Crew # 555

Crew # 555
Crew # 555 - planes flown: DAMIFINO , DIXIE, LET ER RIP, TIMES A WASTIN

1st. LT. J. William Smith

1st. LT. J. William Smith

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cadet Training

My Dad's first meeting with his first born son in Montgomery AL., Oct. 1943 while he was in Pilot Cadet Training.
Mom followed him around the country when she could afford it, which wasn't often.

Dad with a couple of his buddies during Cadet Training.
He was good friends with these guys, but lost track of them after leaving training, he was never able to find out what happened to either of them.
"Hal Orndorff & ?? Andreson
Dad nearly became a "statistic" while in training there. The old underpowered, heavy, 2 seat trainers took a lot of lives. He was in the "stall" maneuver and very near didn't get the plane back under control. He said he was WAY too low when he was finally able to get the plane into control. He figured he was within a couple seconds from "meeting his maker". During the last few seconds another low flying aircraft nearly collided with them.
Dad ended up with 250 + solo flying hours and was given the option to fly as a "Forward Observer" for the Army Artillery, or continue training and go into Navigation School, as the Air Corps was desperately short of Navigators. Luckily he chose the later and went into Navigation. In civilian life he was an accountant, so was a "numbers guy". ...good fit for Navigation.
Who knows, If he had gone out as a forward artillery observer in an unarmed "paper plane", he likely might not have come home.

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