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Old 01-09-2020, 01:51 PM
 
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An addendum to the above "my engine sang into the salty sky"...

From my fathers written memories transcribed about a decade ago (the watered down version for his children), I brought it out for reference. Thought you guys might find interesting:

"These always hazardous take offs to the south, the only way we could take off, over the water, on our short PSP runway with a heavily loaded B-26 was always exciting and interesting. Often times I could only see a few runway lights on either side of the runway because of the poor visibility. The often adverse weather, snow banks either side of our narrow, rough and slippery steel plan runway, with tail wind most of the time, maximum load of bombs internally and on the racks under our wings, ammo for our guns and anything else they could think of to increase our weight and drag, increased my pucker factor considerably. The trick was to keep a positive rate of climb, at all costs, just after liftoff, by referring to the instruments in the cockpit while maintaining a safe climb speed to keep from falling out of the sky and/or setting back into the water. If this was not done in an exact and orderly manner, you would find yourself taking a bath. A B-26 was not known for ditching....
More that a few B-26's accidentally went into the water....a few times with fatal results. These type of accidents resulted in more than our combat losses during the time I was there
."
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Old 01-09-2020, 04:19 PM
 
5,703 posts, read 2,479,207 times
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Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
An addendum to the above "my engine sang into the salty sky"...

From my fathers written memories transcribed about a decade ago (the watered down version for his children), I brought it out for reference. Thought you guys might find interesting:

"These always hazardous take offs to the south, the only way we could take off, over the water, on our short PSP runway with a heavily loaded B-26 was always exciting and interesting. Often times I could only see a few runway lights on either side of the runway because of the poor visibility. The often adverse weather, snow banks either side of our narrow, rough and slippery steel plan runway, with tail wind most of the time, maximum load of bombs internally and on the racks under our wings, ammo for our guns and anything else they could think of to increase our weight and drag, increased my pucker factor considerably. The trick was to keep a positive rate of climb, at all costs, just after liftoff, by referring to the instruments in the cockpit while maintaining a safe climb speed to keep from falling out of the sky and/or setting back into the water. If this was not done in an exact and orderly manner, you would find yourself taking a bath. A B-26 was not known for ditching....
More that a few B-26's accidentally went into the water....a few times with fatal results. These type of accidents resulted in more than our combat losses during the time I was there
."
There are sometimes many military who lost their lives when not actually in combat. One reason I feel all military who serve honorably deserve our respect.

Side note...……..Your Grandfather may have helped save my uncle. He was in the first marine division in the Chosin………….He would talk very little about his service also...…….
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jeffdoorgunner View Post
There are sometimes many military who lost their lives when not actually in combat. One reason I feel all military who serve honorably deserve our respect.

Side note...……..Your Grandfather may have helped save my uncle. He was in the first marine division in the Chosin………….He would talk very little about his service also...…….
Absolutely! Accidents take there toll because of the chaos and desperation that exists in a combat zone. Same with illness and exposure to the elements. Many soldiers in N. Korea froze to death.

It's actually my father (he's in his 90s and I am his youngest child). He can't take credit for any action in Chosin as that was, I think, in the early phases of the war. He arrived later when the front was stabilized 1952-1953. There was a documentary on the Battle in Chosin that I saw on Netflix a few months back. A harry time for our armed forces for sure.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:23 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
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Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Absolutely! Accidents take there toll because of the chaos and desperation that exists in a combat zone. Same with illness and exposure to the elements. Many soldiers in N. Korea froze to death.

It's actually my father (he's in his 90s and I am his youngest child). He can't take credit for any action in Chosin as that was, I think, in the early phases of the war. He arrived later when the front was stabilized 1952-1953. There was a documentary on the Battle in Chosin that I saw on Netflix a few months back. A harry time for our armed forces for sure.
There was a "echo death" from Chosin:
Chesty Puller was awarded medals from Chosin Reservoir as well as several other battles.
Inspired by his father's accomplishments, his son, Lewis Burwell Puller, Jr, distinguished himself in Vietnam while receiving terrible wounds in the process. He fought and fought and fought, but Lewis never overcame the pain of those wounds.
He committed suicide in 1994. He is not listed on The Vietnam Memorial, but I think his death is an echo of what his father survived at Inchon and other places.


There but for the grace of God, go I.....
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
There was a "echo death" from Chosin:
Chesty Puller was awarded medals from Chosin Reservoir as well as several other battles.
Inspired by his father's accomplishments, his son, Lewis Burwell Puller, Jr, distinguished himself in Vietnam while receiving terrible wounds in the process. He fought and fought and fought, but Lewis never overcame the pain of those wounds.
He committed suicide in 1994. He is not listed on The Vietnam Memorial, but I think his death is an echo of what his father survived at Inchon and other places.


There but for the grace of God, go I.....
Very moving post. I read about this many years ago. Your last sentence is so apt.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in the cornfields of Illinois
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Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
I usually don't post personal information on here, but over Christmas I was visiting family in another state, including my aging father (in his 90s).

He flew a B26 Invader in the Korean War, flying 50 missions over the bomb line into North Korea on night interdiction missions in 1952-53. The B26 was perfect for Korea: a light and fast bomber designed to fly at low altitudes and drop a heck of alot of ordnance including napalm, and top it off with strafing runs with up to six machine guns in the nose or wing. He has written down his memories about a decade ago for his children and grand children telling his daily life on a rustic air base, the cold, the military nonsense he had to go through, his life between missions at the base, and some of his more hair raising missions. But it was somewhat watered down, with only hints here and there of the horrors those in the air and on the ground must have gone through. He had also forgotten alot.

Last few years I have gotten more and more into the history - reading books the Korean War, sharing books with my father on the B26. This year I had a historical air force jacket created with a historically correct patches designated his bomber squadron and wing that I proudly showed to him just last week on my visit. For christmas I gave him a B26 coffee cup and one of my left over patches. For me, it's part of history, somewhat glamorous and adventurous. I want to hear more and understand more from him, hey it's part of history. I love history.

This was a mistake I think, it's resurrected some dark memories. I just found out now that on Christmas day this week my sister sat with him as he was staying at her families house (I would see him later that day). He was up, sat on a bed, and said softly "Christmas 1952 was a bad time for me", he then described flying 4 missions back to back. December 23rd to December 26th. Then he looked down and said "I killed people on Christmas Day" and was quiet for a time and didn't say a word after that. Just repeated it was a bad time. Finally they moved on to another topic. And me the idiot later that day gave him a B26 coffee cup as his Christmas gift. It breaks my heart, what he must have been thinking about all day.

Not sure what the lesson is here except that for those that prod our fathers and grandfathers for their war history, be careful about digging to deep. Some thought are best left forgotten. It breaks my heart that I caused these memories to resurface.
Very moving thread!
First of all Dd714, I thank your father for his service. I am also sorry for his troubling memories. But make no mistake, hearing or not hearing, your father is comforted by being with those he loves and who love him!
Most all of the Vets that I know or have known it seems that the more war they were in, the less they speak of. The ones out of harm's way seem to be able to speak more openly of their feelings.
It's tough keeping secrets of any kind inside let alone stories of war.
I truly hope your father finds some semblance of peace.
Something I read awhile back contained this....

"It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is Hell"
~Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman ~
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:54 PM
 
12,818 posts, read 19,046,378 times
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Originally Posted by Bellacatahoula View Post
Very moving thread!
First of all Dd714, I thank your father for his service. I am also sorry for his troubling memories. But make no mistake, hearing or not hearing, your father is comforted by being with those he loves and who love him!
Most all of the Vets that I know or have known it seems that the more war they were in, the less they speak of. The ones out of harm's way seem to be able to speak more openly of their feelings.
It's tough keeping secrets of any kind inside let alone stories of war.
I truly hope your father finds some semblance of peace.
Something I read awhile back contained this....

"It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is Hell"
~Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman ~
Thanks to you and all that have responded with your positive messages. You guys are great!
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in the cornfields of Illinois
573 posts, read 137,495 times
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Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Thanks to you and all that have responded with your positive messages. You guys are great!
You are most welcome sir.
I wanted to add this to my response earlier but forgot unfortunately.
Before my elderly father passed, for years I struggled of what gift(s) to give, to show my love for him. All were appreciated, but the gift he appreciated the most, was to be amongst his family.
Be well.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
26,807 posts, read 25,460,549 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdoorgunner View Post
There are sometimes many military who lost their lives when not actually in combat. One reason I feel all military who serve honorably deserve our respect.

Side note...……..Your Grandfather may have helped save my uncle. He was in the first marine division in the Chosin………….He would talk very little about his service also...…….
That's a very good point. My father rarely spoke of his service in England during WWII because he never had to fire his weapon. He felt as though he hadn't done anything important and was ashamed.

I learned this when I was in my 30s and bought a brick paver with his name and service dates on it for a small veterans park in a small town which he loved. He said, "...but, I didn't do anything." I was stunned.
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:11 PM
 
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Some gave ALL...………..all gave SOME.
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