Frederick Hellenga
Pilot,
Hellenga Crew
5th Air Force
90th Bomb Group
Donation made by
Marianna and Gary Hellenga
Blogs  (Updates, insights and ramblings from Alejandro Mena and his Team) . . .
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 by Alejandro Mena    

On the Trail of Gerald 'Barney' Edwards, Part 1

As most of you know, I have been on this journey for over 2 years now. During this time I have made many new friends and associations whose help has been invaluable to my research for the making of "CREW 713".

One of the best sources of information about the crew and their bomb group is through personal photos, letters and other memorabilia that the men themselves collected or sent. In the case of CREW 713, all of the men are now confirmed deceased. The only possible exception to this is Left Waist Gunner John D. McCarthy who I have been completely unable to locate. Or any of his family for that matter.

Today, I sent an email to the local history writer for the Akron Beacon Journal. I knew that Barney had died in Akron in 2001, I even knew his date of death. What was missing was an obituary and possible information of next of kin. A very quick reply from editor Mark Price with the Journal yielded immediate results. He sent me Barney's obituary and a phone number for his brother Jerry.

I called Jerry Edwards. He promptly hung up on me. He thought I was selling something. I had to laugh. Then I called him back. I hurriedly introduced myself. He was kind enough to give me his sister, Donna Hardin's number.

I placed a call with her moments ago and left a message. and that's where we are right now.

As soon as I have more news to report, I will update this blog. I'm very happy to have located his family.

Be well,

Alejandro Mena
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