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Thread: A Distinguished Flying Cross, WindOnHisNose and an EAA Meeting

  1. #1
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    A Distinguished Flying Cross, WindOnHisNose and an EAA Meeting

    Two weeks ago I attended a Chapter 237 EAA, having been pretty delinquent in doing so. I have been a member of EAA since 1989, had started a Kitfox Series 5 kit but sold it several years ago when it became obvious that I didn't have enough time on my hands to complete it...and I bought N82667.


    The purpose of attending was specifically to become more familiar with how the chapters function, and I chose the one at KANE, my home airport. I walked into the meeting hangar and saw a number of people standing around visiting. I knew not a soul there. As a situational extrovert, it is not my forte to walk into a room where I do not know anyone and immediately feel comfortable shooting the bull. Very uncomfortable. I had that feeling the first time I flew into New Holstein, in fact, when it was obvious that there were a whole lot of pilots there who were more accomplished than me, and many people there who knew much more than I did about supercubs. Not a great feeling, I would say.


    After standing around for a bit I saw that there was another fellow standing in the corner, an elderly gentleman wearing a nylon aviation jacket, like mine, except his had "US Air Force" on one side of the jacket, and "Portlance" on the other. It was obvious that he, also, was looking for a segway into the meeting, so I approached him, extended my hand and introduced myself. He immediately shook my hand firmly, looked me right in the eye and we began a conversation, sharing what brought us to this meeting. It turns out that we both were there for the first time. He had apparently been a member years ago, having flown at the Anoka airport many years ago. It was obvious that he loved airplanes and aviation, and when I asked if he was a pilot he replied that he was, indeed, having been a pilot during the Korean War, flying a fighter-bomber that whose make I now forget.


    This gentleman's name was Jack C. Portlance, matching up nicely with the lettering on his flight jacket. He was about 5'7" tall, gray hair, warm eyes with a definite twinkle. He pulled out his billfold and carefully dug out a small photo of the fighter-bomber that he flew, and told me how many missions he had flown, with great pride. As I always try to do, I thanked him for his service to our country, and he said "It was my honor and privilege to do so." One could readily tell he meant it.


    Jack lived not far from the airport and he said he came near the airport to visit his son quite often. When I asked if his son was a pilot he replied that he wasn't, that he had cerebral palsy...but inserted quickly that his son was "really smart", that he was an IT person, but that his physical limitations made it not possible for him to be a pilot. Rather, this father and his son worked on restoring Model T Ford's, and he stressed the point that they restored the cars PERFECTLY. Very emphatic about that.


    It was about at that time that the president of the Chapter called the meeting to order and Jack asked if we could sit together, since we didn't know each other, and I said of course, that would be great. We proceeded to find seats in the middle of the pack, and the meeting began.


    While some old business was being discussed Jack leaned over to me and whispered something about the his flying experience, and I half-heard what he said, but nodded and smiled at this elderly gentleman. He smiled back, reached back into his pocket and pulled out his billfold once again and was busy retrieving yet something else out to show me. I didn't want us to be a distraction to the meeting, but the room was pretty much filled with hard-of-hearing people so I listened as he leaned toward me as he unfolded a piece of paper that was folded several times so as to fit in his wallet. He whispered that this was his service record and he wanted me to take a look. I was somewhat annoyed, in that I was trying to listen to the meeting and was trying to be polite to Jack, but I smiled and took the paper into my hands.


    The paper was some sort of official-looking document which listed and described Jack's military service. It listed the number of missions...I think there were 50-some, when he had entered the service and when he had completed his military service. My eyes then fell to a section of "honors" and came to focus on the words "Distinguished Flying Cross". I can tell you that Jack had my attention now. I glanced at this diminutive gray-haired gentleman sitting quietly beside me and whispered "Jack, you were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross?" His eyes were beaming as he simply nodded his head to the affirmative. I was at a loss of words and the meeting went on while I sat there processing the fact that I had stumbled upon the only person I have ever known personally who had won the award.


    The meeting went on and it came to a place when newbies to the Chapter stood up and introduced ourselves. I was asked to do so before Jack, and I said a few words about myself and that I was at the meeting to learn more about the Chapter of EAA on my airport as an important step in organizing the Minnnesota Pilots Association. The president acknowledged this and pointed out that I am an aviation medical examiner, and I was welcomed, then, by all there. I have never really liked to stand out in meetings like this, as I want to be one of the gang, and not be treated any differently that any other pilot. I sat down and it was Jack's turn.


    Jack stood up and said a few words. He told the group that he had flown in the Korean War, that he loved aviation and that he was there to see about getting involved with the airport group a little more. He was politely and warmly greeted by the members. He sat down and looked at me and whispered "Holy Cow, you didn't tell me you are a doctor!" I whispered back to him, "Jack, you didn't tell them you won the Distinguished Flying Cross!" He smiled and waved his hand and gently shook his head, letting me know that he didn't want to draw attention to himself.


    He asked me, after the meeting, if he could give me his address and phone number so that if I ever had an extra seat in my airplane he would be really happy to "occupy it!" He didn't have a business card so I gave him one of mine and here I sit looking at the contact information for "Jack C. Portlance" knowing that I had experienced, that night, a marvelous opportunity to meet a legend who happened to be a true gentleman. I will be calling him soon to let him occupy the seat in my super cub, and what an honor that will be.


    Through this chance meeting I am reminded again what a wonderful fellowship we enjoy in aviation. We meet the most wonderful people, people who can add greatly to the richness of our experience if we only extend a welcoming hand.


    Randy
    Last edited by WindOnHisNose; 04-07-2013 at 09:32 AM.

  2. #2
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Great post, Randy!

    Over the past two years, I've had the opportunity to get acquianted with a gentleman named Stewart Bass, who lives in Moorhead, MN. Stew volunteers at the Fargo Air Museum, and can frequently be found holding forth on the merits of the TBM Avenger torpedo bomber the museum has on display. A first clue that there may be a connection is the name on the canopy rail of that TBM: Stewart Bass. I first got in touch with Stew through his grand daughter, who works at the school with me. She mentioned that her Gramps was a Navy pilot in WWII.

    After meeting Stew, who is a very self effacing gentleman who, when the topic of discussion comes around to him, generally changes the subject pretty quickly. During that first meeting, Stew allowed as how he flew TBMs off several carriers during the war. Turned out that he and I both attended the University of Montana and both grew up in Montana. Stew never mentioned anything remarkable or even "interesting" about his military service during that discussion.

    When I got home after that first meeting, I did a quick Google search, and here's what I found: http://projects.militarytimes.com/ci...ipientid=19732

    For those non military types, the Navy Cross is second in rank only to the Medal of Honor in this country's awards for gallantry.

    Next time I saw Stew, I asked him about the Navy Cross and the action that precipitated that award. He waved his hand in the air as a sort of dismissal, and allowed as how there were a lot of other guys who'd done more than he had. Since then, I've managed to get a few more bits and pieces of the story from him, and it's pretty amazing.

    Recently, a fellow aviator sent me a link to a short video on the origins of the Isreali Air Force: . I'm watching that video (which is remarkable in itself) and the first gent they show in an interview is one Leon Frankel.....and I do a double take......on many email messages that Stew has sent to me (yes, a 90 year old gent who is quite into computers), they all have a Leon Frankel listed in the address header. I sent Stew a link to this video about the IAF and asked if this was the same Leon Frankel that he knows. Turns out that Leon Frankel is the only other living veteran of VT-9 (Torpedo Squadron Nine) from the war, and he lives in Minneapolis. And, his story is just as fascinating as Stew's. Stew and he have gotten together a few times in the last couple years to discuss old times. I'm hoping to go along on one of those trips down memory lane this summer.

    If you are ever close to Fargo, ND, be sure to drop in and visit the Fargo Air Museum. It's accessable via exit 67 off Interstate 29, or for you fly-in types, taxi to the South GA parking ramp. Look for a gentleman who is small in stature, but very large in heart, and introduce yourself. Stew is a great guy.

    And--Leon Frankel also received the Navy Cross in that same action that Stew was in. VT-9 sank the Yamato (the "unsinkable" Japanese battleship) and a couple of Japanese cruisers during that battle.

    These guys won't be around forever. And, the things they've done are truly amazing.

    MTV

  3. #3
    Ruffair's Avatar
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    Great story Randy.
    Thanks for sharing it.!
    One just never knows who that ol' gray man or woman really is. Helped with an older guy in a wheel chair once. he talked a little airplane, his
    family members with him told me he flew Clippers for Pan Am.
    Kem

  4. #4
    WanaBNACub's Avatar
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    What a great story! Having been serving in the Air Force for the past 24+ years and finally getting to learn to fly, I am always facinated to sit and listen to older pilots and hear the stories they have endured. From Bush pilots here in Alaska to the veteran pilots of the many wars, they all have an interesting story to tell and it seams that the ones with the most interesting stories are also the most humble and least likely to share it.

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    Dave Lewis was an A&P IA at our airport. Very nice guy. Among many other things, he was one of a handful of factory test pilots at North American. He would test fly P51's as they came off the production line. If you look a the log books of a P51, there's a good chance that his will be the first name. We lost Dave a few years ago but I was g;ad to have known him.

    We are lucky to have our friend John Biberstein with us (A&P IA). The was an aircraft mechanic in WW2 in the south pacific and continued to work on planes his whole life. He is one of 2 guys left alive from his group of 15 thousand. He worked at the Piper dealership in the 50's and 60's when many of the local pipers were new. I've learned a great deal from John.

    Find an old guy and get to know him. It will keep him young and you'll be better for it.

    Marc

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    Cajun Joe's Avatar
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    Find an old guy and get to know him.

    Better advice than you can realize, Marc.
    And, yes meet them while you are young...
    I can't find any old guys anymore.

  7. #7
    aktango58's Avatar
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    We had a gentleman here, Herb, that only had one eye, nice as could be. My good friend's dad was mayor for a while- a Scottish immigrant, and the public works snowplow operator was complaining about the Herb parking on the side of the street on snow days.

    The plow operator got sent packing when the mayor said: He flew two tours in B-17s protecting Great Britain. He can park anywhere he wants!

    Another guy here landed on I think Utah beach durring the Normandy invasion... Respect our elders, they deserve it!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  8. #8
    wheat's Avatar
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    I fellow in my neighborhood came over one day, and was admiring my cub tied up at the dock. He said he was selling his house and would I mind giving him a ride to take some aerial shots. He said he would trade for taking me to dinner. Of course I volunteered. As he climbed into the back, he reminisced that he learned to fly in a cub. As we circled his house I asked what he used to fly, and he merely said that he flew in the Air Force. Later that evening I learned over dinner that he was Leo Thorsness. Medal of Honor winner, and imprisoned in the Hanoi Hilton for 6 years. And he loves Super Cubs. You never know who is right next door.

  9. #9
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Wow, great insights here, people. Please keep them coming.

    Randy

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    brown bear's Avatar
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    If on May 4th, any of you have the time, show up at 60ks, Alley field, at Douglas ks at around noon and help Distinguished Flying Cross owner, Lawrence Alley celebrate his 90th. It will be time and fuel well spent! doug

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    JP's Avatar
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    My friend John earned a DFC in Vietnam. He was a Huey pilot, flying medivac. Some troops got in a pinch one day and he "borrowed" a Cobra gunship to help out. Upon returned he was threatened with the usual discipline, but wiser heads prevailed and ordered up a DFC. During his time in Vietnam he was shot down twice and also earned two silver stars, bronze star for valor and a purple heart. He also flew in Gulf I and has 45 Air Combat Medals to his name. Heck of a guy. Really enjoy having a beer with him from time to time.
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special
    www.bloomerrussellbeaupain.com

  12. #12
    Grant's Avatar
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    I wrote something about this man before. But here is an excerpt from a book his sister wrote.

    Notice he says "Barely 20 Years Old" then later in the story it turns out he is the Captain. The reason is that Oscar Cassity was one of the first men to take the standardized IQ test and when the results for him were processed they were so high that he was sent up to Officer school and right into flight training. He later flew under LeMay in the Berlin airlift shooting some of the first precision approaches and late his claim to fame was being the pilot who brought the first bulldozer to Antarctica. That story in itself is very interesting.

    Oscar Died in 2006 - I last saw him in 1999. He was a "John Wayne" kind of cool and told me to "always keep the ball centered and you'll do fine"
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    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Thank you Randy for sharing. It reminds me of a sweet memory I was fortunate to experience.

    About ten years ago, I ran a jet out to San Fran and immediately jumped on American back home. I was still in Uniform and a pretty old fellow next to me started talking airplanes. He said he was a B-36 pilot. I said, "Really??!!, I just walked around one of those at Wright-Pat last month." It was a very big and impressive 6 engine pusher bomber. And, I confess, it was new to me at the museum, but it formed an impression on me. For the next few hours, I heard stories of development, engine failures, engine fires....... They often lost one, sometimes two engines during a run, and I remember him saying you could crawl to an engine inside the big wings.... And, engine TBO was just over, or I think just under 200 hours, and they never made TBO....

    Fastest three hours I ever spent. He talked the whole time. I didn't say much, just asked some good questions, but I could tell he really enjoyed it. I wish I could'a taken him home with me. God Bless those in the great generation. They really stepped up.

    Here is a picture of the B36 next to a B29 for those who might not recognize the model.

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    "There are three things in life that people like to stare at: a flowing stream, a crackling fire and a Zamboni clearing the ice." Charlie Brown

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    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    My old man was a Pacific theater Marine Guadalcanal to 45 and when I was a little snot nosed kid we had a bunch of neighborhood barbeques with " the guys ". I never really knew I was standing among giants as men go till it was to late. I hug everyone of them now I can find.

    Glenn

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    Bill Ingerson's Avatar
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    I flew my cub into the Darrington airpot one time (Washington State) just a small airstrip near a small town but in a valley that gets some pretty good winds at times. It was blowing pretty good and here comes a old 150 cessna landing down wind and took up most of the runway to get stopped. Parking next to me out crawls two old gents. Had lunch with them then came back to leave with them.
    I asked the older fella who was the pilot, as he was getting into the plane. I said how old are you again ? 96 he yelled back laughing and off they go getting clear into a grassy field to get more runway. I was kind of worried because they were taking off down wind, but off they went and got out okay. I took a picture of both of them before they left infront of the Cessna 150 and did get a buisness card from the younger of the two. He still teaches how to fly airplanes. Well two years later had this nagging feeling I should print those pictures and find that card. So, I did and I called the guy and told him that I had the pictures for him, one for himself and one for his 96 year old friend. He said, I do remember, you know he died two weeks after you took that picture. So, I never did know his name but it didn't matter. I do know he was a grand old pilot and I hope his family and friend enjoy the pictures.

  16. #16
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    He's been gone for some time but I had the honor of working @ US Army, BRL, APG Md. with Paul S. Riley. From PA, he joined RCAF before we got in the war and flew Huricane and Spitfires in England before transfer to 4th FG where he flew P47 and then P51(WD-Y ). Was on first escort mission to Berlin. Had midair(later) w/FW 190 and then shot down, injured and POW. Spoke German and made documents for the "Great Escape", his injury prevented him from going out.....Had 6.5 victories. He told me he was a bad shot and got his Batman to shoot for him as I recall they had to qualify w/shotgun in RCAF.....I asked how he downed 6+ aircraft if such a bad shot? His reply was "Get close". It was indeed an honor to know him.......I seem to recall that his last airplane flight(PIC) was in an 85hp Swift. He got a job as demo pilot for a Swift dealer in PA someplace. He was to demo it for some guy and told him to be @ airport early(cool). Guy came mid day in summer and Paul refused to fly but dealer insisted. They couldn't get out of ground effect and he did a gear up into plowed field. Even managed to save prop.......He quit flying and finished school. I had joined the Army flying club and took him up a couple times in the O1D......he could fly, hadn't been up in over 20 years and greased it on from the back seat.......

  17. #17

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    I met Ray Windsand when i was a baby...he was my grandpas good friend. My dad also flew with him a lot in the 50's and 60's....my grandpa and Ray ( Ace ) was his nickname...anyways, they got their pilots license on the GI Bill together after the war. Grandpa was 1st infantry in Normandy...battle of the bulge, etc...Ray was a right waist gunner on a B24 out of Cerignola, Italy....he flew 50 missions and was shot up over Austria and written off for dead on one of them....they were unloading his body from the plane and he moved....he survived and flew 20 more missions. My grandpa was injured in 1964 in a car accident paralyzing him from the waist down....grandpa sold his cub and lost touch with most of the guys from the airport....except Ray...Ace would stop by and visit grandpa all the time....gramps said " that Ace...he always stops to see me." Gramps died in 1981. I learned to fly in 1985 and Ace and I were best flying buddies...he'd fly over to my dads in his TCraft...buzz the house ( I was in High School, dad was at work)... I'd run to the airport...pull out dads J3 and me and Ace would find some off airport spots to go....dad would show up...look at the hay on the cabane of his cub and ask" where the H*** were you two renegades?" we'd smile. Dad would tell Ace what a bad influence he was and we would all go for a bite to eat and laugh. Now Ace is 94 years old...I pick him up once a month and we go for lunch....he has a touch of Alzheimer's ...but he always knows me....his daughter always says ..." He barely remembers me...but he alway knows you!.... She laughs. I call it paying forward all he did for my grandpa....I stop by his place and visit and talk flying..we sure had some fun boy. Never forget the Greatest Generation....they're fading fast.

  18. #18
    aktango58's Avatar
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    For all the stories!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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    n40ff's Avatar
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    I've got another one right under my nose. Local guy Walt who lives next to airport. He came over to talk after I landed the Spezio today. I remembered that he had been a B17 pilot although I heard it from someone else. He never mentioned it, only talked about having cub, champ in years gone by. We were talking about the B17, B24 and P51C that had visited the "big airport" next door last year and he mentioned that he had flown a P51 twice and how much he liked it......I brought up his B17 experience and he spoke about it for the first time......Said he didn't like to think about it, mentioned they had lost several tail gunners, seemed that even with very little other damage the tail gunners got killed........he helped drag their bodies out and how ground crew hosed out the airplane, patched it up and they flew it again the next day or two.....he got quiet so I changed the subject back to P51's etc.......Then I got an idea. I told him the true story of meeting Chuck Yeager in 1978. Chuck had asked about my Pitts and told me it was one of the finest aircraft he had flown.....He had put his arm on my sholder and we talked like old friends. It was a high point for sure! I took Walt by the hand and told him it was just as great an honor to shake his hand as was Chuck Yeager's. He understood exactly what I meant and thanked me......Another high point for sure....
    Last edited by n40ff; 04-08-2013 at 11:53 PM.

  20. #20

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    adminted to trhe delaware aviation hall of fame 2003 joe jenkins 100 missions 50 in beaufighters 30 in the p61 black widow and serval in the p 51 dfc still alive and runs an aircraft parts business in wyoming del just a great guy

  21. #21
    Cub Builder's Avatar
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    We have two of those in our EAA Chapter. One is now 93 years old. Jack enlisted in the USAAF before WWII and was a flight engineer on B-25s in Oregon. His was one of 25 crews that trained with Doolittle for the Tokyo raid. They took the best 16 planes on board the carrier. His B-25 had a prop governor fail during the checkout, so didn't go. He refers to that as the luckiest day of his life. He was reassigned to B-26s and was flying out of North Africa bombing southern Europe. Said he met Bob Hoover while in North Africa. He said Hoover would return from a mission and fly his fighter under a bridge just off the base, pull up into a loop and pass back under the bridge coming out the bottom of the loop. Jack returned to the states and spent the last part of the war in Kansas helping Boeing work out some of the maintenance issues in the B-29 program. I don't know what awards Jack earned as he rarely talks about his war duty. When you do get him to talk about it, it he is a wealth of first hand information.

    The second is now 83 and still an active pilot. His insurance tried to ground him last year as they didn't want to insure an 82 year old pilot in a Dragonfly. We were able to find another carrier that would insure him. This guy does have a DFC. He gave a talk at an EAA meeting last year about flying his F-86 back to base after a night time midair with his wing man. The wing man punched out, but Chris flew his damaged F-86 back to base with a damaged leading edge and the wing tank bent around sideways under the wing. He had about a 10 kt range where the plane would fly. 10 kts faster and it would roll one way. 10 kts slower and it would roll the other way. It took multiple attempts at gear cycles to get the left gear to knock the wing tank back far enough for the gear to extend for landing. Even in his 80s, he is still one very cool hand in the cockpit. Had an engine failure on takeoff in his Dragonfly a few months ago. He turned it into a non event and got it back onto a runway.

    -CubBuilder

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  22. #22
    Ursa Major's Avatar
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    A number of years ago I attended the 50th anniversary reunion of my father's WWII B-29 bomb group. It was an incredible experience. I mostly sat in the back and listened to the conversations between old crew members. The stories they told were absolutely amazing. I wish the reunion had lasted longer so that I could have spent more time talking and listening to these men. It gave a whole new perspective to what these men were all about. Most of them are gone now, and almost all of them had at least one DFC.

    What I thought was most impressive was the matter of fact attitude that they all had. They were "just doing a job" and they didn't think what they did was any more important or special than anybody else involved in the war effort.

    A couple of years ago I was sitting in a Dr. office waiting to get a flight physical when I struck up a conversation with an old gentleman in the waiting room who was also waiting for his physical. I asked him what he flew and where he learned to fly. Turns out he and my father were in the same primary flight training class in 1942. He eventually flew Spitfires for the USAAF out of Corsica and was shot down and spent the war in a German POW camp - Stalag Luft 1. His story was so engrossing that I sat and listened to him for hours. You never know when you might run into people with a history like his. Take advantage of the opportunity to sit and listen to these vets, you will learn things that may amaze you.

  23. #23

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    http://www.peachstateaero.com/newsletter/

    Click the link above and look for the "March 2013" newsletter.

    There is an article about the navigator of the Enola Gay. He has a disturbing story about speaking to a school group and the teacher introducing him as having served in World War Eleven. ughhh.

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    I have a patient thats a very quiet, humble guy. One day he wore an 8th airforce hat so i politely asked if he had served. He told me he was a "Gremlin" in WWII. I didnt know what a Gremlin was so i went home and did my homework. The 36th bomb group was the only radar countermeasure group in the 8th air force. Basically they were sent in at the front of the formation to "clear the way". At his next appt i mentioned that i had done some homework about the "Gremlins" but i had a few questions. His face lit up and the stories began. I spent the next two hours (basically my lunch and every spare minute i had) listening in awe to this stuff. He was the top turret gunner in a B-17 and had flown against all of the "big targets". The oil fields at Ploesti, ball bearing factories at Schweinfurt, bad stuff, you get the picture. He was 19 years old and said they had no idea about the electronics on board. They were pissed because they were always first. He then told me the most vivid memory of his life, greater than the day he was married, the day his children were born, or anything else for that matter, was the day he and the waist gunner shot down a Me262. He said the first time they saw one no one made a sound, they were in awe. He described the 800 plane formation going for miles. He said you could see the sun glistening off the aluminum as the Me262 flew past. No one got a shot off, they were too afraid. The next time they saw a jet they were heading to Schweinfurt a few missions later. This time they were ready. The calls came out when the Germans were spotted. The jets made passes from the front first time around but then came from the rear. Another call from the rear of the formation alerted them so he had plenty of time. The idea was not to aim at the jet, (they were moving too fast) but to lay a stream of .50cal out and make the enemy fly through it. They did so and as the jet flew past he described the canopy peeling back like a bannana as the Me262 made contact with the streams of .50cal. "Then it burst into the most beautiful blue and green flames you have ever seen", he told me. Check out the Gremlins website. The 36th bomb group. Quite a group that is often overlooked.
    36rcm.com

  25. #25
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Hey, folks, I posted a thread named: 30,203 Feet High...A Woman Getting High in A Super Cub

    and I hope you will take time to give it a look. Quite significant for super cub people.

    Randy

  26. #26
    scout88305's Avatar
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    What a great story to share Randy. Thanks
    Thank a sheepdog today for they are standing guard!

  27. #27
    JP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    My old man was a Pacific theater Marine Guadalcanal to 45 and when I was a little snot nosed kid we had a bunch of neighborhood barbeques with " the guys ". I never really knew I was standing among giants as men go till it was to late. I hug everyone of them now I can find.

    Glenn
    Neighbor growing up in the Milltown was a member of Edson's Raiders. Took part in the Battle of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal in '42. Made quite an impression on him. He fought the Japanese in his sleep for the rest of his life, which was tragically shortened by alcoholism. Bless that generation as they did, indeed, give all.
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special
    www.bloomerrussellbeaupain.com

  28. #28
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP View Post
    Neighbor growing up in the Milltown was a member of Edson's Raiders. Took part in the Battle of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal in '42. Made quite an impression on him. He fought the Japanese in his sleep for the rest of his life, which was tragically shortened by alcoholism. Bless that generation as they did, indeed, give all.
    I spent half my young life in a bar with my Dad on weekends and wouldn't trade that time for a ton of gold. Those boy's ( men ) lived through some nasty $hit every day their young eyes were still open, I think drinking was the only thing that kept them all sane and able to get any sleep at all. My Dad found AA in 1968 and spent the rest of his life helping others find it also. Most folks couldn't walk in their shoes for one day let alone an entire war half a world away from your family and friends. Like I've said before, most of us aren't as much as a pimple on their ass of what these guy's lived through.

    Glenn

  29. #29
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    My father in-law was buddies with Ira Hayes on Iwo Jima. Ira was the Pima indian in this photograph.



    Periodically he tells me stories of his time on Iwo and shows me the bullet which was dug out of his back. He was in the second wave which he tells about as a confusing mess. He was very lucky to have made it to 18 days before being hit. At 88 years of age, he is in poor health. Once a Marine, always a Marine.
    N1PA

  30. #30
    JP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    My father in-law was buddies with Ira Hayes on Iwo Jima. Ira was the Pima indian in this photograph.



    Periodically he tells me stories of his time on Iwo and shows me the bullet which was dug out of his back. He was in the second wave which he tells about as a confusing mess. He was very lucky to have made it to 18 days before being hit. At 88 years of age, he is in poor health. Once a Marine, always a Marine.
    Buried my Uncle, Ora Glidden, last summer. He made it to 90. A miracle considering 4th wave, 1st day, 4th Marines, Iwo Jima. 33 days on the island. He watched both flag raisings from a vantage point about 150 yds below the summit. Rest in Peace and Semper Fi, Mac.
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special
    www.bloomerrussellbeaupain.com

  31. #31
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    This evening my cell phone rang, and it was Jack Portlance. He was quite excited because he attended the EAA meeting last night and the president of that chapter had approached him before the meeting and showed him the email that I had sent to the president describing Jack. Jack was speechless, and was even more so, apparently, when the president asked if he would share his story with the group at the next EAA meeting.

    I just thought I would give you a followup. Jack asked when he could visit my hangar and I told him that it would be soon, as soon as the weather cleared up a bit. He is soooo excited about sharing his story with the EAA people.

    I'll let you know how this turns out!

    Randy

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