Date: February 2, 1998
Notes: Laurie (Wally’s wife) recorded notes about his service in WWII about a year before he passed away. This document details his enlistment, training, missions, Purple Heart, and returning to the United States.
Notes: At some point (date unknown), Wally jotted down the missions he recalled on the back of an “American Savings and Loan Association” notepad. Of the 42 missions Wally flew that were confirmed via the 44th Bomb Group Database and records from his crew, 31 are included the list of missions he personally generated. This comparison shows that the records are fairly similar to Wally’s memory later, indicating the 42 missions listed below are likely a very accurate reflection of the missions Wally flew.
Date: January 20, 1944
Notes: This seven-page brief details the functionality and benefits of using the Norden Bomb Sight, a new feature on a B-24. This document was in Wally’s files, and it was clearly printed in 1944. The content is quite technical, requiring both a strong grasp of math and physics.
Notes: Three pages of notes from Laurie (Wally’s wife) about Wally’s service. It appears that most of this information was provided by Mike Whalen, who served as a Radio/Operator gunner on nearly all missions Wally flew. Mike Whalen also provided our family with a record of Wally’s service before the war.
Notes: Troops commonly passed around motivational or humorous notes like this one to keep morale up while deployed. This poem was included in Wally’s records, and it is assumed he received it while stationed at Shipdham.
Notes: Special Orders No. 33 issued in Lincoln (which was used as a routing base) included the original crew #5282 and sent them to Peterson Field for Transition Training. Wally later replaced Selmanoff in Mountain Home.
Notes: Special orders issues to Crew #5282 indicating they would move from Peterson Field to Mountain Home, Idaho to continue Transition Training. While at Peterson Field, Colorado, Waist Gunner, Harold L. Buehler was replaced by Paul D. Caldwell, per Special Orders No. 159. “Erwin S. Selmanoff continued to be one of the original members of the crew at the time we arrived in Mountain Home, Idaho. […] I have a vague memory of him stating that he had been talking to a psychiatrist there and was seeking to be relieved from flight duty. In all events, after a few weeks he was moved out and was replaced upon our crew by Wallace B. Truslow, see Crew No. 5282 on the order dated 11 July 1944 transferring us from Mountain Home, Idaho to Topeka, Kansas.” (Whalen, 1994).
Date: July 14, 1944
Notes: Wallace B. Truslow replaced Erwin S, Selmanoff as nose turret gunner at this station – Mountain Home, Idaho (for B-24 Transition Training). This change in the crew is officially documented in Speical Order No. 196 moving Wally’s Crew (#5282) to Topeka, Kansas on July 17, 1944 to pick up their new B-24 Bomber to use in combat.
Date: August 2, 1944
Notes: After arriving in England, four officers and the radio operator were flown to a base in Northern Ireland for about a week of training to familiarize themselves with navigational and procedure in European Theater of operations at conclusion of which we were flown directly to combat base near Shipdham; the rest of crew had already been shipped there; from Wally’s crew, Caldwell, Kennedy, Sims, Toy, Truslow went to this training (See special order 215).
Notes: This special order called for Wally’s crew to return to the United States. The variation in the crew members is due to some of the crew members returning to the United States after completing 25 missions which they were entitled to do; you’ll note that Burns, Whalen, Sims, Kennedy, and Truslow stayed. The crew also carried 10 passengers (listed at the bottom of the order) back to the United States.
Date: November 1942-November 1943
Notes: Wally’s Pilot Log, presumably from Primary Flight Training, which began in November 1942 in Texas. Wally has 20+ flights recorded in his log in various planes that indicate he attended some or all of Primary Flight Training, as well as Basic Flight Training.
Date: Unknown (1944-1945, likely date)
Notes: This is a two-page letter to “Bill” that was in Wally’s records. It is a motivational letter providing an inspirational message from someone in the likeness of a family member about the importance of war time service.
Date: Unknown (1944-1945, likely date)
Notes: This is one of the more peculiar documents found in Wally’s records. It is original from the war, clear by both its condition and the content. This damnation of the Jewish race purports to be written by Benjamin Franklin; the content was falsely ascribed to him. Upon further research, this was one of the most common pieces of propaganda that German airplanes dropped throughout Western Europe during the war. There is evidence that this passage in particular was littered throughout England, which is likely where Wally got it from.