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Scott Nelson

Contributor, Dakota Datebook
  • Mary Sherman was born to Michael and Dorothy Sherman on a small farm near Ray, North Dakota in 1921. She graduated from Ray in 1939 as Valedictorian and went on to college at Minot State University majoring in chemistry. When World War II broke out, most men joined the service creating a shortage of chemists and other scientists. Mary was noticed in her chemistry classes and offered a job at Plum Brook Ordnance Works in Sandusky, Ohio. Short on money, Mary decided to postpone her degree and take the job.
  • On this date in 1976, Eldon Joersz of Hazen, North Dakota, broke the all-time speed record for manned airbreathing jet engine aircraft, flying SR-71 Blackbird, Lockheed’s High Altitude Surveillance Jet.
  • 12/19/2017: Edgar Allen was born in Kansas and flew as a bomber pilot during World War 2. When the war ended, he stayed in the Army Air Force and was assigned to the 6th Ferry Group in Long Beach California. Allen spent his time flying various planes around the country, mostly surplus aircraft being disposed of by the Air Force.
  • 10/26/2017: On this date in 1923, Walter Sharbo was born in Williston. He became a fighter pilot during World War 2, flying a P-47 Thunderbolt. Walter served with the famous 56th Fighter Group, also known as Zemke’s Wolf Pack, so-named for Commander Hubert Zemke. Zemke’s Wolf Pack was part of the 8th Air Force and flew air cover for bombers attacking German occupied Europe.
  • 10/12/2017: Clarence lay in his life raft and knew he was going to die. He was only 20 years old.
  • 7/7/2017: Wyman Galbreath graduated from Enderlin High School in 1940. He attended the Wahpeton School of Science where he enrolled in Aviation Mechanics. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. By the spring of 1944 he was piloting a B-17 heavy bomber.
  • 6/13/2017: On or around this date in 1944, Richard Baron from Mandan found himself having a drink with the enemy – a pilot in the German Air Force.
  • 5/16/2017: Nicknamed Pinky, Francis Register was born in 1917 and raised in Bismarck. Pinky always had an interest in airplanes and with the coming of World War II, he joined the Navy Air Forces and became a full-fledged flying officer on December 12, 1941, just 5 days after the US entered the war.
  • 3/2/2017: LeRoy Milton Nayes was born on this date in Fingal North Dakota in 1923.
  • 2/7/2017: Stalag Luft 3 was a German prisoner of war camp in use from March of ‘42 through January of 1945. This camp was operated by the Luftwaffe, the German Air Force, for Allied flight officers shot down over German occupied Europe. Early in the war it housed primarily British personnel, but as the war went on, thousands of Americans were also interned there.