A Grandson Returns
Sunday, July 8 2012
Dear Myrtle Bruland,
Today at Sunday i met your Grandson Tyler Barton together with my Friend, the former german Fighter Pilot Gerhardt Kott (88) at the Frankfurt/Main Airport. He is a nice guy. We drink some coffee togehter and speak about you and Palmer too. Tomorrow i arranged for him to visit the Memorial at Ludwigsau for the fallen of the Kassel Mission at the 27. September 1944. Mr. Walter Hassenpflug, the Initator of this Memorial, will show him all he wants to see. I include a Foto from today in Frankfurt and a Foto from the Memorial in the Wood near Ludwigsau for you.
Greetings from Germany
In an email to his family, Tyler wrote:
The trip was a success. I have more paperwork, documentation, pictures, and mangled metal than I know what to do with.
Horst (Historian) and Gerhardt (fighter pilot who shot down the Texas Rose, and then himself got taken out by a P-51) were wonderful. We spent an hour together in Frankfurt and Horst left me with a bag of parts. Gerhardt had interesting stories about how different his strategy was attacking a B-17 than it was going after a B-24. B-17's kept fuel in the wings, whereas the B24 kept it protected in the body. Earlier B24's did not have nose guns, making a head on approach optimal. Ejection seats were not available at the time, and he illustrated well the difficulty of trying to claw his way out of the smoke filled cockpit in a multiple G dive without getting whacked by the tail. He was 19.
I met Walter and his translator Monday at the memorial. Most of the bombers went down here. The Texas Rose was the last to be shot down, and glided a good distance un-manned before going down in Geissen. I would not have found the memorial alone, as it was buried well into the hills on logging roads best suited for SUV's. Walter was the young boy who watched it all happen. His father was killed by a miss placed bombing attempt meant for a nearby rail station. He put the memorial together and had the vast majority of the records and research. He left me with some letters he and Palmer sent back and forth. Walter organized the memorial for the 118 dead US bomber crew and 18 dead German fighter pilots. Palmer's name was not on the memorial because he was a survivor.
I'll send pictures when I get home.
9 Jul 2012 9:00 pm Horst and Gerhardt,
Thank you so much for your time in Frankfurt, the bag of parts, and coordinating the tour of the memorial with Walter. This meant a lot to me, and I will not forget it. Please look me up if you visit Seattle. I will get some photo's of the crew from my Grandmother and send them to you.
Thank you, Tyler
25 Jul 2012 4:51 am
I was with my grandmother this weekend sifting through pictures and was not able to locate a better picture of the Texas Rose crew. I did learn something new and interesting however. The Texas Rose was not my Grandfathers standard plane & crew. He had been requesting to pick up additional missions to satisfy his assignment quota to get home faster. He was woken early that morning and given the Texas Rose, so the plane and crew were all new to him. Fair winds, Tyler
18 Jun 2014 4:00 am
I hope all is well. I wanted to share with you some photos of what has become of the Texas Rose airplane parts you sent me home with. It was a selfless gesture of priceless history that will be preserved in our family for generations. The process of encapsulating them in plastic (Lucite to be exact) brought out colors that were not there before and really brought the parts to life. You made all this possible, and we are so grateful.
Thank you again, and I hope you have a wonderful summer.
Fair winds, Tyler
June 19, 2014 2:31 AM
Hello Tyler, great to hear from you. Thanks for sendig this pictures ‐ a great idea. I remember good that day we dig at the crash place of the Texas Rose at the Schiffenberg near Giessen. Gerhardt Kott the former german Focke Wulf 190 pilot who shot that 27. September 1944 one B 24 down was last December 90 Years old. Please greet your Grandmother Myrtle from me ‐ he is a very nice person ‐ and i love her wedding foto and of course the rest of your Family. Greetings from Germany, Horst