By E. T. Wooldridge
Shooting the days whilst lives and victory have been at risk, this booklet files the exploits of the lads who fought in WWII within the air and at the sea, together with pilots and air crewmen of service squadrons, officials and males of the ship's corporation, and admirals and their staffs. Compelling own debts. Illus.
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Additional resources for Carrier Warfare in the Pacific: An Oral History Collection (Smithsonian History of Aviation and Spaceflight Series)
What was wrong was Bates. He just wasn't flying the airplane. " So Jimmy Doolittle said, "OK. " I said, "Well, you know, Colonel, it's a matter of professional pride with me. I don't want anybody on the West Coast telling you. Let's start all over again with this technique. " So I called up Pensacola and had some laundry flown down. They picked up my airplane, anemometer, and junk and took it back, and I flew out to Sacramento, California, with Jimmy Doolittle. < previous page page_17 next page > < previous page page_18 next page > Page 18 We put the planes in the depot at Sacramento to get them all set to go aboard the carrier, and as one plane would come out of that interim overhaul period, I'd take it up with a crew to Willows, to a field there and practice takeoffs.
I said, "Oh, yes, sir. " I told Pete Mitscher that I was tickled to death, too, because from the very beginning when Lt. Col. James Doolittle's B-25 bombers, parked nose to tail on the flight deck of the USS Hornet as it steamed toward Tokyo, April 1942. < previous page page_19 next page > < previous page page_20 next page > Page 20 I heard there was going to be a raid on Tokyo I wanted to go to the takeoff spot, so I was delighted with that. Every day, the pilots aboard the Hornet would get an intelligence briefing, check over all the equipment in the airplanes, and get in a sizable amount of poker playing.
I would estimate that they probably got off at intervals of about a minute to a minute and a half. Carrier planes take off at about 12- to 15-second intervals, and it would take < previous page page_31 next page > < previous page page_32 next page > Page 32 about five or six times as long to move one of the B-25s, get them there, give them the signal to rev up, have them move their throttles forward, and then, when they were satisfied, away they were sent. Only one of them dipped down over the bow to where my heart was in my throat, but he had used every inch of the deck pulling off and, as he went over, I was afraid his tail was going to hit the deck, which was still coming up, and that would have flipped him right into the sea.