Copyright© 2008 The 57th Bomb Wing Association. All Rights Reserved

Last updated: 28-January-2024
Men of the 57th is the official journal of the 57th Bomb Wing Association.


This narrated slideshow was presented at the end of the final reunion of the veterans of the 57th Bomb Wing on October 1, 2023. (Duration: One Hour)

In late 1944 the 9th Combat Camera Unit, led by Lt. Wilbur T. Blume, at the direction of Col. Chapman began filming an Army video documenting how training continued even during combat operations overseas.

One of the servicemen selected to 'star' in the video was Joseph Heller, who would later author the classic novel, Catch-22

Nine reels of the never-completed film were located at the National Archives. There is no sound, but the images are crystal clear and give us a unique insight into the war experiences of Joseph Heller.

In this clip from the 1970 movie of Catch-22, directed by Mike Nichols, we can see a wonderful sequence wherein a large group of B-25 take off on a bombing mission.

For the movie, the production company purchased 17 B-25's. This probably saved them from the scrap yard. They were only used in the movie for these short 8 minutes, but the excitement of seeing them take off was well worth it.

This 28-minute video was produced by the US Army Air Corp 9th Combat Camera Unit. The film is black and white, grainy, and 16mm low resolution, but the images of the aircraft of the 57th Bomb Wing in action are thrilling.

Mr. Saggini gives an excellent presentation on the strategy and tactics of the Battle of the Brenner.

He uses resources extensively from the 57th Bomb Wing, and expertly uses graphics, maps and photographs to illustrate his talking points.

The 90-minute video is somewhat marred by Mr. Saggini having his WiFi drop out, especially in the opening minutes, but it is worthwhile to stick with the presentation to get to the fascinating details he has to offer.

Lt. Bob Stangier, 310th BG, 381st BG, speaks in a 12-minute interview about life in camp on Corsica.

2nd Lt. Frank E. Goeckel, 310th BG HQ Intelligence Officer, narrates his fantastic collection of photos illustrating the his experiences during the war. (15-minute video)

Library of Congress Interviews with 57th BW Veterans

321st Bomb Group 340th Bomb Group
Jack Valenti, 448th BS
Ferrell L. Holley, 487th BS
Richard C. Hughes, 445th BS
John R. Lange, 487th BS
Carl W. Cahoon, 447th BS
Wendell H. Beverly, 489th BS
Stewart B. Gilbert 448th BS
Perry C. Chapman, 489th BS
John A. Montoro, 448th BS
Russell L. Scott, 489th BS
  Newman Sanders, 489th BS
310th Bomb Group Harry H. Spear, 489th BS
  John D. Rovick, 489th BS
Bernie Peters, 379th BS
John D. Rovick (2nd interview)
  Frank Pehrson, 489th BS
57th Bomb Wing HQ Forrest Wells, 488th BS
Thomas R. Cook

This beautifully filmed 11-minute video recounts the story of the loss of a ship from the 340th Bomb Group, 486th Bomb Squadron during a raid on the bridges at Calliano on the Brenner Line. In addition to breathtaking views of the Brenner Pass around Rovereto, it includes a first-person account from a man who, as a young boy, saw the aircraft crash.

The interview is in the local Italian dialect, but the author has provided a richly illustrated translation of the texts which you can access below.

English Text: When the Sky Was Scary
Credit: Paniz, Marco. "When the Sky Was Scary - Brenner Line, Italy - 5 February 1945." 2020.

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Copyright© 2008 The 57th Bomb Wing Association. All Rights Reserved