Col. Vickers entered the service in November 1942 and received his commission and pilots wings in early 1944. He flew 30 combat missions over Germany in World War II.
He later served in combat duty with the Strategic Air Command during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, building up more than 10,000 flying hours as a command pilot during his Air Force career.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal along with several Air Medals and Air Force Commendation Medals.
He has held a number of key positions in SAC and with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington and is a distinguished graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. he has a masters degree at George Washington University, Washingtonn D.C.
His two published books, "The Liberators of Wendling" and "Wendling's Crusaders: Remembrance of the Missing" were one of the foundational resources when building this website."
Ernie came to the Wendling base with the original cadre of the 392nd, as a crew chief for the 578th squadron. After 22 months at Wendling England, he was discharged September 17, 1945. Ernie has been the 392nd Bomb Group Archivist since 1986. Most all of the photos at this website are from the archives that he catalogs and maintains for the 392nd. He enjoys his job as it is a labor of love to be able to help fill in the gaps.
Ernie went down for an afternoon nap on May 2, 2008 at around 3pm with his son by his side and died peacefully in his sleep shortly thereafter.
From Ben Jones: Ernie will always hold a special place in our hearts for being instrumental in preserving so much of the history of the 392nd BG, who without b24.net would not be the site it is today! He worked tirelessly, from the early days of the 392nd BGMA to the day he died, in collecting and documenting the archives that he has passed onto us.
From Oak Mackey: As co-pilot on the Jack Clarke crew, we flew "Windy City Belle" on several missions. She was always ready to fly, never an abort. Ernie served the 392nd BG so well during the war, and continued serving the 392nd BGMG and the Second Air Division Association for the rest of his life. Until he was unable he brought a pick-up truck load of photo albums, Yank magazines, crew records, and no telling what all else, to every 2ADA Convention. Ernie never coveted riches, he lived to serve. Goodbye Ernie, thank you so much.
Jim was Base Transportation Officer at the Wendling base. Jim is semi-retired as a real estate broker and an active board member of the 392nd Memorial Association. Jim was elected as President of the 392nd BGMA in September 2008. He then wrote a "President's Message" in the quarterly newsletters.
For more than 27 years, Jim Goar has written about the 392nd Bomb Group's missions, its personnel, its reunions, births and deaths. He has helped re-unite Crusaders with crewmates they hadn't seen in decades. He has published photos of people, planes, targets, and fun events previously recorded only in the participants' memories. He has helped 2nd- and 3rd-generation members learn about what their loved ones did in service to our country and the 392nd BG. Jim has recorded our history. His newspaper has been the one constant shared by every member of the 392nd BGMA. He always ended his column with a simple two words of hope often felt by everyone who served in the Army Air Corps or the United States Air Force. We therefore end this tribute with those same words: Jim Goar, your friends in the 392nd Bomb Group Memorial Association wish you "Blues Skies."
Tom Perry serves with Ernie Barber as our communication and research director for the hundreds of guestbook entries and form submissions.
Tom joined the 392nd BG at Briggs Field in April 1943 and was in the Ordinance section of the 576th Squadron at Wendling.
Following the war, he took the BS degree from Greenville College, Greenville, IL and the MS degree form the University of Illinois. He taught English, Mathematics, and Science before becoming Principal of the high school at Brownstown, IL.
In 1952 he left the education field and worked in accounting and finance as internal auditor. He worked at such diverse construction sites as skyscrapers, petrochemical plants and nuclear power plants in over 15 states and Canada.
His wife Maria is deceased. They have three sons and a daughter, and five grandsons and one granddaughter. Tom makes his home in Southbury, CT.
I owe a great deal to the 392nd BG family and to virtually all the vets I have met from the Second World War. Somebody once gave me this definition of a Senior Citizen: It's having all the answers, only nobody asks the questions. So I have tried to listen, and I have learned. It has been my privilege to meet and get to know something of all the researchers on this page. (Bob Books as well! Carsten's an exception, but over the years I almost feel I know him too.) Cliff Peterson, the 392nd BGMA President, and Jim Marsteller were, with others, instrumental in 1993-96 in helping me piece together my father's final days with the 392nd and the Friedrichshafen mission. This information, and how I came to view my researching of the sacrifices of 3.18.44, is told in my 1999 book, "After the Liberators: A Father's Last Mission, A Son's Lifelong Journey."
Like Greg Hatton, and my dad, I was born in Brooklyn, NY -- in 1943, and spent virtually my entire life in and around New York City. While in high school I wasn't a good enough athlete to play ball for the school, so I started writing sports for the newspaper. I did the same at the college level, and was an English major, graduating with a B.A. from Manhattan College in 1965. Rudy Giuliani was a classmate I am proud to say.
The writing background led me to a career in corporate public relations, early on for broadcasting companies mostly, notably WCBS Newsradio for three years. I then switched to financial corporations, working, among others, for American Can Company, Mutual Of New York, Citibank and Marsh & McLennan Companies.
I wrote speeches, press releases, edited magazines and shareholder annual reports, and very often was paid to put words in other people's mouths, or to be a kind of ghostwriter. So, the book for and about my dad was also a kind of late coming out party for me. Something with the McGuire name on it.
My wife, Bernadette is a children's librarian here in my hometown of Larchmont, NY. We have a great family, with six grandchildren. This is a big part of our lives.
I have met and communicated with dozens of people who lost their fathers in World War II. It is estimated that there were more than 180,000 of us. Many of them have, like me, aggressively sought out information about their dads' military careers only after reaching age 50. It is still a hard thing for many reasons. Some simply can't face it. That's OK. Others find very little specific information. All we can do is console them and try to understand. My friends in the 392nd made it easy for me. They say that the past is prologue. I don't know. But for me the past lives, and in the example of America's World War II effort continues to supply us with an inexhaustible supply of faith, hope and love.
In a small way, I want to share what I have experienced and help educate people about their heritage and make certain that they value and preserve it. Click here to read Bill's interview on the stories link.
Everette D. Marsteller, nicknamed “Jim” after my uncle, S/Sgt. Everette (Jim) Morris. I am a farm boy born to Dale and Betty Marsteller on September 30, 1946, and have lived my entire life on the rolling hills of our Southern York County farm in Pennsylvania. Married to my wife, Karen we have 2 sons and 3 grandchildren.
I am retired and keep busy and enjoy photography, singing and playing guitar with some local gospel groups.
I am a member of Centre Presbyterian Church near my home in New Park, sing in the choir.
After graduating from high school I became interested in the cattle business and the possibility of working with my father, unfortunately the war in Vietnam was intensifying and Uncle Sam had other ideas for my future. I enlisted in the military and received A.I.T. at the United States Field Artillery Training Center in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Entering civilian life I worked 20 years for International Harvester Company in the trucking industry as a fleet salesman. In the early 90’s I returned to the farm to help my retiring father in the cattle business, and with my brother started a lawn and garden business.
For the fun of it I played rhythm guitar for the Slate Ridge Bluegrass Band, performing at local fairs and churches. The highlight of my musical career was playing on stage in Nashville, Tennessee at the Operyland Hotel.
Everything became secondary after the death of my grandparents, and the search began concerning the circumstances of the death of my uncle in WWII, flying with the 392nd Bomb group. That was 18 years ago, and the search continues today.
Jim, was elected to the 392 BGMA Board of Directors in October, 2001. In 2016 Jim was voted as Director Emeritis
Editor's note: Editor's note: Jim has spent over 17 years of research on the Books crew where his uncle was KIA, March 18, 1944 on the Friedrichshafen mission. His research also includes 4 other crews who crashed on that date. Jim is widely known by the men and women of the 8th A.A.F. as a primary researcher. Jim and his wife, Karen, live in New Park, PA.
My interest in the USAAF and the 392nd all started in my childhood years. I grew up in the county of Norfolk, home to many an airfield, some dating back to the first world war. Robert Walthew, a very good friend of mine grew up in the village of Beeston, where most of the sites for Wendling were built. Together as kids we would play in all the old abandoned buildings and look for wreckage from some of the aircraft that had crashed in the area, of which there were plenty. We would meet the returning veterans as they toured the former base and show them the items we had found. I became known to the boys of the 392nd as 'the kid on the bike', because Robert and myself would follow their tour bus from site to site on our bicycles. This was the beginning of it all.
I had come from a long line of military blood. My grandfather was in the early days of the Royal Air Force, flying Vickers Vimy aircraft on the Northwest Frontier in India, and Hawker Harts during the Royal Review in 1935. My grandfather on my mothers' side was a chief engineer at Westland. ( manufacturer of aircraft such as the Lysander.) My father was an officer in the Fleet Air Arm flying early jets in the 1950's and 1960's off carriers, and my sister is now an officer in the Royal Navy. So my interest in the military and history simply grew from this.
I attended several of the 392nd reunions, my very first one being in Hilton Head South Carolina in 1989, as a guest of the late J.D. Long. It was at a reunion in England in 1992 that I met Jim Marsteller, who was to become a very dear friend and was the start of many exciting adventures together, many of which are on this website.
Collecting has always been another hobby of mine, and so I would display my collections of memorabilia at the reunions which always attracted great interest. Now serving in the military, I carry on our family tradition and try to preserve the memory of all those veterans gone before me, by my research and education of others.
Ben can be reached through our contact page by clicking here.
Gregory J. Hatton: Born 1946, Brooklyn NY; current resident Brooklyn NY. Educated at Long Island University (BA Psychology) and CCNY (credits in Architecture); Carpenter and woodworker by trade, historian by avocation; began POW and 392nd BG research 1985, member AXPOW, 392nd BG Memorial Assoc., 8th AF Historical Society (Editor NY Southern Wing Chapt. Newsletter)
Wrote and published "Stories My Father Never Told Me" 1992 (dist. by Motorbooks and currently available Motorbooks Ltd.); contributed articles to AXPOW Bulletin, Harbor Watch; member Stalag Luft IV Monument Committee.
Most influential associations: Richard Boylan (National Archives), Duane Reed ( USAF Academy Library); Joseph Odonnell (author "Shoe Leather Express"); Frank Paules (Former MOC Stalag Luft 6 and 4); Donald Kirby (Columbus - Ohio P.D., survivor Luft 6 and 4); Ernest Barber (archivist 392nd BG Mem. Assoc.); Lt. Col.(ret.) James Muldoon (392nd BG Mem. Assoc.); Oliver Guillot (member Kaminitsa crew 392nd BG); Jeff Ethell (author, aviation historian).
It has been my great privilege to have interviewed many former Army Air Corps crewmen. At first, my goal was to find out what my father had experienced while in Service. This broadened into a quest for documents, which would illuminate and validate the memories that were shared with me. It is now my goal to share with others the information and insights that I was privileged to obtain. Perhaps I can be part of a bridge between my father's generation and my son's (should they be interested).
Greg can be reached through our contact page by clicking here.
John Gilbert's association with the 8thAFHS began in World War II. His family was bombed out of their home in Norwich and relocated to Wendling. As a young lad of about 8, he regularly visited the base. His mother did laundry for many of the 392nd's personnel (and for the station football team!) so the Americans were constant visitors to his home. As the Yanks drove away from the base in 1945, they tossed boxes and boxes of comic books into his yard.
After the war, John's family moved into the refurbished Ground Officers Mess. He and his friends swept out the T-2 Hangar (where Maj Glenn Miller and his band played) and roller-skated there; after the bomb dump filled with rain water, they went swimming there.
John is our official representative in England. He spends a lot of time and effort "perpetuating the legacy" of the 8th Army Airfore and 392nd BG in Norfolk, England. He is regularly invited to display his memorabilia at the 2AD Memorial Library in Norwich, at the Queen's Estate at Sandringham, and at local village festivals. John also give talks to school children regarding England's history of WWII and the role the 8thAAF played.
John can be reached through our contact page by clicking here.
Born in 1972 in Schramberg/Germany, where my family lives until today. History was always interesting for me since I can remember back in my life. I started also very early in my youth to have a special interest in local and regional history especially in the time since WW I and began in the age of 14 with my first research projects and visited first time also the town archive and spoke with eyewitnesses. In 1987 I published my first article in one of our local newspapers and told the story of a small church to its 50th anniversary. Following that I researched the Third Reich - especially about the subject of persecution, resistance and the Weimar Republic with the local history of the workers movement and their fight against faschism in Germany.
My interests include the local and regional history of WW II with all different aspects like daily life, war experiences, slave labour in the factories and especially the air war with the air raids and plane crashes in our region. Together with Jim Marsteller and Ben Jones began a combined research about the crashes of some B-24-Bombers around Schramberg with two meetings of our team in 1993 and 1996 and we were especially at the last visit surprised of our findings with fotos and wreckage parts.
In the meantime I've studied also history and european ethnology at the Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen, which is about one hour away from my hometone Schramberg. I'm writing at the moment my final study with a research about the war of thirty years (1618-1648) in a region of the Black Forestr, which is part of a greater research project about "War experiences - war and society in modern history". I'm trying to answer the question, which role religion played in the war of the thirty years, because this war was named very often in literature and popular opinion as a war of religion. Therefore I collect informations about the history of monasteries, pastors and individual persons from the old files of the 17th century, which is not very easy, but very interesting. After the end of my final study it is planned to continue with a dissertation about the same subject in a greater research area in the Black Forest. After my dissertation I would be interested to work in an archive or a museum, but let us see, what the time will bring and offer for possiblities.
Bill is our keeper of memorabilia that we sell to help support our efforts to sustain the Association. Bill also serves as our quaility control research person who checks all of our links and entry data for accuracy. He has assisted with revising the Roll of Honor and with compiling the new mission pages.
Bill is a retired U. S. Forest Service Research Engineer and former officer in the National Federation of Federal Employees. He lives in Brookfield, Wisconsin, with his wife, Gloria. They have two daughters.
Annette is the primary researcher for the 392ndBGMA including the April 29, 1944 mission to Berlin.
After several years of research on The Wyatt crew, including her uncle, 2Lt Douglas N. Franke, Annette Tison has completed of the most intense and complete documentation of any mission that the 392nd bomb group flew. Her in depth detailed results which can be seen in her recent article by clicking here.
Annette is the editor of the 392nd News which is published 4 times a year. If you would like to receive these publications Click Here to join the 392ndBGMA.
Annette can be reached through our contact page by clicking here.
Bob designed, built and continues to maintain this website. He is the Gold Star Son of 392nd Bomb Group pilot, Dallas Books, KIA, March 18, 1944, the Friedrichshafen mission.
This site was put online March, 1999 as a tribute to the Books Crew using the research of Jim Marsteller. Shortly after in April of that year, additional material from Col. Robert Vickers was added and researcher Ben Jones joined the team. Then POW researcher Greg Hatton joined the team in June and brought a wealth of his POW research to the site. In October of 1999, the 392nd BGMA adopted the site as the official website of the 392nd Bomb Group. Since then the website continues to develop with additional researchers, historians, content and resources.
In April 2017 the website was completely rebuilt to current HTML5/CSS3 standards with responsive coding for tablets and cell phones.
Bob with his wife Carol, originally from Wisconsin, now make their home in Pensacola, FL.
Any technical questions, corrections, missing links, etc. regarding this site should be sent to Bob using the 392nd questionare form (no need to fill in the form boxes regarding the airman). Click here for the form.