|William H. F. Laberee, Master Sergeant, 598th
Bombardment Squadron, Given at Separation Center, Fort Devens, Mass
10/19/1945; D.O.B. 14 August, 1912; Place of Birth: Canada [Pictou,
Nova Scotia] Date of Induction: 7 Mar 42; Entry into active service:
same as above; Place of entry: Fort Devens, Mass. Military
occupational Specialty & No.: Airplane Maint. Tech 750 Military
Qualification & date: MM Rifle MM Carbine TBMG MM [no date given]
Battles & Campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Air Offensive Europe,
Rhineland, Ardennes, Central Europe Decorations & Citations: Good
Conduct Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon Date of
Departure for ETO: 27 Feb, 1944 Arrival: 7 Mar, 1944 Continental
Service: 2 yrs Foreign Service: 1 yr 7 mo 13 d Highest Rank held:
Master Sergeant; Service Schools Attended: Airplane Mech Sch, Keesler
Field, Mississippi; Martin B-26 Factory Sch, Baltimore, MD; Military
Occupational Assignments: a) Private, Basic Training, 1 mo b)
S/Sgt, Crew Chief, 7 mos c) M/Sgt, Flight Chief, 28 mos
Flight Chief Duties: Supervised maintenance on four B-26 medium
bombers. Inspected the maintenance performed by the respective
mechanics of each aircraft, inspected maintenance records, supervised
all hourly inspections of the aircrafts. Directly responsible for the
maintaining of the airplanes, insuring their readiness at all times
for flight. With 397th Bomb Group, ETO.
Other info which I can add: Dad was born Aug. 14, 1912 in Pictou, Nova
Scotia, Canada to Walter George Laberee and Henrietta Campbell
(Currie) Laberee. (He was born in Pictou because his mother made a
point of returning to her birthplace for the birth of both sons, but
not her 3 daughters. This was purely a coincidence because obviously
she couldn't have known what gender she was having before the kids
Dad returned to Pictou in 1923, age 11 and got into a fight w/a kid
who insulted him because he was an American. He was actually still a
British citizen, not naturalized until age 24. The other kid was
likely a distant cousin. Dad won. He lived in Waltham, MA 1912-1917.
Lived in Sudbury, MA 1917-1954, graduating from high school there in
1930. Worked for Eastern Airlines, approx 1948-1977, in Boston,
Atlanta, then back to Boston. Nov. 26, 1954 married Jeanie Emma Hyslop
(1917-2003) of Fall River, MA. One daughter, Jane Anne Hyslop Laberee
1956- . No grandchildren. Lived in Atlanta 1954-1962. Lived in
Swampscott, MA 1962-2005. Died at age 92, May 27, 2005, Beverly, MA.
Interred in Oak Grove Cemetery, Fall River, MA.
Other: 1) somewhere I have an anecdote written by my father of how he
stopped a plane from taking off as he was walking by, off-duty,
because from his unique vantage point, he could see hydraulic fluid
squirting out. Ran toward the plane vigorously waving and gesturing to
cut the engines (the throat-slash gesture, of course) Was later
complimented by a superior officer on his perceptiveness.
2) While in France, my father befriended a local family who sometimes
treated him to some fine native cuisine. After leaving France, he
continued to send "care packages" to the family and I have a thank-you
letter written from the mother of the family to my father's mother.
It's in French, but I think I've translated it pretty well.
Wm. H. F. Laberee
Group shot under propeller,: only thing written on the back is "France".
Wm. H. F. Laberee is on the far right. No-one else is ID'd.
Wm. H. F. Laberee standing in front of "Bird Legs" plane. "France" written
Unidentified man sitting on bomb. "Rivenhall, England" written on reverse
Group shot in front of "Blind Date" plane, Rivenhall, England.
L to R: Lt. Dwight H. Lowe, Engineering, 397/598,
M/Sgt. Anthony J. Blazicevich, MOS 752 Line, 397/598
H. F. Laberee, Crew Chief, 397/598
M/Sgt. Douglas Melbourne Ames, Engineer Gunner, 397/598
M. Sgt. William T. Quarles, Engineer Gunner, 397/598
M/Sgt. Henry Schmidt, 397/598
Group shot outside barracks w/number ID's:
1) Sgt. Harold A. F. Heinze, Crew Chief, 397/598
2) Cpl. James W.
McClanahan, Aircraft Mechanic, 397/598
3) Thomas W. Deaver, 397/598
4) Sgt. Robert E. L. Hoffman, 397/598
5) John A. Darnell, 397/598
6) Cpl. Chester A. Bauer, Chew Chief, 397/598 or Charles L. Bauer, MOS
405, 397 or Ubald L Bauer, Pilot, 397/598
7) Wilfred T. Trewer, 397/598, Aircraft Technician; 391/574, Tech
8) William H. Hill, Ground Support, 397/599
9) Frank P. Salemo, Assistant Crew Chief, 397/598
10) Cpl. Edwin E. Harris, Flight Engineer, 397/598
11) William J. Weir, Electrical, 397/598 or Robert Herman Weir, 397/596
12) Raymond W. LaBelle, 397/598
13) S/Sgt. James "Jim" M. Whalen, MOS 513, 397/598
14) Cpl. Arthur Souza Martin, MOS 513, 397/598
15) S/Sgt. Carl G. O'Dell, Crew Chief, 397/598
Sgt. Frank Ellsworth Miner, Jr. Engineer Gunner, 397/598
17) Odell Walker, MOS 747, 397/598
18) Cpl. Edward "Eddie" C. Coveleski, 397/598
Carlyle Nicholas Taetsch, Crew Chief, 397/598
20) T/Sgt. Wm. H. F. Laberee, Crew Chief, 397/598
"Irv Miller" is the only thing written on the back of this picture,
but the front is signed "To a real pal, Irv"
Two men beside "Keep off the Grass" sign: on back of picture, says "Andy &
MacDill Field, Sept. 1943". "Jim" has got to be Jim Whalen, also large