Thursday, November 22, 2012

I just wanted to drop a quick post about an amazing little WW2 diary I came across online.  The Central Florida WW2 Museum has the WW2 combat diary of Lt. Kermit D. Wooldridge, B-17 pilot, for 25 raids commencing June 29, 1943 posted online.  It’s a very quick read and highly informative, from a cockpit point of view, about B-17 bombing raids into Europe.  Wooldridge writes well and to the point.  You’ll want to read this, especially if you’re interested in WW2 combat aviation. 

B-17 attacking an enemy base in New Guinea, WW2 War in the Pacific

B-17E Flying Fortress in flight, 1942

B-17E Flying Fortress' in flight, 1942

 Doing a quick search for any other interesting information, I came across aircraft accident records showing Kermit Wooldridge was pilot of an AT-7C involved in an accident in January 1946 at Harlingen AAF.  Woldridge was based out of Midland AAF, TX at the time.  The record can be found here.   

Harlingen AAF was located in Texas and with the end of the war, it was one of many airfields closed by the Army because of a lack of need.  Harlingen was inactivated on February 1, 1946, just days after Wooldridge had his accident.  Harlingen was reactivated in 1952 as a USAF training command.  It went through many military uses until becoming a public airport in 1970, now the Valley International Airport.  And to round off the history lesson, Harlingen AAF was one of 120 air bases at which the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) operated during WW2.  

WASP member Elizabeth L. Gardner piloting a plane at Harlingen Army Air Field during WW2 time period

Recommended Reading: 

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