The collection contains items reflecting George Dong's career with the B-24 airplane Witchcraft during World War II. It includes
documents, news clippings, memorabilia, and extensive photographs which have been digitized.
George Yee Dong was born March 16, 1907 in Bakersfield California. By 1920 the family moved to National City, California.
Around 1941 they moved to Coronado, California and took up residence on C Street.
George attended Roosevelt High School near the San Diego Zoo, graduated in 1923, and then became an auto mechanic and electrician
at the Mission Garage on Girard Avenue in La Jolla, California. On October 6, 1942, Dong enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force.
Since he entered the Army as a professionally trained auto mechanic, the Army wisely decided he be trained as an aircraft
mechanic. He received training as an aviation mechanic at Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina, graduating on August 13,
1943 with qualifications to maintain the B-24, AT-6, BT-15 and A-20 aircraft types. He then received specialized B-24 training
at the Ford facility at Willow Run, Michigan, graduating from their ground school on September 22, 1943. On completion of
his training, Dong went to Wendover Army Airfield, Utah, to join the 467th Bombardment Group (BG). It was there that he was
assigned as Assistant Crew Chief to the B- 24H Witchcraft, and began a lifelong relationship its Crew Chief, Joe Ramirez.
Witchcraft was a B-24H in the 467th Bombardment Group, 790th Bombardment Squadron (BS) of the Eighth Air Force. Built at the
Ford factory at Willow Run, Michigan as serial #42-52534, it was delivered to the 467th BG at Wendover Army Airfield, Utah,
and was assigned to the crew of 2/Lt. George W. Reed who subsequently flew it by the Air Transport Command Southern Ferry
Route from Florida to Brazil to Dakar and then to England. It departed Florida on February 29, 1944 and arrived at Station
145, Rackheath, England on March 19, 1944. Witchcraft flew in the 467th BG's first mission on April 10, 1944, and its last
mission on April 25, 1945 with 128 missions in between. While flown by a number of different crews, the plane served without
an early return or having any crewman injured or killed on the missions. The aircraft's total of 130 missions in all was an
Eighth Air Force record.
Witchcraft was returned to the Zone of the Interior in June 1945. After a period of public display at the Willow Run factory
where it had been built, the plane was flown one last time to Altus, Oklahoma and scrapped in 1946.
Witchcraft had the same ground maintenance crew for its entire combat career: M/Sgt. Joe R. Ramirez (crew chief); George Y.
Dong (assistant crew chief); Raymond A. Betcher (mechanic); Walter L. Elliott (mechanic); and Joseph J. Vetter (mechanic).
George was released from the military in September 1945 and found employment at the Naval Air and Rework Facility and Naval
Air Station San Diego on North Island. Specializing in aircraft maintenance and equipment installation on Consolidated PB4Y
Privateers, Dong eventually retired in 1963 after nearly 21 years in government service. Dong spent the rest of his life managing
the family's property, fishing, travelling and enjoying having his family around him. He remained close to his friends from
his wartime experience and was deeply involved with the 467th Bombardment Group Association. George, who never married, was
92 when he passed away on April 26, 1999.
.25 Cubic Feet
Content notes: The collection contains items reflecting George Dong's career with the B-24 airplane Witchcraft during World
War II. It includes documents, news clippings, memorabilia, and extensive photographs which have been digitized.
Description: The collection consists of one gray flip-top archival box, 12-1/2" x 3-1/4" x 10-