|Corporal Arnold Watterson and his bride Ruby Hinkle|
on their wedding day in April 9, 1943.
Watterson served two years as part of a ground crew at Grafton Underwood England during World War II. His primary job was "keeping 'em flying." While he initially worked as a mechanic, in January 1944, he was promoted to crew chief and was apparently a very good one- he was awarded the Bronze Star for keeping his B-17 named "The Challenger" flying for 100 straight missions. He remained with the squadron until the end of the war and was discharged in September 1945.
He kept a war diary for most of his time while in England. Most of his entries consist of just one or two lines but give a sense of life for the ground crews of the 8th Air Force. He also took quite a few pictures of friends and life on the base at Grafton Underwood, most of which I have shared with the 384th Bomb Group website which can be viewed here.
Special thanks go to my step dad John Watterson for preserving this diary and photos which paint a fascinating picture of life with the 8th Air Force during World War II.