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The Bluffton news. [volume] (Bluffton, Ohio) 1875-current, April 19, 1945, Image 7

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CHAPTER IV: En route to New York
Scott is stopped by police who mistake
him for a bandit. He carries the mall
for Unci? Sam in order to gain more
flying time, and gets married
CHAPTER V: IT.e wai 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
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
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 XH: Scott goes on some
strafing missions with his "Old Ex
terminator." as he has now nicknamed
his Kittvhawk, 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 |hlp raids on the Japs.
He is now known back in the States as
"the one man air force."
CHAPTER XIV: Col. Haynes is moved
to China to head the bomber command
under Gen. Chennault and Scott is left
alone as commanding officer of the Ferry
Command. Scott is ordered to report to
Gen. Chennault in Kunming. China, as
commanding officer of the 23rd Fighter
CHAPTER XV: Col. Scott is ordered
to proceed to the Kweilin area to take
charge of fighter operations.
Well, the lost leader looked at his
map and still couldn’t see how he
was North of the course and really
past his destination. So he began
to argue again. The old Navy op
erator stood the bickering as long
as he could then he “took over.”
With the initiative he had devel
oped, he gave off some of the most
classic advice that I’ve ever heard,
and he gave it straight from the
“Goddamit,” he called, “who the
hell’s lost, you or me? Now you fly
the course I’m telling you and we’ll
meet you.”
And so another man of the Occi
dent failed to change the East, and
in failing learned a little and be
came a little more like the East. It
saved twenty-five airplanes.
People have asked me what made
me able to shoot down my first
Jap, and probably they expected me
to say that I had practised on tow
targets until I could put every shot
in the black. Or that I had been
to all the schools from Leavenworth
to Mount Holyoke, and had learned
tactics. Or perhaps that I was bet
ter at piloting than the Jap. I must
have disappointed them. For if any
one thing more than another enabled
me to meet the Japanese fighter pi
lots in the air and shoot them down
while I escaped, it was an American
First of all, I don’t know exactly
what democracy is, or the real, com
mon-sense meaning of a republic.
But as we used to talk things over
in China, we all used to agree that
we were fighting for The American
Girl. She to us was America, De
mocracy, Coca Colas, Hamburgers,
Clean Places to Sleep, or The Amer
ican Way of Life.
To hurriedly explain this theory,
let me say that I learned to fly as
anybody else did—with an instructor
in a flying school. That is, I learned
to take a trainer off and to land it.
But to correct this, I learned to be
a combat pilot by flying all over the
Western Hemisphere to see an
American Girl. I went from every
State in the Union to Georgia to see
her. I went from South America to
Panama to see the same girl. I
went from Central America to the
Canal Zone to see her. All on gov
ernment missions certainly, but that
mission was more to develop myself
into being a pilot who could navigate
over the world, or fly instruments
when I had to, or fly at night, than
it was to carry out the routine flight
that I was on. I always imagined
that my sole duty was to get
through with the ship safely. I knew
that if I could get through in peace
time I could get through in war.
Then if I could fly the ship as an
expert, I would only have to point
the guns at the ri^’.t place and the
Col. Robert L.Scoff
CHAPTER 1: Scott’s early experiences
with gliders and airplanes He goes to
Ft. McPherson and enlists 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 motorcycle 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 new 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
General and is ordered to report at
Mitchel Field. N Y.. instead.
enemy would go down.
To prove this, I go on and answer
the question further by saying, “No,
ma’am, I didn’t learn it in school.
Why, my greatest victory in the air
was on a cross-country—that’s what
we call a navigation flight.’’ And
here’s the story.
Early one morning—July 31, 1942
—I took off from Kunming head
quarters to return to the eastern
theater at Kweilin and Hengyang.
High mountains are on this five
hundred-mile route to the East, and
I went on top of the overcast right
away. From my twenty-thousand
foot altitude I kept looking down at
the solid cloud layer just below me,
and I guess that subconsciously I
prayed there would be breaks at my
destination. There were mountains
at my destination too, and it’s still
not the best feeling to have to dive
through overcast into hilly country
with a fighter ship—or with any
ship, for that matter.
As the minutes rolled by and the
miles spun behind the P-40, I still
didn’t see the welcome shadow of
a hole in the clouds. In just a little
over two hours I arrived over the
point above the clouds where Ling
ling should have been. You see this
point was in flat country, and be
tween Kweilin and Hengyang. By
intentionally making an error to the
North I knew at least what side of
Kweilin I was on, and knew further
more that I could go down much
more safely there than farther South
in the mountains that surrounded
I called Lingling over the radio,
but before I could get a reply, Sas
ser, the operator at Kweilin, broke
in with an “alert” warning. He
said: “Chinese net reports noise of
enemy airplanes coming up the Can
ton-Hengyang Railway at high al
titude. Last report Section A-5.”
Looking at my map, which was
marked off in squares with letter
and numeral co-ordinates, I saw that
I was very close to that section.
But at the same time I was really
not oriented as to position, and was
into the last twenty or so gallons of
my fuel. Here was a chance at last
to intercept enemy planes by the
time the P-40’s from our fighter sta
tions could get there, the enemy
would have gone on with their mis
sion. What was I to do?
As I considered it for the second
that was necessary to make up my
mind, I remember thinking that my
loss of this ship would be justified
if I shot a Japanese ship down, and
if I was out of fuel above the clouds
I could dive down and land in a
rice paddy. That would be an even
trade. But I guess my ego thought
I could shoot the whole formation
down and the exchange of the
Japanese flight for my one ship
would certainly be favorable to our
side. .zjMmu
But my mind was already made
up. Even then I was on my way
towards the position that I thought
was Section A-5, there on the pretty
white tops of the overcast.
Calling to Sasser, I told him I
thought I was just East of Lingling
and very close to the Jap formation,
and was going to try to intercept. I
dove down until I was just over the
tops of the clouds, at 17,600 feet.
I dodged in among the tops of the
fluffy cumulus, looking ahead for
the first sign of the black silhouette
of an airplane. As the enemy ships
had been reported heading North,
I estimated where they should now
be and flew to intercept them.
I’ll never forget. I had just looked
at the fuel gauge for the hundredth
time, and as my eyes left the in
strument board to go back to my
diligent search, I saw the clock, and
the hour was 9:08. At that instant
I saw an enemy airplane—one sil
houette. From that second on, I
know I moved automatically. I saw
that on our courses we were going
to meet head-on.
The other ship was now much
nearer, and closing fast. It was a
twin-engine bomber and was right
down low over the clouds, just as
I was. Down below now were holes
in the overcast, and I imagine the
bomber was trying to locate its po
sition to go down through. He didn't
see my ship, and I kept hidden by
the clouds as much as possible. I
felt my left hand go to the instr
ment panel to turn on the gun
switch. Then, as I looked at the red
switch, I saw that I had evidently
turned it on without being conscious
of the act. I moved it off, then
back on again, as a kind of test. I
turned the gun-sight rheostat on and
got the lighted sight reflected on
my glass armor in front of my
eyes. The enemy ship came on,
“mushrooming” in my vision our
relative speed of approach was per
haps five hundred miles an hour.
By now I had shoved everything
forward on the throttle quadrant—
the engine was pulling full power,
and the prop pitch was set to high
speed, low pitch.
Then, just before I pressed the
trigger, I saw the other planes,
two enemy fighters above and be
hind the bomber. I had evidently
not been seen by any of the three
ships, for after all I was coming on
very close to the clouds. But I
nearly stopped my aiming from the
surprise of seeing them. They were
about three thousand feet above the
bomber, and were weaving back and
forth in loose formation. 1 saw the
square wing-tip that told they were
Navy Zeros. There flashed in my
mind the warning that I had heard
from General Chennault about at
tacking bombers when there was
fighter escort. Everyone in China
had always neglected to consider
odds on the side.of the .enemy—they
were useC to Hud
just didn’t know enough about aerial
combat to worry much, or I might
have gone on anyway. My six guns
would neutralize their four I could
shoot the bomber down and dive into
the clouds before the Zeros could
get me.
I really don’t know whether I
thought it all out or not, for by now
I was shooting. The tracers seemed
to go towards the enemy all right,
but now the Jap came into my sights
so fast that I don't know whether
they hit him then or not. I dove
right under the nose of the twin
engine ship, and I’ll bet he was one
surprised pilot. I noted that he had
started to turn and maybe that
made me miss.
As the ship crossed over my head,
I pulled around in the tightest turn
I have ever made, mushing down
in the clouds a good distance, and
that must have hid me momentarily
from the fighter escort. As I came
out, the bomber was completing its
turn opposite to the way I had
turned, and I moved in for a full
deflection shot—a shot possible when
the other ship is crossing your path,
at 90 degrees. I had slowed down,
however, and had to reef in and
shoot at it from beneath and behind.
I got a good burst in here.
But now I saw tracers all around
me and felt a couple of hits: the
Zeros were shooting at me. One of
the enemy fighters dove in front of
me and I got a snap shot at it from
,a hundred yards. I dove under the
bomber again, and with the speed
that I gained, tried to make a belly
attack I got in another shot burst
and felt some more hits on my
As I pulled up, the Zero that had
been shooting at me made the mis
take of rolling at the top of his
climb, and I dove at him and gave
him about two hundred rounds with
a no-deflection shot I knew the burst
hit him badly. I shot at the other
fighter from long range as he tried
Some fifty-caliber ammunition for
the P-40.
a head-on run. But the clouds were
worrying the Japs—they seemed to
have trouble seeing me. As my
dive at the Zero built my speed up,
I turned towards the bomber again
it saw me and started a turn to
the right. I snapped a short head-on
shot, and before I got to the enemy
ship, I tossed caution to the winds
and made a hundred and eighty de
gree turn—the Jap was right in
front of my guns and I was already
shooting. I held the trigger down
and saw the tracers hit the big wing,
the fuselage, and saw the glass
stream from the canopy. I just
squeezed the trigger and “froze” as
the bomber seemed to come back
towards me.
As I drew up to less than a hun
dred yards the big red spots on the
wing grew wider and wider apart,
and I saw. pieces come from the
left engine. I nearly rammed the
enemy—I still don’t see how I
missed the radio antenna pole be
hind the glass canopy I could see
the guns w’aving to and fro, and
they shot at me.
But the bomber was going down.
I didn’t pull up as I went past him
this time, but dove steeply. When I
came out of the dive I looked back
for the Zeros but they were not to
be seen. Above and behind me, the
bomber was spinning slowly in
flames, the black smoke making a
spiral above the clouds—I saw it
go into the clouds as I mushed
through in my pullout. I came out
below the clouds, which were broken
in a few places now, but I couldn’t
see the Jap ships. I made one half
circle and didn’t know where I was.
Finally remembering my fuel sup
ply, I breathlessly glanced at the
gauges, and they were all bouncing
around on—EMPTY! I turned and
headed West with my throttle re
tarded and the prop set back for
cruising. Now I called Sasser, hav
ing forgotten to call him at the mo
ment of contact with the enemy. I.
told him about the interception,
that I knew I had shot down the
bomber and had gotten some bursts
on the fighters. Sasser told me that
there was a flight on the way from
Hengyang, led by Gil Bright.
My altitude was ten thousand now
and I held it while I just about glid
ed with power to the West, where I
should see the Hengyang-Kweilin
railroad. As I finished my report
over the radio, Sasser in Kweilin
told me S-3, and Richardson at
Hengyang said S-3 also. But Miller
at Lingling told me I sounded very
close to his station, and gave me the
report S-5. These mean, in radio
technical language, that my volume
was louder iri Lingling than at either
of the other two stations. More than
likely I was closer to the middle
town. I assumed this and flew West,
letting down gradually.
Just then Miller must have re
ceived a report from a town that
heard my engine, for he said,
“You’re Northeast of the field.” I
turned a little South and saw the
welcome red clay of Lingling. I
started feeling happy then—I’d been
in the air on a cross-country for
nearly four hours, and knew that
I’d shot down at least one plane.
I couldn't buzz the field though, for
any minute I expected the engine
to cou^h and the grop to jstart
War Vet
about war at an age when—in peace
time—be would have been knowing
about fairy tales. He was orphaned
during the Warsaw, uprising, he was
wounded, he doesn’t even know his
name. Now he is, awaiting the food,
clothing, and medicines which UNRRA
is preparing to give hm.
“windmilling”—out of gas. I put
the wheels down and landed without
even looking to see which way the
wind was on the runway. I got the
ship parked without the engine’s dy
ing, but the mechanics said they
couldn’t see any fuel in the tanks.
Rather excitedly I told my story.
We counted the holes in my ship
and then went over to count those in
one of the fighters that had been in
another battle that morning. Just
then Miller came dashing up in a
jeep to say that my air engage
ment had been reported over Lei
yang, sixty miles to the East, and
that confirmation had already come
in on my bomber. It had crashed
and burned eight miles from the
town. That noon I was so excited
that I couldn’t eat my lunch—I just
sat there and relived the battle.
The sergeant came in to tell me
there were seventeen holes in my
ship, and two of them were from the
cannon of the Zeros—they were all
back near the tail so maybe George
Paxton had been right, and maybe
the little bastards couldn’t shoot.
Well, we were to find out during the
next ten days, very vividly.
I flew on to Hengyang that after
noon, and with Lieutenant Cluck in
a jeep we drove to Leiyang. We had
information that some of the crew
or passengers had jumped from the
bomber that morning and had been
captured, and we needed the prison
ers for information. With Chinese
guides we climbed on foot over the
rice paddies built on the hills, to
wards the scene of the crashed
plane. Even before we’d covered
the ten or more miles that we had
to walk, I saw evidence of the air
plane. It seemed as if every coolie
that came towards us was carrying
a piece of the Jap plane. Near the
wreck I saw pieces of aluminum on
the houses covering holes in the
roofs, and saw some of the clothes
from the Jap airmen. These we ex
amined, and found a notebook, a map,
and a pistol. Later the soldiers at
the wreck gave us a chute and
some other things of military value.
When we came to the burned
bomber we found it pretty well scat
tered. The fabric was gone from
the parts that hadn’t burned, but
the larger part was just a mass oi
burned metal. I noticed that the
bodies of four Japs were lying where
they had fallen, and several days
later other visitors reported them
still in the same positions. I looked
in vain through the wreckage for a
Samurai sword, which is the souve
nir we value most from the Jap.
Mr. and Mrs. P. C. Solomon are vis
iting Mr. and Mrs. Joe Pennington
and daughter in Wisconsin.
Mr. and Mrs. Elzie Gierhart, Pfc.
Ronald Dunlap, Mrs. Dunlap and dau
ghter Shirley were Sunday dinner
guests of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Truax
and family.
Mrs. Etta Yant was a Saturday din
ner guest of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Hart
man and family.
Mrs. Donald Michael entertained
the members of the Leisure Hour club
at her home on Tuesday evening.
The Win-A-Couple class of the
Methodist church had a covered dish
dinner Sunday evening in the church
basement. Present were Rev. and
Mrs. D. C. Chiles, Mr. and Mrs. Roy
Herr, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Herr, Mr. and
Mrs. Donald Michael, Mr. and Mrs.
Kenneth Gierhart and son Jerry, Mr.
and Mrs. Ray Zimmerman and dau
ghter Wilma, Mr. and Mrs. Russell
Augsburger of Waynesfield.
Mrs. Charles Hall spent the past
week in Dayton with her mother who
is reported seriously ill.
Mr. and Mrs. Byron Anderson and
daughter Karen, Mr. and Mrs. Earl
Matter and daughter Carolyn of Bluff
ton were Sunday dinner guests of Mr.
and Mrs. Ed Cook and Mrs. Win.
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Murphy of
Scott spent the week end with Mrs.
Nettie Young.
Mrs. Lillie Anderson spent the week
end with Mrs. Margaret Yant and son
Dickie at Lima.
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Ludwig and
family of Cincinnati ware week end
visitors of Mrs. Mina Augsburger and
Miss Louise Schaublin.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Roberts of Li
ma were recent visitors of Mrs. Dora
News Want-ads bring results.
Oldtimers declare there’s always
an Laster storm—so Monday’s rain
and high wind must have been it
blew down trees, electric lines
and started a fire in an overturned
brooder house and just to keep
the record straight we’ll mention that
it rained the second Sunday after
Easter if it didn’t rain the first
Bluffton’s downtown district strange
ly quiet for an hour Saturday after
noon as business places closed from
3 to 4 as a mark- of respect to the
memory of President Roosevelt
and this is opera week in Cleveland
which used to be a high spot of the
year for a lot of Bluffton music
fans, when cars were younger and
gas was plentiful and speaking
of gas, there’s an extra ration for
victory gardeners, if you are a
gardener who really gardens and
you need transportation to get to
your garden and George Hacker
of Cleveland, former Bluffton man
had a happy birthday last Saturday,
we are sure, since he received a
year’s subscription to the Bluffton
News as a present in honor of the
occasion looks like happy days
are coming back again—at least
clothes pins have been added to un
der the counter stocks that stores
here keep for regular customers...
but what we said about clothes pins
doesn’t apply to telephones—we
heard the other day there’s a waiting
list of more than 40 at the central
office here which looks like a lot of
conversation will be indefinitely de
layed and here in the middle
of April is open season for mush
rooms—never recall seeing it this
early—mushroom hunters thick in
the woods last Sunday reminded us
of the first day of pheasant season
last fall—and Harley Reichenbach
who farms for Steiner Sisters north
west of town topped the list with
171 luscious spring mushrooms in
one day last w’eek.
Even tho it arrives a month late,
the Bluffton News is more than wel
come at her mission station in
French West Africa, writes Cather
ine Gratz who says that it is read
"from cover to cover—and then I
read it all over again.” The Bluff
ton missionary is located in the in
terior of Africa not far from the
fabled Timbuctoo region. She is ex-
pected home this summer on a fur
That crack-down on traffic vio
lators which Marshal Lee Coon says
is coming this spring will not be
confined to motorists—but it will in
clude youngsters who dash across the
street when traffic has the green
light. Green light crashing by
youths is just as dangerous as red
light crashing by motorists. Don’t
know just what the penalty will be
in case of the youngsters but a ses
sion in the woodshed with a good
birch rod might not be amiss.
Prospects for Bluffton’s postwar
airport dimmed this week with an
nouncement of a proposal for a fed
eral appropriation of $31 million for
250 airports in Ohio, but Bluffton
was not included in the list. Places
in this area included in the proposal
are Lima, Delphos, Ada, Findlay,
Wapakoneta, St. Marys, Kenton,
Bowling Green and Bellefontaine.
If you go west this summer, we’ll
wager that you will enjoy a fine
chicken dinner if you drop in on
Noah N. Basinger, former Orange
township resident who is on a chick
en ranch near Tucson, Arizona. They
have 3,000 chickens now and expect
to have between 5,000 and 7,000 by
Do fish bite better in clear, fair
weather or cloudy and unsettled
Weather. Since fishing has developed
into a major outdoor sport here the
question has assumed proportions of
vital importance among local anglers.
There have always been opinions on
both sides—however now we learn
that some of the boys are taking up
the matter from a scientific point of
view and are making an investigation
and collecting data on the subject of
whether fish bite better when the
barometer is rising or falling. If
we get any definite information later
we’ll let you know.
Comes word from J. J. "Jake”
Makely of Columbia, Mo., former
Blufftonite and erstwhile pillar in the
Odd Fellow lodge when it was flour
ishing here some fifty years ago.
Jake is still on the job every day in
Columbia’s Ford garage on
way, and if any oldtimers
that way this summer he
glad to see you.
And word comes from
“Arch” Griffith of Madison, West
Virginia, another former Bluffton
man that his son, Arch Jr., was re-
The urgent need of truck tire? and tubes by
our armed forces is on the increa
Industry must produce a stil
tity of truck tires and tubes.
Truck tires and tubes hav/ a
also a high manpower priority,
If you are not now engaged in essential war
work come in and talk if over with our Per
sonnel Man, Mr. Capell.
Cooper Corporation
Practise Typing a pci
Standard Size 8.1-2 11 Inches
(No Broken Packages)
Eluffton Ncuj
cently graduated from the San An
gelo, Texas, Army Air Forces Bom
bardier-Navigator school and is now
commissioned a second lieutenant and
expecting assignment soon.
Mrs. Elizabeth Schoumatoff, the
artist who was sketching President
Roosevelt when he was stricken fat
ally last Thursday lives in Locust
Valley, N. Y., which is also the home
town of Mrs. Alan Wolfe, the form
er Grace Radebaugh of Bluffton.
Mrs. Schoumatoff, a well known ar
tist, had sketched the President on
several previous occasions. She is a
native of Russia and came to the
United States in 1917 with her hus
band Leo Schoumatoff who was sent
to Washington as a representative
of the Kerensky Government. Her
brother, Andrei Avinoff is curator of
the Carnegie Museum at Pittsburgh.
Coincident with the drive for
clothing for war torn areas, the Ohio
Cutting room on the College campus
operated by volunteers from four
Mennonite churches in this district
is becoming increasingly busy. On
Monday a force of 25 women cut
1,200 yards of material into child
ren’s clothing and men’s shirts for
foreign relief. These garments, after
being cut out are sent to societies of
various Mennonite churches thru the
Middle West for sewing. Also here
was a delegation of women from
Archbold with 100 yards of material
to be cut for sewing by their society.
Both in Uncle Sam’s Navy, James
Gratz, watertender third class, son
of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Gratz met
his uncle Hershel Moser, seaman
first class in an unidentified port in
the South Pacific area, according to
word received here. On different
ships located for some time in that
area, the two navy men had ex
changed greetings on several occa
sions but never had an opportunity
of meeting until both ships were in
port at the same time.
Preserves Crispness
A saucer placed upside down in
a salad bowl will keep the greens
from getting saturated with dress
ing and becoming soggy. The ex
cess dressing will accumulate under
the saucer and will not affect the
crispness of the salad, even if it
stands for some time.
greater quan
high priority,
and are very

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