I encourage you to visit the Carlsbad Army Air Field community page on Facebook. It has a great collection of photographs and artifacts.
The Gig Sheet is a class book for advanced pilot training at Kelly Field, Texas. Class 41-F graduated on August 15, 1941 just three months before the United States entered the war.
I encourage you to visit the Gilbert Malrait and Thieme Crew memorial site at www.2ltmalrait-gilbert.net. It gives an account of a B-24 combat air crew, most of whom were killed in action on April 4, 1944. What makes this site unique is the background and personal history of each crew member. There are lots of photographs and documentation.
When I started the AAF Collection I was confused over the terms Army Air Corps versus Army Air Forces. My father often spoke of his service in the Air Corps, but the material I found all seemed to refer to the Air Forces. I researched the question and uncovered the following history of the Army Air Forces.
Airplanes were a small part of the Signal Corps at the close of World War I. In that war, they were used chiefly for aerial reconnaissance in support of ground troops. A total of 600 American airmen were killed and 340 planes lost. US planes dropped only 138 tons of bombs.1
Clyde O. Primrose, Jr.
Clyde Odis Primrose, Jr. was a young lad of 19 when he entered the United States Army in 1942. He had grown up on a farm near Hemphill, Texas, the oldest of what would eventually be eleven children his mother and father would rear. The family had no electricity or running water, but they had each other and a wonderful work ethic. From the first time he saw an airplane in the sky as a young child, he wanted to fly. As did thousands of others, Odis answered his nation’s call and joined the Army, with only a dream that he could somehow make it through cadet training, mechanics training, flight school, and advanced training and become a pilot. By sheer hard work and determination, he competed with college educated men, and did indeed become a flight cadet, earn his wings, and eventually see service as a co-pilot on a B-24 heavy bomber.
James Carl Nelson
My father was originally from Conneaut, Ohio. He wrote his mother letters during his training in the AAF which she kept and passed down to me. He joined the Army Air Forces in November, 1943 and attended basic training at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. He was tested for aptitude during the basic and selected for aviation cadet training. He did this at Akron University starting in January 1944. This was the Third College Training Detachment.
After completing courses there he was transferred to the pre-flight instruction at the East Central College in Ada, Oklahoma, in April 1944, as part of the 2579th AAF BU, class 44-C-1. He then started learning how to fly in the trainers. He was selected to be a navigator rather than a pilot, and then assigned to Group 1, Squadron 86, class 45-C at the S.A.A.C.C – San Antonio, Texas in August 1944. He seemed to prefer the navigator role more than the pilot since it suited his technical nature.
Eugene A. “Scotty” LaScotte
On June 22, 1942, Eugene and his two brothers each enlisted with high hopes of becoming pilots. On December 31, 1942 Eugene was called up and he entered into active service. He gave it his best shot in preflight school but unfortunately, “washed” out.
He was then transferred to a gunnery school where he completed his training on the .50 caliber machine gun. Not being a very tall person–only five feet eight inches–he was found to be best suited for the nose-gunner position in a B-24.
The new crew that he joined was formed in Fairmont, Nebraska on September 20, 1943. Eugene was now a member of the 15th Air Force, 485th Bomb Group / 828th Bomb Squadron.
John E. “Jack” Voisin
Jack Voisin had wanted to fly since he was a youngster in Michigan. He entered the Army Air Forces in August 1943 shortly after turning eighteen. He underwent basic training at Basic Training Center #4 in Miami Beach, Florida. He was then assigned to the 39th College Training Detachment at Clinton, South Carolina for five months.
Starting in April 1944 he underwent preflight training which lasted six months at Santa Ana, California. He was assigned to be a navigator. He earned his flexible gunnery wings at Kingman, Arizona (November 1944) and his navigator wings at San Marcos, Texas, where he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant (April 1945).
The documents in the AAF Collection are in an electronic format known as Portable Document Format (PDF). You need the Adobe Reader program to view them. You probably already have that program on your computer. If not, you can obtain it directly from Adobe
As an alternative, another good reader program is Foxit. It is smaller and faster than Adobe Reader.
Most documents are large and may take considerable time to download depending on the speed of your Internet connection.
If you are interested in contributing items to the AAF Collection, please keep in mind:
Free: All documents in the collection can be viewed or downloaded free of charge.
No Compensation: You will not be compensated for submitting material.