Lieut Vernon Earl “Skinny” Childers

Lieut Vernon Earl “Skinny” Childers

Nolan County, Texas, USA
Death 23 Nov 1977 (aged 60)
Burnet County, Texas, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered
Memorial ID 97616623 · View Source
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14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 375th Bomb Squadron

He was the son of Earl Andrew Childers and Lela Evelyn Sikes. His father passed away very young as a result of the 1918-1919 flu pandemic.

He had siblings Lucile Childers Porter and
Patsy Lee Childers Campbell.

He attended the University of Texas at Austin from 1936-1940.

In Topeka, KS, Aug/Sep 1943, enlisted crew #48-14 was merged with an officer crew to staff B-24J 42-73083. The officers allowed the enlisted men to come up with a name. Sgt Herbert Gross, the last man assigned to the group that already called themselves "Burk's Jerks", developed a "better" name: Vitamin-P, an anagram created from the first letters of the home states of the crewmen~

Vermont - 2nd Lt Paul B ‘Babbitt' Ranslow, Bombardier
Indiana - 2nd Lt Richard E ‘Dick' Burk, Pilot
Texas - 2nd Lt Vernon E ‘Skinny' Childers, Co-Pilot
Arkansas - Sgt Max ‘Pappy' Cline, Armorer/Ball Turret Gunner
Maine - SSgt Earnest J ‘Put-Put' Churchill, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
Indiana - Sgt Abraham Lincoln ‘Bud' Wollam, Jr, Asst Armorer/Waist Gunner
- SSgt Carl W ‘Stinky' Boyd, Radio Operator/Nose Turret Gunner
New York - Sgt Herbert Gross, Asst Engineer, Tail Turret Gunner
- Sgt Marion W Catania, Asst Radio Operator/Waist Gunner
Pennsylvania - 2nd Lt Robert N ‘Bob' McCall, Navigator

Sgt Boyd developed a design, obtained paint and applied the nose art of a recumbent Bugs Bunny in a Superman-style outfit floating above the name.

On 4 October 1943 the ‘Vitamin-P' made an emergency landing in Tuskegee Alabama en route to Morrison Field, West Palm Beach Florida from Topeka. The crew remained with the aircraft almost two weeks waiting for delivery of at least two replacement engines. On October 16, the crew and cargo of the ‘Vitamin-P' were flown back to Topeka. The crew was given a new B-24J #42-73243 upon which Sgt Boyd applied the name ‘Vitamin-P II'. On 20 October 1943, they again took off for Morrison Field for the first leg of their overseas journey. The ‘Vitamin-P II' shipped out to China assigned to the 14th AF, 308th BG, 375th BS.

The ‘Vitamin-P' B-24 #42-73083 was eventually repaired and saw service with the 15AF 376BG 513BS.

Once in China, the enlisted men and officers were split up. Childers was Co-Pilot on ‘Georgia Peach' and Pilot of ‘Ubangi Bag III'. It is suspected that he might have been Co-Pilot on ‘Daisy May' and Pilot on ‘Escalator III'.

Many thanks to findagrave contributors metteor51 and Michael Hernandez for their assistance with this memorial.

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  • Created by: B24CoPilotNiece
  • Added: 22 Sep 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 97616623
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lieut Vernon Earl “Skinny” Childers (27 Apr 1917–23 Nov 1977), Find a Grave Memorial no. 97616623, ; Maintained by B24CoPilotNiece (contributor 47391745) Cremated, Ashes scattered.