is such a thing as an "Empire Express" and it was so named
by its pilot, Lt. James, because it is a non-stop express from here
direct to the heart of the Japanese Empire. A distinctive feature is
the fact that it has a "pay load" only one way, always returning
empty but with the satisfaction that the little yellow cosignees paid
dearly for the loads it has left.
have a special interest in this particular B-29 express for the big
silver streamliner will carry our Battalion emblem with it on all its
future runs to Tokyo. Lt. Commander Lawlor has completed arrangements
for the Battalion to sponsor the plane and its crew, and has instructed
our painter to paint the name and our emblem on the big bomber for all
have come from several crews that our Battalion sponsor their planes
but the Skipper was reluctant until T. Sgt. Bill Cunningham, formerly
Crew Chief of "Slick Chicks", called on him personally and
asked in behalf of his ground crew and pilot, that the Battalion sponsor
their plane. Bill turned the trick when he pointed out that our Battalion
had been so friendly and had treated him and his crew so well while
they were assigned to "Slick Chicks" that they all wanted
to remain "adopted" by us
crew of "Empire Express" has really been delivering the goods
to the Rising Sun Empire Headquarters, being accredited with eleven missions
already. They had chow with us last Sunday evening and are a swell bunch
of of young fellows. (Two of the four officers are barely 21). As soon
as practical they will be presented to the Battalion at our theater.
are pleased that these men want to carry our name with them. With it goes
our sincere wishes for their safety and success.
know you will want to meet the flight crew of the "Empire Express"
who are : 1st Lt. Newton James, pilot, Kerrick, TX; 2nd Lt Robert Minto,
copilot, Missoula, MT; 2nd Lt Robert N. Smith, bombardier, Sterling, KS;
2nd Lt Darrell Mesnard, navigator, Decatur, IL; M/Sgt Dan Cheeseman, engineer,
Kansas City, KS; S/Sgt Joe Lavetsky, radio operator, Scranton, PA; Sgt
Tom Foster, radar operator, Philadelphia, PA; Sgt Tom Duff, tail gunner,
Philadelphia, PA; Sgt Jim Hillis, right gunner, Charlotte, NC; Sgt Stanley
Hartman, left gunner, Ravenna, NE; Sgt Paul Carmen, central fire gunner,
Baltimore, MD; T/Sgt Bill Cunningham, crew chief, Malden, MA.
Cunningham's ground crew are: Sgt Bill Patton, Hamilton, KS; Sgt Tom Atkins,
Tulsa, OK; Sgt Alton Holmes, Jonesboro, AR; S/Sgt Benny Falcowski, Bronx,