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Hello B26.COM,

Arnold Thompson here.  I was looking at the "Nose Art" on a B-26 web site and there was a picture of  "King Size", my brother's plane with his copilot, Charles R. Esparza pointing out the right window at flack damage on his side of the plane that was sustained during a mission. That picture reportedly was taken Sept. 2, 1943.  Bernard was badly wounded the first part of Sept. '43 on his 4th mission.  Bernard  flew in the 9th Air Force, 387 BG 559BS ETO.  His plane (King Size) was named by him - he was 6' 5" and because of his height had to join the RCAF to get into flying training in 1942 and transferred back to the US later.  The nose art on his plane was applied at Detroit after he picked up the plane at the factory.  He then flew it over the North Atlantic stopping at Reykjevik, Iceland on the way to England and the war.  He arrived in England about June, 1943.  Bernard went on to fly a total of 50 missions and 10 sorties and was ground liaison later in France.  He died Feb. 1,1998. Hope you can forward the pictures for display on the web site.  I received them from Bernard's wife, Dorothy, and their daughter, Susan. Hopefully, somebody pictured and named here will enjoy seeing them and maybe they will contact us.  I'm sure Bernard's wife and two daughters would enjoy corresponding with them. Bernard's daughter, Susan's e-mail address is: (send question and contact to Mike at  I am happy to forward).

Arnold Thompson

Attached are three more pictures I have.   I also have a video tape of Bernard telling of some of his experiences.  He was in his late 70's when we taped it and he seemed to not mind telling about it.  I thought it kind of hair raising my self.   Lost hydraulics and wounded aboard and that sort of thing.

Trevor's Response:

Bernard was the original assigned pilot of 41-31705 TQ-K

"King size" 559th Bomb Squadron 387th Bomb Group. It was in this B26 that he and his crew flew from the USA to England June 1943. The crew was:

Pilot 1.Lt. Bernard H Thompson
Copilot 2.Lt. Charles R Esparzo
Bomb/Nav 2.Lt. Irving M Lorman
E/Gunner Pfc. Kenneth D Ickes
R/Gunner T/Sgt. Frederick W Roth
Gunner S/Sgt. John D Larson
Passenger T/Sgt. Charles L Smith

The above crew, less the passenger flew its first mission in "King Size" Jul 31,1943 a diversionary sweep.

"King Size" went on to complete 118 combat missions being retired from combat as War Weary Dec 15,1944.

Photograph 1.of Bernard Thompson was taken in a later uncamouflaged B26

Photograph.2 of the crew was taken in the USA while the squadron was still training

Photograph.3 "King Size" was taken in England after completing 4 diversionary missions and nine bombing missions.

Left to right T/Sgt. Charles L Smith crew chief and 2.Lt. Irving M Lorman the bombardier/navigator.

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