I recently had the privilege of touring the national world war II history museum with my dad. His dad (my grandfather) was a bomber pilot in the pacific theater, and I have tons of old war stories to share with you today!
Firstly, I was super excited to get to see a B-25 Mitchel, which is the plane my grandfather flew in the war. They had one restored and hanging from the ceiling in a big hangar, and you could walk up a catwalk to get close.
He was a fighter pilot when the war started, but they needed more bomber pilots so that’s what he ended up doing. Apparently he didn’t want to do it because he didn’t want to be responsible for the lives of his crew, which makes sense to me. If you are a fighter pilot and you make a mistake, it’s just you that dies. If he made a mistake, he would also take his crew down with him.
We got to listen to the testimonial of another bomber pilot, which was interesting and awesome. He was talking about how dependable the B-25 was and told a story about how it once got him home even after he had an engine shot out. It was a fun story because the same thing happened to grandad, he once had to fly all the way back to the base after an antiaircraft gun shot out his right engine.
My grandad survived the entire war but he died in a tornado before I was born. I never got the chance to meet him, but I had a fun time imagining that the testimonials we heard were really my grandad telling me war stories from beyond the grave. My favorite story about him was the time he did a loop in the clouds to get behind a fighter that was following him. He blew it up with the cannon he had, which he apparently never fired unless he had to because it shook the plane so violently.
One last cool story about my grandad, he was in the battle of Leyte Gulf:
Of course, the entire museum wasn’t about my grandpa. We spent a full day looking at exhibits and we didn’t even see everything! Here are a couple of pics of my old man enjoying some presentations about the Philippines:
The ride back to Kansas wasn’t nearly as fun, the road can be long and unforgiving. Most places we stopped we dirty and unfriendly, with the one exception of PJ’s freakin’ coffee in McComb Mississippi!
My dad doesn’t do the internets, so my mom will probably have to tell him, but I just want to thank him for being awesome, and I want him to know that I have a truly excellent time. Thanks dad!
(according to Dad, he always carried two, with an extra clip)