Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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March 21, 2014

Living history: WWII vet to recall Bomb Group missions

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — World War II Air Force veteran Everett Fitchlee will share his experience as part of the 8th Air Force 390th Bombardment Group on Thursday at the Niagara County History Center.

Fitchlee will show film of a live mission by the B17 bombers that was made by a photographer assigned to the Bomb Group.

His presentation will begin at 2 p.m. at the History Center, 215 Niagara St.

The Bomb Group was activated in 1943, the year Fitchlee entered the Air Force. Its air and ground troops were assigned to the 8th Air Force and dispatched to Suffolk, England, for missions over Europe between 1943 and 1945.

As part of a nine-man crew, Fitchlee flew B-17 missions over Germany and France. The B-17s, dubbed “Flying Fortresses,” bombed aircraft factories, oil refineries and bridges.

Fitchlee, who was born in Royalton Center, attained the rank of technical sergeant. He was wounded in the Bomb Group’s fourth mission and was awarded a Purple Heart.

Today he’s retired from Harrison Radiator and lives in Lockport.

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