LIFE IN THE SERVICE
"Echoes of the Army"
Vernor B. Bucher
Army Air Force
Date entered into Service – February 25, 1943
Place – Wall Street Induction Center, Toledo, Ohio
Registration Number – 11,427
Branch of Service – Army
Where sent after induction – Received Seven Day Furlough.
Reported for Active duty March 4, 1943.
To what outfit assigned – Army Air Force
Nature of service – Ground Crew, Armorer
Rank – Private serial
number – 35548493
Other Information – After receiving seven day furlough, I
reported for active duty March 4, 1943 at Union Station Toledo, Ohio. From
there I was sent to Reception Center, Camp Perry, Ohio. (My! My!)
Age – 19 Date of Birth – March 10. 1924
Height – 5' 7" Weight – 148lbs.
Color of Hair – Light Brown Complexion
Color of Eyes – Blue
Hat Size – 7 Collar Size – 15
Blouse – 37R Shoes
– 81/2 C (G.I.) Gloves – 9
(Battle Jacket – 36R)
Sleeve Length – 32 Waist – 32
Trousers Size – 31W Length – 31
Marks and Scars, etc. – Scar on the left forehead (from the
battle of the Alamo!)
Home Address – Vernor B. Bucher R.F.D. #1
City – Whitehouse State – Ohio
Latest Place of Employment – Willys Overland Motors Inc.,
Hobbies and Sports – basketball and baseball and football.
Dancing, swimming &
Ice Skating. (Women!)
Father – Herbert F. Bucher Address – Whitehouse, Ohio
Mother – Clara J. Bucher Address – Whitehouse, Ohio
Albert S. Bonlenger Maumee,
George Sailor State Line, Ind.
Ivan E. Woodard Dixon,
Donald D. Simpson R.R.
4 Box 532 South Bend, Ind.
Fred Kochevor 1078
E. 141st Cleveland, Ohio
Carlton E. Bauman Whitehouse,
Irvine A. Studer Whitehouse, Ohio
William F. Green Whitehouse, Ohio
Nelson Rader Whitehouse, Ohio
Kenneth Haynes Whitehouse,
Rolland Studer Whitehouse, Ohio
Robert M. Rupp Whitehouse, Ohio
Melvin Andrew Whitehouse,
Donald Sherborne Whitehouse,
Carl Wilson Whitehouse, Ohio
Lauren J. Riterour Whitehouse,
Clifford L. Bucher Whitehouse,
Dewey Talmadge Whitehouse,
Robert Disney Fostoria,
Jay Brayman Alton, Ill.
Robert Fisher Toledo, Ohio
Harold Becker Salesburg,
Marquis "Chief" Cedano
Doug Bernard Yarikhon,
Ed Chomer Elkhar, Ind.
Harry Carr New York, N.Y.
Captain Youngren C.O. Training Group611 St. Petersburg, Florida
Captain Snyder C.O. 765th T.S.S. Buckley
Brigadier General Lawson
Capt. Ritter C.O.
775th T.S.S. Lowry Field, Colo.
Brig. Gen. Sneed C.O. Lowry Field, Colo.
Lt. Strukkie P.T.O. Lowry Field, Colo.
Col. Mills C.O. 450th Bomb Group (H)
Capt. Wicks C.O. 720th Bomb Squad (H)
Capt. Rodehamel 720th
Bomb Squad. Arm. Officer
Capt. Colley C.O. 720th Bomb Squad
Maj. Kaywood C.O. 720th Bomb Squad
Maj. North Exec.
Capt. Wells Adj.
Lt. Col. Gideon C.O. 450 Group.
Lt. Col. Jacoby C.O. 450 Group.
DATE FROM TO
March 8, 1943 Camp Persy, Ohio St.
April 10, 1943 St. Petersburg, Fla. Buckley
May 17, 1943 Buckley Field, Colo. Lowry
June 28, 1943 Lowry Field, Colo. Camp
July 3, 1943 Camp
Bizerte, Colo. Lowry Field, Colo.
July 10, 1943 Lowry
Field, Colo. Salt Lake City, Utah
July 18, 1943 Salt
Lake City, Utah Alamogordo, N.M.
Nov. 26, 1943 Alamogorda, N.M. C.Pat.Henry,
Dec. 30, 1943 Landed in Italy,
Jan. 4, 1944 Manduria
PROMOTIONS & DATES
Private First Class April 8, 1943
Corporal Nov. 7, 1944 (WOW!)
On the Beam
On the Ball
BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES to REMEMBER
Name Address Date
Dad June 28
Mother Nov 6
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
March 4, 1943 - Entered Camp Perry Reception Center Thursday
Afternoon about 4:00 P.M.
March 5, 1943 - Issued our equipment today.
March 8, 1943 - Shipped out of Camp Perry, Ohio about 1:30
March 9, 1943 - Rolling southward through Georgia. From Camp Perry we went to Toledo. Then we headed south though Springfield,
Ohio, Dayton, and Cincinnati. Crossed the Ohio River about 8:00 P.M. Went through Kentucky and Tennessee during
March 10. 1943 - Arrived in St. Petersburg, Florida about
3:00A.M. Hauled out to Tent City on
trucks. Tents were to be our homes for
the next four weeks. Today I added a
year to my age. Sweet nineteen.
March 16, 1943 - Our first day on the drill field. Had drilling and calisthenics for about six
hours. What a tired bunch we were!
March 28, 1943 - Had a pass today so the gang went into St.
Petersburg. Very nice city. Went out to the Pier. In the evening saw the show "Air Force." (Was shaking with patriotism).
March 31, 1943 - Got paid today. $32.00. A great day
April 10, 1943 - Shipped out of St. Petersburg about 3:00
A.M. We had Pullmans so we knew a long
trip was ahead. Rolled up thru Georgia
today. Made Atlanta about dusk.
April 11, 1943 - Woke me up 4:00 A.M. for K.P. The first time I've had K.P. since I've been
in the Army, then it has to be on a train.
The chow car had wood stoves and everytime the train stopped, the car
would fill up with smoke. On top of
that I had a stomachache. We got off
about 11:00 A.M.
April 12, 1943 - Are rolling through Missouri today. Last night we crossed the Mississippi River
at St. Louis. We aren't far from Kansas
City. Kansas seems to be composed of
wide open spaces, wheat farms, and Jack Rabbits.
April 13, 1943 - Arrived in Denver Colorado about 3:00
A.M. They let us sleep until about 7:00
A.M. About 9:00 A.M. they pulled us out
to Buckley Field. They fed us about
10:30 A.M. at Buckley Field, the first meal we had since 4:00 P.M. the previous
April 17, 1943 - Woke us up this morning about 3:45 A.M. for
K.P. They hadn't warned us the night
before, I guess so that no one could go on sick call.
April 18, 1943 - Joe and I went into Denver this
afternoon. It's a soldier's
Paradise. Saw Tommy Dorsey and band
April 20, 1943 - Had K.P. again today. Only about 17 hours of it. Third time since I've been in the Army.
April 26, 1943 - Started Armorer's school this morning. Our hours are 6:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon. We get about an hour of drilling and
calisthenics in the afternoon. We get
off from 3:00 P.M. on. Got a partial
payment today. Two nice green ten
May 1, 1943 - Finished our first phase of the Armament
course today. Studied all week on the
Caliber .50 Browning Aircraft M.G. Had
to learn over a 100 parts. Also how
each part works.
May 2, 1943 - Had passes yesterday afternoon until this
evening. Joe and I stayed in a barn of
a hotel all night. Slept until 9:30
which seemed like heaven.
May 3, 1943 - Started the study on the .20mm. cannon. From all observations, it looks like a very
nice weapon. Also a very simple weapon.
May 8, 1943 - Finished second phase of Armament course. Went out to the range and fired the Caliber
.30 Machine Gun.
May 8, 1943 - Went into town, picked up pictures.
May 10, 1943 - Started the study of the .37 mm. Aircraft
Cannon. What a complicated weapon. It gives a guy a headache just looking at
May 15, 1943 - Finished the study of the .37 mm.
Cannon. Had to learn over 250 parts on
the darn thing. We went out to the
rifle range Wednesday, May 12. Shot the
.30 Caliber 1903 rifle. Got a score of
63 which was a lot better than most of the other fellows got.
May 17, 1943 - We rode over to Lowry Field in covered
trailers today. We arrived in a driving
rain. This is a very nice camp. Plenty muddy but they have enough sidewalks. If you do step off of the sidewalks, you'll
sink out of sight.
May 25, 1943 - Started study of E.A.C. bomb shackles and
bomb racks. We go to school from 12:00
to 6:00 P.M. with a ten or fifteen minute break every hour.
June 7, 1943 - Started study of Martin gun turret. Very interesting.
June 7, 1943 - New passes were handed out today but that
blankety-blank of a Sgt. held mine back.
Said I was A.W.O.L. from revelry June 6.
June 8, 1943 - Signed the payroll today. Hope we get paid very soon. Went down to the Orderly Room and saw the
Lt. about my pass. The result is that I
got my pass.
June 16, 1943 - Got paid today. Rec'd. $66.32. This came
in mighty handy because I only had one penny for the last week.
June 19, 1943 - Went up to "Lookout Mt." today. Elevation is 7460 ft. Took some pictures. Visited the Coors Brewery in Golden. Got two beers on the house.
June 28, 1943 - Shipped out to "Camp Bizerte" today. It's about 15 miles from Lowry, right out in
the middle of nowhere. We live in pup
tents and eat out of our mess kits.
June 30, 1943 - Got paid today which was very welcome. Rec'd $41.25.
July 3, 1943 - Finished our two days on the rifle
range. Yesterday July 2, we fired 45
rounds for practice. Today we fired 40
rounds. I got a score of 93 out of 200,
which is poor. Most of the guys got
less than I but they added about 50 points to their score. Shipped back to Lowry today after we got off
July 4, 1943 - They let us sleep today until 7:30, which was
like heaven. All week we had gotten
less than four (Rough!) hours of sleep a night so we were rather tired. We had slept all week on the hard ground too
so the bunk was really soft. We sent
out on the range today again. We fired
the Cal. .45 Tommy Gun and the Cal. .30 Carbine.
July 6, 1943 - Graduated today as a qualified Bombardment
Armorer. (Ha! Ha!)
July 10, 1943 - Shipped out of Denver tonight about 8:00
P.M. Rumors fly around that we are
going to Salt Lake City.
July 11, 1943 - Are rolling westward through Wyoming
today. We passed through Cheyenne and
Laramie last night. The part we're
rolling through now is quite mountainous.
There is very little vegetation.
Got into Ogden late this afternoon and we hit Salt Lake City about 6:00
July 12, 1943 - Had a showdown inspection today. I was issued two new pairs of shoes, a new
fatigue jacket, a new shirt, two new pairs of khaki pants. I signed a statement of charges for two pair
of shorts at $.16 each and a "U.S." and Air Corps button at $.05 each.
July 13, 1943 - Took Aerial Gunner test today but didn't get
to first base. On account of a slight
concussion, they disqualified me.
July 18, 1943 - Shipped out of Salt Lake City today. What a relief. Compared to Denver, this place is lousy. The people aren't near as friendly as they
are in Denver. There also out to rob
the soldiers. Also Helen doesn't live
July 20, 1943 - Arrived in Alamogordo New Mexico this
evening. Boy what a town. About twice as big as Whitehouse and 99% of
the people are Mexicans. The air base
is built right out in the middle of the desert 10 miles from town.
July 22, 1943 - Was assigned today to the 720th
Bomb Squad. We cleaned up our barracks
so we'll have clean barracks to move into tomorrow.
July 24, 1943 - Took a hop in a B-24 today. Shot five landings. Altogether I was up about two hours. Rode in the upper turret on one trip around.
Aug. 14, 1943 - Big anniversary today. I'm a veteran of five months. No celebration because we haven't been paid
yet. Tried out for the Squadron
August 21, 1943 - Started instructing. Taught the Cal. .50 M.G. Had 2nd Looeys and Flight
Officers as students. More fun. We haven't been doing a thing for the past
month and a half. Went to Ruidero on my
last two days off. Rode horses and
bowled. Bowled about seven games
Thursday (Aug. 19) and averaged about 130.
Sept. 1, 1943 - Went down to El Paso and Juarez,
Mexico. What a town. Cost two cents to get over to Mexico and one
cent to get back. (Good thing I wasn't
broke, I wouldn't be back yet!)
Sept 15, 1943 - Went out to rifle range today. Lt. Rodehamel put me in charge of the pits
at first. Then I came up and took
charge of the firing line. Ahem!
Sept. 16, 1943 - Went out to skeet range today. Again Lt. Rodehamel put me in charge of the
skeet range. I shot 12 out of 25
pigeons this morning. The afternoon was
lousy from my standpoint. I only got 9
the first round and 11 the second round.
I fired 96 rounds with the 12 ga. Shotgun. Now my shoulder is a beautiful black and blue.
Sept. 23, 1943 - Has been raining all morning. Our furloughs came through last night. We get a 24 hr. pass today so I should get
home Sat. afternoon. I'll get home the
day my furlough starts, Sept. 25.
Oct. 5, 1943 - Just got back from furlough. What a horrible place to come back to. Had swell time at home.
Oct. 6, 1943 - Got paid today so it cushioned the shock of
returning. Our squadron acquired five
planes while I was home.
Nov. 4, 1943 - Today has been a lousy day. Most of our Armament Shop went into town to
celebrate one of our buddy's birthdays.
Boy what a rip-roaring time we had.
Our Squadron now has about 10 B-24'H's which we'll take overseas with
us. Rumors fly around that we'll ship
to P.O.E. sometime this month. We've
got most of our overseas equipment such as carbine, steel helmet, pup tents,
November 14, 1943 - Am taking it easy after 18 hours of
duty. I've been working nights every
other week. I like to work nights
because a fellow can really learn a lot.
We're just about up to strength in ships. Rumors fly around that we're shipping around Nov. 20. I sure hope we do.
Nov. 25, '43 - My First Thanksgiving in the Army and what a
feast we had. Turkey with all the
Nov. 26, '43 - Has been raining and snowing all day. Very cold and miserable. We shipped out of Alamogordo about 7:00 P.M.
Nov. 27, 1943 - Are going due East through Texas. We left Amarillo about noon. Should roll into Oklahoma City sometime this
Eve. Navy beat Army 13-0. Heard it on my radio.
Nov. 29, '43 - Just passed through Louisville. Crossed Mississippi R. last night at
Nov. 30, '43 - Arrived at Richmond, Va. about 11:30
A.M. I spit in the Ohio R. last night
for good luck. Arrived at Camp Patrick
Henry at 14:00. The camp is built in
the middle of a woods.
Dec. 2, '43 - Got paid today. Received $36.09. Almost
all spent already. We're notified
officially today of our new address.
Bomb. Grp. (H)
#9100 c/o P.M.
Had our last physical today. The easiest physical I ever took.
Dec. 3, 1943 - Boarded the Liberty ship SS. Henry Baldwin.
Dec. 4, 1943 - Sailed today.
Dec. 30, 1943 - Landed in Bari, Italy.
Jan. 8, 1944 - Group flew its first mission.
Jan. 30, 1944 - Lost our C.O. Capt. Wicks.
Feb. 1, 1944 - Were introduced today to our new C.O. Capt.
Colley. Some of our ships have 15
missions already. We have missions
every day. Our correct address is:
B. Sqd. 450th B. Grp. (H)
Feb. 25, 1944 - Am now a veteran of one year with nearly
three months service overseas already.
Has been raining profusely for the last several days so we're
continually walking in mud. Our group
has about 32 missions chalked up.
Received our European Theatre ribbon the other day. Hooray!
Feb. 29, 1944 - Still raining out. Yesterday, Col. Mills read us a few congratulatory telegrams
received for our good bombing of the beachhead and the Aircraft factory at
Regensburg. The German radio is yelling
about the "white tailed" Liberators.
These are our planes they're yelling about. The Germans say that they're concentrating on the White Tailed
Lib. and will knock them out of the skies.
March 10, 1944 - Reached the ripe old age of "20"
today. Hope I don't have to spend any
more birthdays overseas.
March 18, 1944 - Number of tons of bombs we've loaded since
we've been overseas is 900 tons for our squadron only.
March 24, 1944 - Lost the old reliable "612" today on its 18th
mission. The "Geeter" got there but the
pilot couldn't "Geeter" back. The
"Geeter" was lost over Steyr, Austria.
She was a reliable ship because I could always rely on her to have many
troubles after each mission.
April 1, 1944 - Got a new ship today, No. 156 – B24 – G made
by North American.
April 28, 1944 - "Pistol Packin' Mamma", the lead plane of
the group, was lost today on its 40th mission. It had 10 fighters to its credit. We now have only two original ships left and
only four combat crews. Some of our
targets have been Polesti, Regensburg, Steyr, Austria, Budapest, Bucharest,
Toulon, & Marseilles. Mamma's
Armorer was "Chief" – the best armorer we have. I'm second best. (Ed. Note. This last sentence was written by
May 2, 1944 - We now have 15 planes in the Squadron with
more coming in every day. Seven of the
15 are the new silver jobs. Since
operations started in January, we have lost 24 ships and around 12 original
crews plus a number of new crews.
May 10, 1944 - Found out I was on flying status this month
so logged my two hours today. We had
practice bombing from 13,000 feet. I
now have logged 11 hours in a B-24.
May 30, 1944 - Went to Bari Sunday. Stayed at the "Sad Sack" hotel. We had another air raid alert last
night. We've had alerts two nights in a
row now. Taranto was bombed last night.
May 31, 1944 - Drew $84.45 today. Received 50% flying pay.
June 4, 1944 - Logged two more hours today. Total flying time is 13 hours.
July 5, 1944 - Logged 1½ hours today for total flying time
in a B-24 of 14½ hours.
July 6, 1944 - Another hour and a half for total time in a
"24" of 16 hours.
July 13, 1944 - The Group completed 100 missions today.
July 27, 1944 - Flew up to an airfield north of Foggia. Then flew over to Naples. Stayed at Naples about six hours. Got a nice view of Mount Vesuvius. A little smoke was still curling up. Total time today was three hours bringing up
total time to 19 hrs.
Aug. 17, '44 - Flew for an hour. Operated the ball turret.
Total time 20 hours.
Aug. 27 '44 - Am now Arm. Sp. On 165 and 748 while Judson is
at rest camp. Mason & Stretch
booted out of Arm. Sect. Bernard and
Bartel are taking over. The happiest
day of our Army careers.
July 15, 1944 - Awarded good humor ribbon. Hot dogs.
Smiley Buffum returned to the States for B-29 school.
Sept 4, 1944 - Our group had the highest bombing record of
any heavy bomb group for the month of August.
We had 60.4% hits, the highest so far for World War II.
Sept. 13, '44 - "Piqua Bondolear" M.I.A. on its' 34th
Sept. 16, '44 - Got a new ship today. The "Passionate Pirate" number 041.
Nov. 1, 1944 - Classification changed to 678, turret
Dec. 3, '44 - A year overseas. Us dogfaces are naturally not looking forward to a repetition of
this anniversary. They're lengthening
the runway 3000 feet. Without a doubt
we'll be getting some B-29's. Pacific,
here we come!
Dec. 18, '44 - Have been busier than a dog for the past few
weeks what with football and turret maintenance. Our football team beat the 331st Ser.Sq. 6-0 on a
sleeper play. Then we beat the 449th
13-0 using the "T"- formation. Then we
lost to 376th. We were
Dec. 25, Xmas – Had turkey for chow. Second Xmas in the Army and second Xmas
Jan.1, 1945 - Had a terrific hangover today after last night
mission. Had to peel off 30 minutes
before target time. I was hit by flak
all the way. In other words, the
spirits got me. 376th and 97th
Wing tied yesterday 7-7. The great
Banks McFadden played with Wing.
Jan. 1, '45 - We're now authorized five battle stars
Jan. 4, - Completed 200 missions today.
Jan. 8, - One year of operations. Gen. Twining presented Citation today. Our group has lost most planes in entire 15th
A.F. Citation is for bombing of
Regensburg Feb. 25, '44.
March 10, '45 - Just got back from three days in Rome. Flew up from Bari in a B-17 and flew back in
April 5, 1945 - Received our second citation for April 5,
1944 raid on Ploesti. We destroyed 27
enemy aircraft while we led the Wing.
April 17, 1945 - Col. Jacoby told us tonight that we would
soon go back to the States to train with very heavies. Probably be shipping out about May 15. Oh happy day!!
April 20 '45 - Now entitled to wear six battle stars.
April 26, '45 - Entitled to seven battle stars.
April 27, '45 - Finis missions!!
May 13, '45 - Flew out today in B-17's to Naples.
May 15, '45 - Got on the "West Point" about noon today and
sailed at 1700 hrs.
May 24, '45 - Landed at Newport News, Va. this morning.
May 27, '45 - Got our furloughs this eve. "30 days".
Oct. 16, 1945 - At approx. 14:30 received the coveted paper.