El Centro, Cal.
March 2, 2004
Dear Albert; I am sending you a copy of my quite
extensive "Dossier" regarding that day April 12th
1944, when our plane was shot down. This has been a result of
the unbelievable, fictional, outright lying about the event by
Mike Ciano, one of our waist gunners. Apparently Virgil Marco
had been corresponding with him for some time, and I believe he
was the first one Virgil located. Whether they began
collaborating on writing an exciting adventure story, I don't
have these various letters arranged so you should
begin by reading Mike Ciano's letter, then read my reply to him
Some of the other letters refute his tale of swarms
of FW 190's attacking from the front, among other things.
I certainly commend Virgil for all his extensive
research. He was responsible for connecting me with Chet
Hencewicz and Phil Solomon. As you will note in Solomon's
letter, we never were attacked from the front, and I am sure you
concur as Chet mentions in his letter, rockets were not in use
yet at the time we were downed. While Ciano mentions them being
fired at us.
The only intercom talk was when Chet excitedly
hollered, "There he comes Clarkey, get him". But Clark
never fired a shot. Robert Hansen, "Doodlebug"
eventually ended, up in the same compound with me. He told me
that Clark had been asleep; Hence Chet's mention of Clark?s
reticence when he met up with him in England.
Virgil was also responsible for getting me you
location, so I was very happy about this after 60 years.
As you will note, Virgil doubted, my statement about
Clark actually being Tail Gunner, and he went to one of his
contacts and verified this.
I believe I included the letter with Pavelka's
location, I never have tried to contact him so, I hope you will find all this of some interest.
But I got so irked at it all that I continued corresponding with
Virgil over the years. As you will read, Ciano died a few years
ago of Prostate Cancer. Then a year or two after that Virgil
informed me that he was beginning to suffer the same thing. I
have not heard from him for about a year so should do so to see
how he is doing. He said that the VA denied full benefits to
escapees, which they honor to we who were so unfortunate as to
end up in Prison for the duration.
Best wishes to and your family