A bridge to the past

Capt. Gail Currie

Capt. Gail Currie

 

A few months back, my friend Carol Schlaepfer helped to run an estate sale in California for former pilot, Gail Currie.  Mr. Currie, a U.S. Army Air Corps captain, became a photographer after WWII and Carol was kind enough to salvage some of his posters left at his Rancho Cucamonga home and ship them to me.

Alexander Vraciu, USN, F6F Hellcat, PTO

Alexander Vraciu, USN, F6F Hellcat, PTO

I was able to name some of the aircraft, but others were identified by another dear friend, Scott Brady, a former member of the U.S. Air Force  and an avid aviation buff and model builder.  The T-38 Talons were used as “trainers” for new pilots and by the Thunderbirds; who now use the F-16.  The F-4 Phantoms were used by the Blue Angels in Wichita, Kansas when Scott was only 7 years old – and he was hooked!!

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I sincerely hope everyone enjoys the picture show and will remember Capt. Currie.  I was unable to locate further research on this pilot, but should anything surface, I will either update this post or create another.

Thank you – and everyone have a wonderful day!

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Also sent from Carol was this picture of Red Cross workers landing in Normandy……

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Air Force Humor______2453804056_fbd901b0f6

air-force-funny

 

 

 

Click on images to enlarge and read.

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Farewell Salutes – 

F. William Bauers Jr. – Washington DC; US Army Air Corps, Lt.Colonel (Ret.), WWII, pilothalfstaffflag

James Buell – Oneida, NY & Clearwater, FL; US Army, WWII

Stanley Curtis – Vancouver, Can & Pomona, CA; US Navy, Lt., WWII, minesweeper duty

Paul Manginnis – Alexandria, VA; US Coast Guard; USMC, Colonel (Ret.)

Herbert Ollis – Knoxville, TN; US Army,278th Armored Cavalry Regiment

Jack Riley – Hamilton, NZ; RAF, squadron leader, WWII

Virginia Rossine – Memphis, TN, WAVES, WWII

Kent Thoren – Belvidere, IL; US navy, WWII

Johannes Veldhuis – Almelo, Netherlands; Mount Home, AR & Sorrento, FL; Dutch Army & Navy, WWII, PTO

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Correction – 

Curtis P-40

Curtis P-40

 

Pierre Lagacé has noted that the plane noted as a P-40 should be listed as a RCAF Spitfire from the 443 Squadron.  How Capt. Currie acquired this is unknown, but Carol has informed me today that the research out in California is continuing.

 

 

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on June 30, 2014, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 99 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the fantastic airplanslideshow

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I love the photos. I really need to share your blog with my Dad. He loves military aircraft. BTW, I read the Girls of Atomic City. It was a great read!

    Like

  3. Another splendid post! Brave Red Cross ladies, dressed in their civvies. One has to love someone who goes to a war zone in a skirt and saddle oxfords. Are all those old planes restored and in museums, or do we only have photographs by which to remember them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The B-24 is a composite of numerous planes and the only one flying in the world today. I believe there are airports,etc. that have a token display around the country and other flying exhibitions – but not as many as we’d like. I’m sure the area was secured by the time the Red Cross got there, but I was surprised to see them at all. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  4. Red Cross at Normandy…yikes. Much more than they could have possibly imagined. Strange how they were able to capture that image with all the devastation that was going on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love these planes! Have you ever been to the Naval Air Force Museum that is the home of the Blue Angels? I’ve been several times and learn something new each time! Thanks for posting.

    Like

  6. My father was a airplane mechanic during WWII. They lived in some pretty primitive conditions.

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  7. I loved the last two pictures. Thank you for the chuckle. Maybe there is a way to combine a rifle with a bow?

    Like

  8. Hope more surfaces on Lt Currie, sounds like an interesting story waiting to be told.
    The Red Cross girls picture landing at Normandy must be considered priceless.
    Regards
    Ian

    Like

  9. What a great opportunity for you. Those are wonderful pictures. Love the humor, too. The military is good about laughing with themselves.

    Like

  10. I wonder if those Red Cross workers had any idea what they would be facing.

    Like

  11. Stirs memories, these are the first aircraft memories i have, electric lightnings cracking the sound barrier over Stradishall

    Like

  12. gpcox, nice to see photos of some of the old planes, like the German , I thought it was a FW 350 didnt look like a Messerschmidt to me , of course the Thunderbolts always look class, thanks for the nostalgia.

    Ron

    Like

  13. There’s some really great pics here !

    Like

  14. Nice aircraft snaps too~! (Those ‘clipped’ wings on the Spit could be confusing; somehow a Spit doesn’t look quite right without the ellipses …)

    Like

  15. Pierre Lagacé

    Here…

    I just published it.

    http://425alouette.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/lest-we-forget/

    You can reblog it tomorrow.

    Thanks.

    Pierre

    Like

    • I wasn’t trying to make you frustrated, but you know how I am. Address is down for tomorrow!!

      Like

      • Pierre Lagacé

        Was not frustrated at all. Just making it simple.
        I hope some readers will learn something about all this.
        I know this is a long story but there is a message in all this.
        I know you already know it.

        Like

  16. Maybe I missed the comment but that’s Alexander Vraciu, USN, in his F6F Hellcat…

    Like

  17. Great slide show! Reminded me of viisting the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

    Like

  18. Planes were interesting but my favorite was the Red Cross workers trying to land without getting their feet wet. 🙂 –Curt

    Like

  19. Great post! It’s wonderful that your friend was able to get these posters and things to you. So many don’t understand or care about the significance and just toss it. It’s in good hands now! Interesting photo about the women and I love the humor! 🙂

    Like

  20. Interesting post, GP. The posters are gems. Do you know what type of photography he did after the war?

    Like

    • Carol and I have been trying to look into Capt. Currie’s life and we are having a bit of a stone-wall problem – but we will keep hoping to find something.

      Like

  21. As usual, I loved the entire post. I love the planes and of course the Nurses bravely running ashore to help our brave military. I love the spirit of the photo.

    Like

  22. Amazing! Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  23. I love the images of those aircraft. The Curtis was a beaut.
    Interesting, too, the ladies stepping ashore, and the humour!

    Like

  24. I wonder if you have seen this. It is excellent!

    Like

  25. Funny we were just looking at old photographs yesterday, my Mum nursed in Gibraltar and there were a lot of soldiers / navy etc from all over sent there for training.
    It’s fascinating to see pictures and be educated, so thank you as always 🙂

    Like

  26. Awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing. My favorite was the Red Cross crew jumping to shore. There’s a story there!

    Like

    • I’ll bet there is, but being that they were civilians, they had to arriving after we had completely secured the beaches and much territory inland. Thanks for reading, Cindy.

      Like

  27. What a treasure trove!

    Like

    • Carol said a lot of his stuff was being overlooked at the estate sale and she couldn’t understand why, but thank goodness, she knew I would like it!!

      Like

  28. Enjoyed the post–topped off with a little USAF humor.

    Like

    • Thank you, Adam – it was a fun one to put together, too. But I couldn’t have done it without Carol and Scott. I’m still hoping more info comes in about Capt. Currie.

      Like

  29. Pierre Lagacé

    443 squadron

    Piece of cake as the British said…

    http://443squadron.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/june-16-1944/

    I thought it was important to set the record straight. This is not meant to ridicule anyone.
    In fact these comments can be deleted. I won’t be offended GP.

    Like

  30. Great photos…Imagine sending those women into a battle zone inadequately dressed though – bizarre!

    Like

  31. NASA is still using a small fleet of 60’s vintage T-38’s for proficiency training and transportation, even with the Shuttle program ended. Not only pilots train in them but non-pilot specialists to get the crews experienced in the sensations of supersonic flight and G-forces of launches and reentries. Also practicing the necessities of fast reactions and decision making needed for high speed space flight. They are 50 year old aircraft still serving an active role. A very cool airplane.

    Like

  32. Love the photo of the Red Cross workers arriving in Normandy. They look rather elegant.

    Like

  33. Wow, the F-4 Phantoms. I recall how these jets blazed the skies over Manila at the height of a coup d etat

    Like

  34. Very unique and enjoyable post–love the planes

    Like

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