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Stacy, Russell C.

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Russell C. Stacy Papers

1918-1945
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1106

When drafted into the Army Air Corps in late December 1942, Russell Stacy (1922-2009) was as apprentice at the General Electric plant in Pittsfield, Mass., and was pursuing an engineering degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Training for active duty aboard the new B-29 Superfortress, it was not until April 1944 that planes were ready for operations, at which point Staff Sgt. Stacy became the central fire control gunner on the plane “Totin’ to Tokyo.” As part of the 793d Squadron, 468th Bomb Group, 20th Bomber Command, he was based in Kharagpur, India, with a forward base on Chengdu, China, and took part in bombing raids throughout southeast Asia, including the first mission to bomb Japan from China in July 1944. The logistical challenges of operating from China led the Air Corps to abandon the base in Jan. 1945, at which time Stacy returned to the United States for additional training. After the war’s end, he continued as a draftsman at GE, later working as an engineer in New England and Virginia for nearly forty years.

Writing home consistently throughout the war at least once a week, Stacy left a remarkably dense and thorough record of his service. Beginning at the point of his induction, the letters provide discussions of training to become a B-29 gunner; his time in India and China; bombing raids over Japan and Sumatra, and China; and his return to the States for additional training. Well written, though somewhat lacking in detail due to censorship, the collection provides a valuable perspective on a crew members’ experience in the China-Burma-India theater. The great majority of letters were written by Stacy to his mother, however some were addressed to his grandmother, and there are a few items relating to his parents’ experience during the First World War when his father served as an ambulance driver and his mother as a Red Cross nurse.

Gift of Amantha Moore, Nov. 2019.

Subjects

United States. Army. Air Corps. Bombardment Group, 468thWorld War, 1939-1945--India

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