Welcome Visitor: Login to the siteJoin the site


Tags: True, Adventure


greetings-this is a true story about myself--to this day the thought of this adventure is still fresh in my mind-i wish everyone could be so fortunate--any image i add- is one of my paintings---otis


Submitted:Jul 21, 2008    Reads: 73    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


3/15/05 'B-17 FLYING FORTRESS'

ALMOST UNBELIEVEABLE TO ME--(1943--I WAS WORKING AT THE LAKE CHARLES, LA ARMY AIR BASE--WAR 2--CIVIL DEFENSE JOB--ENGINE INSTALLATION DEPARTMENT-

WE HAD DONE SOME WORK ON THE ENGINES OF A 4-ENGINE BOEING FLYING FORTRESS--NOW IT HAD TO BE FLIGHT TESTED BEFORE RETURNING THE PLANE BACK TO THE ARMY--LT. RALPH BOWN-THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE CIVILIAN HANGER #3 - DID ALL THE TEST FLYING OF AIRCRAFT WE CIVILIANS HAD WORKED ON--HARD TO BELIEVE BUT MY FOREMAN WAS GOING ON THIS FLIGHT CHECK AND HE GOT PERMISSION FOR ME TO GO ALSO-

SUITED UP WITH PARACHUTES--WE BOARDED THE FLYING FORTRESS--

LT. RALPH BOWN HAD ENLISTED ANOTHER ARMY PILOT TO CO-PILOT WITH HIM--THEY BOTH SAT IN THE COCKPIT SEATS FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES READING FROM BLUE NOTE BOOKS CALLED TECH ORDERS--I DOUBT EITHER PILOT HAD EVER FLOWN A FORTRESS--

WITH ALL 4 ENGINES RUNNING--A TAXI TRIP TO THE RUNWAY--SOON FULL POWER ON ALL 4 ENGINES AND A SMOOTH TRIP DOWN THE RUNWAY AND THEN THE WONDERFUL FEELING AS THE PLANE LIFTED OFF THE RUNWAY--INTO THE SMOOTH FLIGHT OF ANOTHER WORLD--

THE PILOTS TOOK THE CRAFT NEAR THE COAST OF THE GULF OF MEXICO--AND THEN LT. BOWN CUT THE IGNITION TO THE LEFT #1 ENGINE--THEN PUSHED A BIG RED BUTTON TO FEATHER THE PROPELLER AND CAUSE IT TO STOP TURNING--PUSHED THE RED BUTTON AGAIN AND AS PITCH RETURNED TO THE PROPELLER--ROTATION BEGAN AND THE IGNITION SWITCH IN THE ON POSITION--THE ENGINE WAS BACK 'TO LIFE'--HE DID THIS ONE AT A TIME TO THE OTHER 3 ENGINES TO PROVE FEATHERING OPERATION WAS OK--

I WAS ASKED TO GO BACK A BIT AND WATCH TO SEE IF THE BOMB BAY DOORS WORKED --AS THE DOORS OPENED-A MANUAL CRANK HANDLE HAD NOT BEEN PROPERLY MOUNTED AND IT FELL OUT OF THE BOMB BAY--I REPORTED THIS AND THEN WAS ASKED TO GO BACK TO THE REAR OF THE CRAFT AND SEE IF THE TAIL WHEEL RETRACTED AS IT SHOULD--I REPORTED THIS OK--

NOW RETURNING TO THE AIR PORT--WE HIT SOME ROUGH AIR--THE AIRPLANE SHOOK JUST LIKE A CAR ON A VERY ROUGH ROAD--THIS DID NOT LAST VERY LONG--THE LANDING WAS PERFECT---I KNEW I HAD EXPERIENCED SOMETHING VERY FEW CIVILIANS WOULD EVER DO-

HOW FORTUNATE I FEEL EVEN TO THIS DAY ABOUT THIS FLIGHT WITH LT. RALPH BOWN----I HAD EXPERIENCED THE MIGHTY FLYING FORTRESS - THE AIRCRAFT SO MANY HAD GIVEN UP THEIR LIVES TO FLY AND DEFEAT GERMANY--

WRITTEN AND EXPERIENCED BY OTIS ENGLISH

LAKE CHARLES, LA 70611





0

| Email this story Email this Short story | Add to reading list



Reviews

About | News | Contact | Your Account | TheNextBigWriter | Self Publishing | Advertise

© 2013 TheNextBigWriter, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Privacy Policy.