President’s message, January 2024

Christopher Clark, Heritage League president

Christopher D. Clark
(489 & 44 BGs)

I am honored and privileged to be elected President of the Heritage League of the Second Air Division. I want to personally thank Marybeth Dyer, our past President, for all her outstanding work for the Heritage League in a number of roles and all of her continuing work as Membership Vice President. Marybeth adds so much to our Heritage League that I would like to say congratulations on your being a recent recipient of the General Kepner award which you have so deserved. Also, I would be remiss if I did not put in print a resounding THANK YOU for leaving the Heritage League in such a strong position for me to continue your outstanding example of leadership.

I am a proud nephew of the late Staff Sergeant Charles Franklin Clark, (489 & 44th Bomb Groups). My uncle flew 47 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by General Leon W. Johnson (14th Combat Wing Commander after command of 44 BG).

Many of you know me as a researcher at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. One of my most precious items is to have their Researcher Card. It is a complete HONOR to have access to these records that were generated at all the bases in England during the war. To see the name of your relative or the subject of your research in front of you, from that war, is a feeling I wish all of you will be able to experience one day. Documenting someone or some event is why the archives exist.

Marybeth Dyer and Brian Mahoney have been working hard on trying to finish up "The News from The Greatest Generation," the Heritage League's project to assemble and digitize the post war years of newsletters from the bomb, fighter groups, support units and headquarters. This is part of our mission to find and preserve for history the acts and sacrifices of the Second Air Division in defeating Nazi Germany in the Second World War. It has not been an easy task, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. On Aug. 10, the Heritage League delivered to the Library of Congress the digital and paper copies from this project (see news story in this Herald).

Our membership rates will increase by $5 for the upcoming year. The Executive Committee has approved new rates to help defray our cost increases and has added a student rate for those under 26. The new rates are: $25 for members (Emailed Herald), $35 members (paper Herald), Veterans are free (Email) or $30 for paper, students-$20 (Email).

I will do my best to continue the leadership role that all past presidents of the Heritage League have demonstrated and who are ready and able to advise me when needed. I shall rely on them for their advice and wise counsel.

If you have not volunteered for any service to the Heritage League, please consider asking our new Vice President for Volunteers, Don Freudenthal, whose father was group bombardier and historian of the 489 BG. Don will be able to match people up with projects that help preserve the history, effort, and sacrifices of all the personnel of the Second Air Division, Eighth Air Force, E.T.O. WWII.