Thursday, April 01, 2010

Johnie In The Slot


A scan of a slide of a photo taken in Korea around 57 years ago.  My dad on the right with his crew chief.  Shirley Mae is my mom.  My girl said that he looked "cocky" in this picture.    I have seen this slide hundreds of times over the years and had never assigned that descriptor; but I guess if you have  a 12 cylinder Rolls-Royce engine five feet in front you cranking out up to 2000 horsepower as you are zizzing through the clouds vibrating to the low drone of the P-51 in flight, you could be cocky too!
Dad died  in March and one of the fellows he flew with in the Air National Guard out of Lambert field in St. Louis (prior to Korea) saw the obituary and sent me a note describing how they would fly acrobatics to stay sharp -- even competing with other Guard units around the area.  He described Phil Houghton as left wing, Bob little at right wing, Walter Stueck as lead, and "Johnie in the slot" while flying the 4-plane diamond formation (John was my dad).

It would seem that would be the hardest position to fly, with the wash from the other planes and all,  causing turbulence.
But I never asked . . .  I should have.

"Death is only a change of condition:  time and space are in you; you are not in time and space"
by Swami Vivekananda  (another perspective)

Maybe so, but I cannot help but think that we are left mostly as memories . . .  and some things we made.

Fly safely my father