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The next day they took me
The next day they took me and some others to another air base. When we got there they told us that we were there for multiple engine transition. Meaning we had to be trained to fly full engine planes. And a white guy was there from Tennessee. His name was Canfield. His father was the mayor of Nashville. I didn’t know it then. Canfield was standing next to me. The first thing he said to me was “God, I don’t want to fly no B-17’s. That’s suicide!” I didn’t even know what a B-17 was. And I looked at him and I didn’t say nothing to him. We were there for two weeks for multiple engine training. And when we finished he was in a group with me. First thing when we were going to a B-17 squadron he said was “You ain’t said a word.” So I said, “Me talking wouldn’t help. They gonna send you where they want to send you to start with.” But they didn’t send us to a B-17. I was sent to a cardinal squadron. So was Canfield and some of the others. White Cloud and I. January 1942 I went to Australia. I was in Darwin, Australia. We left from down in Arizona, went to Lima, Peru, where we got new planes. The planes were waiting for us. The planes we went down to Lima were like passenger planes. I got a cargo plane when I got down there. And then from there to the Fijis, from the Fiji Islands I went to Australia. I was based in Darwin. From there I went to Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines, The Marshals, the Carolinas, Boogenville. We were in India only once, and we were up in the Himalayas carrying supplies and dropped them into China to what is now called “Flying Tigers.” They were called “Schnooks Men” when I took them up there. I flew 610 hours out of Australia. I received a Silver Star. I followed another plane; we flew all the way from Australia to the Philippine Islands. We went to Leyte. This guy I was following was with another squadron, and he picked up General Stillwell, who was a prisoner. The guerillas in the Philippine Islands raided a Japanese prison camp over there, I heard, but I can’t say. Anyway, they brought all the prisoners out from there. Stillwell was put on the other plane. I had a couple Filipino generals and a bunch of colonels. We flew up; when we would pass Indochina we had to come down on the water. We flew up there at 300 feet off the water because the Japanese had one of the best radar set-ups during World War II. And they could pick you up if you get down under 300 feet. We learned all this over a time period when I first went to Australia. But anyway, we went up there, my plane, we got Silver Stars, everybody on my plane, I had a crew of eight. The guy that flew up and got Stillwell, got the Congressional Medal of Honor, and then men that were on his plane got Silver Stars. He was supposed to be the leader, they told me I was supposed to follow his orders, I don’t know about him being my leader. That’s one of the things that kind of P.O.’d me in service. Seemed somewhat like racism. But, it wasn’t so much racism there, but if you get a Congressional Medal of Honor and I’m doing the same job you’re doing I should get a Congressional Medal. But, that’s this government.

Well we came back to...

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