Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Army 1
31 Dec 1969 2
Calif. 2

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Personal Details

Also known as:
B-25 PILOT, 321st Bomb Group 2
Victor J Hancock 1
Level of Education: Completed High-School 2
Level of Education: 4 years of high school 1
Marital Status: Single, NOT Married 2
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
31 Dec 1969 2
Calif. 2
Male 2
31 Dec 1969 2
1852 1
Place: SanFrancisco County, California 1
Jo Ann Laws 3
31 Dec 1969 3
San Francisco CA 3

World War II 1

Army 1
Enlistment Date:
23 Nov 1942 1
Army Branch:
Air Corps 1
Army Component:
Reserves - exclusive of Regular Army Reserve and Officers of the Officers Reserve Corps on active duty under the Thomason Act (Officers and Enlisted Men -- O.R.C. and E.R.C., and Nurses-Reserve Status) 1
Army Serial Number:
19190531 1
Enlistment Place:
San Francisco California 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Army Air Corps 2
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
"Bombs Away!" see below.. 2
WWII B-25 Pilot, 445th Bomb Squad 2
Race or Ethnicity:
WHITE /Citizen 2
Skilled occupations in manufacture of electrical machinery and accessories, n.e.c. 1
Race or Ethnicity:
WHITE, NOT Japanese 2
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
From: 31 Dec 1969 2
Source Information:
Box Number: 0319 1
Card Number: 3 1
Film Reel Number: 3.41 1

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Lt Victor J Hancock, 321st BG, 445th BS, B-25 Pilot

Corsica, France

Lt Victor J Hancock, B-25 Pilot in the 321st Bomb Group
3 images

FOOTNOTE has BIRTH wrong, Victor was born in 1924, The correction has been submitted)  The Enlistment is CORRECT.  Victor has been the EDITOR of the "Men of the 57th" Journal for many-MANY years!  

Victor resided in San Francisco, Calif and entered directly into the AAC on 23 Nov. 1942, He was born in Oregon in 1924, comleted high school, is White, Citizen and was single at emlistment. 

4 Nov. 2006  Barb Ennis Connolly has begun asking the Vets for Stories; This is from Victor J Hancock, 321st Bomb Group, 445th Bomb Squadron, B-25 Pilot, Corsica/MTO.

Transmitted via the '57th Bomb Wing Research List'
**** We all know Pearl Harbor Day was Sun. Dec.7,1941   How many know ?      V E day was Tues. May 8, 194     V J Day was Sun. Sept. 2, 1945    I recently asked where my parents were.  How many of you know or have asked ?  "I would like to hear your stories, please."  Blessings, Barbi

Victor said; " Hi Barbi:  Interesting question.  I had just got off of work on the docks of San Francisco and was eating lunch at the Embarkadero YMCA when the news came over the radio that we had been attacked at Pearl Harbor. Everyone stood around the radio as we listened to the news. Soon the word was given that all military personnel were to report to their bases immediately.     There was never a doubt that we would win. And the hatred for the Japs was visceral, at least on the West Coast.     I had one older brother in the Army at the time and another older brother entered the Navy the next day.  I was still in high school and did not volunteer until April or May and that was for Aviation Cadets. I was a high senior at High School and was to graduate in January 1943 but got my orders and reported to duty in early November and shipped out to Buckley Field.We had been expecting some type of hostility to break out for some time and spoke of it in our history and civic classes at high school.

WWII vets: They changed the world    Victor comments on "What it means to be part of the Greatest Generation"...... 
We wait alongside them in the grocery checkout line and hurry past them on the street. They are members of our churches and grandparents to our children, but how often do we pause to ponder the content of their lives?
As teenagers and 20-somethings, they traveled to distant countries, knowing they might die there, and returned to lives forever altered by their experiences. They risked their lives, left jobs, and cast passions and aspirations aside until their missions were fulfilled.
Indeed, all who served in World War II — in battle or supporting roles — deserve unyielding gratitude, but as each Veterans Day passes, the time for thanks dwindles. We can still shake their hands and hear their stories, but for how much longer?
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the ranks of World War II vets are shrinking by about 1,200 a day nationwide.
A few of those who have retired in Far North Dallas take time to recall, for those of us who weren’t there, an era that shaped the world.
If you run into one of them today, it might be the right time to say “thank you”.

“We all waited for those words: ‘Bombs away, let’s get the hell out of here.’ ” — Victor Hancock

Before the war, Victor Hancock had never been afraid of anything. But the war changed his life.

“I came face-to-face with the reality of how you would react if someone tried to kill you,” he says. “I got plenty scared. Once the engine starts, you go about your business like you were trained.”

Hancock was two months from graduating high school when he volunteered for the Army Air Force in 1942, just as his two older brothers had done. (The Air Force became a separate branch of the Armed Services in 1947; until that point, it was part of the Army’s Air Corps and collectively known as the Army Air Force.)

“There was a war going on, so there was no doubt you were going to be in it,” Hancock says.

He joined thousands of others for preflight school at Kelly Field in San Antonio. He finished training in May 1944 and became a pilot in the 57th Bomb Wing’s 488th Bomb Squadron. He was stationed on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic and then headed to a base on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. By January 1945, the war in Europe was ending, and the Germans tried to escape to their country via the three-mile wide Brenner Pass within the Alps.

“Our job was to close the pass,” Hancock says. “We all waited for those words — ‘Bombs away, let’s get the hell out of here.’ Then you had the long flight back to Corsica over enemy territory.”

They’d often return with bullet holes in their B-25s, which Hancock describes as some of the most durable aircraft in the Air Force.

“It could take a tremendous amount of damage and still bring soldiers home. There were 875 crewmembers lost. It would have been four times that [without B-25s].”

Hancock co-piloted six of the missions and encountered a few close calls that could have resulted in more than just a few holes in the plane. Once, while they flew through the mountains at 5,000 to 6,000 feet, the Germans fired anti-aircraft guns. Hancock says he approached a box canyon with no way out. They had to quickly pull up or crash right into the side of the mountain.

“The Germans were shooting at us with flak busting on our tails. It’s all very slow motion.”

Hancock knew he wasn’t invincible. His brother had died in combat the year before.

“I was absolutely devastated. I was, no doubt, aware of my mortality. I was not a man who thought I couldn’t die.”

U.S. forces dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the war in the South Pacific before Hancock’s squadron arrived.

Today, he lives in the Canyon Creek neighborhood with his wife of 65 years. He retired in 1992 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. His home office is covered in papers, old photographs and maps because for the past 16 years, Hancock has edited a quarterly journal, “Men of the 57th”, published for his fellow crewmembers from the 57th Bomb Wing. It includes updates about veterans and personal accounts from missions.

Hancock, now 87, sometimes speaks at neighborhood elementary schools, sharing his experience of being a part of the “greatest generation”.    “Our reaction to circumstances made us a little different. One of the kids asked me, ‘Could we do the same thing?’ I said, ‘Of course you could.’ ”

***  "We have clearance, Clarence. Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?"  ***   Other Vets represented here as well !  GREAT Stories :)  Thank you for all of the "Children of the Greatest Generation"  we had no idea how priviledged we are/were ! 

 Barbi Ennis Connolly  57th Bomb Wing Historical Researcher and 321st Bomb Group Historian.

“We all waited for those words: ‘Bombs away, let’s get the hell out of here.’ ” — Victor Hancock (Quote)

B-25 Pilot, Capt Dan Bowling's Book /"Follow P-D-I"


Read a TRUE accounting of Dan Bowling that reflects the Patriotism of our American men.... a story that describes what 'many to most' of our "Fly-Boys" did to earn their Pilot Wings.  Dan and Victor both served in the 321st BG, 445th BS out of Corsica, 1944-45.

Capt Dan Bowling was a B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber Pilot out of Corsica in the MTO.  Dan completed 67 Combat Missions over N. Italy from Aug.'44 to May,'45.  At 21 a Captain, a Flight Leader, wearing a DFC for Extraordinary Achievement-Aerial Heroism during Combat.  He wore an Air Medal with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters and a DUC. Capt. Dan was an excellent B-25 Pilot, leader of pilots and beloved by his men.  Courage with Honor. "FOLLOW P-D-I" 

Barbi Ennis Connolly, 321st Bomb Group Historian.

Victor and Jo Ann Hancock ( Jo Ann - November 18, 1924 - December 7, 2014)

The LOVE that lasted a lifetime  :)

True love goes so far beyond self as to include both people as "one self" . . This is Victor and Jo Ann. To think of the other 1st, to love on the cranky bad hair days as well as the days her beauty within and on the outside shows itself through her smile, then THAT smile.... the one just for you! To give and receive, LOVE, the greatest gift! Jo Ann will be greatly missed and Victor knows where she is waiting. Rest in Peace Jo Ann.
The greater the love, the deeper the sorrow . . . and the more cherished become the memories of the heart. God Bless you Victor and all of the family, may the Lord keep you in His Light as you journey through this sad time.
Sending with Love and Hugs and Prayers, Barbi Ennis Connolly (319th and 321st BG Historian in the 57th BW)

  (OBIT  )  Jo Ann's Find-a-Grave

Jo Ann Laws Hancock, devoted mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and wife. Jo Ann contributed greatly to the lives she touched. In Mexico City, she taught English at the American School there and students loved her. A dancer in early years, she excelled in athletics. An avid sports woman she passed along her skills to other as a Red Cross Certified Swimming Instructor and was able to help many youngsters to enjoy a life free of fear.

In the Girl Scouts, Jo Ann was often seen with her charges at her frequent campouts and was instrumental in setting up the first Girl Scout program in Orange, Texas.

An active cyclist, Jo Ann contributed her time and organizational skill to the American Bicycle Association and sponsored local and Century rides for adults and children.

There is a large mature Elm tree at the Heights Elementary School in Richardson on the campus that faces Belt Line that her family refers to as “Nannie’s tree,” which was planted there by her Brownie Troop in 1961.

She served her church, First Church of Christ Scientist, Richardson, from its inception as a Christian Science Society though the process of becoming recognized by the Mother Church in Boston as the First Church Christ Scientist, Richardson. No chore for the church was too small for her to do cheerfully and well, She served on boards and in all its actives and held the position of Second Reader, after being elected for a three year term.

Jo Ann’s belief in God was very strong and which she demonstrated in her activities with the hope of always expressing God's presence in her life. While modest in her claims as an artist, preferring to be considered an art lover, she was nonetheless very talented. Jo Ann was a voracious reader of a wide variety of subjects-which made her interesting conversationalist with educated opinions. A guileless woman, she spoke her mind and let one know where she stood on matters. Her opinion was appreciated by all who knew her well. 

Jo Ann always expressed her deep love and appreciation for our country and of the marvelous gift to have been born an American. Her loyalty to our country's ideals was fundamental and demonstrated in what she did. Jo Ann was active in politics and served as Chairman for the Bush for Senate Youth Campaign, in Orange, County, Texas, and was active in other campaigns of former President George H. W. Bush.

Jo Ann was an exceptionally honest person, trusted by all, and set an example for her family members, She was a true helpmate to her husband through the good times and rough times. He exhibited a steadfast honesty and loyalty to her marriage vows. As a mother she spent time with her daughter Vicki, the two where best friends. The two took frequent trips together and she enjoyed the reminiscing of those occasions.

Her life was filled with contribution to her fellow man, in the form of affection, loyalty, honesty and love. Her marvelous sense of humor-even times of tribulation was inspiring to family and friends.

A time remember Jo Ann with her family will be held on Friday, December 19, 2014 from 6:00-8:00pm at Restland Funeral Home.

A memorial service for Jo Ann will be at 12:30 PM on Saturday, December 20, 2014 in The Wildwood Chapel at Restland Funeral Home.

Jo Ann Hancock; A truly unique woman..generous, loving, humorous, determined, gritty, exceptionally intelligent, winsome, loyal, honest, straight forward, guileless, spiritual, mysterious, passionate, artistic, a partner of exceptional depth whose nature caused my heart to warm each day for 69 years. I have been a most fortunate man. The lyrics of the song “You were meant for me” tells our story. Thank you God! Victor Hancock

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Restland Funeral Home and Memorial Park, 13005 Greenville Avenue, at Restland Road, Dallas, TX 75243.

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