Monday, November 12, 2012

Thank You

Yesterday was Veteran's Day and I've thought for days about what I want to write. As I put my son Ben to bed last night, I figured out what to say. 

Thank you.

Veterans Day Photo Credit: Vox Efx

In 1943 and 1944, Lowell Mauck, a man from a small town in Illinois flew supplies over 'The Hump' into mainland China. He was the radio operator as they flew over the Himalayan Mountains. He was their eyes when they couldn't see the ground or possible enemies on the ground. He came home and had a wonderful family. Thank you Grandpa Lowell.

In January 2010, Jaime Lowe, a young Marine, was on a reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan. He and two others died that day. Jaime had wanted to be a Marine since at least high school. He and a good friend often traveled 45 minutes one way to a Young Marines unit. The Marines were their goal. I didn't see their bravery and selflessness as their high school teacher. For that I am deeply regretful. Thank you Jaime.

In June 1944, Ben Olds, a man from another small town in Illinois flew a bombing raid over Romania. The lead aircraft was shot out of the air and they took the lead spot. They were shot. The nose was on fire. The plane began to fall. Engines 2 and 3 were on fire. Engines 2, 3, and 4 stopped. The left wing tore off. The right wing tore off. And the plane burst into flames. Lt. Lawrence Rose's foot was shot off. He bailed out. Rumanian citizens found him and took him to the hospital. He died later of dysentery and blood loss. Nose Gunner William Humphrey fell out of the plane and drowned in the Danube. Bombadier David Coleck jumped, but did not make it. Lt. William Hardin and Lt. Louis Falvo jumped and became POWs. Tail Gunner Raymond Kennedy, Ball Gunner Victor B. Laucella, Radio Operator James W. Hartgrove and Engineer U/G Ben G. Olds did not jump. They are buried (I believe) together in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. Thank you Little Ben.

You will be remembered.


  1. Hello, I am the great-niece of David Coleck. I wanted to thank you for your kind words and well written recognition. I just found the picture of the flight crew in which the picture of Little Ben was taken in The Torretta Flyer. I have been researching my great uncle for over a year now. Finding this made my day when I first started my search, and now seeing the rest of the picture and putting all these names to faces has been amazing. Thank you again and please let me know if you have any other documentation you would like to share.

  2. Wow! Thank you so much for your comment!!

    Unfortunately, I don't have any more information than what was in The Torretta Flyer. I, of course, have more information about Ben Olds as a person if you are interested in that. If so feel free to email me at citrus.sunshine(at)