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MSGT. CHARLES LEONARD FALK GUSTAFSON

The Star Tribune
Minneapolis, Minnesota
September 7, 1952

13 Parachute Safely From Burning B-29

PHILLIPSBURG, MONT. - (U.P.) - Thirteen crewmen bailed out of a crippled B-29 late Monday three miles north of here and watched the four-engined plane richochet off a mountain in flames and smoke.

Among those identified by Hamilton Air Force base as having bailed out was Master Sgt. Charles GUSTAFSON, 5413, 45th Ave. S., Minneapolis.

The plane, bound for Great Falls on a routine training flight from Hamilton Air Force base north of San Francisco, bounced over a heavily wooded area on 8,000-foot Mount Stuart apparently with one engine on fire. The crash caused a forest fire which was brought under control after a small area had burned.

The pilot, who refusted to give his name, told housewife Mrs. Roy NEITZ that "all crewmen parachuted and were accounted for." He said all landed safely although at least one was injured seriously enough to be hospitalized.

The Star Tribune
Minneapolis, Minnesota
September 8, 1952

Lady Luck Dogs City GI in Series of 'Close-Shaves'

M/Sgt. Charles GUSTAFSON, 5413 Forty-fifth avenue S., hasn't fallen out of favor with Lady Luck.

Prior to World War II, GUSTAFSOn was a navy chief aviation machinist's mate assigned to the battleship West Virginia. He was transferred from the ship shortly before it was bombed by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.

Later he asked for a transfer to the cruiser Houston. His request was turned down shortly before the Huston was sunk by Japanese gunfire.

When the war ended, GUSTAFSON joined the air force. His friends cautioned he might be stretching his luck too far.

But luck tagged along.

Earlier this week, GUSTAFSON was one of 13 crewmen who parachuted to safety just before their B29 bomber crashed into a mountainside near Phillipsburg, Mont.

A native of Stewartville, Minn., GUSTAFSON stays at the home of a brother, Harold, at the Forty-fifth avenue address when he is in Minneapolis.

The sergeant's father, Charles, Sr., lives with another son at Stillwater. Another brother, Maurice, lives at Duluth, Minn.

Montana Standard
Butte, Montana
September 9, 1952

Happy Crewmen of Crashed B-29 Relax After Harrowing Experience

Pictured above are 11 of the 13 Air Force men who parachuted to safety from their flaming B-30 Superfortress, which crashed near Phillipsburg Monday afternoon. The other two - Capt. Hartley C. DEWEY and Lt. Leonard J. BERTOLI - were injured slightly and were in the Phillipsburg hospital. Standing, left to right, in the above photo, Sgt. Robert E. EVANS, Sgt. Lewis R. PERRINGS, S/Sgt. H. D. HANSEN, C. Pat EGAN, manager of the Finlin hotel; S/Sgt. Sandy LEFTWICH and Airman Raymond L. MOODY; seated, left to right, are Sgt. Robert YOUNG, Airman Ray WRIGHT, Corp. Robert McGRATH, S/Sgt. D. M. SMITH and Capt. John E. OTMANS. Reclining is M/Sgt. C. L. GUSTAFSON.

The Afterburner
U.S. Air Force, Vol. X No. 25
July 01, 1959

AIR MEDAL TO SERGEANT

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER _ Lt. Col. Lawrence COMETH, 56th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron commander, pins Air Medal on his flight line chief, MSgt. Charles L. GUSTAFSON, for meritorious service during Korean conflict. GUSTAFSON earned it seven years ago for flying support missions as a 56th WRS flight engineer, which then supplied vital weather information for bombing and ground attacks in Korea.

On his second tour with the 56th, GUSTAFSON has 19 years service - 13 ovrseas. In World War II, he was an aerial gunner with the Navy in the Southeast Pacific. His wife, Ruth, and their two children, Michael, 14 and Kevin, 3, are with him at Yokota.

NOTE: MSgt. Charles GUSTAFSON was born in Waubonsie Township of Ringgold County, Iowa, on October 13, 1920, the son of Charles Oscar Ansfrid and Elsie Kingham (FOSTER) GUSTAFUSON. MSgt. GUSTAFSON passed away on July 12, 1986, Riverside, California.

Transciptions and note by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2012

To contribute to Ringgold County's soldier pages,
contact Sharon R. Becker at srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.


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