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THURSDAY, MAY 3, 1945
CHAPTER IV- En route to New York Scott is stopped by police who mistake him for a bandit. He carries the mail for Uncis Sam in order to gain more flying time, and gets married. CHAPTER V: The 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 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 st 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 XH: Scott goes on some strafing missions with his "Old Ex terminator." as he has now nicknamed his Kittyhawk. 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.” CHAPTER XIV: Col. Haynes is moved to China to Head the bomber command under Gen. Chennault and Sco|t la 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 Group. CHAPTER XV: Col. Scott is ordered to proceed to the Kweilin area to take charge of fighter operations. CHAPTER XVI: He intercepts a flight of Jap planes and downs a bomber. His tank is empty but be succeeds to landing it dry. CHAPTER XVII: In which Scott tells about his friend. Major "Tex" Hill, to whom he owes his life. Maj. Alison is hit and tries to land his crippled bomber at night CHAPTER XVIII So Johnny glided to the field wijji his missing engine, and then we heard him say that he couldn’t make the field and was going to sit down in the river. The moon made it fairly bright, but even at that I knew that Johnny had to be mighty good and very lucky. Then I wondered whether or not he was wounded. Silhouetted against the light from the three bombers he had shot down, his fighter looked awfully low. He skimmed over the Chinese junks on the river, and I saw the splash as the P-40, with its wheels up, hit the Siang Kiang. Down on the ground they heard his engine give one more dying gasp, as with a surge of power —probably from full gun and a prop in low pitch—it lifted him over the last of the masts of the junks and let him level off to skid across the surface of the river. We came in and landed now, for the ground crew had gotten the smudge-pot boundary lights set out to mark the runway as well as the bomb craters. We gathered togeth er fast with the boys who had stayed on the ground, and talked about the great battle. I remember Tex Hill shaking his head and saying, “I’m afraid Johnny didn’t make it. Dog gone, he was a good boy.’’ We all felt a sinking in our hearts. We waited and we kihd of prayed too. I sent Captain Wang, our salvage man, out to see if he could get any news of Major Alison. We made our reports out and kept waiting on the alert. Just when we had really given up hope, we heard the sound of sharp explosions. All of us ran out of the alert shack, to see the strangest sight that we ever saw, even in China. A procession had entered the field. The Chinese sentry had passed the crowd of people and was himself holding his thumb in the air calling “Ding-hao—ding-hao.” In the midst of the procession and surrounded by children shooting Chinese firecrack ers in celebration, was a sedan chair carried on the backs of the villagers of Hengyang. And Johnny Alison was in the sedan chair—smiling. While we cheered too and some of us even got some firecrackers from the kids and shot them off, we helped Johnny out and heard his story. He’d hit the river like a feather-bed, he said, and had swum ashore, having to kick off his good American shoes to make it. As he crawled up the bank of the river the Chinese had rushed uron, him, think GOD IS MY COPILOT Col. Robert L.Scott SYNOPSIS CHAPTER 1: Scott’x early experiencet with glidera and airplanea. He goes to FL McPheraon 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 now graduated from Kelly Field and has wihgs 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. VJ-NAJ. RtLEASt ing he was a Jap out of one of the bombers. Johnny said it looked as if they were going to cut him up, until he remembered the one word of Chinese that he’d picked up. He yelled this—one that sounded like “Merugay,” which means “Ameri can.” And when they read the Chi nese sign that each of us carried on the back of his flying suit, which asks aid and protection for the American who has come to help China fight, they realized who he was. Just the man who had shot down the three enemy ships. And from then on he was the hero of the town. Johnny Alison had a couple of burns on his hands and legs where some bits of the Japs’ explosive bul lets had hit him. He’d been slightly cut on the forehead when, on land ing in the river, his head had hit the heavy metal of the gun-sight. But the scar that would leave would be a common one after the war, for every fighter pilot flies along with his head just inches behind that hunk of steel that contains the lights and prisms of the modern gun sights. Just the slightest accident and it is out there to split your head. I asked Johnny why in hell he went so close to the bomber forma tion, and he grinned and said, “I was scared I’d miss one of them.” Our salvage crew worked and worked at the job of raising the P-40 from the bottom of the Siang-Kiang. But with the fourteen-foot depth and the swift current, they had more than modern engineering with the limitations of our floating equipment could accomplish. Under Captain Wang—Chinese-American and in our Army—they floated barges out to the spot and tried to tow it ashore with lines. Then they lowered steel drums, tied them to the ship, tried to pump the water from the sub merged drums and thus float the P-40—but everything failed. During all the work of the Amer icans with windlass and block-and tackle, the Chinese villagers, who had offered their services long be fore, smiled and stood by. We asked ourselves: What in hell could the Chinese coolies and rivermen do if we, with our general knowledge and advanced civilization, couldn’t raise the ship? We went on and failed for three days, and then to the per sistent Chinese we said, “Okay, go ahead.” We watched them float raft after raft of long thick bamboo poles to the buoy that now marked the spot where Johnny’s fighter had sunk Mentally we set down the raising of the ship as impossible and got ready to mark it off the list. But the Chinese went on cheerfully with their work. I saw them pull them selves down into the river with ropes tied to the fighter, taking with them an eighteen-foot length of bam boo. They would slide this under the wing of the ship and lash it into place with grass rope. Hundreds of times they did this, until a perfect mat of bamboo was under the entire wing of the little P-40. Then they lashed the mat to the fuselage and started another row under the wing. Through it all we smiled at the wast ed effort, and I heard men say, “Oh well, there are lots of Chinese any way. Let them work.” But towards the second day’s close, I began to wonder, and that evening as darkness settled over the river I went out to watch their tire less labor. Suddenly there was a movement among the rivermen to tighten the four cables that tied the fighter to the barge, and I saw the canopy and the prop of Johnny’s fighter ship rise above the surface of the river. Involuntarily I cheered, and I felt a lump in my throat as if I had swallowed something as I tried to talk to the officer with me I felt my lip tremble with emo tion. But the Chinese never cheered or got excited they remained as stoical as ever. They seemed to know that they were going to be suc cessful, and had merely been wait ing for the crazy Americans to quit playing around with all the strange gadgets. They had floated the 9100 pounds of P-40, and now they towed it to shore. Our salvage crew put the wheels down in the water, and with the aid of about a hundred coolies the ship was pulled up the river bank and then out to the field. We counted eleven bullet holes through the engine and in the cockpit. Next day the ground crews began the w’ork of repair. Days had to pass before an engine from another dam aged fighter could be installed, and more time had to go by before w’e got it completely worked over. But in the end it flew again in com bat against the Japanese—thanks to the bravery of a gallant officer, the labor of good mechanics, and the unswerving patience and devotion of those brave Chinese coolies and riv ermen who had never heard of the word “impossible.” When I first went to China I think I imagined in my short stay that I Would gradually change the simple Chinese. I used to rant and rave about this and that, and try to show the houseboys better and more ef ficient ways to do things. But they never changed, and finally I real ized that they were changing me. Now in raising this ship they had used a method three thousand years old. I have read since how they had employed it in Burma, long years before, when the great temple bell weighing over thirty tons was thrown into the deep lake to save it from the heathen. When the heath en had occupied the land and had himself been beaten in due time, pruuauiy uie wuiuq ai»S itself, they had come back to the lake, these Chinese, and with bam boo poles had raised the thirty tons of metal. During my stay in China I have watched the Chinese being bombed, and have seen them go out and pick their dead from among the ruins of their cities. Then wait bravely for the Jap to come again, while they went on scratching out a road with their bare hands, stoically working and watching for material to come over that road with which to fight the enemy. Waiting patiently, as though they knew that some day they would have a chance to fight the Japanese who have tried to ex terminate them. I’ve seen a Chinese woman run into a bomb crater, pull the dismem bered pieces of her child together, and wipe the dirt from the face of her dead husband, a look of misery on her face. Then, when she saw me staring, she stood there and smiled. When I glanced at General Chennault with a question on my face, he said, “Don’t interpret that wrong now, Scotty. She’s showing you she can still smile, no matter what happens.” Even with the small fighter and bomber force that we now had in China, the people had taken a new lease on life. Every time we had an air battle over Hengyang they would capture another town along the Yangtse or near the lakes around Nanchang. I think we realized then, as General Chennault had realized for a long time, that all these people needed was a chance, with air sup port for their ground armies and modern equipment for their soldiers. Our small force had put new life into them. They had plaques em broidered in commemoration of the battles that we fought. These would sometimes represent the American eagle holding the flags of America, Britain, Russia, and China. In Chi nese characters would be a poetic account of the battle that the pilot or the squadron had fought. As we drove along the roads in our jeeps to the field for the alert of the “Jia bao,” the little children would hold their thumbs up and call again and again, “Ding-hao.” More and more we asked our- “My armament sergeant and the crew chief of the fighter.” selves, “What couldn’t we do with plenty of equipment for the Chinese ground armies, and us over their heads with adequate air support?” Would the day ever come when we could make an attack with a force that was a credit to the greatest country in the world? Towards the middle of August, as our pilots died in the old ships that we had, we had begun to doubt it. For no, we didn’t win all the time. Sometimes we lost, even when we traded one for ten. We lost because the Jap could replace his lost planes we could not. It was more than losing ships—sometimes our pi lots died in the unequal battles. One day in August, Johnny Alison was leading six P-40’s to intercept a larger number of Japanese com ing in against Hengyang from both Hankow and Canton. When inter ception was made, the Japs had fifty-three planes. They were in three, waves, so of course Johnny didn’t get them all together and let them take shots at his little force. He circled in the sun, waiting for the opportunity to strike, and get away with all his ships. Then it came. He dove through nine of them, and his six planes shot down four of the enemy. In his second attack, after diving away and climb ing back into the sun, he sent four of his six down against them and then came on with the other two, just in case the enemy should follow the small attacking force out of the familiar “circling movement” that the Jap with his ever superior num bers always went into. The little force of fighters knocked down another Zero. But one of the P-40’s was in trouble. Johnny said later that he had seen the enemy ship's following the Forty, but thought the closest one was another P-40. Too late he realized the error and went to help the pilot, whom he knew by then to be a boy named Lee Minor. The Zero rode the American fighter’s tail and shot it down with cannon, and the P-40 burned. Johnny watched for a chute to open, but nothing happened. As we drove out along the high way that afternoon—Baumler and Alison, Jack Belden of Life maga zine and I—we were hoping by some fluke that Minor had bailed out and that Johnny had failed to see him do it, but we suspected that we were merely being optimistic. The far ther we drove down the road to the South, towards the battle area of the morning, the more we expected what we found. Finally we saw it. Four Chinese coolies were walking towards the nearest village, carry ing an object lashed to poles, and carrying it in the old way of the East, with the poles over their shoul ders. The thing they were carrying was wrapped in grass matting, but I saw the bare feet sticking out. We stopped the jeep and called to the Qooliefi* Jack. S£112.n_s^oke t_Q them THE BLUFFTON NEWS, BLVFFTC N, OHIO in vninesc aiiu iuu*. uie cover, iium the face. It was Lieutenant Minor, and of course he was dead. His ship in exploding had evidently thrown him out and opened his chute, but the explosion had killed him. He had definitely not crashed with the ship, for there was hardly a mark on his body. Wrapping Minor in his parachute, we took fiim back in a rickety Chi nese bus that we commandeered. We knew we’d miss Minor and men like him. He’d been one of the up and-coming younger pilots, and had already shot down one Japanese plane. We took Minor’s body to the Cath olic mission across the river, and bought one of the old, ancient-look ing Chinese coffins, made out of wood about six inches thick, with corners that turned up like a pagoda roof they must weigh two hundred pounds. We put Minor’s body in side and held a simple service for you have to work fast in tempera tures of a hundred and eight, when the humidity is just about a hundred. Then we filled the casket with quick lime, sealed it up on our brother officer, covered it with ten layers of heavy bricks to protect it from rob bers and rats, and left it there to wait for the next transport to Kun ming. The headquarters in Yunnan is the burial ground for all of our pilots killed fighting against the Japanese. There on the plateau in Yunnan is the only memorial ground the 23rd Fighter Group will ever have. Our pilots lie beneath a gray slate slab from the earth of Yunnan, under the wings of the Chinese and the Amer ican Air Forces. They lie there in the shadow of a little Buddhist tem ple which for all practical purposes is the Christian temple of our God. Captain A. J. Baumler was the best operations officer I ever saw. He could go out and shoot down Japs all day, then come in and read the combat reports of twenty pilots, digest them all, and write out the most comprehensive report in the world—one that would give higher headquarters a ringside picture of the fight that had taken place. “Ajax” was from New Jersey. He had fought for nearly two years with the Loyalists in Spain, and had shot down seven Messerschmitts and Fiats in that war when he became an ace in the 23rd Group he was the first man in the war who had shot down German, Italian, and Japa nese aircraft. Ever since America had entered the war he had led a hectic existence. Months before De cember 7th, he had left America from California to join the AVG and General Chennault, as a Lieutenant in the Air Corps. He had been stopped in Hawaii for a month and then had received permission to con tinue on. NOTICE OF THE TRANSFER OF PUBLIC MONIES FROM THE GENERAL FUND TO THE ROAD AND BRIDGE FUND Notice is hereby given that on the 20th day of April, 1945, the Township Trustees of Bath Township, Allen County, Ohio, filed their petition in the Common Pleas Court of said County praying therein for authority to transfer Five Thousand Dollars (35,000.00) now in the General Fund of said Townsjiip to the Road and Bridge Hhip. The reason for being fully net out in s Said petition will bp.. Court on the 9th day a o'clock, P. M. The State of Ohio. Allen Estate of Elisabeth Tsc D. W. Bixler, of 118 Ohio, has been appoint Administrator of the Tschanti, late of Aller May. 1945, at 1:30 JOSEPH IOWERY S L. MASON of Bath Township mty, Ohio Driver, Clerk rnship Trustees FRANK H. E. I CHARLI Trustees Allen Cc Paul S. Bath To ’OINTMENT County, as. antx. Deceased. Kibler St., Bluffton, and qualified as •state of Elizabeth NOTICE OF AP County, Ohio, de April, 1945. P. SMITH. Probate Judge Dated this 13th day o RAYMC •OINTMENT NOTICE OF At THE STATE OF OHIO Allen County, ss. Estate of James Art! Leland Diller of 113 i Ohio, has been apjtoi Administrator of the e Hauenstein late of Aljei ceased. Dated this 18th day .ir Hauenstein, De Main St.. Bluffton, and qualified as te of James Arthur County, Ohio, de- Anril, 1945. Raymond P. Smith Probate Judge SWIFT & CO COLUMBlfs GROVE DAILY MARKET HOGS— /I S 160 to 400 1460 400 up ... ................ SOWS ............. STAGS ........... ... 1300 Mcunlu, 1435 1385 1350 COWS— Good ........... ... 900 105C Cutters .... ... 650 850 Canners ... ,... 550 650 Calves ............. 1600 Spring Lambs 1550 Ewes, Good .. ... 650 700 Ewes, Thin .. ... 400 500 THE A. C.&Y. RAILROAD NEEDS BRAKEMEJ^ B0ILT5WAKERS MACHINISTS CAR REPAIRMEN SECTIONMEN TELEGRAPH OPERATORS BRIDGE AND BUILDING CARPENTERS meet WMC requirements, are full wartime jobs and possibilities for postwar Must These good work, and unemployment benefits. Call at the nearest A. C. & Y. station and the agent will give you complete information. Liberal railroad retirement The Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railroad Co. Comes May month of May Queens and late spring frosts and a new sugar stamp peace rumors that persist fast time and some new red and blue points and politics get ting under way early this year and top news flash of the week was a ham that appeared on the block at Bigler’s Saturday—some of the cash customers almost passed out and others well nigh got hysterics and everybody scraped together what red points they had and that ham dis appeared like a snowball on 4th of July but no one was excited about those pound cartons of butter stacked up in the showcase—when it comes to spending scarce red points, looks as if steaks get the nod—and margarine will pinch hit for butter even if it isn’t colored and all’s quiet on the political front with the deadline for municipal candidates’ filing at hand—where’s the old time spirit that made grandpappy take his politics and his voting straight— never scratched a ballot—but now adays they can’t even fill the ticket how come, we’d like to know— after all it’s just as important to get out the candidates now as to get out the vote later why worry about getting out the vote in November if we don’t get out the candidates in May and fishing hitting a slump Sunday—anglers say it’s because of a falling barometer and we hope by the time you read this that peace will be and and than a rumor. more This Fund of said Town Ihe desired change ad petition. [afaJgMWMMr- said manpower shortage is of the old timers back war some putting in the harness—for instances there’s Med Murray than whom there is none whomer when it comes to hang ing wallpaper. He’s on the job this spring putting on paper for a Lima concern. Yes, Med’s 77, but you would never suspect it when you see him wield a paste brush. Mayor Howe, who announced his candidacy for another term the first of the week has not missed a coun cil meeting in more than nine years, which we believe establishes an all time record. He has attended every meeting since he first became identi fied with the town administration as member of the council in January, 1936 and if he keeps up his present pace by next December he will have Practise rounded out a decade—10 years—of perfect attendance. He served as member of the council until Novenv ber, 1938 when he filled the vacancy left by the resignation of the late J. Norman King. He was subsequently elected mayor in 1939, 1941 and 1943. Two flappers passing the Bluffton News office Tuesday when the follow ing bit of gossip floated thru the open doorway: “Yeah—he’s a good egg, but it ain’t Easter”. History repeats itself—with minor variations, to be sure—and the pres ent peace conference has an inter esting counterpart in some age-yel lowed press sheets promoting inter national peace after the First World War presented by Miss Alice Ludwig of Poplar street who was engaged in publicity work at that time. The theme is almost identical with that of the present San Francisco meet ing, with one important exception that Russia, now in the forefront of the peace promotion conference at that time portrayed as the shevik menace to civilization. was bol- the Albert Benroth, caretaker of town clock was on the job Sunday morning when Bluffton officially changed from slow to fast time. Altho most of the clocks about town were advanced an hour, before mid night, the town clock continued on slow time until the appointed hour— 3 o’clock when it made the one hour jump. Another chapter was added last week end gan some Barbara freshman, Mrs. Floyd Pannabecker on College road. The two Hayes and Panna becker families, engaged in mission work in China before the war, lived for a time as next door neighbors. They had not met since living in the Far East. to a friendship which be years ago in China when Hayes, Oberlin College visited at the home of The Bluffton News follows the boys to all sorts of places these days. Latest is that it reached Okinawa three days after the start of 'the in vasion, according to word from Rich ard Gratz, son of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Gratz. The News of March 1 was in Okinawa on April 4, he said. And speaking of fast transporta tion the Sidney Hauensteins who wrote a letter to their son S. Sgt. Nel son Hauenstein of the Air Transport Command stationed at Casablanca, North Africa on Sunday of last week 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 engagedjjijessential war work come in and talk itToy^r with our Per sonnel Man, Mr. Capell. Cooper Corporation Findlay,/Ohio ALL HIRING THROUGH U. S. E. S. Standard Size 8 1-2 11 Inches 500 Sheets.. (No Broken Packages) Bluffton News Office PAGE ing Papci 4Cc --9 received a reply this week on Tues day—nine days later. Their daugh ter, Barbara, enroute from Lisbon, Portugal to Beirut, Syria, w’here she will teach in a mission school, stop ped at Casablanca recently and spent several days with her brother. When you read about those hard driving Yanks with Patton’s army that has been going places in Ger many, you will be interested to know that Laverne Huber, son of Mr. and Mrs. Waldo Huber, is one of the men driving the tanks that have been hanging up military speed rec ords. And from the other side of the w^rld comes word from Pfc. Melvin Nusbaum, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Nusbaum of Bluffton, who was one of the Yanks who helped liberate Americans held by the Japs in the infamous Santo Tomas prison camp in the Philippines near Manila. All were hungry, especially children who sought every morsel of food, includ ing that intended for garbage. Among the liberated prisoners pass ing by in a truck was one who re sembled David Kliewer, former Bluff ton man in the marine air corps cap tured early in the war. Last word from Kliewer, however, was that he is being held a prisoner in Japan. Comes a letter from the Oliver Lochers down in Ft. Worth, Florida, who used to live in shovel coal all winter of us. Now that’s a past, they say. Fact outlay for fuel last winter amounted to $5 for wood for their fire place. And of all things—we found out where these Florida natives go for a vacation. Living right in the midst of the nation’s top vacation spot with seaside resorts and ocean fishing at their door, doesn’t mean a thing. When they want to relax and forget all about Yankee winter tourists they travel north to the Carolina moun tain resorts. Bluffton and like the rest thing of the is their total Top ranking surprise of the week occurred at Swan Stonehill’s on East Elm street Tuesday morning at 1:30 o’clock when their son Pvt. James Stonehill recently liberated from a German prison camp arrived home totally unexpected, got into the house through a rear door and announced his presence by switching on the lights in their upstairs bedroom. His parents received word a week ago that he had been freed from the prison camp but they had no inkling that their son was in this country.