Benjamin "Benny" Randolph
Lt, 410th Bomb Group, 9th AF, USAAF
Randolph and Gyro
"Randolph`s the name.... Benny Randolph"... and with that introduction Lt. Benjamin Randolph extented his hand and joined the growing family of the 410th Bomb Group. Tall, slim and closed-mouth, a Texan with proud heritage, Benny Randolph was born to fly...it was in his blood. Randolph? RANDOLPH FIELD?. You`re pretty good he reminisced, "when they name an Airfield after you". And with just those proud words, he went on to tell you the story of his Dad, Capt. William Randolph who lost his life Feb.17,1928 testing a Fighter Aircraft. "he crashed in a Texas field doing what he loved best, flying". On June, 20 1930 his mother raised the first flag over RANDOPH FIELD, opening the field for opreational flights. Turning a little, and with a snap of his fingers, a rust colored chow dog came out from under the bench and nuzlled his leg..."Meet Gyro", and, with a shake of the paw, Gyro too became a permanent member of the 410th.Wherever Benny Randolph went, Gyro was constantly at his side...his Good Luck Charm.
A familiar sight on the flying line, Gyro could be seen loping along behind his long striding master on the way to his plane, " BENNY SENT ME". Circulating among the ground crews, he was ther on the line until Benny came back and they climbed aboard the jeep for the ride to the barracks. There was a time, though, before the 410th, when Gyro didn`t do all his traveling afoot...a time when he was flying piggy back with Benny in a A-20 that ripped through a high power line,scorching the plane from nose to tail. The rubber mat on which Benny sat and the gloves he wore saved both of them.
Stateside training finished, the POM inspection passed, the 410th prepared for the the trip to Europe and that preparation included a carefully thought out plan to smuggle Gyro aboard the troopship, Saturnia. A doctor`s needle, a duffle bag and perfect timing all played a part, and the rust colored chow made it safely and undected 13 days later to the dock in Gourock, Scotland. The Flight Surgeon put it this way..."I had to give him enough to keep him quiet, but not to much or he wouldn`t wake up". Benny, once more, had kept his promise to Gyro..."wherever I go, you`ll go, too".
Once in England, Benny and Gyro resumed their flight line routine as the 410th prepared for its first taste of combat. At his heels until Benny climbed into the cockpit, Gyro barked her farewell and circulated among her freinds until touchdown and her jeep ride home. And, she wasn`t on the flight line, Gyro demonstrated a hatred for chickens and engaged in numerous pranks thjat saw the hat being passed Frequently among the group members who hd adopted her.
As the number of combat missions increased, so did the frequency of Benny Randolph`s flights over heavily defended enamy territory, and it wasn`t long until he had 12 missions under his belt...a Combat Veteran. In the mean time, Gyro, to no one`s suprise, gave birth to a couple of puppies. And as Benny`s 13th mission rolled around, Gyrowas dutifully busy with her offsprings.
The Bomb Group History records it this way..."If dogs can feel, i should imagine that you wish you could have been with him yesterday. You haven`t had a chance to do much flying of late, because of those newly arrived puppies, he needed the extra luck you would have brought him...Her`s the story in one official sentence.
"2nd Lt. Benjamin D. Randolph of San antonio, Texas, was shot down last night while piloting a plane over Chartres, France".
Well, Gyro remained with the group and was brought home, and Benny Randoph`s mother was asked if she wanted Gyro she declined, "to much grief". And , with thar Gyro lived out her life with a member of the group, always a fullfledged, but never forgotten veteran of the 410th Bomb Group, let us not forget Benny, his father, and his mother who were true heros also. God Bless all that served.
----- Submitted by "Big0410"
Biography of Jack Deuitch, S/Sgt, Gunner, 644th Bomb Sqdn, 410th Bomb Group, 9th AF, USAAF
Diary of Guiseppe A. Siciliano, S/Sgt, Eng/Gunner, A20#714 "Dexter's Dragon", 646th Bomb Sqdn, 410th Bomb Group, Unit History, 9th AF, USAAF - Not a Center Page Use Back Key to Returrn
A20 of the 410th Photo at Boeing Co. Site, Use Back Key to Return
Photo Gallery 410th Bomb Group Not A Center Page use Back Key to Return
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