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Kenneth M. Cunningham

4/8/1920 – 12/6/2015
Branch: Army Air Corp
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Service Dates: 1942 – 1945
County: Warrensburg
Conflicts/Significant Events: World War II, European and African Theaters, 7 Bronze Stars, Shot down and reported KIA. Describes his escape from occupied countries.
Story uploaded: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 / Updated: Saturday January 27, 2024

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 Wednesday, May 23, 2007 Interview

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Perry E. Coy

11/8/1924 – 10/14/2013
Branch: Army
Rank: Staff Sgt.
Outfit: 90th Division
Service Dates: 1944 – 1945
County: Cole
Conflicts/Significant Events: World War II, 2nd wave at Normandy on D-Day, later served under General Patton at The Battle of The Bulge, Including Bastogne. Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart w/ 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Story uploaded: Saturday, December 13, 2008 / updated: Tuesday, November 14, 2023

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Floyd Junior “Puff” Pugh

12/31/1920 – 3/16/09
Branch: Army Air Corps
Rank: Colonel
Unit: 8th Air Force
Outfit: 2nd Air Division
Service Dates: 1942 – 1972
County: Pettis
City: Sedalia, MO
Conflicts/Significant Events: World War II, Korea,Vietnam. After the attack on Pearl Harbor Puff enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps (which later became the United State Air Force) on Aug 6, 1942 in Des Moines, IA. During his career as a pilot in the USAF he flew B-24’s, B-25’s, B-29’s, B-36’s, B-47’s and B-52’s. He logged over 10,000 flying hours. From 1970 until his retirement Sep 1, 1972 he served as Base Commander at Whiteman Air Force Base. His many awards included Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, Presidential Unit citation with One Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Story uploaded: Saturday, September 29, 2007 / updated Tuesday, September 19, 2023

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Charles “Charlie” Palek

3/9/1949 – 4/26/2016
Branch: Army
Rank: E5
Outfit: 9th
Service Dates: 1967 – 1970

3 Purple Hearts, A Silver Star, A Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Combat Infantry Badge, 7 Air Medals and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He was a Gunner and Scout Helicopter Cambodia Wrote the Book “Tattletale”
Story uploaded: Friday, August 14, 2009 / Updated: Friday, May 26, 2023

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Glen Warren Francis
8/24/1920 – 10/6/2007
Branch: Army Air Corps
Rank: Sergeant
Unit: B-26 “Marauders”
Outfit: 669th Bomb Squadron
Service Dates: 1942-11 – 1945-10
County: Cape Girardeau
Conflicts/Significant Events: World War II, 6 Air Offensive Campaign Bronze Stars
Interviewed at Missouri Veterans Home Cape Girardeau, Mo. Story uploaded: Friday, June 22, 2007 / Updated Thursday, April 20, 2023

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William C. Stilwell

1/8/1918 – 1/17/2020
Branch: Army
Rank: PFC
Unit: 121st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
Outfit: Troop B
Service Dates: 1944-06-05 – 1945-11-11
Veteran Station: St. Louis
County: St. Louis
Drafted
Medals: Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Infantry Badge, German Army of Occupation
Conflicts/Significant Events: World War II, Rhineland and Central Europe
Story Uploaded Tuesday, May 8, 2007/Modified Monday, January 23rd, 2023

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Les Winters

Keeper of The Flame’s “Honor Guard Story Guard” is Blessed to Keep the Sacred Story of Leston M. Winters StorySealed to this guitar Signed by John Rich of Big & Rich. You can learn more about John’s work benefiting the Folds of Honor at www.redneckriviera.com and keep up with all the latest music at www.bigandrich.com.
The Guitar was presented to Beth, Remington, Ryder & Emma at an event supporting the www.fallenheroesfamilycamp.com on July 29th, 2019. StorySeal™ 01002 http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/lmwinters.htm

Sgt. Leston M. Winters, 30, of Sour Lake, Texas, died Thursday in Kandahar province after this unit was attacked with an improvised explosive. Winters was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. Winters was a civil affairs medical sergeant who joined the Army in July 1998 and arrived at Fort Campbell in April 2010. He died just months after volunteering for his 3rd tour of duty.

Winters is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, son, Remington, and daughter Emma, all of Palmyra, Tenn.; son Jonathon, of Germany; and parents, Kenneth and Cheryl Spivey, of Sour Lake, Texas.

 

Charlie “Norman” Swafford

StorySeal™ 01085

3/17/1921 – 4/22/2006

Norman was inducted at Fort McClellan, Alabama 10/23/1942


Branch: Army 9th Air Force, 806th Medical Air Evacuation Squadron

Rank: Tec 3 Medical Technician 409

SN: 34 396 321

Norman was discharged on 10/10/1945 in Fort McPherson, Ga.

Service Dates: 11/06/1942 – 10/10/1945

Home: Maysville, Alabama

Conflicts/Significant Events: World War II, Paired with a Nurse and 2 Pilots he flew 150 plus missions over enemy territory in Northern France, Central Europe, Normandy D+5, and Rhineland. He received Four Campaign Bronze Star Cluster Medal, Air Medal, Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Medal

 

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History Highlights of The 806th

(Notes From a 806th Nurse.)

In early November 1943, the 806th made its first history – Lt. Jean K. Bartholomew and a surgical technician evacuated twelve patients from the ETO to the United States. This was the first transatlantic Medical Air Evacuation from the ETO.

Our greatest opportunity came after D-Day and in the months of war that followed while stationed
at Grove with the 31st Air Transport Group.  June 11: Official aerovac began on D+5 when 2d Lt. Grace E. Dunham, chief nurse of the 806th MAES, flew into Normandy Omaha Beach in a C47 that was still painted with invasion stripes. Upon landing, she jumped from the airplane wearing her oversized flight suit, provided care to the wounded, and flew with 18 Litter Patients to England. By the end of the month, the 806th had helped evacuate about 7,500 patients from France to England
Then during June, July, and August, with the 31st, we evacuated 20,142 patients and received two
letters of commendation from Wing Headquarters for this.

5 December was our first permanent move to France; to Orly and who among us can forget that lovely building we fell heir to! It had everything except heat, hot water and window panes. (The warmest place was outside in the snow). On the 7th of December 1944 Lt. Flo E. Twidale and T/ 3 David Winston made the first evac of American wounded from the continent for a transatlantic flight, the plane was a C-54 and there were 16 litter patients. During the months of December and January with ATC, 4,928 patients were evacuated.

During our stay at Melun and later Villacoublay, France, in the months of 1945, there was much hard work and many changes. A short tour of duty with a tent hospital near Le Mans preceded our real work, and after the Rhine para-drop in March, we began the Germany to France flights with the 436th T.C. Group following General Patton and the Third Army in their sweep across Europe.

In April 1945, the 806th set a world-wide record, which still stands, by evacuating 17,287 patients during that one month. This was more patients than had ever been evacuated in one month by any squadron in any Theater of Operation. We received a letter of commendation from Major General Paul Williams of the Ninth Troop Carrier Command for this effort.

Also in July we made the first Air Evac of patients from Berlin, Germany “Hawksie-Mae” did this. Four of us, along with Major Cannon, had been assigned to Berlin in order to evacuate by air any personnel attending the Potsdam Conference.

On 8 May 1945,the war had ended in Europe and tho’ our hard work continued, the winds of change were in the air.

806th Sqdn. – Central Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland. Received a letter of commendation for its record achievement of evacuating 17,266 patients during the month of April 1945. Commendable also is the fact that 16,997 of these patients were flown directly from front lines.

Story uploaded/modified: December 24th, 2021