An enduring legacy of courage - the late Captain Hammond

EDITOR: Memory to serve me correctly, the late Captain George Hammond after the war was employed in the Sayre post office and typical of the Desmond Street crowd took his coffee at the lunch bar in a mercantile store located where once was the Sayre Park. We did not identify ourselves, there no reason to refer to our recent past, his most illustrious.

Later in the researching the Ploesti Low Level Mission, which his obituary accurately reflects, he was one of several hundred survivors with whom I visited in the post war period, in this instance trading letters, he having moved. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross. He contributed to my compiling the history "Those Brave Crews," a widely recognized literary monument which Jimmy Steward called "a salute to all the crews."

In order of importance, the highly valued Distinguished Flying Cross seldom given, was conferred on those surviving 25 missions, a feat itself. Unheard of was this award to be given to every man who flew that mission. The other two awards were the Silver Star and the Congressional Medal of Honor. Never in the history of flight has five MOH been presented, several posthumously, for a single mission.

A moot question, Captain Hammond seems to have been eligible for a cluster placed on his ribbon, the conditions being he also met the number of missions completed to qualify for this honor.

On error, George was in the 389th Bomb Group, not squadron, which was divided into four squadrons each with its one number. The 389th (Sky Scorpions) was the third B-24 Group to arrive in England, just in time to transfer south with the 44th (The Flying EightBalls) and the related 93rd, (Ted's Traveling Circus) to join on the sands of Benghazi the B-24 equipped long range bomber groups, the 376th known by the coined name Liberandos and the 98th Pyramidiers.

I was moved to tears forever, writing their story and mourn each loss. Today, in obituary reported, I salute the memory of Captain George Hammond, now rejoined with those immortal crews of yesteryear.

Ray Ward

Waverly, N.Y.

Dear Senator Yaw

EDITOR: You are complaining in print that you have not heard from me. Here it is, for the second time. No, I did not email or call you, but I did attend the hearing in June. I was introduced by name and was there to put a face on the Smithfield and surrounding township citizens who are dealing with excessive royalty deductions and can find no consistency or rational explanation for the deductions. I did not speak personally, although Commissioner McLinko did touch on some of my personal experiences in his brief dissertation. I had the feeling that you did not want to hear from me, as you did not allow my local representatives even their brief allotted time.

As a township supervisor, I have told my constituents that I cannot interfere with their private contracts and I at no time have expected you to do such. Although, my lawyer friend tells me that is exactly what you have done in Act 66. What we, your ignorant citizens, want is a definition of what "minimum" royalty means.

You might also be interested to know that I did seek legal counsel regarding my royalty issue. Of the two leases I collect royalties on, one gave me recourse the other did not. The interesting thing is, the lease that gave me recourse was a lease that my husband and I had secured on our own. The lease obtained with lawyer's counsel did not. It seemed to me that we did just as well without a lawyer as with. I am to the point of being sick of big corporations and lawyers. I thought perhaps my representative could give some aide. Apparently, I was wrong. I doubt I will be taking up any more of your time as I have come to realize how taxing it is to deal with the "ignorant."

"We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it." - Abraham Lincoln

Jacqueline Kingsley