By Chuck Alling
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Extra info for Mighty Fortress: Lead Bomber Over Europe
A few days later, a farmer who lived a mile or so down the road found the package in his field. ” Just after we buzzed Chestertown, Charley Kingsley phoned my parents to say I was on my way up the coast. Ray plotted our course to Montclair. As we passed over my home, it seemed as though the whole town was outside to say farewell. They had spread sheets out on the lawn that spelled my initials. Before we started our second pass over my house, I asked my co-pilot Glen if he would fly so I could get a closer look.
I asked. ” “Don’t you worry about it,” they said. ” My crew found a box which they filled with dirt. Our terrier, appropriately named Flak Happy, slept on the wooden floor in the waist of the plane, covered with a small woolen blanket. At each base, two devoted guys took turns spending the night with him in the plane. On September 18, we left Hunter Field and flew directly north. On the way we flew over the home of my aunt and uncle’s farm on the eastern shore of Chestertown, Maryland. Our flight plan was visual, and we et out on our own course.
It was unfortunate, he suggested to the president, that the United States could not strike first, since the alternative was to suffer surprise attacks on its own Pacific interests or on those of the European nations who were also embroiled against Germany. “No,” Roosevelt replied, “we can’t do that. ” The United States could not strike first; it would have to wait for the blow which would subsequently turn the wars in Europe and Asia into a World War. Neither Roosevelt nor Hopkins realized, as they discussed the issue late into the night of December 6, 1941, that the Japanese Combined Fleet had already crept to within striking distance of America’s primary naval base in the Pacific.