Sharing Photos Rescued from a Shoebox
“Edward … Edward”. My mom’s voice echoed through the hanger at the Palm Springs Air Museum in February of 2001 as she attempted to get Dad’s attention. My dad was in the middle of a full scale lecture on the Mitchell Bomber (b-25) with my husband as audience. Finally, he turned toward Mom as her patience was wearing thin. “It’s Mitch the Witch… It’s Mitch the Witch.” As my Dad turned more slowly and looked up at the cockpit, his face changed into one of pure joy. He hurried toward the plane reaching out to touch it. “It’s my plane. It’s my plane.” In no time, every World War II vet in the building knew that Dad had been reunited with his plane.
My parents had been going to reunions of the 82nd Tactical Reconnaissance Group (TRG) for over ten years. The reunions had been held in many cities from coast to coast – the number of attendees slowly dwindling as the years claimed the survivors. They had heard at one of the reunions that the Mitchell Bomber called Mitch the Witch had survived the war and been restored to flying condition. None of the reunion committees had ever been able to locate its home base. The trip to the Palm Springs Air Museum was pure serendipity for I don’t believe that I had ever heard the name of Dad’s plane before. It was a trip that Dad would remember for the remaining years of his life.
As part of the organizing committees, my parents were involved in most phases of contacting the surviving crew members and their families. The pictures in this book were left behind in one of the hospitality suites and never reclaimed. As I sorted through my Dad’s belongings after his passing, I came across the small box crammed with pictures – few with names or captions. The eighty plus photos published in this book represent a cross-section of this unit’s tenure in New Guinea during the waning years of the war.
This book is dedicated to the officers and men of the 82nd TRG and to my father, Edward S. Sameck (1919-2007).
Photos Rescued from a Shoebox
- library edition hardback
- Published in 2009
- 204 pages
- Initial run of 10 copies published in 2009
Services provided by Creative Continuum
- World War II photo scanning and adjusting
- Design and layout
- Full color printing and bindery services