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Once in a lifetime attic find and a piece of 8th AF 466th history

Article about: This has to do with the 8th AF 466th B-24 Heavy Bomb Group based at Attlebridge UK during WW2 and the Book "the Wings Of Morning" that was written about the last heavy bomber shot

  1. #1

    Default Once in a lifetime attic find and a piece of 8th AF 466th history

    This has to do with the 8th AF 466th B-24 Heavy Bomb Group based at Attlebridge UK during WW2 and the Book "the Wings Of Morning" that was written about the last heavy bomber shot down over Germany during WW2. It was based at Attlebridge.

    I had the good fortune to have known this older fellow, a WW2 8th AF vet for quite a number of years. Over aperiod of many years he had at one time or another related to me tales of his days with the 466th based at Attlebridge... one of the worst of his memories was the night before the 466th's 200th mission party.

    A number of top brass had shown up for the shindig including Glenn Miller and lots of Hollywood types. The generals told the base commander that they wanted to be given a demonstration of how B-24s would take off and "form up" for a missions.

    The base commander and my friend as well as others pleaded with them to not to request such a thing as the weather that day was terrible... but the brass insisted.

    Two crews were formed for the demonstration... the most experienced men... and ALL good friends of the gentleman of whom I speak.
    To make a long story short, the brass were watching the demonstration they had ordered as the 2 ships took off in terrible weather and shortly thereafter collided killing all aboard both B-24s save one man. The next night was the party... needless to say no one there was in too great a mood my friend included.

    He said got really drunk and told me that while biking back to his quarters he saw a light on in the medical building. He said he weaved drunkenly through the door and inside he saw his good friend the flight surgeon putting together the pieces of bodies that had the day before been his best friends... The Doc... Cyril I believe his name was, quickly lead him out. He was so shaken that he spent the next 3 weeks in a "Flak House" recovering.

    About a year after he related that story to me I heard about the book "The Wings of Morning" from a great review on the 8th Airforce website. I bought the book and started reading... and as I got further into the book things started to ring familure... The the author described how ( the book was about the crew of one specific aircraft)... the Farrington Crew arrived at their new base in time for a big party... but that people's spirits were down because of a horrible accident that had occured just before they arrived... It was too much to be coincidental.

    When I finished the book... I asked my friend if he knew so and so... etc. He said "Hell yes... that was MY base!" He knew them all.

    About 6 months later my friend sold his home and was moving. I agreed to help him. We were cleaning off a dusty shelf in the home he had occupied for 40 years when I found a large photo album with a big picture of a B-24 on the cover. As I was stepping off the chair to the floor with the album in my hand... and I swear to you that this is absolutly TRUE... a photograph... just one photograph falls from the album to the floor at my feet. I picked up the photo that had fallen face first on the floor with its RESTRICTED stamp showing... and when I turned it over it said LEAD MISSION CERTIFICATE awarded to THE FAIRRINGTON CREW for a mission over Passau Germany just 3 days before they had been shot down over Ravensburg and killed... I kid you not. I nearly fell over. There were hundereds of photos in that book... and dozens of Lead crew mission awards... but only the Farrington Crew certificate fell out... SO spooky.
    I contacted the Author of the The Wings of Morning , Thomas Childers by e-mail and he answerd that as a historian he has researched all the archives... including the Attlebridge arcive ( which was later destroyed by fire) and everything from the 8th AF and no such document or record of it existed.

    I scanned the certificate and sent it to him with my phone number and within 15 mins he was on the phone... he said... yep it's authentic and previously unknown and what I had was the only one in existance. I got him a high quality scan and he distributed it to all the families of the Farrington crew. They loved it...

    Not that I believe in such things but I have to think something pushed that certificate out for me to find. I have a scan somewhere and when I find it I will post it... sorry this was so long... but I thought you might enjoy it.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Once in a lifetime attic find and a piece of 8th AF 466th history

    Wow, that would be considered somewhat unusual for things to "fall" that way. I'm not a heavy believer in "hocus pocus" but I've got to say that there have been times in my life where things have happened much like that. BTW you post wasn't long, it was very interesting, I'd love to see the photo when you locate it.

  3. #3

    Exclamation Here is a scan of the actual award earned by the Farrinton crew

    Here it is
    It is the only one in existance.
    If you want to read a great book about the Air war over Germany I highly recommend "The Wings Of Morning" By Thomas Childers
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Farrington002 (Large).jpg  
    Last edited by hassiman; 04-19-2010 at 09:59 PM.


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