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Contact Me

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

http://www.lugar.senate.gov

or

http://www.loc.gov/folklife/vets

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 hqmc2@lycos.com or hqmc@tributeto448thbgpcrew48.net

                I will 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."

Only

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 that the

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 mentions that

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 .


UPDATE
 

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.

Regards,

Vic


 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 at one
 time...years ago...Garland East lived in Atlanta or a suburb.
 Don
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. 
    1st Lt.     Thomas Francis Purcell       55 Academy Road             New York, New York  (Wife)
    1st Lt.     Arthur R. Suppona               69 Norfolk Street               New York, New York (Mother)
     2nd Lt.   Ralph J. Swofford                  4396 Forest Park Blvd.     Saint Louis Missouri (Wife)
    1st Lt.     Hilaire Antoine Vadenais        2527 West Avenue 35       Los Angeles, CA  (parents)
    T/Sgt.     Benjamin Rosenberg            3554 Rochambeau Ave.     New York,New York (Father)
    T/Sgt.     Glen Edmund Naze           (also lists ND as address)     Mound, Minnesota (Wife)
    S/Sgt.     Albert E. Flack                    Rail Road Ave.                  White Sulfer Springs, WV (Mother)
    S/Sgt.     Ralph B. Shoup                                                           West Mansfield, Ohio (Father)
    S/Sgt.     John Columbus Sides          Route #2  (also lists Hilderbran NC)  Connely Springs, NC  (Mother)
    S/Sgt.     Charles Eugene McGinty                                              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.     

Cathy Hicklin---

 

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24 MAY 2005