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Collection George Durnford Jr.
WVM ID Number OH 110
Object Name Oral History
Title Oral History Interview with George Durnford
Date 2000
Event World War II
Narrator's Name George Durnford
Interviewer's Name James McIntosh
Description In this oral history interview, George Durnford, Jr., a Richland Center, Wisconsin native, discusses his World War II service as a B-17 navigator with the 725th Bomb Squadron.

Durnford talks about enlisting in the Army Air Corps, basic training at Sheppard Field (Texas), and flight training in Texas. He tells of washing out during advanced flight training and being reassigned to navigation training at Monroe (Louisiana). Durnford reflects on putting extra effort into navigational training because he was afraid of washing out again. Assigned to a B-17 in the 775th Squadron, 463rd Bomb Group, he speaks of being shipped to Foggia (Italy). Durnford touches on his first mission to Linz (Austria) and describes missions in general: mission length, use of turret guns, and anti-aircraft fire. He details his participation in the Berlin Air Raid, when his plane was heavily damaged. Wounded in the arm on the raid, he details medical treatment on the plane, emergency landing in Yugoslavia, and his long healing process at various hospitals in Italy and the United States. He expresses gratitude for the doctor who saved his arm.

Durnford relates only keeping in touch with the crew's pilot over the years, using the GI Bill to attend Beloit College, working several years in finance before returning to school for his teaching degree, and receiving retirement pay from the Air Force. Durnford reflects on his silver star citation giving him more credit than he feels he deserves for navigating to Yugoslavia while wounded.
Extent and Medium of Description Analog video recording: 1 VHS tape (approx. 32 minutes)
Transcript: 25 pgs.
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Biographical Record Durnford, George