I "met" Damon online a few years ago after my father, Robert (Bob) Doty, passed away Dec. 3, 1999. I sent Damon a note informing him of my father's death and Damon nicely sent a note back informing me he had met my father a few years earlier at a squadron reunion. Our fathers were together in England during the war.
I had only heard of the story of George Rarey and his artwork just before my father's death. Damon had sent a copy of his collection of art about his father to my dad along with the original nose art for my father's P-47 plane.
It was an unusual thing to go through my dad's things after his death and begin to get the story pieced together. I had received a letter from my father about him meeting Damon and something about a book of art, etc. It was a story that was not quite complete. So Damon was able to put it together when I sent him my note.
My father was the one who brought George Rarey's portfolio to the US when my father was on leave to get married. I believe he met Damon's mother in New Jersey and gave her the "smuggled" portfolio. My dad really did not know at the time what he was delivering. I was told this type of war information was actually illegal to be taken out of Europe.
I recently came across a 362 Fighter Group Newsletter from December 1999 and wanted to contact Damon about who may still be around. I was saddened to learn Damon is no longer here. It was a special gift he gave to some of us offspring of the war to get a small glimpse of the guys back in the 1940's. We were able to give my father a little more of a special tribute because of what we learned.
I hope Damon's family and friends may read this and get a glimpse of a little known story which he helped to share.
Sincerely,Robert (Bob) Doty, Jr, M.D.firstname.lastname@example.org