Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Upstairs Maid...

The internet is an amazing place. And I'm not just talking about the pornography--there's other stuff too! To wit, I just received this email:

I read a post on your blog dated 10/06/08. You mention your grandfather was a crewman on a B-24 named the "Upstairs Maid". My father was a navigator also in a B-24 with the same name. Just wondering if they could have been crewmates at some point. What was your granfathers name? My father was [redacted]. I have a few photos from that time. Contact me. Thanks.
I mean, really. How odd is that? The blog post he references is actually about my Uncle Hugh's burial at Washington National Cemetery, but you might want to take a peek--it's a classic.

I wrote back:
Wow, [redacted]. What a pleasure...

My father (not my grandfather) died about two years ago and I had the pleasure of spending a lot of time with him in his final months. His name was Allen Raymond. We talked about the war quite a bit. And although it may just be the power of suggestion, I have this strong feeling that I've heard your father's name before.

I don't have too many hard details. They flew missions over southern German out of Italy in a bomber called The Upstairs Maid. Dad was the pilot. One interesting thing--I don't know if you are familiar with a non-fiction book by Stephen Ambrose called "The Wild Blue", but it is the story of a bomber wing flying missions over Germany in the war. I gave it to Dad several years ago and after he read it he called me and said his wing had shared the airfield with the group that Ambrose wrote about. If you haven't read it, I would urge you to do so. It gave me tremendous new insight into what your father and mine went through.

I hope this is helpful. If you have a group photo, I can certainly pick Dad out. In any case, if you have some images to share, I'd love to see them.

Geoff Raymond
I've omitted the names for privacy purposes (his, not mine).

This is worth thinking about:


Blogger Bob said...

My Uncle Linzy Davis was a gunner on the upstairs maid. He vividly recounted the Ploesti flight and the events when he was wounded and the Maid landed at an alternate airfield' Thanks, Bob

2:51 PM  

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