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Lt James M Bugbee, 321st BG, 447th BS, 57th BW, 12th AF MTO
1943-44 | Italy
Ole' Capt. JIM; 2013, Jim and Beth Bugbee are DOCENTS at the Ford Island Museum in Pearl Harbor, since it opened and continue to "re-up" for years to come :)
Jim Bugbee was an energetic and Patriotic young man. Barely 2 weeks after his 18th Birthday, he joined the Canadian Army. Although his stay was short (63 days) he was issued a WW I Great-Coat and a WW I water-cooled machine gun. He returned to the states and got a job for 13 cents an hour. However, one day he met a Go-Get-'em Pilot Instructor, who talked him into a "free-demo" (his free 30 minute demo was a savings of 10 cents a minute) He flew back down out of the sky, hopelessly in love with flying forever. He then got a job as a Hod-carrier, HARD work but a lot more money, and he attained his private pilot's license.
Still struggling with his great desire to serve (and having his pilots license) he interviewed in NY by the Clayton Knight Committee, (made up of WW I US Military Pilots) and was accepted imm. and took a bus to Canada. He joined the RCAF the next day (1941). Upon arriving at Ottawa Recruiting station, (10 to 12 American Cadets) .....They were told it would be a 100 miles by train . . . WOOPS ! 1200 miles by train. He trained in a Tiger Moth and a twin Cessna. His summer uniform, as a Pre-Pilot-Cadet (Air craftsman 2nd class) . . . And as a full-fledged Cadet, I was a leading Airman. I think we were called GADGETS ! We wore embroidered propellers and a USA patch on our shoulder.
WAR was declared and we were given the option of returning, the US Gov. then ransomed-back their Canadian-Trained Pilots . Jim choose the AAC, they were sworn in up there, given the physical on the train, and 10 days to get to Randolph Field, Texas. They only needed 2 weeks to graduate, plus 6 weeks of training.
4 Aug. 1942, he then reported to Columbia, S.C . and became the 5th or 6th person in the new 447th BS, that was [still on paper] conceived on 1 Aug. '42. The 321st BG was formed by Col William C Mills, then he turned it over to Col Bob Knapp. On 8 Sept. '42 Maj. Ray Sampson was running the 447th Bomb Squad show, we called him the "Old Man" a popular term for the CO. Doc Manley was "really" old..... 35, I think! :)
The CO Ray Sampson and Jim Bugbee flew over the Atlantic in the Knapp Flight in the Flag-Ship #41-30000 (The Ruff Stuff, Dan McDuff's Ship) with the New-Top-Secret Airborne RADAR. Bugbee said his RADAR guy saw Ascension Island quite a ways out.
"Over-There" Jim Bugbee and Bob Spikes shared the "Deathwind" #42-53371. . .in the Fall '43 when the new ship "Dumbo" #42-32498 arrived, (Quote) "We flipped a coin ! The Dumbo became my new ship because I lost the coin-toss with Bob Spikes" The fate of a 1/4 million dollar B-25 over a coin-toss. Bugbee and Spikes were promoted to 1st Lt on the same day.
When the longed for day came when they (Bugbee and Spikes) reached their 50th Mission, they were asked by the CO, Ray Sampson, to stay and lead the new pilot-replacements . . . after only a short thought, Jim Bugbee and Bob Spikes said YES ! They were promoted to Captain and each led the new pilots into Combat for 15 Missions more.
On a personal note, in a complete gesture of trust, Jim was the very first to send me, Barbi Ennis Connolly, all of his pictures to scan, catalogue and return.. Through mail, email and conversations, I have learned the stories about his War experience. This is an outstanding man ! It has been my pleasure. While he did not minimize the danger of battle in WW II, he did find the necessity of it worth the price that was paid. (QUOTE) "War is basically stupid and counter-productive. It would be avoidable IF Leaders and Politicians acted appropriately and in time. Soldiers don't start wars, they hate it ! As well as all Moms and mature Dads". Jim Bugbee
My Father, 447th BS Edward Ennis flew with both Bugbee and Spikes, as well as many others because of his training in the Top-Secret Airborne RADAR. While questionable in the beginning, it certainly was a great start, and an advancement that helped win the War. PrincessBarbi - Barbi Ennis Connolly.
Jim Bugbee and Ogden Gorman, Baltimore MD
1941 | Canada
In the Pre-WAR days, many were 'gearing-up'. . . getting ready . . . preparing. Ogden Gorman and Jim Bugbee were both from Baltimore MD. . . . friends? Or did they meet because both had their pilots' license?
Anyway. . . Ogden Gorman and Jim Bugbee most probably walked in together.... they were interviewed in NY by the Clayton Knight Committee, (made up of WW I US Military Pilots) and were accepted imm. They took a bus to Canada and joined the RCAF the next day (1941). Upon arriving at Ottawa Recruiting station, (10 to 12 American Cadets) .....They were told it would be a 100 miles by train . . . WOOPS ! 1200 miles by train. Ogden and Jim trained in a Tiger Moth and a twin Cessna. Thier summer uniforms, as a Pre-Pilot-Cadets (Air craftsman 2nd class) . . . so as full-fledged Cadets, They were leading Airman. I think we were called GADGETS ! We wore embroidered propellers and a USA patch on our shoulder.
WAR was declared and we were given the option of returning, the US Gov. then ransomed-back their Canadian-Trained Pilots . Now it is HISTORY; Jim Bugbee went home to the 'Good Ole' USA while Ogden Gorman remained for a while as a PILOT INSTRUCTOR. (Later Ogden would be a Combat Pilot with the 427th Squadron, Halifax Bombers out of Leeming, England).
God Bless our brave men. PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com Barbi Ennis Connolly
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Dec. 2011 | Ford Island, Hawaii
Ole' Capt. Jim. . .
"Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan... No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people will through their righteous might win through to absolute victory... With confidence in our armed forces-with the unbounded determination of our people-we will gain the inevitable triumph-so help us God. I, therefore, ask that the Congress declare that since the dastardly and unprovoked attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire."
-- President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dec. 8, 1941, speech asking Congress to declare war on Japan.
We are proud that one of "our own", 321st Bomb Group, 447th Bomb Squad, "Olde' Capt. Jim" and Beth Bugbee (Original Gen Knapp Flight Over) have been and continue to be the Docents at the Ford Island Museum, about 8 months of the year. Capt Jim says it is an Honor which they enjoy, he personally has made several highly successful seminar/presentations for them.... and when not at *work*, they enjoy some "Fun in the Sun and Sand in the Shorts" :)
I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, sweat...you ask,
what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with
all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war
against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable
catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I
can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs - Victory in
spite of all terrors - Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for
without victory there is no survival."
- Winston Churchill
Pearl Harbor Day, http://http://www.pacificaviationmuseum.org/ Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on historic Ford Island occupies World War II-era hangars that still bear the scars of our nation's first aviation ...
Ford Island; http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Pearl_Harbor_aerial.jpg
Aerial view of Pearl Harbor with Ford Island in the middle.
Barbi Ennis Connolly, 319th and 321st Bomb Group Historian, 57th Bomb Wing Historical Researcher PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com
Capt. James Bugbee, B-25 Pilot, 321st Bomb Group, 447th BS.
1943 | North Africa/ Italy
Col William C Mills formed the 321st Bomb Group - Meduim -The B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber Pilot, Capt James M Bugbee was in the original Cadre' of the 321st Bomb Group as it was formed, he walked in with several other Pilots.... all of whom were "first" and the 321st Bomb Group was born. Before very long, the Pilots were assigned to Squadrons and Jim would go with the 447th Bomb Squad. Soon men were being assigned from all over and for all tasks and qualifications. Jim would become good friends with Bob Spikes, Frank McGowan, Albert Duke, Hamilton and Wilton Brinkley and many others and receive their trainer-B-25's and Crews at Columbia, SC. to learn to be a Team and learn the tactics of War as well as the handling of the very versitle B-25 Mitchell.
Jim Bugbee and Bob Spikes were the best of friends, in fact, became lifetime friends. . . . The mostly shared the Combat B-25 DEATHWIND #42-53371 which was the Flag Ship #1 in the now-famous Knapp Flight Over (the atlantic, the Southern Route in a single mass without loss!) Flag-Ship 1 was flown by Maj. Bailey Cook and Lt Bob Spikes. Flag-Ship #2 was flown by Capt. Ray Sampson and Lt James Bugbee.
(More of the story to come). (2011)
Barbi Ennis Connolly, 321st Bomb Group Historian (319th BG Historian) and 57th Bomb Wing Historical Researcher. PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com (11 April, 2011) My dad/Edward C Ennis flew many Missions in the Deathwind, which he called "My Ship" but flew Combat as Airborne RADAR Technition in many other ships as well. This was the newest TOP-SECRET Application of Airborne RADAR (The ME-Q) Sometimes referred to as "Mickey Mouse".
Barbi Ennis Connolly (daughter)
Capt. Jim Bugbee; After Combat -
1944-45 | Texas
Rattlesnake Army Airfield at Pyote, TX ;
MORE of the Story. . . later in the WAR... (as told to Barbi Ennis Connolly)
MORE of the Story. . . later in the WAR... (as told to Barbi Ennis Connolly)
In a remote corner of West Texas in 1942, the dreaded western diamondback rattlesnake was awarded the unique distinction of having a mighty airfield named in its honor. Although the installation originally bore the official title of Pyote Army Airfield, the massive quantity of serpents encountered during the construction of the base quickly earned it the nickname of "The Rattlesnake Bomber Base."
The One and Only Rattlesnake Bomber Base tells the story of what happened when an American bomber base aptly named for a serpent arose, Brigadoon-like, from the sun-baked caliche desert located just east of the fabled Pecos River and just west of nearly every place else. Although the huge airfield was eventually to sprawl over nearly three thousand acres of Texas hardscrabble, its important and colorful history should by no means be considered merely a regional wartime episode. What happened at Pyote, Texas, before, during, and after World War II represents instead a microcosm of what took place all across the North American continent.
2012; Capt. Jim Bugbee; After *whupping* Rommel and his Germans, we went to Italy and I finished up there and came back to the U.S. I managed to be posted to Galveston, TX (B-17's and B-24's) and from there to, of all places, Rattlesnake Army Airfield at Pyote, TX where I finished out the War as a B-29 Instructor Pilot.
Barbi Ennis Connolly, 321st BG Historian and 57th BW Historical Researcher.
PRINCESSBARBI Barbara Ennis Connolly
Capt. Jim Bugbee (B-17, B-24, B-29 Instructor) Hawaii
2013 | Hawaii
Jim and Beth Bugbee, Docents at the Ford Island Museum in Pearl Harbor;
28 FEB. 2013, 91st Surprise Birthday Party... *young* Capt. Jim turns 91 and is surprised with a wonderful Birthday Party at PAC ... ~~~~~~~~~~
Above are some selected photos taken Thursday, 28 February at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor of HODAR Jim Bugbee conducting a special DAR tour of Hangar 37 for NSDAR President General Merry Ann T. Wright & DAR/HODARs accompanying her following their visit to the USS Arizona and lunch in the museum's Laniakea Cafe. (Another museum docent took the tour group through Hangar 79 as Jim cannot walk very far or very long anymore.) After the tour, a surprise party was held for Jim's 91st birthday (28 Feb) that included a cake for the PG (it was her birthday that week also) and a cake to honor our veterans. Over 100 friends including DAR members attended the party, held in museum's main gallery. We were most fortunate to be entertained by the touring China Opera Troupe singing, among others, the Flying Tigers Opera, Happy Birthday, and Auld Lang Sine. The party was a complete surprise for Jim - a wonderful time was had by all. (Saturday, 2 March, was the Hawaii State Conference with Merry Ann speaking & election of state officers, held at the Honolulu Country Club. Afterward, Merry Ann, Bea Dalton, and 12 members of the Hawai'i Loa Chapter on the Big Island (Hawai'i Island) flew back there where Merry Ann and her husband planned to spend a few more days. (She arrived on Oahu, Sunday, 24 Feb for the week.) Wish you all could have been with us!! Mahalo, BethB 13 Jan. 2013 from Hawaii
Feb 28, 2013 DAR Tour & Jim Bugbee Surprise Party at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Please see pictures :)
Barbi Ennis Connolly 321st Bg Historian PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com (March, 2013)