There were no pictures of my father Leo Carter’s time in the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations (October 1943 – June 1944) in any of my family’s picture albums. I found this one while searching for his name on the internet, something I often did in the many years I spent compiling the family history. But, for that particular search I was using only the surname Nichols and scanning the thousands of search results for anything I’d not seen before.
One of results was “LTC Nichols” and it’s on an Ancestry.com-owned military-related site called Fold3.
For reasons I’ll never know, a man in France has contributed a number of WWII photographs, including some not only from the Southwest Pacific theater (which are abundant) but from specific units, including several of the air and ground crew in my father’s squadron – The 23rd Bomb Squadron (Heavy) of the 13th USAAF’s 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy).
I had hoped to find a specific B24 associated with my father and his crew à la “The Memphis Belle”, but the aircraft were unassigned and the men of the 23rd flew whatever craft was airworthy and ready to go at mission time. “Whe-e-e-e-e” was used as the backdrop for all of the 23rd Sqn. group portraits.