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Searching for Frank Cardaman

Captain Bender does in another TARFU. At least one a month. (Feldstein)

Who is Frank Cardaman?

Recently I received an email from a guy named Austin. He had looked at my website and was interested in a man mentioned there, S/Sgt Frank Cardaman, who served as a ball turret gunner on the B-17 Tarfu. Cardaman was his great grandfather; he passed away when Austin was only four years old. Austin contacted me in the hopes that I might have more information about Cardaman and his military career. Cardaman and my father Alvin Neff were in the same squadron, so they would certainly have known each other very well, although my brother does not recall any stories Dad may have told him concerning Cardaman.

Below are some quotes from Snetterton Falcons about Frank Cardaman. I’m hoping that through this post I can find more information about him which I can then pass along.

Mission 17 - 7/17/43 to Hamburg, Germany

“Always in the thick of a fight, Cardaman and his comrades aboard Tarfu were already leading the group in two categories. One was for scoring against enemy fighters. The other was for using up B-17’s as if they were disposable toys. Frank Cardaman had resigned himself to forsake nose art completely and began writing Tarfu on the plane in white chalk."

"About 20 miles off the German coast, ‘we ran into between 20 to 30 enemy fighters. Major Emerson said, ‘we had a running battle for over half an hour.' It was obvious from the way the Germans flew that they weren’t just cadets. Frank Cardaman would be credited again on this mission for more enemy aircraft.”

Mission 21 - 7/28/43 to Oschersleben, Germany

On this mission, my father watched as his best friend, Don Gordoni, was killed. Frank Cardaman witnessed the incident from Tarfu’s ball turret: “Major Emerson was on our left wing when the Germans hit us. Emerson leaned out the co-pilot’s window and saluted just before the plane went into a dive.” You can read my story about Don Gordoni on this website.

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