Category Archives: new combat troopers

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RE Post: About this site. By Ken Skelton Two survivors, Frank Ruffalo and Sam Vasquez, reunited at my home in Arizona today (May 11). Would you like a photo of them? [Editor’s Note: “Yes, certainly!”] *     *   … Continue reading

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Paul R. Stewart – Lifted off rescue ship at Antwerp, Belgium

Pvt. Paul R. Stewart of Ardmore, Oklahoma, was one of the youngest paratroopers on board Flying Tiger 923 when it ditched in the frigid north Atlantic some 500 miles off the west coast of Ireland. It was a Sunday night, … Continue reading

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Skip Davidson: I knew it was swim or die.

Pvt. Larry E. “Skip” Davidson, 19, of Manchester, Maryland, joined the Army in early April of 1962. He undertook the rigorous training in combat arms and then the techniques and methods of paratroopers who get into battle from the air. … Continue reading

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George Christodal: One that got away!

George Christodal was an 18-year-old paratrooper with a slightly more privileged occupational specialty than the combat troopers aboard FT923. He was trained in cryptography (secret coding) as a matter of chance assignment, or as he would say, by the toss … Continue reading

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FLASH BACKS on the demise of Flying Tiger 923!

Fifty years after the crash of Flying Tiger 923, it is astonishing to see how little was known by the survivors of the event that very nearly took their lives. No one had an opportunity to see all of the … Continue reading

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Willie Smith: Tells story that makes “Old Soldier” proud

News reporters were gathered on the tarmac of the new Cork Airport, each one of them wanting to snatch a survivor for an interview before medical personnel could get to them. Two Royal Air Force helicopters were alternately landing with … Continue reading

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John Toole: Sitting in the right seat at the right time?

It might have been a matter of luck, just sitting in the right seat at the right time. Private John Toole of Montgomery, Alabama, says he was very lucky and escaped from the crash of the Flying Tiger with no … Continue reading

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George Brown: Oshkosh trooper safe on Canadian air craft carrier

September 25, 1962 — Oshkosh, Wisconsin Daily Northwesterner news: “Oshkosh Man on Airliner is Safe” “A long and dreary day ended in joyous relief about 5 pm. Monday for Mr. And Mrs. George Brown when they got the news. Their … Continue reading

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Fred Caruso: Thank God I’m alive!

Some survivors wrote letters to describe the crash of Flying Tiger 923. One such letter was written the day following the disaster, September 24, 1962, while still at sea aboard the Swiss rescue ship, The  Celerina. Pvt. Fred Caruso, newly graduated … Continue reading

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Frank Bazell: Survives crash to die another day for his country

Frank David Bazell, Van Nuys, California, was one of the lucky 48 who survived the ditching of Flying Tiger 923 that dreadful night of September 23, 1962. He made it out of the destroyed airplane, battled the frigid gale-driven waves … Continue reading

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