Reddo's Raiders

Memoirs of a B17 Bomber Aircraft Commander

by James J. ''Reddo'' Redmond, Jr.



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 12/30/2003

Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 264
ISBN : 9781414031156
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 264
ISBN : 9781414031149

About the Book

From my generation to yours; these are the stories of my experiences as a B-17 Bomber Pilot and my crew from the start of war in Europe in 1939 to the end of hostilities.  The recollections from this period of my life reflect peace-time draft, war-time draft, basic training, life on base, the formation of my crew and the war itself.  This is my gift to my children, my grandchildren, great grandchildren and generations yet unborn.  History books will not present the details of the lives of the crewmen of the 351st Bomb Group and what they went through during World War II.  I feel it is an important aspect of history yet untold.  Enjoy my memories ...

About the Author

When our crew “Reddo’s Raiders” completed its tour, the crew was dissolved and the members each went his separate way to whatever military program was available to him.  They were scattered to the wind, but they will never lose the close camaraderie they knew as combat crew members of “Reddo’s Raiders” through the rigors of training and the horrors of combat.  I am honored to have been able to serve as their Aircraft Commander.

On my return to the States, I was assigned to the Ferrying Division of the Air Transport Command.  My duties included such things as delivering B-25 Mitchell Bombers to the Russians at Fairbanks, Alaska, and picking up new planes off the assembly line and delivering them wherever they were required. I also served as an instrument flying instructor of pilots returning from the Far East Theatre.

After release from active duty, I accepted a commission in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.  I remained in the Active Reserve until 1958, when the press of civilian responsibilities prevented me from attending the annual two week active duty tours and other reserve duties.

After a brief period with the Internal Revenue Service, I joined the firm “Sportservice Corporation,” now known as “Delaware North Companies” in Buffalo, N.Y.  Sportservice or Delaware North is the world’s largest independent concessionaire functioning on an international level.  Present volume is well into the billions.  I rose to the position of Corporate Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer.  I was also a member of the board of directors.  In the mid 1960s, I resigned to move to Florida, but at the company’s request I remained on the board of directors.

In Florida, I accepted positions as Vice President and Cashier of The Pan American Bank of Miami and The First State Bank of Miami.  After half a dozen years as a banker, I resigned to start a concession business.  The business flourished and headquartered in Miami we serviced locations as far north as Pennsylvania and as far west as Louisiana.  In the early 1990s, I sold out the business, and presently accept jobs in market research which conform to my semi-retired state.

I belong to, and attend the annual reunions of the 351st Bomb Group Association.  When the B-17 and the B-24 visit south Florida I serve as a volunteer guide and when requested give talks at schools and other interested groups.  The highest rank I achieved was Major, and the decorations/awards I received are as follows:

The Distinguished Flying Cross
The Air Medal with three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
The New York State Conspicuous Service Cross
La Medaille Jubilede la Liberte (French)
Presidential Unit Citation with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
European Theatre Service Ribbon with three Battle Stars
American Theatre Service Ribbon
World War Two Victory Medal

I am the proud parent of one son, Seamus Redmond and two daughters, Raymonde Miano and Gladys Breese.  At this date, I have five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.