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Joseph F Szczygiel, KIA Feb'43 310thBG, B-25's /MTO
1943 | North Africa
Extracts from Missing Air Crew Report # 14584:
A/C No. 41-13073 “VAR ARIEN” (M) (MACR-14584 - shot down) P Cox, Robert A., 1Lt - DED CP Szczygiel, Joseph F., 2Lt - DED N None B McHarge, James Hayes, T/Sgt - DED E None R Brink, Robert W., S/Sgt - DED G Windham, Duke Green, Jr., S/Sgt - DED F None
McHARGE POEM, “MY PILOT”, SENT TO HIS MOTHER
ASHEVILLE MAN AND HIS SKIPPER MISSING IN NORTH AFRICA
A poem written by T/Sgt. James H. McHarge, reported missing in action on the North African front, was sent to his mother, Mrs. J.H. McHarge of 21 Cumberland Ave, by Mrs. A.R. Cox of Fox, Virginia, whose son, Lieutenant Robert Cox, was reported missing at the same time as Sergeant McHarge.
Sergeant McHarge wrote the poem “My Pilot”, as a tribute to Lieutenant Cox, pilot of the B-25 bomber on which Sergeant McHarge was bombardier. Their plane failed to return from a mission last February 8.
Sergeant McHarge volunteered for service in the Army on December 8, 1941 and trained at Sheppard Field, Texas; Santa Monica, California; Walterboro, South Carolina and Columbia, South Carolina before going overseas in November 1942. He was a graduate of Lee Edwards High School in 1937 and at the time he entered the Service, was employed at Harry’s Motor Inn.
Yes, he’s the leader of the crew
It’s up to him to get us through
If all goes well, we each get back
We rush to Intelligence to joke and wisecrack.
Yet off by himself, looking very grim
Is my pilot who flew the ship they couldn’t trim
He says nothing to none of the rest
If we hadn’t got back, he’d still done his best.
The crew, like myself, has never realized
Or been responsible for six other lives
If Fate must have it, and one must get shot
God, let it be me, but save my Pilot.
God Bless our Brave Men. Barbi Ennis Connolly, 57th Bomb Wing Historical Researcher with John T Fitzgerald and Patti Johnson.
321st Bomb Group Historian. PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com