Contributed Short Stories

Page 3

THANKSGIVING DAY 1945 and 1950.
World War II and KOREA

By Earl E. Myers
Thanksgiving Day, 2000

I have a lot to be thankful for today. After World War II was over, I was transferred from Saipan, our operating base during the war, to Guam to bring a B-29 back home. On Thanksgiving Day 1945 our combat crew was preparing for a return flight to the United States. We were to depart North Field Guam at 7 PM local for Hickam A.B. Hawaii for a daylight landing. We completed the required pre-flight and the flight plan filed. Then to the mess hall for a scrumptious Thanksgiving Dinner.

Earl Myers relaxing at the door of his quarters
Saipan, 1945
Departure was on time. All of us were extremely anxious to return home after a tour in the South Pacific flying strike missions against Japan. Our arrival time at Hickam was approximately 8AM local. En route we crossed the International Date Line Eastbound and flew into another Thanksgiving Day. In reviewing my United States Army Air Corps flight log it shows an 18 hour flight from Guam to Hickam Air Field, Hawaii. We secured the aircraft and went to the barracks to shower and obtain some crew rest. It had been a long day from arising on Guam to landing in Hawaii.

After resting I went to the Navy Base where a schoolmate from my home town of Independence, Mo. was stationed, James D. "Ike" Lewis. We went to THANKSGIVING Dinner at the Hickam A.B. Officer Club and I enjoyed my 2nd Thanksgiving Dinner. I was very "THANKFUL".

Now, five years later, I was scheduled to fly an Armed Reconnaissance sortie operating an RB-29 on Thanksgiving Day 1950 over Korea. Our departure time was 0600 and no turkey was available at that time of morning. About noon time we did however have turkey, but from our C-Rations, and we were THANKFUL for the turkey. When we returned to our operating base after a 10 hr 35min flight we had a scrumptious THANKSGIVING DAY Dinner at the mess hall with all the trimmings.

Thankful, YES! We observed our United States Forces operating on the ground where it was 15 below zero with nothing more than C-Rations, if they were lucky. Turkey?, perhaps, but doubtful and most likely was not heated very well because of the extreme cold and wind with nothing more than their backpack to shield them. Yes, we were very "THANKFUL" as we were in a heated aircraft and returned to a heated barracks and the comforts that the ground troops in Korea were not privy to.

The United States Marines crossing the Chosen Reservoir was the most devastating event that I witnessed. They were further to the North. The aircraft's outside air temperature gage recorded 35 below zero. Wind blowing 25-30 mph, a blizzard in progress. The Chinese were hot on their trail. We observed the Marines dragging their wounded and perhaps the dead across the ice and snow and with little or no supplies and no support. We sent a FLASH report to the Far East Headquarters as to their plight. They were shown no mercy by the opposition.

It was "THANKSGIVING DAY" 1950. God Bless them all, then and today. And today Thanksgiving, 2000, I am extremely "THANKFUL"

Earl Myers, Vero Beach, FL.

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