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

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Going Home - The Unexpected - Part Eight

As we get closer to the Minden exit I'm starting to feel a little anxious. Its been a long time since I've seen some of my cousins and anticipating the events of our reunion is causing some anxiety. I can't help but wonder what kind of anxiousness and anxiety my uncle might have felt before jumping into his P-38 Lightning to fight the Japanese. Like my Uncle, who was only 23 years old when he was sent to fight the Japanese in the Pacific, most of the men were young, fearless and invincible - most barely out of their teens. I'm convinced that most of them were hell-bent (excuse my language) on avenging the men and women killed at Pearl Harbor. I think their mindset was such that they were not going to allow this to happen again.

As I read my Uncles letter of October 25, 1943 I cannot sense any fear. But, I can definitely feel the excitement and the adrenaline rush that was racing through him.
Dear Mother & Dad,

Talk about thrills, I have had enough for a little while. We got into a big fight. I was flying on our Commanding Officers wing when I shot at a Japs plane. I gave him a long burst and he burst into flames. Then a couple got on my tail and the tracers flew by. I dived into a cloud and played hide and seek with five of them. I got several holes in my plane, but they done no damage. Lady Luck was sure kind to me. Mother Nature was very thoughtful, putting a big white cloud right there for me to use for protection.

About six different Japs shot at me. Incidentally I was flying my own plane. It was just assigned to me. It's an old plane but it flies good. It sure saved me from a long swim back.

Captain Ruff, a pilot who went back home from this
squadron has your address. He is to drop you a line
and tell you where and what I am doing.
I just saw the film from my gun camera. It showed
the Jap plane burning.
A war correspondent came here and took my name and home
town. You may find a write up in the paper about it.
Write soon

(photo of P38 Lightning is in the federal government public domain files - letter is privately held)

To Be Continued.........

1 comment:

  1. Terri, I love your post with Willie's letter and transcription. Words like his in 1000s of letters home must have been such a comfort to family members who were worrying about the soldiers then. His letter is a wonderful snapshot of his bravery and his life. Thanks for posting it.



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