"Aces of The Eighth" by Jack Fellows

November 1944 Morotai Island

This photo, taken in November 1944 on Morotai Island, was sent in by Howard “Pete” Sheehan (kneeling, second from left, with shirt).  It shows 214 aerial victories—just eleven short of our final WWII tally of 225.  Of the 19 crouching men, Pete ID’s some as (L to R): #1 (no shirt) Mark Damon; #2 Pete; #4 Bill Dwinell; #5 Hugh Hatfield; #8 “Fearless” Furgason?; #9 Orland Harris; #11 Cy Homer; #12 Larry Henkes; #13 Donald Logslett; #14 John Stanifer; #15 Rusty Roth.

Pete writes, “I’m fairly sure of those I’ve identified and the images of most of the others are familiar to me, but I can’t come up with the names for them (55-year old photo!).”

He continued, “#1 Damon was shot down over Mindanao shortly after this picture, but a couple of months later, he turned up (wasted and bearded) at our camp on Mindoro having walked out through the jungle.  #4 Bill Dwinell shot down two night bombers over Mindoro when the night fighters couldn’t find them.  #5 Hatfield (from the fabled Tennessee feuders) was distinguished by a serious of boxing matches against the Aussie champ.  #8 “Fearless” Furgason so named because of the elaborate preparations for his personal bomb shelter.  #9 Harris was shot down after a dive bomb and strafing run against a Japanese task force (at night) just off-shore at Mindoro.  He managed to get into his one-man life raft and listened to the sounds of the crew’s shouts as the battle continued and the ships glided past.  #11 Cy Homer was simply the best pilot I ever saw (and I was a test pilot at Wright Field with Chuck Yeager).  #12 Henkes was the only pilot known to me with enough strength to take-off from a dirt strip in a P-38 on single engine.”

Another copy of the same photo was sent in by Mrs. Francis Harvey.  He is standing, second from left, with his hand up on large sign.  Bob Peters is first on left standing.  #3 crouching is William Underwood; #10 crouching is Samuel Barnes.

On 9 December 1999, Ken Lloyd sent this e-mail message in:

You asked if any of us in that photo could identify others shown.

The 4 standing: L-R, Peters, (can’t remember his first name); Francis
Harvey (Armament Officer); L. G. Johnson, ( in tee shirt, leaning
against Home of the Headhunters sign; and yours truly – K. B. (Ken)
Lloyd, right arm on top of Headhunter emblem.

Crouching in front of Headhunter near L. G. is Louis Schriber.  To
Sheehan’s left is Underwood, first name eludes me.

L. G. Johnson lost an engine on takeoff from our strip in Mindoro and was killed trying to crash land in the bay.  He had survived a previous crash landing in the water off Owi Island.

Francis Harvey had been with the squadron longer than any of us and
seemed to thrive on the bully beef and dehydrated spuds.  He was a great guy and we all enjoyed knowing “Old Harv, friend of the white man”, as we fondly called him because of the long time he had been there.  Harv lived in Alameda, CA.  He passed away over 30 years ago from something like Lou Gerigg’s disease.

Louis Schriber’s exploits, one of our Aces, are well known.

One of my grandsons took my copy of the picture to try to bring it into
clearer view.  I have most of the names on that photo.  Will ask “Deac”
Logslett if he can remember more names for you.

Cy Homer, was certainly one hell of a pilot!  I was very privileged to
have flown as wing man for both he and “Cock” Robbins, who was one hell of a fighter pilot too!

While confirming the other men in the photo, Don Logslett sent in this additional information on 11 Dec 99:  #1 crouching from the right is Endres; #2 is Jenner; #3 is Louis Schriber; #4 is Caldwell.

Comments

  1. Hello Diann,

    Your Father-in-Law is mentioned in the book, “Attack & Conquer * The 8th Fighter Group in WWII”. On page 120, referring to fourteen 80th Squadron P-38s escorting a large formation of B-24s over Bogadjim on 23 July 1943, it states, “Lt Bob Hanson accounted for another Oscar confirmed and one probably destroyed.” I hope this adds to your information!

  2. Hi Diann,

    I’m the 80th Fighter Squadron Association Historian. I’ll do some research and try to get some info on your Father-in-law.

    Bob

  3. I am looking for someone that may have known my Father-in-law, Robert Paul Hanson who is in the lower right corner of the picture In Moratai in 1944. I know he flew the P 38 and rose to Captain at discharge. He was also know as Bob and Swede.

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