39th Bomb Group (VH)

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S/Sgt Donald E. Hartshorn
Left Gunner

Clovis NM. 1944

I was born on Jan.3, 1925 in Dayton,Ohio to Cecilia and Elmer Hartshorn. I attended St.James for grades one thru eight and then my high school years were spent at Fairmont High in Van Buren Twp. (now Kettering, Ohio).I graduated from Fairmont in May of 1943. I entered military service in Sept.1943.

I was inducted into service at Ft. Hayes in Columbus,Ohio. From there I went to Ft.Thomas,Ky. After Ft.Thomas it was on to Amarillo Army Air Force Base, in Amarillo,Texas for basic training.

In Dec.1943 I was sent to Madison,Wis. for Radio School.

Sometime in March of 1944 I was transferred to Scott Field at St. Louis,Mo. About May of 1944 I volunteered to be examined for a candidate to gunnery school. I passed the physical and was sent to Buckingham Army Air Force Base at Ft Myers, Fla. After completing gunnery training I was sent to Kearney, Neb, via a delay in route of two weeks. At Kearney I was teamed up with another ten crewmen . The eleven of us then trained as a combat crew at Clovis N.M.

When the crew training ended we were sent to Sacramento,Calif.(There may have been a stop between Clovis and Sacramento that I don’t recall). Anyway,we ended up with a new B29 and after a a two week stay in Sacramento we headed for Guam via Hawaii, Johnson Island, Kwajelain and Saipan. When we arrived at North Field on Guam we were told that we were a replacement crew and we had to give up the New B29. Needless to say everyone on the crew was disappointed.We soon inherited a used B29. We were designated as crew 55. Before we were assigned to the used B29 all of the crew were supposed to fly as replacement crew on bombing missions over Japan. However, I came down with Dengue fever and was in the Naval hospital for 10 days. Shortly after I got out of the Hospital we flew our first mission as crew 55.

We flew a total of 20 bombing missions plus one "food drop"mission, after the Japs sued for surrender.

Most of my fellow crew members were able to return to the U.S.A. in Oct 1945. Since I missed out on a few replacement missions, due to my hospital stay, I did not return to the U.S.A. until Jan, 1946. I was discharged at Camp Atterbury, Ind. sometime the end of Jan.

My discharge form list the following medals that I earned. American Theater Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon, w/2 bronze stars, Good Conduct Medal, Air Medal w/ 1 Oak Leaf Cluster ,and Victory Medal WW2.

I restarted civilian life in Dayton,Ohio Jan.1946. I lived with my mother while going to school and working. In March of 1948 I moved to Columbus,Ohio where I had taken employment at the Lustron Corp.

Don & Jeanne

In May of 1948 I married Jeanne Roberts, daughter of Mildred and Nathan Roberts. During the next 14 years we had three children, Steven May 3,1951, Deborah March 20,1953, and Amy March 23,1962.

I held various jobs in the industrial field until 1965 when I joined the Columbus Area Technical School (now known as the Columbus State Community College) I retired from CSCS on Jan.1,1988.During my 23 years at the Comm.College I taught courses in the Mechanical Eng.Technology. From1967 until 1985 I was Chairman of theMechanical eng. Tech.

During retirement I have been busy doing woodworking, model railroading and lately trying to master my computer So far the computer is winning.

My wife of 54 years, Jeanne, and I live in a condo at 48 Villa Pointe Dr. Columbus,Ohio.

Donald E. Hartshorn took his Final Flight on 20 Feb 2007.
A Mass of Christian Burial was Friday, Feb 23, 2007 with burial at Westerville Cemetery.

Crew 55 Main Page
62nd Squadron Crew Index
Source: Don Hartshorn, LG