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Albert L. Haggerty papers

 Collection — Container: Single Folder Collections - 2000 Box 7 (00.0178-00.0225), Folder: 00.0224
Identifier: 00.0224

Scope and Contents

This collection consists on a series of papers focused on Albert "Al" Haggerty and the "Three Feathers"  B-24 Liberator Bomber he was assigned as crew chief during World War II. The "Three Feathers" bomber belonging to the 726th Bomber Squadron, 451st Bombardment Group. Documents in the collection include Haggerty's memories of his time with the plane, photocopies of pictures of the plane and the crew as well as an excerpt from a book were Sidney Winski, the first pilot of this aircraft,  recounts the "Three Feathers" incident, and finally the transcript of an interview where Haggerty provides a detailed account of his life, his time in training, the "Three Feathers incident," his experiences on service in Italy and the functioning of a B-24.


  • Created: 1942-1945
  • Other: Majority of material found within 1943-1945
  • Other: Date acquired: 06/15/2000


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Albert “Al” L. Haggerty was born in Eagle Creek, Alabama on October 6, 1920. Soon after the start of the war,  he tried to enlist as a pilot in the U.S. Naval Air Corps, but was rejected because he wore glasses. So he decided to wait until he was drafted in order to serve which occurred on September 10, 1942, and assigned to the U.S. Army Air Corps. Haggerty then attended basic training and instructed in airplane mechanics. He moved through several training camps and military bases in the process, including: Columbia SC, St. Petersburg and Clearwater FL, Gulfport MS, Patterson, NJ, Salt Lake City UT, Dyersburg TN, Wendover UT, Fairmont and Lincoln NE, Memphis TN and finally Morrison Field in West Palm Beach FL. at Dyersburg, Haggerty became acquainted with the mechanics of the B-17’s and later the B-24’s.  Later at Fairmont,  he finally would be assigned as crew chief to the B-24 numbered 636, on the 726th Squadron of the 451st Bomb Group.

One notable incident Haggerty recounts is that, at one point in Fairmont, while the air crew was practicing maneuvers. The 636 was flown twice by a different team who reported excessive oil pressure on the aircraft’s four engines, which forced Haggerty to lower it; despite good reports from Sidney Winski, the 636’s usual pilot. After the decrease in oil pressure the aircraft experienced failures in a series of flights in which one or more propellers failed. The most severe of these occurred during a flight between West Palm Beach and Trinidad, in which Haggerty was on board. There, the sudden stop of three of the four propellers in midair forced them to make an emergency landing in the isle of Saint Lucia. Haggerty would later blame the failure of the engines on the low oil pressure which he finally fixed once the crew got to Brazil. Because of this incident, the crew renamed their plane "Three Feathers."

Haggerty continued flying aboard "Three Feathers" as it took the Southern route on the way to Europe, making stops at Saint Lucia (forcefully), Trinidad, Belem and Natal in Brazil, Dakar in Senegal, Marrakech in Morocco and Telergma in Algeria until finally reaching Italy by the end of 1943. They remained stationed there until June 1945, first in the air base at Gioia de Colle and later in the one at Castelluccio dei Sauri both in the region of Apulia. Eventually, a new flying crew was assigned to Haggerty and the "Three Feathers," but after a short time, the plane was taken from them, deemed “war weary” and later scrapped. He remained at the base performing maintenance on different planes until the surrender of Germany.

By the time of the surrender of Japan, Haggerty was still in the service, back in the United States. He was discharged on September 12, 1945 having reached the rank of Master Sergeant and having been awarded a Bronze Star. Albert passed away in his home on July 29, 2010 in Tallahassee, Florida. Note written by Alberto Miguel Pérez-Rueda


1 folders

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Transferred from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives in July 2022.

Source of Acquisition

Albert L. Haggerty

Method of Acquisition

Donated to The Institute on World War II and the Human Experience.

Processing Information

Revised 10/08/2017 by Alberto Miguel Pérez-Rueda

Albert L. Haggerty papers
Alberto Miguel Pérez-Rueda
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US