Diane Ehman and David Schwarz stand in front of a photograph depicting their late father John E. Schwarz during his service in World War II. It is one photograph among a collection of World War II photographs provided by the family that is currently on display in the Legion Hall.
John Schwarz, who served with the 100th Bomb Group at Thorpe Abbotts, England, was put in charge of the photo lab and was responsible for recording the bomb group’s flying combat missions, along with daily life including photographs of the creative work of nose art painted on many of the aircrafts,
Much of the footage widely seen in documentaries and movies involving B17s was taken by John.
The family acknowledges that they always knew of the unique memorabilia held within the boxes and boxes containing slides of the 16 mm footage of WW II combat missions and service life, but little was ever done about bringing local notoriety to the collection.
After a conversation between Ehman and Legion Auxiliary member Deanna Bockness the family brought in some of the film. Using a digital converter and computer software, Bockness converted the slides into pictures, and sent them in to be developed. The photos were then framed and with a some online research, Bockness was able to add history to many of the photographs depicting aircrafts and crewmen.
The collection will be on display for the Legion’s Veteran’s Day open house, Nov. 11 and will likely remain at the Legion.
Diane Ehman tours the photographs taken by her father that now line the walls of the Legion Hall. A brief history of the aircraft and crew depicted in the photos is provided below each picture. The historical summaries were collected and written up by Legion Auxiliary member Deanna Bockness, after the family provided the Legion with the slides to make copies from. Much of the information was found through internet searches, Bockness said.
Many of their father’s WW II footage is also on display at the 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum in Thorpe Abbotts, England.
John Schwarz, who was raised on the family homestead north of Lindsay, Mont., and lived in the Terry area most of his life, died at 93 in 2009.
Published November 6, 2013