I’ve added a new page with details on the Inactivation and Redesignation of the 417th NFS ceremony that was held in December of 1993. You can see the post here.
I am also looking for any members of Dick McCray’s family or extended family. I have a box of photos which look to be originals that I found in my father’s collection and would like to return to them. If you have any information that would help please get in touch via the contacts page.
Received a request the other day thru this site for information on William Work – a member of the 417th. This request came from his grandson, but unfortunately, the email contact that he left looks to be incorrect as it bounced. So, I am posting here in the hopes that Joshua will see this and get in contact again.
I found a few references and a photo on William Work from the 417 NFS Illustrated History Chapter 4 pages 40-87. It seems William Work joined the 417th in October/November of 1944 as part of a replacement crew arriving from the 419th(?). Here is a group photo of crew that arrived. The caption on the photo indicates that William is 3rd from the left in the front row.
I believe William Work was a radar operator.
Another photo I found was titled “Condon and Willie Work @ LeVallon” and I assume the reference is to Bob Condon and William Work (in back).
That’s it so far, but I will keep searching the archives for any additional info on William. If anyone else has anything to add in this story, give me a shout!
Joshua, if you’re reading this, you can contact me directly at email@example.com.
John “Woody” Grange served in WWII as a pilot in the 417th. He passed away in 2003, but prior to that, John was interviewed by his nephew about his experience with the 417th and the war. John’s nephew got in touch with me recently and provided me with access to the video story he created from the interview.
To watch the interview, go to the Video Stories page, or click on the link below which will bring you directly to the interview on You Tube.
Another visitor to this site contacted me with some historical information on one of the 417th members, Thaddeus C. Kulpinski. I got in touch with the reader and he provided me a copy of a Christmas Greeting card that Thaddeus sent to his parents.
Thaddeus, “Ted”, Kulpinski was an RO and an original member of the 417th NFS. Here he is in a group photo of the original members…
…And a shot of him from when he was in prep school prior to the war.
Hello readers – I’ve been away on holiday for a bit and while I was away, I received a request from a reader who is looking to contact any relatives of Clarence K Fuller. Clarence died in action on 1/20/1944 and was part of the 417th Night Fighter group.
If you can help, please drop me an email via the contacts page on this website and I will put you in touch with the person who made the inquiry.
Found two more gems in my father’s collection of Night Fighter memories. He saved two “memory books”, one each from the 1994 WWII Night Fighters Convention in Norfolk, VA and the 2000 convention in Salt Lake City. Both books contained photos of each attendee, spouses, group squadron photos and general photos of the activities at the convention. I’ve posted both of these memory books in two new galleries under Photo and Videos Gallery Menu or you can click on this link:
It is with great sadness that I am announcing the passing of another 417th NFS member, Earl “Sleepy” Hissett. He died on Thursday, January 10th, 2019. His funeral was held on January 12th. He is survived by his lovely wife Jo.
Earl was a member of the original 417th squadron. He was a mechanic and worked on the Beaufighter and P-61 engines. Rumor has it that he lied about his age so that he could join the war at the tender age of 16.
Earl tells a bit of his story on this video from the 2007 417th NFS reunion in Reading PA. Fittingly, he is standing in front of one of the P-61s that he worked on. In this video you will also hear the story behind his nickname “Sleepy”.
As far as I am aware, Earl was the last living member of the 417th and while his passing means the end of an era, I will do my best to continue to honor his service and those of his colleagues thru this website. Rest in Peace Sleepy.
Yes, it has been awhile since I last posted an update on this site. On this, the 1 year anniversary of my father’s passing, I decided that the best thing I could do to honor him is to go thru the many 417th items I brought home with me and build a few new updates on the website.
I chose to start with the Reunion photos. Keeping the 417th NFS alive in people’s memories was more than a hobby for my dad. It was a passion. He and my mother put in countless hours organizing the reunions. It was hard work but they loved every minute of it. The photos and other memorabilia from the reunions are a testament to this. I hope you will find a grandparent, parent, or fond friend somewhere in these photos and I hope it brings you joy even if they are no longer with us. It certainly did this for me.
My father, Richard Ziebart (417th NFS), passed away peacefully on Wednesday afternoon, Jan 10th, and his wife, Lorraine, joined him today. As sad as their passing is, I am happy that they were able to join each other in the last chapter of their journey.
I’m sure there’s a 417th NFS reunion being planned in heaven as I write this.
It is with a heavy heart that I writing to notify the followers of this website, particularly members of the 417th NFS family, that my father, to whom I dedicated this site, is in ill health and will likely be going into his Lord’s arms very soon. Your thoughts and prayers for a peaceful journey on this, his last flight are welcome.