The Longest Mission Crew Final Chapter

Back of the picture above

Navigator – J. E. Lidiak – Joseph Edwin Lidiak b. Feb. 8, 1924 – d. Jul. 26, 1980

Co-Pilot – J. C. Rucigay – John Charles Rucigay b. Jan. 25, 1925 – d. Nov. 1, 2014

Pilot – T. J. MacDonald – Thomas Joseph MacDonald – b. Feb. 18, 1924 – d. Jul. 1, 1968

Bombardier – R. E. Denison – Robert Orville Denison – b. Sept. 26, 1923 – d. Sept. 10, 2017

Ball Gunner – Charles E Cartmille – b. Apr. 29, 1921 – d. Sept. 19, 1982

Martin Gunner – Merle Weik – Merle Otto Weik – b. Dec. 16, 1922 – d. Dec. 22, 2004

Tail Gunner – John Lewis – unknown

Waist Gunner – Guy Howard – Guy Walter Howard – b. Nov. 11, 1924 – d. Aug. 17, 2015

Nose Gunner – Bob Marcum – Bob Marcum – b. Apr. 29, 1922 – d. Aug. 29, 2011

Waist Gunner – Bob Garin – Robert Eugene Garin – b. Jul. 20, 1924 – d. Sept. 8, 1988

These men all have families I hope know their stories by now. John Rucigay wrote about this mission through his eyes and experience, and I am grateful that he shared this with all of us. They did not often talk about what they experienced in WWII, they did not do this to get attention or be on a talk show. They did this because they were called to defend this country and our freedom. They just did what needed to be done and hopefully, returned home to their loved ones.

Letter to my daughter from her grandfather Merle Otto Weik May 14, 2003

B-24 Martin Top Turret Gunner

B-24 Liberator

B-24 Liberator Martin Turret Gunner

Thank you again for your service to our country. I have enjoyed learning more about the aircraft the “Little One” B-24 Liberator.

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