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The Suburbanite
  • WWII Then and Now: Roy Humrighouse served as a gunner with sibling Harry on B-24 crew

  • A  two-part “World War II: Then and Now” features Roy and Harry Humrighouse, twin brothers who flew missions over Europe together in the same B-24 bomber crew. Today, we look at the military career of Roy Humrighouse. Last Monday we highlighted Harry Humrighouse.

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  • A photograph published in the mid-1940s in a newspaper in Uhrichsville showed Roy C. Humrighouse standing with his brother, Harry, next to a B-24 bomber in Italy.
    “Dishing out double trouble to the Nazis these days are the Humrighouse twins, Sergeants Harry and Roy, from Uhrichsville, O., aerial gunners on a B-24 Liberator in the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy,” the caption said.
    “With Harry in the ball turret and Roy at the nose position, the twins enjoy a sweeping view of the skies as they fly over enemy territory.”
    When Roy joined the Army about the same time as his brother, he was staring up at the sky from his position in an anti-aircraft unit. It was only after the Humrighouse brothers’ mother sent a letter to the Army requesting her sons be put together that they began flying on the same crew of a bomber.
    “The Army had me at an overseas replacement depot, so they might have stuck in the infantry, who knows?” said Humrighouse, who said he was instead sent to a base in Idaho, where his brother was training. “They didn’t know what to do with me. I solved that problem by talking my way onto my brother’s crew.”
    SENT TO EUROPE
    The brothers were sent overseas in November 1944,  recalled Humrighouse, noting that they were stationed near Cerignola, Italy.
    Harry flew 25 missions, and Roy flew with him on 24 missions.
    “I had a bad cold one time,” Humrighouse explained.
    They bombed oil refineries and railroad yards mostly, “trying to keep the supply of fuel from getting to the front,” he said.
    The former anti-aircraft soldier said that the sky often was filled with flak from enemy aircraft guns. Nevertheless, Humrighouse recalls taking off his flak jacket and sitting on it while he was stationed as a gunner in the plane’s nose turret.
    “We were young,” he said with a slight shake of his head.
    By that time, he said, the German Air Force was defeated.
    “We hardly ever saw a German fighter,” Humrighouse said.
    Of course, part of the reason that they had few close encounters with the enemy could have been the presence of a unit of fighter planes protecting the bombers in which Humrighouse and his brother flew. Those planes were flown by the Tuskeegee Airmen, well known for their success in getting their bombers back to their bases.
    COMING HOME
    The brothers were discharged in November 1945.
    Roy Humrighouse worked at Marlite in Dover until he retired 27 years ago. He also served the Masonic Temple in Dover, delivered for Meals on Wheels, and coached baseball.
    Humrighouse and his wife, Helen, live at Park Village, an assisted living facility in Dover.
    Page 2 of 2 - He recalls that his military service didn’t stop with World War II.
    “I stayed in the Air Force Reserves and was called back to active duty when the Korean War started, in August 1950,” he explained. “I spent one year at (an airfield) near Louisville, Ky., and was discharged in July 1951.”
    REPOSITORY GARY BROWN
    n Roy Humrighouse served as a nose turret gunner on B-24 bomber during World War II, then worked for Marlite in Dover.
    REPOSITORY GARY BROWN
    n Roy Humrighouse holds a photograph of himself and his brother, Harry Humrighouse (left) taken during World War II. They served on the same bomber crew.
    SUBMITTED PHOTO
    n Roy Humrighouse (right) and his twin brother, Harry Humrighouse, are pictured during World War II beside a B-24 Liberator bomber. The brothers served in the Army Air Corps during the war on the same B-24 bomber crew.
    REPOSITORY GARY BROWN
    n Brothers Roy Humrighouse (left) and Harry Humrighouse are pictured in Harry’s home.

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