My friend Vincent.
You never know where this hobby will lead you.
Three years ago, a friend of mine, knowing I am a bit of a history nut and modeler introduced me to Vincent who resides at a local nursing home here. Vincent was a bombardier on B-24's durning WWII, serving in the 8th Air Force's 392nd bomb group stationed at Wendling, England.
Here is a link if you are interested in visiting the squadron's web page.
He flew a total of 31 missions before rotating back to the USA for fighter pilot training. The war ended before he graduated from fighter pilot school in Southern California.
It was fun building Vincent's plane, the old Monogram 1/48 B-24J. I brought my progress to him for review. Amazing to get input from someone who had been there! His memory is still very sharp, and he shared many a story with me, like the time the fighter escorts' drop tanks almost took out there plane from above when they let them go! Or the time he had to literally kick a hung bomb in the bay out over Germany or it would continue to swing around in there and possible blow! His last mission the plane was so badly shot up, they did a wheels up landing that broke the plane up pretty bad. The entire crew survived, "though our front turret gunner took a piece of flak to the butt". They walked around the wreck and "stopped counting holes around 300..."!
Covid limited when I could visit him. At one point the home was buttoned up tight as a tick. He even beat the disease himself. I joked with him that neither Covid or the Germans could shoot him down! It was an honor to present Vincent his plane on Veterans Day, and it looks great in the room with his medals. Vincent will be 102 this July, 2022.