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We are in the process of digitizing many of our collections and have decided to make some of them available to view and download online. Please check back often as we add to the online collection of digital resources.

Collections » World War II

Gayle Cruthirds World War II Collection

Gayle Cruthirds graduated from Diboll High School and served as an aerial gunner in the 376th Heavy Bomb Group, 15th Air Force, during World War II.


Bombing Missions of the 514th Bombardment Squadron, 376th Bombardment Group A. A. F., 1944

Bombing Missions of the 514th Bombardment Squadron, 376th Bombardment Group A. A. F., 1944

A list of bombing missions flown by Gayle Cruthirds of the 514 Bombardment Squadron, 376th Bombardment Group A. A. F. This document shows date, mission, mission number, combat hours, combat sorties, and total number of missions. Dated 1944.

Clippings

Clippings

Clippings documenting Gayle Cruthirds and Leslie Cruthirds's service in the Air Force in Europe during World War II. Also included is a list of Angelina County veterans who died in wars World War I through Vietnam. Most clippings are not dated but presumably are from 1944.

Gayle Cruthirds Wartime Correspondence, 1944

Gayle Cruthirds Wartime Correspondence, 1944

This selection of correspondence is primarily written by Gayle Cruthirds to his parents prior to deployment in Europe during World War II. Cruthirds updates his parents on the different bases he was stationed at, including Topeka, Kansas, and his morale. Included is a telegram informing Cruthirds's parents of his combat wound, a list of missions flown, and an Air Medal certificate. Dated 1944.

Gayle Cruthirds with B-24 Nose Art, 1944

Gayle Cruthirds with B-24 Nose Art, 1944

S/Sgt. Gayle Cruthirds of Diboll, TX poses with nose art on a B-24 Bomber in 1944.  Cruthirds was a nose gunner based in Italy during World War II. 

Gayle Cruthirds World War II Flight Log, 1944

Gayle Cruthirds World War II Flight Log, 1944

This flight log, written by Gayle Cruthirds, documents his combat missions as an aerial gunner in the 376th Heavy Bomb Group, 15th Air Force. Cruthirds describes fifty missions flown over Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia. The entries contain information specific to each mission such as date, bombing targets, flak, weather conditions, notes on damage to airplanes or lost planes, enemy fighters, flight times, and general notes on crew members. The entries date from May 17 to September 20, 1944. The digitized flight log can also be found on the Portal to Texas History.

Gayle Cruthirds' B-24 Crew, 376th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force, April 22, 1944

Gayle Cruthirds' B-24 Crew, 376th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force, April 22, 1944

Diboll native S/Sgt. Gayle Cruthirds of Diboll (third from left back row) posed with his B-24 crew on April 22, 1944 in Topeka, Kansas.  This crew served as part of 15th Air Force (Italy) 376 Bomb Group.

Bottom Row, left to right: Lt. Jim Carrender, navigator, Kansas City; Lt. John Griffin, pilot, Rochester, New York; Lt. Peter Arth, co-pilot, Los Angeles, California; Lt. Hubert Schlatter, bombadier, Jennings Lodge, Oregon.

Top Row, left to right: S/Sgt. Slim Limbocker, waistgun, Ranger, Texas; S/Sgt. Jo Janosko, engineer, Auburn, New York; S/Sgt. Gayle Cruthirds, nose gun, Diboll, Texas; S/Sgt. Edward Blunt, ball gun, Fresno, California; S/Sgt. Russell Martin, radio and top gun, Mounds, Illinois; S/Sgt. Ray "Mundo" Lane, tail gun, St. Louis, Missouri.

Ray Lane with B-24 Nose Art, 1944

Ray Lane with B-24 Nose Art, 1944

S/Sgt. Ray "Mundo" Lane of St. Louis, MO poses with nose art on a B-24 Bomber in 1944.  Lane was a tail gunner based in Italy in World War II.

Slim Limbocker with B-24 Nose Art, 1944

Slim Limbocker with B-24 Nose Art, 1944

S/Sgt. Slim Limbocker of Ranger, TX poses with nose art on a B-24 Bomber in 1944.  Limbocker was a waist gunner based in Italy during World War II.