LOUIS J. FALLER

A conversation I (Bob Meli) had with 84 year old Donald Faller,
Louis Faller’s brother, on October 12, 2010.

 

            In 2008, I had spoken to Chuck Faller who had worked for my father
Tom Meli who owned Englewood Lumber Co. back in the 1960’s.  I thought
Chuck Faller may have been related to Louis Faller so I called him.  Chuck Faller told me he was his cousin and did not know much about what happened because he was so young, but he would get me Louis Faller’s brother’s phone number so I could talk to him.  Well, two years went by and I had forgotten about it when, after apologizing for not getting back to me for personal reasons, Chuck Faller called me and gave me Donald Faller’s phone number, the brother of
Louis Faller the Hackensack High School graduate, who died in March of 1942. 
The New Milford VFW and the New Milford book by
Teresa Martin or the newspaper articles of the day all reported Louis Faller had died while flying a mission off of Hawaii and his plane went down somewhere in the Pacific. After talking to Donald, his brother, there is more to add to the story but the basic fact of
Louis Faller’s plane going down somewhere unknown in the Pacific is still the core of the story. Here is what Donald Faller shared with me on October 12, 2010:

Donald Faller told me that Louis Faller had joined the National Guard and then transferred to the U. S. Army Air Corp and was assigned to one of the first groups to fly the B26 Bombers.  Donald said they were looked upon as a “Hot” new plane very modern fast the plane had a flare to it.  Being the first group to fly the plane there was no knowledge of how it would react in the air and the military could not take the time to run extensive test trials with them because the planes were so needed immediately for the war.  Donald said there was a saying that rhymed which went something like this when Louis and the other pilots were flying them state side “Another day and one in the Bay”, because they would crash so many when practicing landings on the Air Craft Carriers.  Donald said when Louis was in Hawaii he would go out on Submarine Patrol because they were very concerned that the Japanese were going to launch an invasion of Hawaii at any time because it had only been on December 7, 1941 that they had successfully attacked Pearl Harbor.
Donald Faller said that Louis had been moved to Canton Island where they ran patrols looking for any Japanese buildup and movement.  Canton Island is near
Fiji island near Australia and when they were in the air they could not have any radio contact because they did not want the Japanese to pick up their signal and find out the air strip location etc.  Donald said his B26 plane had been in for repairs but that was common and there is no way of knowing if that had anything to do with Louis Faller never returning.  He was patrolling in dangerous enemy waters in a new style plane at the outset of the war with no radio contact for guidance or support.  Louis Faller and the pilots he flew with were similar to those pilots defending England at the outset of war.  They had to take all the risks because they were the first and only line of defense and information gathering we had up until that time in the Pacific Theatre.
Donald Faller after searching for a time to find out more information about his brother's death spoke to an officer 10 or 15 years after the war who had been on a committee investigating the many crashes of B26 planes and other planes in different locations in the Pacific Theatre, including the area where Louis had gone down.  The officer told Donald that they had recovered the tricycle landing gear which was common only to the plane that Louis was flying and it had his plane's serial number on it.  A fisherman had recovered it some time after the incident was reported he was not sure how long after.  They found the tricycle landing gear North of the Solomon Islands about 800 miles from where he was reported having gone down.  They felt that there report of where he had gone down was accurate because the water currents would have taken the part they recovered in the direction in which it was recovered.
I asked Donald Faller, a 1944 Hackensack High School graduate, if he had served during World War II and he said no, but had spent two years in the ROTC.  Donald then mentioned that his sister Anita Faller had joined the service as a nurse.  Anita Faller graduated from Hackensack High School in 1939 and served in England and France rising to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.            

           
The commitment to the war effort by every member of a family during
World War II
is clearly revealed when having a conversation with a man of the times such as
Donald Faller.  Although he did not serve because the war was coming to a close by the time he was graduating high school in 1944, the effects of what happened to his brother seems to still abide in his thoughts today all these many years later as to what exactly happened.

Let us never forget the soldier's sacrifice.

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Louis J. Faller