By Gordon Bennett Robertson Jr.
The B-29 bomber was once made to start in skinny, chilly air, losing its mammoth bomb load from heights so nice that the crews may well by no means see their goals in the course of the clouds under. That used to be simply effective with Ben Robertson, pilot accountable for one of many massive 4 engine bombers hammering Japan to its knees in a nonstop bombing crusade within the Pacific. whilst common LeMay ordered the B-29s to modify strategies from sunlight, high-altitude bombing runs to night, low-level runs, Ben's perspective replaced. What was visible as easily dangerous--bombing Japan--now appeared lots extra like suicide.
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Extra resources for Bringing the Thunder: The Missions of a World War II B-29 Pilot in the Pacific
CHAPTER 3 Training Ithough Santa Ana Army Air Base had no airplanes, it served the purpose of initiating us into military life. We lost our hair and our civilian clothes and embarked on a program of close-order drill, physical training to get us in shape, and a fairly extensive ground school. Courses included refresher classes in math and algebra and physics and other things related to flying and navigation. The one thing that most readily comes to my mind now, however, was learning Morse Code.
S. citizenship by enlisting in the armed forces of another country. So I procrastinated; being a soldier-of fortune was not my objective. S. citizenship. They were eventually absorbed into American units in England after we got into it. S. S. Army Air Corps. As the golden age of aviation was drawing to a close, anticipating military training sometime in the future, I continued to fly sporadically as my limited resources permitted. I loved to explore the countryside by air, and I loved everything about flying: the exhilaration, the pure fun of it, the challenge, the freedom, the absence of restraints or boundaries other than the mechanical limitations of the airplane, and the sense of control and destiny.
I had achieved close to cruise speed at this point and, after reducing power, called for head temperatures. My engineer responded, "All in the green," as I banked into the procedure turn and started the climb to my assigned altitude of 400 feet, on course to the target. We were now committed to whatever fate had in store for us. I trimmed the ship for level flight, turned on the autopilot, and settled in, more or less, for the seven-hour flight to the target. I instructed the aft crew members to shut down the "puttputt" and busied myself with all the inflight activity typical of piloting a large aircraft: monitoring the engines, in this case with the assistance of the flight engineer; adjusting mixture controls to ensure conservative fuel consumption without raising cylinder head temperatures; monitoring throttle settings to practice efficient cruise control; keeping the props synchronized; listening to the engines for any slight change in their steady sound; observing the engines for oil leaks or a change in the blue flame of the exhaust; watching for ice build-up on the wings, sometimes with the help of a spotlight; and monitoring the whole instrument panel with a sweep of the eyes every minute or so.