My father, Adrian Theron (A. T.) Sanders was a radio operator in the U. S. Navy on the USS Arkansas during World War II. His brother, Robert Donald Sanders, was a co-pilot on a B-17. Both were born and raised (and both are buried) in Ellisville, Mississippi. Both were nicknamed "Sandy." This site will include a lot of photos of them during their service years and some of their service items I have.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The patch of the 560th Squadron,
388thBomb Group, 8th Army Air Force

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Uncle Donald's grave, Ellisville, MS, Cemetery

Friday, February 16, 2007

Major John Peacock, pilot of the Susan Kay.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A photo of Uncle Donald I had never seen before today, taken in 1944 in Avon Park, FL. This photo and the one below are taken from Major Peacock's book, "The Peacock Crew." It arrived in the mail today, mailed by his daughter.
The pilot of the Susan Kay, Major John Peacock, at the grave of his co-pilot, Donald "Sandy" Sanders, in Ellisville, MS in 1988.

Air Force (Howard Hawks, 1943)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Navigator Active in Citizens' Rights

I spoke today with Walter S. Lewis, the navigator of the "Sandy Kay." He is 82 and is very active in protecting property rights and watching the Kauai City Council very closely. Here is an article from the Honolulu Star Bulletin which appeared in December 2005:

By Tom Finnegan
LIHUE--Two more Kauai residents have filed suit against the Kauai County Council for failing to disclose meeting minutes from sessions that are closed to the public.
They say the public has a right to those minutes, and the county has both dragged its feet releasing them and ignored a state agency which told the county to release them.
Dr. Raymond Chuan and Walter Lewis, self-described "nitpickers" of the council, were the third such group to file suit against the county for failure to disclose minutes of various Council meetings held in the past few years.
The lawsuit alleges the county violated the Sunshine Law, the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA), and the Kauai Charter after Lewis and Chuan requested the minutes of all executive sessions held from January 2002 until June 10, 2005, or roughly 200 meetings.
Lewis said he and Chuan requested the minutes in June to find out whether the Council has violated the Sunshine Law repeatedly by holding meetings in private that should have been made public.
"We feel the county is in a pattern of disregard of its legal obligations," Lewis said.
Instead of turning the minutes over, however, the county clerk, the Council, and the county attorney, according to Chuan's and Lewis' lawsuit, have refused to answer their requests in a timely fashion, which violates the UIPA. According to the UIPA, the county clerk must release the minutes of the meeting if they do not meet certain requirements, such as the information involves personnel or current lawsuits, which would open the county to more liability.
The county attorney's office, when asked for comment, said only that they had been served summons on the suit. "We're reviewing the pleading and we have no comment at this time."
The suit contends that despite repeated requests to do so, the county clerk refused to pass along the untouched records to the Office of Information Practices, the office created to regulate record requests. And when the OIP told the county attorney that they must release the records to the public, they refused to do so.
After two months, the county did say they would provide Chuan and Lewis with the records, portions of which had been blacked out, if they paid $2,740 in charges for "searching, review and segregation of records," and $146.75 in copying fees, the suit continued.
When the OIP replied that they would like to know why certain portions were redacted, the county attorney refused to answer.
It's far from the first time, though, that the county and the OIP has butted heads.
The Council, county attorney, and county clerk are already suing the OIP over the fate of minutes from a January executive session of the Council. And that session has led Kauai Police Commission Chair Michael Ching to sue the county for the release of those records.
Former Honolulu Star-Bulletin journalist Anthony Sommer is also suing the county for the release of executive session minutes from a Council meeting in 2003. A trial is expected early next year.
Chuan's and Lewis' suit also requests the release of those meetings currently under litigation.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Uncle Donald's air medal.
In the first test, "Able," at Bikini, the bomb was dropped from a plane. The USS Arkansas survived. In the second test, "Baker," a bomb was detonated underwater. The Arkansas did not survive. I saw a photo in a book during the 80s which showed the mushroom cloud coming up out of the water with a black shape on its right side identified as the Arkansas.
I found a war department video of the Baker test. The Arkansas can be seen on the right side taken up in the mushroom
  • here

  • The Arkansas underwater at Bikini.

    The Arkansas near a shock test.

    Wednesday, February 07, 2007

    The Peacock Crew

    Uncle Donald is kneeling second from right.
    (Robert Webster, the ball turret gunner on the "Sandy Kay," died Sunday, February 4, 2007. I was searching for his phone number Wednesday, February 7, and instead found his obituary.)

    PAUL, IDAHO--Robert Dean Webster, an 84-year-old resident of Paul, died Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007, at Countryside Care and Rehab in Rupert.
    Robert was the second son to be born to Harry and Hazel Walker Webster of rural Antiock, Kansas, on Nov. 12, 1922. He, walking beside his older brother, Willis, attended rural grade school of Elk County, through the eighth grade. Together, they drove to Howard High School, no sports nor other after school activities as there was work on the farm. Robert belonged to F.F.A. and was a member of crop and livestock judging teams; receiving awards for both. The brothers graduated together in 1939. Robert remained at the farm home to raise crops and start a cattle herd. His brother, Willis, moved to attend Wichita Business College.
    At the age of 20, Robert was called to serve in World War II, and reported to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He was assigned to the 8th Army Air Force on Jan. 19, 1943. After training at Las Vegas, he was shipped out from Florida, immediately after completing gunnery school. They flew out in a new B-17 Bomber and were based in Knettishall, England, in 1943-1945. Robert was assigned to position as ball turret gunner with a crew of nine. The plane was named "Susan Kay" after the daughter of the only married flier of the crew.

    One day we lost a plane on a bomb run over Germany. We knew it was a 388. Back at the base we found out the plane crew included a cousin, Don. He had parachuted out and was picked up by Germans as a P.O.W. for seven months.
    Robert was pleased to have completed his service to his country and was happy to receive the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters. He also was recipient of the following medals or awards: Bombadiers Wings; European Theatre Medal; American Theatre Medal; American Defense Medal; Victory Medal W.W. II; Group Presidential Citation; and Good Conduct Medal. After 35 combat missions with goal reached, Robert was discharged as a Staff Sergeant in the Spring of 1945. He has been a life member of the 388 Bomb Group attending several reunions including the 40th and 50th anniversaries, plus the dedication of the Museum of Savannah, Georgia. Robert then returned back to Elk County, to farm, rent land, and start to build his own cattle herd. While in the service, he had been sending money home towards cattle buying.
    An uncle farming in the Twin Falls area, encouraged him to apply for a G.I. Homestead Drawing. On July 4, 1957, his name was picked. He chose a unit at 205 S. 2900 E., just one mile into Jerome County. He loaded a box car with machinery to ship, purchased a truck and headed to Idaho. He hired Art Grove at Paul Lumber to build a home that he and his sweetheart had designed.
    On June 27, 1958, at the Jerome Presbyterian Church, he married Lucille May Shafer, a home economist on staff at Kansas State University. It was at this time that cousin, Donavan Webster of Howard, plus his family, came to see, "Bob and the Homestead." That very month, their family moved to Idaho, and have been part of a close Webster family.
    Robert had never experienced irrigation, but raised Idaho spuds, grain and hay. He was also a member of the Idaho Crop Association.
    The family transferred to the Paul United Methodist Church and Robert to the Paul American Legion, Post No. 77.
    For many years there was an annual trip to Kansas, (Leavenworth and Elk Counties) so the children could know their Kansas family. Robert and his wife later enjoyed traveling to our United States National Parks as well as other National Parks.
    When Robert turned 65, his son, Bart, took over the operation of the homestead farm and is the only farmer left of many generations of Webster farmers and ranchers, as well as being the sole Shafer farmer as well.
    He is survived by his wife, Lucille M. Webster of Paul; one daughter, Tracy Webster Babcock and her husband, William F. Babcock, Jr., and their children, Stuart Webster Babcock and Ashley Webster Babcock of Deerfield, Illinois; one son, Bart J. and his wife Laurie K. Webster, and their children, Dillon J. Webster and Tedi K. Webster of Paul; and one brother, Willis H. Webster of Wichita, Kansas.
    The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007, at the Paul United Methodist Church, 127 W. Clark St., with Pastor Elaine Steele officiating. Burial will be in the Paul Cemetery with military rites provided by the Paul American Legion, Post No. 77.
    Friends may call from 6 until 8 p.m. Friday at Rasmussen Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., Burley, and one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church.
    The family suggests memorials be directed to the Paul United Methodist Church Stained Glass Window Fund; the West Paul Volunteer Fire Department; or to the Paul American Legion, Post No. 77, in care of Rasmussen Funeral Home.

    "USS Arkansas bombarding off Normandy, 6 June 1944."

    The USS Arkansas

    The Peacock Crew

    By John F. Peacock
    An addendum to the original book.

    This is a brief summary of the lives of our dear departed crew members. May their souls rest in peace.
    At this time, July 6, 2004, there have been six members, out of nine, who have passed into the great beyond. They will be greatly missed by me, since they had played such an important part in my life. Although, we only spent about eight months together as a crew, we became like a family; close knit, and depending on each other for survival. This, I will never forget!
    I will continue to keep in touch ,and report, to all of the remaining members as long as I can. At eighty-three years old I can't tell how long that will be. But, I will try. I hope someone will continue the continuity of the crew until the very last. Even if it is not one of our crew. GOD BLESS US ALL. John F. Peacock - Pilot
    To clarify a point, there were ten members on our crew when we arrived at our air base, in England. One Waist/Gunner, John Archibald, was taken off and sent to the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy.

    This is a tribute and Count-down for the members of my
    Since we were all part of "The Greatest Generation", I wish to pay tribute to "The Greatest Crew".
    As of this date, July 6, 2004, there are only three members, out of nine, surviving. The following is a chronological list of members as they departed into the "Wild Blue Yonder" for evermore.

    1--Robert Donald Sanders, our Co-pilot. Died, May 4, 1946. Sandy was a very likeable young man. Full of fun and enjoyed kidding with the rest of the crew. He was a good pilot and did his job with great enthusiasm. Although, he really wanted to be a Fighter Pilot, he never complained about flying bombers. After completing his thirty-five missions, he returned to the States and was discharged late in 1945. He enrolled in September at Mississippi State College, in his home State. Apparently he was doing well in school, studying Engineering. He had a motorcycle that he wanted to sell. While taking a demonstration ride, with a potential buyer, he was killed instantly when they ran head-on into an automobile. The buyer was not killed but was injured badly.
    2--Francis J. Wheeler, Radioman, Died February 12, 1990. Frank was more of a serious minded person. He enjoyed a good time and got along very well with everyone. He was always willing to help out when asked. He was a good radioman and did his job well. After getting out of the service, he lived in New Jersey but worked in New York City at Willoughby's' Camera Store. I visited him once at his place of work. Later he moved to Florida with his wife. Their sons lived there and were in the real estate business in Inverness, Florida. He worked for his sons until his death.
    3--John P. Dornick, Engineer/ Gunner (Top Turret), Died August 30, 1990, in Lima, Ohio his home town. John was the clown on our crew. He loved to kid about most anything for a laugh. He was very competent in his job as Engineer. Always very helpful during missions and alert to enemy planes at his guns. Before and after his service in the Air Force he worked for an Oil Company in Lima, as a Supervisor of oil refining. He was, also a Union Leader for members of the refinery. He was very active in Little League Baseball and coached for his sons team. He and his wife, Jane and children visited me, in Baltimore, Maryland one time. We went to Fort Me Henry and The Enchanted Forest while they were here. John always smoked cigars and may have contributed to his health problems later in life.
    4--Clifford Wayne Gouldy, Waist/Gunner, Died November 28, 2002 in Wildorado, Texas.
    His friends knew him as Wayne. Our crew members called him "Tex". He was born and raised in Wildorado and graduated from High School there. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps after graduation. He was discharged in 1945 and returned to Wildorado. He married Carolyn Waters in 1954 in Amarillo, Texas. Early in life he was a cowboy. Later he was a farmer and rancher until he retired. He was a member of Vega United Methodist Church and of the American Quarter Horse Association. He was well liked by all of the crew and was a hard worker in his job as Gunner.
    5--Jack T. Brawley. Tail/Gunner. Died December 20,2003 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
    Jack was well liked by all who knew him. He always had good things to say about our crew members and really enjoyed talking. He was born in Chester, South Carolina He was graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Textiles in 1949. He worked for the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company for 37 years as a products specialist. He retired in 1990. He married Jane Dorroh on May 28, 1955 in Dothan, Alabama. He was active in Starclaire Athletic Association during the 1960s. He served as a Little League baseball coach and as Commissioner of baseball for Starclaire. He was involved in the formation of Carmel Academy in 1971. He was a member of the Sharon Presbyterian Church and Civitan Club. He served as a Deacon at St. Giles Presbyterian Church. Jack donated several items to the Mighty Eight Air Force Historical Museum, in Savannah, Georgia,
    6--Stephan George Grcevich, Bombardier, Died June 22,2004, in the Three Links Care Center in Northfield, Minnesota.
    Steve was the oldest member of our crew and was well respected. He was very good at his job as Bombardier and had been considered for a Lead Bombardier, after he had finished his thirty-five missions. He decided to go home to his family instead. The crew had named their B-17 bomber after his little girl "Susan Kay". Steve loved to play poker and was very good at it. He participated in a game every pay-day at the Officers Club. He always sent his winnings home to his wife, Mary. After his service in the Army Air Corps he returned to his home town of Keewatin, Minnesota. He was employed by the Nashwauk-Kewatin School District until his retirement in 1981. He served as a Keewatin Municipal Judge for many years and as a volunteer fireman for the City of Keewatin. He was a member of the St. Mary's Catholic Church, the V.F.W. and the American Legion, the Disabled American Legion and the Elk's Lodge. He is buried at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Hibbing, Minnesota.

    Addendum No. 2 (July 6, 2004)

    There are only three members of the crew still alive as of this date.
    1--John F. Peacock, pilot
    John and his wife, Joyce, now live in a retirement Community called Atrium Village, in Owings Mills, Maryland. They have lived here for two years, since they moved from Florida back to Maryland, their home State. They had lived in Florida for twenty-one years, after John had retired, from the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland as the Buildings Superintendent. They returned, due to health problems. Joyce is in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease and John has had a few mini-strokes. He, also has a pace-maker. They are in the Independent Living section of this community and doing rather well together.
    After John was released from the Air Force in 1945 he joined the 815th Heavy Tank Battalion, an active Army Reserve Unit, in Baltimore, due to the lack of an active Air Force Unit in Baltimore. John stayed in this unit for twenty-four years. During this time he had attended the following Reserve Schools;
    The Basic Armor School, at Fort Knox, Kentucky; The Basic Infantry School, at Fort Benning, Georgia, and The Command and General Staff School, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He retired as a Major in 1960. John received a B.S. Degree, in Business Management from the Baltimore College of Commerce and a Certificate from the Baltimore Institute of Photography. He was a part-time professional photographer for many years. He had a dark-room in his home.
    John and Joyce have two children, John Foster and Joyce Ann. Joyce Ann has two children, Brandi and Demian Baldwin. Brandi is in the Coast Guard as a Lieutenant and Demian is a chef in a fine restaurant. John Foster now lives in Florida and works as a specialist in repairing equipment that handles mail. He has no children but has been married twice.
    2--Walter S. Lewis, navigator
    Walter now lives in Kauai, Hawaii. He is originally from California. He received a B.S. Degree from the University of California in 1948 and a Law Degree in 1951. He was a lawyer for the Rheems Corporation at one time. He had been married twice. He and his wife, Glenda, now live in a beautiful home in Kauai and are still in good health . Walter was a good Navigator and a good Officer. He enjoyed his job, as Navigator, although it was very difficult at times.
    3--Robert Webster--Ball Turret/Gunner
    Robert now lives in Paul, Idaho. He had a good Sense of humor and had very difficult job as a ball turret Gunner. His turret hung below the bottom of the airplane. He was all alone there. But he never complained. I did not realize, until much later, when he confessed to me that he had never been in a ball turret before he was assigned to our crew. He had allot of courage. At this time he is having some problems holding a pen while trying to write. He has worked hard, as a farmer, for many years and still helps his son on their farm.
    The following person was a member of our crew but never flew a combat mission with us. He is John Archibald -Waist/Gunner. He was removed from our crew after we arrived at our air base in England and sent to Italy in a B-24 bomber group where he flew 27 missions with various crews. He regretted not being a part of a single crew. He now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, his home state. He has had some health problems, but still volunteers at a theater and speaks to groups about his time in the Air Force.

    Tuesday, February 06, 2007

    EB6 flight computer

    Monday, February 05, 2007


    Co-pilot station

    A B-17 Flying Fortress, the "Fuddy Duddy."