Local

February 8, 2019
 

Local hero honored

Tags:
Dennis Anderson
special to Aerotech News

Sr. Chief Master Sgt. Roosevelt Jones,Charles Rader, Brig. Gen. Ernest “Dragon” Teichert.

On a mission in December1944, Charles “Charlie” Rader, was top turret gunner, one of a 10-man crew on a B-17 heavy bomber from the “Rum Hounds” Squadron, flying out of Foggia, Italy, with the 15th Air Force.

A citation awarded to Rader, 98, describes how Rader, while wounded and bleeding, stayed at his guns and drove a Nazi Me-109 away from the heavily battle-damaged aircraft. Rader dropped from his turret that had been shattered by the Luftwaffe fighter. He moved all the way forward, disregarding his wounds, and assisted the pilot in locating a field to crash land. Rader went aft, “I opened the rear door, and we got everybody out. We saw some of the meanest looking people I’ve ever seen.” Adding, “Armed? Weapons? Yes! They were partisans, with Tito.”

The partisans were fighting the Nazis too. In other words they were “friendlies” and had a field hospital near that “boulder strewn field” where the crew crash-landed after leaking fuel and losing three out of four engines. The B-17 Flying Fortress could take a licking and keep on ticking.

All crew, even the badly wounded nose gunner survived, and were exfiltrated by a Royal Navy ship.

Marine Jerry Lawrence, Bob Alvis, USAF, MCL 930 Commandant Chris Chandler. — with Jerry Lawrence, Bob Alvis and Chris Chandler.

Cut forward three quarters of a century. On Feb. 2, 2019, Brig. Gen. Ernest “Dragon” Teichert, commander of the 412th Test Wing at Edwards Ari Force Base, Calif., arrived at a Lancaster skilled nursing facility, to recognize Rader’s service. He was joined by Command Chief Master Sgt. Roosevelt Jones.

“It’s an honor to meet you, and you are what the Air Force is all about,” Teichert told Rader.

“Well, I’m glad I was here to enjoy this,” Rader said.

Rader was joined by his son, David, and about a dozen family friends and veterans.

David Rader, Son, Tech Sgt. Charles Rader, Army veteran, Dennis Anderson

Rader was recognized as part of a volunteer project — “You Are Not Forgotten” — initiated by Marine Corps veteran Jerry Lawrence. The Certificate of Recognition was produced by Lawrence and his associate, John Wallasky, a hospice chaplain.

An Army Air Corps cake was baked and decorated by Adriana Hancock, wife of wounded warrior and Iraq War veteran Jerral Hancock.

Attending in support included Air Force Sgt. Bob Alvis, U.S. Air Force recruiter Staff Sgt. Steven D. Whalen, Chris Chandler, commandant Detachment 930, Marine Corps League, veterans Lawrence and Dennis Anderson, Army sergeant during the Cold War, and Iraq War Embed with California National Guard Unit first into Iraq, 1498th T.C.

Rader, Alvis notes, is one of the 722 “Boulevard Boys,” The Greatest Generation veterans who went out to help win World War II. Their exploits are recounted in fine history book, written, edited and compiled by Antelope Valley historian Dayle DeBry — General Manager Lancaster Cemetery.
 

Brig. Gen. Ernest “Dragon Teichert and Sr. Chief Master Sgt. Roosevelt Jones

 

Awards, Decorations Greatest Generation Vet Charles Rader




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Historic experimental airplane lost in crash

A one-of-a-kind 1940s-vintage experimental airplane crashed shortly after noon on April 22, killing the pilot. The Northrop N9MB was the sole remaining example of its type, one of four subscale technology demonstrators built du...
 
 

Headlines – April 24, 2019

News Armed Mexican soldiers confronted US soldiers on US soil – Two U.S. soldiers in a remote area of Texas were confronted by Mexican soldiers who thought the Americans had crossed into Mexico, U.S. officials said April 23. The Mexican troops reportedly removed a weapon from the American soldier who was armed.   Trump administration...
 
 

News Briefs – April 24, 2019

Boeing prepares plant for likely Air Force F-15 orders Boeing is preparing to build F-15 fighter planes for the U.S. Air Force at its St. Louis County plant even though the military branch hasn’t bought the jet in over a decade. The Chicago-based company began ramping up its F-15 production line in St. Louis after...