I'll begin with my crash. I was ground
strafing on the gunnery range. I dove my plane from 1500 feet to shoot the
target. I was trying to get too close and I flew into the ground at about
160-170 mph. The plane hit flat on its belly, ripped the bottom out and
started to cartwheel end over end. It tore the engine, wings and tail off.
I rolled about 150 yards and stopped.
Then I tried to get out through the
bottom which was torn out. I couldn't turn around so I lay back (upside down)
and thought, "They'll have to cut me out with a can opener."
I felt the blood on my face and thought,
"I'll bleed to death before these slow bastards get here." I pounded
the glass side out and crawled out. They had taken one look at the plane with
the wings off and the engine 50 yards away and reported me dead.
They got there expecting to pull a
corpse out and I walked up and said, "Pardon me, sir, I'd like a ride
back to camp." He almost fell over himself getting out of the front seat.
My face was a mess.
The Colonel gave me hell for tearing up
a plane and I was in the hospital for two days under observation, but besides
9 or 10 stitches on my face I'm the same as ever.
P. S. I'm (illegible) aerial gunner so I don't feel bad.
I graduate and get my wings on the 20th.
I don't know where I'll go or whether I'll get a leave. I doubt it though.
I cashed my bonds to help pay for my
uniform. It has cost $205.00 so far and I'm not through yet.
I got the $5.00 you sent me and I'll
send it to you as soon as I can get this check cashed.
It wouldn't do any good for you to ask
for me a furlough. It's not proper etiquette to do that. I'll behave if
I have asked for combat duty. I hate
this kind of life with a bunch of yellow bastards afraid of a gun. However,
there's no telling what they'll do with me.
I hope to see you soon.