Thursday, November 11, 2021

Veteran's Day

Today is my monthly club lunch and program and it is also Veteran's Day. While our program is about the local Chumash Indian history, our inspiration and chat is about service members who have inspired us in some way.

I found 3 quotes that resonate with me. The first makes me think of my Dad who when he was 23 -24 years old flew 33 missions over Europe on a B-17 as flight engineer in the Army Air Force. Although he had asked to be transferred from his posting in Alaska to the European Theatre, he did not expect to survive his tour of duty since the survival rate of bomber crews was very very low at the time.

His next posting was to Chanute Field near Urbana, Illinois where my Mom lived and the rest is history as they say. Here they are on their wedding day with my Dad's older brother on the right. He also served as crew on cargo planes in Asia where they flew supplies over "the hump". 

“The Hump” was the nickname Allied pilots gave the airlift operation that crossed the Himalayan foothills into China. It was the Army Air Force’s most dangerous airlift route, but it was the only way to supply Chinese forces fighting Japan — and things weren’t going well for China. The fact that they both survived is amazing.

Dad's diary of his tour of duty describes horrible things in a very matter of fact way including when he tied a rope about his waist and lowered himself part way out of the plane while it was flying in an effort to close the bomb bay door. His plane had lots of near fatal damage, his helmet was hit by a piece of shrapnel, he saw planes explode with no "chutes" so no survivors yet he was very matter of fact and continued on.

That last bit describes my Dad totally. He got on with it and mastered his fears at least as far as I ever knew.





4 comments:

  1. I love that picture. Much honor and appreciation goes out to all our armed forces heroes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you to your father and your uncle for their service.

    God bless.

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  3. A wonderful tribute to your dad. Reading about his service gave me chills. Such courage and generosity to serve our nation is important for us to remember and celebrate. Our son served in the Air Force for 20 years. We are proud of his commitment, but were absolutely thrilled when he retired!

    ReplyDelete

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