The Bill Pontinens

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The Pontinens and the story of ...

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Bill and his family

Bill and MargaretThis photo of Bill and Margret was given to me by my mom.

12/26/08: Bill and I had a great chat Christmas Eve and as Jimmy and I pored over all my photos, I found this one of him and Margaret that mom had sent me. I'm glad to be able to post it here. I hope to have more family photos to post.

12/28/08: Going through "papers" I found these articles (one and two) (with photos to be posted)

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Historical Information:

Lieut. Pontinen Flies Over City in His P-38 (year uncertain) see scanned article A Labor Day treat was given Virginians yesterday morning and in particular, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Pontinen, of 1202 Second Avenue South, when their son, Lieutenant William H. Pontinen, U.S. Army Air Corps, soared over the city in a P-38 Lockheed double-tailed Lightning pursuit plane, the first seen by most Virginians.

Housewives left the washing in the machine, sleepyheads, tousled and not quite awake stumbled into the back yard, while youngsters climbed fences and garages for a better look at the silver streak that was looping and rolling over the city like a feather caught in the breeze.

Lt. Pontinen, a P-38 instructor at Coffeyville, Kansas, had planned to arrive in the city Saturday or Sunday but motor trouble forced him to lay over in Mineapolis. He came by bus to Virginia, spent the week-end with his parents, and returned to Minneapolis late Sunday to recondition his plane and then flew here Monday.

Although he was unable to land, at any of the Range airports, Vivian Prince, who was on duty at the Municipal airport, said that office was swamped with calls, as was the Mesabi Daily News office, by citizens eager to learn who was piloting the plane.

Lt. Pontinen recently returned to the states following seven months service in Italy as photo reconnaisance pilot with the Fifteenth Air Force. Upon completion his missions, and before returning to the states he served as transportation officer. He piloted a bomber, with a full passenger list, to the states, arriving in Virginia July 1 to spend 30 days with his parents before reporting for reassignment.

Italian Flying Vet Home on Furlough (date uncertain) see scanned article First Lieut. William H. Pontinen, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack A. Pontinen, 1208 Second Avenue South, pilot of a heavy bomber crew with the 15th Army Air Forces in Italy, has arrived home on a 30 day furlough. He landed at a Charleston, S. C., port of embarkation by transport plane last Wednesday.

After his 30- day leave he, together with almost all members of his group, will be leaving for overseas again -- this time to the Pacific.

Lieutenant Pontinen was inducted into the Army in February, 1943, and went overseas to a base in italy in December 1944. He wears the air medal and the European Theater ribbon with three bronze battle stars.

A brother, Sgt. Wilbert Pontinen has returned to the army orddnance base at Lincoln, Nebraska, after spending a short furlough with his parents.

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