The Jeeter Bug B-24 Liberator
Frank Jeter joined the Reserves after the war and rose to the rank of Lt. Col. Frank resumed his old trade of tile setting and floor covering. He built a successful commercial floor covering business with his second wife Ginger whom he married in 1968. He died in 1989 of leukemia. Many of the "Jeeter Bug" crewmembers were in the area where the Jeters lived for a 50th anniversary celebration of the B-24 when Frank passed away. They were able to be pallbearers at this funeral.
Herb Harter: When he left the service Herb became a civilian flight instructor. He married in 1949 and had two children. After more than a year of flight instruction, he started selling insurance and opened his own agency.
John Weller: John joined the Reserves after the war but soon returned to college to complete his education. He graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Economics. In 1947, he went to work for Zellerbach Paper Company in San Jose, California, and worked for the company for 37 years as a Marketing Sales Manager and Account Manager. He married in 1953. He and his wife have three sons.
Greg Babykin: Upon release from active duty in November 1945, Greg returned to Duke University and received his degree in electro-mechanical engineering. Greg was called back to duty during the Korean War. He later went to work for NASA Engineering tot primarily work on the Apollo Space Program. Greg married in 1942. He and his wife had three children. Greg retired from the Reserves in July 1972 but at the time continued to fly back-up pilot for several commuter airlines.
Bob Larson: Bob was discharged in November 1945 and married about one month later. He took up farming in Oregon but later moved to Chico, California. Bob and his wife had six boys. In 1981, Bob moved with his boys to Klamath Falls, Oregon, where he bought his won business and served as its general contractor. He specialized in steel buildings and in metal roofs.
Victor Crowell: After returning from the service, Victor joined his father and his brother in the family construction business. Victor married in 1943 and had two children. He never lost his desire to fly so he took flying lessons in his hometown of Lamesa, Texas. He moved his family to Houston in 1962 where he opened his own masonry contracting business. Victor retired in 19985 and moved to Plainview, Texas, and lived there until his death in July 2001.
Doyle Ebel: Doyle was discharged in November 1945 and returned to his old job at Johnston Motors in Houston. He soon decided to take on new professional challenges and joined the Houston Fire Department and eventually became its District Chief. Doyle and his wife have three children.
Sam Tillery: When Sam was discharged from the service in September 1945, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill by taking flying lessons and earned his pilot's license. Sam joined the National Guard and became a 1st Lt. In the infantry. He remained on active duty and was eventually sent to Fort Benning, Georgia to CIA/Gorilla Warfare School. This was followed by top military assignments in Europe and in Washington, D.C.
Ray Fritter: When Ray was discharged from the service in November 1945, he entered Santa Clara University. After a successful stint in the business world, Ray was not satisfied. He entered the world of theology and became Brother Christopher in 1950 when he joined the Dominican Order. Ray was ordained a catholic priest in 1956. In 1961, he took on the difficult task of Chaplain for the Oregon State Prison system. Father Fritter later returned to parochial work. He died of liver cancer in May 1985.
Dick David: Dick married shortly after WWII. He and his wife had one daughter. Dick served three and a half years in the Pacific and received the distinguished Flying Cross and a Bronze Star. Dick was recalled for Korea and flew a B-36 and F-94. He was also recalled with his reserve unit for the Cuban Missile Crisis. He retired in July 1966 from the military. After each war, Dick returned to his career as an international banker.
Dale Henderson, Radio Operator: I flew 32 missions with these men. Our lives were dependent upon one another. If one fouled up we could have all been killed. The bond that developed was one built on respect and trust and developed into a deep love.
In July 1979, the 19th annual convention of the 11th Bomb Group Association was held in Denver, Colorado. Eight members of the "Jeeter Bug" crew attended. We rented a can and drove to the old mining town of Central City. There we met ex-Marines from the 12th Reg. who were on Iwo. We told them that we flew a B-24, the four-engine bomber with the twin tail. One said that one night he was in a lean-to by the runway when one made an emergency landing and two flyers came over and asked for directions. We told him to wait while John went to get Frank and herb, the two flyers. He said that his buddy was right over there. Thirty-four years later the four men who had met by chance during the battle for Iwo met again by chance in a mountain town in Colorado.