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(908) 7899000 INJURY CASES Jim Hely
Westfield Resident Bertram Schwartz Remembers Life with ‘The Hump’
The People of Our Community
An ongoing series of articles about interesting people in our communities.
ries for Mr. Schwartz. “Much of China is just the same and just as ancient, but modernization is springing up everywhere in urban centers. They certainly are going to be an economic competitor to
reckon with soon,” he said.
“The Chinese government treated us well during the trip and political overt o n e s were kept in the background. The Chinese conduct affairs with ceremony and a theme. As hard as they try, procedures and bureaucracy seem to cause unnecessary obstruction,” he said. Sylvia, his wife of 51 years, and their son, Arthur, of Union City, accompanied Mr. Schwartz on the threeweek trip to China. “It was a nice family opportunity, and we saw so many interesting things,” she said.
After the war, Mr. Schwartz studied chemistry at New York University, then did graduate studies in
physical chemistry and mathematics at Columbia University and the University of Southern California.
Most of his 43year professional career was spent at Bell Labs, then a part of AT& T, in Murray Hill as Member Technical Staff, while residing in Westfield with his wife and family.
He pursued research and development with transistors, integrated circuits and lasers. Mr. Schwartz has published 80 scientific papers, edited two books, has been issued 38 United States patents and has been issued 126 foreign patents.
Mr. Schwartz, who retired in 1995, still publishes but now in the areas of personal interest in air force tactics. He had articles published in the Journal of Military History and has written for the United States Holocaust Memoriam Museum on “Holocaust and Genocide Studies.”
In this area, he has tackled such subjects as how the Allies could have destroyed Auschwitz and Birkenau by air.
Although he’s retired, Mr. Schwartz says he’s still not over “The Hump.”
* * * * *
This is part of an ongoing series of articles about interesting people in our communities.
We welcome suggestions of people that would make interesting subjects for this series. Please email suggestions to press@ goleader. com.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
BOE Explains Elimination Of Study Time in Schools
questioned why only the second floor of School One was targeted for permanent partitions. Mr. DelSordi indicated that, while prices would be obtained for both floors, “we were trying to fit within a reasonable budget,” and the area surrounding the media center seemed like a logical starting point.
Mr. DelSordi also stated that the issue of a traffic study around Park Middle School has been turned over to an experienced sub committee of the recentlyformed Shared Services Committee that includes representatives of the municipalities of Fanwood and Scotch Plains, as well as Board of Education members.
The business administrator confirmed for Board member Thomas Russo that the nature of fire detection system improvements at SPFHS would be similar to those at the elementary schools, which include smoke detection. He added that renovation work would also include fire detection system upgrades at Park as well as the new wing at Terrill Middle School, if not the entire building.
The board was scheduled to hold its first public forum on the particulars of the bond referendum related to the high school and two middle schools on June 14.
Architects from Faridy Thourne Fraytak Architects/ Planners, P. C. and Potter Architects, the two firms chosen to manage the construction projects, were scheduled to report on their findings thus far.
Members of the public were divided into three groups representing SPFHS, Terrill and Park. Those
groups were going to be asked to develop questions, make recommendations and prioritize the projects envisioned for each building.
A similar meeting focusing on the elementary schools will take place in the fall.
The next board meeting will take place Tuesday, June 20, 8 p. m., at the Administrative Offices.
Bertram Schwartz, 1944 By HORACE R. CORBIN
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
Many call it “The Hump.” But for those who flew it, it was also known as “Aluminum Alley” because of the wreckage of hundreds of fuselages strewn over the mountainous air route. More than 600 lives were lost in this endeavor – a threeyear airlift which occurred during World War II.
Flying from India, across Burma and into China carries one over some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world. The 500mile route from Assam, India to Kunming, China takes one across diseaseinfested jungles, then up and up and over 470 snowcovered Himalayan peaks — each higher than 13,000 feet.
The airlift was the only way to supply desperately needed ammunition, guns, food and medical supplies to the surrounded American and Chinese forces during the war being raged with Japanese military units. All and all, over 650,000 tons of war materiel made it over the Hump in support of the ultimate victory during those grave times.
This materiel kept the 341st Bomb Group of the 14th Air Force, stationed in China under the command of Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault, in operation.
“When you’re a strapping young man from Brooklyn, you feel invincible,” said Bertram Schwartz. “You don’t give a lot of thought to the danger, you just do your duty.”
It’s been more than 50 years since Mr. Schwartz, a Westfield resident, flew those 50 missions for the 341st Bomb Group as a radio operator/ gunner.
He remembers the flack and the enemy fighters swooping in. The right engine of his aircraft was shot out during his first mission, and he survived a crash landing in his 23rd mission. Perhaps most memo rable was his 43rd mission, an attack
on Hong Kong. Four bombers of his flight skimmed into the harbor on October 16, 1944, below 100 feet altitude under heavy fire. Two enemy ships were destroyed and two more were believed damaged beyond repair. The planes were badly shot up, but they made it back.
This spring, 55 years later, Mr. Schwartz returned to China as a guest of the Peoples Republic of China through the ChinaBurmaIndia Hump Pilots Association. This rendezvous of 300 American and Chinese veterans for a week provided time for reunion and reflection on their experiences.
Mr. Schwartz said, “It was strange being the youngest person in the room. There are not too many of us left now.” But, Mr. Schwartz did run into someone from his squadron.
Several of the group participated in the nostalgic Hump Flight over the Himalayas again during their visit to China this year. Mr. Schwartz declined this part of the trip in favor of exploring new areas of China. He stated that 45 hours of commercial jet flying was enough and that cruising at 35,000 feet in today’s aircraft is not the same thrilling experience as being airborne in the wartime bombers of 1943.
The trip brought back many memo
Mothers & More Plan Roundtable Discussion On White Collar Crime
CRANFORD — The Union County Chapter of FEMALE, which recently changed its name to Mothers & More, will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday, June 21, at 7: 30 p. m. on ways individuals can protect themselves and their families from identity theft and other forms of “white collar” crimes.
The meeting will take place at the Hanson House, located at 38 Springfield Avenue in Cranford.
An international, notforprofit organization, Mothers & More supports women who have altered their career paths in order to care for their children at home.
The Union County chapter holds meetings on the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Hanson House. Meetings continue throughout the summer.
A variety of activities including evening discussion groups, guest speakers, mom’s night out, a book discussion and weekly daytime play gatherings are also offered.
For further information, please call Patricia at (908) 2327352 or Jennifer at (732) 3827578.
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)