Related to my previous post, here is another one of those great connections that this website helps make possible. In 2019, I was contacted by reader, with the following story:
“My uncle, 2LT Thomas E. Cartmell, was a pilot with the 417th NFS in March and April of 1945. I have had the opportunity to read, photograph, transcribe and compile the 343 letters he wrote to his sister, his parents, and his girlfriend (later wife) during his wartime experience. The letters chronicle his training, from preflight through transitioning to the P-61 Black Widow.
He was assigned as a replacement pilot to the the 417th, joining them at LaVallon in March, 1945. He moved with them to St. Dizier, and then to Giebelstadt, Gerrmany.
On April 26th, 1945, Tom and his RO 2LT Hal Anderson were shot down and killed by friendly fire over the Dillingen Bridgehead. It was their first and only combat mission. ”
Dr. Hughey has compiled the collected letters and created a beautiful website to honor the memories and tell the story of a young man who went off to war, but did not return. I have placed a permanent link to “2LT Thomas E. Cartmell USAAF-A Young Man Off to War” on the Letters, Diaries and Tributes page of the 417th-nightfighters website.
Alternative, you can click here, and go directly to Dr. Hughey’s website .