Ken Elder Bledsoe is the son of Sgt Vernon O. Elder, a B-17 Flying Fortress tail gunner that served in the 19th Bombardment Group, 30th Bombardment Squadron who flew combat missions in Java and from Australia and New Guinea during 1942. Author of the book Echoes From an Eagle about his father's experiences.
- Tell a little about yourself, your background and early life - how you became aware of your father’s WWII service (playing with toy B-17?)
- What drove you to begin researching your father’s life? What did you think you would learn? Did you have any idea how long and how many adventures that would result.
- Speak about the collection of wartime letters in your possession - how you used them in your research.
- Talk about your father’s photographic collection. Were those photos he sent home, or were they photos he brought home.
- Your father flew many historic combat mission, can you share a little bit about some of them?
- Talk about the crash of B-17E 41-2655 and your father’s story of that mission. Also, his wrist watch - did he give it you after the war? It is an amazing relic and confirms the time of the crash.
- Speak about your approach to writing the book. You did an excellent job of integrating his story with larger events.
- Talk about your efforts to locate veterans and relatives that knew your father, in particular meeting Dietz and the relatives of Rice.
- Tell about your trip to Australia in 2010, and the places you visited. Also, what it was like to see your father’s B-17 yourself.
- Anything else to add about yourself or your father? Are you still seeking information on his service or people that knew him?
- What advice, if any do you have for other children (or grandchildren) of veterans, like yourself that are interested in their service.
Thank you for the interview Mr. Ken Elder Bledsoe
Vist KenElderBledsoe.com the author's official website and to order Echoes From an Eagle
Do you have photos or additional information to add?