|K e n s m e n : 4 3 r d B o m b G r o u p (H), 5 t h A A F|
|lst Lt. John H. "Pick" Pickering
Squadron: 64th Sqd.
Position: Pilot, B17
Served: October, l942 to May, l943
Originally from: Michigan
Training: Corsicana, Tx., Randolph Field, Tx., Ellington Field, Tx.
Citations/Medals: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation
Planes: Chief Seattle, named by employees of Boeing Aircraft Co., Seattle, Washington. "Chief Seattle" painted on nose. This was the first B-17 assigned to the 64th Sqd. The employees of Boeing created the nose art.
Number of Missions: Fifty
Description of Missions:
Missions were flown to Rabaul, the Coral Sea, the Bismarck Sea and New Ireland
Most poignant, sad or touching memory of thewar:
The friendship of the crew members and mechanics, especially Sgt. Meyer Levin, the first Bombadier assigned to the Chief Seattle. Saddest memory would be of friends who never came back from a mission.
Funniest or most fun memory of the war:
R & R to Sydney, Australia
Any odd or strange memories from the war:
A friend, Lt. Vernon Reeves, and I bought a l932 Rolls Royce from an Aussie gentleman at Mareeba, Australia, and we shipped it to Port Moresby when we left Mareeba.
Most heroic thing I saw or did:
The skip bombing of Japanese ships in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea.
Where I was and how I celebrated when I learned the warwas over:
I was an Instructor Pilot on B-29s at Gulfport, Mississippi when the war ended. I celebrated by going to New Orleans, La. for a day off.
How having gone to war has affected me, what comes to mindwhen I think of the war:
I have always been proud of my service with the 43rd Group. I went back to the great state of Michigan and received outstanding treatment from everyone. The first thing I did upon arriving state-side was to drive my brand new Buick, that I purchased twenty days before Pearl Harbor and had to leave in the parking lot at Ellington Field, December 20, l94l,when I departed on my journey to Australia and New Guinea.
To future generations:
Don't use William Jefferson Clinton as a role model.