Bent, Morton "Twisty"

Last Name:    Bent  
First Name:  Morton
Nickname:   Twisty
Born/Died   12/25/1919-1/12/1998
Hometown: Belmont, MA
Squadron: Headquarters
Position:  Clerk, Operations
   
Decorations: Bronze Star
Pre-AVG Service December 1939 to June 1941, USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier
AVG Service Departed June 1941 MS Zandam Dutch Ship. 
Left L.A. with 33 AVG members aboard. Landed Oahu, Hawaii, Borneo, Surabaja, Java, Batavia, Java, Singapore. Took train to Port Swetieham, Malay Penninsula then to Rangoon, Burma by boat. Arrived Sept. 1942. 
Duties: Clerk 2nd Squadron. Dove ambulance, decoded messages in Chennault's office, drove truck over Burma Road twice. Dr. Richards and I were sent o rescue 3 pilots that had crashed. Drove down Burma Road a good distance and then proceeded on foot. Were accompanied by some sholdiers who carried medical supplies. Walked about 20 mile into the hills along rice paddies and trails. No phones, no electricity....just like going into another century. After a long walk arrived at a village just before they closed the gates for the night. We were put up by the head man of the village and he sent out runners to other villages. 
Next morning we heard that one of the pilots was coming in. Merritt arrive happy to see us. We waited by the trail and Dr. Richards checked human convoys for goiters. About 80% of the men had goiters. Small and very large. 
Finally Eric Shilling arrived riding in a sedan chair. He also was glad to see us. He had a very uneasy night before as no one could read the patch on his back (bloodchit) which told in Chinese that he was fighting for China. Finally someone came along that could read.......then he was treated royaly. 
Merritt told us about Mangleburg, the other pilot. He had been killed trying to crash land and that he had buried him. A sad but otherwise very interesting experience. I was at the following bases: Rangoon, Toungoo, Kunming, Chungking, Kweilin, Hengyang. I volunteered to remain 2 weeks extra until the Air Force was ready to take over.
Post AVG, WWII: US Navy Reserve - USS Rushmore (LSD)
Post War Career:  

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