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Andy Anderson
397th Bomb Group, 597th Bomb Squadron

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Crew Photo--back row 1st Lt. Winfred W. "Andy" Anderson, pilot; 2nd Lt. Angelo Saracelli, co-pilot; T/Sgt. Manuel Estrella, bombardier; Cpl. Max Berger, aerial photographer, Front row, S.Sgt Leon F. LaFraniere, radio; Sgt. Salvatore C. Merlo, engineer; Sgt. Louis R. Navarro, tail gunner (as an aside the photog Berger was credited with shooting down an enemy aircraft).

My Dad, Winfred Walter Anderson, 10/02/19, XXXX963, was a B-26 pilot with the 397th Bomb Group, 597th Bomb Squadron. He was class 43-G. Went through B-26 transition school at Laughlin AAF, Del Rio, Texas. Trained at MacDill, then Hunter field. Crew was Jim Nunan, (who didn't go overseas), Dad, Joe Coleman, bombardier, Frank Evans, navigator, (kia 5/13/44), Dores Garner, Amilio Rovinelli, William Clifford (gunners). Flew the southern route overseas in January (?) 1944. Crew was assigned to Col. Frank Wood, squadron CO. Dad flew several missions with him and then got his own aircraft. A silver B-26, 296196, 9F-K, which he never named, but had intended to name it "Toro" (Spanish for bull) because of an incident in Acuna, Mexico (across from Del Rio) where Dad whipped the matador at a bullfight because he didn't think the way the matador was fighting the bull was right.

Dad's crew was Angelo Saracelli, co-pilot, Manuel Estrella, bombardier, Salvatore Merlo, Engineer, Leon LaFraniere, radio and Louis Navarro, tail gunner. 196K was lost when another crew flew it and crashed shortly after takeoff June 9, 1944.

Dad then got the "Holy Moses" after Moses Gatewood and crew were shot down flying another aircraft (Mama Liz I think).

Dad flew 65 missions before returning home in early 1945. His orders showed a release date but no report in date--he took a week in Paris then caught a shuttle flight to England. Spent a week in England then boarded the SS United States for the ride home.

Dad passed away 12/26/99 as the result of complications of colon cancer. He faced that bravely, also.

I have a few more pics that I will send another time. Wynn


"Gran Pappy"
1st B-26

The gunners. Left to right, Leon LaFraniere, Louis Navarro, Savatore Merlo.


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