(left)Christmas in Dijon, France, 1944, opening christmas presents
from home at his chauteau.
arrived in Dijon, France on 22 November 1944 and were
billeted in chateaus that the Army had requisitioned.
Across the street was an insane asylum and we joked
that we were crazy too, so it was a good place for us!
The air field was named Dijon-Longvic Airdrome. It was
the coldest winter there in years, which caused a great
deal of trouble in maintaining the planes. A few mornings,
I was the only one able to start my engines for pre-flight
In March 1945, the war in Europe
seemed to be over, but more bombing of the Seigfried
Line was needed. We took a "cooks" tour and
flew over bombed out cities to see the results of our
missions. Except for
a church steeple here and there, it was almost total devastation. One time the pilot
flew very low over a POW camp and they all fell to the
ground in fear. We were in Dole, France on 12 April
when we heard on the radio that President Roosevelt
had died. While there, I met a French girl who wanted
to marry me. Her two brothers had returned from a concentration
camp and they were so thin you could see their bones
under the skin. They had to sit on inner tubes to cushion
their bones and be fed intravenously in the beginning.