ehowton (ehowton) wrote,

Low-Flying Aircraft

Rec'd an email from somebritinmass of a series of aircraft flying dangerously low - many of the pictures WWII era - which led me to send it to my WWII bombardier grandfather-in-law, who replied with a couple of stories of his own:

Hi Eric, Thanks for the pictures of all the low flying airplanes. Boy they are taking their chances getting down to that altitude, but some of the young pilots of WWII did it at every opportunity! Not only that, but they were so vain as to want it known who was doing it. I remember coming back from a practice bombing mission and the pilot flew around the campsite, seeing everybody lined up to get into the mess hall. He circled around again and came in so low that all the men on the ground saw him coming and just threw themselves flat on the ground. I was in the plexiglass nose of the B-26, and needless to say, I was pretty well puckered up!

Also while I was in a replacement depot, a little bit north of Naples, a British unit of Hurricane fighter planes occupied a field adjoining the place on the west. Mt. Vesuvius had been erupting a short time before and the whole countryside was covered with about 4 inches of black volcanic dust. Those Hurricanes would take off, go over the dividing fence on the west side of our campsite at about 10 feet in altitude. When they got to about the middle of our camp, they would pull the nose up, open the throttle and blast that dust all over the whole camp. I was there only a couple of weeks, but the Brits never tired of the game.


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