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Bowser
01-25-2004, 03:02 PM
My dad flew in B-17's in WWII out of England. He was in the 390th Bomb Wing under the 8th Air Force as part of the Army Air Force. He was the top turret gunner on the plane Virgin Sturgeon. There are a ton of stories he told me, but this is one of my favorites.......

On a mission to hit a ball-bearing factory (can't remember the city), my dad's plane was fighting off a wave of fighters. One fighter came in on a straffing run down the top of the plane. At that moment, my dad was out of his canopy getting more ammo when this fighter blew the canopy off the plane. My dad recieved only small cuts on his back. Well, the tail gunner, a cajun named Ovodall, sees the canopy go blowing past the rear of the plane, along with the sporadic spurt of hydraulic fluid. He yells on the radio "They blew that son-of-a-bitchin' Craven's head off!!" My dad manages to keep everybody quiet, sneeks back to the tail, and while Ovodall is firing his guns calmly asks "how you doin' back here, partner?" Ovodall, according to Dad, promptly screams out and pisses himself, all DURING COMBAT.

I have a ton of stories about his times during the war, but that's one of my favorite! :)

KCWolfman
01-25-2004, 03:16 PM
That is hilarious. Thanks for sharing, we would welcome my stories anytime.

Rain Man
01-25-2004, 03:47 PM
Wow. Cool story. Tell us more.

Saggysack
01-25-2004, 05:04 PM
Here is a article from the Wichita Eagle(circa 1940's) about my grandfather...

Shoots down two Germans in 3 minutes.

Tech Sergt Kenneth Young, 29, of 1420 South Walnut, engineer-top turret gunner on the Eighth AAF B-17 Flying Fortress "Silver Slipper," destroyed two enemy fighter planes in three minutes on a recent bombing attack of marshalling yards in Zwickau, Germany.

The first Focke Wulf 190, was one of a long line. "I picked out one, and banged away at him," said Young. "He came on in until a wing dropped off. Just missing the Fort. He started down and blew up far below the formation."

A Messerschmitt 109 came in alone for an attack at "Silver Slipper."
"He did all right until he was 500 yards out and suddenly he exploded. No chute came out of the plane," added Young.

Sergeant Young, a sheetmetal worker for the Boeing Airplane company in Wichita, before entering the AAF in November, 1942, is the son of Margaret Ann Young.

Saggysack
01-25-2004, 05:24 PM
Here is another one from the military paper Stars and Stripes.

Crippled Fort Skims West Wall, Gives It a Little 'Softening Up'

A FORTRESS BAS, May 15-About 50 German soldiers were killed or wounded and 30 machine-gun nest and flak batteries shot up by the gunners of the Fortress Silver Slipper, which topped off an assault on the oil refinery in Brux, Czechoslovakia, by attacking Nazi defense on the French coast.

Returning on two engines with it's fuselage riddled, the rudder severly damaged, flaps shot out and bomb-bay doors down, the Silver Slipper, piloted by 1 /LT. Frank W Cooney of Dallas, TX., skimmed over Europe Friday less than 50 feeet above ground to escape German fighters, the crew related today.

"We flew over some of the machine gun batteries at less than 50 feet," said S/SGT Donald R Stormout, of Chelsea, MA. "They blazed at us and we literally sprayed them with bullets. At one time, I saw five machine gunners jumping toward their guns. I blasted the crowd and they went down like ten-pins."

"It was like shooting rabbits, " said T/SGT Kenneth Young, of Wichita, KS. "They'd scurry for their guns and we'd let it fly at them. They were dropping all over the place."

While skimming channel coast sand dunes, the bombardier, 2/LT Jack R Simpson, of Oakland, CA., spotted a German sentry. "He threw his rifle to his shoulder and must have fired about three shots at us," Simpson said. "I swung my twin turret guns in his direction, and a slug knocked into him. He threw his rifle forward, his arms stiff, and went over his back."

Silver Slipper ran into strong fighter opposition Friday. It's gunners claimed at least nine Nazi craft.

Other members of the crew were: T/SGT Leonard Schauer, the Bronx; S/SGT Jack Marini, Steubenville, OH; S/SGT Howard E Boyd, Oglesby, TX; S/SGT Ernest L Elmer, Omeha, NE; 2/LT William G Story, Rupert, ID; 2/LT Frank W Wolf, Raleigh, NC.

Saggysack
01-25-2004, 06:13 PM
Another article from the Wichita Beacon about the incident in the 2nd article.

Germans guide limping Fortress toward Britian; Wichitan Aboard.

Germans wave and point to West;Soldiers Fire on Low-FLying Bomber; Girl Yoo-Hoos', Almost falls off bicycle.

By John W Marrell
International News Service Staff Correspondent

A Fortress Base in England, May 13th. (INS)-- A crippled US Fortress was revealed tonight to have flown all the way across Germany at hedge hopping altitudes while German farmers and villagers waved greetings and signaled flying directions to the heavy Bomber's Crew.

Crewmen of the big plane name Silver Slipper told how German troops tried to shoot down the Fortress with machine guns and rifles at several places along the Bomber's virtually miraculous homeward flight made at levels of only 15 to 50 feet above the ground.

The men estimated they had killed or wounded at least 50 German soldiers by strafing them in reply to their fire. Piloted by 1/LT Frank W Cooney of 4308 Potomac Ave, Dallas, TX., the Silver Slipper was damaged in yesterday's terrific air battle during the raid on synthetic oil works at Brux in Czechoslovakia.

Low flight over Germany
The Fortress was forced to drop out of formation and LT Cooney immediately "hit the deck", dipping down to extremely low altitudes to avoid detection by high flying German fighters. Across the whole breadth of Germany and Nazi occuppied West European areas, Cooney drove his wounded Fortress in one of the most dramatic and unusual episodes of the entire air war.

So low did the Silver Slipper skip over towns and countryside that it's crew members said they could see the color of the eyes of the people on the ground.

Over the Reich, the American Airmen related, peasants and townspeople looked up, threw up their arms with fingers extended in the Allied "V for Victory" sign and pointed Westward in an obvious effort to show the Fortress the right way to Britain.

The Silver Slipper finally arrived home after skirting telephone wires, dodging church steeples and once even sheering off the tops of fir trees.

"We flew over some machine gun batteries at less than 50 feet," said Waist Gunner SGT Donald R Stormont of Chelsea, MA. "They blazed up at us and we just literally sprayed them with bullets."

"One time I saw five German machine gunners running towards their guns. I blasted the crowd and the Nazis went over like ten pins. It was just like you see in the movies."

Another member of the crew, Top Turret Gunner T/SGT Kenneth Young of 908 S Water St. Wichita, KS, related: " It was like shooting rabbits. They would scurry for their guns and we would let it fly at them. They were dropping all over the place."

The men of the Silver Slipper said in contrast to the hostile reception they got from the German Soldiers, the German civilians were friendly and showed that they wanted to help the US Airman in distress - probably much to the distress of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

T/SGT Leonard Schauer of the Bronx, NY, a radio man and gunner, recounted; "A lot of Germans waved to us. One girl was waving like hell and almost fell off of her bicycle."

Saggysack
01-25-2004, 06:23 PM
My grandfather may have not been a hero to many. But he was a hero to me.

Rain Man
01-25-2004, 07:32 PM
Cool stories. All of my family members worked in agriculture, so none of them were drafted (in any war). The lone exception was my great-uncle, who took a Japanese sniper shot to the elbow somewhere along the way in WWII. He died about 30 years ago, though, so I never heard any war stories from him.

JOhn
01-26-2004, 07:18 PM
Nice stories Bowser, my grandfather was with the 8th during the very early, the last part of WW2.

Also had an great-uncle who who was also a pilot during WW2, he flew in the pacific. Forgot what plane he flew, other than it was a bomber. Gonna have to dig out the family history book my mom gave me, see if I can remember the details of his service.

I do know my granpa was a gunner, wounded twice in 17's.

Bowser
01-27-2004, 07:55 PM
Another, less amusing, story dad told me about was when he went up with a rookie crew on a bomb run (after being out all night and hung over). All these kids were wound pretty tight and fearing the worst. Apparently they made the trip into the sight and out escaping harm from flak and fighters, until they ran into a wave of ME's on the way back. Every one of the rookies were killed, except for the navigator who was shot in the stomach, during the straffing. My dad did't have a scratch on him. My dad took over flying and had to get on the radio with his pilot from his plane to talk him through flying the thing. The plane was shot to hell--the tail was tore up, the wings were tore up, and only one wheel of the landing gear came down. With his pilot instructing what to do, he belly landed the plane in a field next to the runway, saving the craft and letting the medics get the navigator to the hospital, who later died from injury. For his actions, he was awarded the Silver Star, one medal under the Medal of Honor (I think). He said he never really got rid of all the guilt from that day. Can you imagine?

The stories are practically endless. He passed away in 1991, but he had been working on writing a book on his experiences with some retired one star general from Leavenworth. He became ill and didn't get a chance to finish his works, and Mom kept his stuff locked away until her house was hit by the tornado last May. I was able to find his stuff from the war he saved. There are piles and piles of handwritten stuff that I need to go through. So maybe I can find more notes on his missions and post specific dates, towns, people, and places to go with the stories.

I'm glad you guys enjoyed me telling you about my dad's adventures. It's fun to remeninsce about this stuff.

Ralph Ovadal
05-19-2005, 11:01 AM
I would like to respond to a message which was posted on this site which I found while doing a Google search using the name of a B-17 bomber my dad flew in during WWII. Bowser related a humorous story his dad, William Craven, supposedly told him. Craven was the top turret gunner on the same bomber, the Virgin Sturgeon, on which my dad, John Ovadal, was the tail gunner. In the account, Bowser spoke of "the tail gunner, a cajun named Ovodall." For the record, not that it really matters, my dad was born, raised, and continues to live in Wisconsin. What does matter is the rest of Craven's fantastic story. We are supposed to believe that after the Sturgeon's top turret was blown off by an enemy fighter and my dad thought Craven was dead, Craven then "manages to keep everybody quiet, sneeks back to the tail, and while Ovodall is firing his guns calmly asks 'how you doin' back here, partner?'" At that point, so the story goes, my dad supposedly screamed and wet himself. If the senior Craven really told this story, it must have been after he had spent a little too long at the VFW!

First of all, the radio system used between the crew on the B-17 was an intercom-type system. If Craven had shared his impending practical joke on it, my dad would have heard him. So as the Sturgeon's crew fought off waves of German fighters at thirty thousand feet in temperatures down to sixty degrees below zero, did Craven hook up his portable oxygen bottle, go to each of the eight other men, put his fingers to his lips, giggle, and tell them, "I'm going to play a joke on Ovadal; don't let him know I am still alive." That would have been really responsible and gone over really well!

Secondly, the B-17 has nothing but a thin, aluminum skin. With the roar of the B-17's four engines, the other sounds of combat around the plane, and my dad's two fifty-caliber machine guns hammering away in the cramped tail section, it is ridiculous to think anyone could "calmly ask" any question in that tail and be heard! As far as the wet pants claim, considering the clothing the fliers wore to keep from freezing to death and considering my dad would have been sitting on a small stool hunched over his guns with his back to Craven in the narrow tail section, it's anybody's guess how Craven would have any knowledge of that sort of reaction! By the way, what was Craven doing sneaking around playing practical jokes and distracting the rest of the crew as they were in a life-and-death struggle against the best the Luftwaft could throw at them?

Lastly, anyone who knows my dad, who also served during the Korean War, knows there is no way he would scream and wet himself even if the incident had happened. John Ovadal is a decorated combat veteran who served with great honor and distinction. Death was no stranger to him, and he is a man of great honesty. When I asked him about the incident in question, he said it never happened. The story Bowser publicly related in his first post about my dad may make for a few laughs for those ignorant of the realities of air combat over Europe in late 1943 and early 1944. But I find it to be an irresponsible slander of my dad and an inaccurate picture of the air crews who served so gallantly and efficiently in such brutal conditions and under such incredible odds as did my dad and, for that matter, William Craven. If "Bowser" Craven wants to relate such inaccurate accounts, I suggest he leave the names of others out.

Iowanian
05-23-2005, 10:59 AM
Holy Crap.........Ralph's daddy has baows the size of Rich Scanlon's!

He wasn't making fun of your daddy, he was telling a story told to him. Thank him for his service, and stop being such a nag.

Bowser
06-12-2005, 09:31 PM
Thanks for clearing that up, Ralph. My story was retold just the way I had heard it from my dad numerous times. It is quite possible that he spiced it up for humor, but I assure you that is the way I heard it from him. I'm sorry you took such offense to the story, it was in no way meant to belittle your dad.

Bowser
06-12-2005, 10:11 PM
Thanks for clearing that up, Ralph. My story was retold just the way I had heard it from my dad numerous times. It is quite possible that he spiced it up for humor, but I assure you that is the way I heard it from him. I'm sorry you took such offense to the story, it was in no way meant to belittle your dad.

Your father and mine DID serve together. I have the names of all the flyers of the Virgin Sturgeon

Capt. William J. Harding
1st Lt. Valdimar A Cordova
1st Lt. Clinton N. Jacobson
1st Lt. Edward D. Morgan
Tsgt. William A. Craven
Tsgt. Mario G. Lobue
Ssgt. Vincent J. Plouff
Ssgt. Gerald E. Fritz
Ssgt. Raymond N. Ross
Ssgt. John J. Ovadoll

I talked to my Mom about the story in question, and she confirmed what I told, up to the point to where I said my Dad snuck back to the tail gunner position. She said she doesn't remember him telling her that, so it would appear that it was made up for my benefit. And your Dad, is not the Cajun I had in mind, the Cajun was Lobue who was the Ball Turret Gunner.

I must apologize to you, and everyone, for posting the story. Evidently my facts weren't correct, and the story was told to me just for the benefit of my enjoyment, as I was much younger when I first heard this. I have no doubt your father was, and is, an honorable man, and this story had absolutely no malicious intent. I'm sorry you thought your father was the target of some sort of smear campaign by me and my Dad. Why would you even think that would be my intent? My Dad is a highly decorated veteran, just like yours. I would never mean your Dad harm, as I would hope you would feel the same towards mine.

If ever you are here again, please send me an e-mail or private message.

Ultra Peanut
06-19-2005, 02:41 PM
.

Five Mile
09-29-2011, 05:36 PM
Hey, My Dad was just setting the record straight about a stupid story concerning my Grandpa John. Let me tell you somthing, my Grandpa would never of pissed his pants over anything and my Dad is not a Nag.
I have a dumb question for you, is your user name Iowan because you live in Iowa ?
Let me know, because I live in Wisconsin, maybe we can get together so I can explain a few things about what kind of men my Grandpa and Dad are.
Please, where ever we meet leave your purse at home.
I find it embarssing to be seen in public with a man who wears a purse.

Dicky McElephant
09-29-2011, 05:46 PM
How big a boy are yah?

Short Leash Hootie
09-29-2011, 05:46 PM
what in god's name is going on in here?? lmao

Dicky McElephant
09-29-2011, 05:52 PM
Hey, My Dad was just setting the record straight about a stupid story concerning my Grandpa John. Let me tell you somthing, my Grandpa would never of pissed his pants over anything and my Dad is not a Nag.
I have a dumb question for you, is your user name Iowan because you live in Iowa ?
Let me know, because I live in Wisconsin, maybe we can get together so I can explain a few things about what kind of men my Grandpa and Dad are.
Please, where ever we meet leave your purse at home.
I find it embarssing to be seen in public with a man who wears a purse.

So really....who's dup is this?

Predarat
09-29-2011, 06:39 PM
ruh row

ChiefGator
09-29-2011, 07:23 PM
In before the thread gets moved to D.C.

Iowanian
09-29-2011, 07:41 PM
Hey, My Dad was just setting the record straight about a stupid story concerning my Grandpa John. Let me tell you somthing, my Grandpa would never of pissed his pants over anything and my Dad is not a Nag.
I have a dumb question for you, is your user name Iowan because you live in Iowa ?
Let me know, because I live in Wisconsin, maybe we can get together so I can explain a few things about what kind of men my Grandpa and Dad are.
Please, where ever we meet leave your purse at home.
I find it embarssing to be seen in public with a man who wears a purse.


I'll bet your pussy has a beard and drinks old style pussy light, because your'e a pussy.

You are a big cooter, a sloppy cock sock and your dad throws pussy children. Pussy.

ChiefGator
09-29-2011, 07:55 PM
I'll bet your pussy has a beard and drinks old style pussy light, because your'e a pussy.

You are a big cooter, a sloppy cock sock and your dad throws pussy children. Pussy.

Wait... what are you saying?

He has a vagina and yet he doesn't shave his vaginal area? And then, on top of that, he douches with shitty beer? And he is also a larger turtle who wears socks? It's good that his father is so well employed though, in hard times like this. So, at least you ended your posting nicely.

Here pussy, pussy.. ah.. I do love my kitties as well.

Iowanian
09-29-2011, 08:03 PM
I'm saying "hey big pussy". Lucky for big pussy, I'll be in Prairie Du Chein saturday.

I'll be waiting in front of Cabelas about 2pm. I'll be the guy about 6' tall, around 210lbs. I'll have a buzz cut and a big ass goate, be wearing a long sleeve camoflage shirt and probably my packers cap. When you see me, ask if I'm Iowan so I'll know it's you and then get ready.

Bring a lunch, because I don't like to be seen in public with fat pussies who are hungry.

Mk19
09-29-2011, 08:10 PM
Hey, My Dad was just setting the record straight about a stupid story concerning my Grandpa John. Let me tell you somthing, my Grandpa would never of pissed his pants over anything and my Dad is not a Nag.
I have a dumb question for you, is your user name Iowan because you live in Iowa ?
Let me know, because I live in Wisconsin, maybe we can get together so I can explain a few things about what kind of men my Grandpa and Dad are.
Please, where ever we meet leave your purse at home.
I find it embarssing to be seen in public with a man who wears a purse.

I bet my dad could beat up your dad!

SPchief
09-29-2011, 09:25 PM
Frankies mom is a whore!

Bowser
09-30-2011, 03:36 PM
Hey, My Dad was just setting the record straight about a stupid story concerning my Grandpa John. Let me tell you somthing, my Grandpa would never of pissed his pants over anything and my Dad is not a Nag.
I have a dumb question for you, is your user name Iowan because you live in Iowa ?
Let me know, because I live in Wisconsin, maybe we can get together so I can explain a few things about what kind of men my Grandpa and Dad are.
Please, where ever we meet leave your purse at home.
I find it embarssing to be seen in public with a man who wears a purse.

Wow, what the hell.

Dayze
09-30-2011, 03:45 PM
Hey, My Dad was just setting the record straight about a stupid story concerning my Grandpa John. Let me tell you somthing, my Grandpa would never of pissed his pants over anything and my Dad is not a Nag.
I have a dumb question for you, is your user name Iowan because you live in Iowa ?
Let me know, because I live in Wisconsin, maybe we can get together so I can explain a few things about what kind of men my Grandpa and Dad are.
Please, where ever we meet leave your purse at home.
I find it embarssing to be seen in public with a man who wears a purse.

sounds like your Dad and Grandpa aren't the type to get their Vag tied in a not over something on a internet board; especially after the poster indicated he meant no disrespect.

I bet when you did something stupid in front of family friends, at a cookout etc, your Dad would look to the guests and say "Sorry, you'll have to excuse my daughter..she's a drama queen"

Bowser
09-30-2011, 03:58 PM
On a related note to this thread, appropo to none of the anger/drama of the Ovadal's -

My mom's house was hit by the tornado that tore up the northland some years ago (2003?). Recently I was helping her go through some of the stuff she had thrown in storage from the cleanup of her place. I found my dad's writings - over five full binders of stuff he had been working on. I've never read any of it, just briefly skimmed some of it. But in the middle of one of the binders was an old legal sized envelope. I opened it up, and it was my dad's journal he kept from his two years he was in a prison camp. It had poems by the prisoners, drawings, schedules of the various gurads....all kinds of stuff. It was amazing looking through it, and I had never known he had something like that, much less kept it safe all these years. I'm going to have to get all this stuff arranged and try to find a publisher. This stuff needs to be put into a book for everyone to see. A real piece of history, if you will.

Bowser
09-30-2011, 04:00 PM
My very first thread here, too. Lol.

Dicky McElephant
09-30-2011, 04:11 PM
On a related note to this thread, appropo to none of the anger/drama of the Ovadal's -

My mom's house was hit by the tornado that tore up the northland some years ago (2003?). Recently I was helping her go through some of the stuff she had thrown in storage from the cleanup of her place. I found my dad's writings - over five full binders of stuff he had been working on. I've never read any of it, just briefly skimmed some of it. But in the middle of one of the binders was an old legal sized envelope. I opened it up, and it was my dad's journal he kept from his two years he was in a prison camp. It had poems by the prisoners, drawings, schedules of the various gurads....all kinds of stuff. It was amazing looking through it, and I had never known he had something like that, much less kept it safe all these years. I'm going to have to get all this stuff arranged and try to find a publisher. This stuff needs to be put into a book for everyone to see. A real piece of history, if you will.

http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac264/jonalexdeval/cool-story-bro-but-lemme-call-in-my-buddy-hes-an-expert-on-cool-stories.jpg

Bowser
09-30-2011, 04:16 PM
http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac264/jonalexdeval/cool-story-bro-but-lemme-call-in-my-buddy-hes-an-expert-on-cool-stories.jpg

LMAO He'll give me fifty bucks for it, provided he can find someone interested.


And I was going to ask how this ended up in the Casino Planet, but I remember Rain Man's B-17 adventure took place in here. How many pages back on a Google search do you think this thing was? Ralph is either an incredibly thorough guy, to the point of OCD, or was just completely bored out of his skull one night. At any rate, to see this thing bumped years later by the pissed off grandson looking for a fight is pure hilarity.

MoreLemonPledge
09-30-2011, 11:04 PM
HEY STOP MAKING FUN OF MY GREAT GRANDFATHER. HE WAS HONORABLE AS SHIT AND I'LL FIGHT YOU OVER IT. HE WOULD NEVER PEE HIS PANTS.