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February 11, 2020

Major Emory S. Foster Warrensburg - On August 16, 1862 at Lone Jack with 740 men, fought a Confederate force of 3000 one entire day.

Major Emory S. Foster, Warrensburg, MO
Major Emory S. Foster
BY GEO. S. GROVER.
Emory Stallsworth Foster was born in Greene County, Missouri, near Springfield, on November 5, 1839. His father, Robert Alexander Foster, was a native of Georgia, of pure English lineage, and was a Methodist minister of the gospel. His mother, Jane Louise Foster, nee Headlee, was of Scotch Irish lineage. Emory Foster, their second son, was educated in the common schools of that time, but early in life learned the printers' trade.
In 1860, his father removed with his family to Warrensburg, in Johnson County, Missouri. There Emory Foster and his older brother, Marshall M. Foster, established and conducted a weekly newspaper, called the Warrensburg Missourian. It was a Democratic paper, but also fearlessly independent in all its views. In 1861 the Foster brothers were unconditional Union men and supported the United States Government against secession in their paper with great zeal and ability, and thus rendered effective and powerful service to the Union cause in Missouri.
In February 1861, a State Convention was called in Missouri to meet, in that month, to determine whether or not Missouri would secede. The Union delegates were elected in Missouri, in that month, by a majority of 80,000. That Convention not only kept Missouri in the Union but also abolished slavery in the State forever. Johnson County, Missouri, elected a Union delegate to that Convention by a decisive majority. While voting at the polls in February 1861, for the Union candidate, Marshall M. Foster was shot in the back and killed by two of his political opponents in Warrensburg (in the old courthouse). In his death, the Union cause lost a great leader. Foster's assassins escaped, but never thereafter served the secession cause with any credit, and never returned to Warrensburg.
In March 1861, Emory Foster recruited a company of volunteers in Warrensburg, and joined with them as their captain. The 29th Missouri Infantry (mounted) was then being organized by Col. Benjamin W. Grover for the Union army. There were no uniforms to be had at that time, so the boys wore red shirts and black trousers, and were known as the "Red Shirt Company." At that time Francis M. Cockrell, afterward a Confederate general and United States senator from Missouri, was recruiting a company for the 5th Regiment, Confederate Army, in Warrensburg. Cockrell was captain of that company. Afterward, in March 1861, at Captain Cockrell's request, Foster's and Cockrell's companies drilled together on alternate days in Warrensburg in perfect harmony. This is the only instance of that kind known to the writer in the Civil War. Foster's company, the "Red Shirts," became Company C, 27th Missouri Infantry (mounted) Union, in March 1861, and then entered the Military service of the United States. Their captain, Emory S. Foster, was elected major of that regiment at that time. Emory S. Foster soon became a gallant and heroic soldier in that regiment and led many a daring scout with it in western Missouri between the Osage and Missouri rivers in this state.
In August 1861, the regiment was ordered to Jefferson City, Missouri. Major Foster marched one squadron overland from Warrensburg, and in a sharp fight near Centertown, in Cole County, Missouri, attacked and routed a large band of guerrillas, killing ten of them. Upon the arrival of the regiment at Jefferson City, Col. U. S. Grant, 21st Illinois Infantry, afterward the immortal commander of the Union armies, who was then in command of that military post, detailed Major Foster to take command of a picked squadron of the 29th regiment, known as the Fremont Scouts. With this detachment, Major Foster rendered distinguished service in the remaining months of 1861. On one occasion with ten men of his command, he captured a Confederate colonel, Lewis, with his bodyguard, at Holden, Johnson County, Missouri. On another occasion, his command with one company of the 1st Missouri Cavalry, Union, under Major W. J. Striclin, attacked and routed a large band of guerrillas ten miles south of Warrensburg, Missouri, and rescued a government supply train drawn by 1200 oxen. Majors Foster and Striclin escorted this long train to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, a distance of more than 100 miles, and there delivered to the United States Quartermaster 144 work oxen, in fine condition, and the entire train.
In January 1862, out of 1000 men who joined the 29th regiment, 2nd Infantry (mounted), in March 1861, only 469 men were left with the colors. The rest had been killed and wounded in their arduous service. Therefore, it was decided to muster that regiment out of the military service. This was done at St. Louis, Missouri, on January 27th, 1862. Col. William T. Sherman, who afterward "marched through Georgia," was the officer who mustered out that regiment. Major Foster immediately after his muster out of the 27th regiment commenced making arrangements to re-enter the military service of the United States. In March 1862, Major Foster recruited a squadron, three full companies, from the survivors of the 27th regiment for the 7th Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, a regiment of which Jno. F. Phillips was the gallant colonel, and T. T. Crittenden, afterward Governor of this State, was the brave lieutenant colonel. While recruiting this squadron for the 7th Cavalry at Warrensburg, Missouri, in March 1862, Major Foster was attacked near that place by a large band of guerrillas. In the sharp fight that ensued, the guerrillas were defeated and driven off. Major Foster was wounded in the arm in this fight, but remained in it, cheering his men with the cool determination he always exhibited on such occasions. From March to August 1862, Major Foster was constantly in the field with his squadron of the 7th Cavalry; engaged in almost daily fighting, sometimes at heavy odds with various bands of guerrillas in Western Missouri. On August 16, 1862, at Lone Jack in Jackson county, Missouri, Major Foster, with 740 men, fought a Confederate force-of 3000 one entire day. It was one of the most desperate fights at close range of the Civil War. In the afternoon Major Foster was shot through the body, and his heroic brother, Morris Foster, carried the Major out of the firing line, receiving a bullet through his right lung, a wound from which he never recovered. After the Major fell, his successor in command retreated to Lexington, while the Confederates retreated to Arkansas. Major Foster lost 240 men, killed and wounded in this fight. The Confederate commanders conceded that, but for his disabling wound, Major Foster would have won the
battle.
Major Foster never recovered from the wound he received at Lone Jack. He suffered from it continuously until he died. After the battle the surgeon of the 7th Cavalry, Dr. T. J. Montgomery of Sedalia, advised Major Foster to prepare for death. The Major refused to do so and announced that he intended to recover and rejoin his regiment in the ensuing spring. This he did in March 1863, to the astonishment of the doctors, while the regiment was stationed at Marshfield in Wright county, Missouri. There the officers of the 7th regiment presented Major Foster with the saber, revolvers, and spurs, now in possession of the State Historical Society at Columbia, Missouri. The eloquent presentation speech was made by Col. Jno. F. Philips.
The year 1863, until October, was spent by Major Foster in the field in active service with the 7th Regiment in Southwest Missouri. In October 1863, that brave Confederate General, Joe Shelby, invaded Missouri from Arkansas in that famous expedition of his, which is known in history as the "Shelby Raid." When Shelby reached the Osage River, at Warsaw, in his northward march, Major Foster was with the 7th Regiment at Osceola, Missouri. He was started in pursuit of Shelby by Gen. Brown, the Union commander then in the field, to prevent the capture of Sedalia by Shelby. Major Foster rode all night at the head of his squadron, attacked Shelby's squadron south of Sedalia, and thereby drove the gallant Confederate away from Sedalia, as he supposed Foster's force was the advance guard of Gen. Brown's entire brigade. For this important service, the people of Sedalia gave Major Foster a saddle, bridle and all equipment for his warhorse, as a slight token of their gratitude. Shelby was then pursued by General Brown with the 7th Regiment, led by their brave Colonel Philips and other commands until Shelby was overtaken at Marshall, Missouri, on October 12, 1863, where he was defeated, his force cut in two and chased out of the State. The plan of the battle of Marshall, and Shelby's subsequent pursuit, was devised and carried out by Major Foster, who was Chief of Staff for Gen. Brown in this campaign. Major Foster then remained with the 7th Regiment on active duty until June 1864, when his wound received at Lone Jack broke out afresh and he was, thereby forced to resign. Major Foster then returned to Warrensburg, Missouri where he remained until September 1864.
Then came the invasion of Missouri from Arkansas by the Confederate General, Sterling Price, with a large force. Gen. Brown was then at Warrensburg and was ordered to march with his brigade to Jefferson City to aid in the defense of that place. Warrensburg. was then the western terminus of the Missouri Pacific Railroad in this State and was an important military point. Gen. Brown had collected there a large amount of military stores, which he could not take with him. So, he sent for Major Foster and asked him to re-enlist and hold the place and save the stores. The General then marched with his command to Jefferson City. There was at that time at Warrensburg a number of Union soldiers whose terms of service had expired. In four days, Major Foster recruited and mounted four companies of cavalry. Gen. Brown caused them to be mustered into the military service and appointed Major Foster to command them with the rank of major of volunteers, cavalry. With this force, Major Foster held the town and increased by foraging the stores on hand.
On October 16, Major Foster was ordered to proceed west until he met Gen. Blunt, who was moving east with a division of Kansas volunteers. Major Foster moved promptly met Gen. Blunt at Pleasant Hill and returned with him to Holden. There, Major Foster's wound again disabled him so that he was compelled to divide his battalion and return with part of it to Warrensburg. The remainder of the battalion he left at Holden under the command of Gen. Blunt. That part of Major's Foster's battalion, under its senior Captain, served in the field with Gen. Blunt for 40 days and nights and was with him in the subsequent battles in which Gen. Price was defeated and driven from the State. For this service, Major Foster and his battalion received honorable mention in the military records of that time.
In 1865, Major Foster was elected public printer for the State for a term of four years. He removed to Jefferson City and served with distinction in that office for four years. After his term of office expired, he then removed to a fruit farm in Jefferson County, Missouri, and remained there two years. He was then appointed managing editor of the St. Louis Journal, an evening paper, and removed to St. Louis. Shortly thereafter the good people of Rockford, Illinois, concluded to hold a County Fair, and they invited Jefferson Davis, ex-president of the Southern Confederacy, to attend it, as an advertising scheme. The editorial comment in the St. Louis Journal of Major Foster's, on this act, was so severe and was followed in such hearty spirit by the Chicago papers that the invitation was withdrawn, although Mr. Davis declined it after considering it. The ex-Confederates in St. Louis, who resented Mr. Davis' treatment of General Joe Johnston, an able Confederate general, in removing him from command at Atlanta, Georgia in 1864, rather enjoyed this incident. Not so, as to many southern sympathizers then in St. Louis, who had not served in the army in the Civil War. A Roman historian writing of the Civil Wars of Rome long ago, fully described these St. Louisians in his maxim, "After the Civil War it was impossible to restrain the fury of the non-combatants."
At that time the St. Louis Times, then a morning paper, ably edited by Major John N. Edwards, a gallant Confederate soldier, who had served as Chief of Staff for Gen. Joe Shelby. He (Major Edwards) was so besieged by the "non-combatants," that he demanded a retraction from Major Foster. Major Foster promptly refused it. Major Edwards then challenged Major Foster. Major Foster accepted, and named Rockford, Illinois, as the place of meeting. The two majors met there and exchanged shots, fortunately missing each other. They were always personal friends after that duel. While editing the St. Louis Journal, Major Foster attacked the "Whiskey Ring," then a powerful organization in St. Louis, with such success as to cause its prosecution and conviction.
About 1881, Major Foster was appointed secretary of the Board of Public Improvements in St. Louis. He held that office for twenty consecutive years, until 1901 when his health failed, and he was compelled to resign. He always performed the duties of that important place with strict and impartial fidelity to the public interest.
With the hope of regaining his health, which was then much impaired, Major Foster went to California in 1902. He died in Oakland, California, in December of that year. He is buried in the lot owned by the Grand Army of the Republic in Oakland, California, a spot of surpassing beauty, and there his body awaits with confidence its final resurrection. In the meantime, his steadfast and earnest soul is reunited in Heaven with his kinsmen and comrades, who have "gone before."
On January 18, 1864, Major Foster was married in Sharon, Beaver county, Pennsylvania, to Miss Jessie Elizabeth Beall. This accomplished lady and devoted wife and mother lives in California. One child, a daughter, Jessie, was born to this couple in Warrensburg, Missouri, on January 13, 1865. This daughter, a girl of rare beauty and intellectual gifts, grew to womanhood, the delight of all her people. She died in California after her father's decease. She is buried hear him and is now with him in Heaven.
As a soldier, Major Foster was the peer of anyone who ever served in any war. Of rare judgment, dauntless courage and skill in the military science he had few equals, and no superiors. As a citizen, his public spirit and impartiality in the public service, rare zeal, and uniting ability and perseverance for the public good, rendered him always a natural leader among men. As a husband and father, he was, beyond comparison, one of the best of men and to those whose privilege it was to know him in life, and who now survives him, us final salutation to his choice spirit, as we never cease to mourn
his loss can only be, Hail and Farewell.

February 10, 2020

Martin Warren - "Warrensburg, MIssouri's Namesake born in Virginia, 1763



Birth: Aug. 1763
Death: Aug. 1852
Revolutionary war veteran. Warrensburg, Missouri is named after him as well as a local school. County commissioners platted this town in 1836, it was originally called Warrens Corner for the early settler Martin Warren. 

The commissioners changed the name to Warrensburg in 1836. Born in Augusta County, Virginia in 1763. The son of James Warren, Martin joined the Revolutionary War under the leadership of Captain John Daugherty and General George Rogers Clark at 18 years of age. Martin fought with George Washington in the battle of Valley Forge. From 1781 to the end of the war in 1783, Martin served either in the militia or the regulars in the "Illinois Department" which mainly fought on the western frontier. After the war, Martin married Sarah Dunbar, and together they had eight children (7 boys, 1 girl). James Dunbar 1785-1840, Martin Jr. 1790-1850, John 1795-1879, Anderson 1798-1855, Thomas Chilton 1802-1890, Madison 1805-1840, William A. 1807-?, Mary (Polly) Margaret 1810-1834.
His Revolutionary War service land grant entitled him to 80 acres of land, some of which he would reluctantly sell later to become the city of Warrensburg. Martin Warren was originally buried in the old cemetery off of Gay Street in Warrensburg Missouri and has a tombstone there also. His body was moved to Sunset Hill Cemetery in 1915.

Martin Warren Cabin site where the post office is today.
Miller Street later become College. North is to the left in this Fire Insurance map. The location of his cabin is the reason that Gay Street is angled at Holden Street. To avoid putting Gay Street right into his cabin. Sadly the cabin is gone and no pictures have been
found of this historic site.
Martin Warren's Great Granddaughter Mrs. Stella Christopher

MARTIN W. WARREN (JAMES4, SAMUEL, WILLIAM, JOHN) was born Aug 1763 in Augusta Co., Virginia, and died 18 Nov 1852 in Johnson Co., Missouri. He married (1) SALLY DUNBAR Bet. 1775 - 1780 in Lincoln Co., Kentucky, daughter of JOHN DUNBAR and SARAH CHILTON. She was born 1765 in Amhurst Co., Virginia, and died 1833 in Lafayette Co., Missouri. He married (2) RUTH COLE Abt. 1835. She died 06 May 1845 in Dover, Missouri.

MARTIN W. WARREN:
Martin came to Missouri in 1819, first to Howard Co., then Lafayette Co., then to Johnson in 1832.
The town of Warrensburg, Missouri in Johnson County is named for him. He was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.
The son of James Warren, Martin joined the Revolutionary War under the leadership of Captain John Daugherty and General George Rogers Clark at 18 years of age. From 1781 to the end of the war in 1783, Martin served either in the militia or the regulars in the "Illinois Department" which mainly fought on the western frontier. Survival was vicious in the frontier as unpredictable guerrilla warfare often took the place of conventional warfare.
The Warrens moved from either Maryland or Virginia into Kentucky and would later move to Missouri in 1816. Years later, in 1833, Martin Warren would finally settle in Johnson County, three whole years prior to any thought of placing a town in this location. His Revolutionary War service land grant entitled him to 80 acres of land which he took within the confines of present-day Warrensburg. At the time, the acres consisted of nice quality timber and a prairie perfect for Martin's occupation as a farmer. Martin proceeded to build one of the largest log houses in western Missouri with two main connecting rooms on the main level, each about 20 square feet apiece. Each room had large chimneys, one made of stone and the other created out of bricks while the upper level contained a hall, another room, and an attic. A separate 20 square foot building was created to the west of the main house and used as a kitchen as was customary at the time out of fear of fires.
It would appear that Martin Warren may not have been overly excited about the possibility of placing a town in this locale. When Martin was asked if he would be willing to sell some farmland in order to create a town in this vicinity, Warren is reported as saying either one or both of the following:
"I do not believe in starting any more one-horse towns; but, [I] will give you what land you want on top of the hill. I will not ruin my good farmland."
"I wouldn't give up good farmland for another one-horse town."
Either way, Martin Warren eventually gave in and sold the property up on the hill and Warrensburg received its official start on May 9, 1836.
At 70 years old, Martin Warren would marry again, this time to a lady named Ruth Cole. About a decade later, Martin would sell his farm to a prominent citizen named Benjamin Grover who would later have to be sued before all payments were made for the land and log cabin he had acquired. The entire conflict would not be resolved until after Martin Warren's death at his son Thomas's house on the Cliff Baile Farm (located 13 miles southwest of Warrensburg) on August 19, 1852.

Warrensburg, Johnson County, Missouri Court House - Box 16 State of Missouri, County of Johnson. Thomas C. Warren, being duly sworn by the undersigned clerk of the county court of the said county deposes and says that to the best of his knowledge and belief the names of the heirs of Martin Warren Senr., dec. and that this affiant and the heirs of James D. Warren reside in the County of Johnson and the State of Missouri, and John Warren and Anderson Warren who reside in the County of Layfayette and state aforesaid and that the heirs of Martin Warren, Jr., deceased who was a son of Martin Warren, Sr., to wit Joseph Warren and Polly Warren reside in the County of Cass and state aforesaid and Sarah Burnett and Loretta Revis, who are daughters of said Martin Warren, Jr., reside in the County of Johnson and the heirs of Madison Warren, dec., who was a son of Martin Warren, Senr., to wit Isaac and Emily Warren reside in the County of Saline in the state
of Missouri, and William Warren and Margaret Warren Carpenter, departed this life leaving the following heirs to wit Buford Carpenter, who resides either in Johnson or Cass County, State of Missouri; Sally Mulkey who resides in the State of Oregon, James Carpenter who resides in Layfayette County, Missouri; Polly Foster who resides in Johnson County, and Amanda Mulkey who resides in Johnson County, Missouri, and Thomas C. Warren, son of Martin Warren, and that said Martin Warren Senior died without will and that he will make a perfect inventory of faithfully administer all the estate of said Martin Warren Senior.
Lafayette County, Mo "Deed Book B, May 1824 to Dec 1825
6 Sept 1824 Martin Warren Sr. to James D. Warren and John Warren, sum of 1550.00, six negro slaves---Bet, Susy, Ned, Nisey, Jenny & Wayne, and personal property. Wit James Fletcher & Amos Rees.
James R. Baker Jr.

First DC-3 Was Assigned to Sedalia Army Airfield in 1942 - 24th Troop Carrier, 310th Troop Carrier Squadron and 442nd

Sedalia Army Air Field, Warrensburg, Missouri - Whiteman Air Force Base today

On November 1942, the installation became Sedalia Army Air Field and was assigned to the XII Troop Carrier Command of the Army Air Force. The field served as a training site for glider tactics and paratroopers. It was one of the eight bases in the United States dedicated to training glider pilots for combat missions performed by the Troop Carrier Command. Pilots flew C-46 or C-47 transports and several types of cargo and personnel gliders, usually the Waco CG-4A. The forest green, fabric-covered gliders could carry 15 fully equipped men or a quarter-ton truck plus a smaller crew. They were towed in either single or double tow behind the transport aircraft and could land on fields not equipped for larger aircraft. http://whiteman-air-force-base.co.tv/









D-Day 82nd Airborne members check their equipment before boarding a 442nd Troop Carrier Group C-47 bound for Drop Zone "T" near St. Mere Eglise in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. The 442nd Troop Carrier Group launched 45 C-47s with approximately 20 soldiers in each aircraft. The 442nd TCG was the World War II predecessor of the 442nd Fighter Wing, an Air Force Reserve Command A-10 Thunderbolt II unit based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. (Photo courtesy of the Herky Barbour estate)
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- (Editor's Note: This is a reprint of a June 2009 story by now-retired Master Sgt. Bill Huntington, 442nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

The 442nd Fighter Wing flag is adorned with battle streamers reflecting the unit's accomplishments through its history. One streamer, a simple blue ribbon with two words embroidered in white on it, reads "Normandy Invasion."

Seventy years ago, in the early hours of June 6, 1944, the 442nd Troop Carrier Group launched 45 C-47 Skytrain transports, laden with 700 members of the 82nd Airborne's 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, destined for the French countryside just northwest of the small town of St. Mere Eglise.

The journey to Normandy and "Drop Zone T" on D-Day began only nine months before at Sedalia Army Air Field, now Whiteman Air Force Base, as the Group formed from a collection of veteran aviators, volunteers, and draftees under the command of then-Major Charles M. Smith. Major Smith organized four flying squadrons, the 303rd, 304th, 305th, and 306th Troop Carrier Squadrons, each commanded respectively by Robert G. Whittington, Jr., Kenneth L. Glassburn, John A. Crandall, and Royal S. Thompson. Also assigned to the 442nd were the100th Service Group and the 464th Air Service Group, with additional subordinate units.

The Group trained around the central Missouri area flying the C-47 and the Waco CG-4A combat assault glider. Before their departure to Europe in March 1944, the Group also trained in Alliance, Neb., Baer Field, Ind. and Pope Field, N.C.

Landon Cozad, a 24-year-old first lieutenant, and a C-47 pilot came on board with the 442nd in November of 1943 when the group was at Alliance, Neb., and was assigned to the 303rd TCS.

Cozad said of Alliance, and of the subsequent locations, that all of their training had a greater purpose than just being good pilots.

At Pope Field the group would work with the airborne paratroopers based at nearby Ft. Bragg to gain a sense of what it would be like to drop them when D-day arrived.
"We were at Pope for two months in training," said Bill Silberkleit, a navigator with the 305th Troop Carrier Squadron. "We doing practice drops and getting to know the people we would be flying with."

As a navigator, Silberkleit, assigned to the 305th Troop Carrier Squadron, had to take a different training path and had joined up with the 442nd after it arrived at Pope Field.
The air echelon of the 442nd flew the C-47s across the Atlantic by way of South America Ascension Island and Africa while the rest of the Group departed New York City aboard the refitted-for-war ocean liner, the Queen Mary.

The dangerous nature of their business hit the Group in North Africa when they lost one C-47 in a crash landing.

"There was a hell of a sandstorm that day and even though we flew at high altitudes, which was unusual for us, there was still sand at that altitude," Cozad said. "They lost an engine and I think the problem with a single-engine landing is that you are afraid you won't make it to the field. As a result, they overshot."

The crash claimed all but one person aboard the aircraft as it plowed into tall tree stumps from a recently logged area off the end of the runway. Despite the losses, the 442nd moved northward. 
 
I Troop Carrier Command - August 1945  First CIS Grads Sedalia Army Airfield  Capt. J.T. Hamilton, Capt. A.J. Cieri, Capt. W.D. Riess, Capt. C.S. Palms, Capt. C.L. Brown, Capt. J.W. Christian,  1st Lt.  W.F. Brooks, 1st Lt. C.J. Harding, 1st Lt. P.C. Bowen, Jr., Capt. E.B. Lewis, Capt. W.T. Brown, 1st Lt. L.A. Jackley, Capt. J. A. O'Berg.  Front Row 1st Lt. H.J. Bohnert, Jr., Capt. L. J. Harlety, Capt. S. A. Oliphant,  Capt. L. J. Carlise, Capt. M. Johnson, Capt. R. J. Weezey, 1st Lt. F. W. Dill, Capt. G. W. Lee, 1st Lt. A. Kelly, Capt. J.E. Allen, 1st Lt. M.L. Hasebrock,  Army Air Corps



Both air and ground components of the Group arrived within a day of each other at the 442nd's new duty station at Fulbeck, England, a rural airfield 120 miles north of London.
As the group settled into their new surroundings Bill Silberkleit received temporary duty orders.

"I was there about three weeks when I was assigned to North Witham for pathfinder training," Silberkleit said.

Even though he'd been at Fulbeck a short while it was long enough to get a sense of how many other airfields were in the area.

"One thing interesting about Fulbeck is that there were three airfields within three miles of each other, he said. "Many times people would come in for final approach and find out they were coming in at the wrong airfield. They were all that close together."

Indeed with the sheer number of installations across the countryside, it could almost said that England had become one huge airfield.

For Jack Prince, a 303rd TCS C-47 pilot, life at Fulbeck was a continuation of what had been practiced at the stateside airfields.

"We did a hell of a lot of shooting landings, towing gliders and formation flying at Fulbeck," Mr. Cozad said.

Prince concurred.

"We did do a lot of formation flying, some practice parachute drops and we practiced pulling gliders there," Prince added. "We were just doing what we would be doing when we got to (Normandy)."

It wasn't all work for the Airmen and when off duty the 442nd members visited nearby towns and villages.

"We went a couple of times to Nottingham and had some fun there," Cozad said of the town made famous by the exploits of English legend Robin Hood.

While group members did visit historic sites in their off duty times more often than not, they took advantage of local pubs, gatherings and dances for entertainment.
Almost exactly a month after arriving in England, the 442nd experienced another loss on April 25, when a 303rd TCS C-47 crashed after takeoff from Membury Airfield - a Troop Carrier base halfway between London and Bristol - killing all 14 aboard the aircraft.

On the ground English farmer, Ernest Huzzey, was farming the same field where the crash occurred.

"It was banking," he said. "It was flying over the woods. It clipped the top of a tree and brought it down. It exploded when it hit the ground, not far from where I had just been working. There were 14 or 15 of them."

Fourteen members of the 442nd TCG - most from the 303rd squadron -- died in the crash, the single largest loss of life in the history of the unit.

A group of 303rd TCS members, led by Colonel Smith, with Maj. Whittington, 303rd TCS commander, attended a funeral service for the men on Saturday, April 29, at Brookwood American Cemetery near Bagshot, England. One of the Airmen, because of his religious faith, had been buried at the same cemetery two days earlier. The next day, a memorial service, led by Group Chaplain Robert Tindall, was held at the chapel back at Fulbeck.
As D-day preparations progressed through into May, Colonel Smith, kept the unit on task meeting their training requirements and focused them on being proficient in dropping paratroopers. The glider pilots sensed that they might not be part of the initial assault. Still, they worked to be sure the Group was ready, and many times they worked in areas outside of flying.

In glider pilot Jim Clark's journal, he made the following entries.

June 1, 1944 - Up early to make sure all things are going well at transportation. Many things tell me that the invasion is getting closer every day.

June 3, 1944 - Things are hot now - I spent the day overseeing that our tow ships are properly marked. We put black and white stripes two-feet wide on each wing and the fuselage. Each plane is equipped with life rafts, life preservers, flak suits and ammunition for all firearms.

June 4, 1944 - A rainbow appeared in the sky this evening - a good omen. It doesn't look as if our gliders are going to be used in the first assault and we are disappointed.
Despite the disappointment, Clark spent the day working on the tow tropes and intercom connection wires to ensure all was in good shape when they were called upon.
While Clark pursued his task, over at Witham, navigator Bill Silberkleit learned that the invasion was at hand, or so they thought. As it would turn out, weather in the English Channel prevented the June 5th assault and Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower put the operation on a 24-hour hold.

"On June 4th, they briefed us about D-day, which was supposed to happen on June 5th, and sent us back to our units with the instructions not to tell anyone what we knew," Silberkleit said. "Of course it was delayed a day and I had to sit on that."

"We had a mock run-through of going every day for a week or so and we never were told which day that we were going to go," Kozad added. "We'd march down to the flight line and the paratroopers would be lounging around in the grass under the wing, sometimes to be in the shade. Then we'd all board the airplane but we never went.

"One day we marched down there and they took us into a meeting room and they said, 'Today's the day.' We all set our watches and I took some notes," he said. "We were given maps and escape kits with a little American money in them."

"When they decided it was a no-go, they quarantined everybody and you couldn't go anywhere," Prince said. "So we just kind of hung around waiting for them to say it was time to go."

Finally, in the late evening hours of June 5, aircrews and paratroopers alike made their way to the C-47s, each silhouetted by the full moon, and loaded up for the mission.

"They all had about three-hundred pounds of equipment on them and they couldn't even get on board," Silberkleit said of the paratroopers. "We had to take two of us to sort of push them up piggyback to get them into the aircraft. They just had so much stuff on them.

"They were gung ho they were all really ready to go," he said. "I didn't see any of them that were reluctant; they weren't frightened, that's for damned sure."

At 19 minutes after midnight, Mission Boston, serial 26 - comprised of 45 C-47s of the 442nd Troop Carrier Group - took off into the night sky to begin what became termed as the "Longest Day."

After the Group formed up the serial turned south and in the lead ship, with Colonel Smith at the controls, navigator Bill Silberkleit guided the group over the darkened English countryside.

"We flew from Fulbeck down towards southern England to a jumping-off point down there near Bournemouth," Silberkleit said. "From there we would fly down toward our destination flying right between the two Channel Islands coming into the Cherbourg Peninsula."

"We came in over and between the Jersey and Guernsey Islands on to the west coast of the peninsula," Prince added. "The closer we got the cloudier it got. There was just a layer of clouds right at the altitude that we wanted to fly, around 1,500 feet. So we dropped down a little way and tried to get under it."

"I had radar on board my aircraft and as I approached the coast I was able to pinpoint myself along the coastline," Silberkleit said. "As soon as we crossed the coastline, the sky was sort of lit up (with antiaircraft fire). There were tracers and everything coming up that you could think of. (To me) it was not a frightening thing, it was very fascinating. You don't think of those things that might happen or what is involved, you are intrigued with what you are doing at a particular time"

Driving inland toward drop zone T, the Group prepared to drop its "sticks" of paratroopers. Some of the Group was still on course while others ran into a thick cloud bank and lost sight of the formation.

"We were flying at about 450 feet above the ground and we didn't see any fog," Silberkleit said. "To us (in the lead ship) everything looked perfect. I was astounded later to find out that our unit was stacked up (because of fog) and that there were a lot of aircraft in the clouds and above the clouds that could not see where we (were).

At 2:44 a.m., the green jump light was switched on in Colonel Smith's aircraft and each ship, in turn, disgorged its heavily-laden paratroopers over Normandy.

In 2008, at a reunion of 82nd Airborne soldiers from D-Day, Silberkleit was able to talk with one of the paratroopers who had jumped from his plane that night.

"He told me that we dropped him right on the area where he was supposed to go," Silberkleit said. "It made me feel really good. I do know that we had some aircraft in our unit that dropped theirs (paratroopers) miles away. They were the ones that experienced the fog and the overcast. One of my navigator friends told me they had to come back around a second time to make their drop. They had missed it the first time in."

As soon as each plane dropped its paratroopers, the aircraft went to full throttle and quickly descended to avoid anti-aircraft fire as they headed for the coast of France and then England. Even with that, the night was not without losses for the 442nd.

"Our planes returned at about 0530," Clark later wrote in his journal. "We apparently lost three and some others had holes from flak and machine-gun fire, but the mission had to be rated a success."

One of those losses was Mr. Prince's plane, and although he managed to walk away from the crash landing, he and his crew had to spend the next more than two weeks in hiding until the Germans were driven from the area. Their arrival back at Fulbeck created quite a stir among those who had feared the worst for the missing Airmen.

"Everyone in the squadron assumed they were held captive or they were dead until one day they showed up in the Mess Hall (back at Fulbeck) with long scraggly beards," Cozad said.

The group would fly three more missions over the Cherbourg peninsula in the days following D-day. On June 10, the Group was ordered to leave Fulbeck for a new airfield in western Britain which would put them closer to France and the missions to come.

Following the night of nights that was their D-day, the 442nd TCG would go on to lead or participate in every major airborne operation in the European theatre of war.


 It was of several US locations where the Waco CG-4A combat glider was built during World War II. Unlike its predecessor the CG-3A, pictured in the America Royal Arena here, the CG-4A could carry not only trooops, it was capable of carrying a jeep with a trailer, a 75mm howitzer or a specially made small bulldozer. from Waco World
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE In The Heartland
Located two miles south of Knob Noster, Mo., just off U.S. Highway 50, Whiteman Air Force Base's name and roots stem from World War II.
During the U.S. mobilization following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Whiteman AFB was activated on Aug. 6, 1942, as Sedalia Glider Base.
In November 1942, the installation became Sedalia Army Air Field and was assigned to the 12th Troop Carrier Command of the Army Air Force. The field served as a training site for glider tactics and paratroopers.
Assigned aircraft included the Douglas C-46s, C-47s and the Waco CG-4A glider. Following the end of the war in 1945, the base closed and most of the buildings were abandoned.
In August 1951, however, the base returned to life again and became a part of Strategic Air Command. SAC activated the 4224th Air Base Squadron to supervise the rehabilitation and construction of a new base, Sedalia AFB.
The 4224th continued its activities until Oct. 20, 1952, when it inactivated while turning over the base to the 340th Bombardment Wing. SAC scheduled the 340th to received the command's newest aircraft systems, the B-47 Stratojet and KC-97 tanker. Construction workers soon completed runway repairs and other projects in November 1953, paving the way for the arrival of the first B-47 in March 1954. 

Grand Central and the First DC-3
Sometimes, even staged publicity photos capture really remarkable moments in time. Such is the case with today's photo, an 8x10 glossy press print officially issued by American Airlines in 1937. Shown is American Airlines' Flagship Texas, which many consider being the very first Douglas DC-3. If this photo looks familiar to Glendale enthusiasts, it is because it is a very similar view to the photo used on the cover of John Underwood's seminal book Grand Central Air Terminal.
The first DST, NX14988 (Douglas c/n 1494), took to the air on her maiden flight on December 17, 1935, a mere 32 years to the day after the Wright Brothers' first flight, and only seven months after Raymond's original report had been written! The crew consisted of Carl Cover, Fred Collbohm and Ed Stinemann. 
Douglas DST NX14988 on its first flight, 17 December 1935. (Douglas Aircraft Company) It crashed and was destroyed on 15 October 1942 during bad weather near Knob Noster, MO.)

After initially serving as a flight test aircraft, the plane was finally delivered to America with an NC registration and became their nose number A-115 and was named Flagship Texas. The Texas was formally accepted by American on April 29, 1936, and "Flagship Service" with the new planes was kicked off on June 26, 1936, with inaugurations featuring the Flagship New York at Newark NJ and Flagship Illinois at Chicago. By the end of 1936, Donald Douglas' gamble had paid off, and American had possession of their twenty aircraft, and ten more had been delivered to other carriers.
It was later sold to TWA to be used in flying Army cargo contracts, and then later sold to the War Department and the Army Air Corps (as serial 42-43619) and assigned to the 24th Troop Carrier Squadron.

American Airlines’ Douglas DST, NX14988, the first DC-3. (San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives)
The Texas, in 1940 it was converted to standard 32-passenger DC-3 configuration. It was later sold to TWA to be used in flying Army cargo contracts, and then later sold to the War Department and the Army Air Corps (as serial 42-43619) and assigned to the 24th Troop Carrier Squadron. Unfortunately,  it crashed and was destroyed on 15 October 1942 during bad weather near Knob Noster, MO.

American Airlines’ Douglas DST NC14988 at Glendale, California, 1 May 1936. (dmairfield.org)

 NC14988, Left

 NC14988
 NC14988