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Theodore J. Brus Crew
# 3128
723rd Squadron

Theodore Brus Crew

Front Row L. to R.
2nd Lt. Harry C. Fockler - Navigator
2nd Lt. Harry G. Evans - Bombardier
2nd Lt. Theodore J. Brus - Pilot
2nd Lt George Garoin - Co-Pilot

Back Row L. to R.
Sgt. Salvatore Vanacore - Nose Gunner
Sgt. James Ledlie - Radio Operator
Sgt. Marcus Speakes - Top Turret Gunner
Sgt. Marvin E. Stock - Flight Engineer
Sgt. Edward Wolfe - Ball Turret Gunner
Sgt. Charles Tripp - Tail Gunner

This photos taken in Topeka, Kansas in May 1944. The B-24J had a picture of Donald Duck carrying an open umbrella with the name Yoo Hoo 28 painted on the nose.
When the crew arrived in Gioia, Italy they left the plane in the 15th AF aircraft pool and were assigned to the 450th BG (H), 723rd Sq. where they flew their missions.
All of the crew except the bombardier, Harry G. Evans, came home. Harry was killed in action and was buried in the AF cemetery in Bari, Italy.
Our nickname occurred when we were in Tulsa, OK, picking up our airplane which we flew overseas. We were in a formation waiting to be called to tell us which plane would be ours. It was quite a large group of crews - large and noisy. Ted Brus, our pilot, couldn't hear his name called or the plane number which was 3128. The officer calling out the numbers and the command pilots' names finally yelled out "Yoo Hoo '28" and then the whole crowd echoed the same and it stuck. We even had it painted on the plane along with Donald Duck holding an umbrella over his head like a parachute. We flew this plane from Tulsa to West Palm Beach, Florida to Trinidad then to Belem, Brazil and then to Natal and then over the Atlantic (1847 nautical miles) to Dakar, French West Africa (now Senegal), and then on to Gioia, Italy, which was the 15th AF's pool of planes for distribution to the groups as they needed replacements. We never saw it again.

Theodore Brus Crew

Information provided by Harry C. Fockler, 723rd Squadron

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