This is the story of the 11th Bomb Group of the Seventh Army Air Force during World War II.
The 42nd Squadron of the 11th Bomb Group are also called the Grey Geese. The story tells of the events at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Most of the young men from the Daisy Mae, enlisted in the Army Air Corps on Monday, December 8, 1941. Some where already serving. All of the crew of the Daisy Mae were fighting during May of 1943 to the end of the war to avenge the sneak attack that killed many of their friends at the Air Fields near Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
These eleven brave heroes flew night and day over the longest stretches of dangerous oceans to protect our country from invasion and lead the bomber line all the way to Japan. Places like Wake Island, Midway, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Guam, Nauru and Okinawa are just some of the missions the Grey Geese flew.
The cost is high but the Grey Geese did their job to bring War II to an end.
The Grey Geese will always be remembered.
Those Daisy Mae crew members include:
Lt. Joe Gall Pilot
Flight Officer John Van Horn Co-pilot
Lt. Benjamin I. Weiss Navigator and Assistant Bombardier
Lt. Myron Jensen Bombardier and Armament Officer
Staff Sergeant Robert Storts Nose Gunner
Technical Sergeant Arvid B. Ambur Flight Engineer and Gunner
Staff Sergeant Francis J. Perkins Jr. Belly Gunner and Armorer
Staff Sergeant Robert Patterson Radioman and Waist Gunner
Technical Sergeant Thomas Wyckoff Assistant Flight Engineer and Top Turret Gunner
Staff Sergeant Earl W. Conley Tail Gunner
Staff Sergeant Joseph “Pop” Evans, Photographer
This video shows one of the last flying B-24s taking off in 2013. The flight engineer stands by the number 2 engine as the number 3 and four have already been started. Sgt. Arvid B. Ambur was the flight engineer on the Daisy Mae and started the engines the same way. The fire extinguisher Arvid had would have rested on a two wheel dolly and stood about 5 feet high and weighed 50 pounds.
You will see the flight engineer standing outside the Bomber just like Arvid B. Ambur did back on July 24,1943 on the airstrip located at the Eastern Island of Midway.
When you read the Last Flight of the Daisy Mae, be sure to watch this video to get the sights and sound of the aircraft in your mind.
This is kind of spooky but I researched and found that the song “Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer, ” was the number 1 hit song on July 24, 1943, the same day Daisy Mae was coming in on a wing and a prayer. This song is sung by the original group, the Song Spinners who made it famous. If you listen closely you will understand why the song fits the story of the Last Flight of the Daisy Mae.
There is also another version sung by Bing Crosby and that is the one I remember best.
Bing also had recorded a song about the 7th Army Air Corp but I could not find it on the Internet. Our heroes were in the 42nd Squadron 11th Bomb Group 7th Army Air Corp.