were made during our tour of duty on Guam. I was only
a Corporal because I failed to salute the Squadron commander
and he restricted me to base and held up my advance in
rank. I think I was the only enlisted man to fly in combat
as a Corporal.
We were badly shot up during our third mission and crash
landed on Iwo Jima. The plane was a total loss. 13 people
were on board. 11 crew members, Flight Surgeon and a
Group observer. I believe I was the only one who shed
blood - from a bump on the head. 7 Purple
hearts were awarded - all to officers. The AC received
Flying Cross for attempting to assist our wing ship
which was shot down and ditched in Tokyo Bay. Our ship
was damaged. 1 engine out and another pulling only half
power. Very low on fuel because we lost most when the
right wing tank was hit. We managed to ward off enemy
fighters who were attempting to strafe the downed plane
and radio their position. Our efforts had to be abandoned
when we had just enough fuel left to reach Iwo.
and Ben Hill
every thing written about World War II revolves around
service experiences (War stories) and, I guess, this
is the way it should be. I my case, however, the outstanding
personal experience was my exposure to the city of Salina,
Kansas. I met Dorothy, my wife, there and became acquainted
with many outstanding citizens of that city. This was
a great experience for a kid from South Philadelphia,
Pa. whose family thought civilization did not exist
West of Pittsburgh. Dorothy was a school teacher. Her
father was Cashier of the Planter's State Bank. He went
on to become President and Chairman of the Board.
and I were married in Salina after I returned from Guam
and was discharged. We returned to my home in South
Philadelphia together and began a life long outstanding
relationship resulting in two fine and lovely Daughters.
We recently celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary.
Until just recent years we have made yearly trips to
Salina. In fact, just last year we returned to celebrate
Dorothy's 60th high school class reunion. I am sure
we will return again.
info is not the accepted war story, but it is my war
story and is very clear in my mind. All of the rest
is somewhat clouded in my memory.