Date: 6/10/94 & 2/20/98
Notes: Letter from Captain Emmett J. Burns to Wally Truslow in 1998. Based on Laurie’s conversation with E. J. Burns in the late 90s, the crew was unable to track down Wally for decades after the war. This letter includes an update about the crew, as well as a letter from Mike Whalen (Radio Operator/Gunner) to E.J. Burns with life updates in 1994. Finally, there is a photo of the crew shortly after they arrived at Shipdham with a handwritten note from Mike Whalen explaining the setting.
Notes: Whalen provides a summary of his life since the war, as well as updates on other crew members.
Date: Letter received April 18, 2000
Notes: Whalen primarily served as a Radio Operator/Gunner on nearly all the missions Wally flew. This document details Whalen’s service during the war, and he hand wrote notes about Wally’s service as Laurie was working to gather information about Wally’s service in the late 90s as his health declined. The second document, the letter enclosed in the envelope with his service record, provides some additional details about Wally’s service.
Date: December 21, 1998
Notes: Letter written from Whalen to Laurie Truslow on in late 1998. This letter provides an update of his life, primarily his health and children, in late 1998.
Notes: Letter from M. G. Sim’s wife in 1998. Sims was the Tail Gunner on nearly every mission Wally flew. His wife provides a summary of his life after the war, as well as his declining health in the 1990s.
Date: September 29, 1979
Notes: Article from a Kansas newspaper, featured on the front page with the article about Kennedy, Sims, Whalen, and Burns reuniting in 1979 (Crew Letter #4). The article makes mentioned of Burns receiving a plaque featuring a B-24 at what seems to have been a reunion for the 8th Army/44th Bomb Group.
Date: December 14, 1999
Notes: This letter originally sent from Burns to Whalen was sent to Laurie in the 90s by Whalen. It’s unclear precisely what the post-it note references, but it appears to be a reference to the book, “A Radio Man’s WWII Experience.”
Date: May 31, 1945
Notes: At some point in the 90s, Mike Whalen scanned a number of photos taken of the crew in late May just before they flew home from Shipdham Air Base after V-E Day was declared. Whalen has added captions on every photo detailing who is pictured and the moments leading up to their departure.
Date: September 29, 1979
Notes: This newspaper article was written when Kennedy, Burns, Sims, and Whalen had a reunion in 1979. The article recounts their journey as B-24 bombers and their experience during the war.