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Historian Report

While we all know that out Post 189 was named after Charles L. Futch,  what do we know about Charles?  Charles was born on 14 December 1923 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  His middle name was Leslie named after his uncle Edmond Leslie Futch. His father Lisbon and Edmond Futch were founding members of our Post 189.  His parents were Lisbon and Margaret Futch, and he had a brother Nelson Hepp. Nelson who was two years younger than Charles was born on 17 June 1925. Nelson joined the Navy on 15 June 1943 two days before his 18th birthday and just 17 days after his brother was killed in action.  Charles’s father Lisbon, his mother Margaret, and his uncle Edmond are all buried in the Sebastian Cemetery.

Charles died on 29 May 1943 while on his eleventh bombing mission over St. Nazaire France. The aircraft that Charles was on at the time of the crash was a B-17 Flying Fortress known as “The Queen of the Skies”.  Like most aircraft of the era crews were able to name their individual aircraft and have a logo painted on the side of the craft.  His B-17, tail number 42-29792, was named “Barrel House Bessie from Basin Street” which at the time was a popular song by Louis Armstrong.  Charles was the Top Turret Gunner and Engineer of the craft, and the description of his job is as follows: The Engineer/Top Gunner must be a good technician with knowledge about the aircraft, the engines, and the armament.  He is responsible for all technical equipment and therefore also responsible for the lives of all crew members in the aircraft.  He also must be a good gunner.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bob Kahl

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