Saturday, July 12, 2008

LIEUTENANT DAD


I have an award to accept and pass on. But before I do, I want to share a couple photos and YouTube that our friend Peter found about my dad in WWII. Now I have lots of photos of my dad in WWII, but these are special because someone else took them and they traveled more than 60 years to come back to my mom and me.

This is my Dad. Or I should say Lieutenant Dad...



This is my dad and his best buddy. They flew in the Battle of the Bulge. Every time they went out on a sortie, only half their squadron came back. Then it was just the two of them. They went to their CO individually asking that the other guy not be sent out again. So they got leave and caught a flight to the south coast of France. To Nice. But the pilot got lost and ended up flying over a battle field in Italy where they were shot at. They finally got their leave. And I have the key to the hotel in Nice where my dad stayed.



This is the You Tube of my dad's crew chief Joseph Kronek talking about my dad and some other fellows taking him "Hedge Hopping".

6 comments:

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

What a gift for you to have these photos. I love that devil-may-care pose of him on the wing next to the motto "Who Cares." Very full of bravado.

Mac said...

How fortunate you are to have these. Those men were truly the greatest generation. Those who are still with us have never lost the ability to look out for their shipmates and wingmen.

My No. 2 son is a fighter pilot, flying F-15s. They still strike that pose that was passed down to them from your Dad and the other pilots of his generation. I like to think that each pilot today has one of those who have gone before flying in the cockpit with him.

My dad died when I was 17, and all I have are a couple of snapshots he took at Guadalcanal (after it was a "rear area").

He made 5 opposed landings--Tarawa, Kwajalien, Saipan, Tinian, and Pelelieu. In episode 22 of Victory at Sea, they have about a 30 second discussion of Hospital Ships. They mention his ship (USS Relief), and there is a brief shot of two Chiefs talking--I think one is dad, but who knows. Until someone tells me differently, I'll believe it was him.

Did your Dad ever talk about any of his experiences? I've always wondered what conversations Dad and I might have had after I came back from my war.

Barbara B. said...

That is flat out AMAZING!

(And, by the way, Singing Owl beat me to it... I wanted to give you the award!!!)

Presbyterian Gal said...

Mac: I always knew a couple stories, but my dad didn't really talk much about the war until a couple years before he passed. When he saw Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan he really opened up. He said that was the first movie that showed how it really was.

I'm sorry you lost your dad so young. I hope it is some consolation to know that he died a hero.

Jodie said...

Wow,

A P51 pilot! And check out the swastika on that captured German trainer. Cool!

Did your Dad keep flying after the war?

Jodie

Presbyterian Gal said...

Hi Jodie,

My dad also flew P47 bombers.

He did not fly after the war. Except commercially and he hated that. He felt that he had used up all his flying karma during the war and only had so many "tickets" as it were, left.