George was born at home at 850 Columbus Avenue in New York City on September 28, 1917. At that time his father, John, worked for the railroad and eventually became a chauffer. His mother was busy at home raising three other children. George had the pleasure of growing up in the big city during the roaring twenties. Unfortunately, he also felt the pain of the stock market crash and the start of the Great Depression in 1927 when he was twelve.
With the United States not yet involved in the storm that was brewing in Europe and Asia, motivated in part by their patriotic spirit and youthful invincibility, but also to have some say over where they ended up, in January of 1941 cousin Gilbert Rauh and best friend Mike Iriate enlisted. George who had registered with the draft on August 16, 1940 as required by law and was rated 1-A by April of 1941 followed in their footsteps, enlisting on May 15, 1941.
My father's story follows their footsteps through the stresses of World War II - from basic training, rank promotions, assigment to the Army Air Force Academy as cadets, following each other through Bombardier School, shipping out to overseas assignments. It is an extraordinary story - but sadly it is not a happy one. Three good friends went to war - only one returned - a beaten POW who carried the losses of his friends in his heart until the day he died in 1996.
Military | First Lieutenant | Bomber pilot | 397th Bomb Group
Assigned to 596BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) bombing mission to the railroad bridge at Eller, Germany on the Mosel River. Hit by direct flak hit, A/C came apart at the turret and crashed NE of St Vith. No chutes observed. Killed in...
Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 397th Bomb Group
Assigned to 596BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) R/R Oissel. Hit by flak prior to reaching the target. It was last seen going down with two engines smoking, but apparently under control near Aboucourt, France. 8-May-44 Evaded capture, via a...
Military | Captain | 397th Bomb Group
Assigned to 596BS, 397BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) R/R Oissel. Hit by flak prior to reaching the target. It was last seen going down with two engines smoking, but apparently under control near Aboucourt, France. 8-May-44 MACR 4429.
Military site : airfield
Originally allocated to the Eighth Air Force as a heavy bomber base, Rivenhall was built during 1943-44 but transferred to the Ninth Air Force before construction was complete. It had three concrete runways, 51 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2...