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Tags: Ride, In, An, Army, Aircraft


greetings--this is a true story about my adventure-in an a-20 military aircraft 1944 -otis english--any image i add -is one of my paintings-


Submitted:Jul 24, 2008    Reads: 173    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


2/12/05 'A-20 AIRCRAFT'

A YOUNG MAN--17 YEARS OLD--BY SURE FATE WENT TO WORK AT THE LAKE CHARLES ARMY AIR BASE-1943--ENTHRALLED BY AIRPLANES SINCE EARLY CHILDHOOD--HE FOUND IT HARD TO BELIEVE THAT HE NOW WAS UP CLOSE AND WORKING ON MILITARY AIRCRAFT OF WORLD WAR 2 DESIGN--

THIS YOUNG MAN WAS NAMED 'OTIS'---OTIS HELPED TO REMOVE AND INSTALL ENGINES ON FIGHTER AIRCRAFT -UP TO HEAVY BOMBERS-

LUCK AND FATE STEPPED IN AGAIN--HE WAS PUTTING ON A PARACHUTE--PREPARING TO BE ON A TEST FLIGHT OF AN A-20 TWIN ENGINE LIGHT BOMBER--THIS AIRPLANE WAS A BEAUTY--ONE PILOT --NO CO-PILOT--THE FUSELAGE WAS NARROW WITH NO ROOM FOR A CO-PILOT---IT WAS DESIGNED THIS WAY-FOR SPEED AND ITS MISSION OF FAST LIGHT BOMBING--A PLEXI-GLASS NOSE FOR A BOMB SIGHT AND ITS OPERATOR--AND A REAR GUNNER POSITION-

I ENTERED THE PLEXI-GLASS NOSE POSITION THROUGH A DOOR UNDER THE NOSE AND JUST AHEAD OF THE NOSE WHEEL--I KNEW I MAY NEVER GET THIS OPORTUNITY AGAIN--WHICH I DID NOT--THE PILOT STARTED THE 2 ENGINES ABOUT 1000 HORSE POWER EACH--GOT POSITIONED ON THE RUNWAAY AND OPENED THE THROTTLES TO FULL POSITION--PRESSING ME BACKWARD INTO MY SEAT--THE ACCELERATION SO GREAT--WHAT A VIEW I HAD--RIGHT IN THE NOSE OF THE AIRPLANE--WATCHING THE RUNWAY SLIDE BENEATH ME--

THE PILOT WENT UP TO THE BEAUTIFUL CUMULUS CLOUDS AND WORKED HIS WAY THROUGH THESE CLOUDS WITH STEEP LEFT AND RIGHT TURNS--NEVER TOUCHING OR ENTERING A CLOUD--

WE WERE SOUTH OF THE LAKE CHARLES AIR BASE OVER THE MARSH--THE PILOT SAW A TUG BOAT IN THE INTRACOASTAL CANAL--HE DOVE STRAIGHT DOWN TOWARD IT AS IF HE WAS ATTACKING THE TUG BOAT--I WONDER WHAT THE CREW ON THE BOAT THOUGHT--GETTING AS CLOSE AS HE COULD--THE PILOT THEN PULLED THE NOSE UP SHARPLY TOWARD THE SKY AT PERHAPS A 45 DEGREE ANGLE--THE EFFECT OF THIS STEEP CLIMB CAUSED ME TO LOSE EYE SIGHT (BLACK OUT) FOR SEVERAL SECONDS--WHAT A THRILL - AND TO FEEL AND HEAR THOSE 2 POWERFUL ENGINES AT FULL THROTTLE--

AFTER A BIT MORE MANUEVERS THE PILOT HEADED BACK TO THE LAKE CHARLES AIR BASE--COMING IN FOR A LANDING -I HAD A PERFECT VIEW FROM THE NOSE POSITION--A GOOD SMOOTH LANDING BY THE PILOT LT. RALPH BOWN--

THE ARMY PILOT HAD NOW CHECKED THE AIRCRAFT CIVILIANS HAD WORKED ON AND WOULD RETURN THE AIRCRAFT TO THE ARMY AIR CORPS SECTION OF THE AIRFIELD--

NOW TRY TO MAKE ME FORGET SUCH AN EXPERIENCE---

IMPOSSIBLE--

by otis english





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