A vibrant community
At the dedication weekend, Julian Ramirez and Kay Marks and her family (Joseph K. Marks) kindly left photographs of Julian's crew "The Flying Dutchmen" and Joseph's Crew # 12 War Eagle.
We have also received this photo of John Smethills, co pilot standing next to B-17 Mizpah from Edward Earl Zesch.John Smethills
Bob Gross: West Hartford Life February 2016
Unfortunately, we were recently notified of the death of one of our veterans, Robert M. Baer, his obituary can be read at https://www.callahanandhughes.com/obituary/robert-baer
Robert had visited Mendlesham in 1976 and 1983 - see his thoughts further to his visit in 1983.
"I met the ladies who put the flowers on the memorial and got their names and a picture of them. I told them how much I was impressed and moved, when I was in England in 1976 on an overseas exercise to Leakenheath AFB, to come back after 30 years and find the 34th Bomb Group Memorial in such good repair, the grass cut and fresh flowers on it. I could not describe my feelings of appreciation of these wonderful people who after 40 years still remember and appreciate the fact that the airmen of the 34th Bomb Group fought and died to protect their England and for freedom all over the world."
Robert was not able to attend the dedication of the Memorial in November 2014, but his son Chris and partner Matt and granddaughter Crystal, husband and very young children were able to come over.
Thank you to Carolyn and Andy Triscott who organised some flowers and laminated details which were placed on the memorial and Father Philip for the prayer and candle lit for Robert at St Mary's Church.
Angelo Grinalo:It is with much sadness that we have received news from Jack Steffen in the States, reporting that another of our 34th Bomb Group veterans, Angelo Grinaldo, has passed away. Angelo was one of the four veterans in the group that visited Mendlesham in 2007, and remembered the visit fondly for the rest of his life.
Angelo's son-in-law, Pat Strack, was also on that trip, and asked Jack to forward the family’s thanks to ourselves in Mendlesham. These are Pat's words:
I cannot tell you how much the trip to England meant to him. I am very serious when I say that not a single day when I was at his house that he did not mention it and all the nice things those folks did for us while we were there. He just loved it. Please express our undying and everlasting gratitude to the folks in Mendlesham. They should know how they made an old man feel. You know, like a hero. The hero all those guys were.
Angelo J. Grinaldo WYNANTSKILL - Angelo J. Grinaldo, passed into eternal rest on Friday, September 4, 2015, just one week after his 91st birthday, with his loving family at his side. Angelo was born in Troy and was the son of the late Samuel and Grace DiStefano Grinaldo. Angelo was educated in Troy and proudly served his county in WWII. He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. He served in the 8th Air Corps 34th Bomb Group in Mendlesham and Fersfield, England. After the war he returned to Troy and in 1949 he married Concetta A. Mele. Angelo and 'Connie' bought property in Wynantskill and with the help of their families, built their house. There they raised their daughters Angela and Ann Marie.
Being a child of the depression, Angelo was deeply affected, as were many, by incredible hardships. It was because of these hardships that he dedicated himself to a life of absolute, hard work. Nothing would stop him. In the 1960s he started a small company called Bonded Form, which offered the first poured concrete foundations for homes in the Capital District. He worked every day, without fail, including weekends and holidays. After several years, he was 'well on his way'. In 1971 Angelo took a chance on some 'swamp land' in central Florida and started another company, Bonded Form, Inc., Florida. He developed commercial and residential property in the Ft. McCoy and Silver Springs area for many years. Angelo’s interests were many.While not being a pilot in the Air Corps, he attained a private pilot license later in life and flew his own Cessna Cardinal. He enjoyed deep sea fishing and was an expert on WWII history. He also had a keen interest in machines of all types. As busy as he was throughout his life, he enjoyed his later years spending time with his family, mowing his property, tending to his prized blueberries and sitting with his constant companion, his little bichon, Angel. The two were inseparable. In addition to his parents he is predeceased by his first wife and mother of his children, Concetta A. Mele Grinaldo, brother Nicholas (Virginia), sisters Mary O’Donnell (Andy), and Josephine Grinaldo. He is survived by his daughters Angela Grinaldo Burritt , formerly of Waterford and Ann Marie (Patrick) Strack of Ballston Spa, sisters Angela (the late Donald) Bouchard, Marguerite (Jim Scorscone), nieces and nephews, Nicholas (Margo) Grinaldo, Virginia (Dennis) Ryan, Richard O’Donnell, Andrea (James) Dedrick, William (Donna) Bouchard, Grace (the late Paul) Flagg, Gary (Debbie) Favro, Karen (Andy Hathaway) Hanna, special friends RoseMarie White and Doris A. Weaver and his best friend 'Angel'.
We have heard from Joseph Bobrowicz and son Mark. Joseph flew 35 missions between 24th December 1944 and April 1945, keeping a diary which has been transcribed plus many photos. If you wish to make contact with Mark and Joseph, please contact us and we will put you in touch with each other.
Nov 2020: We have heard from Billie Ivey Hoyle regarding her dad Kivett as follows:
If you wish to get in contact with Billie, please let us know and we will try to sort.