----- Original Message -----
From: "Wendy Butler"
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2006
Good morning Mike,

Hmm. The 464th. You'd better grab a cuppa coffee. :) Several years ago one of our local ranchers and a long-time neighbor asked me to scan some photos and burn them to cd for him. The rancher was John Gottschalk. He was a navigator with the 776th. (There is a memorial for him in that section of the website.)

When I saw these photos (most of which are now on the website) I was amazed. I knew next to nothing about that time in our country's history. I felt that these photos and the Group's stories should be shared with the up and coming generations. I felt that it would be best if the anecdotes and tidbits came from the people who were there...so, to begin with I asked John if I could create (and host) a website to display his photos on. Fortunately for us, he agreed. The only condition was that I could not use his name. John was not proud of his duty over there, even though he was awarded many honors. To him, the real heroes were the boys that they left over there.

John passed away a few years after the website went live. I asked his family if we could honor him by finally acknowledging him by name as the contributor of (many of) the photos. They agreed and so I did. John had introduced me to the secretary of the Group, Tony Schneider - also with the 776 and John's bunkmate at Pantanella. Tony offered me full access to the Group's biannual newsletters. Once we got these uploaded, I began getting email from people all over the world - not just members of the Group. So...here we are. I am thrilled to have been a small part of this, and I am grateful for having had the opportunity to get to know some of these fine people better. They are truly our country's best. One of the members, from the 778th, has pretty much been my mentor since we started the project. He has shared databases, the MACRs, and information that I probably wouldn't have been able to find anywhere else! He has helped to keep me from looking too ignorant many, many times. :)

464th Bombardment Group Webmaster
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