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“…some hope of returning…”

As I attended my vet flyers group, many from WWII still, just to honor those whose last challenge is just to make those meetings, and I got this in the mail this AM, thought I’d pass it on…. link below to great pics of low level WWII flying….scroll down on site…

“Got the original message from David, which I shared with Bob
of our channel, who is an “experienced” driver of the only real
aircraft…prop jobs. Here is Bob’s reply to me:

On 10/1/2013 10:48 AM, BobSmith3204 wrote:
Ahhhhhhh, yes. My first assignment out of pilot training was to an
SC-47 squadron in Southern California. These were C-47s (twin engine WWII transport..J)equipped with
long range fuel tanks (in side the airplane) and JATO. We were a SAC
support unit that was supposed to fly to a pre-determined area of the
world to pick up crew members who would have bailed out of their old
bombers, then built a 1200 foot landing strip and then contacted a
control center via radio for pick up……a pie in the sky plan, but it
gave the crews with one way targets in Russia some hope of returning.
Anyway, we used to train in the desert areas of California and Nevada at
low level flying. Idea was to avoid radar detection. Daytime max
height was 50 feet over flat terrain and 500 feet during night and
mountain flying. During training, we would land on these old WW2 landing
fields, stop the airplane, taxi back to run-up position, all crew
except the captain deplane and load two jato (jet assisted
takeoff) bottles under the fuselage, jump back in the airplane, and run
like hell to your assigned crew position while the captain ran the
engines up to max power. As soon a the co-pilot was in his seat, the
captain released the brakes and we started rolling. At about 35 knots,
the co-pilot would drop the wing flaps to one quarter and press the
button to fire the jato…….what a blast that was!! It was all we
could do to keep the old gooney bird from doing a low level loop!
Anyway, all this was done on a 1200 foot strip. Was a fun job.”

Great WWII low level flying pics worth scrolling through if not reading….

http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNews/Stories/tabid/116/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/325/language/en-CA/Lower-than-a-Snakes-Belly-in-a-Wagon-Rut.aspx

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