Al Lieberman, P-47 Fighter Pilot, 9th AF, 362 FG, 379 FSq

All Photos and Videos Copyright 2014 A. H. Lieberman. All Rights Reserved.
Written Transcript of the Oral History Interview with Al Lieberman Copyright 2014 A. H. Lieberman. All Rights Reserved.

Al LiebermanWWII P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Pilot, USAAF, Ninth Air Force, XIX Tactical Air Command, 362nd Fighter Group, 379th Fighter Squadron. European Theater of Operations. He was often based a short distance behind the lines in tents. Al was based at Rennes during the Normandy campaign and Reims during the liberation of France. (Possible airfields in France: A-79 (Prosnes) and A-82 (Etain) or (Rouvres?). Provided ground support and a ground attack role e.g., to take Remagen Bridge. 2 Victories. A Veterans Oral History Interview was video recorded on November 14, 2012 at his business by Kevin Callahan, Glenn Rudell, and Myron Asper of the 8th AFHS-Mn


Copyright 2014 A. H. Lieberman. All Rights Reserved.
 
This project was made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.


(Below) On April 10, 2013, Al Lieberman, a WW II P-47 Thunderbolt Pilot, 
described how he got his combat gun films, the effort to digitize the footage, and the surprising 
problems encountered. The films were extremely flammable.
Copyright 2014 A. H. Lieberman. All Rights Reserved.


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Other videos and links.

1. Marie Coar has saved and made available to the public the typed manuscript entitled "Historical Record - 379th Fighter Squadron - 362nd Fighter Group, 1 March 1943 to May 1945," which she found among her Grandmother's effects. This history of the 379th Fighter Squadron is a very detailed, month by month account and was in the possession of, and perhaps typed by, Ganon Nelson aka within the document as "S/Sgt Nelson Ganun," who may have been in armaments and who is mentioned in several places as having led the squadron's band. His musical group went by the stage name of "Sgt. GaNun and his All American Band." At the bottom of p. 17 of the squadron history is a reference to Al Lieberman joining the unit. There are two references to Al's friend, Forrest Fegan, and many references to Colonel Laughlin and others. To see a typed list of the names of people mentioned in the 379th Fighter Group History click on A list of the names appearing in the Historical Record - 379th Fighter Squadron - 362nd Fighter Group, 1 March 1943 to May 1945 manuscript or go to the following webpage.

1. A high quality color film of members of Al's Squadron flying in formation (at minute 3) 
is in the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive collection at the Holocaust Museum, Washington D.C.

2, At the end of this You Tube video is reportedly color combat gun footage of Al's March 31, 1944 mission from the airfield at Etain. Also flying that day was Wilfred Crutchfield in "Kentucky Colonel" and Robert A. Jackson. According to the film board or slate, the combat cameraman that day with Special Film Project (SFP) 186  who was probably supplying the color film was named Johnson. Before that date Al's gun camera films were black and white. Color film was used as a part of an effort ordered by Gen. Hap Arnold to have the 4th Combat Camera Unit make a film documentary, which was never finished. In 2001 some of the raw footage from SPF 186 was edited by the History Channel into the documentary Thunderbolts - Conquest of the Reich, which is also on You Tube. The original 4th CCU's color films are in the National Archives.

3. Film footage of the 362nd Fighter Group is in this You Tube video.

4. There are three reels of compilations of color combat gun footage of pilots in the 362nd Fighter Group strafing Germany (and some other footage mixed in such as German POWs, V-E day, etc.) on You Tube. Reel 1.   Reel 2   Reel 3

5. The 362nd Fighter Group  Facebook page posts many interesting photos of the Fighter Group.

6. Al Zdon wrote a 3 page article with photos about Al Lieberman which was published in the MN American Legion newspaper "Minnesota Legionnaire"June 2014 pp. 10-12.

7. The National Archives website, "Fedflix" has hours of combat gun films online.
 
Al Lieberman flew plane "B8" "Q"
Joe Jensen flew "B8" "V"
Dwayne Thwing "B8" "V" "Short Squirt"
Dwayne Thwing (?) "B8" "L"
Joseph Laughlin "B8" "A"
Wilfred Crutchfield "B8" "W"
Robert Kelso "B8" "R"
Ralph Sallee "B8" "T"
Brandon Nuttall "B8" "J"
Jim Ashford "B8" "C"
Jim Ashford "B8" "T" (May 44)
Ray Murphy "B8" "C" "Chief Seattle"
Merle Richey "Karen Lee"
Howard Sloan "B8" "W" (shot down by friendly fire)
Gene Martin "B8" "Y" "Bonnie Lynn"
George Rarey "B8" "B"
K.C. Geyer "B8" "I"

The following info comes from (http://www.hyperscale.com/2012/reviews/decals/bc72038reviewvk_1.htm)
  1. P-47D-21-RE 42-25518 B8*B “Damon’s Demon," 379th FS, 362nd FG, USAAF. Flown by Capt. George Rarey, Based at Headcorn, England, June 1944

  2. P-47D-27-RE 42-27215 B8*T “1950”/”Super Rabbit," 379th FS, 362nd FG, USAAF, Flown by Lt. Ralph Sallee, Based at Etain, France, December 1944

  3. P-47D-30-RE 44-20425 B8*W “Kentucky Colonel," 379th FS, 362nd FG, USAAF, Flown by Capt. Wilfred Crutchfield, Based at Etain, France, January, 1945

  4. P-47D-30-RA 44-33287 B8*A “5 By 5," 379th FS, 362nd FG, USAAF, flown by Col. Joseph Laughlin, Based at Etain, France, March 1945

  5. P-47D-30-RE 44-20413 B8*Y “Bonnie Lynn," 379th FS, 362nd FG, USAAF, flown by Lt. Gene Martin, Based at Illesham, Germany, April 1945



The plane markings system for the 362nd FG's three squadrons (Source: http://www.harwood.plus.com/19thFC.htm)
362nd Fighter Group     30 Nov 1943
159 Wormingford
Essex
15 Apr 1944
412 Headcorn
Kent
Moved to France
7 Jul 1944
  377th Fighter Squadron   P-47 E4  
  378th Fighter Squadron   P-47 G8  
  379th Fighter Squadron   P-47 B8  

Zeno's Warbird posted this documentary about the 362nd on You Tube



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Al H. Lieberman

Lieberman, Al H. age 93, of St. Louis Park, passed away March 7, 2017. Preceded in death by wife, Elaine "Chic"; sister, Helen Rhea Hardin. Survived by sons, Bruce (Valerie), Richard (Bonnie), and Tom (Marnee); 7 grandchildren and 1 great-grand-daughter. Funeral service THURSDAY (TODAY) 2:00 PM, MINNEAPOLIS JEWISH CEMETERY CHAPEL, 7032 Penn Ave. S., Richfield. Memorials preferred to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. SHIVA at 250 Jersey Ave. S., Golden Valley, Thurs. 7 pm. Hodroff-Epstein 612-871-1234 hodroffepstein.com

Published on March 9, 2017,  Star Tribune


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