1943 — Africa/Italy
Charles Reeves joined the Army 11 Dec. 1939. He resided in Woodward County. His address at enlistment was just "Supply, Oklahoma". He had completed 2 yeas of college and by the time WW II was declared, he was fully ready for the Army Air Corps. Although he was a M/Sgt in Armament, he was flown over in the "Gen Bob Knapp" (The Big Hop!) Flight Over the Atlantic in ship $#42-53377, The Flag-Ship of the 446th BS with Capt. Henry Schwane as his Pilot. This "now famous" HOP was the 1st flight across the Atlantic in a single mass without loss.
War Diary, 447th Bombardment Squadron:
"The 321st, commanded by Col. Robert Knapp, was the first group to fly from the United States to an overseas base in a single mass flight. It was also the first to use tail and waist guns in the B-25s. During more than 18 months of Combat Operations in this theater, the unit bagged eight enemy fighters for every bomber it lost."
Photo's and Stories to come from his Proud son, Stan Reeves.
M/Sgt Charles Reeves was the youngest M/Sgt in the US AAC.
1) After a week’s stay at the Bessie Lee Hotel, M/sgt. Charles Reeves kissed his 19 year-old war bride Martha good-by to wage war against the Axis powers in North Africa.“Bessie Lee Hotel (receipt for a stay in remote) DeRidder, LA, final air training site before P.O.E. North Africa. It was barely affordable ($3.50 per night) for wives who followed the boys, yet, a huge up-grade from the facilities “across the tracks” … after a two day wait in the hotel lobby!” By Martha Reeves, wife of M/sgt. Charles Reeves. 2010
2) Erected in 1907, the Bessie Lee is one of DeRidder's oldest hostelries. It was at the time considered to be the best hotel between Shreveport and Lake Charles. At one time there were thirty rooms, each with outside exposure, and plenty of ventilation. One-half of the rooms had private baths and the remaining rooms had connecting baths. By Stan Reeves, son of Msgt. Charles Reeves.
As told to Barbi Ennis Connolly, 321stBG Historian
U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs
CHARLES FULTON Reeves
M SGT US ARMY AIR FORCES
WORLD WAR II
DATE OF BIRTH: 06/11/1920
DATE OF DEATH: 02/02/2001
501 BROADWAY FORT SUPPLY, OK 73841