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S/Sgt. Wilbur E. Bagby
489th Bombardment Squadron

Going "Over There"

Crews picked up new planes, painted a lovely desert (pink!) color, from Michigan, and returned to Florida for staging to overseas. The B-25s and crews would be crossing the Atlantic in the air, while the remainder of the squadron reached North Africa by ship crossing the Pacific.

My father was in the crew of "Talking For Jo". From Morrison Field in West Palm Beach, Florida, they touched down at Boringuen Field in Puerto Rico; Atkinson Field in Georgetown, British Guiana; Belem, Brazil; Natal, Brazil; Ascencion Island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean; and in Africa --- Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; Kano, Nigeria; El Fasher, Sudan; Khartoum, Sudan; and finally, Heliopolis Field in Cairo, Egypt.

The squadron's B-25s might land at other fields on the route depending on weather or mechanical problems. ........
"Talking for Jo", for example, had engine problems en route and arrived in the combat zone several weeks after most of the other B-25s.

Here are views of Atkinson Field and Parnamirim Field.

Natal, Brazil, before the Atlantic crossing.
Note the gear stowed in the nose. The fellow squatting in the middle must think he's on vacation --- shorts, barefoot....

FRONT: Owen Crawford-pilot, Wilbur Bagby-gunner, Joe Casanova-radar tech.
BACK: Charles Furman-co-pilot, Wayne McLaughin-engineer,
Kenneth Sorenson-radio-gunner, Walter Mates-navigator/bombardier.

A flight of B-25s headed for Tunisia.

After a side trip to Ismalia, Egypt, S/Sgt Bagby continued to Sfax, Tunisia and then to Hergla, Tunisia, where he entered combat with the 489th.....


Preparing for War
Going "Over There" --- current page
Campaigns - Page 2
Back Home
Mission List

Image/photo Credits:
1. Atkinson Field --- The Army Air Forces in World War II (vol 1), Eds. W.F. Craven, J.L. Cate
2. Parnamirim Field --- ditto
3. "Talking for Jo" crew --- Bagby collection
4. B-25s to Tunisia --- Air Force-A Pictoral History of American Airpower, Martin Caidin