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    Father's Day Post

    Meant to post this earlier.

    My dad learned to fly in the Army Air Corps during WWII.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Grandfather holding a baby leopard on the tarmac in India, WWII.jpg Views:	1 Size:	103.1 KB ID:	22291

    Flew transport over the Burma Hump.

    Here's a pic of him on the tarmac in India holding a leopard kitten.

    Some of the guys put an old motorcycle together and would race it down the tarmac.

    He did it one time and that was the first and last time he ever rode.

    They had some P51 Mustangs at the field that he got to fly.

    As I remember, he told me he buzzed the Taj Mahal with it.

    But according to one of my younger brothers....

    He was reprimanded for buzzing a herd of cattle (with the P-51).

    I thought the Taj Mahal was done in the C-47.

    He lost the C-47 antenna (hung on a wire under the plane) when buzzing a jungle landing strip and it was returned to him in the back of a jeep.

    The buzzing (of) the landing field was necessary so the ground troops could "secure" the landing strip.
    We'll see what my other sibs remember.
    Last edited by wildbears; 1 week ago.

    #2
    I can't see the picture
    Lee
    Iowa
    2016 R1200RS

    Comment


    #3
    I still can not see it. For some reason pictures can be very flaky on this site.
    A few things that work for me
    Reload the page
    Close and reopen the browser
    Try again the next day
    Sometimes the picture will never show

    Lee
    Iowa
    2016 R1200RS

    Comment


      #4
      Where was your Dad, WildBears? My dad was the Engineering Officer for the 1st Squadron, 2nd Air Commandos. They and their P-51's were initially stationed in Kalaikunda, just outside of Calcutta. They supported the hard-pressed British and Indian troops in the Chindwin Valley campaign. They were supported by their own C-46's and C-47's of the 317th Troop Carrier Squadron. Their cargo planes were rarely used for the Hump flights, but some flights over the Hump were made when they first got there before the P-51's were operational. Later, they all moved together down to Cox's Bazaar, and then on down into Burma. Probably, different air bases than your dad's, but it's sometimes a small world.

      After the war,my dad got his civilian pilot's license and flew something like five thousand hours or more. Mainly in his beloved Aero Commander 520.
      Last edited by 955i; 1 week ago.

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        #5
        No pictures in your post. My Dad too was in the Army Air Corps during WWII - became an instructor pilot and was miraculously never stationed overseas. Sadly he passed in 1974 at the young age of 53. I still think of him every day.


        Click image for larger version

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        • wildbears
          wildbears commented
          Editing a comment
          53.

          That seems like eternity ago.

        • 955i
          955i commented
          Editing a comment
          Nice picture, CJS. What plane is your dad standing next to? An AT-6?

        #6
        Originally posted by 955i View Post
        Where was your Dad, WildBears?

        Dad never talked about the war except to mention that he hauled canvas and wood gliders at one point, his one time on the motorcycle, and getting in trouble with the P-51.

        Oh, and spending one entire night practicing take offs and landings when training in Texas.

        I don't have any other details now, but was told the records are available.

        My mom and dad were married in Lubbock Texas after he joined up. They were chaperoned on their honeymoon there by my Great Aunt Pat.

        It wasn't until his funeral that we learned how dangerous it was to fly The Hump.

        The AF sent an honor guard from WPAFB to the funeral and the folded flag rests next to a scale model C-47 in our living room.

        Seems probable that our dads were stationed at the same place at the same time.

        I have some group photographs somewhere, but they may have been taken stateside.

        I'll post them when found.

        That Aero Commander 520 goes for a steep price these days.

        My Dad's first Skyhawk was used and I think he got it for under 10k.

        Several years later plane prices skyrocketed due to crash lawsuits.

        After the war, Dad got a degree in metallurgical engineering at UK.

        He was hired straight out of college by the GE Jet Engine Propulsion Lab in Evendale, OH, and worked there his entire career.

        The lab did the metallurgy for the GE jet engine turbine blades.

        GE sent him to Turin Italy several times as a consultant to FIAT.

        As mentioned, he continued to fly until his mid-eighties.


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          #7
          Originally posted by 955i View Post
          Nice picture, CJS. What plane is your dad standing next to? An AT-6?
          Really do not know - my father never really talked about his experiences during WWII, and he passed away before it ever really dawned on me to ask him about that time. I can say that when my draft lottery number was 53 he was terrified that I could be drafted, me too, Fortunately I was still in college when Nixon pulled the plug on Vietnam, and the draft expired in January '73, and I did not graduate until May '74, so both Dad and I relaxed (ironically, tragically my Dad, who attended my college graduation ceremony, died the next day.)

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          • 955i
            955i commented
            Editing a comment
            Well, I am now 100% sure it is a Vultee BT-13. This was a basic trainer and was known to some who flew it as "the Vultee Vibrator." The air intake on the cowling confused me as it does not look like the one on the AT-6. But the communication mast on the fuselage is a give away. Also, the gap between the front cowl and the fuselage is larger than on AT-6. These were decent basic aircraft with a 450 HP engine and fixed gear.

          #8
          Originally posted by cjs350 View Post
          My Dad too was in the Army Air Corps during WWII - became an instructor pilot and was miraculously never stationed overseas.
          Do you know where he was stationed stateside?

          Maybe he taught my dad how to fly.

          Comment


            #9
            Originally posted by wildbears View Post

            Do you know where he was stationed stateside?

            Maybe he taught my dad how to fly.
            Not exactly sure, I believe in Texas for the most part. As I said he didn't talk much about his Army experiences, and I never thought to ask him about that time of his life. He received his discharge in TX. He did tell me that he was in NY - where he lived his entire life, except for the military years - when he was to be discharged, and when he went to sign his discharge papers he was told that he would have to sign up for the reserves. He declined, so he was told that he would have to go to TX to be discharged, so he and my mom went to TX, he got his discharge, and they bought a surplus jeep and went to Mexico for their honeymoon - they were married at age 20 two weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. My mom turned 99 this past weekend.

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            • Pete_Tallahassee
              Pete_Tallahassee commented
              Editing a comment
              Go Mom!!!!

            • wildbears
              wildbears commented
              Editing a comment
              Sounds likely our father's paths crossed.
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