands of new recruits are choosing the AAF. 

The admiration is mutual. Air Force leaders, enthusiastic about the Women's Army Corps since its inception, needed no converting to the idea that khaki­ skirted women could replace men in scores of non-combatant jobs. As long as eighteen months ago, the AAF startled even the most ambitious WAC recruiters by announcing that it could and would use 375,000 Wacs if it could get them. And the AAF finally has received the green light to do its own WAC recruiting.

The Training Command absorbs the majority of Air Wacs, but a generous allotment is made to other commands and stations. For example, a qualified woman radio operator, upon completion of her basic training at Oglethorpe, Des Moines or Daytona, may be assigned immediately to some AAF station for radio duties. If further training is needed, women may be given on-the-job training, or may be sent to one or another of the AAF techni­cal schools. 

A check list of GI tasks performed by Wacs reveals that a year has transformed them into electricians, printers, ,truck drivers, translators, photo retouch artists, link trainer instructors, cryptographers, hospital orderlies, fingerprinters, dental hygienists, entertainment directors, air­plane inspectors, chaplain's assistants, bombsight mechanics, surgical technicians, MPs, and statisticians. They have even invaded the control towers at our air bases.
The endorsement that counts most comes from the officers who have had Wacs working for them. Those officers are now shouting: "Send me more. Send me as many as you can get." 

Until the WAAC dropped an "A" last September (1943) and became an official part of the regular Army instead of an auxiliary, WAC officers were confined to adminis­trative positions, doing the "housekeep­ing" for the corps itself. Now, however, WAC officers directly replace male offi­cers in a constantly growing number of technical and administrative jobs. So don't be at all surprised to see a silver ­barred Wac holding down a spot on your field as public relations officer, spe­cial services officer, legal officer, base personnel officer, PX officer or even air traffic officer. 

After taking over the desk of a male officer, one WAC captain in the Air Transport Command reported: "We found some of the officers actually had suitcases packed ready to go overseas waiting for us to arrive. They were cer­tainly glad to see us." 

The ATC, incidentally, is one of the WAC's most enthusiastic boosters. Early in July, convinced that WAC officers could assume many of the command's administrative duties, the ATC took 100 women officers for strictly "operational" jobs. Now they want many more.

You'll find these women of the ATC serving in priorities and traffic offices, intelligence sections, weather offices, pos­tal services, public relations and a dozen other offices. One WAC officer replaced a major in the Maintenance Engineering Division, where she keeps track of the ATC's grounded planes and expedites delivery of parts to get them in the air again. Another, as personal affairs officer for the Sixth Ferrying Group, assists the men in settling financial affairs, arrang­ing insurance, allotments and claims. Others handle negotiations, clearances and general preparations for embarking and debarking passengers who pass through ATC terminals. One such WAC operations officer was asked if she liked her job. "Like it?" she exclaimed. I’ve checked in Lord Louis Mount­batten, Winston Churchill and Sir John Dill in one week. Who wouldn't like it?" 

Air Wacs are being sent overseas at a steadily increasing rate. England and Africa have most of them at the present time, although plans are being made to send Air Wacs to several other theatres. The majority of Wacs in Britain serve the 8th Air Force in some 150 different jobs. Many assist in the preparation of target reports for raids over Germany, others plot the bombers' courses, prepare anal­yses of the mission's success, chart graphs, keep statistical records of battle casualties, and interpret aerial photographs taken on the mission.

They don't fly planes or pull triggers or release bombs. Theirs is a behind-the-­lines, frequently underrated role. But the Wacs are soldiers, doing soldiers' jobs to keep the AAF's planes in action. Ask any harassed, understaffed CO.

'An Enviable Record' 

The following commendation was re­ceived by Col. Oveta Culp Hobby, Direc­tor of the WAC, in the form of a letter from General Arnold: 

"I have been highly gratified with the record of the members of your command now on duty with the Army Air Forces. Not only have members of the Women's Army Corps made an enviable record through theif work at AAF instal­lations in this country, but splendid re­ports have come to me on the work of the Corps with the Eighth Air Force in the European Theatre of Operations. As you know, the AAF desires to utilize the WAC component of the Army to the fullest extent. You may be assured that the AAF will do everything possible to assist in recruiting women for this important Army work.”


Number One Wac in the AAF is Major Betty Bandel, first Wac to win her gold leaves and who, as Air WAC Officer, channels 43 percent of all Wacs into waiting Air Force jobs.

Interpreting aerial photographs has been added to the growing list of important "operational" jobs assigned to Air WAC officers. AAF-trained WAC photographers, lab technicians, photo retouch artists and camera repairmen can also be found at almost every Air Force station. The moment for which most Wacs ·work and wait arrives when they get sailing orders.

Hundreds of Wacs have gone overseas to take vital jobs with the AAF in communications centers, intelli­gence, supply, instrument and parachute repair, motor transport, special services, and a score of other departments.

By, Charlotte Knight, Air Force Staff, Reprinted from February 1944 issue of Air Force, the official service journal of the US Army Air Forces.
American Molotovs
American Molotovs
By Thomas Lamlein

The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine has shocked the world. The response of the Ukrainian people has been even more surprising, as their government has issued automatic rifles to ordinary citizens, and a modern militia army quickly rose to fight the invaders. Along with some basic firearms training, Ukrainian officials provided instructions for the creation and use of Molotov Cocktails, the time-honored anti-tank weapon of last resort. The Molotov gas bomb was born in Europe, and in its role as an anti-tank grenade that is where it has seen its greatest use. Even so, the Molotov Cocktail was a part of the American arsenal in WWII, serving with US tank destroyer forces-at least during training in 1942-1943.

A European Invention 

The term "Molotov Cocktail" originated as a response to a different Russian invasion, this time in Finland during late 1939. As the Red Army attacked their northern neighbor, Soviet bombers began to indiscriminately bomb civilian targets in Helsinki. Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov strangely described the bombs dropped in these raids as "food parcels", Soviet gifts to the hard-pressed Helsinki residents. After that, the Finns called Soviet cluster bombs as "Molotov Bread Baskets".  

As Finnish troops fought desperately to hold back Soviet armored attacks,the glass bottle gas-bombs were dubbed "Molotov Cocktails", as Finnish humor prescribed them as an appropriate drink to go along with Molotov's propaganda food deliveries. Now, nearly 83 years later, those same cocktails are served up to Russian troops and tanks once more, this time in Ukraine.

Desperate measures against enemy tanks

The United States military watched from afar through the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the German invasion of Poland, and then Western Europe (1939-1940), and the Soviet invasion of Finland (1939). In each conflict, armored vehicles grew ever more prevalent and important. Consequently, antitank warfare quickly became an important part of America's military planning as war clouds gathered. Following along with British development of simple antitank weapons for their infantry, America's new Tank Destroyer troops were equipped with Molotov Cocktails and "Sticky bombs" in the short term, as much more powerful weapons were being developed-ranging from the M9 antitank rifle grenade; to the 2.36-inch Bazooka rocket launcher, to the towed antitank guns (57mm and 3-inch) and the M10, M18, and M36 self-propelled tank destroyers. But in the dark days of America's early WWII period, our troops trained with the rudimentary tools of the infantry antitank trade.
An American Molotov: In training at Fort Belvoir, Virginia during
1942, at a school for combat engineers as well as chemical warfare.
Another view of training at Fort Belvoir: the flaming match
material is taped around the sealed bottle.
An improvised Molotov in training with the Tank Destroyer troops at
Fort Hood, Texas during early 1943.
Tank Destroyer troops tossing sticky bombs at a mockup of a Japanese
tank. Fort Hood, early 1943.
The sticky bomb and Molotov both required extreme caution in their
use. Fort Hood, early 1943.
More of Our Projects
301st Bombardment Group, B-17 Flying Fortress. England, North Africa, Italy during World War II.
USS Hilbert. Destroyer Escort, DE-742. Pacific Theater of Operations, World War II.

Preserve This History, Honor the Service, Provide Education For Future Generations
Thank You For Your Support !
Thank You For Your Support !
---- What is Liberty ? ----

"definition. the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views." 

Merriam-Webster defines it as " the power to do as one pleases, the freedom from physical restraint and freedom from arbitrary or despotic control.

---- So what is a Son of Liberty? ----

In our context and beginning these were the men and women in America who wanted the freedom from the King of England. They desired a right of self-determination for their lives.  They fought for this liberty and codified it in the Constitution of a new country.  To keep this liberty they created a military to ward off the any would-be belligerent. Since the War of Independence until and including the present day the men and women who have worn the cloth of our nation's military are its Sons of Liberty.  They have fought enemies in other nations, they have fought each other and they have stood as sentinels of the watch.
We celebrate the service of these individuals, we tell the historical story of these selfless patriots.

---- The Sons of Liberty Museum ----

Over a decade ago we chose a name for this organization and our sister the Army Air Corps Library and Museum. We believe these names accurately describe these men and women who serve. We will not change any name to satisfy a radical viewpoint or computer algorithm. We don't allow for any revisionist history, we tell the factual stories.

We are Saving Military History One Soldier at a Time.
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Need a Good Book?
Check out these titles.
I was a navigator in the 459 Bomb Group 758 Bomb Squadron flying B-24's from Torre Giulia Field, tower named 'Coffee Tower', a gravel airfield near Cerignola, on the Foggia Plains of Southeastern Italy during the period August 4, 1944 to May 16, 1945. I flew 50 combat missions over targets in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia and Northern Italy.

Project Option: 6×9 in, 15×23 cm
# of Pages: 386
IsbnSoftcover: 9781714032860
Publish Date: Dec 12, 2019

Most aircraft of World War II had pictures of sexy girls, tributes to sweethearts, songs and home. The planes were fondly referred to in a feminine manor. That was not the case with this B-17 tail number 42-25233. He was Rigor Mortis.

This is the story of Rigor Mortis and his men who flew over 120 missions from North Africa and Italy in 1943 and 1944.

Project Option: 8×10 in, 20×25 cm
# of Pages: 382
IsbnSoftcover: 9781714727803
Publish Date: Apr 20, 2020

A Novel of MACVSOG in Vietnam. By Gene Pugh a Special Forces Recon Team Member.

Surrender Not an Option

Survivors guilt is not the only thing that is bothering Allen Purvis. He has to relive in his mind the battles in a denied area when he was assigned to MACVSOG the ultimate secret organization during the Viet Nam war. He is put to the test when he commands his friends to sacrifice themselves to save the others of the unit. Wendy Salas, nurse at the 95th Evacuation Hospital sees the horrors of the war everyday. Her pain is personal. A chance meeting on R&R in Hong Kong brings these two people together as soul mates in a hope that one of them can save the other. Purvis like the others wondered why they were saved and the answer was there all the time.

  • Paperback : 312 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1539108333
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1539108337
  • Dimensions : 6 x 0.71 x 9 inches

Gene is a member of our advisory board.
By Tom Laemlein

Tom is a member of our advisory board.

Many of the photos and illustrations in this book, some of them in color, are strong enough to be displayed in full page format. The images deliver the gritty details of USAAF armaments’ use down to their nuts and rivets, and the high-velocity rounds they fired. This is a unique photo-study, with many of the photos never-before published.

U.S.A.A.F. Aircraft Weapons of WWII

This book focuses on the war-winning weaponry of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. With 144 pages containing more than 250 photos it offers stunning visual details of the machine guns, cannons, bombs, and rockets carried into battle by USAAF bombers, fighters, and attack aircraft.Many of the photos and illustrations in this book, some of them in color, are strong enough to be displayed in full page format. The images deliver the gritty details of USAAF armaments’ use down to their nuts and rivets, and the high-velocity rounds they fired. This is the first photo-history of its kind, with many of the photos never-before published.

Combat conditions dictated that many aircraft were adapted into roles for which they were not designed. As necessity is the mother of invention, aircraft were modified in both their roles and their armament. B-25s became ground attackers, A-20s became night fighters, and every wartime USAAF fighter was adapted to carry bombs.

301st Bombardment Group DVD

Enjoy this history of the 301st Bombardment Group in World War II with this discovered archival film footage. The first footage is in North Africa where the 301st moved after a short beginning in England. From Maison Blanche to Biskra, Algeria in 1942-1943 then Lucera, Italy in 1944 and many missions in between. Watch the men on the ground and in the air with both black and white and color footage. There are also some scenes with sound. Listen to the commanders recap the North African Campaign and a crew interview.

Watch the mission to bring back repatriated POWs. View the destruction of war on the enemy at the various targets of the 12th and 15th AF heavy bomber units.

View some great color footage of General Spaatz and General Eaker in the desert of North Africa. Listen to Generals Eisenhower, Spaatz and Doolittle talk about the Tunisian Campaign. Watch the bombs drop on missions including the oil fields and production facilities at Ploesti, Romania. View destruction on the ground. Watch as liberated POWs of the 15th AF are brought back to Italy.

This DVD contains a mixture of black and white and color film footage.
There are a number of minutes that contain sound. Runtime: 218 Minutes (3 hours, 38 minutes). Price: $39.99

By Kenneth Breaux

The author takes the reader on a compelling odyssey, beginning with a wartime mystery which endured for nearly sixty years. A compelling and often gripping story of loss and discovery.

About the Author:

Kenneth Breaux served as a Naval Officer during the Vietnam era, where he first became acquainted with the plight of MIA's and their families. He spent over twenty years on active and reserve service and retired from the Navy with the rank of Commander.

"Courtesies of the Heart"

In the early morning hours of September 11, 1944, US Army Air Forces P-51 pilot Lt. William Lewis climbed into an overcast sky with the 55th Fighter Group on a mission escorting bombers. He had already flown more than 100 hours of combat over Europe. Over the channel he joined a vast fleet of more than 1,000 airplanes including the B-17’s of the 100th Bomb Group bound for Germany. This day’s combat would be one of the largest aerial engagements of the war, conducted at the very edge of operational range. By the next day, all of the aircraft were accounted for or known to be lost. Among the missing was Bill Lewis, who would remain an MIA for almost sixty years.

A chance discussion in a Texas home on New Years Eve 2001 regarding the movie “Saving Private Ryan”, a renovated Czech schoolhouse in the village of Kovarska, experts from the US Army in Hawaii, and Czech volunteers extended and fulfilled the Courtesy of the Heart begun by a gracious German citizen in September 1944 in the Thuringer Wald of Germany.

This is the fascinating story of how a Tulsa World War II pilot came home on Memorial Day 2004, only a few months short of sixty years from the time he flew his last mission. The book began a new role for the author, whose retirement has since become centered around the families of the missing in action of World War II and the search for their remains, and the origin of a not for profit company called MIA Recovery Network and a second book slated to be released by years-end 2021, called “Known But to God: America’s Twentieth Century Wars and the Search for the Missing”.
By James & Barbara Farrell

"James Joseph Farrell"

James Joseph Farrell was born October 27, 1921 and grew up during the Great Depression. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1939.

He served with distinction in North Africa in 1942-1943 with the 301st Bombardment Group, 32nd Bomb Squadron flying 51 missions as an aerial engineer, top turret gunner.

He earned his pilot wings in 1945. This is his story.
Museum Projects
MIAs - Missing in Action

We have information on over 90,000 MIAs. This includes most all the World War II MIAs and some from World War I, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War.

With our strategic partners, the MIA Recovery Network, we want to tell the last chapter in the life of these Citizen Soldiers.

We would also like your help in telling the first chapters of the lives of those still Missing in Action. Do you have service photos of a family member that is or was MIA? News articles? Service related material?

Material on Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines MIAs:

Air Corps:
X-Files - Buried Unknowns

There are many citizen soldiers whose body was recovered, but they are unidentified. There are thousands of these unknowns buried in American Battle Monument Cemeteries around the world. They are also known as X-Files.

Material on Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines X-Files can be found:

Get Donation Information: Artifacts Monetary
Awards, Rosters
Unit Documents

We need you ! A continued big thanks to our fantastic army of volunteers. We have much more so if you can type and have a couple hours each week we can use you !

Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force

We have received material on many units and are hoping to compile much more.

Unit Citations, Awards, Transfers, Rosters

Many groups received unit citations during their particular conflict. The paperwork, in triplicate, would include a roster of all assigned and attached personnel. We are seeking and requesting copies of those roster documents. Please search your papers, talk to your association and help us out with this information and get them to us pronto!
Attention Website Owners &
Veteran Associations

Many WWII veterans organizations have shut. Many these organizations had developed some type of website, some with enormous amounts of data and history. Sadly, many had/have not made provisions for their website to be continued and thus when the bill stops being paid, the website disappears and all the work and information is lost. We want to help and we need you to help us. If you know of a disbanding group, please have them get in contact with us; we would like to bring their website and information under our wing. If they want to continue to maintain it we can give them access to continue that as well. One of our top goals for this and every year is to preserve this history not lose it!

Not a WW2 unit? That's ok. We are also interested in your history and want to help preserve it. Korea, Vietnam and all other conflicts.

If your organization has physical materials such as uniforms, patches, photos and other memorabilia do you have plans for them when you cease operations? We would be honored to be the custodian of your group's history.
Sons of Liberty Museum
Army Air Corps Library and Museum  

Directors' Line: 214.957.1393

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