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Hometown Hero: Bruce Curry

Appleton man served as navigator on 50 missions that took out key Nazi war production targets. Never spoke much about his experiences, until recently
APPLETON (WFRV) "Finished the floor today. Nailed the sides of the tent down. Slept good last night."

That's one of many entries Bruce Curry kept a diary of his service with the Army Air Corp's 449th Bomb Group during World War Two. After a year of college, he enlisted in 1943. He and school sweetheart Eunice, better known as "Skippy", married before he shipped out as a navigator on a B-24.

"And when I went into the service I wanted to be a pilot," Curry recalled. "And they said you're eye sight is not good enough. I went through navigation school rather than flight training."

Curry and the crew of the bomber they dubbed "Our Baby" were among the first replacements dispatched to Grottaglie, Italy. Before taking on enemy targets, the crew kept watch over each other. That included the time when the tail gunner didn't respond to an intercom check. Curry had to find out why.
"And he had gone into the tail gun turret and sat down on his oxygen cord, oxygen connection," Curry said. "So he had passed out. It could have been curtains for all of us if some fighter tried to knock us out of the sky."

The 449th took on some heavily fortified targets during Curry's tour. Among them were oil fields in Ploesti, Romania.

"Because that was what supplied all of the oil and grease and everything and gasoline for their airplanes," Curry said.

After being credited for 50 missions, Curry's crew rotated back home. After the war, he never talked about his experiences. But after his daughters and grandchildren came of age, he's opened up more. Events like the "Old Glory Honor Flight" made it easier to share.

"I had expected a little more recognition for what I had done. And I didn't know whether these boys were aware of what I had done," he said.

At 90, Bruce Curry is keeping quiet no more.

Local 5's Terry Kovarik has the story.

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