My father began every story with those words. He’d lean back in the kitchen chair—that is where most stories were told—and tilted back the John Deere cap.
Me and Sweetman were on a long run over the China Hump…you know what that is, dontcha? Well, that is a flight over Burma and China to Japan. We dropped bombs on towns there. But... Well, then.
It took close to 24 hours to fly there and back. Had to fly low over the waters, so low that we could see the white caps on the waves. I betcha we coulda reached out to grab some sea water.
We flew so low to conserve fuel. Plane was heavy. Man, it was heavy with the fuel tanks and the artillery. Me and Sweetman were the bay gunners. The closer we got to Japan, the Japs would be buzzing around us like hornets. Me and Sweetman would shoot at them, heavy guns and loud. Now and then, we’d say, “I got one…”
Well, then. This story is about a rule we had on the bomber. The first one who had to pee would have to clean the latrine. Nasty, bad job.
Ol’ Gandy had to go bad. The rest of us were pent-up about the mission, we couldn’t have peed for nothing. But Gundy had to go.
But the latrine? He decided he’d open the bomb bay doors just a little and pee down them. Worked just fine.
Then we heard the navigator Ol' Shelton say somethin’ like. “What’s this? Yellow sea water?” He smacked his lips, wiped his face. “Tastes funny.”
We never told him what that was. Don’t think he’da like it.
Dad loved to tell stories, but only certain stories.