For Momma - Memorial Slide Show (Turn Playlist Music off before watching)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Going Home - The Unexpected - Part Two

Willis went after his dream to fly. He wrote numerous letters home to his family telling of his adventures learning to fly. This letter was written November 28, 1942......

"Dear Mother & Dad,
It has been to hazy to go out and fly most of this morning. I just got through writing to George and Lucille. I have a little over 2 hours to fly yet to get in my 60 hours. We had our last day of ground school yesterday. We are having our graduation dance here tonight.
Yesterday I took a solo ship up and started to see how high it would climb. When I got up to 7000 ft the air started to get thinner. I got up to 12,300 ft. above sea level, the the motor started to slow up and the plane would climb no higher, so I leveled off and made a 90 deg level turn and lost over 500 ft. so you can see the air is pretty thin up there.

Our class came out pretty good here. There has been less washouts in our class for its size than any other class that went through this school. The lower class have already as many men washed out now as we had all through the course and they still have a month to go.

There were three of us that started from South Dakota and all three of us are still going strong.
I had a picture taken on the flight home of me in a plane ready to take off. I am going to mail it one of these days when I think of it.

The days are fairly warm here. The nights get rather cold. If froze a little a couple nights last week. There a lot of flowers blooming here yet even though it froze a couple times.
I'll drop you a letter when I get to my next station.

Sincerely yours"

Willis received part of his training at Ryan Field, Hemet, California and was part of Class 43D. He received his Silver Wings on April 12, 1943 at Williams Field in Chandler, Arizona. He truly loved flying, the excitement, the adrenaline rush that went with flying and maneuvering among the clouds. By 1943 the war in the Pacific was raging and fighter pilots were in demand.
To be continued....

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