First Birthday

My blog celebrated its first birthday yesterday – thank you to all who have visited since I began and for all the comments and contributions that have added to our understanding of the history of the 353rd Fighter Group.

It will be a while before I have time to post again so I thought I would just update you on some recent changes to the site. Some of you will have noticed there is now a “Mission” page. The  search function on the site, I felt, was not really up to scratch so I’ve decided to add to a list of mission hyperlinks to enable you to find each mission quickly and easily. The other big update to the site is the addition of names and brief combat biographies of all Squadron pilots to the relevant Squadron pages. Where there is further information on a pilot I have added a hyperlink and will add more as I go along. With that much data added there are bound to be some errors – so if you spot any let me know. I have not yet had time to add the pilots who were attached to Group, but I hope the updates so far add to the usefulness of the site.

I’ve also been thinking a lot recently about the many happy reunions the Group had over the years. The below photos are of some of the signs that used to hang on the doors of the Group hospitality rooms. Over the years, as you can see, they accumulated quite a few “John Hancocks” from the veterans and their wives. Just click on the pictures for a larger view…


Filed under 353rd Fighter Group

5 responses to “First Birthday

  1. Rick Peck

    Happy Birthday.
    Mel Hightshoe’s photo album was on Ebay couple of years ago and I bid on it but it went for high dollar. Anyway do you have any idea who has it?
    Just wondering.
    Thanks for doing this site and hope to see more.
    Regards Rick Peck

    • Rick

      Thanks for the message and birthday greetings – apologies for the delayed response as I’ve just got back from a two week trip to the US (more of which later).

      Re the photo album – I guess you mean this one:

      You probably know more than I do – I didn’t know, for instance, that Mel Hightshoe was the source. I did try and phone the sale room the morning it originally came up in the estate sale but it was already gone and I didn’t bid when it came up on ebay. I’ve also seen fairly large collections from Pletz (352) and Furneaux (351) turn up on ebay over the years (didn’t bid on those either). Ebay is not the best of things for preserving Group history, but it is an unavoidable fact of life these days.

      Looking at the pictures the seller posted it didn’t seem to have anything I don’t already have many copies of – but I guess only one person now knows what was in the full album.

      It’s still an important part of 353rd history though and hopefully, when the time comes, the owner will ensure it goes in a museum or archive somewhere rather than risking someone splitting it up on ebay. I’m always, of course, happy to give advice on its future preservation if they are out there and read this blog…

  2. Rick Peck

    Yes Sir that is the one.
    My aunt lived in that area so I was going to ask her if she would go get it for me and I’ll pay her back but by the time I got a hold of her it was on Ebay.
    They had the pilots name wrong but big dummy me corrected him on who the pilot was,may have not gone so high with the wrong pilots name. Oh well I guess that is what I get for being honest.
    No problem on the time frame with the answer.

    • I wouldn’t worry about giving them the correct name – anyone with even a passing interest in the Group could see the value and it was inevitable that high dollar would be paid once it was on ebay.

      Most of the album seemed to be pictures of 350th pilots which are all in Jonah’s Feet Are Dry anyway that currently sells for £16 on Amazon…

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