1944 — France
Caley B Waldrip was born in Scott County in Mississippi in 1922 to Robert W and Minnie L Waldrip. During WW II, Caley was a Radio/Gunner in the Medium Bomber, the "B-26 Marauder" out of England. He was stationed at "Matching Green" The 391st Bomb Group flew 1st to North Africa and in the 575th Bomb Squadron Caley's Ship was called the "Silver Dollar", this B-26 crashed on take-off a few days prior to D-Day, thankfully the Bombs did not explode nor did the ship catch fire....
Caley was "banged up" quite badly however and was still in the Hospital on D-Day.
He was mostly injured with gashed/cuts and bruises, thankfully not seriously injured and recovered to return to his Group . . . . After the Normandy Invasion, his Squadron moved across the English Channel to Roye, France where they finished out the War.
Caley's Diary entry of 5 July, 1944 reads "I hope Laseter is okay. I hope he is somewhere safe."
These photo's and Stories are from his proud son, David Waldrip, who not only assisted his father but attended a 391stBG Reunions with him. Caley's 391st Reunions meant everything to him ! The bonds the guys forged in such a short time together lasted a lifetime. They never forgot each other. NOT EVER. David practically carried him to his last Reunion in Norfolk VA, most especially David enjoyed meeting one crewmate in particular "Snapper", a retired NYC Poiceman who loved riding Harleys. We had lots to talk about, Caley passed the next year (1994)
From David Waldrip, (More stories and pictures to come :)
Jan. 2010; from David...... I found the grave of my great uncle "Caley B. Laseter" who was born Sept. ? 1889 and died Feb. 20, 1919. ( WW I ) The inscription on his marker reads "His was a noble life given in France for a noble cause. The defense of his country". He was my grandmother Minnie's brother and Laseter's uncle. My father "Caley B. Waldrip" was named for him and I just realized where I got my middle name. My father was a radio/gunner in a B-26. They flew first to North Africa and then were stationed at "Matching Green" England. A few days before D-Day his ship "Silver Dollar" crashed on take-off. Thankfully the bombs did not explode. He was banged up pretty bad, cuts and bruises but survived without serious injury. He missed D-Day because of hospitalization. After the Normandy invasion his squad moved across the channel to Roye, France where they finished the war. His diary entry of July 5, 1944 reads " I hope Laseter is okay. I hope he is somewhere safe". People just don't know what families went through back then. Dad passed in January 1994 and is buried in Jackson. His 391st Bombgroup reunions meant everything to him. I realized that the bonds these guys forged in a short time together lasted a lifetime. They never forgot each other. Not ever. I carried him to his last reunion in Norfolk, VA and got to meet one of his crewmates "Snapper", a retired New York City policeman who loved riding Harleys. We had a lot to talk about. Dad passed the next year.