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Pfc. Vernor B. Bucher
720th Squadron


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"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 – Ruddy

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., Toledo, Ohio

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


NAME                                                 ADDRESS

Albert S. Bonlenger                              Maumee, Ohio

George Sailor                          State Line, Ind.

Ivan E. Woodard                                Dixon, Ohio

Donald D. Simpson                                 R.R. 4 Box 532 South Bend, Ind.

Fred Kochevor                                1078 E. 141st Cleveland, Ohio

Carlton E. Bauman                                  Whitehouse, Ohio

Irvine A. Studer                         Whitehouse, Ohio

William F. Green                         Whitehouse, Ohio

Nelson Rader                                    Whitehouse, Ohio

Kenneth Haynes                                   Whitehouse, Ohio

Rolland Studer                         Whitehouse, Ohio

Robert M. Rupp                           Whitehouse, Ohio

Melvin Andrew                                   Whitehouse, Ohio

Donald Sherborne                              Whitehouse, Ohio

Carl Wilson                                        Whitehouse, Ohio

Lauren J. Riterour                                  Whitehouse, Ohio

Clifford L. Bucher                                    Whitehouse, Ohio

Dewey Talmadge                               Whitehouse, Ohio

Robert Disney                                    Fostoria, Ohio

Jay Brayman                                      Alton, Ill.

Robert Fisher                                   Toledo, Ohio

Harold Becker                                    Salesburg, Ill.

Marquis "Chief" Cedano                      Frisco

Doug Bernard                                  Yarikhon, So.Dak.

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 Field, Colorado

Brigadier General Lawson  C.O.                                                 Buckley Field, Colorado

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. Off.                              720th

Capt. Wells                            Adj.                                         720th

Lt. Col. Gideon                       C.O.                                        450 Group.

Lt. Col. Jacoby                        C.O.                                        450 Group.


DATE                                     FROM                                    TO

March 8, 1943               Camp Persy, Ohio                St. Petersburg, Fla.

April 10, 1943               St. Petersburg, Fla.                  Buckley Field, Colo.

May 17, 1943                        Buckley Field, Colo.            Lowry Field, Colo.

June 28, 1943               Lowry Field, Colo.                Camp Bizerte, Colo.

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, Va. (P.O.E.)

Dec. 30, 1943               Landed in                              Italy, Bari

Jan. 4, 1944                           Manduria Airdrome              Manduria, Italy


Private First Class                         April 8, 1943

Corporal                                             Nov. 7, 1944 (WOW!)


Sad Sack

Gold Bricking

On the Beam

On the Ball

Goof Off


Name                                      Address                                Date

Dad                                                                                         June 28

Mother                                                                                    Nov 6


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 P.M.

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 the night.

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 indeed.

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 day.

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 this afternoon.

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 spots.

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 it.

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 the range.

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 P.M.

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 here.

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 softball team.

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, etc.

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 trimmings.

Nov. 26, '43 - Has been raining and snowing all day.  Very cold and miserable.  We shipped out of Alamogordo about 7:00 P.M. in Pullmans.

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 Memphis.

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.

            450th Bomb. Grp. (H)

            720th Bomb Sqd.

            APO #9100  c/o P.M.

            New York City, N.Y.

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:

            720th B. Sqd.  450th B. Grp. (H)

            APO #520, c/o P.M.

            N.Y., N.Y.

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 Chief, naturally.)

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 Mission.

Sept. 16, '44 - Got a new ship today.  The "Passionate Pirate" number 041.

Nov. 1, 1944 - Classification changed to 678, turret specialist.

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 robbed!

Dec. 25, Xmas – Had turkey for chow.  Second Xmas in the Army and second Xmas overseas.

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 (Hooray)

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 a B-24.

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. Civilians!!!

Information courtesy of Paul Bucher

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