I get letters occasionally from people trying to get information about members of the WWII 27th Fighter Bomber Group.
Please scroll down to the end of this page to find them.


27th Fighter Bomber Group

We're coming to the end of the line,
as we are all above 80 now.
I can find nothing on the web about my group.

      I was a pilot in the 522nd Squadron of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group
from 1 November of 1943 till the end of August 1944.

Update! My first grandchild, Erik Arthur Daniel Dills was born 18 January 2003!

This makes it even more important!


      Since I now have a grandson who will probably not retain a clear memory of me, I have decided to include other parts of my life as well. I am dividing it into three parts, Pre-Combat, Combat and Post-Combat. The combat portion is broken up into eight parts for more ready access to the several phases.
      I have almost no pictures but will include the few that I have.

      I hope others of my group will include their narratives as well. If they will send the material to me, I will put it on.

      I will be adding to this from time to time as memories, long buried begin to surface.

Everything on this page is copyrighted by me or the other authors. No reproduction without our knowledge and permission is allowed.
I want to apologize in advance if any of these stories insult any member of the group or make them uncomfortable.
All I can say is that I'm speaking the truth as I remember it.

If you contact me for information about a pilot that was missing or killed
and you don't get the information you wanted,
please try me again a year later.
And again, and again!
I occasionally get new information and no longer have the address of the interested person.

Charles E. Dills (1922 - 2014)
Having a grandson, Erik, has inspired me to write the following.

    My Biography,     from Birth (1922.04) to WWII combat (1943.11)

My subtitle for this is, " One of the Lucky Ones"
And believe me, it was a matter of luck.

Combat, 1943.11 to 1944.09

    First of all, I want to deliver a tremendous accolade to our mechanics. They worked under incredibly difficult conditions. They were outside at all times. No matter what needed to be done, they got it done. I'm sure there were mistakes but I was never aware of one. I would be willing to say that during my tenure in the 27th I don't know of any instance where a pilot was lost due to maintenance error.
    I have thanked every WWII aircraft crewchief I have ever met in the last sixty years for keeping me alive through 94 missions in three different airplanes. This is in lieu of being able to thank mine which I'm not sure I did. This I consider to be the biggest oversight in my life.
    His name was "Tiny" Hunter from Albuquerque NM. I believe his first name was Leslie.

    I just got a book which I have not yet had time to read, "Called to Honor" by Lt. Col. Wallace H. Little. He flew in the 14th Air Force in the China/Burma Theatre of Operations. He starts his book with an Author's Note which I will quote here (with permission).

    The book is available at PBCO, 3565 Chastain Way, Pensacola FL, 32504. Phone 850-479-3305



   They never had any cover, always out in the open. When we got P-40F's, the engine was metric and we had no metric tools. They must have maintained these high performance complicated engines with crescent wrenches.

      I think it is appropriate for me to dedicate this page to Leslie (?) "Tiny" Hunter without whose superb maintenance of my aircraft through 94 missions, I could very easily have been a casualty and not lived to write this.

                                                                       "Tiny" Hunter ---->    

           the Twenties    (13) 13 pp.
               the Thirties    (22) 14 pp.
                   the Forties, before Combat    (21) 10 pp.
                              Flight Training, 1942/3   (15) 12 pp.
                                    Advanced Flying School    Craig Field, Selma AL    (14) 6 pp.
                                                 Miami to Casablanca, August 10-15, 1943    (16) 4 pp.


Combat     from 1943.11 thru 1944.0831

    Part One     Berteaux, Algeria    (1) 8 pp.
       Part Two     Naples, Paestum, Gaudo    (2) 10 pp.
          Part Three    Pomigliano and Forbis    (3) 10 pp.
             Part Four     Capri and Vesuvius    (8) 5 pp.
   Part Five     Castel Volturno, UC-78 Courier     (4) 9 pp.
       Part Six      Santa Maria, Nettuno, Ciampino, Serragia Corsica    (5) 10 pp.
          Part Seven    Le Luc and Salon in So. France, Naples, On Train Back Home    (6) 9 pp.

          Part Eight     On Train Back Home, Fort Myers, Louisiana    (7) 3 pp.

Return from Combat from 1944.09 to Present

    the Forties, after Combat    (9) 22 pp.
     and more    (10) 7 pp.
      and more     (11) 9 pp.
        the Forties, continued    (12) 10 pp.
                     the Fifties    (17) 27 pp.
                           the Early Sixties    (18) 26 pp.
                           Air Force Reserve Duties    (24) 4 pp.
                           the Late Sixties    (19) 14 pp.
                                  the Seventies    (28) 5 pp.
                                        the Eighties    (30) 3 pp.
               the Nineties     (23) 6 pp.
                    the Two Thousands     (25) 4 pp.

    27th FBG Bylaws as Approved by mail ballot, May 1993, page 1 and 2.

      Both pages are here now, in very large format so King George III can read them without his glasses. John Hancock would be proud of me.

      I had the help of a wonderful French friend, Didier Badique, who has helped me on numerous occasions when the web language got just out of reach. I really appreciate his help.

      He is one of a wonderful group of young (compared to me) people that are trying to find and preserve our history in WWII. I have a file of all twenty-three of them and I call them "The Enthusiasts!"

    Typical Mission Report

    Overseas Flight Log

    Post-War Flight Log

    Peacetime Flight Log

    A-36A Article from Apr '07 "Flight Journal"

    James Reasman's Combat Story    

    Rowan Person's Album Illustrations    

    Eulogy and Pictures of Nowell O. Didear    

    Robert J. Workman's Combat Flight Log    

    David Johnson    

    De Foor and Whitehurst    

Mediterranean Stories
Lacy U. Weston
Roy L. Meek at the First Fighter Training Center, Berteaux, Algeria

Robert M. Johnson    

Burton Stephen Shiner 1919.0813 - 2000.0619

James R. Todd - 2005.0716

Joseph Mastroianni - 2009

Other pictures

Pictures sent to me

Sellar's Combat pictures

Combat pictures from George Hebbel.

Assorted Combat pictures

1996 Reunion, San Francisco

Letter exchange between me and Robert Grant about the P-47

Joe Kelly's DFC

PEACE, 27th at Mannheim Germnay

Two pictures of Jim Reasman in Germnay

Pics by John Lipiarz at 2002 Orlando Reunion
More pics by John Lipiarz at 2002 Orlando Reunion
Pictures at the Sleuth Restaurant in Orlando

Dills' pictures from Dayton, 2004

Check out one of the only books that tells the story of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group.

Straight Down

The story of the A-36 in combat, by Peter C. Smith.

People Trying to Locate Family of 27th Personnel

      I get letters occasionally from people trying to get information about members of the WWII 27th Fighter Bomber Group. I try but I don't know that much. So I will put their letters and requests here in the hope that some of you can help them. You will have to contact me as I don't wish to publish their e-mail addresses without their permission.

Number One:

Mr Dills,
      I believe my Dad may have served in the 27th, but I'm not sure. My Uncle told me my Dad was a sergeant in charge of a group of guys laying down the matting for fighter plane air strips. He was in Southern France because my Uncle said he was able to find him there while on leave for a few days, and my Uncle was in Italy.
      My Dad's name was Edward Sobol, and he was from Cleveland, Ohio. Does this ring a bell?
      I did find the 27th FG web site and tried to register. I completed the information, but never got a reply with the confirmation/instructions on how to log into the site. I can find no way to correct the problem and am unable to find out how to contact the site administrator.
      If you in any way can put me in contact with someone who can help me get on the site, I think I may have a chance of finding someone who knew him. I have no problem if you send my email to anyone else who could maybe help, but please ask them to include "27th FG" in the subject line so I don't delete the message.
            ( [email protected] )       Thank you in advance for any help you may offer,
            Paul Sobol

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Number Two:

Mr. Dills:
      Hello. My name is Alicia Cole and I am from Mississippi. While searching the web for information regarding my great-uncle I came across your reunion photos. I'm not sure if you would have been in the same unit (? Right word ?) with him or not, but I thought it was worth a try.
      His name was Aubrey Turner (also spelled "Aubry"), from Mississippi. He was only overseas a short time (six weeks) before being killed in action. He was a pilot, a Second Lt. with the 523rd Fighter Squadron, 27th Fighter Group. He went overseas in May, 1944 and was shot down over Italy on June 12, 1944.
      Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
      Best regards and God bless,

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Number Three:

      I am writing to you for my husband. He found your website and was wondering if you could either help him or point him in the right direction for information. He is trying to find information on his great Uncle. His name was Major Thurston Brafk. He was with the 27th Bomber Squadron and flew a P-40. The name of his plane was the Eager Eagle. He is looking for any info on his Uncle since he never met him.

      I hope you can help.
      Thank you,

      Laura Niece

      I'm pleased to report that we have made several useful contacts, including one to Major Brask's best friend over there!