398th Bomb Group

A Visit With George Cuda

By Malcolm "Ozzie" Osborn
UK Friend of the 398th
19 May 2005

There are days when life becomes just a little less ordinary, when something happens that quickens the pulse and you realize just how lucky you are. Today is one of those days.  I was sitting by my PC working on a software program I have just installed that adds AI (artificial intelligence) aircraft to my flight simulator.  Suddenly the telephone rang and a voice said "Is that Malcolm, is that you Ozzie?"  Who is this please ? I asked.  "It's that damn Yankee Cuda here" a voice replied. See OK, Cuda, Let's Get On With The War! - Flight Line Chief, 600th Squadron by Allen Ostrom, Flak News Editor for background on George Cuda.

Oh my goodness - what a magnificent surprise.  George had just read my article in Flak News about Col Earl J. Berryhill and was ringing to confirm what a pain-in-the neck Berryhill was!

We spoke about George's operations - that's correct, in the plural.  He had a hernia operation, then followed a far more serious operation to remove a cancer of the Prostate. Thank God he has been given the all clear so far, but what an amazing character and what an honor to know such a guy.   His wife Joyce is suffering from arthritis badly now, but otherwise doing fine.  This June 4th will be a double celebration - George will be 87 years old (young) - and he and Joyce will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on that same day.  George says - "Ozzie I want you to come down here soon, I want to talk about the 398th and my memories of Berryhill - like the time he came down to the line in a Jeep and booked one of my hard working corporals for failing to salute him"

Needless to say, I need no second bidding and will go to see George next week - you can bet on that. I reminded him of the first time we met, in the little back bar (as was) at Cricketers Pub at Clavering not far from Station 131. That was 1973 - 32 years ago. We stayed chatting, him, Vic and I, until well past closing time on many an occasion.  The road home always seemed slightly indistinct afterwards - naughty! Happy memories of a wonderful character - and what marvelous tales he told us.  I am so very lucky to get telephone calls like this - they are the ones that make me feel so very proud and pleased that I have known such a man.  These are the little, precious rewards, that researching the 398th brings.

Today, life became just a little less ordinary. Warm regards to you all. 

Toodle pip, Ozzie

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