KATHY.(daughter).If you have other pictures or stories please send them...DH
The following letter was received from Dr Berchem June 11 1999.
Dr (1st Lt)Berchem escorted the Jolley twins bodies home in WW2.His original Telephone interview of the escort trip is posted elsewhere. Lt Red Berchem came from the Armored Corp as a Tank Commander hence the Insignia and his rank as 1st Lt J W Berchem.....DH
Julius W Berchem, D.V.M
514 Northwood Drive, Modesto CA 95350
Please excuse the penmanship. I have arthritis in the thumb of this writing hand and also in the little finger. I always have to apologize in my letters!
You have no idea what a 24 hours I went through after talking to you on the telephone on June 24th. I had always wanted to see the names of my classmates who were on that ill-fated C-47. Time went by and here one half of a century later you lay the whole episode in my lap. Thank you, thank you.
I couldn't sleep all Friday night due the memories that were aroused in my mind as to what a trauma I was subjected to so long ago. I always condemned myself for not doing more to try and contact Clayton's little daughter and tell her about the wonderful father who was so tragically taken away from her. (About)the last time we sat in the PX (Post Exchange) and (about)the enthusiasm when they (would) come back from Pierre South Dakota.(For 30 days of gunnery training) He had been promised (???furlough ?????) a leave to go back and see his 6 weeks old daughter.
Enough of that. In 1980 - winter. I escorted a shipload of Holstein Heifers to Korea. I was only in the country for 48 hours but in that time I went from Pasoo to Seoul to Inchon back to Seoul and got a JAL (Japan Air Lines) to Tokyo on to a Pan Am to SFO (San Francisco)
I was thouroly disgusted with the preventative methods on where these beautiful heifers were going to have to spend the rest of their lives...and I had been part of getting them there!!
I called the older brother Truman Sunday when my friend brought the Email message you'd sent on Sat. June 5th. He said he would contact Judy (Lt Leonard Jolley?s daughter) and Clayton so I expect I will hear from either or both sometime this weekend. They both have Email capabilities so it shouldn't be too hard for them to contact me. They might be in a state of shock, that someone so many years after the tragedy is about to contact them?-55 years a fairly long time??
Will you give my regards to AJ and Abner and the Dumb Rooster and his Harem. Your going to probably regret fixing the old horny bastard up . If his Gonads are still active you are going to be inundated with his offspring. Just think of the good eating they will be if they are raised in the old fashioned way we used to raise them when I was a kid.
One of may projects in Hi School was 500 laying hens. At that time they had not perfected the sexing process that later was developed so to get 500 hens I had to buy 1000 baby chicks. My method of paying for these was working every free hour for an old bachelor German who had a poultry farm. I hadn't been exposed to how business were run and I showed him my time card after months of working at 15 cents an hour. He looked it over and said If these hours aren't right you will suffer the consequences. I had to pay him 15 cents per chick so you can see how many back breaking hours I spent. Live and learn.
As Ever Till we Have further Contacts
Lt J W "Red" Berchem
Dr Berchem returned to Bruning AAF only to have his roommate Lt Brace get killed in a P-47 crash the next month (October)SW of Norfolk Nebraska. He escorted Lt Brace's body home. Shortly after the base commander asked him to escort another body home (It would have been Lt Berchems third task in as many months) Lt Berchem this time said "NO way he had enough"..dh