In August 2005, Robert (Kip) Malaska, Jack's step son in August 2005 wrote us that: "When Jack painted "Clearing and Colder" he wanted to add a trace of something else also doing its daily work into the painting. The scan above is partially cropped, but you might notice the mouse tracks coming into the picture, to the left and parallel with the B-17 crew footprints, and entering into the clump of grass on the lower left of the painting." It's pretty hard to see this on the web photo, but can be seen in the prints available in the 398th PX.
I wish I could tell you that 43-38658 was a survivor like some 398ers still are, but that was not to be. That B-17 was mortally wounded on the now infamous RDX mission, the Friday the 13th mission, of April 13, 1945. It was crashed landed and abandoned on the Continent by its 601 Squadron pilots, Raymond Hernden and Lowell Culver. See the Flak News story Ed Norris Was Not Forgotten By His Crew by Allen Ostrom and other 601st RDX articles. So this is a special 398th story to remember. A Clearing and Colder represents a special part of 398th history. It receives a great deal of respect and affection from all real 398ers.
See item(s) available in our 398th PX regarding Clearing and Colder.
Text contributed by Wally Blackwell, President 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association. If you would like to add information about this photo, please contact our 398th Photo Historian. The Photo Reference Number is PR04.