1943 — Italy
Lt Don Behrhorst, pronounced BEAR-Horst.... (2 April,2009)
OK, great news, I spoke with a 445th Pilot for Wayyyyyyyyyyy-over an hour today, Lt Don Behrhorst and he is 91 ! What a fire-cracker he is :) He has quoted me the Men issues, and page # for about 15 articles that Victor has printed in the last about 10 years, I will get them all out tomorrow :)
Don flew his own ship over in a replacement batch, the 445th #42-32321. . . the ship appears in August,1943, and he had it already painted, "a BIG Brown Bear, with a Mexican SOMBRERO hat and a 6 Shooter !" No lettering.... Don does not start flying her until end of Oct, he had some co-pilot Missions with his forever friend Jim Fisher, who is usually in the ship #42-64575, and was shot down 8 Oct. '43 (I believe they ALL eventually got back) THAT ship was the Mo Martinez one, (This info from Fred Lawrence) I already know it has NO name, NO nose-art, but had a small (just lettering) a Puppy name just up under the Bombardier nose.... "POOCHIE". . . . .
Don had his ship painted as a BEAR (no lettering) and they just referred to her as "flying in the Big Bear"...... when Don started as 1st pilot, he got "Ole 321, Big Bear" back for his next batch of Missions, then went on to fly a huge asst. of ships, and eventally got "ole 321" back with NO nose art, nor any other name... his last 10 or so Missions in her.
Don flew nearly every day and finished his 50th in about 6 months and came home.
He has a photo album, and kind-of understands an "Album". . .his 2 kids come home for visits and I have both their names, I hope are good on the computer ! He does not have any nose art, just lots of friends and crew..... he thinks he has his shipping orders, he KNOWS he has the document he signed for her, making him responsible for the flight over ! ;)
#42-64675 No name, No art, just the lettering "Poochie" under the Bombardier's window....
#42-32321 The "Big Bear" large art (above) but No Name....and art taken off sometime in Dec.'43-Jan. '44. . . . he did not add anything when he got her back for his last batch of Missions.
Don does have 1 request, that I search for his Navigator (also in the 445th, Class mate in the States and tent-mate "over-there" Lt Bart Osburn from Oklahoma...
Barbi Ennis Connolly 321stBG and 319th BG Historian and 57th Bomb Wing Historical Researcher. PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com