Newsletter Issue: Fall/Winter 2004

Update about WWII Castle de Dongelberg's Children Search

Update cont'd...

As you may remember, our original aim was to bring them over here to our reunion this year. They cannot afford that trip, nor can we afford to pay their way here. So we have been trying for sponsors to offset the expense. We were not able to bring that to fruition this year but have not given up on this notion. Many initiatives were sent out and who knows when we may get results. We may still have that grand reunion but in the meantime we have had sort of a virtual reunion through the pictures and stories of the after-war experiences of both the children and the squadron members (by sharing the scrapbook).

I would like anyone who would like their story included in the scrapbook, to write to me and if possible include a picture. Many books have been written about various war-time experiences of individuals and combat groups. But I think it really important to document the very interesting life experiences of you all after the war. This is a perspective that today's children would really learn from. It is one thing to tell the story of an outfit and the brave things they did at war, and quite another to follow all the individuals through their careers and family lives after.

I am sure that Joe Ritz Jr. would be happy to include these stories on the squadron web site as well. I plan on bringing the scrapbook to the reunion every year. It is so interesting to me to look at the pictures that the various members bring each year. They lead to great conversations. You folks all have interesting stories to tell. And now that other family members are coming to the reunions, they can learn a lot from you. I know that I have.

In our squadron and group, we have so many great stories. You folks are walking history lessons. I know that you have experienced a lack of interest from some over the years - but you may have noticed that the new generation is asking a lot of questions. They want to know how you were able to survive the depression, go off to war, and come home to build a new life and family. Times are not easy for kids today either - and they want to learn from you. I thank you all for taking Marie and me in as part of the family. You are a great group of human beings.

I look forward to talking with all of you at the reunions or via mail through the year. I am sure it will be another exciting reunion in 2005. Thanks again for your help!


     Warmest regards,

     Dennis Hayman

Other tidbits from the Reunion...

David Schwartz brought a book from his library: "Republic P-47 Thunderbolt: The Operational Record" by Jerry Scutts, (published 1998 by Airlife Publishing Ltd. UK) for us to autograph.It contained information about the 412th, 373rd, etc. David mentioned that the book is available thru

Joe Ritz, Jr. was available and demonstrated our internet website to the interested. He has been working on making our website address simpler and easier to use.

Our internet address has changed to The transition should be transparent and simple enough. Should you open one of the older websites (either the or websites) your browser will redirect you to the new site:

Our group email list will be advised when it changes. Others, should contact a 412th friend or contact Bob Colangelo (716) 751-9969 for the latest address. You're really missing something if you haven't seen, or not keeping in touch, with the 412th website.


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