Tales of the 319th, the WWII series of stories about the 319th Bomb Group by Joseph W. Connaughton (Joe to his friends) was published by The Ardent Writer Press this week!

And to sweeten the experience, the old bombardier celebrated his 91st birthday on Wednesday, December 10th.  A few of his writer group friends met with him on Tuesday night in Huntsville to toast his birthday and his publication.

Included in the festivities were Joe, Doris Posey, Barbara Benjamin, Roz Fellwock, Jean Wiggins, Doyle Duke (Extended Vacation), Leo and Bob Larkin, and James Frost (Dollface).

Joe’s friend from New York City, a contributor to many east coast periodicals, Suzanne Charle (Char-lez), bought the champagne that was used in our toast as well as a bottle of pinot noir wine, entitled “Storyteller,” a nice touch for Joe the gentleman warrior and writer. Suzanne’s family also had members in the 319th Bomb Group.

After enjoying the champagne along with sparkling grape juice, cheese, nuts and desserts, our group talked “writing” and poetry.  It was noted that both Joe and Doris were published in the Christmas issue of Old Huntsville Magazine with a chapter from Tales of the 319th, “A Christmas to Remember”, being the feature story for the magazine.

At the end of the night Joe took the bottle of “Storyteller” home to his wife, Laura.  We’re all very happy for Joe’s accomplishments and his publication.

Anyone with an interest in WWII and the life of the soldier aviator should buy a copy of Tales of the 31th.  It’s a wonderful chronicle of this famous flying group, with just the right mix of drama and humor.  Get one today on Amazon!

 

Friends enjoy a toast with Joe over his birthday and publication

Friends enjoy a toast with Joe over his birthday and publication

Joe and writer friend, Doris Posey (right), were both published in the Christmas Issue of Old Huntsville Magazine

Joe and writer friend, Doris Posey (right), were both published in the Christmas Issue of Old Huntsville Magazine

Joe Connaughton enjoys his copy of Old Huntsville Magazine with his feature story

Joe Connaughton enjoys his copy of Old Huntsville Magazine with his feature story

Steve Gierhart
Dale “Steve” Gierhart is a retired business manager for the United States Army. Based in Huntsville, Alabama on Redstone Arsenal, his career lasted from 1975 to 2010 in which he managed contracts, finances/accounting, and cost estimating for several missile defense systems, among which were Stinger, Avenger, Chaparral, Sentinel, JLENS, SLAMRAAM, and Non-Line of Sight.  The author wishes to thank the many co-workers, peers, and contractors who made these programs successful.  It is their tireless work that brought these systems to the soldier that needed them.  While budget constraints made it difficult for some of their work to see its full potential, they never blinked, they adjusted.  They persevered.Steve hails from Shawnee, Oklahoma; but most of his adult life has been spent in the beautiful hills of North Alabama where he lives with his wife, Bonny, who raises Tennessee Walking Horses.Between them, Steve and Bonny have 5 children and 7 grandchildren, and another grandbaby is on the way.Steve enjoys writing now that he is retired and plans more excursions of the imagination.He and Bonny, a retired engineer who worked as a contractor on several NASA and Army programs, will travel in their retirement though 15 horses, 4 dogs and 3 cats can crimp the best of plans.