Friday, May 13, 2011
Lt Charlie Shultz is in the back row 4th from the left. Also known as my uncle Yandell.
My uncle, WWII Veteran Col. Charles Yandell Shultz, Jr. United States Air Force/Ret., passed away on April 15th, 2011. This makes me sad. Although I hadn't seen him in many years I did cherish the time we spent together. What an incredible commanding man with a heart of gold.
He was part of the 398th. The 398th was part of the 8th Air Force 1st Air Division during WWII and was one of many B-17 Bomb Groups stationed in England. The 398th was formed in the United States in 1943 and was stationed in Nuthampstead, England from April 1944 until June 1945.
The stories of flying bombers during World War II always captivated me. He was a Mickey Operator.
What is the meaning of the Acronym PFF and MICKEY
Specially equipped B-17s, called Pathfinder Force [PFFs] were equipped with a radar navigation system devised by the British and improved by the Americans for targeting through heavy cloud cover. It was encased electronics and replaced the ball turret in the B-17 lead plane. These planes flew in the lead and others dropped their payload when this plane did. Since the ground couldn't be seen, the results were marked as "unobserved." The "secret" system was code named "Mickey". Highly trained operators were called "Mickey Operators." For additional details see the April 1995 Flak News Article
I am sad that these stories can never be retold by him from his personal accounting. I am sad to never see him again at least on this earth. I feel the loss of my father again as this was one of my last true connections with my father's family. They looked a lot alike.
Thank you for serving your country and for being a wonderful man.
I miss you.