Bill Reynolds, President
went overseas in November of 1943 and was initially
stationed in Sardinia. He flew 66 missions with the
320th BG. He returned to the States for a B-25 instructor
assignment. He then worked in the Air Inspector Office
and subsequently was headquarters
pilot for the Western Flying Training Command in Santa
Ana, California. He was released from active duty in December
and joined the reserves. He then studied aeronautical
engineering under the GI bill. Bill then worked for North American
Aviation performing structural tests on Air Force and
Navy aircraft. He retired in 1980 after working on the
Apollo project from beginning to end as well as the
shuttle program for eight years.
Hal Schneider, 1st Vice President
December 7th, 1941, barely 20 minutes after the first
Japanese bombs had fallen on our base in Hawaii, I had
made my decision to join the war effort - and as quickly
as possible. Although I had never even owned a driver's
license at that stage of my young life, I bravely rushed
to enlist as a pilot in the Army Air Corps. As it turned
out, despite this lack of experience, I actually became
fairly proficient at flying an airplane, racking up
a total of 64 combat missions and some 300 hours of
flight time in B-26's without serious incident (except
to the enemy of course).
war ended, I returned to my job in the newspaper business
with King Features Syndicate, a major unit of the Hearst
Corporation, where I was the Director of International
Sales for some 20 years until my retirement.
John Malcolm, 2nd Vice President
Nebraskan by birth, a Texan by choice. John Malcolm
was born and educated in Nebraska. In the early forties
he moved to Chicago area to attend the RCA Radio Institute
to become a broadcast Engineer. With the Pearl Harbor
event he enlisted in the Air Corps and graduated from the
cadet program in May 1943. He Joined the 320th B.G. in Sardinia
in November 1943. John returned to the USA after his tour
(65 missions) as a flight instructor for the A-26 program
at Marianna, Florida. He was the Commander of the Training
Squadron at Marianna prior to his discharge in 1945.
He completed his degree work at the University of Nebraska
in 1948 and returned to the Chicago area and worked
in Commercial Art until recalled during the Korean
remained in the Air Force with very diverse assignments:
Training Command; Instrument Pilot Instructors
School; Air Defense Command, 39th Air Division, Misawa
Japan; Strategic Air Command as a tanker pilot; Air
Rescue Service in support of the NASA program in Libya;
Military Transport Command and Tactical Air Command
as C-130 pilot and Operations; Operation Officer for
the C-130's in Saigon, Vietnam 1971; and Director Command
& Control, 12th Air Force Headquarters. He retired from
the Air force in Austin Texas and joined the University
of Texas, Industrial Training Department. John also
Supervisory/Management seminars throughout Texas and
foreign areas. He retired from the University in 1986.
Metals and decorations include the coveted Good Conduct
Ralph Woolf, Secretary/Treasurer
after graduating from Heights High School in Cleveland
Heights, Ohio, Ralph enlisted in The Aviation Cadet
program. He then went to fly combat with the 320th BG
starting in Corsica. He completed half a tour. He then
returned to the States and completed a degree at Miami
University in Oxford, Ohio. Ralph was associated with
the chemical industry and involved with sales and marketing.
He and his wife, Doris, have been happily married for
55 years. He has four children and a great granddaughter who
has become his "photographic model".
Bernie Schank, Boomerang News Editor
Bernard Lynn Schank was born on March 4,
1921 in New York. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School June 1938, and entered Brooklyn
College where he took only a small program because
he had to work to earn money for his necessities. He enlisted in the Air Force
as an Aviation Cadet to earn Pilot’s status, however his class did not open
until June 30, 1943.
In the meantime, he was drafted by the Army and told he would be transferred as
soon as his class opened. Surprisingly, all went as promised. However, the Air
Force felt he would be more valuable in Intelligence, since they had enough pilots.
After a period of schooling, he was assigned to the 42nd Wing doing target
bombing evaluation and target selection in support of ground troops. He was
given an Honorable Discharge in Oct.1945.
He got a job with an art studio, in
sales and creative marketing ideas. He left this position in order to form a
small marketing company where his ideas could produce business for his clients
and build his own growth. On May 10, 1948, he incorporated Schank Advertising and he
was on his way. By June 1983, he had 10 offices around the country, with 120
employees. He was 62 years of age and decided to sell the agency, since several
people indicated a willingness to buy. This was done and the new people called
the business BSA, which stood for Bernard Schank Assoc. Much easier than explaining
the business was sold when people would ask for Mr. Schank.
Now, he is called on to create a marketing
approach backed by photography and do other activities such as editing a
newsletter called the Boomerang for the 320th Bomb Group, where he was attached
during WWII. In addition, since he played tennis avidly, he wrote a book on
tennis called 55-LOVE, Doubles Strategy for Seniors. The first edition sold out
and the second edition is being sold through Tennis Publications and clubs. He
is married and has two sons who are Captains on Delta and Northwest Airlines,
and a daughter who teaches and owns a small business in Florida.
Bob Swindler, HQ Group Representative
graduated from bombardier training school, Midland,
Texas in June, 1942. In July 1942 he was assigned to
the 443rd squadron, 320th Bomb Group, MacDill Field,
FL. During the Group's stay in Sardinia, Bob was transferred
from the 443rd Squadron to Group Operations staff. He
remained in Group Operations until December, 1944 and
thereafter was reassigned to an A-26 training base located
at Marianna, FL. He was relieved from active duty in
September, 1945. Bob graduated from Butler University
with a degree in accounting in June, 1947.
Al Kaiser, 441st Squadron Representative
was born near Biggs, California on November 14, 1922.
I signed up for the cadet program in October of 1942,
and graduated in class 44-D at Pampa, Texas and then
was sent to the OTU at Lake Charles, LA.
joined the squadron on Corsica in late October 1944
and when the 320th left Corsica I was shipped out on
a LST to Marseille with all the ground facilities for
the 441st BS. I rode in the “tail end Charlie”
jeep of the convoy up to our new home at Longecourt
near the Dijon airport.
had 3 R & R trips, the 1st to Paris where
I met my brother, a P-38 pilot, the 2nd to Brussels
where I met an old buddy from cadet days, a B-26 pilot,
and the 3rd to London on VE Day where I met Winston
the war in Europe was over I had completed 47 combat
missions and was returned to California from Dole by
ship and train and arrived in time to be in San Francisco
on VJ day. I received 7 Air Medals and always thought
of myself as a survivor of the missions and the R &
R. We all owe a great deal of the credit for our
success to the ground crews who kept us flying.
the war I have been working in construction of both
residential and commercial projects. I still have
my single and multi-engine commercial pilot’s license
with an instrument rating.
Alex Brast, 442nd Squadron Representative
Four Brast brothers
volunteered after Pearl Harbor - 3 qualified as aviation cadets: (Alex pilot,
twin brother George navigator , Bill bombardier ) Dick served in the Coast
Guard as a radio operator.
After service Alex attended
night college under the G.I. Bill while raising a family. He retired
as a CPA after 55 years in Auditing and Financial Accounting.
Alex is currently 442nd
Squadron Representative and serves as the 320th Bomb Group Registration
Chairman and Assistant to the Secretary/Treasurer.
John W. Metzen, 443rd Squadron Representative
attending Western Michigan University, John entered
the service in Kalamazoo, Michigan (hometown) on May
19, 1942 and was discharged December 2, 1945.
was assigned to the Air Corp. doing basic training at
Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. I was sent to Buckley
Field, Colorado, where I completed Armorer School. From
Buckley I was assigned to Hendricks Field, Sebring,
Florida. Hendricks Field was a B-17 Pilot Transition
nearly a year at Hendricks, I was shipped to North Africa
as a replacement, landing at Casablanca on Christmas
Day, 1943 (c-rations for Christmas dinner). We did "forty
and eight's" across the Atlas Mountain (9 days
with cold c-rations) to Tunisia. After a few weeks at
an air base there, we shipped from Algiers to Cagliari,
Sardinia-assigned to the 443rd Squadron, 320th Bomb
Group. My job was armorer from Sardinia to Corsica to
Dijon, France. Following the German surrender, we did
disarmament duty in Furth, Germany.
WWII and return to civilian life, I was a Territory
Sales Rep with Standard Oil Co. in Michigan. Later I
was promoted to a Special Rep selling chemical specialties
for the State of Michigan.
joined Chemagro of Kansas City, Missouri on January
1, 1960. BAYER of Leverkusen, Germany soon took over
Chemagro. I was in the Agricultural Chemical Division
was promoted to Northeast Regional Manager in 1964 and
relocated my wife and two daughters from Michigan to
Cherry Hill, New Jersey. I retired from BAYER in July,
1987. My wife died in 1996 and I married my wife, Rosemary,
of my few regrets in life is that I was unaware of our
320th BG Association and annual reunions until 2001.
Rosemary and I were "first timers' in Albuquerque
and had such a wonderful time that we intend to make
every future reunion. We have made so many special friends
in such a short time and it has been great enjoying
the camaraderie, sharing the laughter, and reminiscing
the experiences that we shared."
Jack Haher, 444th Squadron Representative
was in Cadet Class 44A from Ellington Field, TX and transitioned to
"After the Barksdale, LA Replacement Training Unit, I tried to lead a
three-ship formation out of Hunter Field, GA on the Southern Route to North
Africa. When I say tried, we left the first wingman at West Palm Beach, FL on
his saying he had a fire in the bomb bay. I think his crew smelled smoke from a
nearby swamp burn-off. The second "bailed-out" for another forgotten reason at
British Guiana. So this left us all alone with the ATC navigator to go on our
merry way. Being all alone, I dropped down on the deck to make our landfall at
Roberts Field, Liberia. I called the tower for landing instructions and was
promptly told to climb back up to 6000 ft. because a flight of 6 B-25s had beaten us
to it. Would you believe I had to hold for 2 hours on instruments after 5 hours
coming from Ascension Island! Not calling in earlier was a big
"Anyway, we came in OK in a driving rainstorm; and, while
taxiing to the ramp the B-26 following overshot and into the river at the end of
the runway, he went! We hopped in a jeep to see if they got out OK. We found
that the nose wheel had not folded and they were climbing out the nose wheel
door - very wet and very embarrassed! I guess some guys will do anything
to get out of combat.... My two wingmen and the overshooter!"
was Jack's introduction to combat operations.
He went on to fly 42 missions from Sardinia, Corsica,
and the Dijon Area. He then graduated with a BS in Air
Transportation from Purdue University in 1948 and held management positions in
the plastics industry. He retired in 1992.
Joseph M. Seiley, Chief Historian
A native of San Diego, California, Joe became interested in the 320th
when he discovered in 2003 that his father served with the group at Dijon and
Dole. Now he can’t get enough of learning more about this wonderful group of
people. Joe is a proud father of five beautiful children, and a happy husband
to wife Rebecca of 15 years. Joe works as a Marketing executive for a San
Diego-based software company, and holds a MBA from San Diego State University.
Joe has lived and worked in Asia and Europe, and speaks Mandarin Chinese. In
his spare time besides his family, Joe enjoys photography, swimming, golf,
history, genealogy, and volunteering at his church. Oh yes, and Joe has a new
nick name: “Spider”, given him by Al Kaiser at the 2003 San Jose reunion,
because Joe is ‘always on the web’
Dr. Franz Reisdorf, Chief Historian
is creator and editor of the 320th B.G. website. His
grandfather, Ben Reisdorf, was a pilot in the
441st. He is a native of St. Paul, MN and went to the
same high school as his grandfather, Ben. Franz is a
cardiologist and holds a faculty position at the University
of Minnesota. He is married and has a three year-old
son, Ryan, and a one-year old daughter, Jane. In addition
to his interest in the 320th, Franz is an avid woodworker
plus enjoys canoeing and bicycling as well as other
Copyright(c) 2003 320th BG
Reunion Association. All rights reserved.