2 Updates: Photos of 2nd Lt. Samuel Russell and Diary of Sgt. Lyle J. Montbriand

Two updates to share with everyone.

2nd Lt Samuel Russell

In May of this year, I was contacted by a young Frenchman who had found the Military Certificate for Lt. Samuel Russell, a member of the 414th who was transferred to the 417th in 1944.   Unfortunately, the information on the card was in such terrible condition that as soon as it dried out it was impossible to read anymore.

Despite this setback, the young man hoped I would have more information on Sam’s time in the war and perhaps a photo.

The 417th Illustrated History only had a few mentions of Sam but no photos.  But, as luck and perseverance would have it, I located an email and physical address for Sam in one of the lists my father kept.  I wrote and emailed these addresses in the hopes that someone would respond.

Earlier this month, I heard back from Sam’s son and wife.  They were kind enough to supply two photos of Sam during his time in the war.  I hope to hear more about Sam’s time and share it with you.

Samuel Russell. Member of the 414th NFS. Transferred to the 417th in 1944.
Sam Russell (on right) with Bob Perkins (2nd on right). Others unknown.

These photos have been added to the Faces of the 417th page.  Scroll down to the end of the first gallery of photos.

Sam passed away in November of 2021 and was likely the last surviving member of the 417th.  I thank him for his service and his family for sharing these photos with us.

Lyle J Montbriand – A Soldier’s Diary

I wrote a teaser about this quite awhile ago.  It took me 8 months, but I got there.  I am happy to report that I have published  the War Diary of Sgt. Lyle James Montbriand.  The diary was supplied by his son, Randall.

Lyle was a member of the original 417th when it was formed in Kissimmee and traveled extensively with the squadron.  When he joined up, he was issued a diary where he kept photos from his early training days and on thru to the end of his tour in Germany.

To learn more about Lyle’s journey and see the images he captured during his time with the 417th, head to the Letters, Diaries and Tributes page and scroll down to the Diaries section.  Lyle’s story is below the diary for David Diehl.