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John J. Essig
was drafted into the army and served basic training in the combat
engineers attached to the eighth armored division. I was not
happy in this branch of service and when a bulletin was placed
on the bulletin board that applicants were wanted for cadets.
I talked with the CO and was able to transfer to the Air Force.
I attended three months training at Lubbock Texas Tech., and
then went to Santa Anna for classification. At this time they
had more people than needed for pilot, bombardier, and navigator.
They were able to take the cream of the crop, and many of us
washed out. We then went before a board, and were informed that
we could return to our old units or stay in the Air Force. I
think all of us stayed in the Air Force. I don't remember anyone
wanting to return to their old unit. I went to Lowrey Field,
Denver Colorado for armament training. Next I went to Fort Myers
Gunnery School in southern Florida for training. I think it
was the most fun I ever had in the service. We shot a lot of
skeet while standing and riding around in a jeep standing up.
We also so fired at targets pulled by another plane.
John J. Essig
at his station
of us thought we might crew up in the B-25 or the B-26. But
we returned to Lowery Field for CFC training. The rumor going
around we might crew up in the B-29 or maybe the Black Widow
because both had remote controlled turrets. I was sent to crew
up in a B-29 as CFC gunner. I crewed up with P-10. We could
not have pictures of girls on our plane so our plane was named
after the city where our pilot was from, the name "City of Maywood",
Maywood being Maywood, IL. Also the name we added was "DOUBLE
TROUBLE" because of the two bombays. After training here in
the states and Cuba we were sent to Guam, where we flew all
of our missions. We flew several bomb missions and several radar
missions. We took several radar pictures of cities that were
probably going to be bombed if the war progressed. We got credit
for the longest mission flown we were in the air 23 hours. In
briefing someone asked where we could go if trouble developed.
The reply was Russia. We were told we would probably be interned
for a time then returned to the USA. I guess the good Lord was
with us. Not much happened except on the Northern most island
of Japan, an airport turned on their landing lights thinking
we were one of them and going to land. Also, all the blast furnaces
were going full blast and we could see the fires from our altitude.
I think we had about thirteen bombing missions and sixteen radar
missions, a total of 29 missions. We had to land at IWO JIMA
two or three times for repair of troubles. We received a few
flack holes in the plane, a couple of times bombs hung up on
the shackles, but we were able to dislodge them when we were
over the ocean. On our last mission before we landed on Guam,
we were informed that the peace terms were to be signed. Our
last mission was lsesaki. There were many happy men at that
David Potters, LG
T/Sgt John J. Essig (R)
on a training mission the blister over my head burst and tried
to suck me from the plane. We were pressurized. I could feel
I was being sucked out from the plane, but was able to wrap
my feet around my seat in the plane and also there were mounts
for the gun sight that my shoulders hit. I was lucky just a
few scratches. The engineer called out over the intercom "what
the hell is going on back there"? I informed him that my blister
blew. He said that his dials were flying around like spinning
top. The pilot came on and said that everyone put on their oxygen
mask and check each other to make sure every thing was OK.
my return home, I was able to return to my job at the B & O
RR. I was an inspector for a few years then I took the postal
exam and was a Railway Mail Clerk on the B & O RR. I worked
at sorting mail in the mail cars on the railroad. I did this
for about three or four years then transferred into the local
post office here in Washington, IN.. After about Thirty years
as a window clerk I retired, and been retired for about seventeen
years. During my retirement I drive autos for auto dealers when
they need someone to deliver an auto to another city or when
they purchase an auto at a sale. I also am an amateur magician
an put on magic shows for children and senior citizens. I usually
keep pretty busy.
am 78 years old married 51 years with one son, daughter in law
and one grandson 8 years of age and one granddaughter 6 yrs
of age, who live in Milford, Ohio, which is located on the east
edge of Cincinnati, Ohio.
are six of us remaining from P-10
read John J. Essig's combat diary click [here]
J. Essig, 82 yrs old, took his final flight on 11 Feb
2006. Interment is at St. Johns Cemetery - The Washington
American Legion and VFW conducted military graveside rites.