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John Austin Nortridge


"If you fly with me, I'm going to bring you home." And he did.



  • Seymour Cohen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 453rd Bomb Group
    Seymour's father was a Romanian Jew, his mother Austrian. With the exception of one brother, her family all died in the Holocaust. Seymour was a lawyer, passing the New Jersey Bar in 1938. He was drafted about 2 years later, and volunteered for the...

  • William Eagleson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombadier | 453rd Bomb Group
    30 missions DFC/ AM w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Lim Jeong

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    On his naturalization application, he states his birth name was Shue Hong Lim. The army listed him as L.W. Jeong, and he changed his name after the war to Wayne Lim. He married May in 1950, and they raised 4 children. He ran his own Chinese restaurants...

  • Donald Lawry

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 453rd Bomb Group
    On 22 February, 1944, flying to Gotha, Germany, with Richard Ingram's crew, Donald's aircraft "Ginnie," B- 24 41-28615, was attacked by 8 FW190s. Badly damaged, the a/c was seen to fall into the North Sea off the coast of Rotterdam. It exploded upon...

  • William LeRoy

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator and Waist Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    Bill remained at Old Buck until 1944, then became an instructor at Scott Field, IL. After he left the service, he married Wanda Bachelier, and lived in Florissant, Missouri, where he worked as a brick mason. He had two children, Bill Jr and Christine.

  • Harvey Nielsen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner and Assistant Flight Engineer | 453rd Bomb Group
    Apparently a happy-go-lucky character. "We had a gunner named Harvey Nielsen, he had a fixation on monkeys. He bought his first one in South America and it was a mean son of a gun, and he sold it back to the guy for half the price he paid for it." Bill...

  • Perry Roberson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Flight Engineer and Waist Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group

  • Aurele Veilleux

    Military | Sergeant | Nose Turret Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    "Pete" was one of 12 children. The Veilleux family was one of approximately 20 French-speaking families to move from Quebec to Maine in the 1930s. He moved back to Maine after the war and, later in life, owned the Central Welding Company in East...

  • George White

    Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 453rd Bomb Group
    "We just went over there and dropped a few bomb and then came home, that' all."

  • James Witmer

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner and Assistant Flight Engineer | 453rd Bomb Group
    James never flew with his own crew, but was shot down by fighters on the return from a mission to Genshagen near Berlin while flying with Lt Patrick Tobin's crew in #42-64460 'Shack Rabbit'. Arrested by farmers at Wietmarschen in the district of...

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Units served with

  • 453rd Bomb Group

    453rd Bomb Group

    As well as strategic bombardment missions, the 453rd Bomb Group also ferried cargo on two occasions. They hauled petrol, blankets, and rations to France in September 1944 and dropped ammunition, food and medical supplies near Wesel during the airborne...

  • 733rd Bomb Squadron


  • 42-52234 Corky Burgundy Bombers

    B-24 Liberator
    Manufactured at Ford's Willow Run plant. It carried a Sperry bombsight, rather than the Norden. It was delivered to the USAAF on 29 October 1943, then taken to the Birmingham, Alabama, Modification Center. It arrived at Hamilton Field, San Francisco,...


Event Location Date
Born Freeport, IL USA 9 November 1917
Enlisted Chicago, IL, USA 18 December 1941
Died Athens, TX, USA 30 September 1985


Date Contributor Update
25 April 2016 13:59:27 usxpat Changes to middlename, nickname, service number, biography, events and person associations

An Emotional Gauntlet, Stuart J. Wright, Pen & Sword Books Ltd, © 2004

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:15:37 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / The Liberator Men of Old Buc