You Could Hear the Schrapnel Hit the Airplane Episode 95

B-24 Liberator Making a Delivery

This is an incredible week as our guest “Rosie” recalls his experiences growing up on a Kansas farm during the “Dust Bowl” years in the 1930s and going from austere beginnings to enlisting in the Army Air Corps on his 18th birthday. Not wanting to be an infantryman, Rosie passed the tests necessary and convinced the medics to let him fly when it looked like they might ground him. After training, he describes a brief respite home before going by train to the East Coast and boarding a ship for Italy; recounting an experience in Chicago that remained with him for the rest of the war.

He opens the show with a tease of one of his missions, which he was certain would be his last. Only a few months earlier he had been a Kansas farm boy and now he found himself occupying the nose-gunner’s turret on a B-17 Liberator. Ride along with us as we hear how he and his other very young crew members—boys, really—raised their hands together and became men, flying in a Liberator to defeat the greatest threat to the freedom of mankind in the 20th century.

Riveting, funny, poignant—Rosie brings it all and lays it in our laps. It’s no wonder he is part of that “Greatest Generation.”

In the first photo below:
Back Row: PFC Edwin Rossillon (nose gunner), Corporal Albert Turk (armament), Corporal Bert Silliman, PFC Bill Rude (tail gunner), Corporal Eugene Karpi (flight engineer), PFG Jim Cox (ball turret gunner) Front Row: Flight Officer Jim Nixon (airplane commander), 2nd Lt. Joe Lawson (navigator), Flight Officer Otto Doville (copilot), Flight Officer Gilce Richardson (bombardier)