Austin P Byrne
Operations Officer
857th Bomb Squadron
492nd Bomb Group
Donation made by
Brian P Byrne
Blogs  (Updates, insights and ramblings from Alejandro Mena and his Team) . . .
Posted Friday, February 7, 2020 by Alejandro Mena    

A word from the kids...

A note from the recent archives.

Sometimes, I'll write a draft for a Facebook post and for whatever reason, will decline to post it. Who knows? Maybe I got busy and planned to come back and do some more editing and just forgot the post. Regardless, I found this in my files today and think it would make a good blogpost. Enjoy!

May 5, 2019

Yesterday was one of those days where you know the Universe is in rare form. The Universe giveth and The Universe taketh away. At about 3:15pm I received an disappointing email from another potential donor who declined to help us fund CREW 713. That was bad. Then about 30 minutes later, another email came in with much better news. We had asked history teacher Kevin Starnes, who teaches at JJ Pierce High School in Richardson, to screen our trailer and an 8 minute demo to his students. This past week, he showed the clips to over 130 history seniors, (these are all students in college-level US History Classes, either AP or Dual Enrollment).  We had a list of five-six questions so that we could gauge their reactions to the videos.

What did you know about the bomber air wars of WWII prior to seeing these videos?

Did it interest you?

How did the animation help move the story forward?

Did you like the animation?

What didn't you like about the animation?

What was your overall impressions about the videos? 

I must say, the answers blew me away. We're definitely on the right track, and that's a good thing. You see, one of our goals in making this film was to use it as a teaching aid in middle schools, high schools and colleges.  Overall, the kids really liked the videos, they liked the animation (with a few exceptions-but that's OK, art isn't supposed to satisfy everyone) and we are encouraged to keep moving forward with the production of our film, regardless of funding or not.

Damn the torpedoes. Straight ahead.  We are very close to finishing a complete edit of ACT I of CREW 713.  When done, we'll put on our selling caps and hit the pavement, looking for distribution and completion funding.

When my father was dying in 2007, I made a promise to him that I would make this film about his bomber crew. We are so close. He flew 30 missions in 1944. My mission in 2020 and beyond is to remember him and his crewmates & all the brave souls who served in the bloody 492nd Bomb Group (H).

We'll get there.  An interesting cap to that day was attending the screening of the WWII bomber documentary film, "The Cold Blue" I was impressed and blown away by this film. And watching films like this inspire me to keep moving with CREW 713.  And remember this, those guys flying in those drafty and unpredictable B24s and B17s were fighting Nazis 75 years ago and now those goddam sons of bitches are back, marching in the streets of America! Eternal Vigilance my friend, Eternal Vigilance.  

Special thank you to my friend Margaret Starnes for the introduction to her husband Kevin. Thank you Margaret and Kevin!  Your kids' responses were exactly what we needed to see and read.  They inspire us to keep on going.

Alejandro Mena
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