Barney W. Burgin

Barney W. Burgin was an engineer with the 514 squadron.  He submitted the following:

We were not with the original Halpros.

We were seven days out of Pearl Harbor when Dec. 7th happened. We went to Australia, then to India. Then we left for the Mid-East July 4th, 1942 in a B-17 group. My pilot was Capt. Rowan Thomas. He had been shot down after a mission over Rangoon, India. So we were a pick-up crew made up of fellows from the 7th and 19th Groups in India.

So our arrival in the Mid-East was anew ball game. When the 376th was formed out of the Provisional Group we had temporarily lost Thomas as pilot because he was doing some Army legal work. In civilian life he was a lawyer. So we got Major P. J. Long as pilot. He became C.O. of the first 514th Sqdn. when we transferred from 17' s to 24's. Thomas remained with the 17's and they became the 513th Sqdn. So the original 513th was a B-17 outfit until the 17' s moved to N. Africa.

I continued with theB-24's as a member of the 514th Sqdn. Then Major Long was grounded for physical reasons and we finished our tour with Justus A. Emmens as our pilot. I'd say he was the best. He landed our B-24 on a Beaufort Night Fighter field on our last mission. When we took off the next morning we wondered how he ever did it. So for a brief moment our B-24 became a night fighter lander. But, what a way to end combat.

Click here to read about the Nov 21 1942 mission.