Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Checking the news this morning turned out not to be a mistake, but a memory trip back to the nineteen-forties days of World War Two when warplanes were new, exciting and different and a schoolboy’s eager task was to know and identify each one.
At age eight and nine, my favorites were the P-38 Lockheed Lightning, the Jap Zero, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, and the German Me 109.
It was an era when the center hall of Cove School was lined with long, heavy tables: when the air raid drill bell sounded, we marched out into the hall, clambered under the tables that were to shelter us when the bombs fell, and waited for the all clear bell.
Robert will remember, but my brother and sister will not. And in that wartime uncertainty of that day and age, the excitement of learning airplanes was so we would recognize the Jap or German planes when they flew over.
If I had a top favorite, it would have been the twin-engine P-38 with its double fuselage. Maybe second the Junkers Stuka. No American schoolboy could say Focke-Wulf 190
without smirking and the boys around him breaking into snickers of naughtiness. Let the reader understand.
Wandered off down another trail, es tut mir leid, back to the main path.
News this morning from BBC online. In Denmark a boy with a school assignment to report on something about WW2 is told by his father that his grandfather had said a German warplane had crashed in one of their fields, why not go out and look for it. They did, together, with metal detector, and found it, an Me 109 buried deep in the boggy field.
I liked that airplane, which had retracting landing gear that were problematic. More identifiable to me was the Stuka dive bomber with its streamlined fender over each gear and screaming siren of death.
Posted by Tom Weller at 9:17 AM