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USAF

Low-Flying Aircraft

Posted on 2012.01.14 at 11:45
Current Location: 67114





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.




Comments:


suzanne1945
suzanne1945 at 2012-01-14 19:12 (UTC) (Link)
What wonderful pictures and tales. These are stories I had not heard from Dad. I'm sure he enjoyed the opportunity to share them. Thanks.
ehowton
ehowton at 2012-01-14 19:26 (UTC) (Link)
catttitude giggled over his use of the phrase, "puckered up."
Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2012-01-14 19:38 (UTC) (Link)
That's exactly what I was going to say! "Puckered up". Ahem. Very descriptive.
Michelle1963
michelle1963 at 2012-01-14 19:40 (UTC) (Link)
What great pictures! What great stories! Thanks so much for posting them.
pcofwildthings at 2012-01-15 14:28 (UTC) (Link)
Cool pictures and I enjoyed grandpa's stories!

When I was a kid, my dad took us to see the Blue Angels do air show around here somewhere, but, classic dad, instead of going to the field where most people gathered to view the show (and perhaps pay for admission?), he knew a farmer with an open field nearby. Well, we parked out along the edge of the middle of nowhere, and sure as shit, the Blue Angels flew so freaking close to us on the ground there that in my little kid's mind's eye, it seemed to me that my tall daddy could have reached up and touched the underbelly. I'm sure they were higher than that, but with the noise and excitement of frightened children, we skedaddled out of there in a hurry to a safer vantage point. I have no recollection of seeing the rest of the show, just of being "buzzed" by the big jets in that field and the expression on my dad's face!
ehowton
ehowton at 2012-01-15 17:23 (UTC) (Link)
Sounds *exactly* like something my old man would do!
Codekitten
codekitten at 2012-01-23 19:49 (UTC) (Link)
I love hearing stories from the horse's mouth...thanks for sharing them!
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