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joined the AAF (Brown Shoe Army) during June 1942 at
my home in Waco, TX, and immediately sent to Camp Wolters,
TX for the preliminaries; and subsequently to Sheppard
Field for five weeks and one and one-half hours of arduous,
rigorous and undignified basic training administered
by American southern corn-fed, red-necked country boys!
Shortly after assigned to Chanute Field , IL as photo
lab technician. In 1943 assigned to Fort Myers FL as
an aerial photographer, participating in many flights
in the Gulf and Caribbean areas.
August of ’43 I married Amalia Cruz of Williams,
AZ and later three children were born – Rosemary,
Theodore and Arthur who presently live in Flagstaff,
It was at Ft Myers that I applied for the then B-29
program as an aerial gunner. The B-29 program was the
Cinderella and the Cat’s Meow of the AAF! We enjoyed
many priviledges as B-29 trainees, ie at the PX we were
allowed to buy 2 boxes of Kleenex , instead of 1; at
the class 6 store we could purchase bourbon instead
of gin and rum, etc!
After graduation I was sent to Kearny , Nebraska for
assignment to a specific combat crew. I shall never
forget meeting my crew members of the TAPP Crew.
After this unforgettable assemblage we had the honor
of being assigned to AAF, Pyote , TX for our advanced
training. (No pun intended, if the Lord ever had the
necessity for giving his earth an enema, no doubt, he
would have chosen Pyote!) However , our saving grace
– our B-29 priviledges! We were informed of our
assignment to the 39th Bomb Group, 20th Air Force. Westward
HO to Guam…..
All-in-all we participated in fifteen missions not including
about ten practice missions over several islands of
the Mariannas still inhabited by the enemy. (By this
time we had established a bond within our crew. ….people
we never knew before, not friends or acquaintances.
This bond became reality when we all became targets
of enemy fire and will probably exist forever). The
most welcome and memorable mission was on 6 August ’45,
when returning home to Guam from a mission over Japan
we were met with news of Hiroshima and the Enola Gay.
Other memories were not so pleasant – returning
to find that some of your buddies from other crews were
not coming “home”. The most enjoyable mission
was on 2 September ’45, VJ-Day, during Crew 6’s
participation in a Power Display over the Japanese Islands
, some of us at tree-top level! Spoils belong to the
victorious! The rest is history.
I was discharged at Fort MacArthur and immediately went
to work for Civil Service at Navajo Army Depot, Flagstaff,
AZ. I remained there until February ’62 when I
was selected for assignment to a US ammunition base
in France at Trois Fontaines. Involved in the standardization
of class V ammunition and weapons accounting procedures
to include mechanization. For a period of time I was
appointed as a US Liaison Officer to the French Army
of the Meuse. After Operation FRELOC (Relocation from
France, Ordered by then President Degaulle) I was assigned
to Miesau , Germany as accountable officer for all class
V materiel in USAEUR.
During 1969 reassigned to England as operations officer
for Class V and later to the US Marine Fleet Activity
in southern England. This base was owned by Royal Air
Force, operated jointly by the US and Royal Navy and
maintaining close liaison with higher echelons of USDOD
and NATO. As assistant OIC , and later OIC, became involved
in plans and operations functions with certain elements
of the British government and NATO. Traveled throughout
Europe and Mid-East on official matters. Divorced in
I remarried during 1979 to Yolah Tregarthen, a Briish
citizen and have two children – Jeffrey, married
to Teresa and their two children, Emma Jane and Bethany
Tregarthen of Fawley, Southampton, England. Our daughter,
Jennifer lives here in San Antonio, TX near our home..
Yolah was born in Tanganyika (Tanzania) of British
parents; educated in Arusha and Kongwa, Tanzania. Speaks
Ki Swahili and joined frequent safaris to remote areas
of the kingdom.
In 1984 I was reassigned to the Health Services Command,
Fort Sam Houston, TX as a member of a fact finding,
or pre-inspector general team , nick- name The “A”
Team. Motto: “We may not always be right, BUT
we are never wrong!” Retired from federal service
during June 1986.
We travel occasionally to our home in England and to
visit our son, his wife and two grand daughters.
Crew Main Page
Molina took his Final Flight on 6 May 2013
Squadron Crew Index