Sgt Tony BENSON
3rd Attack Group, 89th Sqn
Very little has been found about Tony Benson but it know that he was with the 89th Bomb Squadron while they were based at Nadzab in New Guinea. Working from a series of wonderfully amusing caricatures drawn by pilot Lt Edmund Suor, Benson painted enlarged version onto at least twenty of the squadron’s Boston A-20s. The squadron dubbed itself “The Characters” because all of Suor and Benson’s images were based on characters from the books and stories by the popular Damon Runyon.
Benson did not just enlarge and copy the caricatures seen on the A-20s, he was a talented cartoonist himself and created several very amusing drawings to brighten the spirits of the men engaged in combating the Japanese in New Guinea. Sgt Benson was transferred out of the squadron sometime around August 1944 but not before leaving the unit’s planes with names and imagery portraying Educated Edmund (based on Lt Suor himself), Tobias the Terrible, Dave the Dude, Waldo Winchester (for Capt Leland Waters), Hooray Henry and Liverlips (for Lt Craig).
Anyone with further knowledge of Tony Benson, please make contact.
© Ray Bowden 2 December 2023