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Reply with quote  #1 

I am looking for anyone with information on my granduncle, Robert T. Fridley aka "Frid." He was in "D" flight in Primary Flight School at Visalia, California in November 1942. Then Santa Ana Army Air Base. Then "Basic" at Gardener Field, Taft, California. Then "advanced" at Marfa, Texas. He went to B-17 school at Roswell, N.M.  On December 3, 1943 he was assigned to the 463rd Bomb Group in the 775th Squadron. He then moved to Drane Field at Lakeland, Florida. He left the U.S. from Morrison Field, West Palm Beach on February 16, 1944. His final operation base was at Foggia, Italy. He was in tent #31. Robert Fridley got his own crew on #105. His friend was Wayne Gibson. On June 14, 1944 Fridley's plane collided with Lt. Wacker's plane #845. Both planes were lost.


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I am currently transcribing letters from my granduncle from his days in training. Have one up from him already. I also have a letter written by Wayne Gibson who trained and served with him and witnessed Fridley go down.


Any information will be appreciated. Thanks.


Posts: 267
Reply with quote  #2 

I probably cannot add any additional information regarding what happened during the mid-air collision where your granduncle's B-17 went down.  I have spoken to an eye witness to the incident a couple of years ago while researching another member of the crews.  The eye witness gave me a fairly good description of what happened but I'm sure that Mr. Gibson probably has already given you that information.


Beyond that, I have no additional information to provide you.


If I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me.



463rd Historian

463rd BG Historian
Proud son of 1/Lt Leroy J. Swindlehurst (1921-1950)
Navigator, 772nd Squadron

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #3 

I recently came across information related to the Mid-Air collision June 14, 1944.  In his memorabilia, my father had a picture and news article about 2nd Lieutenant Karl P. Doeppner, who was the bombardier on one of the aircraft that collided.  According to my mother, my father also witnessed the Mid-Air collision and since both were from Philadelphia, PA, my father paid a visit to Karl P. Doeppner's family up his return stateside.

F.W.Evans, Jr.
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