Intermission Story (12) – CBI – Eye Witness Account

Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman trained as a bombardier and navigator for B-25 bombers. He served in the 11th bomb squadron. He served 13 months in China, during which he flew 52 missions and was shot down once. During that time, only seven men from his squad were lost.

He was shot down on February 13th, 1944. What they thought was a Chinese fishing vessel was a Japanese warship in disguise.

Sherman used his “pointy-talky,” a Chinese-English dictionary, to communicate with the Chinese to get help getting to a place where they could get picked up.

WWII pointie-talkie

One of the Chinese told him that the dictionary wasn’t necessary – he spoke perfect English. The Chinese took the Americans by charcoal-powered bus, occasionally stopping to stir the charcoal. At every village they came to, the people held a celebration. Sherman has a piece of cloth, signed by the Chinese, as a memento of this time. Only later did he learn that the Japanese would have killed him and the Chinese who signed the cloth if they had found it.

Sherman claims he didn’t have enough sense to be scared. That, along with his training, kept him from panicking – but there would be tense times while in China.

Raids into China were typically scheduled in the morning. The flight to pick up Sherman and his crew was later in the day. The Japanese were bombing the American airfield, so the flight kept getting pushed back.

11th Bomb Squadron

The flight crew was told to contact the Chinese for instructions on where to land. As the day turned to night, the crew was unable to see a runway when someone on the radio told them to “put your wheels down and get ready to land.” Suddenly, kerosene lamps outlined the strip.

Sherman’s parents had received telegrams stating that he was MIA. Now they received one from the Red Cross stating that they should disregard any previous message. At that point, they knew that he was OK.

Flight crew of the B-24 Liberator airplane, named ‘Betty J’ 11th Bomb Squadron

As a bombardier, Sherman sat towards the front of the plane. Once, his plane was hit by Japanese fire, sending Plexiglass into his arms and face. Seventy-one years later, an x-ray technician noticed that he had a foreign object between his eyes. Since it had been there so long without causing issues, it was decided to keep it there. Sherman received the Purple Heart for that mission.

Gen. Claire Chennault always knew where his men were, according to Sherman. Chennault was not one to kid around, but if you did your job, you would have no trouble from him.

General C. Chennault

After WWII, Sherman worked at Olin Mathieson. One day he received a phone call asking how quick he could get his clothes together and get to Cincinnati. Five days later, he called his wife Pat to tell her he was in Germany. The Russians and Germans had moved tanks to the Berlin Wall, making the U.S. nervous. Sherman was put in charge of the automotive division, which was required to be able to pack up and move overnight, if necessary.

Chennault continued to be connected throughout Sherman’s lives. Their son became friends with Chennault’s grandson when they attended Neville High School together. Also, the Shermans, along with Nita Brinson and others, helped start the Aviation Historical Museum that is now known as the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum. Sherman has some memorabilia on display in the museum.

They also have several paintings that Chennault painted after retiring from the military.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Personal Note – icon_lol

Please check out the honor365 site– they are honoring Smitty today !!!!

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Military Humor –

 

 

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Farewell Salutes –

Ben Angel – Native Tewa American; Las Vegas, NV; US Army, Military police

Colin Bower – Queensland, AUS; RA Air Force, WWII

Michael ‘Red’ Cerio Sr. – Emira, NY; US Navy, WWII, PTO, USS Antietam

A soldier from the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, waits amid the gravestones during funeral services for Army Spc. Sean R. Cutsforth, of Radford, Va., a member of the 101st Airborne who was killed in Afghanistan in December, Feb. 24, 2011, (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Anthony Formosa – San Francisco, CA; US Navy, WWII

Edward Gray – Newark, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division, Bronze Star

Ty Hardin – Austin, TX; US Army, Korea, 1st Lt., pilot; (beloved actor)

Richard Klenoski Sr. – Saginaw, MI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Lt.Colonel (Ret. 26 years)

James Lancaster – Denver, CO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO

Hugh McCormick Jr. – Baltimore, MD; US Navy, WWII, ETO, Cmdr. (Ret.) subchaser SC-525

Harry Patrie – Celina, OH; US Navy, WWII

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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 August 14, 2017, in First-hand Accounts, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 77 Comments.

  1. A wonderful story, GP! Keep them coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Seldom remembered today is the fact that Gen. Chennault established the Flying Tiger cargo plane company.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a fascinating story

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such an interesting story, GP. We had some unknown heros among us! Thanks for bringing them to us! Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Every now and then a detail in one of the stories you post here stops me cold. This time, it was the charcoal powered bus. I just can’t get my mind around that. More exploration is necessary! I also was reminded of Anna Chennault, and her role in the story. I just finished reading about her in the Wiki, and I had no idea she and General Chennault lived in Monroe, Louisiana, after their marriage (dividing their time). Louisiana still had anti-miscegenation laws at the time, so he had to have his will probated in D.C., since the marriage wasn’t legal in Louisiana. What a world, sometimes! But, at least they were accepted in their neighborhood — no doubt in part due to his warime exploits.

    It’s neat that Smitty is being honored today, too. I’m off to read that, now, before it isn’t today any more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for continuing on with the research and bringing it to us. I love how some of the readers help to make this blog a part of each one of us!!
      Thank you for reading the honor365 post, Linda.

      Like

  6. What a fascinating tale! Thanks for highlighting Richard Sherman’s life and war experiences.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow, you do bring us such intriguing stories, GP!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing Richard Sherman with us! And for honoring him in such a wonderful way! I don’t think we will ever understand what our soldiers go through, but hearing their stories helps us to AND reminds us to be grateful for each and every one of them.
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true. I’m hoping to put some history into the lives of people and perhaps, by chance, find one or two who continue the research and remembrance. Thank you for coming by to read this.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I noticed the death of Ty Hardin, The male equivalent to Elizabeth Taylor I believe, married 8 times, a glutton for punishment!

    I was interested to read more of Richard Sherman, went to Google could find nothing on this man, plenty about some football player of the same name, but nothing about somebody that matters. Seems to be what Google is all about these days; nothing in Wikipedia either.

    Richard Sherman: one tough looking hombre! Liked the look of this man and was curious for more.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Another wonderful story, GP. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Always such interesting stories!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great story, GP. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The comment above about not hearing of ‘disguise ships’ before … navies have been doing it for many years. The Australians lost a cruiser (HMAS Sydney) to a merchant ship that blew them out of the water when they toddled over for a friendly look at it.

    Sydney was lost for generations but the wreck was found recently.

    Like

  14. I love the bit about him not having the sense to be scared 🙂 Great article about your dad, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Very interesting post. These eyewitness accounts are great. I’ve helped teach English to students in Chile, and struggled to learn a bit of Cantonese in college, I’ll look up the bilingual book – I’d like to see how they did these.
    I’ve always been struck by these stories of vets, who had a few years to grow accustomed to civilian life, and then jumped right back in for the Berlin crisis or Korea. The airlift was an impressive display of skill, landing planes more than once a minute.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ‘Pointy-talky’–great name. God’s hand in that man’s future.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. It is great hearing stories of the human spirit persevering.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I read about Richard Sherman over the weekend. The fact that he is still carrying a piece of B-25 Plexiglass around between his eyes 71 years later is incredible! Great story GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Interesting—I’ve never read anything about China’s role in World War II. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I am happy they are honoring Smitty! He deserves every bit of recognition and I love your memes today. Kept me laughing😂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Amazing to learn about this shot-down. I Never heard of disguise ships before

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Your link for the honor365 site reverts back to this page.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Great story. I love the eye-witness accounts. BTW, your link to honor365, points back here 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  24. That’s another great story of endurance and survival, GP. The mention of the ‘Pointy-Talky’ brought back memories. During my time as an EMT in London, I once picked up a Japanese couple, as the husband was unwell in the street. His wife had a small book containing pictures like Sherman’s book, and she used it to explain to me what was wrong.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. I appreciate your help.

    Like

  26. I appreciate your interest in the history of this era.

    Like

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