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The 464th BG Short Rounds

Peterson Field and the Glenn F. Hultquist (777) Crew

    Jeffrey Nash, Peterson Air and Space Museum, Colorado Springs, writes:

   Hello from Colorado!
   For the last year and a half, the Peterson Air and Space Museum has maintained an exhibit illustrating the period when Peterson Field (now Peterson Air Force Base) was a B-24 combat crew training school (CCTS). A centerpiece of that exhibit is this photo of a crew that went through training here in early 1944 and went on to the 464th as a replacement crew.
   We had the photo enlarged considerably, and the crew welcomes the visitor to the exhibit by telling not just about the training school, but also about the 10 crew members, where they were from, and what happened to them when they left here.
   A majority of the crews that trained here went on to the Mediterranean area of operations, this coincided with the build-up of the 15th Air Force in early 1944. Peterson Field produced combat-ready B-24 crews from November 1943 to July 1944.
   I'm sure other future 464th crew members passed through CCTS here at Pete Field. So if you or your membership know of others, I'd appreciate hearing from them or their families if they've passed on.
   These are the research notes I made while developing the exhibit and the individual stories. While researching, I was able to correspond with two of the gentlemen in the photo, William Droschkey and Floyd Haupt. Mr. Droschkey passed on in December 2006, while I'm unsure if Mr. Haupt is still alive. I never was able to contact any of the others during my research. Haupt and Rodgers were married when photo was taken. All other crew members were single.
   While researching, I was able to correspond with two of the gentlemen in the photo, William Droschkey and Floyd Haupt. Mr. Droschkey passed on in December 2006, and I'm unsure if Mr. Haupt is still alive. I never was able to contact any of the others during my research.
   Jeffrey Nash
   Assistant Director and Curator
   Peterson Air and Space Museum
   150 East Ent Avenue
   Peterson AFB, CO 80914-1303
   (719) 556-8314

Officers (back row, left to right):

  • 2 Lt. Charley Martin (Bombardier)
       Charley's nickname was "Snafu." He was from New Jersey or Brooklyn, New York. He completed Bombardier Training at San Angelo, Texas (Class 43-3). Charley stayed in AF after war, he retired a Lt. Colonel. He is deceased.
  • 2 Lt. Glenn F. Hultquist (First Pilot)
       Glenn was nicknamed "Swede." He was from Swedesburg, Iowa, his last known address was in Burlington, Iowa. Sent a letter. No response.
       He was in 777th Bomb Squadron, 464th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force, Pantanella, Italy after leaving Peterson. He was shot down on first mission (Atzgersdorf, Austria) while on another crew, 29 May 1944. Pilot in command was 2 Lt. Erwin Elrod. The aircraft name was "Dollar Ride," a B-24G-10-NT, serial number 42-78257. MACR number is 5430. Glenn became a POW at Dulag Luft Oberursel.
  • 2 Lt. Jasper C. Davis (Co-Pilot)
       Jasper was from Thomasville, Georgia. His last known address was in Thomasville. Sent letter, no response.
       He flew with 777th Bomb Squadron with Capt. John Tudbury’s crew. The aircraft’s nickname was "Blond Bomber," a B-24G-15-NT, serial number 42-78333. Nearly shot down on a mission to Florisdorf, Austria on 8 July 1944. Was crippled by flak/fighters, fell out of formation. At debriefing, other returning crews listed them missing in action. Several hours later, aircraft returned to base, they had fought off attacks and returned alone, stopping to refuel at another base.
       After the war, Jasper returned to Georgia and ran the family furniture business.
  • 2 Lt. Floyd E. Haupt (Navigator)
       He was nicknamed "Smiles," he is from Benson, Arizona. His current residence is in Provo, Utah. Sent letter, received response, much info about him and service.
       Floyd enlisted in Feb 1943, basic training at Lincoln, Neb. Eight weeks at College Training Detachment in Bozeman, Mont., then 11 weeks at Santa Ana, Calif. After being classified as a navigator, he went to nine weeks of preflight training at Ellington Field, Texas, then 18 weeks of flight navigation training (Class 44-3) at San Marcos, Texas. Nearly flunked out because instructors insisted he perform navigation duties "the Army way."
       He graduated in Feb 1944. Floyd flew with same crew, and plane, as Davis, above. Completed 52 missions between Jun and Oct 44. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and Air Medal with three clusters
       Floyd returned to Arizona after war and became a math teacher at Brigham Young University.

    Enlisted (front row, left to right):

  • SSgt Wilbur Tri (Waist and later Ball Turret Gunner)
       Wilbur's nickname was "Bud," he was from Red Wing, Minn.
       He flew with same crew/plane as Haupt and Davis. Severely wounded by 20mm cannon fire on 8 July 44 mission over Florisdorf, he lost an arm. He bailed out over the island of Vis and returned to Italy by Yugoslav partisans and British troops on island. He was hospitalized at Bari, Italy and returned to States.
       Wilbur moved to Alaska after the war, he became a bush pilot working for Alaska Highway Dept. He was killed in plane crash in 1966.
  • SSgt. Clarence L. Kilarski (Tail Gunner)
       Clarence's nickname was "Larry" or "Fuzzy." He was from Chicago, Illinois. The last known address was in Chicago. Sent letter, was returned "Attempted, Not Known."
       Clarence flew with same crew as Haupt, Davis, and Tri.
       He returned to Chicago after the war, he became a tuck-fitter.
  • SSgt John E. Rodgers (Ball Turret Gunner)
       Rodgers was nicknamed "Johnny," and he was from Leola, Pennsylvania. He was married to Anne Rodgers.
       John was shot down with Hultquist, above, on 29 May 44. Severely wounded in the legs, the tail gunner assisted him in bailing out over Yugoslavia. He died of his wounds in a German Luftwaffe hospital in Agram, near Zagreb, that day.
  • SSgt Carl J. Zkiab (Nose Gunner)
       Carl was nicknamed "Shorty." He was from Ohio. His last known address was in Parma, Ohio. Sent letter, no response.
       Carl was assigned to Capt. Paul J. Schad’s crew, 776th Bomb Squadron, 464th Bomb Group
  • SSgt Donald Hayden (Radio Operator/Waist Gunner)
       Donald was from Illinois. His last known address was in Rockford, Illinois.
       He was assigned to the 779th Bomb Squadron, 464th Bomb Group. Flew a couple of missions with the 777th Squadron. He completed 53 missions in 89 days, including 10 days in hospital with dysentery.
       Donald was recalled from the reserves in 1951, he flew B-29s with the 509th Composite Group at Walker AFB, New Mexico for a year. He retired from Illinois Bell.
  • SSgt William R. Droschkey (Engineer/Top Turret Gunner)
       William was from Orafino, Idaho. He resided in Cove, Ore. 87824. Sent letter, got response and offer of more assistance. He died in Dec. 2007.
       William was on the same crew/plane as Zkiab, above. He took the GI Bill after the war and became a pharmacist. He died in Dec. 2006.
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