we goin' today, Lieutenant?" Sergeant Callahan
worry, Cal. No flak. We got a milk run. We're going
to Florence." Callahan was deeply impressed by
flak, and we often kidded him about being the only man
in the Air Corps who could actually hear the Germans
loading their 88's. He was from Louisiana and had sold
marshmallows before the war; so we referred to him as
the marshmallow man from Campfire, Louisiana. In an
effort to achieve the debonair dash of a flyer, he had
grown a disconsolate sandy mustache on the way overseas
and wore a soiled bit of parachute silk around his neck
for a scarf.
Just came up to me, grinning. The Army had mislaid one
of his teeth, and it made his sheepish grin something
that was a constant delight to us all.
better hit the target. I got cento lire with the waist
gunner on Combat Lamb's crew you hit the target. So
don't screw up." He grabbed some flak suits from
the pile in front of the nose. "Where's the Ace?"
the men's lounge, the R. J. Reynolds Room. Where'd you
soon we takin' off?"
40 minutes; take-off's at 9:20." I was inspecting
the nose Plexiglas for smirches that would make seeing
through it difficult.
armament corporal of the ground crew came around to
the nose, wiping his hands on a rag. "O.K., sir?
I cleaned her off just a couple minutes ago."
good," I told him. "How are the bombs?"
been over them. Fins all O.K. Shackles, too." He
was very conscientious, and we never had a bomb hang
up. When we dragged the field in group formation after
returning from a raid, we knew that the ground crew
on 62 was watching us and looking intently for the green
flares we fired when the mission was a success.
didn't bring nothin' but green flares today," the
Mensch and Callahan," I told him. "I'm going
to show you guys where we're going and what we're going
to bomb." (Continued)