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The midland journal. (Rising Sun, Md.) 1885-1947, June 01, 1945, Image 2

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Robert L.Scoff wn.u. release i
I The story thus far: After graduating
from West Point, Robert Scott wins his
wings at Kelly Field, Texas, and takes up
combat flying. He has been an Instructor
for four years when the war breaks out,
and Is told he Is now too old for combat
flying. After appealing to several Gen
erals he Is offered an opportunity to get
Into the fight. On arriving In India he Is
made a ferry pilot, but this does not
suit Scott, who talks Gen. Chennault Into
giving him a Klttyhawk for combat fly
ing. Soon he Is flying over the skies of
Burma and becomes known as the “one
man air force.” Later he Is made C.O.
of the 23rd Fighter Group, but he still
keeps knocking Jap planes out of the
It looked as if we’d get the
chance very soon, too, for the field
in western Yunnan had been select
ed by the newly formed Air Trans
port Command, which was supersed
ing the Ferry Command, as the
Eastern terminus of the route to
For the purpose of security in
future operations, I will not name
our base in western Yunnan. But
there was a big turquoise-blue lake
less than ten miles away which the
General and I called Yeching. To
us that meant “good hunting,” for
ducks and geese abounded. The
landmark for our base was just one
of the many lakes in Yunnan.
Next morning I went out on Lake
Yeching, and from the bow of a
native sampan I soon shot eighteen
of the biggest geese I had ever
seen. Even if we were remote from
the loved ones at home, we’d have
meat for Christmas dinner that was
filled with the vitamins we needed.
I had hurried back to the field be
fore taking off for Kunming with
my report on the efficiency of the
warning net, and was taking pic
tures of some little mongol-appear
ing Miaows who were holding my
geese aloft—when we had an air
raid alert. There was heavy en
gine-noise from the reporting sta
tions over towards Burma. We
tossed the eighteen geese into the
baggage compartment, winding
their necks around among the con
duits of the radio so that the cargo
wouldn’t shift, and I took off for Kun
ming. Then as I heard more reports
from the Southwest, I turned South,
joined the other fighters on patrol,
and looked for the enemy. In about
forty-five minutes we spread out to
cover more territory, and I caught
sight of two enemy planes—Zeros I
thought, at first sight. I called to
the others and attacked. Even as I
approached the Japs I knew they
were too slow and too large for
Zeros. Then I saw that they were
single-engine reconnaissance-bomb
ers. I caught the rear one and
gave it a short burst, keeping my
eye on the other. The first one went
down with most of one wing gone.
The next I chased down every val
ley on the Mekong, getting in sev
eral good shots, but I never did see
him go down or crash. From the
evidence of the thin trail of smoke
that I last saw coming from it as I
dove and circled to look around
again, I claimed it as a “probable.”
The first one I had confirmed as a
‘'certain.” The others in our patrol
engaged four other planes and prob
ably shot down two of them. The
General had been correct as usual—
the Japs were keeping the end of
the ferry route under closa surveil
Christmas night, while we were
enjoying the geese, George Hazelett
came in with ltfs Squadron to report
that the Japs had bombed our base
near Lake Yeching with eighteen
ships on that afternoon of Christmas
Day, and the first warning the field
had was the sight of the enemy
bombers in the clear blue Yunnan
eky. Luckily the bombing had
snissed the field and no ships were
damaged, but many Chinese in the
village had been killed. Definite
ly the warning net in western Yun
nan made the operation of the
Transport Command at Yeching
hazardous. I could tell by the Gen
eral’s face that he had some plans
he would tell me about in private.
The General had been sick with a
cold over Christmas and had a fe
ver that night, when he told me
what he had to do at Yeching. At
dawn the next morning—December
26th in China, but actually Christ
mas Day in America—l took off with
full instructions. When I left, the
Doctor told me General Chennault
was running a temperature of 103.
All of us were worried about himj
and knew that the defeats on
mas Day hadn’t helped his spirits.
As I flew West towards Yeching,
145 miles away, in the half light I
saw the coolies carrying drums of
gasoline on wheelbarrows up the
Burma Road. Some of these I knew
would go on through Kunming to
Chungking, 390 miles away by air.
Trundling these crude wooden
wheeled vehicles of the ages gone
by, these patient workers would re
quire seventy days of constant ef
fort, at their dogged trot, to reach
the capital at Chungking. The two
wheeled Peking carts with three
drums would take a shorter time
-44 days. I saw coolie boys plowing
in the rice paddies halfway up the
sides of the mountains—paddies built
like steps from the top of the hill to
the valley, so that the irrigation wa
ter could be used over and over. I
laughed as I saw the ancient means
of cultivation—the boy, standing with
his feet on the wooden scraper, was
using his own weight to make it
scratch the mud, but was holding on
to the water buffalo, with his hand
gripping the tail of the ponderous
Landing at the threatened air
drome, I put the General’s plan into
immediate effect.
I commandeered the necessary
transportation on Yeching field and
placed it ready for the instant move
ment of pilots to their dispersed
fighters, which were scattered to all
parts of the airdrome. The P-40’s
were pointed in the direction of a
run for immediate take-off. All this
was to save even the barest mini
mum of lost time, for when the
alert came we would have to move
fast and furious. Every one of the
thirty pilots was kept on alert, and
constant patrols were begun at
dawn. We sent two ships above the
field at seven o’clock and doubled
the number at nine. At eleven
o’clock we doubled again and con
tinually had eight high in the sky.
The Jap had attacked the day be
fore at 2:35 in the afternoon, or
14:35. The General had told me
Little Miaow children holding
Christmas geese for Col. Scott.
many times of the propensity of the
Japanese for the exact duplication
of former military operations. We
were going to get gradually more
vigilant and stronger above the field
for the expected blow. At the same
time we were going as far as was
commensurate with safety to com
serve the invaluable aviation gaso
line. Most of the fighters kept right
over the field or slightly away in
the direction of the expected attack
from Burmese bases. Four fight
ers began to patrol from Yeching to
the Mekong, on course to Lashio and
seventy miles from v’here v:e were
At two o’clock I sere all planes
into the sky except mine. I sat in
that on the ground, listening for Har
ry Pike’s expected report from his
patrol to the Mekong River. I was
within shouting distance of the
ground radio operator, who would
tell me of any developments on the
weak-functioning warning net. The
Jap would come today, I knew, be
tween two and four—that’s 14:00
to 16:00 hours.
At 14:54 I saw the radio operator
wildly running for my ship. He
yelled, “Report from W-7 says heavy
engine noise coming this way—the
report is right recent.” I was al
ready energizing my starter when
Harry Pike called excitedly: “Here
they come—fighters and bombers—
I’m just East of the river.” I knew
then that the Japs were close to
fifty miles away; we had all we
could do to get set and be waiting
for them.
When Pike called in, as I got the
engine started, I heard that the Japs
were at seventeen thousand, and I
called to him to take the fighters,
for I hoped by that move to make
the bombers come in unescorted.
From Yeching at its level of 6500
feet I was climbing with full gun,
climbing for all the altitude I could
grab. I watched the temperature
but drew all the boost I could with
out detonating too badly. At exactly
three o’clock I reached twenty thou
sand feet and picked up most of
my Group, which today was made
up of Hazelett’s Squadron.
Just six minutes from the time I
had given the ship the gun, I saw
flashes reflected by Japanese wind
shields in the sun. They weren’t far
away, but I grinned—for they were
below us. I heard from the chatter
on our frequency that there was a
fight going on towards where Pike
had seen the formation cross the
river. As the enemy ships materi
alized on the horizon, I knew that
Pike had done his job well, for there
was only one fighter with the bomb
ers as escort—one fighter with nine
heavy bombers. I think I knew then
that we were going to make it tough
for the Japs.
I called for the attack, in order
to get the enemy before he could
bomb the field. As I dove for the
attack that I had always longed
for, I saw one P-40 take the lone
Zero head-on and shoot it down, and
I knew from the way the shark
nosed ship pulled up in his chan
delle of glory that Dallas Clinger
had become an aoe with his fifth
enemy ship.
We made the attack from three
directions simultaneously. Lieuten
ant Couch led his ships on a stern
attack that 1 did not see, for I was
diving on the course of the bomb
ers from the flank where the low
sun was. I was going in for a full
deflection shot from out of that sun,
for I had planned this method of
how I wanted to attack a bomber
formation long ago. On my wings
were six fighters in two ship ele
ments. In Couch’s flight were four
fighters, and Hazelett had four com
ing from above the Japs on the oth
er flank.
I had to dive from 20,000 feet to
17,000 feet to get on the level with
the enemy formation, and when I
got there I had plenty of excess
speed over the Japs. I passed them
rapidly from out of their range,
but could see their tracers curving
short of my flight. When I had over
run them a thousand yards, I turned
right into the bombers and we went
after the three Vee’s of Mitsubishi
bombers. By being on the same
level with them I’m sure we caused
part of the enemy formation to blan
ket out some of their own ships from
firing at us. I opened fire from six
hundred yards and led the enemy
leader by at least a hundred yards;
it must have been just right, for the
tracers seemed to go into the top of
the wing. I just held the trigger
down and kept going into the sides of
the Japs—they blossomed out of
the sky at me, growing larger and
larger, “mushrooming” in my wind
shield. As the bombers passed by,
my bullets were raking them with
full-deflection shots, and as fast as
my formation turned the other five
men were doing the same. I saw the
lead bomber climb a little, then set
tle back towards the formation with
one wing down.
As I saw the second Jap in front
of me—the left wing man of the
leader—l realized I’d have to dive
under the enemy very soon or
I’d run into them. Things hit my
ship now, and with noise Ike a wing
coming off, the side glass of my
windshield was shot out. I waa
three hundred to two hundred yardg
from the second bomber when a
got my long burst into t*. There
was a flash ahead, and I dove as
fast as I could shove the nof<i down.
As I went under tba smohe and or
ange flame, I thought that the Jap I
was shooting at had caught fire, but
as I pulled around, jack to the direc
tion the formation had been going,
and clirabed* Z saw what had hap
ThOTBVas only smoke above, and
the formation had broken, for I knew
the bomber had exploded the
bombs had been detonated by the
fifty-calibre fire. Behind, over the
trail the Japs had come were four
plumes of smoke where their bomb
ers were going down. Below there
were bomb bursts all over the pad
dy fields where bombs had been jet
tisoned in the unanticipated inter
ception. I pulled up behind one of
the lone bombers that I could see
and began to shoot at it methodical
ly from long range. Over on the left
were three more, and I saw P-40’s
making passes at them. Over the
radio I could hear happy American
English, with unauthorized swear
words aimed at the Jap that the
individual pilot was shooting at, and
by the tone of the pilots I knew that
we were winning this battle and
that the General was also going to
be very happy.
From 800 yards I’d squeeze out a
short burst at one engine, then skid
over and aim carefully at the other
engine and throw out another short
burst. The Jap ship was diving with
all the speed he could get, but the
P-40 kept moving up. I think all
their ammunition was gone, for I
saw no tracers. In my second burst
on the right engine I saw some gray
smoke—thin, like gasoline overflow
ing a tank and blowing back into the
slipstream. The next time I came
over behind that engine from clos
er range I saw two red dots near
the engine, two dots that became
fire. The flame ran to the engine
and to the fuselage, but by that
time I was over shooting at the
other engine again. I last saw the
bomber diving, with flames that were
orange against the green of the
mountains below.
There were no more bombers to
be seen, but I saw seven P-40’s.
Clinger came over and got on my
wing; as I recognized his ship I
slid my hatch-cover back and-waved
at him. Even before we landed I
thought that we had gotten all the
bombers. As we circled the field,
with me trying to dodge the cold air
that was knifing through the hole
in my windshield and bringing a
particle of glass against my face ev
ery now and then, I realized why
we still had to wear goggles in fight
er ships in combat. Below on
the Yunnan hills, I saw eight forest
fires that could have beer started
only by burning airplane, wrecks,
for they had not been there when I
took off.
I kept some of the planes up for
top-cover while we landed those that
were shot up or low on fuel. Later,
when I had the combat reports made
out before the pilots could talk the
battle over between them, the “cer
tains” out of the nineteen that had
come in—nine fighters and nine
bombers and one observation plane
—were fifteen.
' . ■ ; /
by PaulMalloeQ^
Released by Western Newspaper Union.
coast has about the same postwar
worry as the rest of the country but
in more accentuated and positive
form because of the vast expansion
throughout the state in planes, ship
yards and other war industries.
The Kaiser shipyards industry, for
example, has been losing about 5,000
employees a month. The last four
pages of their newspaper in its last
issue contained want-ads of workers
seeking ride - sharing automobile
seats to return home. Their yards
payroll at Richmond near here has
been cut from peak employment of
93,000 down to 49,000 already (and
it has had 500,000 different persons
employed in the past four years).
I met the emperor of this most
fabulous accumulation of American
industries during
the war, Henry J.
Kaiser, and talked
with him for more ST || -
than an hour. His is
not only the largest
but most varied of Hhf, jl|i
all the nation's
strictly new war en
terprises and con- V
tains 100 industries. Jg awSa
Thus he also has
the biggest of all Henry J.
the problems of re- Kaiser
conversion and I
was interested in ascertaining how
he would meet it.
He is a crisp, heavy-set man with
a knowledge of what is needed and
with unlimited ideas of how to do
the job. He has both business hope
and faith—a confidence that the
imagination of the American people
will devise methods of carrying for
ward our industrial postwar system
and faith that it cannot fail.
What he—aggressive lone wolf in
dustrial fighter that he is—thinks the
country needs primarily is compe
tition. The first postwar industry
to which he is turning his attention
is, naturally, shipping. He was
growling about another business
leader who made a speech a few
days back advocating scrapping of
the American merchant marine. We
now have more ships than any na
tion ever had on the seas, (number
is a military secret) and he thinks
they should be used. This will re
quire government subsidy in his
opinion because competing Euro
pean lines have subsidies. I judge
that he has in mind American ac
quisition of the trade which Japan
formerly had in the Orient. He did
not mention a current rumor that he
may build postwar ships for Russia,
although I saw him shortly after he
left Molotov.
The nation also needs 2,000,000
homes, low cost homes, and he sees
in this field vast opportunities for
postwar activity, in his opinion.
Transportation should be entirely
revised. A lower cost fare should be
worked out on the railroads. Speed
highways should be extended, as the
nation in the future will continue to
move out from the cities. He sees
opportunities for building lower cost
cars in the automobile industry
(which he does not believe is com
petitive now) and great possibilities
in development of health facilities
for the people. He would promote
health facilities in every possible
way to a scope amounting to a na
tional industry.
Here is a man with ideas and the
kind of energetic imagination which
conceives new ventures when old
ones fail. He is now in metals, con
ceiving a new magnesium alloy for
steel, a new kind of plaster, gyp
sum, planes, chemicals.
He is also in coal and steel, and in
each industry he attempts to main
tain a competitive spirit. He keeps
three offices in Washington instead
of one and thus promotes greater
work energy among his own em
ployees—and, of course, more pro
I suspect his own reconversion
plan is already well under way.
There is much well-advised talk
about him expanding into foreign
production in Latin America and
His enthusiastic spirit is symbolic
of the feeling among other business
men with whom I talk throughout
this area. In this respect it is some
what different from the East where
the trend runs to pessimism or
doubt, although labor is going home
in droves.
Everyone out here figures the Jap
war to take another year (my guess
is somewhat less than that) and
sees San Francisco and the Pacific
coast as gateways to the newly
opened island empires of the Pa
cific and the Orient. We may ex
pect a doubling of our trade west
ward, and perhaps more.
There is much remaining of the
forty-niner gold strike ambition
among these business people and I
would not be surprised if they meet
their postwar problem which is
heavier than any other section, as
well as any another.
Strawberry Potholders to Crochet
Uaht !i mu <ll .il.. [ .
IP |p
Crocheted Potholders
YTERY unusual and different
’ looking are potholders that look
like quart baskets of strawberries.
The basket is 6% inches and is
made of white crochet thread with
fat red Vh inch strawberries at
the top. Prettiest holder you’ll see
—it really takes the “strawberry”
• • •
To obtain complete crocheting instruc.
tions for the Strawberry Basket Pothold*
ers (Pattern No. 5861) send 16 cents in
coin, plus your name, address and pat
tern number.
Pretty Handkerchiefs
PVERYONE likes pretty, deli
cate handkerchiefs and
they’re so expensive and hard to
find these days! Why not get busy
with your crochet hook and some
fine thread and turn out these at-
Ground raw potato can be added
to meat balls and hamburgers to
make a little meat go a long way.
If adhesive or gummed tape be*
comes too stiff to use, soften it
with two tablespoons of warm wa
ter and half a teaspoon of glycerin.
—• —
If electrical appliance cords
have switches on them, all con
nections and disconnections should
be made with the switch turned
off. This saves the metal prongs
and outlets from “sparking,”
which eventually wears away the
—• —
When preparing any tart fruit
like cranberries or gooseberries,
use a little salt, and it is surpris
ing how little sugar will sweeten
the berries. The salt also brings
out the flavor.
When food has been oversalted,
the pot may be covered with a
damp cloth and the food steamed
for a few minutes.
A little paint or shellac will turn
coffee, baking powder and cracker
tins into excellent kitchen contain
For cleaning blackened kettles,
dampen newspaper in kerosene
and rub over sides and bottom of
kettles, then rub well with a dry
piece of paper. If this does not
remove all black, rub soap over it,
and a sprinkle of scouring pow
der and rub with scouring ball or
I Baking Powder...
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1 npifir Aefton
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double action ... tested and proved in both mixing bowl and
oven ... the natural choice for the modem baking recipe.
tractive ones. Shown here are
four hand-crocheted edgings ans
designs—the rose design is to be
embroidered in color. They make
treasured gifts.
• • •
To obtain complete crocheting Instruc
tions and color chart for five Gift Hand
kerchiefs (Pattern No. 5870) send 16 cent*
In coin, your name, address and pattern
1150 Sixth Ave. New York, N. Y.
Enclose 16 cents for Pattern
Name __
Enjoyed/ #
mm i
# TbUiff 5
Kellogg’s Rice Krispies equal
the whole ripe grain in nearly
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ments declared essential to
human nutrition.
few/ft/ g
7:15 i. m. (CWT); 8:15 I. m. (EWT)
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