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Phil Newman



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Background Information

Employment History




Decrepit Birdmen

WWII B-17 Pilot


Decrepit Birdmen

Combat Airmen

Combat Airmen

Web References (21 Total References)

PHILIP O. ... [cached]



PHILLIP O. ... [cached]


Colonel Newman a resident of Gainesville, Florida joined the Army Air Corps during World War II. Colonel Newman was a bomber pilot assigned to the 15th Air Force, 99th Bomb Group, 347th Bomb Squadron in Foggie, Italy.
As a First Lieutenant, Newman piolted the Famous B-17 "Flying Fortress" Heavy Bomber. It was his job as lead pilot to guide B-17s on missions over eight countries. Newman flew sixty missions, fifty of them combat mission. He and his crew destroyed oil refineries, tank factories, tunnels, bridges and disrupted the flow of enemy military traffic. Our job was to destroy the enemies' ability to make war.
Today Colonel Newman is involved with the many veterans organization in and around the Gainesville area. He also speaks at schools about THE GREATEST GENERATION and what it cost to be free.
Colonel Newman will always remind you that it is all about freedom, and that the cost of FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE.
crookedfences015009.gif Photo of then Lieutenant Phil O. Newman
Lieutenant Phil Newman and his crew in 1944 Arrow is pointing at Newman crookedfences015009.gif Aurelia and Phil enjoying a moment in front of the camera. Aurelia who's nickname is Chick is the wife of Phil Newman.

Phil Newman, WWII B-17 Pilot ... [cached]

Phil Newman, WWII B-17 Pilot and member of the Decrepit Birdmen. Download flyer at Great fuel prices! RSVP recommended to

Phil Newman of the U.S. ... [cached]

Phil Newman of the U.S. Air Corps represents the veteran group the Decrepit Birdmen at the Ocala International Airport.

Phil Newman of the United States Army Air Corps wrestles with covered surfaces upon which rest the materials of his life's dedication.
Newman is one of the 21,000 veterans in Alachua County, and though he served more than half a century ago, his goal is to keep alive the spirit of the men and women who fought for freedom.Newman uses these materials — maps, model planes, cassettes and manuscripts — to educate people about World War II.He coordinates high school chats; at air shows, he is a spokesman for the veterans' group the Decrepit Birdmen.Newman also helped start a collection of recorded interviews with World War II veterans, a project he began in 1994.
Newman ends his search, unfolding a laminated tri-fold map.It is of the United States, but there is nothing American about it: the Japanese flag is centered with the Italian flag covering the western U.S. and the German flag, the east.He said this is what our country would have looked like had the Axis powers won.
Newman was born in March of 1923.
"It was a good year for strawberries and things," he said.
He lived down the street from Aurelia, whom he dated all four years in high school.But in 1941, this C-student from Greensboro, North Carolina, jumped ship.Newman went north and Aurelia moved to Georgia for college.
Newman said he had a deferment, and his friends had begged him to stay, but duty called.
"It's about freedom.You hardly hear anyone mention that word today," he said.
Newman became one of the 190,000 pilots trained during World War II.From 1942 to 1945, it was his job as lead pilot to guide B-17s on missions over eight countries.He was stationed in Foggia, Italy, and flew to France, Germany, the former Czechoslovakia, the former Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary and Poland.
"The weather had to be real bad for us not to go," he said.
Somewhere between 25- and 30,000 feet, Newman defended his country.His job was to destroy the enemies' ability to make war.He and his crew destroyed oil refineries, tank factories, tunnels, bridges — anything to disrupt the flow of military traffic.
"Looking down, you didn't know if you were going to kill somebody.You didn't care , People ask me, ,How does it feel to kill somebody?' I don't know," he said.
Newman remembers the Tuskegee Airmen who flew fighter cover for his crew.His team would otherwise have flown solo over Germany for 600 miles out of Foggia.
"They flew flight cover every mission we went and they never lost a bomber," he said.
After the war, Newman moved to Raleigh, N.C., where he took a communications job, married his first wife, Blanche, and had two children.
Some 50 years later in 1994, he founded the Combat Airmen, and the group began searching for other veterans.In about 90 tape-recorded interviews called "Reminiscences of World War II," they have documented the personal accounts of Americans who served in the war.They began storing the tapes in archives in Raleigh, N.C., but soon they placed them in high schools and public and community college libraries.
The University of Florida has since taken the tapes and transcribed them, and they are available as part of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.
After 59 years of marriage, Blanche passed away and in 2004 Newman moved to Gainesville and got back in touch with his high school sweetheart, Aurelia Wallace.
In an ROTC class at Gainesville High School, Newman was joined by Aurelia and three veterans.
Nelson is also a member of the Decrepit Birdmen, a veterans' group comprised mostly of World War II vets, most of who were in the flying business, Newman said.
Newman shared an example of the CDs onto which he hopes to transfer all the cassette interviews.
He turns and names the Birdmen sitting to his left: Dick Golze, Russell Smith and Kirby Stewart.
"They can't help it," Newman said."They're decrepit."

The Eden Daily News [cached]

"We're promoting these gentlemen because of their heroic efforts during World War II," said Phil Newman, member of the Combat Airmen."The contributions they made helped give us the freedom we have today."Newman's interest in the Tuskeege Airmen runs deeper than a general curiosity; he has close ties to the men.In fact, he credits them for saving his life.Newman was a bomber pilot in World War II and flew alongside the Tuskeege Airmen who helped protect him and hundred of others like him on long bombing missions.And according to him, if it wasn't for the courageous efforts made by these men, he may not be alive today."We're trying to give them a face," said Newman."Very seldom do people hear from these men.They saved countless lives and need as mush recognition as they can get."According to Newman, Alexander and Baugh will speak on the struggles and joy they experience while in the military.

"Number one, they'll have a change to learn something about the history of the Tuskeege Airmen and the history of African Americans," said Newman.
"This is something that you'll never get to see again," said Newman."There's not many of these men left and people should take advantage of this opportunity."The free event will be held in Rockingham County High School's auditorium, Thursday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m. For more information contact Phil Newman at (336) 342-3827."I heard them both speak and it was incredible," said Newman.

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