Saturday, April 21, 2007

The U.S. goes to War

On December 7, 1941, Vaughn and I attended a Sunday Matinee and when we came out of the theatre, the "extra" news editions were on the street giving the account of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese Statesmen had been in meetings with Cordell Hull then Secretary of State during the previous week. The employees at the Japanese Embassy had carried out all papers and documents and had burned them on the Embassy lawn.
Since Floyd was in the reserve he knew that he would be called to active duty within weeks. The next day President Roosevelt met in joint session with Congress and declared War. "December 7, 1941, a day that will go down in infamy".
Sure enough, Floyd received his orders to report to Maxwell Field within just a few weeks. I corresponded with him for several months. He was attached to a B-26 training squadron and the B-26 was a relatively new twin engine bomber, shaped like a cigar, with a short wing span for its body size. In correspondence, I could tell that Floyd was concerned because he told me that it was the hottest plane he had ever climbed into and that several planes and crews had been lost in operational training. He later told me in correspondence that he had been the first pilot to land one of them on one engine, to be able to tell about it.

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