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 Ed Nelson (10 Replies, Read 20611 times)
Thieleng
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My father in law flew out of China during World War II, i have pictures of his flight jacket which has the flying tiger insignia on the right front. I have pictures of the jacket and of him. He was a navigator on a B-25, i have two photo albums with pictures memorializing his service. I was curious as to whether or not anyone new of him during that time frame?
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Ed Nelson
gemiller111
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Sounds like he was with the 14th Air Force sometime between 1942 and 1945.  The 14th took aver after the AVG disbanded (US military vs. the AVG's volunteer status with the Chinese Air Force) and retained a version of the tiger emblem which sometimes causes confusion on who can be called a "Flying Tiger."  If you have anything more- dates served in theater, for example - I can see if there is anything in the Chennault museum library or if the staff has contacts that may be able to help you further.

Regards,


Guy

Edited by gemiller111 : February 13, 2012, 4:45 pm
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Ed Nelson
Thieleng
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Great, thanks I will see what I can find out, the problem is that he never really talked too much about his war experiences even though I have found a lot of photos of the B-25 missions including, what appears to be, photo images of destroyed targets from the air.  I also have photos of the planes flying in formation as well as photos of the interior of the plane and the members of his crew. If I can figure out how to post pictures I will try and post some, such as his flight jacket with the associated emblems. Thanks for your response.
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Ed Nelson
aaatripp
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cousin of Maax C. Hammer, Jr., AVG 22Sep41 RIP
To expand upon Guy's response to you, there is also the possibility that he was
with the 11th Bombardment Squadron of the China Air Task Force.  The 23rd Fighter Group of the CATF took over the mission when the AVG was disbanded on 4 July 1942.  The 11BS operated B-25s in the CBI Theater and would have been absorbed, along with the 23FG, into the newly formed 14th Air Force on March 19, 1943.

The key element here is the time.  Do any of those photos have dates written on them, or did he keep a diary or letters which might reveal when he arrived "in country"?

We'll be happy to help you discover this military aviation history of your father-in-law.  Please keep us informed. 

And Guy has already outlined for you the ongoing condition that many claimed to be Flying Tigers, although they were actually assigned to the 23rdFG, CATF and 14AF.  All units flew the P-40s with the distinctive shark's mouth insignia, their emblems all included winged tigers and all units were commanded in the CBI by Claire Lee Chennault....hence the confusion.  Thanks.

Tripp

BTW, the 14AF is alive and well today in our space forces as a numbered Air Force headquartered at Vandenberg AFB....and their emblem is their original winged tiger emblem from the CBI in the WWII era.....a very proud heritage indeed!  And, your family can be very proud of your father-in-law's service to his country.


Edited by aaatripp : February 14, 2012, 10:52 am

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Tripp

Tripp Alyn, chair
Historical & Museums Committee
AVG Flying Tigers Association
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Ed Nelson
Thieleng
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I am working on getting additional information. It appears that the insignia on the left shoulder of his jacket is a winged horseshoe with China and the USA in red in the background. The ocean in between the two red land masses is dark blue. The horseshoe is ringed around a stake that is in the ocean in between. I have looked this up on the internet and it appears that this was the logo of the 491st Bomb Squadron but i am not sure. The Flying Tiger emblem on the right shoulder appears to be the reverse of the flying tiger emblem with the tiger's mouth toward the zipper opening and there is no V surrounding the tiger as seen in some of the research. There is also a star above the tiger with a red circle in the center of the star, which is also different from what i found in my research.  Thanks everyone.
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Ed Nelson
gemiller111
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I haven't researched post- AVG enough to recognize the patch designs without further checking myself.  As you can tell from Tripp's correct and expanded explanation of my lazy quick and dirty "14th AF" comment (thanks, Tripp- in hindsight it was better to be more precise and not confuse the subject further), there are a lot of folks on this forum who do have such knowledge immediately on tap.  I will be traveling for the next ten days but if you don't get more info from forum members before I return, I will be happy to see what our museum has on the topic.  Since Chennault did indeed command the AVG and all subsequent China air units such as the 23rd, the CATF and the 14th, we do have material on all.

Regards,

Guy
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Ed Nelson
aaatripp
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cousin of Maax C. Hammer, Jr., AVG 22Sep41 RIP
Thanks, Guy.  I'm glad that we all can help Thieleng find good info.

Thieleng, you are in the right place for some answers......Richard Peacher (flyinpeach) follows this Forum and can provide incredibly detailed info. about
items, jackets & patches, such as the ones which you have.

Richard can you help?.....over to you sir!

Tripp


Edited by aaatripp : February 15, 2012, 3:08 pm

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Tripp

Tripp Alyn, chair
Historical & Museums Committee
AVG Flying Tigers Association
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Ed Nelson
BillC
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Yes, it does appear to be the 491st BS patch. Hard to say what is streaming from the horseshoe as it approaches 'a ringer'. Can see what appears to be China on the map below. Not sure I see the US. Found a picture of the patch in "Chennault's Flying Tigers 1941-1945", a publication of the 14th Air Force Association. It was published in the early to mid '80s.
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Ed Nelson
Thieleng
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Thank you for your reply I will try and add a picture to this if I can


Edited by Thieleng : February 16, 2012, 12:26 pm
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Ed Nelson
ForumAdmin
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An excellent source of information about the units and personnel of the CBI is Elmer Bukey.  His website is
http://community-2.webtv.net/cbivet/ATRIBUTETOTHE14th/

Jo
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Ed Nelson
SilverDollar
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The patch on the jacket's right side looks like the CATF insignia with the tiger facing towards the right.  14 AF faces the other way.  I'm not 100% sure, but this could possibly be 10th AF.  I'll have to do more looking to confirm that.  Edit: I looked a little bit and I was right.  The squadron operated from Sept 42 to Dec 1943 with the 10th AF in Chakulia, India.  That's where he got the CATF tiger patch In Jan 1944 until war's end, the squadron was transferred to the 14th AF at Yangkai, China.  Also I took a good look at the squadron patch and what appears to be streamers coming from the horseshoe are actually speed lines meant to make the horseshoe look like it was still in motion as it makes a ringer around the post.  That's a fantastic jacket though.  I assume there's no painting on the back.

Edited by SilverDollar : February 18, 2012, 10:15 pm

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Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truckload of brains. Author unknown.  Found in a fortune cookie and that's the honest truth.
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