The Photos in this gallery came from the album of Paul Gilley, they contain the images of the men, equipment, and goings on of the 486th Bomb Squadron while on Corsica, from May 1944 to February 1945. None of the photos were labled, so I have been doing my best to identify the men from other photos and family members. If you spot someone you recognize let me know and I will label the pic! I will continue to add new photos as I find them, or if you would like to have any of your photos added just emial them and I will add them to the gallery.
Alesani Air Field, Corsica
April 14th 1944 - April 1945
For fourteen months we had looked for it and here it was - the next best place to home. Everything you find in the travel books from warm, ocean bathing on a clean, sandy beach to mountain scenery, hunting and fishing. When the Colonel comes back with some farmers’ fattened sow he’s still been “hunting” wild boar.
The low-level volunteers who started their legalized buzzing at Paestum have inoculated the whole group. Now when a beautifully perfect echelon or even the whole damn formation comes over low enough to blow the sugar off the American Red Cross donuts, we know without listening to the radio that they’re saying, “Mission completed, bridges finito!”
And while we’re on the subject, let’s give the Red Cross a great big hand. We got our first regular installation at Pompeii and it has been a permanent institution ever since.
With bombs away, it’s a “so long, flak; hello donuts and coffee”. And were they lifesavers after those long, paralyzingly cold rides of last spring! And the generous portions of smiles, conversation and wise-cracks served along with the coffee and sinkers, by three dainty bits (American) of femininity pep up morale to no end.
If we seem to be more or less content with our lot at present, don’t get the idea that all has been balm of Gilead here. Jerry welcomed us after our first few days with an all-out raid that sent even the combat crews to emulating the mole. Picks and shovels were at a premium and many were the designs of shelters.
Once again we were practically wiped out of ships and other equipment as well as heavily hit on tentage. There were personnel losses too.
But by energetic patching and scraping, by midafternoon we had a mission in the air and the grim desire for revenge simply gave added accuracy to the bombardier’s’ aim.
Again the 12th Air Force came through fast and handsomely and before the Jerry Todt battalions could patch a bridge, we were back over the bomb line in full formation.
By July, we had hit an all-time high with a record for hits that will require some doing for any group to better. But we’re out to do it ourselves in this very month of August.
Sure we’ve “bitched” – at locations, at food, at many things. That’s what makes us the fightingest group. We watch the men on the line baby their ships like blooded horseflesh – it’s the itching urge for perfection – no matter whether it’s rolling seen straight passes or knocking out a pinpoint bridge – that will help us continue to be top contributors to the war effort. Neither Jerry raids nor old Vesuvius herself kept us out longer than it took to get our wind. So where do we go from here?
Photo Album of the 486th BS
Captain Nelson L. Dozier
Lt. Johnny Moyer Asst. Operations Officer And an Unk Lt.
Sgt Frank Walpole working on the awards and decorations chart in the new s-2 office
Lt. Donald b. Pray, S-2 officer
looking over the war situation
Sgt Russel f. krause, s-2 clerk
Keeping the charts up to date
Outside view of the new s-2 office
THE MESSAGE CENTER AND COMMUNICATIONS PERSONNEL
The Dispensary, orderly room, operations and intelligence, and message center
tHE OFFICERS CLUB AND OFFICERS MESS
"The 486th officers wanted to build a Squadron Mess Hall/Officers Club and we employed some Sardinians to make adobe bricks. Using a cement mixer, they combined the local clay soil with straw and cast the mix into 2 x 6 molds. They were pretty good sized bricks, the Sardinians made hundreds of them. In the mean time, my friend Ted Wheeler prevailed upon the engineers to bring in a cement truck and pour a 50 x 25 floor for the club. Putting his construction skills to use, he borrowed a small bulldozer and graded the club are before the cement truck came in. The rest of us started laying bricks in earnest. Ted and I took a truck up to a lumber mill in the mountains and brought back "slashings" which were the discarded outer bark peelings. These were thick enough to nail together, so we had a kind of bark roof. We ended up with a pretty good building which had a fireplace and a kitchen. It had enough room to feed fifty people.
We plastered the interior walls. John Sawyer, who painted some of the nose art on our planes, agreed to decorate the inside with some of his original nose art. He provided two beautiful female murals sans clothes. Camouflage netting was hung below the roof as a kind of ceiling. We had been using the building about a month when a soldier on KP threw some gasoline on the stove which had live embers. The netting caught fire, and part of the ceiling burned. This happened in the evening and everyone rousted out with buckets of water to quell the flames. We managed to get the fire out before any serious damage occurred. Fortunately, John's murals were not damaged. Of the four squadrons, our club was the only good one. We had picnic style tables inside.
The officers club opened with a party that began at 1700 hours on June 25th 1944. Harmonious singing was greatly aided by beer and cocktails."
Capt. Dale L Satterthwaite
from his book Truth Flies With Fiction
486th Bomb Squadron
Jan 1944 - Dec 1945
" THe officers are building a club for themselves, and I have worked a bit with the pick and shovel digging the foundation. We'll use it for a mess too and I think the food will be improving."
Lt. TOmmy Cahill
MAy 25, 1944
ADDING THE ROOF
2 x 6 adobe bricks being laid to make the walls
lt ANGELO ADAMS AND LT BYLUND SURVEYING THE WORK
Out back at the club, notice the bomb hanging by the chimney
The back door
tO THE LEFT AS YOU WALK IN the back door, That's the kitchen through the wall
"wILLY mRAVENIC HAS BEEN WORKING ON A NEW INSIGNIA. iT'S dOPEY OF THE SEVEN DWARFS LOOKING RIGHT AT YOU WITH THAT WISTFUL DOPEY EXPRESSION AS HE IS DROPPING A BOMB WITH HIS RIGHT HAND - NOT SEEMING TO CARE WHERE IT GOES. wE HAVE ONE OF bUGS bUNNY THROWING A BOMB WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE OFFICEAL INSIGNIA."
lT tOMMY cAHILL
486TH maY 44 - feB 45
The Bar - Charles Fisher behind the bar and Garnet Carol and ANgelo Adams enjoying a drink
"The enclosed pictures were taken before Christmas and the scene is our squadron officer’s mess. I am only in one of them, and am right behind that pipe and under that mess of hair. The wall decorations were all done by Willy, and as you may note, tinsel skirts have been added to a couple of the girls. That was simpler than trying to paint goose pimples, we found.
Comrade Adams appears in all three pictures. He is playing cards in two of them (Hearts I think was the game) and in the third picture he is leaning against the wall near the bar in the make-believe downing a snort. I say “make-believe” because I am sure those bottles were empty at the time—otherwise there would have been a larger group in the pictures.
In the bar picture also is Garnett Carroll being served by Fisher who is behind the bar. Over the fireplace is our squadron insignia. The fellow that I am playing cards with (Double Solitaire) is Jim Clarke of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. That is Davis nearest him at the next table though hardly clear enough to identify him. The slot machine in the background was purchased out of the mess fund for an ungodly sum, and then it was discovered that nowhere in this theater were there coins to fit it. And there it sits."
Lt. Tommy Cahill
[From "Dear Mom" by Michelle Cahill, niece of Tom Cahill.]
Paul Contino standing on the left and PAul GIlley standing on the right watching a game of checkers.
One of the most popular ways to pass the time was playing poker. Many fortunes won and lost.
ANgelo Adams sent $1800 in winnings home in one month. According to family legend Angelo and his wife lived off his poker winnings after the war while ANgelo finished school.
Dopey insignia painted on the wall next to the bar
Christmas dinner at the club
Lt Otis Outlaw
Lt Stewert Peek
Lt Lloyd Cannon
Lt Angelo Adams
"the Squadron culinary section did a fine job of presenting turkey, cranberries, gravy, tomatoes, cauliflower, coffee, bread, butter, jam and apple pie for the feast. The evening contained a few cinemas, but on the whole it was spent quietly, as if the moral principles were being pondered by all heads, normal and big" Lt Glenn L Pierre December 25 1944
inside the officers mess
OFFICERS BASKETBALL TEAM, DECEMBER 1944
lt. r.W. cLEMENTS, lT SCOTTY ROHWER,
LT. KENNEDY, LT G. DAVIS, LT A. MCMILLIAN
DECEMBER 8th 1944, BASKETBALL GAME
486TH win against the 489TH
"Yesterday we moved out of the tent we were in and pitched a double one with Mravinec and his pilot, Morrison. I dug an addition to Mravinec's foxhole and that work is really rugged. There is not an awful lot of room in the tent as is, but we expect to make an extra veranda with our shelter-halves...... It takes a lot of work to make a deluxe hangout but there is not much to do. The tents all have names of the occupants plastered all over the front along with other such names as "The rainbow room". "Panther Room", "Savoy Plaza," etc. You can pitch your tent any place, anyway you please.....when your not scheduled for a mission, nobody cares where you go. Everybody is friendly and full of advice on how to judge ack-ack, pitch a tent, build a stove and everything."
TOmmy CaHill MAy 16th 1944 - From - Dear Mom : by Michelle Cahill
Lt. Bob Mell writting a letter
Lt. tommey Cahill and Lt. Willy Mravenic
Lt Charles LEMasters and John Horschar
in front of their tent "The Drive In"
AS TIME WENT ON THE "TENTS" BECAME MORE ELABORATE WITH THE ACQUISITION OF LUMBER AN OTHER BUILDING MATERIALS
lT. maRTIN fISHEL OUTSIDE HIS HUT
lT paUL CONTINO OUTSIDE THE TENT HE SHARED WITH lT. paUL giLLEY
Lt paul n. gilley relaxing in his tent
Lt. paul n gilley trying out the new dutch door he and his roommate built
1st Lt Robert Schnur ANd 1st lt Donald wheeler
"My friend Wheeler held an open house for the squadron in his newly constructed two room house. It had such luxuries as shutters that operated from the inside and even handmade ashtrays. Wheeler put his professional carpentry to work with wood scavenged from bomb boxes. the fellows nicknamed him "buck" for his Jack-of-all trades skills. It was not long before the c/o and x/o put pressure on him to relinquish the house to them. eventually he did vacate the house in their favor. after occupying the house for four months, they returned it to him and moved into sort of a prefab home that the Army gave them."
Capt. Dale Sattherwaite
[V-Mail, postmark 7-10-44]
I know I haven’t written for a couple of days—but I did have a rather good reason. We got tired of living in a tent—so we built ourselves a house. Nothing elaborate—but nice and comfortable. Its nine by twelve—and about seven foot high, with a slanting roof. The windows go all the way around—with three foot awnings stretching over them. Its on a hill—and the view and breeze are wonderful. As I said—its not elaborate—but nice and very comfortable. The “We” is myself and the other navigator—Charley Vail.
Gosh that breeze feels good! I’m rather proud of myself. Of course Vail was the carpenter in charge—but I had a few ideas myself.
I love you darling—Love, Ang
From the website of Joni Adams Sesma
The following page from Lt Angelo Adams scrap book describes the evolution of "Home" construction at Alesani
Charley vail and Angelo Adams in front of their "summer home"
sOME FIRST CLASS Transportation
lT. maRTIN fISHEL AND JOcko
Lt Angelo Adams
R & R in CAPRI, Egypt, and Rome
The Isle of Capri
"Men returning from Capri are sold on the Island (all except the trip out, which is enough to turn any normal stomach). There is no heat or hot water, but the sheets and innerspring
mattresses are compensation enough. Food is good, and the bar never closes. Ground men stay three days, barely get in a look at Tiberius' Castle between bouts at the bar. Combat crews have seven days leave. The blue grotto is nearly always impossible to see, because of rough waters. General impression is that the Island is a pleasant escape from the warring world...."
Lt Clifford W. Swearingen
486th B.S. War Diary Feb 1944
The Isle of Capri Taken from the Museum of San Michael
"I’m sitting in a real room at a real desk for the first time since starting this journal. I flew one mission the 17th and then they sent our whole crew here on the side of Capri to rest camp. It’s a really swell deal here. Good rooms, good beds, good food, and drinks, and all kinds of service. We’ll be here for Christmas which should be very nice. Seven days is the length of our stay. The bar is open 24hrs a day and quite a few fellows have spent all their time at it. Dozier and Silvey have been drunk steady from Sunday noon on. Silvey is sobering off today for a change. I’ve had my share of liquor but don’t believe in staying plastered. Some Docs give the boys orders to stay drunk for seven days. But I couldn’t stand it myself. The only compulsory cost here is $1.00 per day for room and board. Drinks are .40 cents per which eat up cash fast. The hotel we’re in is right beside the little town of Capri. It’s full of shops which have all kinds of jewelry and gaudy cloth and boxes. They charge you a dozen prices for things. Their main article is jewelry made of coral which is as valuable as gold to hear them talk. I’ve spent $50. And have about $5.00 worth of junk. I paid $6.50 for a tortoise shell cigarette case and a lad told me today they cost.75 a couple months ago. It’s nothing but legal robbery. I did get one silver filigree bracelet which I figured was worth somewhere near what I paid. Everything is hand made so I suppose the figure that given them reason to charge plenty. It’s rained every day since we arrived so I haven’t seen any of their show places yet. I can’t see why people pay hundreds in peace time to come here although it is a nice place to stay for a change from combat." Dec 23, 1943
Lt. Donald K Slayton
486th Oct 43-May 44
Unk, Lt Angelo Adams, Lt Paul Gilley
The Cairo Cossacks plane returned today with its complement of utterly exhausted, physically weary and morally broken men.
Lt Glenn L Pierre25 Jan 1945
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Presentation of the first distinguished unit citation FOR supporting THE British Eighth Army in Tunisia and Allied forces in Sicily FROM APRIL TO AUGUST 1943
DISTINGUISHED UNIT CITATION
Presentation of a Campaign streamer
gEN kNAPP PRESENTING THE AIR MEDAL TO lT TOMMY CAHILL
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS
EUROPE - AFRICA- MIDDLE EASTERN CAMPAIGN MEDAL
general KNAPP AWARDING THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS
Lt Charles Fisher
Capt Dale Sattherwaite
Lt Angelo Adams