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Ephemeral Connections

One notable theme that has come to light during this project is an almost ephemeral connection between the war’s participants. Prior to his service in the US Army, Clement Leithoff worked on an assembly line riveting fuselages for Consolidated Aircraft in San Diego, CA. This line was the same that turned out numerous Flying Boat Models, which saw service throughout the Pacific theater of operations, as well as the B-24 Liberator. Leithoff’s hands built the machines of war before he ever set foot in Europe. As Leithoff fought at the Battle of the Bulge and crossed through Bergen-Belson concentration camp, Tillman Gressitt soared in the skies over Europe, navigating his B-24 Liberator on historic raids such as the bombing of the refineries at Ploesti. Gressitt’s aircraft could very well have been riveted by Leithoff. These men who did not even know of each others existence are tenuously linked by this nearly invisible connection.