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A grieving mother's prayer

Updated: 4 days ago

In Bombing Hitler's Hometown (page 229), we read a poem from Mrs. M. Gajnak included in a letter to my grandmother, Harriet Croissant. Mrs. Gajnak's son, Emil, was on board the plane that crashed near Madison, Wisconsin, on 22 September 1945, taking the lives of all seven occupants, including my uncle Ellsworth. For Mother's Day, I thought I would post the handwritten poem in remembrance of a mother's love for her children.

Emil Gajnak (pronounced GAY-nack) went to navigator school with Bill Johnson, the navigator on Crew 8431 and one of Ellsworth's best friends during the war. The plane crash was thus a double blow to Bill, who remained bitter about it for the rest of his life.

Emil Gajnak (left) and Bill Johnson (right)


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