Charles Bastien
Grettum/Nelson Crew 714
492nd Bomb Group
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daughter Anne B Petersen
Blogs  (Updates, insights and ramblings from Alejandro Mena and his Team) . . .
Posted Friday, October 15, 2010 by Alejandro Mena    

An Update on John D. McCarthy

As I mentioned in my last entry, I had finally located the family of Gerald "Barney" Edwards. Barney was the tail gunner on CREW 713.

Energized by my recent success in locating the Edwards family, I turned my vast sleuthing skills to locating the family of John D. McCarthy. McCarthy was the left waist gunner, he and Edward Picard manned the .50 callibre waist guns for CREW 713 through the deadly skies of Europe and Germany. A bitter cold air blew in on them constantly as they manned their positions. A tough job, but these were a couple of tough guys.

What I had on McCarthy was something but not enough. McCarthy is a pretty common name and trying to isolate just the name John McCarthy in a white pages search is pretty hard! You get a lot of hits!

I have recently been helped by the New Jersey Historical Society and the Newark Public Library. The Newark Star Ledger pitched in with some helpful numbers as well. I've also been assisted by an obscure passage/memorial on the WWII Memorial website. I located a vague reference to a John D. McCarthy which placed his hometown in Titusville, PA. Quite a ways from New Jersey. I thought, 'well maybe he moved there after the war'. The Titusville Herald and the Benson Memorial Library have been trying to help as well. They were unable to locate the mystery McCarthy from Pennsylvania. But were able to refer me to another McCarthy born in 1923 who passed in 2003 and who died in Connecticut. So there I went as well.

It's a fascinating puzzle to have to solve. I've got libraries and local historians looking for information on this person in 3 different states. The one thing I've found is people are so friendly and willing to help me. I'm very encouraged. I'm hoping to write a new blog declaring that John D. McCarthy OR his family have been found.

A few thank you's are in order. To Karen at the Benson Memorial Library in Titusville, PA. To James and Dierdre at the Newark Public Library. Vanessa at the Newark Star Ledger. The lovely ladies at the Newark Historical Society. Local historian Karl Burrows in New Jersey. and to 492nd cousin Paul Keperling in Philadelphia,PA. Thanks for all your help.

Take care,

Alejandro Mena
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