15th Army Air Corps in WWII-Mansions of the Lord & Destination~Vienna-original version
Destination~Vienna• Destination~Vienna New Historical Narrative Retraces WWII Conflictfrom One Air Force Navigators Aerial View Kevin W. Edwards DeliversCaptivating Historical Record and Personal Narrative• A new book, "Destination Vienna", written about a 783rd Navigator, hasjust been published. Kevin W. Edwards, the son of the late William W.Edwards, a former 2nd Lieutenant/Navigator who served in World War IIwith the 783rd Squadron of the 465th Bomb Group, has written a bookabout the 15th Army Air Corp. centering on his fathers experience as aNavigator with the 783rd. "Destination Vienna" retraces a mission, in hisfathers own words of the events he and his crew experienced on a singleday in March 1945 when their plane was hit and the subsequent eventsthat followed. The subject of the book was the 465th. Bomb Groups 166thmission in Italy. The narrative is cleverly interspersed with history and theevents that evolved leading up to this particular Vienna mission.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS-Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down hislife for his friends. John 15:13The Author would like to thank all those whohelped with this book.Many thanks and special appreciation toall the men and women of the World WarII generation who worked tirelessly,fought valiantly, and sacrificed greatly tokeep the world free from evil.A debt of gratitude and thanks to all ofthose who served with the 15th Army AirCorps for their courage and commitmentto duty, honor, country in the face ofgreat peril.Thanks, to all of our Allies, partisans,resistance fighters, and those people ofAustria and citizens of Vienna, whodespite great personal hardship anddanger, provided aid and comfort to U.S.servicemen in need through unheraldedand ,at times, even unrecorded acts ofheroism.I would like to thank Gene F. and MaryMoxley for their effort and dedication tochronicling the history of the "Missing InAction" crews of the 465th Bomb Group.A very special thanks to both the bravecrews from the 783rd Squadron of B-24Liberator bomber #44-49894, Call letterBlue "U", and to the Cella replacementcrew may their sacrifices always beremembered.Love and thanks always to my lovely wife,Sharon, and our two children, Kyle andKelly, for their support andencouragement in the writing of thisbook.May you always walk in sunshine,May you never want for more.May Irish angels rest their wingsright beside your door.
Destination~Vienna“I know that I shall meet my fate,Somewhere among the clouds above.”Yeats
High FlightOh! I have slipped the surly bonds of EarthAnd danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirthof sun-split clouds, and done a hundred thingsYou have not dreamed of, wheeled and soared and swungHigh in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flungMy eager craft through footless halls of airUp, up the long, delirious, burning blueI’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy graceWhere never lark nor ever eagle flewAnd, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trodThe high untrespassed sanctity of space,Put out my hand, and touched the face of GodJohn G. Magee 3 September 1941
DESTINATION~ VIENNAThis book is dedicated to my father, William W. Edwards, whoserved his country in World War II as a navigator on a B-24bomber with gallantry and valor in a time of great peril. Andalso to the courageous 783rd Squadron crew of B-24L-#44-49894-call letter Blue "U" who flew with him, as they all risked theirown lives and made great sacrifices to keep us free.Let their names always be remembered.Pilot-1st Lieutenant William E. Herman-KIACo-Pilot-Lieutenant David N. Reeher -MIANavigator-2nd Lieutenant William W. Edwards-MIABombardier-Lieutenant Kern McIlhenny -MIANose Turret Gunner-Sgt. Billy J. Irwin-KIATop Turret Gunner-Sgt. Thomas F. Dennick -MIABall Turret Gunner-Sgt. Ernest Fink-KIAFlight Engineer/Waist Gunner-S/Sgt. Earl E. Eiberger-KIARadio Operator/Waist Gunner-Sgt. Doyle B. Mayo -MIATail Turret Gunner-Sgt. Robert H. Canterbury-KIA"A Man is not Dead until he is Forgotten
World War II was a great conflagration ofunimaginable horror and destruction resulting in over 70million killed, millions more displaced, families broken ordestroyed, great cities and even whole countries left inruins. This book will backdrop, from the end of World War Ior "The War to End All Wars" on the 11th hour of the 11thday of the 11th month in 1918, and the signing of the Treatyof Versailles the almost immediate series of events that ledup to World War II.
We will chronicle these events as they relate to the lifeof one individual and his ultimate entanglement withthe dynamics of a world engulfed in war. This book willretrace the mission of one solitary B-24 Liberatorbomber crew on a single day in March 1945, whenthey met their "fate, somewhere among the cloudsabove." We will see the kindred spirit of completestrangers, who were thrust into and subsequentlybanded together by untenable circumstance, to riseand act to cast off the yoke of evil.
In Vienna, too, the word Gestapo expressed thequintessence of Nazi terror.Himmler
VIENNA~FINAL DAYSSt Marxer Friedhof-3rd District Cemetery
Tuskegee Airmen- 332dFighter GroupThe combat record of the Tuskegee Airmen• Over 15,000 combat sorties (Including 6000+for the 99th prior to July 44)• 111 German airplanes destroyed in the air• 150 German aircraft destroyed on the ground• 950 railcars, trucks, and other motor vehicles destroyed• 1 destroyer sunk by P-47 machine gun fire• Sixty-six pilots killed in action or accidents• Thirty-two pilots downed and captured, POWs• NO Bombers were ever lost to Enemy Aircraft whilebeing escorted• 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses earned• 744 Air Medals• 8 Purple Hearts• 14 Bronze Stars•••We of the 464th and 465th Bomb Groups•••As well as all of the other Groups in the 15th AF"SALUTE YOU!"
Mission AccomplishedCella Crew Stateside-1945GOD BLESS THE USA !
REFLECTIONSTo fallen soldiers let us singWhere no rockets fly nor bullets wingOur broken brothers let us bringTo the mansions of the LordNo more bleeding, no more fightNo prayers pleading through the nightJust divine embrace, eternal lightIn the mansions of the LordWhere no mothers cry and no children weepWe will stand and guard though angels sleepThrough the ages safely keepThe mansions of the Lordinspired by the movie- We were soldiersWorld War II Memorial-Washington D.C.
ABOUT THE AUTHORKEVIN W. EDWARDS…………is the son of the late William W. Edwards, a former 2nd Lieutenant/Navigator with the 783rdSquadron of the 465th Bomb Group/55th Wing of the 15th Army Air Force in Italy. He was born inBridgeport,Connecticut and grew up in Stratford, graduating from Stratford High School. Presently, he isa 2nd career high school teacher of Mathematics at Wilby High School , after having been a mechanicalengineer and manufacturing executive for over 30 years. He graduated from Sacred Heart University inFairfield, Connecticut with a Master of Arts in Teaching, Fairfield University(Bridgeport EngineeringInstitute ) in Bridgeport, Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, NorwalkState Technical College in Norwalk, Connecticut with an Associate in Applied Science-MechanicalEngineering Technology.He resides with his wife Sharon and their two children, Kyle and Kelly, in Waterbury, Connecticut.