Carl Wolfram Plane Talk — February 4, 2017 — The Other Side of the Story
An awesome Plane Talk last Saturday! Carl Wolfram, an Ogden resident, spoke at Hill Aerospace Museum’s Plane Talk Series. As a young, curious boy in Hammelburg, Germany, Carl snuck away from his mother and ran out of an air raid shelter on August 17, 1943. He observed more than 200 Allied bombers flying overhead in formation headed to the massive ball bearing plants in nearby Schweinfurt. Carl witnessed a U.S. B-17 Bomber up close and personal after it was shot down and crash landed not far from his location.
Wolfram has spent numerous hours researching these raids and has contacted many individuals who were involved or family members of those involved in that horrific wartime carnage. He found out that the Luftwaffe pilot who shot down the B-17 he saw in the field was also downed, and when the two pilots met soon after falling to the earth, they embraced each other.
After he completed his secondary education in Germany in 1953, he immigrated to the United States. Carl then started his engineering studies at Southern Illinois University. After two years of active duty with the US Army, he completed his studies at the University of Illinois and graduated with a BS in Civil Engineering. He then received a direct commission in the US Naval Reserve, Civil Engineer Corps. He later received an MS degree in Management from the University of Arkansas.
Carl’s civilian career included many positions in different organizations. The ten years prior to his retirement he held the position of Director of Engineering and Construction/NATO Infrastructure at HQUS Air Forces Europe.
He retired in 1993 from Civil Service with the rank of Captain, US Naval Reserve. He is married to the former Helgard Russ, and they have three children and five grandchildren.