Date: May 8, 2010
To: jralph AT vtown.com.au
Subject: CRASH OF A B-24 LIBERATOR (Little Eva) NEAR BURKETOWN, QLD
I have a copy of a hand typed account by Sergeant Grady Gaston of their
ordeal after the crash. It was written while he was recovering at the hospital
in Townville. I came by this because 2nd Lieutenant Arthur Speltz was a
relative of mine on my Mother's side and Sergeant Gaston sent Lieutenant
Speltz's parents a copy. In researching this document, I came across the
Mr. Dunn's website I would be glad to send you & Mr. Dunn a copy if
you are interested. It would be nice to add it the website for others
to see and read.
Cheers - Michael Lee
My father, (then) Ensign Melvin W. Lee, was also a pilot in the WWII
in the Pacific. He was in the Navy and flew Martin PBMs. He remained in
the Navy, flying a variety of multi-engine planes, primarily patrol bomber,
reconnaissance and weather assignments, until 1964. I would be interested
if you have any insight into how I might research PBM engagements in WWII.
I have many photos and flight logs from that era I could contribute to
the proper sites/organizations.
Story of St. Sgt. Grady S. Gaston - Frisco City Alabama, 321 St.
Bombardment Squadron, 90th Bombardment Group.
It was about nine o'clock in the evening, December 1st, 1942 after having
completed a bombing mission somewhere in the Southwest Pacific that we
were returning to our home base in a B-24 Liberator when we ran into a
terrific storm. Shortly after entering the storm our radio and many other
instruments were rendered uselss and but for the exceptional ability of
our Pilot, lst. Lieut, Norman R. Grosson Cincinnati, Ohio, we would probable
have crashed long before we did, In trying to avoid the ferocity of the
storm Lt. Grosson tried to circle it but after that failed he thenwent
to about 20,000 feet in order to try to fly over it.
The remainder of the story is in pdf format available for download here:
Little Eva Airwreck
If any reader would care to transpose more of the story, I'd be more
than happy to post it here.