YEAR 1977

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US ARMY AIR CORP     8th Air Force
JUNE 19, 1977

The shop may appear in our memories as a place where we worked and lived.
Occasionally, some did die.

I have heard numerous accounts over the years of bravery in the shop by our veterans under fire.
There were stories of humor, tragedy and even hum drum existence during those years of serving our nation.
Thank God for our veterans who served and some who fought, while still others died for our freedom

Here is one of many unsung heroes who walked among us in the shop.
A Preble county newspaper carried the photo and story of this event.
We are proud Eddie, that you were one of our members of the IUE Local 801

Listen to this MP3 file as you read the account: We salute your memory Eddie Bunger

  Note to Windows 7 users:

  When you click on the salute link above, if this page bounces off into a window opening in a separate tab,
    click the tab at the top to the left of the page you are viewing.
          It will bring you back to this page.

If the piece fails to play properly, go to this link: US AIR FORCE CEREMONIAL BRASS
Drop down to: March-On Music and then click on: Adjutants Call/To Honor With Dignity.

I believe this is very fitting for the occasion.

Eddie Bunger (1914 to 1977) was a Master Sergeant on a B-24 Liberator with the 8th Air Force.
They were stationed in England during WW II.

After a bombing run on Hitler's Fortress Europe, they were attacked head on by a German fighter aircraft.

The German fighter plane shot out the windshield. Eddie was standing between the pilot and copilot.
   Instantly, the pilot and co pilot were killed.
       Simultaneously, Eddie took a 20 MM round (.7874 inch diameter) through his right shoulder.

Eddie pulled the pilot's remains out of his seat and struggled, despite his injuries, to get the Liberator back to England. Eddie made radio contact with his field. They wanted a status report of his situation. In response, Master Sergeant Bunger was ordered to bail out and let the bomber go.
Frantically he let them know that the men in the back were too shot up.
They would not survive the shock of the parachute opening.

Again, they ordered him to bail out. He refused those orders. In anger, Eddie tore the "mike" out with his left hand. He was not going to let his buddies die if he could help it.

When he arrived back at their home field, he started his approach. To his shock, he found out that his right arm wouldn't work. He couldn't get the landing gear down. In a moment, he realized that he could get his right foot on it. And he did it. Detailed photo: Cockpit of the B-24      Labeling of controls    # 67 is the Landing gear lever

All of the surviving crewmen were rushed to the hospital on arrival from a safe landing.

Despite disobeying orders, Eddie was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart

Eddie received a "cigar box full of medals" for his actions in the service of his nation, The United States of America. Gratitude was well earned from all the rest of us, American citizens.

We salute all of our members who were veterans and have sacrificed much to make this nation free from tyranny. Remember this: Some of them never got to come home again.

Why not take your grand kids to the US AIR FORCE MUSEUM
Let them see some of what it took to make this nation great.

PS Webmasters comments:   " Eddie was my next door neighbor in my high school years.

I saw the cigar box of medals and the newspaper clipping. Eddie's wife wanted me to see them.
That plane was so full of holes from battle damage sitting on the ramp, it looked like "Swiss cheese"

Eddie was not anxious to relive those moments in time.
He felt very small compared to the sacrifices of others he served with.

Eddie saw that I was very interested in his account, verified by the medals and old newspaper clipping.
Eddie did however at the time decide to share this with me.

Eddie was having breakfast one morning before a bombing run.
There was a guy sitting across the table from him, eating his cereal.

Later that morning, the squadron was airborne on their way to the days target.
Eddie looked over at the B-24 flying beside them.

Instantly, there was fire, smoke and wreckage flying everywhere. They were all gone.
It had been that guys last meal that Eddie noticed him eating.

Eddie paused for a moment. Quietly he said, "It was really something. The way those guys gave their lives".

Every time they "clawed" their way into the air on a mission,
    none of them knew if they were going to get to come back.

I am thankful his wife got him to share this account with me.
    Eddie had his "demons" to live with from his time of service.

Eddie was basically a quiet guy. He would help someone whenever he could.
He was a metal finisher in plant 3. Just an ordinary guy. This was all many of us ever knew.

I would venture to say that there are hundreds of untold stories of heroes in the shop that walked among us.
We really just didn't know.

People tend to forget too often the sacrifice our young men and women have made for this nation.

Honor your country and those who serve her . . . . and those who have served her
      USAF Singing Sergeants   AMERICAN MELODIES   George M. Cohan   US ARMY THEME  

  Note to Windows 7 users:

  When you click on the salute link above, if this page bounces off into a window opening in a separate tab,
    click the tab at the top to the left of the page you are viewing.
          It will bring you back to this page.

Musical renditions courtesy of the US Air Force Band   US AIR FORCE BAND Web site