West Tech alums seek answer to World War II B-24 bomber mystery

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West Tech alums seek answer to World War II B-24 bomber mystery

The Plain Dealer – In 1944, the West Technical High School paper reported that students and staff had raised $275,076 to contribute toward the cost of building a B-24 Liberator bomber during World War II.

The plane reportedly would carry the slogan “Spirit of West Tech” into battle.

But did that bomber ever deliver explosive greetings to the Axis, courtesy of this Cleveland high school? Or did the concept simply soar into some bureaucratic Bermuda Triangle?

They are questions that members of the West Tech Alumni Association committee want to answer as part of 100th anniversary festivities July 17-21 at the school, 2201 West 93rd Street. West Tech opened in 1912, was shut in 1995, and converted into an apartment complex in 2003.

The association would like to find some documentation that the “Spirit of West Tech” bomber actually existed, for an exhibit at the anniversary bash.

They’re roughly the same on a scale of honors and challenges, according to Chanel Curry, 24, of Cleveland, an automated logistics Specialist in the Army Reserve.

Last November when she sang at the Cleveland Browns’ military appreciation game against the St. Louis Rams, Curry was homeless.

But when she recently appeared at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, it was as a success story of services offered to homeless veterans by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The 2006 graduate of Cleveland Heights High School joined the Army Reserves in 2008 and was mobilized in 2009 for tours in Iraq and Kuwait. She found work as a telephone operator in Atlanta but said she lost that job due to absences she took to attend Reserve training in Ohio.

She also lost her apartment and spent nearly nine months last year living in Cleveland with family, friends and sometimes just in her car. Curry said that for a while she mistakenly believed that because she was a current Reservist, she didn’t qualify as a “veteran” for VA homeless aid.

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