During research to the 74th Troop Carrier Squadron, I did get in touch with Mr. Ed Tunison. That was in June 2014, shortly after the D-day ceremonies. Ed wrote me that his plane was named “Placid Lassie”. With all the Facebook traffic I realized the plane was still flying and had flown the D-day ceremonies. With some further research I was able to get in touch with the owners. And get the owners and Ed in touch with each other. More of the history of the airplane became known.
Placid means calm, lassie means lady. The crew named it.
My pilot, was Capt. Richard Lum, My co-pilot was Lt, Lundgren, My navigator, was William Vaughn. My crew chief was
Eddie Appadoca. I was the Radio operator. We flew the Lassie,through the war,from
where we originated, in Alliance Nebraska. It was easy to fly. Our pilot, let all the crew fly it from time to time, just in case
we had a problem. We carried no arms, but side arms, and a carbine. We had flak helmets,and a flak vest.
Lt. Lundgren did get hiw own plane later on and he lost his live when his plane crashed on 19 September 1944 during Operation Market Garden. This was the third day of the operation.
In September 2015, the owners of the aircraft flew it again for the ceremonies in Holland, remembering Market Garden. At this time, Ed and his son Claude were among the crew and participated in the flights. Thanks to James and Eric, the owners of the plane.
Left; The crew left to right: T/Sgt. Eddie Apodaca, 1st Lt. William M. Vaughn, 1st Lt. Merton E. Eckert, 1st Lt. Richard M. Lum and S/Sgt. Edward H. Tunison. (74th Troop Carrier Group History)
Placid Lassie at Weeze airport, 2014. Having just returned to drop paratroopers at DZ-O near Overasselt, the DZ originally used by the 504th PIR. Left to right, owners Eric and James, Ed Tunison, webmaster, Clause Tunison and Sietske, webmasters partner.
‘Eager’ Eileen is Ed’s wife. The other engine carried the name of the crew chief’s wife.