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ElfunkoI
08-07-2004, 01:33 AM
Well, my grandfather Major George Kuzma (USAF Ret.) had his stroke in about 1996 or so and I was born in 1985 so you can see that I was very young. Now I am almost 19 years old and just have returned home from visiting him again. His condition, although far from normal and competent, was truthfully the best he's been in years. I was very happy as was my mom (his daughter) and his old commander and friend T. Smith. I was able to talk to both of them, T. being an A-20 pilot during the war and my grandfather much of a mystery to me. Although he can't remember much in a critical thinking manner, he can remember many detailed yes or no questions and iterate to an extent. I already knew he flew the CBI (China-Burma-India) theatre and flew the "Hump" many times. I also knew he ferried aircraft all over the United States during the war (or was that after??). He even flew in the Berlin Airlift (transporting fuel he recalled). But I just found out a few days ago he flew B-24's out of England on bombing missions during the war! I was very shocked to say the least, and he could remember quite a bit. He could remember he was never attacked by the german jet fighters, only 109's and 190's. He remembers the battle damage to the tail section after a fighter attack. He even remembers losing an engine on a mission! But anyway, I know ribbons are unique and could shed light on his military careers chronology: what, where, and when. I was wondering if anybody here could help. I'll try and post pictures but if remote linking is not possible could you please see the link below to view the pictures.

http://forum.surfermag.com/photopost/data/505/79Ribbons-med.JPG

http://forum.surfermag.com/photopost/data/505/79Jacket-med.JPG

http://forum.surfermag.com/photopost/data/505/79Chinese-med.JPG

Link (http://forum.surfermag.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=533080&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1)

"A6?http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gifhttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gifhttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Will be A6!"

ElfunkoI
08-07-2004, 01:33 AM
Well, my grandfather Major George Kuzma (USAF Ret.) had his stroke in about 1996 or so and I was born in 1985 so you can see that I was very young. Now I am almost 19 years old and just have returned home from visiting him again. His condition, although far from normal and competent, was truthfully the best he's been in years. I was very happy as was my mom (his daughter) and his old commander and friend T. Smith. I was able to talk to both of them, T. being an A-20 pilot during the war and my grandfather much of a mystery to me. Although he can't remember much in a critical thinking manner, he can remember many detailed yes or no questions and iterate to an extent. I already knew he flew the CBI (China-Burma-India) theatre and flew the "Hump" many times. I also knew he ferried aircraft all over the United States during the war (or was that after??). He even flew in the Berlin Airlift (transporting fuel he recalled). But I just found out a few days ago he flew B-24's out of England on bombing missions during the war! I was very shocked to say the least, and he could remember quite a bit. He could remember he was never attacked by the german jet fighters, only 109's and 190's. He remembers the battle damage to the tail section after a fighter attack. He even remembers losing an engine on a mission! But anyway, I know ribbons are unique and could shed light on his military careers chronology: what, where, and when. I was wondering if anybody here could help. I'll try and post pictures but if remote linking is not possible could you please see the link below to view the pictures.

http://forum.surfermag.com/photopost/data/505/79Ribbons-med.JPG

http://forum.surfermag.com/photopost/data/505/79Jacket-med.JPG

http://forum.surfermag.com/photopost/data/505/79Chinese-med.JPG

Link (http://forum.surfermag.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=533080&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1)

"A6?http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gifhttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gifhttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Will be A6!"

halfcut
08-07-2004, 02:15 AM
ba..bump.

Sorry I don't know anything myself but it deserves a bump http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Good Luck.

Freycinet
08-07-2004, 02:41 AM
Would this page be helpful?:

http://www.defenselink.mil/specials/ribbons/AirForce1.html

Freycinet
08-07-2004, 02:46 AM
So, I see, from ledft to right, 3 medals per row):
Distinguished Flying Cross,
Air Medal (with two things studded on),
American Defense Service Medal,
Army/Navy Occupation Service Medal (maybe plane pin denoting air force?),
Medal for Humane Action (Berlin airlift),
national defense service medal,
American Campaign Medal (though colours seem in wrong order),
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal,
World War II Victory Medal.

I know notihng of medals, but found the info here:
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5614/

On that page you can search out the info regarding each medal.

(thanks Google...)

[This message was edited by Freycinet on Sat August 07 2004 at 02:02 AM.]

[This message was edited by Freycinet on Sat August 07 2004 at 02:04 AM.]

[This message was edited by Freycinet on Sat August 07 2004 at 02:23 AM.]

F19_Ob
08-07-2004, 03:06 AM
Sorry I have no clue about the military awards.
I just wanted to say that U should write everything down or record it.

My own father was born 1913 and fought in the Finnish winterwar and wounded. I was too young to learn his story from him before he died, and had to research when I was older. I got lots of info from my mother ( still do) when I asked the right questions. I also found out that she, my mother( 9 years at the time) saw many heavy battles, bomings and strafings by russian planes (Too close). She saw hitler visit mannerheim in a rail-boxcar at the station in Putikko. My uncle (only 14 at the time) was an ordonance an ran all over the battlefields and between the trenches with messages, he learned to run fast, escorted by enemy machinegunfire .I got lots of amazing stories just by asking a few questions.

I Cant think of a greater tribute to any person than writing down episodes from their lives.
http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

ElfunkoI
08-07-2004, 03:14 AM
I found em all here (http://www.gruntsmilitary.com/airforib.shtml). Theres 3 campaigns in the asiatic-pacific area, one stateside, even a few on the berlin airlift. I don't see a European Theatre ribbon though, odd I think.

"The American Defense Service Medal was awarded to personnel for active duty service from 8 September 1939 to 7 December 1941 for a period of twelve months or longer."

So was he active duty before Pearl Harbor? I'll try and get another photo for you guys before bed. Is there any way to see military records on the web? Search those B-24 squadrons records?

"A6?http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gifhttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gifhttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Will be A6!"

Edit: Heres picture from his training.

http://forum.surfermag.com/photopost/data/505/79training-med.JPG

SKIDRO_79FS
08-07-2004, 03:17 AM
I believe the awards shown are: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal With 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, American Defense Medal, Army of The Occupation Medal w/ Berlin Airlift Device,Medal For Humane Action, National Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal(?), Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Stars (Multiple Awards of Same Medal), World War Two Victory Medal.

If you really want to uncover his military career you need to get ahold of a copy of his records. Check here:
http://members.aol.com/dadswar/
For info on how to do that and for other places to search.

http://server6.uploadit.org/files/SKIDRO-signatureimg.jpg
VICTORY BY VALOR, GENTLEMEN TO THE END

Freycinet
08-07-2004, 03:20 AM
On this page I learned about the wings (th ones above the ribbons):
http://www.ww2wings.com/wings/usaaf/usaafcommandpilot.shtml

His wings are USAAF wings. The star with a ribbon around it denotes Command pilot. (Senior pilots only have the star+wings, pilots only have the wings)

Snuffy Smith
08-07-2004, 03:45 AM
To avoid confusion I'll repeat list given above with a little more info:

Senior Command Pilot wings
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal with 2 Oakleaf Clusters (3 awards)
American Defense Medal
Army of Occupation Medal with Berlin Airlift pin
Medal for Humain Action (Berlin Airlift Medal)
National Defense Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asia Pacific Campaign Medal with 3 campaign stars.
WW2 Victory Medal
Republic of China Pilot's Wings

There are no WW2 European campaign ribbons. With the number of campaign stars that suggests he spent all his WW2 service in the American and Asia Pacific Theatres. Rank insignia is Major, US Air Force. Chinese wings would be worn on right breast above pocket.

"I wanted wings till I got the gosh darned things; now I don't want'em anymore."
I just want the peek-a-boo blonde.
http://mysite.verizon.net/res7kxfm/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/lakeveronicasalute231.jpg

[This message was edited by Snuffy Smith on Sat August 07 2004 at 02:54 AM.]

ElfunkoI
08-07-2004, 12:10 PM
The Euro Theatre is missing, but so is everything past the Berlin Airlift. Theres no ribbons for his Kc130 days, his time spent in Alaska, or even his service during Korea. One of the ribbons covers the timeslot of Korea, but only one of em and it's not theatre specific (and covers the time right after WWII, ie. Berlin Airlift). Is it possible this is not the entirety of his ribbons? I will ask if he has his discharge papers, but I don't think I will find them. He simply couldn't remember something so insignificant.

"A6?http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gifhttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gifhttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Will be A6!"

gates123
08-07-2004, 12:49 PM
I wish my grandfather was still around so I can milk him for details, I was just a little kid when he would tell me we shot down alot of those japs. Back then I just didn't grasp it like i do now. Soon they will all be gone along with their wild stories.

http://www.fightingcolors.com/custompagestuff/b17visibility72.jpg
Did anyone see that or was it just me?

Friendly_flyer
08-07-2004, 01:00 PM
The picture from the training shows an AT-6 Texan (called "Harvard" over here) in the common paint sceme of an US trainer. It seems to be marked "118" in rather singular lettering. Perhaps that could be a starting point?

Do you have any other of his pictures, showing even bits and pieces of airplanes? There are some _very_ knowledgable folks around here!

Fly friendly!

Petter Bøckman
Norway

ElfunkoI
08-08-2004, 12:58 AM
I have a picture of him and a crew of about 10 infront of their behemoth of an airplane (well really on the side, and you see the side of the aircraft and the bottom of probably half the wing), but these pictures are in to get cleaned up and copies made, so they aren't in my posession just yet. But if anyone wants to froth at the mouth, just some of the aircraft he's flown are:
P-36 P-38 P-39 P-40 P-47 P-51 P-63
A-20 B-17 B-24.....

I asked him about the P-39 and he said he didn't like it that much. When I told him some called it the Iron Dog he laughed (not common), and I explained to him how the center of gravity was off (something he probably knew but forgot since the stroke). He LOVED the P-38, said it was powerful and fast. Loved speed, he built racecars before the war and could fix his own airplane many times (and this came in handy). He even made his own motor scooter thing that he rode to work (in the USAF) that went 70+ mph (tested in race on freeway against T. Smith, he backed down "because ol' George wasn't gonna stop till he killed himself").

"A6?http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gifhttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gifhttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Will be A6!"

Freycinet
08-09-2004, 12:05 PM
Re: "Need help with grandfathers life story...."

BTW, Elfunko: you're welcome.

DrDave242
08-09-2004, 12:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Freycinet:
American Campaign Medal (though colours seem in wrong order)
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The ribbon on the uniform is upside-down. This only makes a difference on the non-symmetrical ribbons, obviously.

---
There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who can count in binary, and those who can't.

HL callsign: FruitPieJones
Today is a good day for pie.

h009291
08-09-2004, 12:29 PM
Also ... here are the pictures of these medals (out of my personal collection):

Distinguished Flying Cross:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v22/h009291/DistinguishedFlyingCrossObverse.jpg

Air Medal:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v22/h009291/AirMedalObverse.jpg

American Defence Service Medal:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v22/h009291/AmericanDefenseServiceMedalObverse.jpg

Army Occupation Medal:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v22/h009291/WorldWarIIOccupationMedal-ArmyVersionObverse.jpg

Humanitarian Service Medal:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v22/h009291/HumanitarianServiceMedalObverse.jpg

National Defence Service Medal:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v22/h009291/NationalDefenseServiceMedalObverse.jpg

American Campaign Medal:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v22/h009291/AmericanCampaignMedalObverse.jpg

Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v22/h009291/Asiatic-PacificCampaignMedalObverse.jpg

WW2 Victory Medal:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v22/h009291/UnitedStatesWW2VictoryMedalObverse.jpg

The USAF Uniform Wing Insignia:

* The one above the ribbons is a:
"Command Pilot Wings" - Initial Criteria for this rating was 15 years of flying service and 2000 flying hours. later Qualification for this rating was determined by an examination of total service time (10, 15, 20 years), flying time (2000 or 3000 hours), and formation time.

*The one in your hand ... couldn't find it. Maybe a badge indicating squadron or flight group? Don't know http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Hope that helps ! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

http://www.medals.org.uk/united-kingdom/images/uk654.jpg

[This message was edited by h009291 on Mon August 09 2004 at 11:37 AM.]

[This message was edited by h009291 on Mon August 09 2004 at 11:42 AM.]

DrDave242
08-09-2004, 01:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by h009291:
*The one in your hand ... couldn't find it. Maybe a badge indicating squadron or flight group? Don't know http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm going with Republic of China pilot's wings, as suggested by Snuffy Smith. They're very similar to the ones here:

http://www.ww2wings.com/wings/china/chinapilot.shtml

I don't know what the "thingie" above the Chinese insignia is, though.

---
There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who can count in binary, and those who can't.

HL callsign: FruitPieJones
Today is a good day for pie.

h009291
08-09-2004, 01:35 PM
Ahhhh .... you could very well be very close there DrDave242.

Forgot the mention of this pilot flying "the Hump" in Burma-India. That would definitely put him in close proximity of working with the Chinese http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

http://www.medals.org.uk/united-kingdom/images/uk654.jpg