Friday, January 21, 2011

Proj 365 Jan 17th A Grand Ole Man

I think I am going to omit which day it is as that is going to be a logistics nightmare as time passes.

Here is my father in law, a truly great man. He was married to my mother in law for 64 years when she passed away a few years back. I wish I could tell you about all the things he as told me that have impacted me so. One quick story-
When he was in the Navy during WWII (pronoucned W, W, i, i ), he flew among other things, a plane that could land on water or land. His was an air-sea rescue mission (some were equipped with more aggressive weapons for night missions and were called Black Cats as they were painted black or nighttime.)

He had wanted to be a fighter pilot but they told him that he didn't have the profile for it. A fighter pilot had to be willing to lose the plane and even themself if need be. They said tests showed he would be the person who would bring everybody back. And so it was.
One time he was circling a downed pilot in the ocean as they were not supposed to land in the open ocean, it would be too rough. They were supposed to circle and guide the rescue boat in to the downed pilot. (consider they ere flying in areas where nimble fighters had been shot down and they were flying something with the agility of an elephant!).
They told him to come home as it would be three days before a boat could be there to pick up the pilot. Rather than abandon the pilot, Pop (I call him pop) landed the plane in the open ocean and picked the pilot up. He said the plane sounded like every rivet was popping out and the plane wouldn't make it as they took off. IT did and he brought everybody back home, included the downed pilot. I can't help but wonder how many noticed a crew of 8 (?) took off and 9 landed.

Besides all that, he allowed me to marry his daughter. Kathy.

I wish everybody had a father in law like him.

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