at the crew photo, note that I am signed with name 'Mickey'
under mine. You may recall there were those who asked what
is that Mickey Mouse lash-up anyway? Radar? We do not need
that! But they changed their tune. Hence the handle.
if I had known that day in January 1943, when I enlisted
in the Army Air Corp to be a Meteorologist and gain a
commission as such (and maybe have my life work after
the war); if I had known that I would go from San Antonio
to Biloxi, Miss. to be in a holding pool and sweep sand
off the streets and bury stumps and win marching pennants
every Saturday and be sent to Minneapolis for two semesters
of math and science (pre-meteorology) at the U. of Minn.;
and all of us to find out after six months that the Air
Corps had too many in weather training - and be told we
could go to any officer training school in the AC instead.
All of us were sent to Jefferson Barracks in St Louis
for a real cold month of Basic Training. And then on to
Nashville, to Montgomery, AL for pre-flight. I asked for
Navigator school and was aimed that way. Then we went
to Gunnery School at Ft. Meyers, FL. That was fun!
Then to a holding pool at Valdosta, GA. It got arranged
for me to be sent to Ellington Field TX. I was home for
Navigation school, Summer Session, Houston, Tx.
was good except the air was bumpy around Houston in the
summertime - a bucket on every trip. Graduation in the
fall and fancy uniform and all. I applied for Radar, Bombardier
School in Victorville, CA. It was a long way
to LA from Victorville so I bought a Model A, that
ran swell on cleaning fluid solvent when hot. Oh well,
never had to walk. Upon my graduation in Jan 1945, I was
qualified on the APQ-13 radar set used for navigation
and bombing, a Navigator - Bombardier. A few more
stops to join the crew, learn to fly with them at Alamogordo,
NM, then off the Herington to be issued a B-29 and a clandestine
meeting with a boot legger to get four cases of booze.
These we hid in the padding all over our airplane.
was cloudy on our night takeoff from California so Stackhouse
wouldn't fly under to Golden Gate Bridge. We had to give
up our new shiny B-29 to another experienced crew and
never did get back our bottles of booze. But Boy, we 'got'
those brown brothers up in Japanese, didn't we? Twenty-one
times we gave it to 'em with no injuries or serious hits.
Just that the Wright engines tended to catch on fire a
almost got home before my 21st birthday in early Nov.
and on to the Colorado School of Mines and Geology Engineering
Degree. But as I said, if I had known that back
in January 43, I wouldn't have changed a thing.
retired from oil business for about 10 years now.
Wish I could work but can't stand stress – no stamina. I'm
fortunate that I have enough."