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THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 1945
SYNOPSIS CHAPTER J: Scott's early experiences with gliders and airplanes. He goes to Ft. McPherson and enlist* in the regular army as a private. CHAPTER H: Scott wins the West Point competitive exam and gets a fur lough before reporting. He is graduated as a second lieutenant of infantry and goes to Europe, which he tours on a motorcycle. He sells his motorcvcle and arrives at Randolph Field. Texas CHAPTER III: Scott makes his first solo flight. Drives 1.300 miles to Georgia over every week-end to see his girl. Scott is now^ graduated from Kelly Field and has wings pinned on his chest. Ordered to report to Hawaii but wanting to get married he lays his plight before the Genera] and is ordered to report at Mitchel Field. N Y.. instead. CHAPTER IV En route to New York Scott is stopped by police who mistake him for a bandit. He carries the mad for Uncte Sam in order to gain more flying time, and gets married. CHAPTER V: The v.ai edges closer and he is farther than ever from combat duty. He has been told he is too old for combat flying, and after December 7. 1941. he begins writing Generals all over the country for a chance to fly a fighter plane. CHAPTER VI: Scott solos a Flying Fortress for the first time and makes twenty practice landings. He leaves for India from a Florida point CHAPTER VII: Easter Sunday In Af rica. They fly along the Arabian coast and land at Karachi, India, covering 12,000 miles in eight days. CHAPTER VIII: Col. Haynes orders the group to report at a base in Eastern Assam, on the India-Burma border. CHAPTER IX: Burma is falling into the hands of the Japs. Flying over bombed and burned Chinese towns they land at Schwebo. Scott meets General Stilwell and his party. CHAPTER X: Scott's group carries refugees out of Burma, heavily overload ing the planes. He pays a visit to Gen. Chennault and tells him he is a fighter pilot and not a ferry pilot and is prom ised the next P-40 that arrives from Africa. CHAPTER XI: Open season on Japs— the big adventure is near. Scott gets his first Jap—an army bomber on the ground. He burns up some Jap trucks and a fuel dump. CHAPTER XII: Scott goes on some strafing missions with his "Old Ex terminator,” as he has now nicknamed his Kittvbawk. and cuts a Jap battalion to bits. CHAPTER XIII: The AVG are told they are to be inducted into the U. S. army. Scott returns to India and con tinues his single ship raids on the Japs. He is now known back in the States as "the one man air force.” 1 CHAPTER XIV But I had seen enough. Even though this bridge was being built of bamboo, they were making it very strong, for the abutments were of heavier lumber and of stone. The Japanese were evidently planning to transport trucks, tanks, or some oth er heavier equipment North. I went right back to Dinjan and had Ser geant Bonner strap on a nice 500 pound bomb with a delayed action fuse. At any rate the armament men told him it was a ten-second delay fuse. This type of target had to be hit exactly, and if I were to glide in for a dead shot I’d surely get shot down by all the anti aircraft. So I made up my mind long before I got there to turn it loose just as low as I could fly. Even if I missed the bridge by only fifty yards, which is close for dive-bomb ing in ships not made for that type of work, I’d knock a lot of leaves off the trees, make a big noise, and maybe kill some gunners. But the abutments of the bridge had to be hit just about dead center if I was to make the Japs stop work. I came in to the target from the West, with the sun right at my back. I flew so low that I was afraid the little windmill on the nose of the bomb would get knocked off by the bushes. And then, as I saw the bridge, I let the bomb go. All hell broke loose. When I got back home I looked at “Old Exterminator” and I couldn't see why it hadn’t spun in right there over the N’umzup. There were holes as big as footballs in the fabric flippers and in the metal stabilizers of the tail section. There was a hole in the fuselage and five holes in the wing. But I guess the hill just East of the target had saved me. You see, the bomb hadn’t waited ten seconds to go off—which would have given me just that long to get out of the way of the explosion. It had gone off almost Immediately, and as a result I'd been just about blown out of the sky. The one-tenth second of grace, with me traveling at some three hundred miles an hour, had let me go only about fifty feet across the target, but even that had been enough to permit a small knoll to shield me from the main explosion. When I could get my breath again I asked Sergeant Bonner to find out from the armament men what in heli was the matter with the bomb. He brought them back with him, and the ordnance expert told me that he hadn’t said ten-seconds delay but one-tenth second delay. Just one hundred times less delay than I had expected! But “Old Exterminator” lived through it, and as soon as they’d patched the holes I went back over the bridge. We’d blown the abutments, all the timber, and all the Japs from off the N’umzup. A five-hundred-pound bomb with either a ten-second delay fuse or a tenth second delay fuse will discourage even the most persistent people. As the June days passed, Colonel Haynes was moved to China to head the Bomber Command under Gen eral Chennault, and I was left alone as Commanding Officer of the Ferry ing Command. On .the day the cheer GOD IS MY CO-PILOT Col. Robert L.Scoff W-N.U. RELEASE ful Haynes left, I felt as if I had lost my best and last friend. For this meant that I’d have to stay on the ground more, and work the admin istration as well as the operations of the ABC, which was getting tougher and tougher with all the rice we were having to drop and the passen gers we were having to haul. On the one day that I stayed on the ground, it seemed to me that every time I looked up from the desk that I was “flying,” some long, lanky tea planter would be standing there in the door in sun-helmet and shorts. With his bony knees sticking out, he’d ask me in cold clipped accents: “I say old chap—do you have trans portation for Calcutta?” My morale got pretty low. And the rains got worse: some days we’d have a foot of water in the “basha” that was Operations, and the men were sleeping almost in the water. I remember most of the Southern boys would argue with the North erners on the old familiar subject of the whys and wherefores of the War Between the States. As the Southerners were in greater num bers, they of course won most of the friendly arguments. From over near Sadiya, we had gotten eight elephants, tame ones, and were working them to move some heavy timbers to be used on the warehouses of the new field. There was an old Southern sergeant who took good care of the pachy derms. He must have been a mule skinner in either the first World War or the border war with Mexico, for he did everything in his power to keep the eight elephants dry and well-fed and content. Even when he tied the chains to their legs at night, he would wrap the links with cloth to keep them from chafing the thick skin of the big beasts. Another sergeant, from about the same section of the country that the old elephant caretaker hailed from, came by one day and looked the stalls over with a quizzical eye. “Say, Micky,” he called back as he left, “you’re taking too good care of those elephants. You’re going to get ’em so comfortable that the Yan kees will come down here and free ’em.” Bob Layher, one of the AVG pi lots, came over for several days, and we drank good Scotch whiskey at night and flew our planes across into Burma in the day—when I didn’t have to get passengers on the freight ships. I learned a lot, fly ing on his wing. We’d go over for a look at Myitkyina, and it would amaze me how effortlessly, without apparent forethought. Bob would get our ships into the sun before we came within sight of the field we were to observe. I picked up little things like that as I flew with him, and they helped me later. On the twentieth of June, mem bers of the Army Board that had been appointed to induct the AVG passed through Assam, and my hopes faded of ever getting over to work under General Chennault. I knew that out of those Colonels, the powers-that-be had surely picked some lucky one to get the greatest job in the world. This was of course that of commanding the AVG after it came into the Army, with its nucleus of old AVG personnel and the new pilots as replacements from home in the States. General Chen nault was to be the Task Force Com mander and was to be over the Fighter Group and the Bomber Force. If the Scotch hadn’t given out, I would have got drunk that night. But instead I went on another straf ing raid in the late afternoon, and had to land after dark. So I took it out in action. I bombed Homalin and the railroad yards at Mongaung the next day, and strafed the field at Myitkyina coming back. During the ensuing days until the 26th of June, I carried out attacks on barges near Bhamo, and on one trip went to Shwebo and almost to Mandalay, making a round trip of nearly nine hundred miles. I strafed the field at Maymyo, caught a train on the railroad North of town, and set it on fire. It was anything for action—and the engine of “Old Ex terminator” got pretty rough at times, for by then I had three hun dred and sixty hours on it and my mechanics had had little experience with Allisons. That night, when I got home from my trip into Burma, I was handed a radiogram that saved my life. As Sr & J. Sergeant LaRue of the 23rd Fight er Group. Everything has happened fast in this war, and the organiza tion of the 23rd Fighter Group was no exception. Therewasnn holiday, even ir it was activated on the Fourth of July. I read it my face must have turned white I know that tears came to my eyes, for I felt them burn. But I didn’t care. I was ordered to re port in Kunming, China, to General Chennault, as Commanding Officer of the 23rd Fighter Group which was to be activated from the AVG on July 4, 1942. I wiped the tears from my eyes and looked out on an im proving world. I could hear the birds singing again, and people were laughing I knew I w’as the luckiest man in all the world. I carefully folded the radiogram to show my grandchildren when the war was over and went out to look at my ship. For I had something else on my mind too. I was going to go into Burma the next day on four of the damnedest strafing and bombing raids the Japs had ever seen. It would be my swan-song from Assam and I had to celebrate in some way or another. I told my crew to load a 500 pound HE on “Old Exterminator,” and I walked around looking the old ship over. Somehow I figured that Kittyhawk had had a lot to do with getting me the greatest job in the war. It’s not every man who finally gets what he has always wanted in the Army—after being pulled out of fighters for being too old, after be ing an instructor for four years, aft er being shanghaied into being a Burma-roadster, important as the job had been. Well, I had got what I wanted and I felt as though I could jump over the moon. I pat ted the leering shark’s mouth on old 41-1456, and caressed the prop that had taken me in and out of many messes. Then I left, while they pulled the belly tank and put the big, fat, yellow bomb under the bel ly, and tightened the sway braces. Th? sight of that bomb made me feel pretty good. Next morning before dawn I was in the air. my course set for Homa lin. As I climbed out above the clouds I began to recite poetry in rhythm with the engine. To the verses of “Gunga Din” I dropped my first bomb of the day on the docks of Homalin. Then I flew back home with the words of the “Galley Slave” going out over the radio in a private broadcast to the world. On my next trip I dropped a five-hun dred-pounder on a barge at Bhamo and came back and strafed the much-abused Myitkyina. My third attack was on the railroad station at Mogaung and I strafed the empty freight-cars in the yard. I had to use a belly tank on the fourth trip, and so I couldn’t take a big bomb. But I loaded on six eighteen-pound frags and set sail for Lashio. I re membered to drop the belly tank before I went down into the anti aircraft, and I dropped the six little frags in two of the big green ware houses by the railroad tracks. I shot up the field but saw no planes, and I finished my ammunition by strafing the main street df the town. I saw two plate-glass windows spat ter across the street like artificial snow from a Christmas tree, and I laughed hysterically as two figures ran from a pagoda. That day I landed back home tired and happy. More orders had come for me: I was to go to Delhi before I went to China. I went there the next morning with “Long Johnny” Payne. When I had received my official instructions from headquarters in Delhi, and had been wrined and dined by good friends—war correspond ents like Berrigan, Magoffin, and Briggs—I came on back to pack my things in Assam. I tried to take the old fighter ship with me, but my crew had chiselled a new Allison engine from somewhere—had proba bly stolen it from some ship, but I didn’t know where. So I went on over in a transport, expecting to come back later and ferry “Old Ex terminator” to his new home. As we came down into the rain over the lake South of Kunming, I never have felt so good. This was another step to the East, towards Japan, and when I got out and saw all those sleek-looking fighting ships that my Group was going to receive from the AVG in five days, my spir its soared another mile in the air. I was through with all that lonesome “one-man war” stuff. From now on we’d be fighting as a team, with bombers escorted by fighter ships in a proper force to represent America. I had already met most of the members of the First American Vol unteer Group, but it was an even greater pleasure to meet them now. Some of them were men who were going to stay with the 23rd Fighter Group and fight under me. Of all the honors that I ever have re ceived or ever will receive, the greatest to me will always be the honor of being given command of that great group of sky fighters un der the Command of Gen. Claire L. Chennault. During the four days that followed I took over the military equipment of the Group from the Commander of the squadron that was based at Kunming, and I got my headquar ters staff organized. In this Army, Master Sergeants showing officers what to do have always been the backbone of a fighting force, and I will never forget Master Sergeant McNeven. I was certainly expect ing to lead the group in its fights against the Japanese, and the ad ministrative work that the Sergeant Major of the 23rd Fighter Group ac complished so efficiently made it possible for me to fly and have the paper-work go on at the same time. Later in the week I heard that “Old Exterminator” was ready with a new engine. But with the report came another that some other Group was moving into Assam, and that the engineering officer had stated he knew nothing about that ship 41 1456 belonging to the Chinese Gov ernment. It would stay in India, he said. I went on and flew back to India in one of the P-40E’s that we had just received from the factory that repairs them in China. Landing at my old base, I waited until dark, and then had the num bers. ea th.e ship that I had flown io THE BLUFFTON NEWS, BLUFFTON, OHIO Easter in the offing and this year the dears have gone all out for new wearables—and retailers are facing Easter with bare shelves and bulging bank balances which re minds us that the Citizens bank here passed the three million dollar mark last week that’s a lot of money even in these days—and to think it hasn’t been so long since a million dollar bank was something super and if this weather holds, next Sunday will be an open season for the gayest parade of spring toggery since before the depression with a day like last Sunday—when the Dave Rissers celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary—and the ther mometer hit a flat 82 degrees—you’ll see everything from those funny Easter hats to unrationed novelty footgear and speaking of novel ties the latest for the kiddies are dyed live chicks—your choice of a half-dozen colors and if you can’t get hothouse flowers for an Easter corsage there are jonquils, forsythia and crocuses now in bloom —also wild flowers since the warm spell coaxed them out early and the crowd in town Saturday night looked like midsummer with a moon riding high in a cloudless sky —and sidewalks dotted with knots of rural folk tarrying long and reluct ant to start home farmers busy with the tag ends of last fall’s corn shredding and getting spring plowing under way gardeners happy to see spring radishes peeping thru the ground and lawnmowers getting their first workout and so exits March 1945. When you’re in Rome you do as the Romans do—get shaved at the barbershop—says Staff Sgt. Ed Rice home after service in Italy. With the price of shaves standardized at a nickel in American money the dough boys in the Eternal city don’t bother with a safety razor and the barber shops do a thriving business, and everyone is happy. The shops, he says are attractive, usually finished in white tile and while shaves are reasonable so also haircuts w’hich are the equivalent of 20 cents U. S. money. However, they try to sell you all the extras—but if you’re lucky enough to have a pack of cigarettes they will give you the whole works—shave, haircut and all the tonics, massage, etc., in ex change. A woman visiting in Bluffton last week could hardly believe her eyes when she saw real steaks displayed in the refrigerator counter of a local meat market. In her home city, she explained, steaks had been unheard of for months, and it was hard for her to believe that there was no shortage of steaks here, provided one had sufficient ration points. On re turning to her home she took a quan tity of Bluffton steaks which, she said, would be a long remembered treat for her family. Aviation Cadet James “Jimmie” Basinger, who graduated from Parks Air college has been transferred to Carlstrom Field, Florida, where he is learning to fly an airplane the Army way. Plenty of sunshine and really hot down Florida way, Jim says. An accident was narrowly averted exchanged with those of my old fighter. For morale purposes alone, we had to have that ship in the 23rd Group. All this change involved was a stencilling operation to put 41-1456 on the ship that I had flown from China, and another to put on “Old Exterminator” the serial num ber of the fighter that I was leaving in India. So, early the next morning, July 3, 1942, "me and the old Kittyhawk” wended our happy way across the hills and jungles of Burma to Kun ming and more adventures together. From that moment, we left the Air Corps number 41-1456 on that in significant ship in India, and for all practical purposes the old P-40E that I had used for sixty-three days over Burma became another num ber, but it would always be “Old Exterminator” to me. In those two months we’d flown together 371 hours over enemy territory and we were more than friends. That is some what over eighty thousand miles, and in combat that’s a long, long way. Everything has happened fast in this war, and the organization of the 23rd Fighter Group was no excep tion. There was no holiday, even if it was activated on the Fourth of July. There was no time for cele bration. Radio Tokyo started right off with a bang, and we definitely knew hard work was ahead. On the night of July 3, Radio Tokyo— the one program we could ever hear in China—warned the new American fighter group that they would quickly annihilate them, for it was common knowledge that the ex perienced AVG personnel were leav ing for America. But Tokyo had reckoned without the strategic brain of the General, or the loyalty of those great pilots of the First Amer ican Volunteer Group. The General was expecting an at tack on Independence Day anyway, for the Japs had always shown an affinity for raids on our holidays. When the Japs arrived over Kwei lin, expecting to find green and in experienced fighter pilots, they found many American boys who for weeks had been flying with the AVG. nr. rnNTnjuir.n* "By the Old Moulmein Pagoda Saturday noon when a youth of about eight, ran directly in front of an automobile on Main street at the Cherry street intersection, when the car had the green light. The driver, an elderly Fostoria man, accompan ied by his wife succeeded in check ing the car’s speed barely enough to permit the boy to dash past. The youth apparently regarded the whole affair as a joke—but the couple in the car were so unneved that they required medical attention. It ap pears to us that the youth needed a vigorous application of a stout pad dle. *‘T" Two cousins, Charles Hankish, Jr. of Bluffton and Moey Antes of Cleve land, now in England had a reunion the other day. Each found out of the whereabouts of the other thru Dale Grismore, also of Bluffton, who knew both men and when Antes in quired about Hankish, Grismore in formed him that his cousin was only eight miles away. Both Hankish and Antes are in Army hospital serv ice. Back in 1942, Mrs. Allen R. Wil son, the former Miss Virginia Waltz of Mt. Cory, then employed at the Triplett plant, wrote her name and address on a meter and recently re ceived a letter from a Sgt. Johnston of Truax Field, Madison, Wisconsin, who noticed the name neatly printed on the magnet laminations while re pairing the meter. Many Triplett meters are used at Truax field, one of the Army servicing points, he AN RAF TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT flying low over the spires of Burmese temples heads for the front lines to drop supplies to British troops closing in on Mandalav. said. Before entering the Army Sgt. Johnston was employed in Chicago as a meter specialist and has been continued in that line of work since he enlisted three years ago. March 23 will be remembered as sailing date by the Sidney Hauen steins of Campus Drive. Last Fri day—March 23, their daughter Bar 'bara Joyce sailed for Syria where she will be a teacher in a mission school. Just one year before, on March 23 of last year, their son S Sgt. Nelson Hauenstein sailed for overseas duty with the Air Trans port Command. An inkling of what the Germans read on the home front was con tained in a leaflet of Nazi propagan da received by Eli Augsburger of South Jackson street from his son, Lt. Elias Ray Augsburger, Jr., of the Army air force. Lt. Augsburger, navigator of a B-17 based in Italy has been on frequent missions over Germany. The propaganda leaflet, in German language contains ex cerpts from speeches by Hitler, Goeb bels, Himmler and Goering to the effect that Germany will be defended to the last person. Rev. C. L. Grabill, former pastor of the Missionary church in Bluff ton, here on a short visit last Fri day. He is now in Turlock, heart of the California peach district. Peaches there are not measured by the bushel, but rather by the “lug” and the ton. Production from or 45 MEN WANTED The urgent need of truck tires and tubes by our armed forces is on the increase. Industry must produce a still greater quan tity of truck tires and tubes. Truck tires and tubes have a high priority, also a high manpower priority, and are very essential. If you are not now engaged in essential war work come in and talk it over with our Per sonnel Man, Mr. Capell. Cooper Corporation Findlay, Ohio ALL HIRING THROUGH U. S. E. S. Practise Typing Paper Standard Size 8 1-2 11 Inches 500 Sheets .. 40c (No Broken Packages) Olcfften News Office PAGE SEVEN chards there runs as high as 28 to 30 tons an acre, he says. LaFayette Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Sharitts and son and Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Shar itts of Lima were Sunday afternoon callers on Mrs. Louise Cloore. Mr. and Mrs. Guy Hitchens of Lima were Wednesday guests of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Biteman. Mrs. Louise Cloore visited at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Eibling of Dola Sunday afternoon. Mrs. Josie Hall, Mrs. Dale Mur ray, Mrs. Laura Biteman and Mrs. Daisy Ludwig were Wednesday guests of Mrs. Delma Watt. Mrs. Alva Bassitt and daughters were Sunday guests of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Hall. Miss Ruth Scoles of Lima was a Friday guests of Mr. and Mrs. T. W. Desen berg. Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Boyd and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. John Boyd, Mr. and Mrs. Dale Weaver and Ber nice of St. Francisville, HL, were Saturday evening guest of Mr. and Mrs. Russell Boyd. Mr. and Mrs. John Boyd returned Saturday from a winter’s visit at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dale Weaver at St. Francisville, Illinois. News Want-ads bring results. LOCAL AND LONG DISTANCE HAULING Every L$ad Insured STAGER-BROS. Bluffton, Ohio THE IC. & Y. RAILROAD NEEDS brKkemen BOILERMAKERS MACHINISTS car Repairmen SEOTIONMEN TELEGRAPH OPERATORS BRIDGE AND BUILDING CARPENTERS Must meet WMC requirements. These are full wartime jobs and good possibilities for postwar work. Liberal railroad retirement and unemployment benefits. Call at the nearest A. C. & Y. station and the agent will give you complete information. The Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railroad Co.