I hope you are all getting psyched up for the 2016 annual reunion! There are so many interesting activities, tours, lectures and entertainment planned for everyone. It is sure to be memorable. As you may recall, at last year’s reunion the general members who were present voted to participate in the joint reunion with other bomb groups (451, 455, 461, 465, 484 and 485) in order to optimize the expenses and experiences. It’s worth noting that the 376th is considered the “grand daddy” to these other bomb groups! So, please show your support for this worthy organization and the efforts of the reunion planners by coming and helping us celebrate another year of camaraderie and to pay tribute to our past members. Without your participation, this organization would not be able to meet its legal obligation and purpose:
1) To perpetuate the name, history, comradeship, memories and deeds of the living veterans and the heroic dead of the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group; and
2) To operate as a not-for-profit Social Club as defined in Section 501 (c) (7) of the Internal Revenue Code.
According to the 376th Bomb Group Association bylaws, we are obligated to hold two Board of Director’s Meetings and a General Membership Meeting every year, which typically coincide with a reunion, AND we need a 10-person quorum to conduct business for the organization. This year, there are so many events planned for each day that we are being forced to be creative with our meeting dates/times. We plan to have our individual bomb group banquet followed by the general membership meeting on Friday, October 14, as well as having breakfast board meetings in the Hospitality Room on October 14 and 15. Somehow, we’ll make it all work out! PLEASE NOTE: Any general members in good standing who cannot attend the annual meeting may request to vote by “proxy”. In that case, I would mail or email a Limited Proxy form to those persons, which would identify the date/time and action item(s) on the agenda, which would then be signed and returned to the Board Secretary prior to the meeting.
Also, we still have a vacant officer position on the Board of Director, Second Vice President, whose duties include: “In the absence or inability of both the President and the First Vice-President to discharge the duties of the President, the Second Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President. In the absence or inability of the Secretary to discharge the duties of his/her office, the Second Vice-President shall perform such duties. He/she shall also perform such other duties as are assigned to him/her by the President or by the Board of Directors or Members at a meeting thereof.“
In preparation of slate of officers for the next year, you may be receiving a phone call to solicit your participation. Please consider joining us in keeping the 376th Bomb Group Association alive!
I hope you have all marked your calendars and made your hotel reservations for the 2016 Joint Reunion to be held October 13-16 in Dallas, Texas. I sincerely look forward to seeing you all again this year.
Best Regards, Deborah Sharpe
(619) 988-2820 mobile
Well I haven’t put on a new set of tires yet, but I have them worn down past 50%. Went out west. If we decide to go back to Albuquerque again, Byfield and Dorothy Gordon are ready to have us. I spent three days and nights with them and was sad to leave good company but had to get home and check on my animals. Got to Tucumcari, NM and there was this big billboard on the side of the road with a picture of Judy Garland as Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz”. Iit said come see liberal Kansas Dorothy's hometown. I thought that was an off turn in the road to make and then I remembered JoAnn Bock in Dodge City, Kansas so I turned NE on Hwy 54 and the next day I met up with JoAnn. She has taken some spills which didn’t agree with her hip and shoulder, but she is mending and we visited from 11 am to 5 pm. Skipped lunch but the staff brought us two pitchers of ice tea out in the garden and we had a wonderful visit. I told her I hated to leave but she didn’t need to skip another meal and I needed to get home. I gave her best wishes from Martin Goldfarb and told her that we loved her and I would remember the way back. Her new mailing address is 1813 6th Avenue, Dodge City, KS 67801. I know she would be glad for a note from the group.
Reminded her, like I'm reminding you, that it is reunion time again. October 13 seems far away but we know it will be here soon. Each year we look forward to seeing familiar faces but we always meet up with new ones as this might be their first reunion - or the first in several years. This year we will be seeing lots of new faces as this will be a joint reunion of the 15th AF bomb groups with six other groups attending.
If you look at the numbers, 376th, 451st to 485th you will see that we are the granddaddy of the groups. We were there first and other groups may have shared an airfield with us or, in the case of one of the groups, their squadron commanders actually flew their first combat mission with us to train their crews. So we have a connection with these groups even though we may not know them. Don’t let that slow you down. I went to my first reunion with the 376th and the 451st a total stranger but did not remain one very long. Introduce yourself and you will find friends just as you have in the 376th.
This joint venture is a new thing to us. The 461st has done most of the leg work, the planning and worrying, and has put together events that take us to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, the Sixth Floor Museum, the Holocaust Museum, and a driving tour of Dallas. Read over the information and call if you have any questions, make your choices, and send in your reservations to Dave Blake of the 461st Please note on the bottom of the sheet if you will need any wheelchairs. We can find one if we need, but give us a heads-up please so we can better take care of you. If you haven’t made your hotel reservations yet please get that done. you can always cancel later but you need to get that done first thing now.
One of the bugs we are working out is scheduling. We don’t have time set aside for board meetings and general meetings but it shouldn’t be a problem. We can probably get together for a board meeting at breakfast. We just need the board members to wake up early and attend. There is no official general meeting. The banquet night for our group alone will be Friday night instead of the usual Sunday night. A motivational speaker yet hasn’t yet been found but we could use that time to have our general meeting after supper and then have our memorial for those we have lost since last year.
We will have veterans scheduled to give their stories of their best memories on Friday and Saturday. In the past there is always someone who can’t attend as planned so if you have a story you would like to share bring it along. If we can’t work it on the schedule we will take it to the hospitality room.
There are free shuttles from both of the airports in Dallas; but, if you can get your flight information to me, we will be there to greet you and help you with your bags. This reunion will be different from last year in some respects. The 376th did not have to do all the work to put it together but one thing hasn’t changed - we look forward to seeing you all this year.
Take care and will see you soon.
I was asked to serve the 376th as chaplain several years ago and honestly, even though my father was very involved in the leadership of the 376th and bombardier/navigator, at that time I didn’t know the difference between a B-24 and a B-17 or really, a B-anything. This was a bit aggravating to my Dad, who quickly educated me in the distinctive characteristics of the magnificent Flying Box Car. Soon after, my dear wife bought me a ride on a 24 that was absolutely thrilling. By the time that fourth engine kicked over and the fillings were just about shaken out of my teeth, I was forever captured by her beauty and strength.
But it was the men of the Fifteenth Air Force who, though suffering enormous losses of aircraft and crews, turned the tide of the war. The losses the Fifteenth inflicted on the German refineries vastly aggravated the fuel crisis faced by the Germans, bringing the enemy’s fuel position to the point of catastrophe. In his memoirs Inside the Third Reich, the Nazi production czar Albert Speer said: “I could see the omens of the war’s end almost every day in the blue southern sky when the bombers of the American Fifteenth Air Force crossed the Alps from their Italian bases to attack German industrial targets,” (The Wild Blue. Stephen E. Ambrose, page 122).
Why these references to the remarkable accomplishments of the Fifteenth Air Force and the 376th Bomb Group from your chaplain? Shouldn’t that guy stick to spiritual topics? Well, here’s a spiritual topic – LEADERSHIP. There is no doubt a large void in ethical, moral leadership exists today. There was no void of leadership in the formation of the Fifteenth Air Force. Gen. Arnold, Gen. Nathan Twining and others who formed up and led the Fifteenth at its inception were great visionary, leaders. Any great battle requires great leadership to insure victory.
Bennett writes in Our Sacred Honor, “We need to restore this nation’s sense of greatness, to learn once again about the great deeds and the great men and women of our past so that we might move forward,” (page 18). It is to this end that I felt compelled to write this piece with particular regard for the 376th. We’ve talked about WWII but could a World War III be in our future, Dr. Ben Carson asks in America the Beautiful? Dr. Carson goes on to say, “The war on terror has already been declared, and unless we act with courage and decisiveness there is no question that terrorists will soon acquire nuclear weapons. Radical Islam uses terrorism to promote a version of its religion. Of course their version holds no tolerance for any people group or religion that does not embrace or submit to their domination. At its core is not only intolerance but aggression. Whereas the Jews were given by God a specific land called Judea or Canaan and they were not allowed to act aggressively toward their neighbors, Islam mandates such aggression. The ideology of Communism that began as an economic theory, then took on political action, eventually under successive leadership envisioned world-wide domination. Religion was the opiate of the people that must be illuminated.
Contrast these ideologies with the vision of our founding fathers. We were not ashamed of our relationship with God. In fact, reading from the Bible was not only common, it was expected in our schools not only before but after they became state financed. They wanted generally accepted religious values based upon the Bible to be taught in our schools for the formation of the character of the people, not their domination and not for the purpose of opiating them so they could be controlled and manipulated. Our society has become so paranoid about being politically incorrect that many people are afraid to say “Merry Christmas” simply because it contains the word Christ. Rather than spending so much time trying to figure out how to not offend people, it would be wonderful if we expended energy on teaching people not to be offended when someone offers a different opinion. That’s freedom. That is what our democracy guarantees and what our men and women in our armed forces gave their lives to preserve.
It is my prayer that we individually continue to protect the rights of our citizens to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and in this upcoming election carefully choose leaders who do the same, leaders who do not micromanage the lives of our nation’s citizens, imposing societal standards of political correctness that impinge on their liberty. These principles have nothing to do with liberalism or conservatism, but rather are the foundation that paved the way for the creation of the most successful and productive society the world has ever seen.
As a Christian, I understand that the Bible teaches a gigantic inclusiveness. That famous verse Billy Graham shared at every crusade comes to mind: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Do you see it? Whoever…The invitation to be part of God’s forever family is universal. There is no coercion, no threats, just an open hearted welcome to live in a loving relationship with God forever. But how? There is one condition: faith in Jesus. The Bible says “You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Why Jesus? He is the One who bridged the gap between our sin and God’s holiness. How did he do that? By his cross. Christianity is not a works religion. We don’t work our way to God; we don’t jihad (struggle) our way to God. It’s not on us. Our failures and sins were on HIM. He took all our bad and by grace gives undeserving sinners all God’s good. It’s amazing. We all stand on common ground, the lowest place of commonality, we are sinners. Humility and the loving grace of God will bring us to that common ground from where we admit our need for what God has done for us. Friends, we were made for relationship with God and He has made a way to return to Him. May our leaders lead us in standing on that Ground.
I close with what George Mason wrote in the Virginia bill of rights in January of 1776: “That Religion [Christianity]…can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity, towards each other.”
Robert B. Oliver,
Chaplain, 376th Bomb Group
Arthur M. Leadingham, 96, of Fishers, IN passed away March 12, 2016. He
was born in Joliet, IL on March 24, 1919 to the late Robert and
Henrietta Leadingham. He attended Ohio University and received his BA
from Purdue University. Arthur was an electrical design engineer for
AT&T/Western Electric and enjoyed golf, church activities and
woodworking and was a member of Colonial Hills Baptist Church. He was a
highly decorated military soldier with the U.S. Air Force during World
War II, flying 295 combat hours and 45 missions. Arthur was awarded the
Purple Heart, Airman’s Metal and Distinguished Flying Cross for his
service. Arthur is survived by his wife of 70 years, Eunice Leadingham.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Mary Ellen Pankratz.
Louis Bush Cole, Sr.,age 93, died peacefully at his home on November 3, 2015. He was a WWII veteran, a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason, and a member of the First Baptist Church downtown. Survived by his son Louis Bush Cole, Jr. (Patty), daughter Martha Cole Houston; grandsons Matthew Bush Cole and John Cole Neuhoff, Newt and Stacy Cole; and very special friend Anne Dale.
Dr. Roger P. Kellogg, 94, of Rockport, MA passed away peacefully at his home on March 7, 2016, with his wife of 71 years by his side. He was the beloved husband of his high school sweetheart, Norma (Fitts) Kellogg. He was born in Northampton, MA on September 30, 1921 to Henry Clifton and Carrie (Pierce) Kellogg. He received his BA from Wesleyan University Phi Beta Kappa. Roger went on to study dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania where he obtained his degree in 1952. Roger enlisted and served his country honorably in WWII, serving in the 512th Squadron of the 376 Heavy Bomb Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps as a 1st Lieutenant and Navigator in the B24 Liberator.
He proudly completed 49 missions serving as lead navigator on 32. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, four
Campaign Ribbons, five Air Medals and three Presidential Unit Citations. After completing his education, he returned to Northampton and joined his father's dental practice where he pursued his profession for the next 35 years. Roger is survived by his loving wife, Norma Fitts Kellogg; four daughters, Kathryn and Nicholas Flynn of Northampton, Cynthia Kellogg and Donna Marie Robinson of Encinitas, Calif., Amy and Leo Chausse of Canton, Mass. and Elizabeth and Raymond Derouin of Enfield, Conn. He also leaves his seven cherished grandchildren, Regan and Caitlin Flynn, Justin and Elizabeth Chausse and Colin (Annie), Tyler and Kyle Derouin. He was predeceased by his beloved son, H. Clifton Kellogg II in1967.
Name Squadron Date
Louis Bush Cole 512th November 3, 2015
John Doty 513th February 27, 2016
Roger P. Kellogg 512th March 7, 2016
Arthur (Art) Leadingham 513th March 12, 2016
The organization’s account balance as of January 27, 2016 is $10,329.38. Updated information is not currently available.
Kenney Hebert, Treasurer