Archive for November, 2013

Thanks to my dads for serving our country. Only have a picture of J.K. Wakefield, European Theater, AAF WWII. M.H. Smith, Stateside, Ft. Sam Houston.

Pictures from Europe and Sheppard’s Field in TX

The following is a letter from D. Gwyther (USAF Ret.) recalling his experiences with the advance cadre of the 34th Bomber Squadron of the 17th Bomb Group in 1942.

“I cannot say I was a close friend of your father, but we shared an ungorgetable experience together. I was the Non-Commissioned officer, Tech Sergeant in charge of the Cadre [34 airmen, two lieutenants, a captain, and a major chaplin] that was formed to travel to England [via the Queen Mary] to ready an air terminal for the arrival of the 17th Bomb Group B-26 aircraft. To this day I am not sure if we were selected for our skills, or lack of skill, or as a decoy or maybe as a group like in the movie, Dirty Dozen. For whatever reason it was a rough tough bunch of GIs. On the Queen Mary there were nineteen thousand troops just for that one trip. Just out of Scotland the QM hit a cruiser, cutting it in half and we saw it sink. Four-hundred sailers went down with it. If the cruiser’s amo would have gone off it could have sunk the QM.

The two-and-one-half months we spend in England were not bad duty and we all learned how to drink our beer warm, dark or light, and by the pint. Many things happened during the time in England that we don’t tell much about.   From there we some how got orders to join the African invasion fleet and try to join up again with our aircraft somewhere in North Africa. We were loaded on a small, and I do mean small, very dirty and old English troop ship called HMS Derbyshire. The next twenty-some-odd days were as close to hell as I want to come. It was bad. Most everyone was sea sick, latrine ankle-deep in you-know-what, almost no food, but we were not allowed out of the locked hole. As NCOIC, keeping the men from killing each other, or me, was not easy and, like I said, I could have no friends. Don’t remember seeing an officer for the entire trip. We went in after the army secured the beach at Tunis, North Africa. Had a few sniper shots fired at us and bombs some distance from us, but we would have faced anything just to get off the HMS Derbyshire!   For the next week we stayed in a muddy, plowed field in the rain with no fires or lights allowed. We did get some English rations–kidney beans and tea–cold. For the next three weeks we criss-crossed North Africa in the little box cars called “40 and 8s”. Forty men and eight horses. We didn’t have the horses, but they might have been better than some of the men. I won’t go into the things that happened during the train rides. That is another story too long to write about. One thing for sure, the time your dad and I spent together was a heck of a ride.”

Sheppard Field, TX; Barksdale Field, LA, 24 Jun-18 Nov 1942; Telergma, Algeria, 23 Dec 1942; Sedrata, Algeria, c. 13 May 1943; Djedeida, Tunisia, 25 Jun 1943; Villacidro, Sardinia, c. 6 Dec 1943; Poretta, Corsica, 21 Sep 1944; Dijon, France, 20 Nov 1944.


John Wakefield Europe 1944 John Wakefield - mechanic training Sheppard Field 1942 Air Corp Tech School graduation - Sheppard Field - May 1942 Airplane inspection - Sheppard Field 1942 Between Classes - Sheppard Field 1942 Classroom at sheppard field 1942 Col E.C. Black - Cammandant Sheppard Field 1942 Final airplane inspection Sheppard Field 1942 Instruction - Sheppard Field 1942 Instruction at Sheppard Field 1942 Instructional building - Sheppard Field 1942 Motor Pool - Sheppard Field 1942 Non-Com Officers Club Wichita Falls 1942 Review at Sheppard field 1942 Review Sheppard Field 1942 Sheppard Field Student Hanger 1942 Sheppard Field Tech School Hangar 1942 Student hangers - Sheppard Field 1942 Student mechanics - Sheppard Field 1942
34th medium bomb squadron17 bombardment group

Be RichJesus and Murphy (the non-disciple) were waiting at Starbucks for the rest of the disciples to show up. They were both drinking French roast, black.Jesus: Murph, do you think you are rich?

Murphy: Nah. I have my little pub and some stuff, but I’m not rich. I know a guy who has a chain of ox cart repair and sales centers–he’s rich. Drives a horse.

Jesus: Hmmm. Do you and your family eat every day?

Murph: Yes.

Jesus: Do you have a roof over your head?

Murph: You know I do.

Jesus: Do you have two outfits to wear?

Murph: Three.

Jesus: You ARE rich, you just don’t FEEL rich.

Murph: I suppose.

Jesus: No, you definitely ARE rich. Look down the street at the Salvation Army Center. Compared to them, you are a wealthy man. That kid on the corner over there–he’s 15 and doesn’t have parents and was booted out of his foster home. He’s the eldest of 6 kids living in a cave near the bluff.

Murph: So, you don’t want me to be rich?

Jesus: No, no. I’m happy you are rich, but since you ARE rich, BE rich. Share your resources with those who have less. Not just among followers, be rich even with people who don’t like us. Even with Edomites and Samaritians.

Murph: I want to be like you. How much do you need?

Jesus: That’s up to you. It’s nothing but an opportunity. I’m going to ask the disciples to give the equivalent of a week of Starbucks to help those kids in the cave and the Salvation Army–my goal: 40 denarus. That’ll help those folks who are taking care of the poor folks.

Tr8 – You ARE rich, BE rich. Give the cost of a meal for a family of four, about $39.95 (w/o tip) to those who are helping the helpless.

Be Rich!

I attend Watermarke Church, one of North Point Community Church’s five campuses in Atlanta. I love it! Yesterday we began Be Rich, an event that shares our wealth with those who are less fortunate. 100% of the funds raised (goal $2.2 million) goes toward medical care, foster care, hunger, housing and at-risk children. Last year we raised north of $5 million on a $1.5 million goal. This year we’ve added some of our strategic partners and hope to give more. Be Rich works with partners who are effectively ministering in the areas mentioned above. Below are Watermarke Church’s local partners. 

You can join in the fun too!  Check out Be Rich!

Watermarke Partners:

Forever Fed


Forever Fed is a mobile food ministry that began serving communities in North Georgia in August 2010. Based on the premise that community is fostered when neighbors break bread together, they ease the burden of households experiencing food instability by providing nutritious and desirable prepared meals.


Goshen Valley Boys Ranch


Goshen Valley Boys Ranch (GVBR) is a nonprofit home serving young men ages 11–21 in Georgia’s foster care system through a transitional living program. GVBR seeks to end the cycle of abuse and neglect and provide healing for their clients as they assist them in finding long-term life plans through reunification with families, adoption, secondary education, employment, and/or transition into the community.


MUST Ministries - Cherokee


The MUST Ministries Cherokee serves those in need in our community with its food pantry, clothing closet, financial assistance, translation assistance, housing, and seasonal programming. Clients can also participate in a variety of courses in the classroom and the computer lab, both staffed by volunteers.


Operation Christmas Child


Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest children’s Christmas project, run by the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse. Since 1990, more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child. Samaritan’s Purse works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts and share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ.


The HOPE Center


The HOPE Center exists to share the love of Jesus Christ, promote sexual purity, and value human life. They provide help, hope, and healing to individuals facing pregnancy or relationship issues.


For more information about North Point Community Church.