Monday, May 13, 2019
Local Girl Drops By For A Visit
On my travels yesterday, I was heading in to work, when the full rumble of proper radial piston engines caught my attention, just in time to see a truly rare sight overhead:
one of the few surviving B-17s passing overhead on its way to John Wayne Airport for a local show. Not looking too shabby for being 74 this year. It started its life in Long Beach in late 1945, coming off the Douglas line at nearby Long Beach, back when California still built airplanes.
It isn't often one sees a B-17 in the pattern anywhere, and I'm happy to note that I stood there watching it pass until it couldn't be seen any longer and the rumble died away on the breeze.
And then, to reward me for stopping to notice, came the pursuit to that opening act, with a sound that cannot be mistaken for anything else:
I'm going to have to move getting a ride on both of those things up on my bucket list, before the chance for such a ride goes away forever.
Spendy? Yeah, a tad.
But compared to never getting the chance?
Hell, I'd pay a couple of C-notes just to get the chance to thumb through the original logbooks of the real Nine-O-Nine (the current one went into service in 1945, too late to see action, though it was around for a couple of 1950s A-bomb tests, and put out a lot of wildfires after leaving the military), and see what scenic parts of Europe it visited and redecorated circa 1943-44.
And I wish I could trace the same history for my 5-digit Garand, purchased as ROK hand-me-down, after being manufactured in late 1940, it must certainly have whacked some Commies, at least, before finally being left behind south of the 38th Parallel after 1953.