WWII

Dan Patterson

Seventy years ago, World War 2 was in full cry. American was in combat across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In Europe, during 1943, the US Army Air Force was engaged against Hitler's Germany. The fall was a crucial time for battle, and October was a cruel month.

Defeating an enemy only with air power was experimental back then.  The American plan was this: equip large bomber with heavy machine guns, fly them in a tight formation with hundreds of identical planes and no long range fighters as escorts.  Could it work?

If you're going to fly an airplane, you've got to have the right look.  An aviator's kit is not complete without the real deal flight jacket - plus the big watch, sunglasses, checklist charts and navigational equipment.  Aviation commentator Dan Patterson explains.

Flying the very early airplanes was a breezy affair.  The Wright brothers' aeroplanes offered no protection from the wind.  Their flying machines were wide open, and they sat on the edge of the lower wing, facing the wind.

Veterans of a daring and costly World War II low-flying raid on Axis oil fields are gathering in Dayton this week for a 70th anniversary reunion.

Those participating in the Ploesti Raid reunion at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will arrive today, gathering for dinner followed by private events Wednesday. On the raid anniversary Thursday, there will be a public memorial service at the museum, and a chance to meet veterans.

Dan Patterson

Tomorrow is the 6th of June. Sixty-nine years ago, the allied forces at war with Hitler’s Germany invaded northern France in what will always be known as D-Day. On that morning in 1944, when Ohioans woke up, the battle in Europe had already been going on for hours. The airborne troops were the first ones to enter the conflict. One local paratroop veteran of that battled died recently, but told his story to our aviation commentator Dan Patterson.

Dan Patterson

Seventy years ago this week American aviators were at war in Europe. In airplanes known as the B-17 Flying Fortress they were flying bombing missions over Germany. One of those planes, nicknamed “The Memphis Belle” flew its 25th combat mission on May 17th, 1943, and then came home to the US with its crew. One of the Memphis Belle’s first stops was Wright Field in Dayton, where today she’s being restored at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Thomas Griffin died in late February - he was one of 80 American servicemen who flew a legendary mission in World War Two.    They were known as Doolittle's Raiders.    Griffin lived in Cincinnati and he
was 96 years old.  Now only four members of that elite group survive.

WYSO aviation commentator Dan Patterson knew Griffin and tells us his story.

The Ohio Departments of Aging and Veterans' Services is commemorating Pearl Harbor Day with a special installment of their War Era Story Project, including 19 stories written by current and former Ohioans about where they were and what they were doing on December 7, 1941.

Mitchell Zuckoff was conducting research for a book project when he stumbled upon a compelling headline from a Chicago newspaper. The dateline was 1945. Zuckoff was so astonished by this newspaper story that he read
that day that he dropped everything and began working on what became another book instead; "Lost in Shangri-La: a True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II."

A conversation with Bobbie Ann Mason about her novel "The Girl in the Blue Beret" (Random House)

Pages