Ramrod To Muster – Page 4
I felt warm. How was that Walrus going to manage to get off? I passed out. Later I learned that the Walrus cracked a pontoon trying to lift off. They were picked up by the other ship that had come to the rescue. They tried to tow the Walrus to port. It sank!
That night I woke up at an R.A.F. hospital on the Thames Estuary. The next day I was back at Fowlmere. The day after, October 7, I flew my second mission… Ramrod to Bremen…
I had it made! I knew that I was going to live through the war. I knew also that we were going to win!
I don’t think I ever thanked Tom for all he did. He had called Air Sea Rescue and vectored two P-47s, a walrus, escorted by two Spitfires and the two ships that finally rescued me.
When the walrus arrived at the scene, I had been in the water an hour. The pilot realized I could not survive much longer and asked permission to land. He knew he would be lucky to make the landing, let alone the impossibility of a take off! I had been in the cold water too long and he felt he had to risk it.
Of course Tom’s quick thinking, and expert flying, kept me from drowning on splash down. All those people trying to keep me alive! How could we have ever lost the war? I am very grateful!
All in all I was in the “drink” for one hour and twenty minutes. That Mustang flew, losing oil, for over forty-five minutes. I still can’t believe I was hit by one shot from an anti aircraft gun. I’ll always be indebted to Tom Rich for his great flying and quick thinking! Flying low over water and deflating a parachute is some sort of stunt! Why I was able to survive in that cold water, with gale force winds, and ten foot seas, I’ll never know.
To top it all, those R.A.F. flyers, in Air Sea Rescue. Attempting a landing under those conditions, and making it! Yes, someone up there loves me!
Come to think of it, I don’t think I ever paid back Chet for the loss of his plane. Chet, I owe you a beer. Tom, I owe you my life, and my undying gratitude! Thanks! Thank you all!
Upper Five Four out!…