e-Newsletter for May, 2002

Last Flights:

Robert Yochem, Pilot, 833rd: Bob passed away in March. Bob had been hospitalized shortly before with emphazema. Bob is survived by his wife Shirley, two daughters and their families.

William B. Hutchins, 47, a son of our 486th Vice Commander Kay B. Hutchins, passed away on March 20, 2002, at his home in West Palm Beach, FL, He was a 1972 graduate of Palm Beach High School and a graduate of the University of Florida majoring in Wildlife Conservation and Journalism, the educational background that led to his career-long interest in preserving Floridaıs ecosystem and the animals it supported. The funeral service was held on March 26, 2002, at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, West Palm Beach.

Bill Hutchins was a Teacher and Sanctuary Manager at the Pine Jog Environmental Center, West Palm Beach, his place of employment for 21 years. An avid traveler and a dedicated student of exotic fauna, his many globe-girdling trips took him into many of the worldıs most remote rainforests and jungles. He was a herpetologist: "I was often a sitter for a lizard or a snake or some other creepy crawler that Billy brought into the house",  his mother, Kay, told friends. He was a prolific writer and a highly respected speaker. His stories, accompanied by his own films or slides,  enthralled his audiences.

William B. Hutchins was preceded in death by his father, Jack Hutchins, in 1978. He is survived by his mother, Kay B. Hutchins, Carmel, CA; a brother, James D. Neilson, West Palm Beach, FL;ı a sister, Carole Carvell and her husband, John, Menlo Park. CA; and numerous other relatives.

Russell Bashline, FE/Top, 835th: Russel died of cancer, April 4, 2002.  He had been confined to a wheel chair several months, and died in his sleep. He is survived by his wife Grace, and daughter Lisa. He was a member of the Miller crew.

Request for Information:

Does anyone remember:

Edmund Karawczyk, 832nd, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was a member of Browns Crew and Crabtrees crew from Feb-May 1945. He was a radio operator and 5 of his 10 missions were on the King Kong.

John Dale Cook: was a Lead Bombardier the 833rd.

Edward J. Kaullen: Flight Engineer on the  Stieber Crew in the 834th.

If so, please contact me at webmaster486 at earthlink dot net

****** FINALLY! ******

The film, "B17 Flying Legend," is complete and will be premiered at the Palm Springs Air Museum, in Palm Springs, CA, on May 4, 2002. I was provided a "proof" copy by the film's producer to review, and liked what I saw. The 486th contributed about 1/2 dozen photos to the project, and, although the credits weren't on the proof, I'm told the 486th will be given due credit on the finished product. However, the photos will not necessarily identifiable with our group, unless you were one of the donors, or you're familiar with the photo gallery. Mark Feijo even managed to find film footage of the American Beauty at Kingman, AZ. Its in B&W, and only shows Phil Brinkman's nose art, but it was still quite a sight!

Mark is hoping to have the film picked up by a broadcast company, so keep an eye out on your local PBS stations, or the History Channel. Naturally, if I get any word about the TV premier, I'll pass it on. Mark has also promised me a final version, which I will bring along to Richmond for viewing at the Reunion.

Mark has also taken a look at the Harley Stroven film to see if he might be able to do anything with it. Unfortunately, he doesn't have any ideas on how to approach the subject at this time. He will keep us in mind, though.

Aluminum Overcast 2002 Freedom Tour: If you have ever wanted a chance to fly aboard one of America's most legendary aircraft, the B17, your chance may be near at hand. Coming to an airport nearest you:

  • May 27 - May 30: Lexington - Blue Grass, Lexington, KY.
  • May 30 - Jun 03:  Clark County, Louisville, KY (Jeffersonville, IN)
  • Jun 03  - Jun 06:  Bowling Green - Warren, Bowling Green, KY.
  • Jun 06  - Jun 10:  Gatlinburg - Pigeon, Knoxville, TN.
  • Jun 10  - Jun 13:  Ashville Regional, Ashville, NC.
  • Jun 13  - Jun 17:  Hickory Regional, Hickory, NC.
  • Jun 20  - Jun 24:  Suffolk Municipal, VA Beach, VA.
  • Jun 24  - Jun 27:  Richmond International, Richmond, VA.
  • Jun 27  - Jul 01:   Manassas Regional Davis, Winchester, VA.
  • Jul 01   - Jul 05:   Pittsburgh - Allegheny Co., Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Jul 05   - Jul 08:   Fulton International, Akron, OH.
  • Jul 08   - Jul 11:   Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (OSU Airport).
  • Jul 11   - Jul 15:   Toledo Metcalf Field, Toldedo, OH.

For EAA members the 1/2 hour flight costs $350, and $395 for non-members. The non-member price includes a complementary EAA membership worth $40. They use to offer free rides for anyone who could book a "crew" of 6. See more at www.b17.org

As an aside, Fulton International Airport is named of MAJ Bain Fulton, who was shot down with the Center crew.

If you have not read the account of my flight aboard the "Aluminum Overcast," you may do so here.

Book Review

Downfall, by Richard B. Frank -- This book is an excellent campanion to the Making of the Atomic Bomb. Mr. Frank achieves an unbiased look at the political, strategic, and social forces at play in the final days of the war. He examines the Japanese psyche, their strategy, and how they perceived the US would behave in during the last days of the war. He also examines the mind set, strategy and perceptions of the Japanese from the US side. I haven't finished reading it, but I highly recommend it. Particularly to anyone who has questions about the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan.

Valor Park

Or associate member, Dr. Karen Garner, informs me that Valor Park at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH, will be dedicated on May 11th. Six living Air Force Medal of Honor recipients will be in a attendance. Karen is a trustee of the Miami Valley Military Affairs Association. The Association is selling bricks that are to be part of the wall and walking area. The bricks are in different sizes, and one may have their name or someone's name etched into it. If you would be interested in having such a brick in the wall please contact Karen, or visit www.mvmaa.org. It sure would be nice to have one for the 486th and for any individuals in the group. Prices are 100$ for a 4x8, and 500$ for an 8x8.

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