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> Cantacuzino / James A Gunn III Mistery, Help Needed
alexkdl
Posted: December 29, 2004 04:03 pm
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It is known to most of us on this forum, that Cantacuzino flew out Lt Col.James A.Gunn III out of the Roumanian POW detention hidden on his BF.109 fuselage to Foggia. How and when was Lt Col.James Gunn III shot down over Ploesti bombing ?

According to the various books and data I have , the history records that during the TIDALWAVE , the aircraft called " PRINCE CHARMING " was commanded by 2nd Lt or Lt.James A.Gunn III whose entire crew including him , was KIA over Bulgaria shot down by the Bulgarian Air Force ace Stoyan Stoyanow.....only the tail gunner of thar Liberator has POW survived . At that time James A Gunn III was a 2nd leutenant or a Lt. and not Lt.Colonel

So who was Lt . Col.James A.Gunn III brought back by Cantacuzino to Foggia Air Base to the Americans ?? when was James A. Gunn shot down over Ploesti ? are we talking about an other B-24 pilot with 100% name similarity to the one of the PRINCE CHARMING of the TIDALWAVE raid or is he indeed one and the same ? or do all the books I have at my end contain wrong details ? If indeed he was the one of the PRINCE CHARMING, how could he be promoted in less than 12 months during his POW detention in Roumania from Leutenant to Lt.Col ( jump 3 - 4 rank scales ) ? The photo bellow shows the toasting Cantacuzino and Gunn upon their arrival in Foggia Air Base on Aug 27, 1944.

Your with details and photos as well help will be greatly appreciated

Alex

This post has been edited by alexkdl on January 13, 2005 12:24 pm

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alexkdl
Posted: December 29, 2004 04:17 pm
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This is "Buzu " BF-109G upon arrival at Air Base in Foggia who brought James A.Gunn III back to his troops. The ME-109 is shown marked with a great US flag on the fuselage and Army Air Force Star on the wings. Courtesy " ESCAPE FROM PLOESTI " and Maxwell AFB

Al

This post has been edited by alexkdl on December 29, 2004 09:18 pm

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alexkdl
Posted: December 29, 2004 04:20 pm
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Bellow is the photo of the "BUZU" ME-109G open fusselage hatch where Lt Col.Col.James A.Gunn III was air flown to Air Base in Foggia. Courtesy " ESCAPE FROM PLOESTI " a US Army Air Force officer pilot is checking the tight place Gunn was flown in from Roumania. James A Gunn III was a B-24 Pilot showt down over Ploesti...though who was he ?????

Al

This post has been edited by alexkdl on December 29, 2004 09:20 pm

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C-2
Posted: December 29, 2004 09:00 pm
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JUst talked with Gen Dobran,who was also at Popesti Leordeni the Day Bazu flew to Foggia.
He never saw them ,since he was on the other side,about 2 km dist.
He said that as far as he know,Gunn lll,was supossed to fly in a Savoia bomber.
Everything was secret including the painting of the 109.
Dobran could not remember why the 109 was choosen insted of the Savoia but to my answer f Bazu(Dobran's best men )talked about the flight,the answer was that he talked a lot about the enthusiasm and the worm welcome they recieved in Italy.
The coincidence of the names interests him too.
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Victor
Posted: December 29, 2004 09:16 pm
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The JRS-79B1 no. 230 flown by lt. cdor. av. Constantin Perju, CO of the 1st (or was it the of the 2nd? ) Bomber Group did indeed take off towards Foggia with Gunn onboard, but returned after 3 hours because of engine problems.
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alexkdl
Posted: December 29, 2004 10:06 pm
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Victor here is what is being described about Gunn departure to Foggia.

He was permitted by the Roumanian Minister of Defense a deal cut between him Red Cross and Ministry of Defense of Roumania on Aug 25th 1944 to make radio contact with 15th AF in Bari in order that they know the Germans started to aim at the POW barracks by air . The ARR loaned him a crew of 3-engined Savoia which was in a misserable shape to fly to Foggia but returned after 30 minutes back to Popesti on AUg 26th as the aircraft developed engine problems and was forced to divert to Bucharest , where he met " Buzu " . On Aug 27 at 5:20 pm at ME-109 flown by a ARR pilot with a stuffed American POW on the radio bay of the MR took off from Bucharest . Gunn was literally for 2 1/ 2 hours in dark the whole way until he heard the 109 landing gear touched down and rolled out . They were sourrounded by a lot of people with guns and the roumanian pilot told them " I have a surprise for you " He asked for a screwdriver and opened the radio compartment. When it was opened a booted foot popped out, than an other and was immediately recognised by at least one man as Lt Col. Gunn.........Bellow the Cantacuzino ME-109 a better view


Alex

This post has been edited by alexkdl on January 13, 2005 12:25 pm

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alexkdl
Posted: December 29, 2004 10:17 pm
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I also note that BUZU undertook great risks to return to Bucharest in formation with 2 other P-51's just two days after landing in Foggia, in order to verify the status of the Popesti airfield( the two american pilots were secretly given the order to shoot him down should he behave suspicious) in order to enable the transport of an OSS coordination radio personnel to Bucharest to establish a point to point communication with 15th AF in Barri. Thanks to Buzu, Gunn was salvaged and the lives of 1100 american airmen were saved.......after the war Buzu haven't been commended by US Congress for saving somany American lives unlike Princess Caraja who helpped the down american airmen after Tidalwave and was commended with a US Congress medal when she immigrated to US and it remains a puzzle to me on why the US Government meant to be so mean with Buzu Cantacuzino who was not only a great pilot but a great Roumanian hero !!!! Right on the photo is James A Gunn years later .
Alex

PS : I must presume that the Russians didnt like the idea of Buzu being commended by the Americans who were still allied with the Americans and having him decorated , due to the many Russian pilots shot down by him during the early stages of the war

This post has been edited by alexkdl on January 13, 2005 12:26 pm

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Dénes
Posted: December 30, 2004 05:09 am
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On Aug. 17, Lt. Col. James A. Gunn, commander of the 454th Bomb Group, led his B-24s on a strike to Ploesti. Four of the eight bombers in his lead squadron were shot down by flak.
Gunn and all but one of his crew parachuted safely and were captured immediately by the Rumanians.

James Gunn retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 1967, and in mid-1990s he was living in San Antonio, Texas.

Gen. Dénes

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alexkdl
Posted: December 30, 2004 07:30 am
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Denes

Many thanks for the feedback......I still have a problem with the striking name similarities and the theather of operations of the Gunn names ! So Lt James A. Gunn III pilot in command of PRINCE CHARMING and his crew were shot down by Stoyan Stoyanowich over Bulgaria on the outbound Tidalwave leg , and exactly almost a year later an other James A. Gun III also a B-24 pilot and also over Ploesti , also member of the 15th AF would be shot down over Roumania ! Its sounds to me like a real science fictions ....same names, same aircraft types , same bombing areas , same destinies etc etc .......were you historian guys aware about these commedy of name similarities ?

Also please let me know on why only Buzu managed to live Roumania without a problem to Spain and none of his mates of the Grp 9 De Vanatoare or other sqd mates ever were given the chances and privilges Buzu got ?

Also were the Communist Roumanian / Soviet installed regime against his commendment by the Americations ? Thanks in advance


Bellow on the photo the Roumanian POW Admin Building in Bucharest
Al

This post has been edited by alexkdl on January 13, 2005 12:28 pm

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C-2
Posted: December 30, 2004 06:50 pm
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Alex,there were many defections during those days.
Dicesare also tried but too late.
Bazu was the personal pilot of Ana Pauker,and in one trip to switzerland,he defected.
I'll tell you a story ,thet I alredy told before you joined .
Dobran with some pilots were called in front of Emil Bodnaras.
He was very nervous and told the airman:"I'm very angry with you pilots,almost every week some pilot is defecting".
A very brave pilot answered: "Don't you think that if canons could fly,wouldn't the artileryman defect too.......?"(EB was a former artileryman.)
Ion Galea seved many years in prison,after a few airplanes defected durind his watch.
Titus Axente ,who flew after the war Ju 52,told me that he would get a strict quantity of fuel so it will be imposible to defect.Only that the analfhabet party member that should calculate the fuel quantity,didn't knpw mathematics and Axente found himself with enought fuel to get to Turkey.He didn't do it since he had to leave his wife .
The photo is of Ion Galea Mai 45 in Misckols.
Photo from Mrs Clara Galea.

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alexkdl
Posted: December 31, 2004 10:56 am
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Hello C-2

Many thanks for the supporting details. I was not aware that Buzu had something to do with Anna Pauker and that defected to Switzerland before ending up in Spain. I am aware about Buzus wives through my uncle who was Doctor officer with ARR ( Anti Aircraft Units near Bucuresti) and of course Linda Grey from the series "Dallas" the other thing I wana ask you is regarding the photo of the pilot who defected with the BF-109 carrying the new markings of the Roumanian Air Force to an unknown location.....where is the location you mentioned ? where this pilot lives today? and what happened to its BF-109 ? Many thanks again si izi doresc un an bun cu noroc .


Bellow a group of 15th AF POW's in Bucharest


Alex

This post has been edited by alexkdl on January 13, 2005 12:29 pm

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Victor
Posted: December 31, 2004 11:20 am
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You misunderstood. Ioan Galea did not "defect" to the West. As for Bazu he flew a Li-2 of TARS (the joint Romanian-Soviet air transport company) to Milano in January 1948 and took avantage of the situation to remain there. His wife was already in Italy filming.
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alexkdl
Posted: December 31, 2004 12:19 pm
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Thank you Victor , but where is Misckols Airfield ? was it in Hungaria ? As to Buzu when you say his wife was filming in Italy I gather you reffer to Nadia ? What type of plane was he flying as personal pilot for Anna Pauker ( reffer to C-2 message)....was it the LI-2 (IL-2 a Russian licenced DC-3 Dakota) of the same Soviet Roumanian company ?


On the photos bellow the Commander of the 15th AF welcomes back the POW's from Roumanian captivity


Thanks
Alex

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Victor
Posted: December 31, 2004 02:23 pm
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That's Miskolc (C-2 spelled it wrongly), a town in northern Hungary, close to the present-day border with Slovakia. The planes TARS operated were 12 Li-2s brought by the Soviet partners and the old aircraft of LARES: DC-3s, Lockheeds etc.
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alexkdl
Posted: December 31, 2004 02:52 pm
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Victor what were exactly the tasks of the newly Forzele Aeriene Romane in Hungaria other than support the Allied and how long after the war end where they stationed in Hungaria , Czech or Slovak Republic ?
AL

Bellow are the photos depicting the Russian Forces arrival in Bucharest

This post has been edited by alexkdl on January 13, 2005 12:32 pm

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