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YankeeQueen

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Hello all! Thanks, Marion, for the invitation to join all the good folks here. I've learned a lot already and look forward to more of the same!

 

I found my way to this site while trying to research the service time of one of my uncles. I discovered someone by his same name on the WWII Memorial Registry and wondered if this might not be him. Through a pm to a member here, I happily found out that this was indeed my Uncle Charley, honored by the Polar Bear Association of WWII, 339th Regiment. Thank you for your help, Steve! I'm anxious to read more about this group and the others mentioned here. I've spent the last four years researching my dad's service time in the Air Force (AAC). The more I learn about WWII, the more I want to know. My life dealing with research has become one of tangents, and I still find it impossible to grasp the scope of it all!

 

I have finally wrapped up the search for my father's crew mates. He was a radio operator on a B-17F heavy bomber, based in Horham, England, flew 25 of those dreaded daylight missions from June-Oct. 1943. The crew of the Yankee Queen arrived first in Framlingham, England a few weeks after the Memphis Belle finished their 25. The odds of surviving a mission at that time was 1 in 3. Dad was a member of the 95th Bomb Group, 336th Bomb Squadron. Unknown to me until a few years ago, dad kept journals detailing his time overseas. He documented his training activities and each mission as it occurred. After WWII ended and he returned home, he typed out a manuscript based on the journals and his other memories of that time. He kept a scrapbook full of news clippings, awards, etc., some photos, and all his medals. He packed these things into a briefcase and stored them away, never mentioning them to me. The briefcase was sent to me after my step-mother passed away in 1999. Dad died in 1992. I was overwhelmed by all of this information and at some point determined to learn more about this part of my father's life that had been hidden away for so long.

 

I decided to try and find the other nine members of the Harry O'Neal (pilot) crew or at least their surviving families. With so many military records lost in the 1973 St. Louis fire, I thought that sharing my dad's recollections with any who were interested would give the others involved in the story a chance to recall forgotten details...or the families an opportunity to learn of their loved ones' WWII accomplishments. With the internet as my window to the world, I set out on what would become the most rewarding journey I've taken in my life thus far. The details of my research are in my head and are a bit tedious, but the results are the most valuable aspect. A couple of months ago, I finally found the last missing man, the tail gunner. There is only one living crew member now, the Bombardier, but I have had the joy of sharing my dad's memories with him and telling him quite a bit about the post-war lives of the rest of the crew. Some of the other crew "kids" and I have become like extended family. These are connections that I dearly treasure. Perhaps now I can move ahead and finalize dad's manuscript with all the information that I've found along the way. His is a rousing story and gives great insight into a part of the air war that hasn't previously been well documented from a personal standpoint. At the very least, I will have everything in one place. Dad's original mementos will eventually be donated to an appropriate museum for preservation. As much as I appreciate the interest in WWII memorabilia, I will never sell dad's things or auction them on Ebay.

 

Time allowing, I've helped a number of other people with their WWII research projects, particularly in finding people. It seems only right that I should share what I've learned if I can. For me, there's nothing like that "BINGO!" moment when I discover a bit of helpful information! I'm a retired Respiratory Therapist and now a miniaturist, belong to the International Guild of Miniature Artisans. I make tiny food items from polymer clay. For me this is very therapeutic and relaxing.

 

That's my story! I'm happy to be here!! :D

 

Judy

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Judy:

 

Sure enjoyed hearing from you the other day, and am even more intrigued reading your post above. Fantastic! What a fascinating story about uncle and of course your father and his crew.

 

Was so happy to find out that it WAS your uncle. :armata_PDT_37: I just knew Steve would be able to help you. Thank you Steve! :drinkin:

 

How wonderful to hear that everyone on your dad's plane made it through all their runs. Whew! Scares me to the bone every time I watch Memphis Belle. BTW, we have a signed photo of the crew with the pilot's signature. I sure treasure it. :heartpump:

 

Unbelievable you were able to find each crew member and/or their families. Isn't it the best feeling in the world? As I read your words I could swear it was me who was writing them. We share the feeling of utmost bliss when those pieces start falling into place. I too have often stated that it has been the best "trip" of my life. :drinkin:

 

Thanks for joining and for sharing this with all of us. Can't wait to hear more and to share your joy. Your dad and uncle would be very, very proud of you. :clappin:

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Welcome aboard Judy! It's amazing how even 60+ years later the bonds formed by fighting men overseas are still bringing people together. Perhaps the internet has facilitated that (cheers to you Marion!), but it's still an incredible thing to think about. Those guys would never have thought in that 63 years down the road their children and grandchildren would be able to find each other after years of no contact and get to know each other simply for the reason that they were serving together.

 

What do you mean by miniaturist? I do 35th scale plastic models, but that's not what that sounds like.

 

Once again, welcome aboard!

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Capt' - couldn't have said it any better myself (and thanks too). It still amazes me too.

 

I have some people tell me the Internet is nothing but rubbish and creates havens for child molesters, etc. Well that may be true to an extent, but as with any other tool, it can be used for positive or negative means. I tell those people what the internet has done for me and use this site as my focus. Without the Internet...

 

Hell let's look at something simple; a saw! A carpenter can take it and build a house for your family, and a maniac could take it and committ a murder. Should we not have saws? It's just simple logic and applies to almost everything in life.

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Let me be another one to welcome you !! I enjoyed reading your article

above. When I looked at the picture of the crew, a thought came to my

mind. AT that moment if I were standing there, they would have said,

this guy sure looks homeless? I would smile and say, nah, just a little

dusty and muddy. WELCOME ABOARD JUDY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rocky :armata_PDT_19:

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I really appreciate the wonderfully warm welcome!!! :D:D:D !!! I feel rejuvenated about trying to organize all my research into a complete package and hope that I can ask for some honest feedback as I go along? This is a fabulous group, and I'm honored to be a member!

 

Know what you mean about the internet as a tool. I never could have gotten where I am without it. Anyway, it's not the tool as much as it is the people who use it. If it weren't for spam folders, I'd have been out of here long ago!

 

A bit off topic, in answer to Capt's question about my activities as a miniaturist, I suppose that I can best illustrate with photos:

 

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These little food items start out as lumps of polymer clay. I mix the clay colors to get what I want, shape the items, color them further with artist pastels and harden them in the oven. I work in 1:12 scale (1 inch=1 foot), and when my arthritis isn't too bad, I do 1:24...like the peaches. The table holding the bread board is 4 inches wide. The "poppy seeds" on the bread are actually grains of black sand. Hmmm...I see that my apples are a bit dusty! My husband is a ship modeler. He is so good at it! It's much more difficult than what I do. Planes, ships, I love to look at models!

 

Again, thanks all for welcoming me in here. I'll be seeing you!

 

Judy

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Welcome Judy!!!!

The mini models are just amazing!!! I just love learning about others hobbies. What got you started on that?

Darlene

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Thanks, Darlene! I never had a dollhouse when I was little, so I decided to build one in retirement. I found a great kit for a general store and thought that this would be a good start, smaller, just one big room and an attic. As I was in the process of buying stuff to place inside, I thought to add a bakery. I have always loved to cook and bake, so this seemed like a necessary addition. I went to Ebay and purchased a few food items, some good, some not so good. As I looked at them in hand, I thought to myself, "I can do this!" The rest is history. Thanks for your interest!

 

Judy :D

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Your items are VERY IMPRESSIVE. I have to show this to hubby. He used to build top-notch model airplanes and they were sold in hobby stores in Detroit. He was very, very good.

 

Hey, we have a general store built in 1889. You'd love it. Still has the original windows and squeaky wooden floors, etc. We also have a solid brass cash register. We don't use it for the store, but it's on display and it still functions. They don't build them that way anymore. :armata_PDT_01:

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Thanks so much, Marion!! :D

 

Oh, I just know that I would love your store! What do you sell? I'm a nut about almost anything antique!...love old buildings!! Is it a National cash register? I was raised in St. Clair Shores, MI. My mother's family (Finnish) lived in the UP. Ever heard of "Big Louie" Moilanen? He was a relative of mine.

 

Judy

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Welcome Judy! You are truly a gifted ARTIST! Your miniature work is

AWESOME :armata_PDT_37: Have you ever done flowers? There's

a lady in Maine who creates roses from polymer clay and fashions them

into curtain tiebacks. I bought some from her & they are quite pretty

and unique. What a gift you have! I've done alot of needlework, but

know I wouldn't have enough talent to do what YOU do!

 

Mary Ann

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Oh wow, I can't believe that. I was raised in Detroit and later in the 'burbs of Detroit including, Dearborn, Garden City and Plymouth. I have many relatives on the EAST side, so am very familiar with St Clair Shores. This is too strange. Should have known we had even more in common. I swear the ladies on this site have a very deep sisterhood. Very cool! :armata_PDT_37:

 

Here's the link to our store site: http://www.algermarket.com and the other site I run for the community: http://www.algermichigan.com

 

The register is indeed a NR.

 

We sell the general staples, along with the largest liquor selection in Arenac County, wine, beer and video rentals.

 

Here's some photos...

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Here's a few photos of our attached house with English garden out front.

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Welcome Judy! You are truly a gifted ARTIST! Your miniature work is

AWESOME :armata_PDT_37: Have you ever done flowers? There's

a lady in Maine who creates roses from polymer clay and fashions them

into curtain tiebacks. I bought some from her & they are quite pretty

and unique. What a gift you have! I've done alot of needlework, but

know I wouldn't have enough talent to do what YOU do!

 

Mary Ann

 

WOW!! I really appreciate the wonderful comments on my mini food! :blush:

 

I make flowers but only the tiny ones like those used to decorate cakes. I have made some full-size Christmas ornaments out of clay and gold or silver leaf. They turn out with a marbelized look and have a depth to their surface. It's pretty cool! I never thought about tiebacks...Hmmmm.....

 

Judy

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LOL, Marion! It will probably turn out that we are related!! Truly, everyone that I've met here is fantastic.

 

What great photos...gorgeous flowers...and an honest-to-goodness real general store! That is SO cool!!!! I want to come visit!...and I want a Miller Lite sign!!

 

I love the community site that you made, enjoyed seeing the store back in the "old" days. What a fun post, thank you!!

 

Judy

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Judy darlin', if you make it all the way up to my store, you can have a sign! I will reward your efforts. :drinkin:

 

We moved here almost six years ago and have become country bumpkins. We love it. A town of about 700 folks now. Whoo-hoo, we are growing. It's a simple down-home life and it lets me concentrate on the things that are important to me. No hustle-bustle of the city. T'ain't for me anymore.

 

Would really love to meet you. It would be grand. Sure we'd have a lot to talk about.

 

Thanks for posting the site. Praise to you for your work and efforts. Here's to keeping history alive. :drinkin:

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Don't suppose you be looking for an English gardener? Not only gardening, BUT, I could become your beer taster

for any new beers that the store buys in..... mmmmm Duff Beer !! :drinkin:

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Yankee Queen;

Thank you for the very nice note you wrote me. I just read it. I checked

on the picture of your father. He looked about as young as me !! Better lookin'.

Love all the above pics. of your handiwork. God knows He made talented

people, this includes M-1. Just an ordinary dogface vet. Roque )Rocky)

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Boy this topic sure went every which way. :pdt12::frown:

 

Don't suppose you be looking for an English gardener? Not only gardening, BUT, I could become your beer taster

for any new beers that the store buys in..... mmmmm Duff Beer !!

 

You're hired. You garden, you get paid in beer. Sound like a deal? :drinkin::drinkin:

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M1, am I too late to sign up for bartering horticultural

labor for BEER :drinkin: ? I love gardening and :drinkin: !

 

I am insanely jealous of your Alger Market! It's GREAT!

When we lost so many hometown markets and country stores,

we were all the poorer for it.

 

Many of my memories of childhood contain trips to those places.

Two blocks from my house, there was Sutton's Market which had

been in existence since the mid 1800s. It was one of the first places

that my mother allowed me to venture unescorted. She'd give me a

dollar (imagine!) to buy grnd hamburger. I can still recall the wide

plank pine flooring and Mr. Sutton would disappear into a huge

meat locker (which scared me) and then bring the meat out to a

chopping block & handgrinder. The hamburger was then wrapped in

paper & tied with a string. At the front of the store was a large freezer

with popsicles and Mumma always gave me 5cents so I could buy a

fudgicle (my favorite! my brother Fran always wanted an orange sherbet push up).

 

My dad was an aficionado of the "Dover Country Store" in the neighboring town

& he'd often take me with him & let me buy penny candy. There was a section

at the back of the store which had "second hand" furniture (discards then would

now be viewed as valuable antiques). I still have one of the first presents my father

bought me - an Eastlake music cabinet with shelves meant to hold sheet music.

It started out as a place to keep all my paper dolls (remember them?), later

used to hold stationery for penpals - and now it occupies an important place in

my living room and contains photographs. It's one of my most treasured possessions!

 

Good memories of these small places :D ! How can anyone ever have fond reminiscences

of Target or Walmart? :rolleyes:

 

m2

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