39th Bomb Group (VH)

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Crew Members and/or Family exchange letters
with the family of men lost in 29 May 1945 Ditching

Two Family Members Meet
Taken: 26 Jul 2005 - Bradenton, FL.

On Tuesday, July 26, 2005 – The family of two of the four men lost when Crew 46 had to ditch met in Bradenton, FL. for lunch. Robert (L), son of Sgt William T. Davenport, Right Gunner and Kenneth (r), brother of S/Sgt Lawrence J. Toeppe, Left Gunner, met for lunch and shared letter’s written to and from each of their families, 60 years ago regarding the loss of their loved ones. These letters also include some from the surviving members of Crew 46, which told of what happened and why they had to ditch.

As it turns out, Davenport and Toeppe live within 30 minutes from eachother.

Ken found the web site and submitted photos and information in 2004, which included photos of his brother, letters from surviving crew members explaining what happened as well as AAF letters to his parents regarding the Award of the Purple Heart and Air Medal phostumiously to his brother Lawrence.

Robert found the site not long after and recently submitted Letters his mother received about the loss of his father, William as well as photos and orders.

On hand for this occasion former Sgt Robert Weiler (center), Left Gunner, Crew 30, 61st BS and his son, Pete (webmaster/Assoc Historian)

Note: On the eve of the luncheon, Joel Markowitz, brother of Sgt Charles Markowitz, Tail Gunner, also lost in the ditching, found the web site and contacted Davenport and Toeppe, in search of wanting to learn more about what happen as well as share the letters his mother received from their family and the survivng crew members.

The following have been submitted by:

Robert Davenport, Son of Sgt William T. Davenport, Right Gunner
Joel Markowitz, Brother of Sgt Charles Markowitz, Tail Gunner
Ken Toeppe, Brother of S/Sgt Lawrence J. Toeppe, Left Gunner

These letters were sent from crew members to their family or from crew/family members to the family of the men listed above regarding the loss of loved ones.

Sources: Robert Davenport, Joel Markowitz and Ken Toeppe