|8/11/1911 – 9/9/00
|2nd Pursuit Squadron
|Flight Leader/Pilot Trainer
|Naval Base, Norfolk, Virginia
|Departed California August 15, 1941. Aprox. 30 days, Hawaii, Manila, changed course due to Japanese subs. Arrived Bisbane Austrailia, then to Manila, Singapore where we got a new ship to Rangoon. Arrived Sept 15, 1941.
Attached to 2nd Squadron and appointed engineering officer at the Toungoo base and continued the training program and maintenance of P-40. Shortly after Pearl Harbor bombing, two of the squadrons left for China and on to Rangoon. I remained at base until bombed out. Had orders to vacuate and got trucks from Rangoon loaded them with our supplies and started up the Burma Road headed for Kunming where our new base was located.
The Colonel put me in charge of pursuit training of Chinese pilots and shortly afterwards was told to get ready for Karachi, India to pick up new planes (P-43) for the Chinese Air Force. Taking with me were 6 Chinese pilots and Gil Bright (AVG). Arriving March 25, 1942. Planes not tready till April 4. Checked the lane out April 15 then gave instructions to pilots, then on April 18 left for Kunming. First stop for fuel and service and discovered a ga leak at the seam of the tank. Told Gil Bright to continue with the group. I stayed here to see if repairs could be made but no luck. I filled the gas tank up to the seam and continued flight to Calcutta. I teamed up with Canadian pilots heading for Dinjan and upon landing in a cross wind resulting in a ground loop as the brakes failed receiving a slight damage to the wing.
Met Bill Fish there and took an Army transport heading to Loi Wing. Staged over nite we got word that Madam Chiang had a Sikowsky twin engine amphibian plane heading for Kunming on its maiden trip so were able to make the trip. It wasn’t to be very long trip however, when hours passed I asked the pilot for our location but said he was sure of air field close by. Returning to my seat the engine began to sputter, went back to the pilot and suggested he land in many lakes below us. By this time the engine stopped at 8,000 feet. I didn’t believe ever made a water landing so decided to land in a rice field straight in and plane turned over and the pilot compartment smashed to bits. The pilots were crushed with broken arms and deep gashes in their heads. We patched them up best we could and got help from natives that came forth after the crash. Made strechers and started to walk for couple of hours where we told a village was not too far away. We finally ran into a Chinese Patrol on horseback and made it to the village and to our surprise a radio station and air strip (can’t remember the place). Got news to Kunming and the AVG. Beechcraft arrived and back to our base and again started my training program with the Chinese pilots and around the 1st of July started back home as the AVG was disbanded.
|Post AVG, WWII:
|Post War Career:
|Pilot Eastern Airlines, real estate until retirement in 1980.