Monday, September 1, 2014

Got me one...

B-29 Super Fortress - WWII American bomber.
B-29 Superfortress
Flying over China, Bud stared over the wing of B-29, nicknamed “Bomber Betty”.  Darkness draped over the mountains below, hiding the aluminum of crashed planes, called "Tin Can Alley".

The pilot, Capt. Ezell eased down low over the China Sea, conserving on fuel, riding below radar.  The white caps of the water below flew along with the plane.

Japan was twenty minutes away.

Ezell began the ascent to high above the waters, high enough to drop the payload.

Bud stretched legs and arms, a hard job for a tall man, a bay gunner in the bomber.  He gave the other bay gunner a shout.  “Hey, Sweetman!  Get up, time to go to work.”

Dark handsome Bud in center, 468th division, 1944

Sweetman replied with some expected profanity, and both checked their guns on the ready.

Ten...five minutes to Japan.  

That was when the Japanese fighters buzzed out from the clouds, fast mosquitoes darting around, above, and below...ack-ack-ack tracers...tail gunner swirling to hit the darting planes.

Bud and Sweetman aimed, fired, aimed again...again...again.  I got one…yep, I got me one…

The bombs were released, target hit, damage confirmed, flames billowing.  Time to go home.  Time to fly low over the water, to use every drop of fuel needed to make it back to China. 

Landing is a relief, after 24 hours in the air.


I got one…yep, I got me one….



My father Bud was one of the B-29 crew that flew in supplies to the starving Chinese people.  The Japanese had prevented supplies by barricading the coast lines.  My father was mainly involved in bombing runs over Japan.  I believe he and the crew flew 24? missions, some back to back.    

17 comments:

  1. Bombs one day...food the next. Maybe it helped balance things out for them. They and so many others worked so very hard for all of us....may we never forget.

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    1. What the American soldiers did and why always amazed me, I have ordered a book "The Hump" about that time and the military.

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  2. I don't know why, I was more attracted to books on the war in the Pacific as a child, perhaps because I thought no death could be worse than death by drowning, or as a Japanese POW. Good for your dad, and for all the men who fought that war.

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  3. So young, these young men, so brave. Today, I have learned about how they fed the British army during WW1, now I learn about food for the Chinese people during WW2. It is all so interesting, brave, and sad at the same time. In my mind at least.

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    1. America is a big strong nation, at least it was then. It was able to give to other countries.

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  4. Can't even imagine what a relief it would be to make it out. So many things could go wrong.

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  5. I'm with Pat, can't even begin to imagine being in your father's position.

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    1. I believe those events bothered him as he aged, memories emerged.

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  6. Scary, scary times - from which we don't seem to have learned a great deal. Which means that more people have to do the same job that your father did. Brave, yes but how I wish that courage was unnecessary, and that the memories had haunted their last person.

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    1. so much horror done by such evil people...The Holocaust being just one. The Pacific another...Dad said one that each man secretly believed that the other guy would die, the other plane...

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  7. The memories that all soldiers share are difficult. It is only recently that we are addressing them.

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    1. My father's generation suffered with PTSD as well. The ways they dealt with the horrors---they never spoke of it with anyone but fellow veterans.

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  8. Each flight much have been filled with so much tension...I can't imagine.

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  9. He was def. a handsome man. And not short on bravery...can you even imagine?

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!