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Aircraft Type: B-17P(DB), S/N 44-83559, Flying Fortress, Boeing (Douglas)

Mission: Heavy Bomber

Number Built : A total of 12,731 Flying Fortresses were produced in the period 1935-1945. Of this total, Boeing built 6981, Douglas Aircraft built 3000 and Vega (Lockheed) built 2,750. The break down of models is as follows. 1 Boeing model 299, 13 Y1B-17s, 1 Y1B-17A, 3 9 B-17Bs, 38 B-17Cs, 42 B-17Ds, 512 B-17Es, 3,405 B-17Fs (2,300 Boeing, 605 Douglas and 500 Vega), 6,430 B-17Gs (4,035 Boeing, 2395 Douglas and 2250 Vega). 730 B-17Gs were canceled at the end of the war (600 Douglas and 130 Vega). Approximately 4,750 B-17s were lost on combat missions.

Powerplant: Wright R-1820-97 Cyclone, 9-cylinder radial, air-cooled engines, 1,200 horsepower each.

Weight: 36,135 lbs. empty, 55,000 lbs. loaded, Maximum takeoff weight 72,100 lbs.

Dimensions: Wingspan 103’9″, Length 74’4″, Height 19’1″.

Performance: Maximum speed 287 MPH at 25,000 feet, Cruising speed 182 MPH, Range 3,400 miles.

 

The B-17 Flying Fortress began on 26 September 1934, as Boeing Project 299, a $275,000 allocation for the design and construction of a four engine bomber. The first flight took place eight months later on 25 July 1935. On August 25th of that year Model 299 was flown to Wright Field, Ohio, covering over 2,000 miles in nine hours at an average speed of 233 miles per hour. The Army Air Corps officers called the plane “Boeing’s Aerial Battlecruiser.” Later, it was officially designated the XB-17. The B-17 Flying Fortress made its presence felt by the enemy in all theaters of operation. It was used by the American forces and by the Royal Air Force as well. The German Luftwaffe used a number of captured B-17s to drop spies into Britain. After World War II, a number of B-17s were turned over to South American nations, Israel, and Sweden. Other B-17s were retained by the USAF for use as remote controlled drone target planes, for weather and reconnaissance, and for air-sea rescue service.

 

The Museum’s B-17P, S/N 44-83559 was manufactured by Douglas at Long Beach, California, and received by the USAAF on April 5, 1945. Below are the unit assignments of this aircraft:

April 6, 1945- To Topeka, Kansas, Air Transport Command (ATC)

April 8, 1945- To 4100th Army Air Force Base Unit (AAFBU), (ATC), Patterson Field, Ohio

October 15, 1945- Declared excess to USAAF needs

November 7, 1945- Returned to military use

November 11, 1945- To 4168th AAFBU (TAC), Lubbock, Texas

June 16, 1945- To 4141st AAFBU Air Material Command (AMC), Pyote, Texas

February 17, 1950- To 2753rd Aircraft Storage Squadron (AMC), Pyote, Texas

March 7, 1950- To Olmstead Field (AMC), Middletown Depot, Pennsylvania for modification to become a DB-17 aircraft

June 22, 1950- To 3200rd Drone Squadron, Air Proving Grounds (APG), Eglin AFB, Florida

February 28, 1951- To Eniwetok Atoll, 3200th Drone Squadron (APG), Marshall Island Group, Pacific

May 31, 1951- To 3200th Drone Squadron, Eglin AFB, Florida

October 13, 1952- To 3205th Drone Squadron (APG), Holloman AFB, New Mexico

October 16, 1952- To Eglin AFB, Florida same unit

July 8, 1953- To 3310th Technical Training Wing (APG), Scott AFB, Illinois

July 26, 1953- To 3205th Drone Group (APG), Eglin AFB, Florida

September 10, 1953- To Holloman AFB, New Mexico (APG), same unit

May 1958- Dropped from USAF inventory, airframe issued as a museum piece, Patrick AFB, Florida

The Air Force relegated S/N 44-83559 to the Strategic Air & Space Museum at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. The Fortress was flown to the Museum in May 1959 and has been on continuous display ever since.

Gold Medal - Black and White Photography

How to open the canopy of an F-4 for a would-be rescuer.

  

F-4 Phantom II

Combat Air Museum

Topeka, Kansas

Mission Township Water Rescue workers pull a boat filled with members of the Patton family that was rescued from their home in Topeka, Kan., on Monday, May 7, 2007. High water forced hundreds of people out of their homes early Monday, closed schools and blocked streets and highways around the state. (AP Photo/Topeka Capital-Journal, Anthony S. Bush) **MANDATORY CREDIT**

The Topeka Credit Union Foundation celebrated International Credit Union Day by hosting a Benefactor’s Breakfast for their 2010 grant recipients. The Easter Seals Capper Foundation, Family Service & Guidance Center, Let’s Help and the Topeka Rescue Mission each received a $2,000 grant from the Foundation.

Alba Aces 1941 Champs of the Cardinal Jr. League. Won 30 lost 10.

 

Front Row: L-R: Kenton Boyer (Age 10), Max Rose, Wayne Boyer (Age 12), Stanley "Bud" Betebenner and Raymond Cooper

 

Back Row: Vernon Joseph Decker, Cecil Cooper, Dean Rose, Cloyd Boyer (Age 14) Manager Buford Cooper, Johnny Maples-Batboy, Keith "Ping" Patterson and Bob Barkley. Those missing from the photos were Kenneth. Fitzgerald and Bob McCullum. McCullum was the leading hitter on that club and Fitzgerald was runner up.

 

Three of those guys made it to the KOM league. Cloyd pitched for Carthage in 1946 and brother Wayne in 1947. Max Rose made it to the KOM league in, 1951, as an umpire.

 

The KOM League

Flash Report

for

Week of 1/10—1/16/2016

  

Why?

 

Early one recent morning the question came to me “Why do people have any interest in the Flash Reports?” That was right after wondering if anyone does.

 

At one time the bible of baseball was the Sporting News. I first became aware of it as a publication of practical interest in the summer of 1951. A few of the Carthage Cubs would pool their pennies and go to the only place in Carthage where it could be purchased, Lee's News, at the outrageous high price of 20 cents. At that time a daily newspaper was five cents and purchased many times with a buffalo nickel. A comic book was dime with the face on Mercury on it.

 

When that publication made it to the Carthage dugout the players would gather around usually, as Walter Babcock read aloud from it what had happened in player transactions in the Chicago Cub organization in such town as Los Angeles-CA, Nashville-TN, Des Moines-IA, Springfield-MA, Greensboro-NC, Rock Hill-SC, Visalia-CA, Clovis-NM, Sioux Falls-SD, Topeka-KS and Grand Rapids-MI. Those were all teams in a higher classification than the Carthage club. The players had absolutely no interest in what was going on with other Cub Class D clubs such as Janesville-WI and Rutherford, County NC.

 

In reading the Sporting News the Carthage players only looked at who got demoted from teams in higher classifications or members of those teams suffering injuries. If there were demotions at the higher classifications those actions had to work their way down through the system and might lead to a Carthage player being let go. Conversely, if there was an injury at a higher classification there might be a chance for advancement. No Class D ballplayer, with ambition to “make it” in baseball, was tied a particular town. If there were any ties it had to do with a girlfriend.

 

My interest in the Sporting News, after 1951, was only hindered by my ability to afford the bi-monthly publication. Very seldom did I see one and when the price rose later on to 25 cents per issue it was out of the question that I’d see very many of them.

 

Much later in life I learned that fellows, such as those I saw reading the Sporting News in the dugout as young upstarts, renewed their interest in the publication to see what had become of the guys they battled on their way up or out of the Cub organization. Yes, the interest had shifted to the section of the Sporting News entitled “Necrology.”

 

There isn’t any way I can judge why some people scan there Flash Reports but I do know there are at least a half dozen readers who only open the reports to see who has passed on. The number of living former KOM leaguers doesn’t come anywhere close to those who have gone to the “Great Clubhouse in the Sky.”

 

In fact, I have lost a lot of readers because of their passing and others have been lost since they got tired of reading of so many deaths. So, there is the dilemma. Do I report on those expiring or cease mentioning that issue?

________________________________________________

 

Making another pass through the list of “Never Located” KOM Leaguers

 

www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=119010...

(Photo of the deceased is at the aforementioned URL)

 

Charles E. "Chuck" Greene

Birth: May 19, 1928

Topeka--Shawnee County-Kansas,

Death: Oct. 19, 2013

Topeka Shawnee County--Kansas,

 

Charles E. "Chuck" Greene, 85, Topeka, passed away on Saturday, October 19, 2013.Chuck was born May 19, 1928 in Topeka, the son of Linden and Matie (Flanagan) Greene.

 

He graduated from Topeka High School and Washburn University with a Business degree in 1951, where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He served in the U. S. Army during World War II and was involved in the occupation of Japan.

 

He was sales manager and later co-owner and President of Kansas Electric Supply. He retired in 2008 after 57 years.

 

He was an Eagle Scout, a member of Grace Episcopal Cathedral, Golden Rule Lodge #90 AF & AM, Kansas York Rite, Scottish Rite, a Life member of the Arab Shrine Temple, NE MAR Shrine Club, Kaw Valley Shrine Club, Legion of Honor, Order of Quetzalcoat, Life member of VFW Post 1650, American Legion Post 172, and a Life member of the Elks where he served as Secretary for many years and Exalted Ruler for several terms, and the Field & Stream club.

 

Chuck married Edna Metzenthin on April 22, 1950 in Topeka. She survives. Other survivors include sons, Russ (Karen) Greene, Topeka, Richard Greene, Seattle, WA; daughter, Julianne Greene, Mission; grandchildren, Jennifer Abruzzino, Brent, Sean, Travis, and Trenton Greene, all of Topeka; and great-grandson, Alec Greene. He was preceded in death by a brother, Linden Greene, Jr; and sister, Florence Webber.

 

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at Grace Episcopal Cathedral. Burial will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery. Chuck will lie in state at Penwell-Gabel Mid Town Chapel after 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, and visitation will be from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

 

Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Episcopal Cathedral, Topeka Rescue Mission or the Arab Shrine Children's Travel Fund.

 

Ed comment:

 

Over the years of searching for former KOM leaguers, the name of a former pitcher for the Chanute Athletics appeared in a September 2, 1947 box score. While he was still living I used to talk to Lee Dodson who knew everything about baseball in Topeka. I told him of finding a newspaper article that said the Chanute pitcher on September 1 was Chick Greene. Lee pretty much assured me that it was Charles “Chuck” Greene who played some amateur baseball in the Topeka area.

 

In researching the “career” of Mr. Greene, I found that he pitched four innings, in relief, on the first day of September of that year. In his four inning stint he struck out four batters, walked four and gave up four runs. That happened to be the final game of the year for Chanute and Greene’s first and last appearance with a professional team. There was some early chatter in the Chanute newspaper that he might return for the 1948 season but that never materialized as the New York Giants had a working agreement with Chanute that one season.

 

It would be my belief that no one in his family ever heard the story about his time in professional baseball. He wasn’t married until three years after his stint with Chanute and I suspect he viewed that like most of us do when we reflect over our past jobs and never mention the ones that had a short fuse.

________________________________________________

Former players also suffer illness

 

Probably, more contacts are made with me regarding my photos than those precipitated by the narrative of the Flash Reports. But when they deal with news of a former KOM leaguer I work them into the Flash Reports. Here is an example. “Hi John: After looking at the pictures of your day I wanted to take a nap. Those little one's can sure tire you out. Glad you can go with them and enjoy. We did not send any Christmas greetings this year. The holidays just came and went before I even got ready. Harry has had a rough year. A heart attack in July followed by a bleeding ulcer a week later from the meds he has to take for the stents they put in. Had cataract surgery in Dec, on the left eye and the next weekend ended up in the emergency room with a urinary infection. Had to go to the urologist to have his bladder scoped and CT scans and they couldn't find anything he just has to drink more water. Will have his other cataract done Jan. 13. He didn't go to the doctor for over 50 years and I think it has caught up with him.

 

I look at all the pictures you post and enjoy them. Take care.” Pat

 

Ed comment:

 

I suppose you noticed that I didn’t mention any last names or the team for whom Harry played. However, I knew that a former teammate of Harry’s would want to know about him and I shared that note with Loren Doll. Now, if you know every teammate Doll ever had by the name of Harry you’d be able to figure things out. But this isn’t a quiz so don’t bother to look it up. Here is the note from Doll. “Thanks for sending me the info on Harry…never know what old age is going to bring on...appears you are enjoying the little ones...we had a Christmas get together of our family which now numbers 49 persons...includes 15 grandchildren and assorted in-laws...along with 13 great grandchildren...hope things are well and good for you...enjoy your e-mails…Loren Doll. Dodge City, KS.”

 

After reading Doll’s e-mail it dawned on me that what I’m doing is what the Sporting News used to do “back in the day.” Of course, I don’t have the ability of the writers of that era but the good news is that no one pays 25 cents an issue for these reports.

________________________________________________

A bonus item

 

From time to time I mention Gary Bedingfield of Glasgow, Scotland and the newsletter he publishes. Each time I receive one I scan it to see if I can tie any of his stories to the KOM league. I can usually do so.

 

Here is what Bedingfield shared this past week. I suggest you click on his site:

 

Ladies and Gentlemen. Here is the January issue of the Baseball in Wartime Newsletter. This issue features biographies on all 73 living major league veterans who served during World War II.

 

Do you know anyone who would enjoy receiving this newsletter? Send us their email address and we will include them on our monthly mailing list. They can opt out any time.

 

Happy reading!

 

************************************************

Gary Bedingfield

Baseball in Wartime (Founder and Editor)

Author of "Baseball's Dead of World War II," "Baseball in WWII Europe" and "Baseball in Wartime Newsletter"

Website: www.baseballinwartime.com

Website: www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com

Email: gary@baseballinwartime.com

This newsletter is sent to over 1,100 recipients.

 

Ed comment:

 

In scanning Bedingfield’s report I noticed that two of the 73 guys profiled were on KOM rosters and both were with the Carthage, MO Cardinals. This is the note I sent to Bedingfield. “Enjoyed your last edition. A couple of those 73 war vets played in my hometown of Carthage, Mo. They were Cloyd Boyer and Chris Haughey. Boyer was there in late 1946 and Haughey showed up at Carthage in early 1947. Haughey's last appearance before going into WW II was with the Brooklyn Dodgers. So, when he came back his first game was in Class D. The record books show he spent the entire season in 1947 with St. Joseph, Mo., but he started with Carthage. I have spoken with him about that.”

 

Bedingfield's reply:

 

Thanks for that info on Haughey. I'm expanding the bios to include on my website, so I'll mention that he was in Class D ball when he came back from service. Best Regards.

 

Comment:

 

If any of you go to the website where Bedingfield posted those photos pay particular attention to the one of Cloyd Boyer. He is in his pitching motion. However, sitting on the bleachers, on the left side of the photo, is a “huge fan” of Boyer’s. When Cloyd gave me an autographed edition of that photo I kidded him about that since the “huge fan” was sound asleep. I intended to share my copy of that photo but it went on vacation. If I locate it in the near future I’ll post it on the Flickr site. However, there are some silver linings behind every something or another. In going through my old photos I ran across the first one that I ever saw of Cloyd Boyer. If you will go to this site you might enjoy seeing it. www.flickr.com/photos/60428361@N07/24174174071

________________________________________________

Finally, a fan letter

 

You sir never cease to amaze me! You have done much to keep the old time baseball alive. If not for you, history would be forever lost to so many!! Thank you my friend, God Bless you sir. Thomas Earp—Kansas City. MO

 

Ed comment:

 

That kind of remark cause the Flash Reports appear from time to time.

________________________________________________

  

This photo shows the mid-section of the plane with the twin .50 cal. machine guns mounted in the side windows. The belt feeds are above each of the guns and in the background is the access to the tail gunner position. My foot is braced against the seat back so that I could get as far back as possible in order to show most of the cabin area. And yes, that is the lens of my other camera...a D750 with the 12-24mm wide angle lens....still not quite wide enough to capture many of the sections of this unique plane.

 

The B-25 "Mitchell" medium bomber was one of the real 'workhorses' of WWII with nearly 10,000 of them built. These versatile planes saw service in every theatre of operation, however their main use was in the Pacific. It was for jungle warfare that many of them were converted to low level strafing operations with as many as 14 .50 cal. machine guns firing to the front of the plane. This B-25J was restored by the Commemorative Air Force group in Mesa, AZ and travels around the U.S. each summer providing tours, flights and a glimpse of history to many communities.

 

More than 6,000 of these rugged aircraft were built at the North American Aviation plant which was located at the Fairfax Airport in Kansas City. This particular plane saw most of its service in Corsica, flying 15 missions over Italy. After it was retired it served various missions and was finally rescued from the scrap heap, after which it was restored with 28 years of volunteer work starting in 1980. This plane was built in Kansas City and went into service in 1944. MUCH more information is available at the CAF site: www.azcaf.org/pages/aircraft_bios/TB-25N_Mitchell.html

 

Since this is a "Photo Site", I should mention that for these shots I used two Nikons, a D610 with a fish-eye lens and a D750 with a 12-24mm wide angle. The interior photos were taken with a slave flash, an SB-500, to illuminate the sometimes dark interior. The SB-500 also provided some 'fill light' in exterior shots as well. It was used in "Commander Mode" for the shots. Cropping and minor adjustments were done in PSE12.

  

Looking toward the front of the plane, this shot is from the mid-section, with the access ladder at the bottom of the photo and one of the two magazines for the .50 cal. ammo in the foreground. The grey object in the upper right corner is part of the counterweight system for the machine guns to help make them weightless for the gunners. You can see a portion of the other system at the top left of the shot.

 

The B-25 "Mitchell" medium bomber was one of the real 'workhorses' of WWII with nearly 10,000 of them built. These versatile planes saw service in every theatre of operation, however their main use was in the Pacific. It was for jungle warfare that many of them were converted to low level strafing operations with as many as 14 .50 cal. machine guns firing to the front of the plane. This B-25J was restored by the Commemorative Air Force group in Mesa, AZ and travels around the U.S. each summer providing tours, flights and a glimpse of history to many communities.

 

More than 6,000 of these rugged aircraft were built at the North American Aviation plant which was located at the Fairfax Airport in Kansas City. This particular plane saw most of its service in Corsica, flying 15 missions over Italy. After it was retired it served various missions and was finally rescued from the scrap heap, after which it was restored with 28 years of volunteer work starting in 1980. This plane was built in Kansas City and went into service in 1944. MUCH more information is available at the CAF site: www.azcaf.org/pages/aircraft_bios/TB-25N_Mitchell.html

 

Since this is a "Photo Site", I should mention that for these shots I used two Nikons, a D610 with a fish-eye lens and a D750 with a 12-24mm wide angle. The interior photos were taken with a slave flash, an SB-500, to illuminate the sometimes dark interior. The SB-500 also provided some 'fill light' in exterior shots as well. It was used in "Commander Mode" for the shots. Cropping and minor adjustments were done in PSE12.

  

"Maid in the Shade" visited Topeka the middle week of June, 2015. Note the service date of the plane in 1944 and the install date of the prop blade of 1943, making this plane 70 years old, but still looking great...! The green map behind the Bathing Beauty is the island of Corsica, where this plane saw most of its WWII service.

 

The B-25 "Mitchell" medium bomber was one of the real 'workhorses' of WWII with nearly 10,000 of them built. These versatile planes saw service in every theatre of operation, however their main use was in the Pacific. It was for jungle warfare that many of them were converted to low level strafing operations with as many as 14 .50 cal. machine guns firing to the front of the plane. This B-25J was restored by the Commemorative Air Force group in Mesa, AZ and travels around the U.S. each summer providing tours, flights and a glimpse of history to many communities.

 

More than 6,000 of these rugged aircraft were built at the North American Aviation plant which was located at the Fairfax Airport in Kansas City. This particular plane saw most of its service in Corsica, flying 15 missions over Italy. After it was retired it served various missions and was finally rescued from the scrap heap, after which it was restored with 28 years of volunteer work starting in 1980. This plane was built in Kansas City and went into service in 1944. MUCH more information is available at the CAF site: www.azcaf.org/pages/aircraft_bios/TB-25N_Mitchell.html

 

Since this is a "Photo Site", I should mention that for these shots I used two Nikons, a D610 with a fish-eye lens and a D750 with a 12-24mm wide angle. The interior photos were taken with a slave flash, an SB-500, to illuminate the sometimes dark interior. The SB-500 also provided some 'fill light' in exterior shots as well. It was used in "Commander Mode" for the shots. Cropping and minor adjustments were done in PSE12.

  

This high angle shot shows the cockpit of the plane. The greenish color on part of the instrument panel comes from the overhead green skylight, part of which is covered with a reflective aluminum blanket when the plane is parked to cut down on the heat, otherwise it would quickly become an oven sitting on the tarmac.

 

The B-25 "Mitchell" medium bomber was one of the real 'workhorses' of WWII with nearly 10,000 of them built. These versatile planes saw service in every theatre of operation, however their main use was in the Pacific. It was for jungle warfare that many of them were converted to low level strafing operations with as many as 14 .50 cal. machine guns firing to the front of the plane. This B-25J was restored by the Commemorative Air Force group in Mesa, AZ and travels around the U.S. each summer providing tours, flights and a glimpse of history to many communities.

 

More than 6,000 of these rugged aircraft were built at the North American Aviation plant which was located at the Fairfax Airport in Kansas City. This particular plane saw most of its service in Corsica, flying 15 missions over Italy. After it was retired it served various missions and was finally rescued from the scrap heap, after which it was restored with 28 years of volunteer work starting in 1980. This plane was built in Kansas City and went into service in 1944. MUCH more information is available at the CAF site: www.azcaf.org/pages/aircraft_bios/TB-25N_Mitchell.html

 

Since this is a "Photo Site", I should mention that for these shots I used two Nikons, a D610 with a fish-eye lens and a D750 with a 12-24mm wide angle. The interior photos were taken with a slave flash, an SB-500, to illuminate the sometimes dark interior. The SB-500 also provided some 'fill light' in exterior shots as well. It was used in "Commander Mode" for the shots. Cropping and minor adjustments were done in PSE12.

  

These twin .50 cal. machine guns really get the message of "Back OFF!" to any unfriendly plane following too closely!

Also visible in this view is the slight dihedral of the main wings. A change was made after the first few production models that reduced the angle of the wing, giving it the "gull wing" appearance that is obvious from this direction.

 

The B-25 "Mitchell" medium bomber was one of the real 'workhorses' of WWII with nearly 10,000 of them built. These versatile planes saw service in every theatre of operation, however their main use was in the Pacific. It was for jungle warfare that many of them were converted to low level strafing operations with as many as 14 .50 cal. machine guns firing to the front of the plane. This B-25J was restored by the Commemorative Air Force group in Mesa, AZ and travels around the U.S. each summer providing tours, flights and a glimpse of history to many communities.

 

More than 6,000 of these rugged aircraft were built at the North American Aviation plant which was located at the Fairfax Airport in Kansas City. This particular plane saw most of its service in Corsica, flying 15 missions over Italy. After it was retired it served various missions and was finally rescued from the scrap heap, after which it was restored with 28 years of volunteer work starting in 1980. This plane was built in Kansas City and went into service in 1944. MUCH more information is available at the CAF site: www.azcaf.org/pages/aircraft_bios/TB-25N_Mitchell.html

 

Since this is a "Photo Site", I should mention that for these shots I used two Nikons, a D610 with a fish-eye lens and a D750 with a 12-24mm wide angle. The interior photos were taken with a slave flash, an SB-500, to illuminate the sometimes dark interior. The SB-500 also provided some 'fill light' in exterior shots as well. It was used in "Commander Mode" for the shots. Cropping and minor adjustments were done in PSE12.

  

This narrow passageway leads to the tail gunners position. I heeded the sign and went no further...!

 

The B-25 "Mitchell" medium bomber was one of the real 'workhorses' of WWII with nearly 10,000 of them built. These versatile planes saw service in every theatre of operation, however their main use was in the Pacific. It was for jungle warfare that many of them were converted to low level strafing operations with as many as 14 .50 cal. machine guns firing to the front of the plane. This B-25J was restored by the Commemorative Air Force group in Mesa, AZ and travels around the U.S. each summer providing tours, flights and a glimpse of history to many communities.

 

More than 6,000 of these rugged aircraft were built at the North American Aviation plant which was located at the Fairfax Airport in Kansas City. This particular plane saw most of its service in Corsica, flying 15 missions over Italy. After it was retired it served various missions and was finally rescued from the scrap heap, after which it was restored with 28 years of volunteer work starting in 1980. This plane was built in Kansas City and went into service in 1944. MUCH more information is available at the CAF site: www.azcaf.org/pages/aircraft_bios/TB-25N_Mitchell.html

 

Since this is a "Photo Site", I should mention that for these shots I used two Nikons, a D610 with a fish-eye lens and a D750 with a 12-24mm wide angle. The interior photos were taken with a slave flash, an SB-500, to illuminate the sometimes dark interior. The SB-500 also provided some 'fill light' in exterior shots as well. It was used in "Commander Mode" for the shots. Cropping and minor adjustments were done in PSE12.

  

The Topeka Credit Union Foundation celebrated International Credit Union Day by hosting a Benefactor’s Breakfast for their 2010 grant recipients. The Easter Seals Capper Foundation, Family Service & Guidance Center, Let’s Help and the Topeka Rescue Mission each received a $2,000 grant from the Foundation.

The KOM League

Flash Report

for

Thanksgiving Day 2015

 

As I wait to place the honey baked ham in the oven I decided to get out of my wife’s way as she prepares her part of the Thanksgiving feast. I imagine there will be a turkey on the table where the meal will be consumed but that is up to someone else. Should the turkey not appear on that table, or if that bird is not on your menu, consider this report as a substitute. Many previous issues of this publication have been deemed a “turkey” by the readership.

_________________________________________________________________________

Finally, an encouraging word:

 

John, I have just finished reading "Mickey Mantle...Before The Glory" for the second or third time since I purchased the book back when, 2006? I must say that this is a very well researched book with your taking the time to interview anyone with any connection to Mickey Mantle during his amateur and minor league baseball career.

 

The photos are wonderful. Minor league history from the post WWII era up until the polyester age (c. 1972) is of special interest to me. I love the old flannel uniforms with the simple graphics that often resembled that of the parent club. Speaking of which, did the 1950 Joplin Miners home unis' bear the pinstripes of the Yankees? I can't tell from looking at the photos in the book.

 

The stories from the interviewees are priceless. Most biographies of former major league stars touch on their minor league days but don't dwell on them enough to suit me.

 

God bless you for writing such a wonderful book! Sincerely, Ed Hoke--Troy, OH (His late uncle, Gale Blakely, played for the Pittsburg, KS Browns in 1948).

 

Ed reply:

 

Well, that was a great review, thanks for the first compliment I've had on that book in this decade.

 

For the record, there weren't any stripes on the 1950 Joplin Miner uniforms.

 

Ed comment:

 

This would be a great place to mention that there are still Mantle books in my garage looking for a good home. However, that would fall under the category of “crass commercialism” and it is a well-known fact that the holidays are never used in that manner.

___________________________________________________________________________

Another book about a familiar name

 

I wanted to let you know the book I've been working on for the past four years about Ken Boyer is now finished. It will be available beginning December 14, but I'm accepting pre-orders now for shipment before Christmas. Would you mind sharing this information in the Flash Report? Copies can be ordered either online or by mail--through my website at kenboyerbook.com or mailing a check for $26.95 (includes shipping) to: BrayBree Publishing, P.O. Box 1204, Dickson TN 37056-1204.

 

Thank you for reading and critiquing the first chapter this summer! Sincerely, Kevin McCann

 

Ed reply:

 

Strange that I was thinking this week about the release of that book. I might be able to work your release information into a Flash Report but it is liable to cost you a lot. Here is what I mean. Anything I've ever mentioned in the reports, such as the availability of my books has fallen on blind eyes. So, if my mentioning it in a forthcoming Flash Report produces no responses please don't hold me liable.

 

Ed comment:

 

Of any baseball family of which I should have known something it would be the Boyers. I came from the same area as they did and even went to school with one of them. Two of the brothers played in the KOM league and I watched one of them play what would now be called junior high games. No need to drop any names since I have in essence already done so. When called upon to edit the first chapter of McCann’s book I told him I’d be pretty picky for unless you were from the area, in that time frame, some things would slip through the cracks. But, as I reviewed the first few hundred words in that draft I didn’t find much about which to quibble. So, if there weren’t major changes made after I last edited chapter one I will affirm that part of the book gets the “John Hall Good Batboy and Clubhouse Cleaning Seal of Approval.” Go for it if you get cash for Christmas.

 

And, for baseball historians the precise birth records of all the Boyer family is in that book. It isn’t me making the claims of some inaccuracies carried in most baseball record books but it is documented in McCann’s work. That alone should sell books for people in search of the truth.

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Former KOM players/family members checking in;

 

From time to time I hear from former players, their widows or children who often asked not to be quoted or make remarks not related to baseball. Here are a few folks heard from since the last report was shared.

 

Mary Kay Zawatzki--Daughter of late Verne John Zawatzki of the 1949 Chanute A’s.

Henry Chott--Pitched in opening game of 1950 season for Iola against Carthage.

Janet Schwarze--Daughter of Stan Musial commenting on his birthday.

Bob Schwarz--Member of the 1950 Iola Indians and played first base.

Sam Dixon--Member of Carthage, Iola and Chanute teams from 1946 thru 1951.

Rhonda Schneringer--Daughter of late Ronald Wiblemo of the 1947 Ponca City Dodgers.

Aletha Bartley--Widow of Boyd Bartley who managed Ponca City five years.

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Remember this? The Ordeal of Flight 847--July 01, 1985

 

Ed note: This old news article from 30.5 years ago involved a former member of the 1947 Chanute Athletics of the KOM league. Read this and see if you can figure out who he was. I have spoken with this individual about that experience and even reported on it over 15 years ago when the KOM Remembered Newsletter was still being published and helping keep the United States Postal Service solvent and in turn, me insolvent.

 

articles.latimes.com/1985-07-01/news/mn-10010_1_hijackers...

 

Here is a chronology of events in the hijacking of TWA Flight 847:

 

June 14--Two Shia Muslim gunmen board Trans World Airlines Flight 847 at Athens and hijack the Boeing 727 after it takes off for Rome with 153 aboard.

 

Plane is allowed to land in Beirut after pilot says one hijacker has pulled the pin on a grenade. Hijackers release 17 American women and two children, while several more gunmen come aboard. Plane is flown to Algeria, where 19 American women, one American child and three people of other nationalities are released.

 

June 15--Aircraft returns to Beirut. Hijackers kill Navy Petty Officer Robert Dean Stethem, 23.

 

After airliner is flown back to Algiers, hijackers release 64 hostages including five female flight attendants.

 

June 16--Jetliner returns to Beirut. Hijackers release letter signed by 29 passengers, appealing to President Reagan to refrain from "any direct military action on our behalf."

 

Amal, Shia Muslim militia, moves into crisis, demanding release of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel.

 

Remaining passengers are taken off aircraft, but the three crew members remain aboard.

 

June 17--Amal leader Nabih Berri says hostages have been split up into small groups to thwart rescue mission.

 

It is reported that at least half a dozen hostages with "Jewish-sounding names" are being held separately by Hezbollah (Party of God), a radical Shia faction.

 

Robert C. McFarlane, President Reagan's national security adviser, says Berri "has in his hands the ability to end the hijacking."

 

Ailing hostage Robert Peel Sr. of Hutchinson, Kan., is released. (Ed note: For reading this far you now know this the guy who played in the KOM league, in 1947, for Chanute.)

 

June 18--Hijackers release two Americans and a Greek.

 

Berri urges United States to pressure Israel into releasing 766 Lebanese prisoners, most of them Shias.

 

At news conference, Reagan says any retaliation "would probably be sentencing a number of Americans to death." Reagan accuses Greek government of lax airport security.

 

June 19--The three crewmen are interviewed briefly by ABC television reporter. "We're OK," says Capt. John L. Testrake.

 

June 20--Five hostages appear at chaotic news conference and appeal to Reagan "at all costs" to refrain from rescue mission. Allyn B. Conwell, 39, of Houston, says he wants Israel to free Lebanese prisoners.

 

Navy Petty Officer Stethem is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

 

June 23--Israel announces it will release 31 Shia prisoners, and Secretary of State George P. Shultz says he would be glad if that led to the release of U.S. hostages. However, Shultz and Israel insist there is no linkage.

 

June 24--Israel releases 31 prisoners. Amal leaders dismiss the gesture as insufficient.

 

June 25--White House spokesman Larry Speakes says Reagan is considering forcing closure of Beirut airport and blockading Lebanon if diplomatic moves do not pay off "in the next few days."

 

Amal gathers all 37 hostage passengers together to meet two International Red Cross officials, and the three crew members are visited separately.

 

June 26--Berri releases hostage Jimmy Dell Palmer, 48, who suffers from a heart ailment.

 

June 27--Reagan tries to work out package deal in which seven Americans, kidnaped before TWA hijacking, would be freed along with passengers.

 

There are reports that hostages may be moved to French Embassy, or perhaps to Swiss Embassy or to Damascus. Berri expresses belief that "we're in the end . . . of this thing."

 

Ed note:

 

Things really haven’t changed that much in 30 plus years except to worsen.

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Former KOM leaguers passing away in 2015

 

Abbott Jr. James McCoy Chanute 47 2/28/2015 Yankton, SD

Alsop Charles Franklin Carthage 49 1/8/2015 LaPorte, IN

Boerger Willard Carthage 50 5/11/2015 Torrence, CA

Borghi FrankJ.Carthage 46 2/2/2015 St. Louis, MO

Boyd Kenneth Lawson Bartlesville 49 8/16/2015 Lubbock, TX

Brooks Hubert Kenneth Miami 51 10/25/2015 Conway, AR

Cerick Peter Aull Iola 51-52 Pitts. 51 1/30/2015 Herndon, VA

Fecker Jr. Henry Pittsburg 48 3/12/2015 Kalamazoo, MI

Harding Bonnie Ray Independence 47 11/04/2015 Anderson, IN

Hayden Jr. Irvin Wesley Umpire 50 9/10/2015 Atwood, KS

Hunrick Jr. George Independence 52 1/2/2015 Woodbridge, CA

Jenkins Robert Calvin Miami 50 10/05/2015 Beverly Hills, FL

Lee Bennie Maxwell Miami 50 2/256/2015 Derby, KS

Locke Charles E. Pittsburg 50 1/9/2015 Poplar Bluff, MO

Muirhead Jr. Alex Ponca City 48 8/15/2015 Sacramento, CA

Olson Loren J. Pittsburg 46 3/1/2015 Neosho, MO

Smith Lilburn Earl Indep.47-48 5/10/2015 Tucson, AZ

Schnieders Paul H. Iola 47 1/7/2015 Jefferson City, MO

Stadvec Albert R Iola 49 7/31/2015 Akron, OH

Stranczek Chester K. Iola 51 9/5/2015 Boca Raton, FL

Swensson Conrad N. Ponca City 49-50 6/25/2015 Denver, CO (Hospice)

Zugay Joseph 'Yock”Bartlesville 49 3/08/2015 Center Twp. PA

 

All the former KOM league teams, with the exception of Blackwell, Okla., had one or more names on the list. And those dying represented 15 states. The KOM league was never a league comprised of players from the region. Only independent teams such as Miami, Iola and Chanute had a preponderance of players from the Midwest region. The years Miami had Philadelphia Phillie, Iola had Chicago Cub and Cleveland Indian and Chanute had New York Giant working agreements did players from those teams come from around the United States.

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The 90 and over club.

 

The KOM league celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2016 and those who will reach the age of 90 during the year are cited in this article They join a few guys who have made the 90 club previously. There were 177 roster players born in 1926, or claimed to have been, which represented 127 individuals. That means some of those guys played on multiple teams or played more than one season in the league.

 

Alves George Edward Carthage-B’ville46 Acampo, CA in 1992--12/12/1926

Bagwell William Joseph Independence 48 Homer, LA-- 11/28/1926

Barclay Jr. Donald T .Carthage 49 Oak Lawn, IL -- 2/1/1926

Boselo George M. Iola 49 Canton, OH--5/3/1926

Bourdet Malcolm Leonard Carthage 51 Fresno, CA-- 3/6/1926

Buzzard Max W. Independence 47 Miami, OK-- 3/17/1926

Casaletto Nicholas F. Carthage 47 Lyons, IL-- 2/13/1926

Chandler William M. Miami 46 Lake Kiowa, TX--2/16/1926

Ferluga John Dominic Ponca City 47 Seattle, WA--10/28/1926

Flauto Gilbert F. Chanute 48Ft. Myers, FL--5/15/1926

Girrens Jr. John J. Bartlesville 48 Wichita, KS--10/14/1926

Grieves Jr, Alexande rMiami 48 Topeka, KS--7/25/1926

Hall John W. "Bucky" Ponca City 48 Sarasota, FL--10/25/1926

Jarrett Jr. Bill Dee Bartlesville 48 Tulsa, OK--9/27/1926

Knoke John William Pittsburg 47-48 Jacksonville, FL--7/9/1926

Liston Warren T .Iola-Miami-Blackwell Kansas City, KS--10/31/1926

LoberDale Edward Carthage 50 Chillicothe, IL--1/19/1926

Marsden Robert I ola Pittsburg 47 Philadelphia, PA--5/25/1926

Nassif Ameal J. "Stan "Pittsburg 49 St. Louis, MO 20145/1/1926

Rose Kenneth M. "Jack" Independence 49 Louisville, KY--7/4/1926

Stock Jr. Charles Bartlesville 47-48-49 Chicago, IL--11/24/1926

Whalen Jerry R Iola 49 Littleton, CO --4/4/1926

Wherry Kendall W. Ponca City 47 Ft. Myers, FL--4/13/1926

 

The foregoing list shows the places the guys played and where they were living when I last made contact with them. Two fellows on that list have eluded my detection. I have never heard anything from George Alves or Charles Stock. I have had people tell me Stock died a number of years ago but I’ve never been able to document it.

 

Still heading up the oldest living former KOM leaguers are:

 

Shannon Deniston who played and managed Pittsburg, KS in 1948. He was born February 28, 1919 in Long Beach, CA and is living in Lakeside, California.

 

William Vernon Snow was born September 11, 1919 in Carroll County, AR and pitched for Miami, OK in 1948. He resides in Berryville, Arkansas.

 

Erbie Rue Carroll Jr. was born in Viola, AR on November 30, 1919 and lived most of his life in Victorville, CA. He played for the 1946 Bartlesville, OK Oilers. He has moved to West Plains, MO in recent years.

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This view is from the center of the underbelly of the B-25, looking up into the bomb bay with two dummy...I hope!.. bombs ready for the next mission.

 

The B-25 "Mitchell" medium bomber was one of the real 'workhorses' of WWII with nearly 10,000 of them built. These versatile planes saw service in every theatre of operation, however their main use was in the Pacific. It was for jungle warfare that many of them were converted to low level strafing operations with as many as 14 .50 cal. machine guns firing to the front of the plane. This B-25J was restored by the Commemorative Air Force group in Mesa, AZ and travels around the U.S. each summer providing tours, flights and a glimpse of history to many communities.

 

More than 6,000 of these rugged aircraft were built at the North American Aviation plant which was located at the Fairfax Airport in Kansas City. This particular plane saw most of its service in Corsica, flying 15 missions over Italy. After it was retired it served various missions and was finally rescued from the scrap heap, after which it was restored with 28 years of volunteer work starting in 1980. This plane was built in Kansas City and went into service in 1944. MUCH more information is available at the CAF site: www.azcaf.org/pages/aircraft_bios/TB-25N_Mitchell.html

 

Since this is a "Photo Site", I should mention that for these shots I used two Nikons, a D610 with a fish-eye lens and a D750 with a 12-24mm wide angle. The interior photos were taken with a slave flash, an SB-500, to illuminate the sometimes dark interior. The SB-500 also provided some 'fill light' in exterior shots as well. It was used in "Commander Mode" for the shots. Cropping and minor adjustments were done in PSE12.

  

This article about my grandfather, Darold W. Davis appeared in The Topeka Daily State Journal. The article tells about his plane being shot down. It also announces his pending marriage to my grandmother.

 

On Sunday November 8, 1942 the combined forces of the US Navy and US Army launched an invasion of North Africa. My grandfather was on an aircraft carrier, USS Sangamon, as a pilot. He flew missions during this time. The carrier provided transport, escort, and air cover for “Operation Torch.”

 

My grandfather recalls that the Sangamon was the lead aircraft carrier. The fleet that crossed the Atlantic was about 100 ships, and General George S. Patton was the leader of the Army landing force. According to David Andrew Smith, Patton traveled with the Sangamon fleet aboard the Augusta, a destroyer from Norfolk, Virginia to the shores of northern African (74). The Sangamon was assigned to the Northern Support Force and arrived off the coast of North Africa on November 8. From her decks the air squadron flew combat air missions, antisubmarine patrols, and ground support missions.

 

The Navy’s Report to Congress in October 1943 about this Atlantic-Casablanca mission calls it “the largest assemblage of vessels that had sailed any ocean at any time. The exact number of vessels is kept secret. But it is no secret that this assemblage of vessels extended 25 miles in all directions” (24). The report praises the mission’s “devastating efficienty” was due to the “dress rehearsals….carried out as secretly as possible on shores resembling somewhat the coast of Morocco” (24). The report describes how the pilots took off before daylight and were able to do this because they had practiced flying in the day with dark glasses. (24). When this report was presented to Congress, the terminal date for this campaign was still pending.

Operation Torch was the beginning of a long campaign that was eventually a strategic win for the Allies for three major reasons. One, it preserved the Allie’s access to oil in the Middle East. Second, it distracted the German forces from concentrating on the Russian front. Third, it kept the Axis powers from increasing their oil resources. The Navy’s involvement made it possible for the land forces to do their part.

While the major battle had been won, it was still important to carry on and provide assistance to the land forces as well as maintain air superiority as Dater mentions was part of the Navy’s air tactical strategy (192-193). On November 17, 1941 Ensign Darold Warren Davis piloted his naval torpedo bomber on such a mission. The plane was caught in bad weather. Radio trouble kept the crew from contacting the aircraft carrier. The plane ran out of fuel, and the crew of three crash-landed in the Atlantic off the coast of North Africa. The crew spent six days in a rubber raft until they were rescued. The Topeka State Journal (1) documents my grandfather’s first-hand account of this experience. This was just one of many instances of plane crashes in the war. My grandfather and his crew were very lucky to survive.

 

Dater, Henry M. "“Tactical Use of Air Power in World War II: The Navy Experience.” Military Affairs 14. 4 (1950), 192-200, links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0026-3931(195024)14:4<192:TU.... (accessed March 9, 2008).

 

Furer, Julius Augustus. Administration of the Navy Department in World War II. Washington: U. S. Department of the Navy [U.S. Govt. Print. Off.], 1959.

 

Smith, David Andrew. George S. Patton: A Biography. Westport, CT.: Greenwood Press, 2003.

 

Unknown. "Sea Survivor, Darold Davis, To Wed Topeka Girl." The Topeka Daily State Journal 70, no. 12 (1943): 1.

 

U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Naval Affairs. Report on the Navy and the War. 78th Cong., 1st sess., 1943. S. Doc. 107. Serial 10773. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1943. www.ibiblio.org/pha/USN/77-1s107.html (accessed 3-10-2008).

 

Photograph: Unknown Photographer. Courtesy of Darold W. Davis Personal Collection. Scan of newspaper article. The Topeka Daily State Journal, Vol. 70, No. 12, page 1, col. 6 (Jan. 14, 1943). Topeka, Kansas.