DEDICATED TO 97th BG 414th BS
15th AF 97th BG 414th BS
Material submitted by his cousin
Tom Summers [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Site edited and maintained by Doug Cook
Contacts from 97th BG and 414th Squadron Welcome!
Doug (Jenkinson) Laurence 1943 (left) 1944 (right)
Air Force in
T. Sgt. Doug (Jenkinson) Laurence saves B-17 pilot 1st Lt. Edward C. Steck
and helps bring home a B-17 with 2 engines out and the other two damaged.
97th Bomb Group Station During Doug’s Service:
Sergeant First Class Doug (Jenkinson) Laurence
shown here after receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross for the events noted above.
Doug flew B-17s on 50 missions, was shot down, taken
prisoner and escaped.
Crew photo with names found on reverse:
Pilot – Ed Steck
Co pilot – Charles Erickson
Bombardier – Fred Long
Navigator – Don Ralston
Engineer – Doug (Jenkinson) Laurence (cousin of Tom Summers)
Radio – Joe Gallagher
L Waist – Bruce Brunner
Ball – Ken Gray
R Waist – Randall Byrd
Tail – Bob Fourquest
Engineer – Doug (Jenkinson) Laurence (cousin of Tom Summers) Front row right.
Belly shot of 414th BS B-17 in high altitude formation (note contrails) from Doug’s collection.
BIOGRAPHY of DOUG (Jenkinson) LAURENCE
A frequent non-paying patron of
the Paramount Theater, he slipped in the performer’s entrance, sometimes
getting caught and thrown out by the manager, Robert Weitman.
Twenty years later, Weitman was head of
As a kid, Doug was a fine athlete with ambitions to be the shortstop for the New York Giants. However, his dream of becoming a major leaguer died the day another player collided with and tackled him, resulting in a broken shoulder and knee injury for Doug.
Playing the bass violin and
singing with his uncle’s band got him through the initial time of heartbreak.
At nineteen he moved to
He was saved from a life of
aimlessness and mediocrity when drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps. Sent to
Like many returning veterans, he
had no plans for a world at peace. While recovering from the emotional
repercussions of war and weighing only 128 pounds, he fell in love, married,
and headed for
The aptitude tests he took, offered by the GI Bill, confirmed his ability for executive and creative posts in the field of entertainment. So informed, they set out to build a new life together.
After a series of odd jobs, Doug got his first big break when he joined a company that made transcriptions (shows on 16-inch records) which they leased to hundreds of small radio stations across the country. His first job was to produce a western show that starred “The Riders of the Purple Sage”, the group featured in Roy Rogers movies. He produced 400 of these transcribed shows, which were scripted by wife Frances, and won a National Award for Best US Transcribed Show of the Year.
Over the next dozen or so years,
Doug worked in various facets of entertainment — from producing the
entertainment for industrial and trade shows, to personal management, to record
albums — as well as forays into Las Vegas and Television. He managed singing groups
such as the Wilder Brothers, The Continentals, and the comedy team of Rowan
& Martin. As Director of Entertainment at the Flamingo Hotel in
In 1960, Doug became a motion
picture producer at
Doug and his wife Fran, a
published writer and book author, have recently celebrated 65 years of marriage
at their home in
Doug’s Bio refers to his joining his Uncle’s band. The Uncle was my father, Tom Summers Sr.
This picture is from 1938 showing my Dad and Doug on the bass fiddle.
The venue is the Ball
Room of the
Doug Laurence with director Delbert Mann & actor Robert Morse on set of ‘Quick Before It Melts’.
Doug Laurence with Elvis Presley & Nancy Sinatra in a PR still for ‘