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My War:

From Bismarck to Britain and Back

Paperback (364 pages), kindle
Ruth Register volunteered for the American Red Cross after her husband was killed in the Pacific. Her war story is a round trip ticket from North Dakota to Europe and back.

My War:

A book that reveals an overlooked aspect of service in the war. Ruth Register volunteered for the American Red Cross after her husband was killed in the Pacific. Her war story is a round trip ticket from North Dakota to Europe and back.

Here's a sample of what awaits you, Ruth's account of a typical day while stationed with the 492nd Bomb Group at North Pickenham, England:

Pebbles in her hand

“Every mission I sat on a high mound of dirt about a block from the central tower. Today I gather 12 stones, one for each bomber. As each plane lands, I drop a stone. Hopefully, all 12 will fall today.

I can see three planes on the horizon in formation. Good. Three are safe. The next formation is not in position. The lead plane is falling back. The other two are not circling the field in a holding position. They are coming directly into the landing path. Plane One has two engines feathered. Plane Two has just dropped 3 red flares - 3 wounded aboard. Suddenly it's very clear that both of them are going to land — one on top of the other! Plane Two with wounded aboard has priority. Plane One is out of gas.

I hear a voice screaming, "NO, NO, NO!" It's mine. I am convinced that if I scream loud enough they will hear me. I am yelling instructions. "Plane Two, pull up — pull up — pull up!!" Everything is in slow motion, with twenty lives in the balance. To be spectator helplessly watching twenty men's lives hang in the balance is terrifying.

It seems like forever before the last 15 feet and impact. The top plane flies into the tail of the bottom plane, which plunges nose down and crashes in an enormous black and fiery ball. Plane One is still airborne, fighting like a wounded bird trying to fly. "You can make it, you can make it!" I scream. Another eternity of slow motion. The bruised plane plummets down, belly first. Then slowly, slowly, the plane breaks apart in sections. It's as though an unseen hand had pulled every rivet out of it all at once. Figures come tumbling out and running in every direction. Nine I counted. The tail gunner didn't make it.

Tomorrow I will meet another mission.”

Ruth Register, My War, page 166
recounting events of the 492nd Bomb Group 06 Aug 44 mission 65 to Hamburg

The 492nd Bomb Group...

Related Scanning WWII dates...

  • 18 Apr 44: 492nd Bomb Group arrives at Station 143, North Pickenham, England
  • 09 May 44: 492nd BG does exhibition formation flight over 2nd AD bases
  • 11 May 44: 492nd BG flies its first mission; no casualties
  • 19 May 44: 492nd BG Mission 05 to Brunswick; first of their three deadliest missions
  • 20 Jun 44: 492nd BG Mission 34 to Politz; second of their three deadliest missions
  • 07 Jul 44: 492nd BG Mission 46 to Bernburg; third of their three deadliest missions; entire 859th Bomb Squadron is wiped out
  • 15 Jul 44: The bomb dump at nearby Metfield mysteriously explodes, rocking the countryside and destroying the 491st BG's base
  • 07 Aug 44: 492nd BG flies its final mission (no casualties) and is disbanded
  • 13 Aug 44: The 801st Provisional Group at Harrington is redesignated the 492nd Bomb Group
  • 15 Aug 44: The 491st Bomb Group moves from their destroyed base at Metfield to North Pickenham
3 deadliest missions for the 492nd Bomb Group
Date Mission Target City Lost KIA WIA POW INT
19 May 44 Mission 05 Brunswick 8 43 3 34 0
20 Jun 44 Mission 34 Politz 14 76 0 22 41
07 Jul 44 Mission 46 Bernburg 12 67 0 52 0
Totals: 34 186 3 108 41
  Casualties per 1000 Combatants in WWII  
  US Army Air Force 16  
  US Army 24  
  US Marine Corps 29  
  467th Bomb Group 91  
  492nd Bomb Group 442  

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Women in WWII...

Scanning WWII dates related to Nurses and the Red Cross...

  • 05 May 19: League of Red Cross Societies formed in Paris
  • 03 Nov 41: "Angels of Mercy" becomes official Red Cross wartime song
  • 01 Jun 41: American Red Cross unifies services as "Services to Armed Forces" (SAF)
  • 26 Oct 42: Red Cross "clubmobiles" begin service in England
  • 11 Nov 42: Red Cross Rainbow Corner Club opens in London for servicemen
  • 04 Jul 44: US nurses storm the beaches of Normandy
  • 24 Sep 44: Flight Nurse earns the Distinguished Flying Cross in the PTO
  • 28 Apr 45: Six nurses killed in kamikaze attack on hospital ship USS COMFORT
  • 18 Aug 45: Red Cross blood program ends after collecting 13 million pints
  • 29 Aug 45: Red Cross arrives in Japan to help rebuild Japanese Red Cross

WWII Store items related to Women...

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