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How to search this blog? – And much more…

Updated 19 October 2021

How to search this blog? – And much more…

This is what you will see if you happen to stumble on my original blog and read this…

Forget André Mignier dit La Gâchette!


I know it must to hard to find your ancestor on Our Ancestors or one of your ancestor’s photo on the Internet.

.

Courtesy Dennis Lagasse IV

This is why I was posting this image so you can find the search button under the comment section.

If you type a name into the search box, you might find lost ancestors I wrote about. Of course if the name is “Sorel” then you might find articles I wrote on the town of Sorel in Quebec also…

On this blog the search button in on the upper left side.

Search button Our Ancestors II

More updates down here on the sequel to Our Ancestors.

Posts featured on Our Ancestors II

About Our Ancestors II

Our Ancestors II

Keeping their memories alive

Monday morning – Comparing moustaches

Tuesday morning- Just imagine

Wednesday morning – Just imagine one last time

Where to start?

Sunday morning – 18 October 2020 – Who says genealogy has to be boring?

Sunday morning – 25 October 2020 – How to start?

Update

Posts I have written since…

Where should I start? Maude Powe

Where should I start? Arthur Joseph Myers

Where should I stop?

Where to stop – Old photos

Where to stop – William Costello

Where to stop – Francis William Powe

Written in 2011

Remembering Harvey Louis Lagasse Jr

A note I had left behind…

A post in the draft section of Our Ancestors since 2014

It’s not over till it’s over…

It’s not over till it’s over… Epilogue

The missing link – Final Jeopardy!

Lives of our French-Canadian Ancestors in New France, Québec and Canada

The Ferlatte Family – Final Jeopardy!

You can always write a comment or use this contact form. Make sure your email address is entered correctly. No need to have a Website.

Keeping their memories alive

FeaturedKeeping their memories alive

Updated 28 July 2021

Most of our ancestors were just ordinary people whose names will never be found in history books.

This is why I had created Our Ancestors back in September 2009 to eventually make contact with distant relatives in the United States and Canada.

Little did I know that in September 2020 I would be contacted by Michael Meteyer, a third cousin once removed who had a lot to share.

Having written more than 1500 posts on Our Ancestors, if I want to write more about Michael’s ancestors and share old family photos, I have to write about them here on Our Ancestors II. This is Michael’s paternal grandparents.

Next Sunday, we will go back in time to Rochester, Monroe, New York, USA…


Always feel free to contact me… It’s always free!

The Ferlatte Family – Final Jeopardy!

Final Jeopardy

Do you remember how all this quest started with two questions?

Click on the link below if you are lost.

It’s not over till it’s over…

So let’s play Final Jeopardy! for the last time on Our Ancestors II.

00Trebeck1-mediumSquareAt3X

Taken from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Trebek)

Trebek was born on July 22, 1940 in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada,[5][6][7] the son of George Edward Trebek (born Terebeychuk),[8] a chef who had emigrated from Ukraine as a child, and Lucille Marie Lagacé (April 14, 1921-2016), a Franco-Ontarian.[9] Trebek had roots in Renfrew County, Ontario, where his maternal grandmother was born in Mount St. Patrick near Renfrew.[10] He grew up in a bilingual French-English household.[11] Trebek almost got expelled from the boarding school his parents sent him to. Shortly after he attended military college but dropped out when he was asked to cut his hair.[12] Trebek’s first job at age 13 was as a bellhop at the hotel where his father worked as a chef.[13] Trebek attended Sudbury High School (now Sudbury Secondary School) and then attended the University of Ottawa.[14] Trebek graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in philosophy in 1961.[5][15] While a university student, he was a member of the English Debating Society. At the time, he was interested in a broadcast news career.[16]

Screenshot 2021-10-17 05.46.48

The category is…
The Frelatte Family

Think Music…

Final Jeopardy final question

Philomène’s real surname was Ferlatte or Frelatte. Philomène’s father was Raymond Frelatte, Frélatte, Frélat, Frelat, Ferlatte… and her mother was Henriette Stuart or Stewart.

record-image_ (4) (1)

Sometimes looking for our ancestors is confusing with so name variations. Here the priest wrote Frelatte for Philomène and Frélatte for the father. Philomène’s mother is Henriette Stewart, but Stuart is also seen in other official documents.

zoom baptism Philomène Frélatte

Marie Philomène Frelatte was baptised on January 19, 1843 in St-Roch Chuch in Quebec City. That’s an undeniable fact. She would later married Alexandre Lagacé. When they got married? I have not found that yet. I have found three more children: Éléonore, Jean-Baptiste and Marguerite. There has to be more, but I have not found that yet.

Is that all important to find everything about our ancestors? Is it more about remembering those who lived and touched people’s lives?

alex2

In Memoriam
Alex Trebek (1940-2020)

Final Jeopardy! was all about remembering my seventh cousin Alex Trebek…

Next time… Will the real Alexandre Lagacé please stand up?

Lives of our French-Canadian Ancestors in New France, Québec and Canada

Sometimes I find a website with very interesting information about our ancestors.

The Home Page link is below.

https://www.tfcg.ca/

About Lives of our French-Canadian Ancestors in New France, Québec and Canada

https://www.tfcg.ca/life-of-our-french-canadian-ancestors

This next page is about Le régiment de Carignan-Salières 

https://www.tfcg.ca/carignan-salieres-regiment


Excerpt

 The Carignan-Salières Regiment

Carignan-Salieres+Regiment

“Soldier of the régiment de Carignan-Salières”, drawing by Francis Back, Canadian Military History Gateway.
When King Louis XIV ascended to the French throne in 1661, the colony of New France in the Saint Lawrence Valley was facing incredible challenges. Its roughly 3,000 inhabitants faced constant threats to their economy and safety from the indigenous Iroquois, due to their chronic underpopulation. Louis XIV wanted to protect France’s economic interests in the fur trade and to defend the struggling outpost, ensuring not only its survival but also its growth. At this period in time, “Iroquois” referred to the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy: the Mohawks (Agniers in French), Onedas (Onneiouts in French), Onondagas, Senecas and Cayugas. From the French colonists’ perspective however, only the Mohawks were deemed enemies as the other Nations had not participated in any recent attacks. [Today, the Mohawk nation is called Kanien’kehá:ka, meaning “People of the Flint”.]

In order to increase the colony’s population, some 700 women nicknamed the Filles du roi (the “King’s Daughters”) were sent to New France starting in 1663. Then, during the summer and fall of 1665, about 1,200-1,300 soldiers and 80 officers from the Carignan-Salières Regiment arrived at Québec City tasked with protecting the inhabitants and eliminating the Iroquois threat to the south. The regiment included 20 companies that sailed from France and an additional 4 companies that sailed from the West Indies accompanied by 62-year old Lieutenant-General Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy. The enlisted men were all volunteers who were recruited by captains into a specific company, rather than into the regiment itself. The captains were responsible for ensuring the soldiers were paid, clothed and fed. Economic hardship in France at the time meant that there was no shortage of volunteers looking for better opportunities.   

The missing link – Final Jeopardy!

Final Jeopardy

All this quest started with two questions.

Click on the link below if you are lost.

It’s not over till it’s over…

So let’s play Final Jeopardy!

00Trebeck1-mediumSquareAt3X

Taken from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeopardy!)

The Final Jeopardy! round features a single clue. At the end of the Double Jeopardy! round, the host announces the Final Jeopardy! category and a commercial break follows. During the break, partitions are placed between the contestant lecterns, and each contestant makes a final wager; they may wager any amount of their earnings, but may not wager certain numbers with connotations that are deemed inappropriate.[19] Contestants write their wagers using a light pen on an electronic display on their lectern.[20] After the break, the Final Jeopardy! clue is revealed and read by the host. The contestants have 30 seconds to write their responses on the electronic display, while the show’s “Think!” music plays.

Screenshot 2021-10-17 05.46.48

The category is… Missing Link

Final Jeopardy question

Marriage certificate front

What is Fridathe?

Wrong answer.


Screenshot_20211015-063912-637

Carignan-Salieres+Regiment

I know the right answer…

I could make out the first two letters…FR. The third letter looked like an I and a D, but I was not sure, then an A, a T, an H and finally an E.

I tried searching for a woman named Philomene Fridathe, Frilathe, Fredette, Frenette or any variations there of, but I got nowhere until I found the answer Friday night during a commercial break while I was watching the baseball game.

marriage

This is a marriage certificate showing William Lagacé’s second marriage. If all the informations in it are correct, then William Lagacé, 50 years old, who was a laborer, and who was the widower of Marie Couture, married Marie Roy who was the widow of James Vienneau.

William Lagacé and Marie Roy married on September 26, 1926 in Bathurst, New Brunswick.

marriage

William Lagacé’s father is listed as Alexandre Lagacé and his mother’s maiden’s name is Philomène Feblatte. In fact Philomène’s real surname was Ferlatte or Frelatte. Her parents were Raymond Ferlatte and Henriette Stuart or Stewart. I found all this on a page in the registers of St-Roch parish in Quebec City.

Tune in next time for another Final Jeopardy!

alex2

It’s not over till it’s over… Epilogue

I still have to get over it when some people keep on refering to André Mignier dit l’Agacé as André Mignier dit La Gâchette.

Searching for our ancestors is a never-ending quest for the truth…

Carignan-Salieres+Regiment

As a footnote to all this search for a distant cousin who wanted to know… I have learned a lot from this little excursion into the past.

I found this site that has a list of the soldiers that came over in 1665 as well as the officers. The company had been in service before being sent to Canada so I assumed that ‘Mignier’ was already a proven soldier and therefore a commander before being sent on the next mission. They added more soldiers and at this point I cannot tell if both names came over to Canada. Here is the list of names from the government website called ‘Warfare’ and on the last page top left corner you can see ‘Lagasse’. So at this point I cannot tell if it was one man or two men in the same company with the nickname being added in Canada?

A second question I have is related to tracking a James Lagace who was father to William James Lagace who was father to Albany Joseph Lagacy who was my father. James was married 11 August 1891, Bathurst, NB, to Mary-Nancy Doucet but I am having trouble finding his birth record/date or his father’s name. I believe the connection is Pierre Lagacé (Mignier) born 1825 in QC. Is there any way to confirm?

First question:

So at this point I cannot tell if it was one man or two men in the same company with the nickname being added in Canada?

rolle-soldats-carignansalieres-roll-soldiers Berthier

rolle-soldats-carignansalieres-roll-soldiers Lagasse

rolle-soldats-carignansalieres-roll-soldiers

You can find the roll also here.

https://www.tfcg.ca/1668-soldats-carignan-salieres-habitants

More on that regiment…

https://www.tfcg.ca/regiment-de-carignan-salieres#:~:text=Le%20Br%C3%A9z%C3%A9%20est%20arriv%C3%A9%20le,Fredi%C3%A8re%2C%20La%20Motte%20et%20Sali%C3%A8res

Answer

The list has only one name for each soldier. We can plainly see the name is Lagassé and not Lagâchette.

Second question:

Is there any way to confirm?

The only hint that person had was this marriage certificate.

Marriage certificate frontMarriage certificate back

The clerk had no idea that 130 years later we would be searching for James’ parents. We can make out his father’s given name Alex…,

Screenshot_20211015-063831-641

but your guess is as good as mine for his mother’s name…

Philomene … ?

Screenshot_20211015-063912-637

Last night, I could not let it go, so I kept on looking during the baseball game.

Then this happened.

marriage

To be continued because It’s not over till it’s over and there’s CFL games today on TSN.

It’s not over till it’s over…

Some people use one-liners.

I am a baseball fan so I know who said it’s not over till it’s over. However this doesn’t apply to genealogy.

Searching for our ancestors is a never-ending quest for the truth…

People still go around calling my ancestor André Mignier by the dit name La Gâchette.

Carignan-Salieres+Regiment

I saw this question someone was asking on a Facebook page but it was not about La Gâchette.

I found this site that has a list of the soldiers that came over in 1665 as well as the officers. The company had been in service before being sent to Canada so I assumed that ‘Mignier’ was already a proven soldier and therefore a commander before being sent on the next mission. They added more soldiers and at this point I cannot tell if both names came over to Canada. Here is the list of names from the government website called ‘Warfare’ and on the last page top left corner you can see ‘Lagasse’. So at this point I cannot tell if it was one man or two men in the same company with the nickname being added in Canada?

A second question I have is related to tracking a James Lagace who was father to William James Lagace who was father to Albany Joseph Lagacy who was my father. James was married 11 August 1891, Bathurst, NB, to Mary-Nancy Doucet but I am having trouble finding his birth record/date or his father’s name. I believe the connection is Pierre Lagacé (Mignier) born 1825 in QC. Is there any way to confirm?

First question:

So at this point I cannot tell if it was one man or two men in the same company with the nickname being added in Canada?

rolle-soldats-carignansalieres-roll-soldiers Berthier

rolle-soldats-carignansalieres-roll-soldiers Lagasse

rolle-soldats-carignansalieres-roll-soldiers

You can find the roll also here.

https://www.tfcg.ca/1668-soldats-carignan-salieres-habitants

More on that regiment…

https://www.tfcg.ca/regiment-de-carignan-salieres#:~:text=Le%20Br%C3%A9z%C3%A9%20est%20arriv%C3%A9%20le,Fredi%C3%A8re%2C%20La%20Motte%20et%20Sali%C3%A8res

Answer

The list has only one name for each soldier.

Second question:

Is there any way to confirm?

The only hint that person had was this marriage certificate.

Marriage certificate frontMarriage certificate back

The clerk had no idea that 130 years later we would be searching for James’ parents. We can make out his father’s given name Alex…,

Screenshot_20211015-063831-641

but your guess is as good as mine for his mother’s name…

Philomene … ?

Screenshot_20211015-063912-637

Now about La Gâchette. This is what I wrote a few years ago when I was really annoyed.

La Gâchette?

Urban legend if you ask me.

Soldier of the Régiment Carignan-Salières Illustrator Francis Back

L’Agacé

No one has yet to come forward to contradict my findings from my research about the dit name of André Mignier. Mark was the one who was questioning the dit name La Gâchette on Facebook which got me searching.

Nowhere the dit name La Gâchette is found in official parish records except in someone’s transcription of André Mignier and Jacquette Michel’s marriage contract in front of notaire Becquet who was in my own humble opinion famous for his bad handwriting.

notaire Becquet

The dit name L’Agacé means annoyed, and Mark and I are living proof we get annoyed when something is not right.

Case closed?

We are always open for discussion…

You can click here to get someone’s opinion.

Excerpt

In 17th century Nouvelle France (Quebec) our first ancestor’s name had several variations including: Andre Megny / Mignier / Minier “dit Lagacé”.  Many websites also refer to him as  “Lagachette” instead of Lagace on the theory that he was a “sharpshooter”. The word “gachette”  does translate as “trigger”  so it certainly could have been a nickname (just like Mack the Knife!) but I haven’t seen that name on a primary document  – nor do I see it in traditional references such as Drouin, Tanguay, the BMS2000, or documents such as the seigneurial land grants, or Father Casgrain’s history of Riviere-Ouelle. Nevertheless, I’d love to know where this theory originated.

A post in the draft section of Our Ancestors since 2014

21 August 2021

This is a post I had in the draft section of Our Ancestors since 2014. It was written after this one…


A note I had left behind…

Yesterday’s note led me to this one.

LAGASSE, Eugene F.

Eugene F. Lagasse, 79, of Railroad Ave., Chester died at home on Friday, (October 28, 2005). He and his wife Norma (Joy) were married for 54 years. Gene was born in Bristol, on June 8, 1926, son of the late Harvey and Maude (Powe) Lagasse Sr.

He was an Army Veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict. He was a member of St. Joseph’s Church, Chester as well as the Knights of Columbus. He was employed as an engineer at Conrac Corp, Old Saybrook for 37 years, and he presently worked for the Essex Product Group.

Gene was an avid golfer and was active in civic organizations over the years. He was so happy to have lived to see his beloved Red Sox win the 2004 Championship. He and Norma wintered in Panama City Beach, FL.

Besides his wife Norma, he is survived by his two sons, James of Warrenton, VA and Gary of Colchester; his daughters, Susan Sticht and Mary Lagasse both of E. Haddam; his eight grandchildren, Stephen Jr., Nicole, Wayne, Jacqueline, Cassidy, Eugene, Amanda and Kyle, and great grandson Caleb, and his brother Robert of Bristol. He was predeceased by his son, Stephen Sr. and his brother, Harvey Jr.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, Oct., 31 at 9 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Church, Rte 154, Chester followed by burial with Military Honors in St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Friends may call at the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home, 34 Main St., Centerbrook TODAY, from 2-4 p.m. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Hospice and Palliative Care of Middlesex Hospital, 28 Crescent St., Middletown 06475.

Lagasse, Eugene F.


Another obituary

October 29, 2005

LAGASSE, Eugene F. Eugene F. Lagasse, 79, of Railroad Ave., Chester died at home on Friday, (October 28, 2005). He and his wife Norma (Joy) were married for 54 years. Gene was born in Bristol, on June 8, 1926, son of the late Harvey and Maude (Powe) Lagasse Sr.

He was an Army Veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict. He was a member of St. Joseph’s Church, Chester as well as the Knights of Columbus. He was employed as an engineer at Conrac Corp, Old Saybrook for 37 years, and he presently worked for the Essex Product Group.


End of the draft post

This is Eugene’s, his wife’s and his son’s headstone.

Stephen Lagasse

Eugene’s memorial on Find A Grave was transferred earlier this week with this message…

Hello Pierre,
I have transferred Stephen’s memorial to you. Treat him well, as I am sure you will.
Perry

This is Eugene F Lagasse.

lagassemilitary2~7

 https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/79760332/eugene-f-lagasse

 

 

 

A note I had left behind…

This is what I had written as a note to the file of Robert J. Lagasse, the brother of Harvey Louis Lagasse Jr. and Eugene Francis Lagasse.

Someone had written a message back in 2009 or 2010 and I wrote this note…

I have to check this out…

This is the message sent by Bob Lagasse.

Maybe it’s not that important after all.

If he lived in the North End of Bristol he has to be your Lagasse

Mid-afternoon on Dec. 7, 1941, I was playing hide and seek with a group of kids from the neighborhood in the north end of Bristol when someone interrupted the game to tell us that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. “Where’s Pearl Harbor?” I asked. “In Hawaii,” they replied. Being that I was a knowledgeable 10-year-old and had studied geography, I summed up the situation quickly. “Did you ever see how small Japan is, compared to us?” I questioned. “We’ll beat ’em in a few weeks,” I analyzed. As I was saying this I was thinking, “If they mess around with my brother, he’ll show ’em.” I quickly ran home and dashed up the stairs to see if everyone knew of the news. As I looked into the living room, it was obvious that they had. Mom was seated and crying and Dad was consoling her. The radio was on giving the accounts of what was known at that time, which was sketchy and often unconfirmed.

The main concern for Mom’s world was that her son was in the Army in Camp Blanding, Fla., and the one-year training commitment would now become a war requirement for an undetermined period. Although Dad was saying all the right words to Mom, it appeared to me that his heart wasn’t really in it. He was less visibly upset than Mom, but I believe that he was more deeply concerned, having World War I experience to call on. It was an anxious, wait-and-see environment for many years to come.

Bob Lagasse

Bristol

In genealogy there is no “Maybe it’s not that important after all.”

End of the original post

Postscript

Although Dad was saying all the right words to Mom, it appeared to me that his heart wasn’t really in it. He was less visibly upset than Mom, but I believe that he was more deeply concerned, having World War I experience to call on. It was an anxious, wait-and-see environment for many years to come.

lagassemilitary2~4

 

 

Remembering Harvey Louis Lagasse Jr in 2011

Written in 2011, this should close a chapter in the life of Harvey Louis Lagasse Junior and his father.

lagassemilitary2~4

Harvey Louis Lagasse Senior

The document below was found in 2011. Everything you needed to know in 2011 was there. Harvey Louis Lagasse Senior was born on December 31st, 1893 in Burlington, Vermont. We can even see his signature and Maude’s first name.


Original post

If you live in the U.S. and your name is somewhat Lagasse or Le Gasse, then you are missing a lot.

Harvey Louis Lagasse Jr was a bombardier aboard a B-24.

This is his father’s registration card…

1942.

Harvey Louis Lagasse Sr. and I have the same birthdate, but not the same year…

He was born in 1894.

We also see this… in the back of the card.

I am 5′ 10″ and I weigh 220 going on 180 in 2012 from 275 in 2010.

Brown eyes and losing most of my brown hair.

Getting back to Harvey…

Harvey Senior was the son of Louis Lagasse.

Louis Lagasse was the brother of my great-grandfather Dennis II whose real name was Stanislas Lagacé.

Stanislas was born August 9, 1842.

Louis Lagasse was born in Notre-Dame-de-Stanbrige in Missisquoi county in the province of Quebec on January 1st, 1854.

This is his baptisimal certificate.

His godfather was Louis Trudeau and his godmother was Flavie David. Dennis or Stanislas was 11 when his brother was born. Dennis II had 10 siblings: 5 brothers and 5 sisters. I know a lot about them. One of them was Philomène Lagacé. Her nickname was Libbie.

Thanks to Sandy and Joe I found a lot about her.

Click here to find out.


End of the original

Footnote

Harvey Louis Lagasse Junior was part of a B-24 Liberator crew. Earl Cullison was the pilot and Roy Sutton the co-pilot. This is what Earl Cullison’s nephew sent me about Roy Sutton.


The Story about Roy Sutton Jr. being shot down in WWII


Written by Sgt. Ernest Gordon Liner.

A Crewmate of Roy Sutton

Sgt Ernest Gordon Liner was a tail gunner in the 758th Bomb Squadron. He was shot down on August 22,1944 in his B-24 H, named The Moron, Serial # 42-52344 and became a POW.

The Pilot of The Moron was Lt Jerry A Cullison. Their ship was shot down on 459 BG Mission # 95 to bomb the synthetic oil refineries at Blechhammer, Germany, August 22, 1944 a long difficult eight and a half hour trip if you made it. The 459th Bomb Group lost 5 planes that day, 50 airmen MIA that day on a terrible mission 2 each from the 758th Bomb Squadron and the 759th Bomb Squadron and one from the 757th Bomb Squadron. All of us who flew missions to Blechhammer, Germany remember those missions as being one of the roughest ever because of flak, fighters, weather and sweating out low fuel status because of the distance and resistance encountered.

Memories by Ernest
I enlisted in the Air Force and was inducted at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, reporting later to Miami Beach, Florida, in November of 1943. We lived in hotels and took basic training on a golf course and on the beach. From there we went to Panama City, Florida for further training. From Panama City we were sent to Mitchell Field, New York for crew assignment.

The following men were members of the crew: Pilot Jerry Cullison of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Co-pilot Roy Sutton of Norfolk, Virginia; Navigator Vaughn; Bombardier Harvey Lagasse of Bristol, Connecticut; Engineer Harold Botwright of Philipsburg, Pennsylvania; Waist gunner T. Tomlinson of Sour Lake, Texas; Ball turret gunner A.J. Benetti of San Fernando, California; Radio operator and Top turret gunner Paul Pete Peterson of Portland, Connecticut; Nose gunner A.J. Tony La Spina of Summit, New Jersey; and myself, Tail gunner Gordon Liner of Hillsborough, North Carolina. As a crew we were sent to Charleston, South Carolina and started flying together.

When I reported to basic training I had had to leave my girlfriend Franny in Baltimore. So, after basic I asked her to come to Charleston and we would get married. I rented a furnished room a month ahead to hold it, and she came down and we got married June 3, 1944. She stayed until I got leave and we went back to Baltimore where I had to leave her and return to Charleston.

From Charleston we went to Westover Field, Massachusetts, where we flew submarine patrol for two weeks. There we were given a new plane for our own to go overseas. We left Mitchell Field, New York and went to Bangor, Maine to pick up supplies and extra equipment to prepare to go overseas. We left the states and went to Newfoundland and stayed there about a week because of bad weather. When the weather finally broke, we went on to the Azores where we gassed up for the flight to Africa. We landed in Marrakech, flew on to Tunis, and from there we flew to Foggia, Italy where they took our plane and gave us an old beaten up one. Later we found out that this was customary; a new plane was given to a crew that was about finished and ready to go back to the United States.

We were assigned to an air base at Cherignola, Italy and given a six man tent to sleep in at the edge of an almond orchard. At first we had a dirt floor, cots and candles for lights. We started improving the flooring and made some cabinets out of cardboard and rolled up the sides of the tent to get cool air. After a week or two we were given one bulb for light which got its power from a generator at the base.

We started flying with other crews to learn how to fly in formation. Experienced pilots flew with us for a few days and then we were on our own to fly every day. The weather permitting, we then started flying actual combat missions on August 12, 1944. Our flights were as follows:

Date          Target                                                                    Plane
August 12  Northern Italy, early return                              Hard to Get
August 14  Northern Italy, early return                              Hard to Get
August 17  Ploesti, Romania, flack and fighters              Beats Me Mack
August 18  Ploesti, Romania, flack and fighters              The Moron
August 21  Air field in Hungary, flack and fighters          Beats Me Mack
August 22  Blechammer, Germany, flack and fighters   The Moron    DID NOT RETURN

The targets in northern Italy were called milk runs because they were more like training missions but the Ploesti targets were the worst in Europe for enemy flack and fighters. The Hungary targets were bad for fighters, but Blechammer was as bad as Ploesti because we had to fight our way from the target until we had to parachute out of the plane. Before we got to the target we lost an engine due to flack (ground fire). We saw one plane blow up and two others take hits. On three engines, we could not keep up with the formation.

After the bombs were dropped, we were attacked by four fighters and lost another engine as well as other damage. One fighter came toward the tail, another from the side, and yet another from the under side. I shot the plane attacking our tail and it exploded. The fighter on the side killed Tomlinson and the ball turret gunner was hit, giving the German fighters two positions not covered. The next attacks came from above, and top gunner Peterson and I both were shooting at him and he was hit and bailed out. Then, I realized we were going down fast and our radio was shot out. I got out of my turret and went up into the waist and put on my parachute. Top gunner Peterson came down into the waist with his parachute on, and I had to move waist gunner Tomlinson’s body from the escape door so we could get out. I opened the hatch and motioned for Peterson to go out, but he motioned for me to go! I realized that we had to get out, so I jumped. Peterson told me later, when he saw my chute open, he jumped, too.

As we were going down, we could see people shooting at us. A German fighter came straight toward me and we had heard about the pilots shooting at airmen in their chutes. But, at the last minute he tipped his wing and came close enough for me to see him motion to me. I went down in the woods and the others were captured in an open field. I could not get my chute out of the trees, so I took off my flying suit and boots and left them in a stump hole. I crawled under the bushes and tried to collect my thoughts, removed my escape kit and tried to determine where I was.

The pilot had said we were in Hungary when we first began to be attacked by fighters. Later, I decided to move to a better location and I had not gone but about ten steps when someone hollered and I looked beside me to see a German soldier with a rifle pointing straight at me. He kept motioning for me to put my hands up and he was as scared of me as I was of him. Another soldier then came up and they searched me. They kept saying pistols, I guess because they knew we were issued .45 pistols. I told them that mine had gone down with the plane. I was always glad that I didn’t wear it, because I might have tried to use it.

They took me out of the woods to a road where there were other people and a wagon that held a German pilot with his parachute rolled up in his lap. I was told to get on the wagon with the pilot who was about eighteen years old with blond hair and about my size. He smiled and motioned with his finger and said I putt putt you and you putt, putt me. We were taken to a small village about the size of Efland, North Carolina and it had a jail.

There I saw two others of my crew and four members of another crew at the jail where we spent the night with bed bugs, roaches and everything else. The next day we were moved through the village and were fortunate to have the German soldiers along to keep civilians off of us. They were throwing things, spitting and hollering gangsters to us. We later understood why when we passed a hospital that had been bombed.

We were put on a truck with eight others and carried into the city of Budapest.

Once in Budapest we were given something to eat, the first food we had had since we were shot down. We were then questioned and our belts, shoe laces, rings, watches and everything that we had in our pockets was taken from us. We found out later that we were in an old political prison. The building was three stories high, and was open in the center with walkways around each staircase. All of the cells were solitary cells about four feet by sixteen feet in size with no windows, and one light bulb that burned all of the time. Our comforts consisted of one cot, a door with a slot through which bowls of soup were given to us twice a day, one loaf of bread a day, and one bucket for a toilet. No one ever spoke. Enduring seven days of this, you did a great deal of thinking. I counted the bricks in that cell a thousand times and I thought I would remember the number, but I don’t.

After seven days of silence I was taken to a German officer for questioning. We had been trained to give only our name, rank and serial number. I was then sent back to my cell for another seven days, followed by another trip for questioning. This time, a German who spoke perfect English told me that he would say things to me that he only wanted me to verify. I was told the type of plane we were in, the type of bombs we dropped, the target we hit, our air base in Italy and where we were trained. I figured one of our crew members told them all of this information. I was sent to another room with three members of my crew and they said that they were told the same thing, and it was good to have someone to talk to.

After a few days we were taken under heavy guard to a train station, where we were put on those notorious, forty by eight, boxcars that were known all over Germany; forty men or eight horses. I think there must have been forty of us in the car when more men were brought in. It was too crowded to lie down, so we had to stand or sit. We were locked in our boxcar and in the next one were the guards with their dogs. We only had one bucket for a toilet for over forty men. Some men were sick and some were injured. We were on the train for two days before we were allowed to get out and given water and bread. At this point everyone was getting filthy and many had dysentery, yet with still only one bucket on the boxcar. We stopped in a large rail yard one night and the R.A.F. came over dropping bombs. The guards left for shelters and we were left behind, locked in the boxcar. Luckily the bombs missed us but they did tear up some of the rails further ahead. We stayed there another day, still locked up. Finally, we started again, attached to another train, and we started seeing lots of bomb damage to towns and bridges as we passed through Poland.

After five days the train stopped and we were told to get out. We were at a train station in a small town where there were guards with dogs to escort us on a one mile walk to our camp. By this time, we were in pitiful shape. The camp was still being built, but we were assigned to barracks with twenty-two men, all together in one room. We had a spigot to wash up with and a latrine which had ten holes. Many times you didn’t have time to wait. For that reason it was a very good thing our government sent lots of clothes and shoes to the camps.


Jerry Cullison Jr. as an officer was sent to the famous Stalag Luft III. Uncle Jerry was then sent to Stalag Luft III-D where he stayed until he was liberated. Roy Sutton Jr. was an officer too… But I do not know if he was sent to the same POW camps…

Earl Cullison Jr


About Roy Sutton…

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/roy-sutton-obituary?pid=179130661

Roy C. Sutton Jr.

Norfolk – Roy Clifton Sutton Jr., a lifelong Norfolk resident, died on October 16, five days shy of his 93rd birthday. The cause was heart failure.

“Roy Jr.” was raised on the beach at Ocean View, a place which forever was in his heart. He graduated from Maury High School, and then attended the college of William and Mary in Norfolk, and then in Williamsburg. His studies were interrupted by WWII, during which he rose to the rank of Captain in the Air Force. He was co-piloting a plane during a bombing mission over Hungary, when his plane was shot down. He spent nine months in a German POW camp, and then was rescued by Patton’s army. He then continued his studies, ultimately earning a degree in Physics. He entered business and became a part-owner of Sutton Appliance Company. He married Kathleen Sams in 1953, and began a family. He continued his love of athletics, joining the Portsmouth YMCA, and being well-known for winning many handball and tennis tournaments. Even into his eighties, he remained involved in competitions, being active in the Senior Olympics in multiple events. Until six months before his death, he was swimming laps twice a week. Recently, he was recognized as one of the members of the famous football “Last Team” at ODU.

Written in 2011

You know, genealogy is not my forte, aviation and World War II is…

When searching for my roots, I stumbled upon this story of Harvey L Lagasse, a bombardier with the U.S. Air Force.

I was somewhat curious.

Read this book excerpt…

So I dug deeper into that story…

And deeper…

Click here.

Harvey L Lagasse Jr

2nd Lt Bombardier 758 Squadron
MACR: 10719
2nd Lt Harvey L Lagasse, Jr served as a Bombardier in the 758 Bomb Squadron on Lt Jerry A Cullison’s B-24 crew that was shot down on 459 BG’ Mission 95, 8-22-44 to bomb Blechhammer, Germany O-R, flying in “The Moron” Serial # 42-52344. He had flown in B-24s “Hard To Get” and “Beats Me Mack” before being shot down in “The Moron”.He along with his crew, became POWs and the crews’ POW treatment is well related in Ernest Liner`s story as a Gunner on this crew and their being shot down.

 

Now, how is this Harvey Lagasse related to all of us… us Lagasses I mean.

Come and see me tomorrow since now you know what is my forte…

 


Written on August 18, 2021

It’s worth reading this one more time.

lagassemilitary2~6