"In Flanders Field the Poppies grow beside the crosses row after row"



Sardinia 1944


COL Joseph "Joe" P. Madrano
April 20, 1922 - May 8, 2015

COL Joseph "Joe" P. Madrano was a VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 05/08/2015 at the age of 93.

Windcrest, TX 
Flight Class 54-H 
Date of Birth 04/20/1922 
Served in the U.S. Army 
Served in Vietnam with 498 MED CO in 65-66 
Call sign in Vietnam DUSTOFF 6 
This information was provided by Sammie Williams

More detail on this person: Colonel Joseph P. Madrano, U.S. Army (Ret.), born April 20, 1922, in Reading, PA, to Dan and Agnes Madrano, filed his final flight plan May 8, 2015. A proud veteran of three wars and over 39 years of total service, he started his military career at the age of 17 while still in high school, by joining the Oklahoma National Guard. Inducted into active federal service in 1940, he trained as infantry squad leader before transferring to the Army Air Corps, training as Aviation Cadet at Randolph and Ellington Fields, where he received his commission as 2nd Lt. and rating of Pilot. Following training in Florida as a pilot of a Martin B-26, commonly called "The Widow Maker," the "Flying Coffin," or the dubious name of "Prostitute" (because it had no visible means of support), he completed 46 combat missions in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. After completing his tour, he returned to the States and served as a pilot instructor until his separation from the service in 1945. After graduation from University of Tulsa in 1949, he worked as a school teacher until he was called back into active service, this time as Medical Service Corps officer. He was then assigned to Japan, where he "sat out" the Korean conflict by training troops and providing services to returning troops. In 1953 he returned to the States and undertook helicopter training at Ft. Sill, OK, and Ft. Rucker, AL, where he was retained as an instructor for two years. Over the following 20-plus years he served at a number of posts as a commander and staff officer, including two tours of Germany and one in Vietnam. While in Vietnam he commanded a medical evacuation unit. He also attended a number of schools, including the Army Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. The recipient of numerous awards and decorations from the U.S. and foreign governments, he was most proud of the Army Good Conduct Medal, which he claimed to have earned the old-fashioned way-by being a good soldier. Joe retired in 1979 at Ft. Lewis, WA, and since that time has been a volunteer in a number of activities in Washington and Texas. He is survived by his loving wife and partner for nearly 69 years, Jacqueline (Jacquie) Elledge, sons Daniel C. and Joseph C. and daughter Col. (Ret) Marsha Killam, three grandchildren, two great-grandsons, and a host of other relatives and friends. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Honor Flight.

Church services will be held at the Windcrest UMC at 10:00 a.m., Monday, May 18, 2015. Interment will follow at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery at 11:30 a.m. with full military honors. Please visit our online guestbook at

Funeral Home Puente & Sons Funeral Chapel
3520 S. Flores San Antonio, TX 78204 210-533-5300
Funeral Home Details Published in Express-News on May 17, 2015

This information was last updated 05/17/2015

Please send additions or corrections to: The VHPA Webmaster Gary Roush.

Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list

Return to VHPA web site

Posted 06/13/2009 


Paul F. Collins
February 2, 1922 - June 3, 2009

Paul F. Collins, 87, died June 3, 2009 in Ft. Pierce, FL.

Mr. Collins was born in Pemberton, New Jersey and moved to Ft. Pierce in 1984.

Paul was the fourth generation owner of Collins & Son Funeral Home which was founded in 1865 and sold the funeral home and retired in 1984. He was a 1st Lieutenant of the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII, Combat Pilot of 438th Sq., 319th Bomb Group having flown 52 missions between both European and Pacific Theaters of Operations and was awarded the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm among other personal and unit citations.

He was a member of the New Jersey and Burlington County Funeral Directors Associations, Past President of Pemberton Rotary Club, Past Master of Pemberton Masonic Lodge, also a member of the Excelsior Consistory in Collingswood, and Crescent Temple Shrine in Westhampton, Tall Cedars of Lebanon of North America and the National Sojourners Lodge, Life Member of the National Rifle Association, New Jersey Hunter Safety Instructor, Past Director of the National Skeet Shooting Association, member of the New Jersey Skeet Shooting Association, and Past President of the Red Stag Deer Club.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Lorene K. Collins of Ft. Pierce, FL; sons, Gary E. Collins of Burlington, N.J., Gary R. McAnelly of Newtown Square, PA, Jeffrey Collins of Tabernacle, NJ, and sister, Judith Collins Smith of Salem, OR; 7 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

Services: An inurnment with full military honors will be held on Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 2:00 PM at Arlington National Cemetery.

Posted 06/13/2009 


Louis B Sykes
1/25/1921 - 5/29/2009

SYKES, Louis B., of Tampa, Fl., formerly of Amsterdam, NY, died on Friday, May 29, 2009 at UCH Carrollwood after suffering complications from surgery.

Mr. Sykes was born on January 21, 1921 in Amsterdam, NY where he graduated from the Wilbur H. Lynch High School and where he spent his career working for Mohasco Industries. In early 1942, Lou joined the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he headed overseas and flew 40 missions out of North Africa and Sardinia in a B-26 Martin Maruader as a top-turret gunner. During his three and a half year service, Mr. Sykes received the Air Medal with 7 clusters, the good conduct medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal with 2 bronze stars and the WW II Victory Medal.

He was married to Shirley Sanders of Amsterdam, NY on January 20, 1945 and who passed away on June 6, 1988. He is survived by two sons, Jeffrey of Venice, FL and Brian of Tampa, FL, along with their spouses; grandson, Jonathan of Parris Island, SC; a nephew, two nieces, and step-grandchildren. His remains will be cremated and buried alongside his wife, Shirley, in the St. Mary’s Cemetery, Ft. Johnson, NY.

In lieu of flowers, a donation in Lou’s name to the SORTIE Newsletter, a non-profit newsletter dealing with WW II and Korean War Air Force veterans. Donations can be sent to The SORTIE News Letter; Editor, Ted Baker; 453 Hamilton Ave; Almont, MI 48003.

Posted 06/01/2009 


Chuck Kahrs
Passed Jan. 9, 2007

Posted 01/07/2008 



Dr. George Peabody
Flight Surgeon
Passed July 5, 2006

I am writing to report the passing of Dr. George Peabody, who served with the 319th as Flight Surgeon during the Mediterranean campaigns. Dad passed away on July 5, 2006, from a severe stroke. He had been in decline since an October 2004 fall resulted in a broken hip.

My father remained mentally sharp to the end, and he often reminisced about his youth, and the 319th was an important part of that. Many of you will have seen my father at one of the Group's reunions during the last 15 years. His experience during the war led him to the field of psychiatry, which he made his career.

I have attached a photo to help you remember him as he was. Quite a handsome young man in 1942!

George Peabody

Posted 08/08/2006 


Donald C. Frink
of North Norwich
July 12, 1922 - August 3, 2003

Donald C. Frink, 81, of West Cayuga St. North Norwich, passed away early Sunday morning, August 3, 2003at his home. Don was born July 12, 1922, in Norwich, the son of Hoyt and Mildred (Day) Frink. On January 29, 1945, he married M. Beatrice Gilladette Frink, who passed away April 2, 1959. In 1960 Don married Bonnie (Bowes) Frink who survives. A lifelong Norwich resident, Don was living in the North Norwich home that he built in the early 1950’s. Following his 1941 graduation from the Norwich High School, he attended RPI, graduating with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Don then entered the United States Army Air Force to serve his country in the European and Pacific Theaters from December 6, 1941 until his honorable discharge in October, 1945. He was a member of the 319 th Bombardment Group, the 438 th Bombardment Squadron, and the 8 th and 12 th Division of the Air Force. Returning home, he gained employment with the Norwich Eaton Pharm, as their Lead Electrician, retiring in 1984. While working for the Co., he was also a member of the Local 251. Don will be remembered as a wonderful husband, father and grandfather who was always there for his family. Always an early riser, he would go out early in the morning to work the garden which he truly enjoyed. He had served as a No. Norwich fireman and was a former fire commissioner. Don is survived by his wife, Bonnie Frink, No. Norwich; his children, Donald J. Frink and wife Cheryll, Oakdale, Conn., Dennis J. Frink and wife Linda, Webster Groves, Mo., Samuel B. Whaley and wife Ruth, Puerto Rico, Andrew H. Whaley, South Otselic, and Susan E. Gray and husband Richard, Walworth, N.Y.; 11 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Besides his wife, Beatrice, Don was predeceased by his brothers and sisters-in-law, Richard and Hazel Frink, and Robert Frink. Graveside services for Don will be held on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. from the Sherburne West Hill cemetery. The Rev. James Collins Jr., Pastor of the No. Norwich United Methodist Church, will officiate. There will be no calling hours. Please consider memorial contributions to the North Norwich Fire Department, PO Box 99, North Norwich, N.Y. 13814. Arrangements are with the R.J. Fahy Funeral Home.

Posted 12/27/2005 


Dennis M. Wolff
September 10, 1922 - September 22, 2005

Dennis M. Wolff, 83, of Rapid City, died on Thursday, September 22, 2005 at the Fort Meade Veteran's Administration Hospital in Sturgis, South Dakota.

Dennis Merrill Wolff was born in Canby, MN on Sept. 10, 1922 to William and Agnes Wolff. He married Eva Magdanz on May 1, 1945 in Hutchinson, MN.

After graduating from Hutchinson High School, Dennis attended General Motors Institute. In 1941 he worked for assembly on Lockheed P38 aircraft. He joined the Army Air Corp in November of 1941, attending mechanics school at Keesler field and then Glen Martin B26 School for crew chiefs. He landed in Scotland on his 20th birthday and served as crew chief in the 319th Bomb Group during the invasion campaign of North Africa in Nov. 1942. After serving in the Algeria, North Africa, Sardinia and Corsica campaigns he returned home in January of 1942. He was discharged in July of 1945, obtained his CAA Mechanics License and worked in Minneapolis for Midcontinent Airlines.

From 1949 to 1963 Dennis owned and operated Wolff Sales Co. in Faith, SD, the dealership for John Deere and GMC vehicles. He began an Insurance career in 1963 as field representative for American Hardware Mutual Insurance. In 1971 Dennis became an automobile salesman for Rushmore Volkswagen in Rapid City and continued in that capacity until he retired because of disability in 1981.

Dennis enjoyed hunting and fishing with friends and family. He remained active in his church serving in a number of roles.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Eva Mae of Rapid City, one son Dr. Roger D. Wolff of Vermillion, SD, two grandsons, Benjamin R. Wolff of Rapid City and Jesse D. Wolff of Vermillion. He is further survived by dear family, friends, and brothers and sisters of Abiding Word Lutheran Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, step parents, Francis Wolff and George Bowman, brothers-in-law Thomas Magdanz and Dr. Richard McReynolds, sister-in-law Barbara Teper, and army buddies.

Visitation will be at Kirk Funeral Home in Rapid City on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2005 from 3:00 to 5:00 P.M.

Services are set for 9:30 A.M. Mon., Sept. 26, 2005 at Abiding Word Lutheran Church, 4021 Range Road, Rapid City, with Pastor David Maertz officiating. Interment will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis. There will be a light luncheon at the church following the interment.

In lieu of flowers family asks that gifts be directed to the Abiding Word Lutheran Memorial Fund.

-Ben Wolff, Dennis's grandson

Posted 011/13/2005 


Geza Farkas, 84, died Tuesday, May 3, 2005 
at the RTA Hospice and Palliative Care Center in Lakeside. 

He was born in Tom's Creek, West Virginia where he grew up and attended school. Geza proudly served in the Army Air corps during World War II as a tail gunner, being awarded a silver star and purple heart while serving in Algeria. During the war he met June Capron, they were married on April 5, 1944. They had two boys, John and Jeff. Following the war Geza began a career as a machinist in the tool and die trade. The family moved to New Jersey, Virginia, and South Carolina and eventually on to Mesa. In his free time, Geza liked woodworking, golfing, and had made a hobby of collecting Hot Wheels. He was a quiet man but loved talking to everyone, especially about the war. Geza was a devoted Cub Master, offering his time gladly, he also volunteered at the Heber-Overgaard Fire Department assisting with the fuel reduction program. Geza was a wonderful husband and father, he will be dearly missed. 

Geza is survived by his sons, John (Pat) Farkas of New Jersey, Jeff (Donna) Farkas of Overgaard; grandchildren, John, Kristi, Hailee; great grandchildren, John, Nicholas, William, Ryan, and Delaney. 

A memorial dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, May 13, 2005 at the Heber-Overgaard Fire Department. 

Owens Mortuary of Show Low handled the arrangements. 

For those who have special memories, comments or would like to send private condolences, you are invited to send them to
Posted 05/11/2005 


Posted 01/25/2005 


Major Charles H. Wolf

United States Air Force 
Veteran of World War II & the Korean War

Memorial Services are set for Major Charles H. Wolf, USAF, Retired, on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 at 10:30 A.M. in the Chapel at Temple Beth-El, 211 Belknap Place, San Antonio, TX, 78212.
For further information you can call Rabbi Bergman-Vann or
Rabbi Barry Bloch at 210-733-9135.
Charles H. Wolf, Major, USAF, Retired, a decorated war hero died as a result of injuries in an automobile accident which occurred east of Rawlins, WY on Tuesday, July 6, 2004 at 7:30 A.M. He was 80. 

Major Wolf served during WWII as an enlisted man and then as a fighter and bomber pilot. He later served as an officer in the Korean Conflict. He survived four tours of duty on three continents, also serving four combat tours under enemy fire. His decorations and accolades are too numerous to list. Those who served with him are aware of his bravery, heroism and love of country. He served all with honor and distinction. 

His family and friends will miss him, his humor, compassion and love. He was truly an officer and a gentleman and will remain a legend. He also retired from Portland General Electric in Portland, OR as chief pilot and head of corporate flight division, which he pioneered. 

Charles is survived by his wife, Blair Lyle Wolf, Lytle, TX; 
two sons, Daniel H. Wolf, San Diego, CA, Malcolm Lyle, Mechanicsville, VA; 
two daughters, Jana Leland, San Antonio, TX, GiGi Wolf, Desert Hot Springs, CA; 
grandsons, Blair L. Wolf, Lytle, Ryan C. Wolf, Edwards AFB, CA, Brandon Wolf, Desert Hot Springs, CA, Matthew Lyle, Johnson City, TN; 
granddaughters, Sarah Ann Wolf, Newberg, OR, Victoria Wolf, San Diego, CA, Julia Aby Lyle & Elizabeth Ann Lyle, Johnson City, TN; 
Cousin Howard Glober, Simi Valley, CA
great-granddaughter, Raven Wolf Afterbuffalo. 
He was preceded in death by his father, Alexander M. Wolf; stepmother, Mary Wolf; mother, Sarah Glober Mondshine; stepfather, Murray Mondshine and son, Charles Herbert Wolf, Jr. 

Cremation has taken place. ROSTAD MORTUARY Rawlins, WY 82301
(307) 324-2611 

A memorial of photos will be arranged and posted at a later date, please check the Bulletin Board page for details. 
Blair Wolf - Grandson of Charles and Webmaster for the 319th

Posted 07/11/2004 



Captain in the United States Air Force & a veteran of World War II & the Korean War


From:  Gene Ryan <>
To:  "Webmaster 319th
Date:  04 Dec 2003 17:47:53.0897

 LORBEER, THOMAS L. passed away on Nov. 29, 2003. He was 83. He was a life long resident of Riverside. He graduated from Riverside Polytechnic High School in 1938, & was active in organizing class of "38" reunions. He was a Captain in the United States Air Force & a veteran of World War II & the Korean War. He was a former member of the 20-30 Club, Optimist International, & the Order of Daedalians; a fraternity for military aviators. He was active on the Military Affairs committee of the Riverside Chamber of Commerce & on the Board of Directors of the March Field Air Museum. Tom worked in sales. He owned Riverside Speciality Company & Promotional Sales Products for many years. He went on to work as an independent salesman for Geiger Brothers West, in specialty advertising. He retired in 2000. He bravely coped with the challenges of Parkinson's disease for over 20 years. He was predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Elizabeth Kennett Lorbeer, in 1997. He leaves four children: Lorraine King, resident of B.C., Janice Lorbeer, resident of Colorado, Thomas Lorbeer III, resident of Washington, & James Lorbeer of Riverside: five grandchildren & four great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the March Field Air Museum Building Fund or the Parkinson's Foundation. A funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 5th at Acheson & Graham Garden of Prayer Mortuary located at 7944 Magnolia Ave. in Riverside. 
Published in the Press-Enterprise on 12/3/2003.

Posted 12/04/2003



Crew Chief
439th Squadron, 319th Bomb Group


From:  "Ralph Greco" <>
To:  "Webmaster 319th-Comments" <>
Subject:  tAPS 
Date:  Sat, 24 May 2003 14:30:29 EDT

 OSCAR JOHNSON ,of 439th passed away on the 23rd of May. For a time He was a gunner and then after a number of missions he finished his service as crew chief.
Ralph Greco 

Posted 5/24/2003


Allen E. Williams
Flight Engineer
440th Squadron, 319th Bomb Group


From:  "Richard Williams" <>
To:  "Webmaster 319th-Comments" <>
Subject:  Allen E. Williams
Date:  Wed, 20 Feb 2002 14:01:59 -0500

 Allen E. Williams, flight engineer, 440th Squadron, 319th Bomb Group (Okinawa) passed away on January 13, 2002 at Boulder Colorado. Prior to the 319th he instructed at Barksdale in the A-26 and before that was with the 73rd Bomb Squadron (Alaska). 

Posted 2/21/02


Pilot for the 319th Bomb Group,

Hello 439th Squadron people, and others 319th people. Just received a telephone call from Ardie Jones, wife of Regis Jones a 439th pilot. It was the sad news that Roger Rhodarmer passed away. A fine person, great American soldier, and wartime hero. He will be greatly missed.
Gene Ryan


Maj. Gen. Roger Rhodarmer, USAF (Ret.)

Maj. Gen. Roger K. Rhodarmer was boon in Canton,  North Carolina, in 1922. He joined the U.S. Army Air Force in January 1942 and graduated from Ellington Field, Texas, as a 2nd Lieutenant and pilot in January 1943. After completing combat crew training in the B-26, he joined the 319th Bombardment Group in North Africa and flew combat missions with that unit in five campaigns in North Africa and Europe. In January 1945 Rhodarmer redeployed with the 319th to Okinawa, where he continued to fly combat missions over Japan and China until the end of World War II. Rhodarmer became involved with aerial reconnaissance after the Second World War in operational and training  assignments in Europe and the United States. During the Korean War, he commanded the 4511 Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron in the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, flying RF-80s. After his tour of service in Korea, between 1954 and 1957, he was assigned to support special reconnaissance activities for the Sensitive Intelligence (SENSINT) Program in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force. Subsequently, after graduating from the Armed Forces Staff College and the Army War College, Rhodarmer became
Chief of the Reconnaissance Laboratory, and, later, Assistant Deputy for Reconnaissance, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He returned to U.S. Air Force Headquarters in 1966 where he later became Director of Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare. In September 1970, he assumed
command of the U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Reconnaissance Center at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. After the center inactivated, he was named Commander of the Ninth Air Force, remaining in that connnand until his retirement in 1973. Rhodarmer's military decorations include the distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross
with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem with one oak leaf cluster, and the French Croix de Guerre with palm.

Posted 11/4/01


See Obituary

 page 1

page 2


Captain Alan "Bud" Houser
Pilot for the 319th Bomb Group,
Died June 15th, 2001

From:  "C . O. SMITH" <> 
Subject:  Obit 1& 2
Date:  Sat, 23 Jun 2001 01:59:59


 I am C.O. Smith, a member of the 17th Bomb Group Reunion Association, an organization the the 319th Group recently became affiliated with.  I have just found your web page and it is very good. I am establishing a web page for the 17th BGRA so am always seeking info.  I just discovered your page yesterday.

 Coincidentally, last night in the San Diego Union Tribune, there was the obituary of an ex-319th Member, a Mr. Alan Houser.  According to the obit, Mr. Houser experienced one daring rescue after being shot down while a copilot in a B-26 Marauder with the 319th.  I can scan in and send you the resume if you are interested.

 C.O. Smith

Posted 6/30/01

Captain Edwin Guy Brent
Pilot for the 319th Bomb Group,
 440th Squadron

 November 22, 1917-Februaury 22, 2001

From:  "Sam Roach" <>
To:  "Webmaster 319th-Comments" <>
Subject:  Obituary of Edwin Guy Brent
Date:  Sat, 24 Feb 2001 11:43:40 -0500

 Saw this in the paper this AM, and although I did not know Capt . Brent--Thought there are others who probably did and would like to know.. Sam Roach

Posted 2/24/01