In his Mind, He was There Again.
by Bill Archer
On December 7, 1941, my father was aboard the USS Hornet CV8, an aircraft carrier, out in the Atlantic on training maneuvers, having been commissioned on Oct 14, 1941. Later, on Feb 2, 1942, my father, Chief Aviation Pilot Woody Stone and Capt.Marc Mitscher flew a Grumman J2F-5 float plane from the Hornet to Wolf Trap, VA, to make arrangements for 2 B-25 bombers to be hoisted aboard and taken out into the Atlantic to see if they could take off from the carriers deck. The take-off was successful and paved the way for Jimmy Doolittle’s ‘Raid on Tokyo’ on April 18 1942. My father made shoulder holsters for many of Doolittle’s plane crews and traded a pair of his own flight goggles to the copilot of Plane #10 for his ARMY issue goggles as a souvenir. I still have those goggles.
As my father was passing to the next life 5 years ago, he had regressed backwards and one of his last physical acts was to act like he was climbing down the rope over the side after his carrier was hit by Japanese torpedoes. In his mind he was there again.