By Gordon Bennett Robertson Jr.
The B-29 bomber used to be made to bounce in skinny, chilly air, losing its monstrous bomb load from heights so nice that the crews may possibly by no means see their ambitions during the clouds less than. That was once simply superb with Ben Robertson, pilot answerable for one of many enormous 4 engine bombers hammering Japan to its knees in a nonstop bombing crusade within the Pacific. while normal LeMay ordered the B-29s to modify strategies from sunlight, high-altitude bombing runs to night, low-level runs, Ben's angle replaced. What was noticeable as easily dangerous--bombing Japan--now appeared a lot extra like suicide.
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Additional resources for Bringing the Thunder: The Missions of a World War II B-29 Pilot in the Pacific
America's most ominously beautiful fighter, the P-38, first flew in 1939 as the prototype XP-38. I kept abreast of all this through the periodicals of the time such as the old Popular Aviation (predecessor to today's Flying magazine) and everything else I could get my hands on. I also had become acquainted with two FBO's at the local airport: Marion Nelson and Steve Krantz, both of whom-together with a couple of their instructor employees-gave me flying lessons in 1941 and 1942. In addition to their informal "now and then" ground school, I began taking correspondence courses from an aeronautical school in Theory of Flight, Navigation, Basic Meteorology, and related subjects.
I have had to put my head in reverse and immerse myself in the past in an attempt to recreate my mindset and attitudes of 1945. If it helps succeeding generations to understand who we were, what we were, why we were what we were, and what we accomplished, then my narrative will have served its purpose, and I will be gratified. In war, perhaps more intensely and frequently than in all the rest of life, there are humorous events-yes, even hilarious events-and then there are the frightening, the near-tragic, and the tragic events.
Perhaps statistically from a planning perspective, the losses were "acceptable" in light of the "success" of the mission, but the loss from our Quonset hut affected me and my crew quite profoundly. In addition to the effect that the two crew losses from our hut had on us, there was another somewhat personal misfortune involved. Dorothy Reger, wife of Bob Reger, copilot on Musser's lost crew, had become very good friends with my wife during our training at Pratt. They were both California girls, about the same age, and had found much in common in their backgrounds.