Last Updated: 06/05/04
                        H.G. Turner
                        Uncle Sam - I'm Back!
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  Harlie & Donnie reunite After Germany surrendered, the armed services cut back. Men were discharged based on a point system. I received my discharge from the Army Air Corp. in September 14, 1945, while at Fort Sharrian, IL.

I returned to Dubuque, IA, and was happily re-united with my brother Donnie and my family. At first, I was delighted to be back in civilian life, however, as time elapsed, I discovered things were not as great as I had envisioned. I jumped from one job to another.

Housing was very difficult to find. Colleen, Sue, and I lived with my sister Etola, her twin daughters, my mom, brother Donnie, and sister Doris. It was a house full! After several months, we finally found three rooms on the third floor of an apartment which we rented. Shortly after moving into this apartment Colleen gave birth to our second child Dennis Dale Turner.

The birth of my son was a bright spot in an otherwise dismal state of affairs. I hated my job, was socially drinking too much, and playing cards most every night. S/Sgt My life was becoming a shamble! On June 17, 1947, I re-enlisted in the airforce with the rank of Staff Sergeant (S/Sgt).

My family returned to military life in a 1937 DeSota and an old 17' trailer house. Our destination was Fort Sharrian, IL for induction, and then on to Lowry AFB, CO, for classification and orders. I was assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group stationed at Spokane AFB, WA, for the next three years. B-29 Airborn During this assignment I was assigned to a crew on B-29 aircraft and went on many temporary duty assignments including Japan, Okinawa, and England. My first (TDY) was to Yokota, Japan, during the latter months of 1947. This was during the occupation of Japan and almost everything was off limits. Americans were not allowed on trains that the Japanese operated. We were only to use trains operated by our military. Military police were everywhere and they didn't care much for (TDY) fly boys.

As much as I hated the Japanese for what they had done at Pearl Harbor and their treatment of our prisoners, it was sad to see the defeated soldiers in their ragged uniforms standing and laying around. They had no place to go. They worked in the rice fields and ate out of garbage cans. If you threw down a cigarette butt, 15-20 Japanese men would fight over it. It was very sad to witness.

Our mission at the time was highly classified. We were to fly across the 38th Parallel, sometimes into North Korea and also up the Yellow Sea to China, to report on all troop and equipment movements. At times we were fired on by small arms because of the extremely low altitude we'd fly. We were literally so low at times, just above sea level, that we were actually looking up at ships. The Chinese and North Koreans would shake their fists at us.

We had the opportunity to fly over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan to view the damage caused by the atomic bombs. Never had I seen anything so destructive. The only things standing were some iron frames of what use to be buildings, and no life movement at all, as the area was still highly contaminated.

98 logo Late in 1948, the 98th Bomb Group (which was also stationed at Spokane AFB) was alerted for (TDY) to Okinawa. Their orders read - "they must arrive in Okinawa with 30 flyable aircraft". However, the 98th was short of crews, so they were going to fill this order from the 92nd group. I was the next gunner in line to go when all the crews were filled for the 98th. However, on the way to Okinawa, one of the planes of the 98th crashed and burned killing all on board while attempting to land in Hawaii. The 98th was now short 1 plane having only 29 aircraft. One more plane was then taken from the 92nd and this time it included me.

The plane I was assigned to was called the "Hanger Queen." It got its name from always being in the hanger for repairs. We renamed it "Hogan's Goat." On our way to Hawaii, we experienced our first major problem with this aircraft, as one of the engines blew up. We spent approximately three weeks in Hawaii before finally getting on our way to Okinawa. This was to be just the start of our problems.


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