VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT & COL. HACKETT CREW
Veterans History Project
Emmy Huffman Veterans History Project Coordinator Office of Senator Richard Lugar 10 West Market, Suite 1180 Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 (317) 226-5555
• The Veterans History Project was signed into law in October
2000 as an effort to preserve oral histories. According
to the U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs, almost 1,500 veterans
die in the
United States each day.
If you are a Veteran or a family member is
and wish to participate in this preservation of History Click on the following URL to read details
The URL above will give all State contacts and the Groups and agencies involved
448th BGp ,or Sullivan and Greene Gounty Indiana Veterans or the families of theVeteran
that has a desire to post for History the Military Records of a Veteran should do so for future generations. You may do so
through the the "Veteran's History Project"[Recommended] or send me the information an I will post a page similar to the Merlin
Miller ,Edward W. Cole or David Aiken
Request For Help Col.Hackett
August 5, 2004
Dear Mr. Kennedy,
I am with the Congressional Office of Congressmen ---------------Jr.
I am trying to locate two gentlemen who knew Chester B. Hackett. Col.Hackett, 448th, 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force,
was on a mission on June 20,1944 as commander of the 715th Squadron --he flew with a neighboring group, 389th out of Hethel,
piloting a specially B -24H equipped radar plane. He ultimately made an emegency landing. He, along with the bombardier,
was captured and sent to Stalag #3. Col. Delamr Spivey (now deceased) nominated Hacket for a Silver Star. However,
with the forced evacuation of prisoners on Jan. 27, 1945, the paper work was lost. His daughter is a--------------------in
Columbia, SC and would very much like to see him receive this medal. The man captured with him was Garland East.
As you know, criteria for this medal requires eye -
witness accounts. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. You may contact me -----------
If you have any info on this please email me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
see it is forwarded to the proper channels. Later I may add the address to send such information but I want permission before
posting the email address and names of others involved.
Added Info.If you know or are one of those mentioned please make yourself known---
"In Squadron /Signal publications, Inc., there is an issue(?) entitled
Strangers in a Stange Land by Hans-Heiri Stapfer - Illustrated by Don Greer - that has a picture
and an account of the experience by Hackett. It states" For the Politz mission Colonel Gerry L. Mason, commander
of the 448thBomb Group and Major Chester B. Hackett , Jr. commander of the 715th Squadron each flew in a "Mickey" Liberator
flown by the 389th Bomb Group crews. Col Mason was the mission Command Pilot leading the 20th Combat Wing,..."
"Maj. Hackett's crew included Capt. Purlek, bombardier, Capt. Garland East, navigator, Capt Switzer. Lt. Rose filled
in as gunner." The article also mentions SGT. Albert Flack and Glenn Naze."
Garland East and Hackett made it to the ground alive. Everyone else jumped.
East, being a gunner,
was wearing a harness, but not a parachute pack. In the article, Hackett explains
bombardiers usually wore a chest pack. East's pack was lost when flack hit
an oxygen bottle,
exploding it and ripping his chest pack. East had gone to the rear of the
plane to find another
parachute, but none was to be had. Instead of going to Sweden, Hackett decided
to make an
emergency landing, because fuel was now running allover the bomb bay. Hackett
10 men jumped, Lt. Rose was badly wounded and died before they could
land, Hackett and East made it to the ground alive--so Mr. Walzel was right,
that there were
13 people on
that mission, but 2 prisoners of war not 10 or 11. That is why finding Garland
East is so important .
I have just looked on the NARA archival base for WWII POWs and found all but three of the listed crew. The others may be
mispelled in my reference so that could account for their absence . It does take away all doubt that the rest of the crew
made a successful jump and reached the ground alive, only to be taken as POWs.
Found listed at Stalag 7A Moosburg were Hackett and Purcell.
Found listed at Stalad Luft 4 were Naze, Rosenberg, Flack and Shoup.
Found listed at Stalag Luft 3 was Sides.
Swofford was in an unlisted camp.
Vadenais, McGinty and Suppena were not found.
I didn't check on East as you seem to know where he was taken.
That is about the extent of any help I can provide. I wish you success in your search.
I serve the 453rd BG as their historian. I have been reading about Lt Purcell and Lt Garland East.
They were original members on the same crew and were original members of the 453rd. I never located Purcell, but
time...years ago...Garland East lived in Atlanta or a suburb.
Do you live
in or near Atlanta? Please give us a helping hand. Has he been a member of one of the Veterans Organizations? Is he in the
phone book Any info you have on him would be appreciated? Thanks. HQK ---UPDATE---Garland East did live near Atlanta but has passed on. Please inform us if you know the whereabouts
of any member of this crew.
Following are the crewmen who gave reports and their last known address.
Thomas Francis Purcell 55 Academy Road
New York, New York (Wife)
Arthur R. Suppona 69 Norfolk Street New
York, New York (Mother)
2nd Lt. Ralph
J. Swofford 4396
Forest Park Blvd. Saint Louis Missouri (Wife)
Hilaire Antoine Vadenais 2527 West Avenue 35
Los Angeles, CA (parents)
Benjamin Rosenberg 3554 Rochambeau Ave.
New York,New York (Father)
Glen Edmund Naze (also lists ND as address)
Mound, Minnesota (Wife)
Albert E. Flack
Rail Road Ave. White
Sulfer Springs, WV (Mother)
Ralph B. Shoup West
Mansfield, Ohio (Father)
Columbus Sides Route #2 (also lists Hilderbran NC) Connely
Springs, NC (Mother)
Saint Michael, PA (Father)
These are the airmen in
the MACR. I know someone out there knows someone listed. When completing a White Pages search,
I could find some with the last name, but none that matched exactly. Thank you again for your continued efforts.
Cathy Rose Hicklin Please if you can add anything to this inform the webmaster at this site or Cathy by
clicking on her name below.