Milton Potee, CSI College of Fellows, Class of 1980
By Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS​​

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                                              Milton C. Potee was a member of the CSI Chicago Chapter, and of the PDCA (Painting and                                                              Decorating Contractors of America).

                                             After an active career as a manufacturer's representative and as an active CSI member, he moved                                               to Arkansas sometime around 1989. Unfortunately, we lost track of him, so we didn't learn he had                                              died until year later. As History Chair for the College of Fellows, I've seen this before, and each                                                      time, I'm saddened by the fact that we didn't maintain contact with one of our members. In 2010,                                                we learned that one of our Fellows and his wife had died in 2008.


Earlier this year, while doing my usual sleuthing for information about CSI Fellows, I discovered several references to Milton Potee's military service. As seems to be typical for many veterans, he mentioned nothing about his service in the autobiography he wrote for the College of Fellows, and even his obituary observed only that "He also served in the United States Army Air Corps in WWII." As it turns out, that's a bit of an understatement, and I'd like to tell you, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story.

Before graduating from Ames High School in 1943, Milt had already enlisted in the Army
Air Forces (AAF or USAFF). He was sent to the Harlingen, Army Air Field aerial gunnery school
in Texas in January 1944, where he graduated as an aerial gunner with the rank of PFC
(private first class). April of 1944 found him at Hamner Field, in Fresno, California, and in May
                                          he went to Muroc, California. In July 1944, he was stationed in New Guinea and
                                          promoted to corporal, after which he was transferred to the 13th AAF Long
                                          Rangers, where he spent thirteen months as a tail gunner and assistant engineer
                                          in a B-24 Liberator bomber. He was promoted to technical sergeant in October
                                          1944.

                                          Milt's unit, the 370th Bomb Squadron, 307th Bomb Group (Heavy), 13th AAF,
                                          saw a lot of action in the South Pacific. It was based in Guadalcanal in 1943,
                                          where it attacked Japanese bases in the Solomon and Bismarck Islands, Truk,
                                          Palau, and Rabaul. Moving forward as the war progressed, it moved to
                                          New Georgia, then took part in the recapture of the Philippines, targeting Leyte,
                                          Luzon, and Japanese  shipping, and took part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

                                         Milt was discharged from the AAF in October 1945. He received five Air Medals,
                                         the Good Conduct Ribbon, the Philippine Liberation ribbon, and the Asiatic-Pacific
                                         ribbon with six battle stars

Pictures courtesy of the
After the war, Milt maintained contact with his comrades through the 307th Bombardment Group Association.

  
















Photos courtesy of The 307th Bombardment Group Association
  
  Milt was involved in the Veterans History Project, created by the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. His personal narrative, obtained by an interview with Olivia Olson, is on a DVD in the Library.
Milt also helped organize, and attended, high school class reunions.








  










It's worth noting that Milt played a part in creating the "Book of Fellows." At the 1990 meeting of the College of Fellows, it was suggested that a "History of the Fellows" be produced to record information about Fellows, along with the accomplishments that led to Fellowship. The committee formed to pursue this task included Tom Sneary, Jorgen Graugaard, Edwin Johnson, Robert Molseed, Edwin Pairo, Everett Spurling, Howard Steinmann, and Milton Potee.





  





Milt Potee and Joe McGuire


My thanks to the following for information about Milt's history:
For information about Milt's CSI activities, see his biography on the CSI Fellows' website.
If you have historical anecdotes, photos, or documents about CSI Fellows or conventions, please email them to me. swolfearch at gmail.com.


© 2019, Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, CSC