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Memorial Tributes

Death of Roy “Wallace” Carden

Roy Wallace Carden, age 80, of Poulan GA, died Friday, December 17, 2004 at his residence.

A memorial service was held at the funeral home on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 at 3:00 PM with Chaplin Waters of the Moody Air Force Base officiating and with full military honors.

Mr. Carden was born on April 10, 1924 in Hampton, TN (Carter County), to the late Otho Carden and Molly Carnett Carden Campbell.  Mr. Carden served his country as a member of both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air force, retiring from the U.S. Air Force as a TSGT with more than 21 years service on February 1st, 1971. During his Air Force career, Mr. Carden served as an Aerial Photographer performing aerial cartography (geodetic surveys) and photomapping (map making). He also served in Vietnam as a Combat Photographer. Mr. Carden was a member of the Caterpillar Club, having had occasion to bail out of a disabled aircraft to save his life.  He enjoyed genealogy, and writing about his family, researching military history and airplanes.

Mr. Carden is survived by his ex-wife, Saiko Hamano Tucker, two daughters, Heidi Farnsworth, and her husband, Harold William “Bill” III, of Albany, and Romy Tucker, and her husband, Frank, also of Albany; one brother, Carl Carden, of Abingdon, VA, and two grandchildren, Bryttany Farnsworth and Gage Tucker, both of Albany.

Memorials may be made to East Tennessee State University, Carroll Reece Museum, Box 70660, Johnson City, TN 37614

Death of Bill Baumer

MILTON - Major William H. Baumer, USAF retired, 82, of 840 Pine St., died Friday evening, Sept. 17, 2004, at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville. Born in Milton on April 28, 1922, he was a son of the late Hurl L. and Mary Ellen Baumer. he was married for more than 12 years to the former Betty J. Diehl Dyer, who survives.

Maj. Baumer was the guidance director at the Warrior Run schools before retiring in 1987. Earlier he had been a teacher and guidance counselor at the Milton schools. A 1940 graduate of Milton High School, he also graduated from Bucknell University. Maj. Baumer was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Army Air Corps; he was also a veteran of the Korean War, serving in the USAF. He was the author of two books, "The Extended Mission of Star Dust Four Zero," a non-fictional account of his prisoner of war experience in China during the Korean War, and "Far East Mosaic," both books published in 2000. He was a member and elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Milton.

He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion in Milton, the Air Force Association and the Susquehanna Valley Veterans Council. In addition to his wife, he is survived by one son, Jay G. Baumer of Scots, Mich.; two daughters, Jayne B. Gardner of Palm Springs, Fla., and Jo Ellen Ripka of Milton; one stepson, Robert I. Dyer and one stepdaughter, Sue C. Rivenbark, both of Neport News, VA.; 12 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and three sisters, Dorothy Armstrong of Downington, Lois Baylor of West Milton and Jean Hendricks of Lewisburg. He was preceded in death by one sister, Alice Moore.

Friends and relatives will be received from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the First Presbyterian Church, Milton. The funeral will be conducted at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the church by Rev. Stephen G. Shirk and the Rev. MarthaSue D. Moll. Burial with military honors will be in Milton Cemetary. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Susquehanna Valley Veterans Council or the Memorial Fund of the First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 225, Milton, PA 17847, or the Memorial Fund of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1125 Mahoning St., Milton, PA 17847. Arrangements are under the care of the Shaw Funeral Home, 400 N. Front St., Milton.

Joe Diblin, Viewpoint writer for the Milton PA Standard Journal made these comments relating to the life of Bill Baumer.

Learn more about the life of Bill Baumer
by clicking on this link:

Death of Bob Weisburn

Bob died rather suddenly on 5/24/04. Burial was accomplihed
at Tahoma National Cemetery 18600 SE 240th St. Covington, WA.

Learn more about the life of Bob Weisburn
by clicking on this link:

Death of Earl E. Myers

A great friend and major contributor of information contained in this web site died Wednesday, January 28, 2004, in Vero Beach, Florida. You will find extensive reference to Earl's life experiences as listed in our Extended Stories, Short Stories and Biographical Notes Sections. You may go to his biographical notes by clicking here. You may go directly to the last recorded chapter of his life by clicking here. Here is a man who, over a lifetime, logged a total of 41,244 flying hours and lived to tell about it. What a story it is! Check it out for yourself.

Death of Howard S. Myers

We have been notified that Howard Myers, author of our story “The Black Tornado!” Korean War and Cold War RB-45C Spy Missions died in September, 2003. We extend our sincere sympathy to his family and many friends. We realize that thousands of our WW II and Korean War compatriots are departing this world on a daily basis, but each loss touches our hearts and brings back memories of great people, great friends, great service.

If you would like to review the Howard Myers story,
click here for access.

If you wish to review his formal obituary notice, click here.

Peace be with you and those you love Howard.

Death of Art Jones

We have been notified that Art Jones, author of a collection of short stories which are a part of our web site content, died on 16 December 2003, in Rapid City, South Dakota. You may visit Art's collection of stories by clicking here with an easy return to this page with your back button. It has been a special pleasure for me to have come to know, appreciate and enjoy Art as we, together, selected and published some of his stories which were a good match for our WW II-related collection. We extend our best wishes to his wife, Bette Jones, and their family members. Art was truly a bright light to all who knew him during his many public service-oriented activities over a full lifetime. May peace be with you, Art, and all those whom you have loved in life.

Web Site Author, Chuck Stone

Death of Lt. Col. John Lappo, Jr.

RB-47E Pilot Lt. Col. John Lappo, Jr. passed away in his sleep
Friday, Nov. 15th, 2003 in Eagle River, Alaska at the age of 83.
Memorial service, Saturday, Nov. 22nd, 2003 at
VFW Hall in Eagle River, Alaska.

The B-47 Stratojet Association has an excellent set of
biographical notes on the life of John Lappo.
Click here
to jump over to that story and return
via use of your back button.

Webmusher Bill Fikes Jr. has installed some photos
from the Lappo collection. You will find them at
http://www.webmusher.com/lappo .

Many require further identification in
the event you can offer information.

Death of Roland Robitaille

We have received news of the death of Roland Robitaille from his son Bob. Roland passed away Monday, October 27, 2003 in Topeka. Members of the 91st SRS and the 98th Bomb Wing, serving at Yokota in the latter part of the Korean War, send his family our most sincere sympathy at his unexpected move into yet another realm of life. Roland is the author of an important story relating to a search and rescue mission looking for survivors of the RB-29 crew of Major Sam Busch, shot down over the sea in the vicinity of Vladivostok, Soviet Union, on June 13, 1952. The story of his crew's mission to find and assist in the attempted rescue of this crew is told in Chapters 07 and 08 of a story located within this web site. Click on the Chapter numbers to access this information.

Our sincere sympathy to the Robitaille Family.

Death of Don Kleinkauf

Don Kleinkauf, RB-29 crewmember who's personal story is documented on this web site, died on Sunday, October 5th, 2003, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Don was a member of my RB-29 crew and the news of his passing caused me to reflect on our time together and record these words:

Memorial Notes
relating to
Donald (Don) Kleinkauf
October 8, 2003 — 3:00 PM
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
3825 Wild Briar Lane
Lincoln, Nebraska 68516

Thank-you, Don, for a life so well lived.

Thank-you for your dedication and service to your RB-29 Crew,
the United States Air Force and our Nation, as a whole.

Thanks for your consistent willingness to step forward, freely
taking on and carrying out responsibilities on your own
initiative that helped assure mission accomplishment.

Thanks for your contributions of warmth and friendship that
contributed to the transition of our RB-29 crew from a collection
of well-intended strangers into a working team (yes, a family)
that stood tall and worked together with effective precision.

Thank-you for your dedication to family and
community values over a lifetime.

And, thank-you for helping us all to remain in touch over the
quickly passing years as we have each strived to weave
our early lessons in life into a tapestry
of meaningful accomplishment.

Wherever your spirit may soar, may you, and all those you
have loved in life, find eternal peace and joy.

With our sincere love and deep affection,

Fred & Nancy Brackbill — Jim & Goldine Cliver
Sam & Ruby Farley — Ron & Claudine Glowcheski
Merle Hahn — Paul & Kim Jackson
Dick & Eleanor Sniker — Bill Steiner
Bob and Marg Weisburn — Chuck & Nell Stone

If you would like to learn more of the life of Don Kleinkauf,
and family,
click here.

Death of Murry Schott (86)

Died — Nov. 5, 2002

Please click here for an extended story
and obituary for Murry Schott

Death of John Roche


From: Robb Hoover

John Roche's daughter Teri Roche reports than John died suddenly of a heart attack while visiting her in Homestead, Florida on Dec 1st, 2002. He was cremated and his remains placed with his wife's in Palms Woodland Cemetery, Naranja, Florida. He is survived by daughters Teri and Cheryl in Homestead and son Marty in Jackonsville, FL.

John had served in World War II as a B-17 pilot and flew as an RB-50 co-pilot with the 55th SRW. His RB-50, with Stan O'Kelley as aircraft commander, was shot down by the Russians off-shore from Vladivostock on July 29,1953. John was the sole known survivor of that action, although the fate of some of the rest of the crewmembers has never been fully determined.

John is shown above aboard the USS Princeton where his
wounds were tended to after having spent over 20 hours in
the water. The story of this ordeal is told in the first chapter of
Bill Burrows book, "By Any Means Necessry."

John attended the
55th SRW Reunion
in Reno in 1999
and is shown left
with Bill Ernst.

Editor’s Note: You will find additional interesting information relating to John Roche and his crew’s shootdown by clicking here with an easy return by use of your “back button” if you so choose.

Peace be with you John and with those you love.

You have done us proud!

Death of George Brenner

22 February 2003

From Allen Weddle

Another Sad Note:

Roy Kaden just told me that George Brenner has passed away. Services are to be on the 24th at the Altamonte Presbyterian Church in Altamonte, Florida. Death must have been on the 20th or the 21st. I will send a card for us 91st people to the funeral home to be forwarded to his daughter Kimberly Randall and the family survivors. George was 86 years old. His wife Ardis preceeded, I just learned. For those who might not know, he was a Navigator while we were stationed at Howard AAB, CZ. Everyone liked George, I remember.


Death of George Tarver

Subject: George Tarver
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2002 14:55:40 EDT
From: Aweddle52@cs.com
To: Aweddle52@cs.com

We lost another good friend. George R. Tarver had a heart attack Tuesday, 16 July, and died at a rest home in Nacogdoches TX. He would have been 74 on the 22nd. His daughter Terry Tarver called me last night. Unfortunately I didn't learn when the services were to be held or when. Been calling today to get that information and if I do, will let you know immediately. Also will send a card of sympathy from the 91st Recon to his home address for the family.

George was a special friend of mine and my wife Dolores. He was different, gutsy and very witty. He spoke his mind in a loud voice which sometimes surprised folks. It took a little time to get to know him as I did. George was a wonderful story teller and a loyal friend. I didn't remember him from the 91st when he first joined us at a reunion but am surely glad he came. He was only 19 years old when he served in Panama as a radio operator. George left the service after the 91st returned to the states and went to college to become a Geologist. As a civilian, he returned to the Panama area on a government contract to do a geological survey. George told me he had a wonderful wife for many years. As far as I know he has a daughter Terry who lives in Seattle, a son Charlie in Aspen, and one or maybe two more sons one of which is an MD. His wife died in the early '80s. And that is about all I know about George. There will be no public memorial service. The family will gather in Florida somtime later. Even though we lived miles apart, I am going to miss old George at the next reunion.


Death of Ed Halpin

Subject: Ed Halpin
Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 23:34:18 EDT
From: Aweddle52@cs.com

I am sorry to have to forward the following message from Ed's grandson Connor Austin. Ed passed away on the 27th, yesterday.

I have asked for any memorial service information and will forward same upon receipt.

Ed was a good man and carried on long after he lost his wife maybe seven or eight years ago. I know I am not the only one who will miss him and remember him always.

The Grandson's message follows.


Subj: Some bad news...
Date: 04/28/2002 3:52:33 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From: Edhalpin3@aol.com
To: AWeddle

This is Edward Halpin's grandson Connor Austin, and I have some bad news.

Yesterday afternoon, Ed had a heart attack while he was doing some yard work. He did not survive. He died doing what he loved best, and we are positive that he would not have it any other way. He passed quickly and painlessly at his home. He will be greatly missed.

Death of Colonel John Arnold

Received two messages from Jess Richey, dated 11 February 2002:

First message:

I just read a post on the guestbook from Bob Harris stating that Col John Arnold, who was flying a 91st airplane (44-62217) when they were shot down and taken prisoner, died on 3 January 2002. Colonel Arnold was 88 years old,

They were shot down on a leaflet mission on 1-13-53.and were repatriated in 55.
Jess Richey

Second message:

Went to the alpha crew list and copied this.

KORWALD Loss Incident Summary:

Date of Loss: 530113, Tail Number: 44-62217, Aircraft Type: RB-29A Squadron: 91st
Strat Recon Sq., Circumstances of Loss: Downed by 12 MiGs during leaflet drop mission, Mayday at 12/2316L

Crewmembers Associated With This Loss

Name(Last, First Middle) Rank Service Status Comments

ARNOLD, Jr., John K. COL USAF RMC RMC from China 1955
BAUMER, William E. MAJ USAF RMC RMC from China 1955
BENJAMIN, JR., Harry M. A2C USAF RMC RMC from China 1955
BROWN, Howard W. TSGT USAF RMC RMC from China 1955
BROWN, Wallace L. 1LT USAF RMC RMC from China 1955
BUCK, John W. CAPT USAF RMC RMC from China 1955
KIBA, Steve E. A1C USAF RMC RMC from China 1955
LLEWELLYN, Elmer F. CAPT USAF RMC RMC from China 1955
SCHMIDT, Daniel C. A1C USAF RMC RMC from China 1955
THOMPSON, III, John W. A2C USAF RMC RMC from China 1955
VAADI, Eugene J. CAPT USAF RMC RMC from China 1955

Jess Richey

George T. (Ted) Hicks

Subject: Ted Hicks
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 17:19:23 EDT
From: Aweddle52@cs.com

Ladies and Gents,

I regret to tell you that George T. (Ted) Hicks departed on his last flight in June of this year. He and his second wife Ellen lived in Myrtle Beach, SC. Ted attended our first 91st Reunion at Oceanside, California but none subsequently. I have been contacted by John Cudd, Ted's nephew and who as a ten year old visited Ted and Sue in Panama during the summer of 1947. John says he remembers the Finans, Brashears, Welch and the Coveys. He remembers also roaming about Panma City with Sue looking for the lottery ticket she had dreamed about the night before. Those were happy days, John
says. I agree.

Everyone in the 91st liked Ted. He was our Squadron Executive Officer under George Finan the C. O.. I remember as a 2nd Lt, winning $25.00 from him. That much money was a wad in 1946. I was giving Major Ted a check ride or maybe a check out and demonstrating just how easy the B-17 was to land. I boasted it was so easy that I could make a three point landing using only elevator trim, rudder and throttles. Ted doubted it and so I offered the bet and he took it. With no gusty winds, it was no problem. Ted paid up good naturedly but I can't remember if he was smiling. Ted was a real friend to us all and we will surely miss him.

God Bless you Ted.

The Crew Chief

E. Richard Thomason

Subject: A "Well Done" For Lt. Thomason's RB-29 Crew

Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2001 10:33:53 -0400
From: "Rick Thomason" <rickthom@atl.mediaone.net>
To: <rb29@coldwar.org>


I am writing to confirm that the picture you have is indeed my father Lt E. Richard Thomason, his crew and his RB-29 (appropriately named "NO SWEAT").

I am sorry to report the passing of my father on 21 Sep 2001. He had been very sick this year. He spent 60 days in and out of the hospital fighting pneumonia. This last incident was just too much for him in his weakened state.

I know, however, that now he can do what he enjoyed most which was flying 24 hours a day.

Thanks for commemorating my fathers contributions to this country's national defense.

Richard L Thomason

Jack Linck

From our Crew Chief, Allen Weddle, 6/12/01

Dear 91st People

I am sorry to report that Jack Linck of the 91st at Panama in 1946-1948 has died. His wife said he passed away on May 12, 2001. He had been troubled with heart problems. Jack was a pilot although I think his service in Panama was in the photo lab end of the business. The Lincks never attended any of our reunions but were always eager to hear of our activities. I think Jack was not well for quite some time. If any of you remember him it would be nice for you to send a card to his wife. the address is: Mrs. Jack Linck, P O Box 5196, Sun City West, AZ 85375.

Grady Stapp

From our Crew Chief, Allen Weddle, 3/2/01

Ladies and Gents,

Regret to inform you today I was advised Grady Stapp died last Sunday, 25th February, of pneumonia. Grady was a pilot in the 91st in Trindad and did photo work in South America. He had been ill for some time with heart problems and was unable to make another reunion since Orlando. I am sure Rene, his wonderful wife, would appreciate any cards of calls you make. Grady was a good man and we all will miss him.

Grady Stapp commentary by Earl Myers, 3/2/01

Grady Stapp and I first meet at McGuire AFB in the summer of 1948 when the 91st Strat Recon Wing was being formed. He was legend then with the 91st and still is to this day for me. Col. Tommy Steed (Terrible Tommy) SN 395A was the Wing Commander. Col. Ross Greening was the D.O. Ross was a renowned artist and some his work are displayed at the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson. Besides that he was one
heck of a nice guy. He was Doolittle raider and Medal of Honor recipient. Grady and myself was field checked out by Col. Greening in a B-25. I checked the both of them out in the RB-29. The RB-29 was equiped with new Curtis Wright fuel injected engines and Curtis Electric props. The latest and most updated ECM and cameras equipment available at that time. It is a great loss for a great man. Grady was tops. God rest his soul. Earl

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