Last updated 1/5/2010
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Air Cadet Thomas D. Moran Jr.
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50 cal cartridge dad brought back from Italy

15th AAF Patch 461st Bomb Group Insignia

    Sometime after my father died in December, 1998, I was going through a few of his belongings and came across an olive drab, military issue photo album with a gold eagle on the front and bearing the title "Snaps and Scraps, My Life in the Army". Inside, among the numerous photographs and newspaper clippings, was a snapshot which caught my eye. It showed my father, at the time just a young man of 24, gathered with the other members of his flight crew in front of a huge B-24 Liberator bomber. Remembering the stories he had told me when I was a child, I resolved to find out what I could about his experiences in World War II.
     I was able to locate two surviving members of dad's crew - Zenas Plymale, the flight engineer/top turret gunner and Charles Laynor, the tail gunner, both of whom were very kind and helpful. James Springer's daughter provided me with her father's tour log which gave specific dates to events passed on to me orally through crew members, and from my father's memoirs which he completed just before his death in 1998. The log also listed other details such as the names of the transport ships the crew took to Europe after they completed training, flak damage to their aircraft, and the one injury to a crew member.
   While the information on this site is probably representative of many of the flight crews that served Europe and the Pacific, as much as possible I have attempted to tell this crew's story using materials and information provided by the crew members themselves.

   There are many fine sites on the Internet relating to this subject, and rather than produce pages of redundant information here, I have provided links to other sites where I thought appropriate, as well as on the LINKS page.

Click on image at left to read a first hand account by a civillian living in Graz, Austria when it was bombed by the 15th AAF early in 1944.
765th Bomb Squadron insignia War Bond Posters
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