Saturday, February 11, 2012

World War II Combat Glider Pilot Charles E. Skidmore Jr.


WWII GLIDER PILOTS

THE SILENT WARRIOR



Written by Michael G. Skidmore

July 2011 Draft







                                                                                                      Michael G. Skidmore

                                                                                                                     (918-455-0808)



WW II GLIDER PILOTS



FADE  IN:



1            EXT. Lawrence Kansas, City Airport - Day



It’s June 14, 1941 and a car turns onto a dusty road towards the airport.

OVER, we hear the voice of Chuck Skidmore talking with his college

Roommate Johnny Parker.



CHUCK

Well, today is the day I guess, I will

 Take-off by myself and land

 Or I take off and crash Land.

(They both Laugh….)



JOHNNY

Are you scared?



CHUCK

Yes some times, but Capt Wilkes my

Flying instructor says I am a good

Pilot and will do fine.

(Capt Wilkes is a WW1 veteran and a retired US air mail pilot, who

Still wears his white WW1 flying scarf).



JOHNNY

I know I would be scared for sure,

Why do you want to fly anyway?



CHUCK

Well, after we graduate from KU next week

 I report July 15, to King City

California for Air Cadet Training School

And 4 months later I will have

A Silver wing on my chest,

A set of bars on my shoulders,

 with a girl on each arm.



JOHNNY

Yes, but you can get the girls here in Lawrence.

Besides I thought you wanted to be a writer- editor and

                                               Work for a newspaper like your father.                               (CONTINUED)



1                                                                                                                                                                    2.                                    

                                                                              

                                                                                CHUCK                                                                         

                                                     I did, but the flying is more exciting,

                                                                      And the pay is better.

(They both look at each other and smile)



1A                CHUCK’S  POV



                     Standing in front of the airport office is Capt Wilkes with his arms folded on his 

                     Chest, He doesn’t look happy.



                                                                                 CHUCK 

                                                                 Capt Wilkes is mad at me.    



                                                                                JOHNNY

 For what?



CHUCK

His number one rule is “always be on time”

And I am 15 min late.



1B                     EXT.   Aircraft sitting next to the office – Day



                          Capt Wilkes walks towards the aircraft, then stops turns around.



CAPT WILKES

You going to solo today?



CHUCK

Yes Sir, I am ready

(Chuck walks towards him, takes his jacket off)



CAPT WILKES

Then let’s do this, you take off climb to 300 feet

Make a slow turn to the right over the river,

Then head back west, when you’re ready

- turn back into the wind and land.



1C                        EXT.   DAY  The aircraft makes it to the grassy runway, powers up and

                                                Slowly starts moving, gaining speed and then lifts into the air.



2                           EXT.   DAY               Standing in front of the airport office, 

                                                                                                                             (CONTINUED)            

2.                                                       CAPT WILKES AND JOHNNY                                                           3.

End of the runway and touches down

Then taxies up to the hangar office,

We both can see a big smile on CHUCKS face.



3                            EXT  DAY              Inside the Hangar Office,

                                                          CAPT WILKES signs CHUCKS

 Airman’s Certificate License and CHUCK

Fills out his log book.



CAPT WILKES

CHARLES Don’t you forget to write

Me and Let me know how

You’re doing in your Army Air cadet training.



CHARLES

I won’t and I want to thank you for all

You have done for me these past months.

(They shake hands and hug each other)



  3A                      EXT  DAY        CAPT WILKES waves to CHUCK and JOHNNY

 As they drive away down the

 road and they wave back.



4                              EXT.    King City California Train Station   - DAY

CHUCK

(After a 2 day train ride Chuck arrives to start his 10 weeks

Of primary Flying training – This will be 60 hours of flight

Time in a Ryan PT 21 primary trainer and completing

His ground school courses, which included, math and

Navigation with daily physical training)



4A                       CHUCK’S POV

Chuck gets off the train and sees the sign (AAC office),

He walks up to the window and a Staff Sergeant – looking impeccably

Dressed in his uniform looks up.



STAFF SERGEANT

Need to see your orders



CHUCK

Sure is hot today



                                                                                                                                  (CONTINUED)

                                                           STAFF SERGEANT                                                          4.



4A.                               (He doesn’t look up, stamps chucks orders, signs the copy)                     

Then he looks up and hands back the paper. 



 STAFF SERGEANT   

Walk to the end of the ramp and the bus will be

Leaving in 15 min to the Palo Alto Airport cadet flight school.



NEXT, 

                         We see chuck look towards the end of the ramp.

Then we see the Staff Sergeant get’s up from his chair and lean out the window and with

his index finger point’s, down there.



LAST,   we see chuck look down towards the end of the ramp, then he looks back at the

Staff sergeant and with his index finger he points, Got-cha and walks away.   



9 weeks later

CHUCK

(Lights are out in the barracks and Chuck is under his bunk

Writing a letter home to his parents, with his flash light)



5.         EXT. BARRACKS  - NIGHT

CHUCK

Dear Mom and Dad, I graduated today from primary flight school and have

 my orders  to report September 29, at Moffett Field, California for my

advanced training courses where I will be flying a BT-13,

it’s a plane with a 450 horsepower

engine in it.  I have some sad news to tell you,

my friend Shorty, the one from Texas was killed 2 days ago

while landing. There was a cross wind when he tried to land

and the wheels hit the ground hard and his plane

 bounced and cart wheeled and ended upside down

on him, and he broke his neck. He was so funny all the time,

everyone including the training officers would tease

him all the time, asking how anyone that short

 could get into the air corps. He always was the

 first in line for anything.  Everyman in the company,

 including the camp commander signed a card to be

sent to his parents.  Don’t worry about me,

I am being very safe and always listen to what

the instructor tells me.  Your loving son Chuck.



                                         5 weeks later Moffett field, California                               (CONTINUED)           

                                     Chuck is given a flight requirement “Check Ride” and fails                5.



6.         EXT, WESTERN UNION OFFICE - TELEGRAM   -  DAY                                                             

  CHUCK                                                                                                             

     Dad, washed out of flying cadet training,                        

 Arrive Columbus Kansas by train

 November 6, 7am, love Chuck



On December 7, 1941 Chuck was home in Columbus Kansas, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor-

On December 30, Chuck would enlist in the Army Air Corps for the second time at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, this time for bombardier training.   He was ordered to the Air Crew Replacement Training Center at Ellington Field, Texas, for his initial training.  His training continued there until February 24 1942, at which point he was transferred to Victorville Army Air Field, California, for advanced training.   He began training there on February 28, 1942 as a member of an 80 man class.  He failed to satisfactorily complete the course and was eliminated as a trainee.  He was honorably discharged for the second time on April 25, 1942.

 Shortly thereafter back at home in Columbus Kansas, he was working for his father at the daily newspaper and read a Associated Press wire about the Army needing Volunteers for the newly formed Air Force Glider Program ,  Charles immediately wired Washington DC, volunteering for the program.

 On July 13, 1942, for the third time in a year Chuck enlisted in the Army Air Force at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, this time as a private.  Eleven days later, on July 24, 1942, he was ordered to Sherman Field at Fort Leavenworth.  He remained there until August 24, 1942 when he received movement orders transferring him to the Lockbourne Army Air Base, Ohio for pre-glider training.

 On September 7, 1942, chuck and his classmates were relocated to the glider pilot student pool at Randolph Field, Texas.  Chuck remained at Randolph until October 6, 1942 when orders finally came through transferring him to the 21st AAF Glider Training detachment at Pittsburg Kansas, for pre-glider training, which was located a few miles from Chuck’s birthplace Columbus.

Chuck received 30 hours of pre-glider training at Pittsburg, completing his flying requirements on November 2, 1942.  Chuck continued with another 40 hours of elementary flight training and 15 hours of dead stick day and night landings.  Chucks class was held at Pittsburg until December 28, 1942 because there no openings in a basic training school.  To pass the time the students were given close order drill, daily calisthenics and classroom instructions in military discipline and hygiene. 

On January 3, 1942 chucks detachment received orders transferring them to Vinita Oklahoma, assigning them to the 27th AAF Glider Training Detachment.   The following day they were assigned to Class 43-3.  Because no military facilities were available the students were billeted in the courthouse annex in town, a single story brick building that had been converted into an open bay barracks to accommodate 200 students.  The student’s mess hall was a converted cafĂ© in town. On January 4, 1943 Chuck and his classmates were promoted to staff sergeant, which helped their morale considerably.

                                                                                                                                     (CONTINUED)

            Day 1 Glider Training – Burke Flying Service – Vinita Oklahoma                            6.                              



                                                                                                                            

  ( Basic glider training at Vinita was conducted by Burke Flying                 

          Service under contract to the Army Air Force.  Ironically the airfield               

Was located next to an insane asylum, a coincidence that elicited a

Chuckle from the students.  Glider students at Vinita received 30 hours

Of flight training in the Frankfort TG-1A, a civilian glider known as

The “Cinema II”, and the three-place military TG-5, an Aeronca

Defender that had been converted into a glider.  Flight training took

Place at the airport, 3 miles north of the town.  Chuck recorded

4 hours and 13 minutes in the TG-1a and 25 hours and 56 minutes

In the TG-5 while at Vinita.  He successfully completed the flying

And ground school training on February 3, 1943.  Four days later

 on February 7, he and his classmates were off to South Plains Army

Flying School at Lubbock, Texas, for advanced glider training.)





7 .       EXT.   Day   training class   arrive on the bus                                                           

           NEXT, men line up outside the bus for formation.                                                                                            

CHUCK

Hi my names CHUCK, what’s yours?



JOE

I’m Joe ……Wonder where the gliders are?



CHUCK

That’s them over there.



JOE

(Laughing) that’s nice, but those don’t have engines in them….



CHUCK

What do you think a glider is?



JOE

We take off and fly to the battle,

 then we turn off the engine

and glide in and land so

they don’t hear us..



CHUCK

Where are you from, you volunteered and you

                                           didn’t know what you were going to be flying?                  (CONTINUED)



7.                                                                               JOE                                                                              7.                                         

              I am from West Virginia, Valley of the                                   

                                 4 Rivers, Franklin County ……but how do we get off                              

The ground.



CHUCK

They attach a nylon rope and another plane

Pulls us off the ground and in the air.



JOE

Smiling…..another plane …with a big engine….

Is going to pull the glider up.



CHUCK

Yes, won’t it be exciting.



JOE

Do we have guns on the plane,

to shoot at the enemy?                                     

                                                                           CHUCK                                                                   

No, but maybe you can use your 45 sidearm

 And shoot at them out the window.

The good news is, we do get a Parachute,

But I have heard that no

One has ever made it out of a glider and

Have the chute open before

You would hit the ground.



JOE

(Has a worried look on his face as they come to attention)



(While Chuck was at Vinita it was not uncommon for Gliders to be released

Prematurely because of broken tow lines.  When this occurred the

Student pilot simply looked for an open field large enough

To accommodate the glider and landed there.  On this day

While waiting his turn to fly, Chuck noticed one of his

Classmates being towed off on a sole flight.  The flight was brief

Because hardly had the Glider become airborne than

The tow rope broke.  Because of the low altitude the pilot

Could only continue straight ahead and land, which in this case

Was on the grounds of the insane asylum



                                                                                                                          (CONTINUED)

                   3 weeks into glider training –                                                                                          8.  



EXT. 8        OPEN FIELD     DAY     student glider practice session                                               



CHUCK

Who is flying?



SSgt STUDENT PILOT

I think its Joe’s turn



                              (The glider is yanked off the grassy field and into the air.

         Then a load POP, the tow line has broken. The glider disappears beyond the trees. )



8A        GLIDER – JOE and co-pilot



JOE

Oh no, the tow line has snapped,

look for a place to land… fast.



C0-Pilot

Watch the air speed.



JOE

I see a spot straight ahead.



C0-Pilot

Watch out for the tree tops…. There I see an open

Area straight ahead.  Watch it, were going to

Hit the trees.



(The Glider skims the tree tops and heads for a empty grassy area on the grounds of a

large white building-The Oklahoma State Insane Asylum, coming to a stop just short of hitting a elderly man sitting on a bench, - The man is dressed in a white gown reading a newspaper and causally turns around to see the front of the glider 2 feet from his bench, he gets up and looks at the pilots through the cockpit window and smiles. As the pilot gets out of the gilder to check for damage the elderly man in the white gown is looking the glider over wing tip to wing tip.)



EXT.  8B - Asylum front yard – Day                                                                                    

    ELDERLY MAN 

      Where is your engine?



JOE

The planes I fly don’t have engines.

                                                                                                                           (CONTINUED)

      ELDERLY MAN                                            

ELDERLY MAN (CONTINUED)

8B.                                     (Motions towards two hospital staff members)                                9.  

I have another one for you….Come on in Brother….



(On April 1, 1942 chuck was assigned to Class 43-8 and the next day began

Advanced flight training in the big 15-place Waco CG-4A glider.  He

logged 48 minutes on his first flight with an instructor.  Gliders at

Lubbock were towed by twin-engine Lockheed C-60 Lodestars. 

Chuck completed his flight and classroom training on April 27, 1943,

Having logged a total of almost 16 hours and 22 landings in the CG-4A,

almost half of it as first pilot.  He was discharged as a Staff Sergeant on April 29

for the purpose of accepting an appointment as Flight Officer on April 30, 1943.

    The Flight officer rank was new in the Army Air Corps, and was the equivalent to a junior

Grade warrant officer.  The pay was the same as a second lieutenant, with an 20%

pay for overseas duty.  The insignia of rank was an oval bar, the top surface of which

 was Bristol blue with a gold border around the edges and across the center of the bar.

Flight Officers were addressed as “Mister” rather than by their rank.  Of Course,

Glider pilots also received hazardous duty pay, i.e., flight pay, which amounted to

             50% of one’s base pay.

Chuck looked resplendent in his officer’s pinks and greens on graduation day.  He

was in high spirits as he marched across the stage in the base theater, saluted the

School commander, and was presented with his sterling silver glider wings.  He

Was now officially a glider pilot, a member of a very unique group of fliers, and

proud of it.  Paragraph 59 of Personnel Orders No. 7, dated April 14, 1943, officially

Rated him a glider pilot, effective April 30, 1943, and Paragraph 60 of the same

Order required him to participate in regular and frequent flights upon entry into

active duty.  From that date forward, when someone ask him what the “G” in his

             wings stood for, he usually answered, “Guts.”

On April 30, 1943, special orders were issued transferring the newly promoted Flight

Officer to Louisville, Kentucky, with the assignment to the 27th Base Headquarters 

And Air Base Squadron at Bowman Field.  Officially, the base was known as the

Glider Pilot Combat Training unit (GPCTU), but unofficially it was called the “Home

of the Winged Commandos.”  Chuck would undergo additional flight training at

Bowman and would be introduced for the first time to ground combat training.

Because of the lack of CG-4A gliders for tactical training it was necessary for glider

Pilots to train in light aircraft.  Chucks first flight at Bowman was on May 11, 1943 in an

 Aeronca L-3C in which he logged three hours, half of it as first pilot.  Dead stick spot

Landings were practiced regularly, frequently over two sets of 50-foot barriers placed

Close together to teach glider pilots the technique of short field landings.  The object

Was to just clear the first barrier, land the glider, and stop it before reaching the second

Barrier.  When glider pilots weren’t flying they were taking 20 mile hikes with full field

Packs, practicing hand-to-hand combat and learning ground fighting tactics.)

                                                                                                                                   (CONTINUED)

9.      EXT.   American Legion Hall Dance  - Night   JUNE 1, 1943                                                     10.

               ( Chuck meets his soon to be wife Norma Lee)                 

10.    INT.  NIGHT -  In line American Legion Hall – Chuck and friend Leon                                



CHUCK

Leon, after a month of nothing, its

Wonderful to see so many girls in

One place isn’t it?



LEON

Man, you got that right.



11. INT Dance line                                                    

                                                                                CHUCK

Excuse me, you too girls by your selves?

 

GIRLS

Yes we are….My name is Norma and this is Betty



CHUCK

My name is Chuck, this is my friend Leon.

 Would you like to sit with us?

NORMA

Yes that would be nice, thank you



12. INT Front Door

CHUCK

How much, I am paying for the girls.



 13. INT Table                                                         NORMA

Wow, the music is really good tonight.



CHUCK

Let’s dance



CHUCK

Leon, when you catch the waiter, order

us a round beers…Ok.



CHUCK

Norma did you come here often?



NORMA

                                                 I try to come every week end, but my                          (CONTINUED)

13.                                                                NORMA (CONTINUED)                                                     11.

Parents will only let me come if my

Girl friend is with me.

                                                                         CHUCK                                                                    

 Where do you live?                                                 

                             

                                                                              NORMA                                                                   

I live about 3 blocks away…..Tell me what do you

Do in the Army?



CHUCK

I am in the Army Air Corps, I am a  glider pilot.



NORMA

What’s a glider?



CHUCK

It’s a plane without a motor in it.



NORMA

Laughing……That’s a line I haven’t

Ever heard…..that’s funny.

What do you really do?



CHUCK

I really fly a glider, we take men and supplies

In, sometime’s behind enemy lines.



NORMA

And how do you do this without a motor in your plane?



CHUCK

Another airplane pulls us off the ground and takes

Us to where we need to be and then I disconnect the

Tow line and we glide in, so the enemy doesn’t hear

Us, or we hope the enemy doesn’t hear us….

See this silver wing on my chest, with the big “G” that

Stands for Glider or some say it stands for Guts.



NORMA

Yes but isn’t that dangerous?



CHUCK

                                            Yes it can be, that’s why it’s for volunteers only.      (CONTINUED)

13.                                                        CHUCK (CONTINUED)                                                     12.

Besides its only dangerous if the enemy shoots at

me, and I try to land before they can see me.

That’s why they call us the “Silent Warriors”.

                                                                                                                                             



NORMA                                                                    

                                                               You must be a brave person…..                                         



CHUCK

Oh yes, very brave, handsome and strong……smiling…..





(The band is playing Glenn Miller music and the dance floor is over filling - 

Over the next 8 weekends many spent at the Red Devil Tavern, just across from

Bowman Field or taking in a movie Chuck and Norma are always together and after a very

Short courtships are married on August 3, 1943. The couple set up housekeeping

at Norma’s Parents house in New Albany for the duration of Chucks training.)



14.  EXT - DAY



15.       INT.     Cockpit  



Chuck –Co Pilot and First Pilot Flight Officer McNally are on participating in a low level

Tactical training flight in a Aeronca L-3C aircraft.  McNally who is flying the aircraft, strikes an auxiliary power line damaging the aircraft, the propeller, the landing gear and the engine, with the cockpit windscreen being broken. The accident review board determined that the

Accident was 100% pilot error, and was duly noted on McNally’s next performance report.



McNally



Chuck, check the map and see how much further we need

To go in this direction.



CHUCK

Looks like another 10 miles or so; it shows here, power lines

But I haven’t seen any, be sure and watch for them.  What’s

Your altitude?   The Capt said to stay about 500 feet.



McNally

Were at 200 feet



CHUCK

                                                        Pull up fast.                                  (CONTINUED)



15.                                                                 McNally                                                              13. 

                 OhOh is that a power line? Hold on…..he powers up                                                                                                                                                 the engine as the plane skims the power line.             

MvNALLY (CONTINUED)

                                    And immediately starts down towards the ground.                        



CHUCK

Over there to the right, looks like a corn field.

(The aircraft engine sputters and the plane continues in

A steep dive, just leveling out as they land in the corn field,

 Fortunately neither man was injured).



16.          EXT.     DAY    Bowman Field

               

                September 10 1943, this morning a flight of 30 light aircraft  take off in trail

                On a round-robin flight to Lexington, Kentucky and return. It is listed on the

                Training report as a simulated glider combat mission.  Both legs of the flight

                Will be  flown at 700 feet.  The Bowman to Lexington leg was uneventful, but

                On the return flight tragedy strikes.  During a left turn directly into the sun,

                Two aircraft in the middle of the formation collide, doing major damage to

                Both aircraft.  The first aircraft went into a flat spin and crashed in the field

                Below.  The pilot died from blunt force trauma when the aircraft impacted the

                Ground.    The other pilot fared no better.  He was able to exit the aircraft and

                Pull his ripcord, but was too low to the ground for his main parachute to deploy.

                He was killed instantly on impact with the ground.  His aircraft crashed nearby

                And burned.    Chuck flying near the end of the formation sees the 2 planes

                go down and immediately pulls back on the stick to gain altitude and instantly

                sees a clear field he can land in just ahead.

                As Chuck runs onto the adjacent field   he sees another aircraft making a

                Landing but suddenly it makes a violent pitch downward   and crash into the

                 Ground, hitting a fence and then a ditch before coming to rest on its side. As

                  Chuck gets to the aircraft he sees two young men trying to get the pilot

                 Out. Also arriving are two other glider pilots that have landed to help.  Chuck

                 Looks in the cockpit and realizes it’s his friend Spencer.



17.    INT   FIELD DAY - DAMAGED AIRCRAFT , The aircraft motor has been ripped from its                                                 mounting And has been pushed back through the instrument panel and  

is resting on the pilot  whose flight suit is soaked with leaking fuel.



     17A.     Aircraft Cockpit

CHUCK

                                                Oh My God , Spencer can you hear me.                     (CONTINUED)



17.A                                                                SPENCER                                                              14.

(Unconscious and moaning)



CHUCK

            Speaking to the two young men, (get back immediately, and  

CHUCK (CONTINUED)

                              Get rid of those cigarettes. There is leaking fuel all over here                         

And the ground, you will start a fire and kill us all. )



GLIDER PILOT 1

We have got to get this engine off of him, hits burning him

And it’s going to catch this fuel on fire.



GLIDER PILOT 2

(Takes off his flight jacket) cover his legs so they don’t get

Burned and let’s rip the back of the seat off and use it

To lift the engine up so we can get him out.



CHUCK

(For the second time chuck tells the two men to move back

And put out the cigarettes.)

Hey I just told you two to get back and put out the cigarettes, NOW



CHUCK

Looks like his leg and arm are broken, be careful when you lift

The instrument panel up.



CHUCK

(Chuck looks up and around to see the two men still

Looking into the aircraft, he stands up,

and draws  his 45 cal sidearm out and points it at the  two men.)



 CHUCK

You two back up real slow and don’t drop those

 Cigarettes on the ground or I will shoot you

Both.

(The two men backed up slowly and then run away)



17B.  DAY   INT  OPEN FIELD

(After thirty minutes or so they are able to get the engine off of Spencer, freeing                             his legs and arms and removing him from the aircraft still unconscious.  He

Was placed on a blanket that someone had provided.  Shortly thereafter a

Military ambulance carrying a doctor arrived from Bowman Field.  The

Doctor examined Spencer, started a IV to prevent shock, and we help put him into the

18.                     Ambulance for the trip back to the base hospital.  Spencer’s                            15.

Injuries included a brain concussion, and crushed right foot, lacerations

And puncture wounds all over his arms and legs, and abrasions galore.  He

Remained semiconscious for two days, suffered partial amnesia and was

A patient for eleven months in three different military hospitals. He was placed

                             Back on flying status on August 5, 1944.                         

18.  EXT DAY     BARRACKS                                                                                                                      

ORDERLY

Skidmore your to report to the

Base Commander’s Office Immediately.

The Sherriff is there, says you threaten to

Shoot 2 men yesterday.



18A.    INT HQ OFFICE                             BASE COMMANDER

Sir reporting as ordered.



BASE COMMANDER

Flight Officer Skidmore these men say you

Threaten to shoot them yesterday, is

That true?



CHUCK

Yes Sir I did.



BASE COMMANDER

For what reasons?



CHUCK

During a  flight training accident

yesterday,  I landed my aircraft

and was helping get Flight Officer

 Spencer out of his plane. These two men were

 the first to arrive at the crash site, but when

I arrived they  had cigarettes dangling

from their mouths.  I immediately ask them

 to put out the cigarettes

and to back up because of the fuel

 leaking from the wings. A few

 minutes later I ask them

a second time with no results.

 My third request I drew my side

 Arm and told them

 to slowly move away or

                                                            I would shoot them.                                       (CONTINUED)



   18A.                                                          BASE COMMANDER                                                             16.



Sherriff please get these two idiot’s out

 of my office.  It’s a good thing I

wasn’t there, because I  would ask                                                                                                                                                              

                                                           them one time….then I would                                             

of shot you both in the Ass.

Flight Officer Skidmore, you may

Return to your duties.



              (Chuck completed his training at Bowman, now called the Glider Crew Training

              Center, in Mid October 1943.  On October21, the 1st Troop Carrier Command

               Issued orders assigning Chuck and 227 other Bowman Field graduates to the

               38th Troop Carrier Squadron at Camp Mackall in Hoffman, North Carolina.

               Everyone departed the following day by rail, bus and private conveyance,

               Each granted five days leave before reporting to their duty station on

              October 29, 1943.  Their reassignment orders specified that’s friends or

               Relatives were prohibited from either accompanying or joining them at their

               New base.  Everyone was certain that upon completion of tactical training they

               Would be headed overseas.  Chucks wife, Norma, would remain at her parents

               home  during his absence.  Foe the next several weeks Chuck underwent

               intensive combat training, usually hauling glider troopers, airborne weaponry, or

               vehicles of the 101st Airborne Division from nearby Fort Bragg, North Carolina. 

                On November 26 1943, his combat training at Mackell completed, orders were

                Issued transferring Chuck and a large contingent of glider pilots base there to the

                439th Troop Carrier Group temporally based at nearby Pope Field, North

                Carolina. When Chuck reported to the 439th he was assigned to the 91st Troop Group

               Squadron, which promptly divided the glider pilots into 50-man flights for training

               Purposes.  Chuck was assigned to flight “C”.  Many of the C-47 pilots had little or

               No experience towing gliders so they practiced day and night doing just that until

                Mid-January when the Group began to prepare for overseas movement.  Much of

                their training at Pope Field was conducted at nearby Laurinburg-Maxton Army base,                 

                North Carolina.  

                In early February, 1944 the air echelon of the 439th was ordered to Bear Field, Fort

                Wayne, Indiana, the aerial port of embarkation, arriving there on the 14th of the     

                Month.  The ground echelon would follow by ship to England.  The advance parties

                Of the 439th and two of its squadrons, the 91st and 92nd, departed Bear Field in their

                C47 transports on February 19, 1944.  The remaining  two squadrons, the 93rd and

                The 94th , did not arrive at Balderton until March 6, 1944.  The airdrome was located

                2 miles south of Newark, England in the midlands.  Chuck and the ground echelon

                Of the 439th TC Group and its four squadrons left New York aboard the U.S.S George

                 Washington, an Army Troop transport, on February 28, 1944.  After eleven days at sea

                                                                                                                                                (Continued)

18A.                                                                                                                                                              17.                    

                   The ship arrived at Liverpool, England on March 10, 1944.  From there they traveled

                     By rail to Balderton where they would remain until April 26, 1944.  On that date 

                    The group was relocated to the airdrome at Upottery, England. 

                     After the Group arrived in the United Kingdom the training continued unabated

                     In preparation for the invasion of the continent.  Several maneuvers were held

                     To further Hone the skills of the C-47 and glider pilots.  About a month before the

                     D-Day invasion of Normandy, France the 439th was relocated to Taunton in

                     Southern England.   On June 3, 1944 everyone was herded into barracks and

                      Hangars that were surrounded by barbed wire.  Everyone knew that they would

                      Soon be facing the enemy.  Finally, the day that every Allied soldier looked

                      Forward to had arrived.  You could feel the tension in the air.  Chuck would not fly

                      The D-Day mission on June 6, 1944, but would fly in glider trooper

                      Reinforcements of the 101st  Airborne Division the following day, D-Day + 1.  



19.        EXT    JUNE 7, 4:00 AM Awakened by CQ (charge of quarters



CHUCK

Let’s go guys, Mark, JC, Ken get up,

Let’s get to the chow hall while

The line is short and the

Food is hot, wonder what they

Are serving us for our

Last meal…..



MARK

I don’t care what it is as long

as I get Large portions.



20.       EXT  4:30 AM  Mess Hall Line

CHUCK

I can smell fried Eggs….we haven’t

Had Eggs since we left the USA.

Look….Chocolate Cake, well

I would not of thought of

That combination….but it

Smells good doesn’t it.



21.         EXT 5:15 AM    - Glider Pilots Briefing Room



Company Commander

Things got better last night, the Germans

Haven’t brought up their tanks yet and

                                                And our units are holding their ground.                      (CONTINUED)                

21.                                                            COMPANY COMMANDER         (CON’T)                                18. 

              

There is still a lot of confusion though,

 Many of the paratroopers were dropped

In the wrong zones, so were not

Sure where everybody is located at.

Your mission is the same as always,

get your gliders to the assigned

Landing zones and unload your

Men and materials as quickly

As possible.



GLIDER PILOT

Sir; what do we do after we land

Our gliders,

Where do we go?



COMPANY COMMANDER

(A Brief period of silence)

I don’t know, I guess we never

Really thought of that.



(All glider pilot volunteers were told

When they enlisted that on

Combat missions the

Casualty rates were expected to

be 50%)



GLIDER PILOT

(“RUN LIKE HELL”)

Laughter from the group…….



COMPANY COMMANDER

Make it back to the coast

As best you can.

Also…. all the C-47 crews have

been told: The Glider Pilots will

will release when the pilot of

C-47 Leading the formation

Starts a gradual turn to the

Left to return to the coast.

“If any C-47 pilots cuts his

Glider off during an

                                                      Invasion without sufficient                               (CONTINUED)

21.                                                                                                                                                                 19.

COMPANY COMMANDER   (CON’T)

Reason, and there shouldn’t

Be any, he’d better keep on

Going because if he comes

Back here, I’ll be waiting for him”

God bless you all, it’s been a

Honor to be your commander.



22.  EXT   5:45 AM  Flight Line

                                    (A Long line of Gliders on the sides with a C-47

Aircraft moving onto the

Center of the runway ready

To hook up to the front glider.)



23. INT  - CHUCKS GLIDER – Paratroopers were already seated on both sides of the cabin

                                                  As Chuck and his Co-pilot – JC make it to their seats.



AIRBORNE LIEUTENANT

There’s no use of you too

Fastening on those

Parachutes because we’ll

Never let you use them.



CHUCK

Don’t worry Lieutenant we

Only bring them on board

To use them as seat cushions.

(Chuck drapes the shoulder

straps over the back of the seats)



23A.  INT.  Glider Cockpit  Day-Morning   -   (Approaching the Normandy Peninsula)



CHUCK

(C-47 Pilot via Telephone from the Glider)

Anderson what’s making all

Those splashes?



ANDERSON

Those are P-51s dropping their

Tip tanks.



CHUCK

                                                               You’re a damn liar,                                   (CONTINUED)

23A.                                                                 CHUCK   (CON’T)                                                            20.

There aren’t that many tip

Tanks in the whole Army

Air Force…..They must be German

Shells falling into the water.



24.  EXT Day - Glider landing zone, 1 1/2 Mile from St Mere Eglise



25.   INT   Glider Cockpit

CHUCK

What’s are altitude?



C0-Pilot - JC

600 feet.



CHUCK

Cut us loose.

(the tow line is released and the glider turns

Into the landing zone)





CHUCK

There’s the field…

(Into chucks ear a loud voice is heard….BUSTER)

Chucks turns his head and shoulder for split second, then back concentrating on

Landing the glider.

Machine gun fire hits the glider passing thru the cockpit

Floor and stitching the wing to the tip.



CO-PILOT - JC

The Germans have flooded the field.



CHUCK

Hold on were going to hit hard.

(The glider lands in 3 feet of water

And quickly comes to a stop, the paratrooper’s

Exit immediately out the side door)



CO-PILOT - JC

Chuck are you hurt?



CHUCK

No, how about your?



CO-PILOT - JC

Look behind your seat….

(Behind chucks seatback is a line of bullet

Holes, just where his head was?)

                                                        You sure you OK?                                     (CONTINUED)      



25.                                                           CHUCK                                                            21

Did you yell at me as

we cut loose from the C-47….

Calling me BUSTER.



CO-PILOT - JC

No, why?



CHUCK

BUSTER was a nickname

My grandfather called me.

If I hadn’t turned my head that

machine gun spray would

of taken my head off.

Guess my grandfather was

Looking out for me…..

Let’s get the hell out of here, fast.



26. EXT   Glider in the water  - 



  NEXT                     Chuck and his Co-pilot quickly take off their flack

                      Jackets and rip a large hole in the fabric on the side of gilder and slide

                      Out into the water.  About 12 feet away another glider is in the water

                      And the pilot is franticly looking for his co-pilot, seems he still

                      had his flak jacket when  He went into the water and into a

                     deep hole.  Only his hands were above the water, the pilot pulls

                      him up by the hair, as he spits out a mouth of dirty water.  Bullets are flying   

                      everywhere hitting the water and tearing up the side of the gilder.                 



CHUCK

Lets head for the edge row over there.



27.   EXT    DAY  We see chuck and his Co-pilot hitting the dirt next to 20 paratroopers

                            That are taking machine gun fire from a hidden bunker. After a hail of

                            Return rifle fire and a bazooka hit, the resistance stopped, then a

                            Single shot rang out from the bunker followed by laughter. Soon 12

                             Polish conscripts appeared waving a white flag. It seems they didn’t

                            Want To fight the Americans soldiers, so they shot the German

                            Sergeant that was in charge.



28. EXT  DAY   -  Farm House



PARATROOPER



In the house, anybody…come out

With your hands up.



AMERICAN SOLDIER

 Don’t shoot; I am a Paratrooper, injured

                                                     I have a woman with me…                                        (CONTINUED)

28.     INT.  FARM HOUSE  - DAY                                                                                                            22.

FRENCH GIRL

Hello Americans, this way…..



NEXT  -  BEDROOM                                     AMERICAN SOLDIER

(Seems the paratrooper had jumped the night before

And had fractured his leg when he fell through the

Thatched roof of the farm house.  The Young French

Was caring for him, so he just lay there waiting for

The war to come to him.)



29. EXT  Nightfall          Chuck and his Co-pilot have left the  Paratrooper and

                                        Are headed back to the beach, when they decide to

                                        Stop for the night.   

CHUCK



Come on I see some people digging over there.

The two of them join the group in digging a spot

 For the night to sleep in.



SERGEANT



Hey….. you two can’t dig in here.



CHUCK



Why not?



SERGEANT



Because we’re starting a temporary American

Cemetery here.



                                            (That did it; they went elsewhere down the road

To a apple grove

At sunlight they hear people marching down the road

Ahead, Chuck takes off the safety on his Thompson Machine gun.

It’s some US Army Infantry moving up the line.



30. EXT  Side of the road   -   ( A group of soldiers yelling ….  They have 6 SS German Soldiers

Lined up and are searching them, they want to know if they are from

St Mere Eglise, because  they had found body’s of American

Paratroopers that had been shot before they reached the ground, many still

Hanging from trees and buildings around the town.  Then American

30.                                                             Cont’d                                                                     23.

Cigarettes and money are found on three of them.  The American

Paratroopers immediately line them up and slit their throats

One by one. As the column of men marching by watched, no one stops

Or says a word, they just look ahead and move down the road.



CHUCK



Come on JC, let’s get going….

(Over the next 24 hours the two of them spend time

With a 105mm artillery crew, providing perimeter

Guard, and then with a communications outfit.)



31.  EXT   DAY  - 101st Airborne Command post. – Captains Desk



CHUCK

-Salutes-

Sir, were Glider Pilots with the 439th

Troop Group, were looking for

Pilots from our unit that

Might have passed here today.



CAPTAIN

Yes, some of them are here. I

Sent them next door to

Get a sandwich and something

To drink. Be sure to

Fill up your canteens, there is little

Fresh water in the area.

Your all being assigned to

 Guard some  German

Prisoners  down at Omaha beach,

And then you will accompany them

On a (LST- Landing Ship Tank)

 back to England. Report to the

Beach master.



CHUCK

Thank you Sir. – Salutes



32.    EXT   DAY - OMAHA  BEACH  - BEACH MASTER



CHUCK

Salutes – Sir, We were sent down from the

101st command post

32.                                                                    CHUCK    (Cont’d)                                              24.



To help guard some German prisoners

 and accompany them back to England.



BEACHMASTER

Ok, I need two of you to stay here

The rest of you spread out down

 The barbed wire all the way

To the end.  No one! is to

cross over or beyond that wire, if

they do, you shoot them, don’t kill

them just wing them, to let

the others know you mean

business,  unless it’s one of

those SS Officer Bastards, then

you have my permission to

blow their Dam head off.



33.  EXT  DAY -   LCI (LANDING CRAFT,INFANTRY)



OFFICER

Ok we will take the first 50

on board out to the  LST.



CHUCK

Ok, move up the first group.



(A Army Major steps up with a group of prisoners)



 MAJOR

Can you take this group?



CHUCK

Salutes - Yes Sir, we have more LCI’s

On the way.



MAJOR



I will be needing all of your rifles

As you board.



                                                                                                                                    (CONTINUED)



33.                                                                                                                                                              25.

CHUCK

Sir we have to turn in our

Weapons to Supply when

We get back to the Air field.



MAJOR

It doesn’t make sense to

take them with you when we

need them here. I will also

need all the extra ammo your

carrying.



(It made sense so we all surrendered our rifles,

And kept our 45 sidearms, However once we got

Back to our home base in England the Supply

Officer couldn’t see the wisdom of the

Whole thing and threatened to take

Action to make us pay for them, luckily

Our Commander vetoed that idea.)



34. DAY  ON BOARD – (LST) – JUST OFF THE SHORELINE



Sitting near Chucks LST is a Oil Tanker that takes

A Torpedo hit from a German E-Boat, The

Ship breaks apart and sinks within a few

Minutes. There is only one survivor

 a man and his dog. A few moments later

We see a British Ground

Attack aircraft fire on and sink

The E-Boat, the GI’s on board,

Start clapping and yelling.



34A.   DAY -(LST)  WATER RESCUE    



                                        Miraculously, the German commander of the E-Boat

Is recued by the LST: He has

A severe leg wound.  Chuck helps carry him

to the operating table below deck where an

American medic tends to the wound.

When the medic wants to cut apart

The officer’s sealskin pants, he explodes

With anger, so Chuck and the medic

                                            removed his pants which must of                          (CONTINUED)



34A                                                                   (Continued)                                                                    26.                                        



Been dreadfully painful, but the German

Never uttered a sound and sat stoically

as the medic tended his wound.



35. NIGHT  - LST -  MIDNIGHT MEAL

NAVY CORPSMAN

Handing out K-rations to the German prisoners



GERMAN  MAJOR

NO, NO, says something in German.



NAVY CORPSMAN

Anybody know what’s wrong with this Kraut…..



GERMAN CORPORAL

The Major says he wants better food



WOUNDED ARMY SARGEANT

Corporal would you please tell the Major

That if he doesn’t eat our rations…

Myself and a few other men here

Will stuff them down his throat, cans and all.



36. NIGHT - LST BELOW DECK

The LST was a mess; they had 1,200 German prisoners on

board and only 4 GI cans to serve as toilets.  Among the 1,200

Were several officers who were pretty well subdued, except

For one Nazi storm trooper.  This lieutenant insisted that

Every German prisoner passing by him give him the

Nazi salute.  CHUCK finally got tired of seeing this

And told the Corporal to tell the Lieutenant

- without the preliminary Nazi Salute -  that if

He, the Nazi, saluted one more time, he (Chuck)

Intended to emphasize his point with his Combat Knife……

And that was the end of the saluting. 



37.  EXT      DAY - British Port – Unloading Prisoners



BRITISH SOLDIER

                                                                    How was it over there?                                  (CONTINUED)   



37.                                                                         CHUCK                                                                        27.



It was bad….I lost a lot

Of good friends this week.

Chuck takes a few steps and turns

around and looks towards

France……And Thanks God for

Surviving his first combat mission

Against the enemy.



(JULY 5 1944, IN ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL ORDER 33, CHUCK

AND THE OTHER GLIDER PILOTS OF THE 439TH TC GROUP WHO

FLEW THE NORMANDY MISSION WERE AWARDED THE AIR MEDAL

FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE IN COMBAT AND A BRONZE

ARROWHEAD TO THE EUROPEAN-AFRICAN-MIDDLE EASTERN

MEDAL FOR A COMBAT LANDING. )



THE MAGNIFICENT SPIRIT AND ENTHUSIASM DISPLAYED BY THESE

INDIVIDUALS COMBINED WITH SKILL, COURAGE AND DEVOTION

TO DUTY IS REFLECTED IN THEIR BRILLIANT OPERATION OF

UNARMED AND UNARMORED TROOP CARRIER AIRCRAFT AT

MINIMUM ALTIDUDES AND AIR SPEEDS, IN UNFAVORABLE

WEATHER CONDITIONS, OVER WATER, AND INTO THE FACE

OF VIGOROUS ENEMY OPPOSITION, WITH NO POSSIBILITY

OF EMPLOYING EVASIVE ACTION, TO SPEARHEAD THE

ALLIED INVASION OF THE CONTINENT AND TO SUPPORT AIR

AND GROUND FORCES IN THE CRITICAL PERIOD WHICH

 FOLLOWED.  THEIR RESPECTIVE DUTY ASSIGNMENTS

WERE PERFORMED IN SUCH AN ADMIRABLE MANNER AS

 TO PRODUCE EXCEPTIONAL RESULTS IN THE GREATEST AND

MOST SUCCESFUL AIRBORNE OPERATION IN THE HISTORY

OF WORLD AVIATION.

SIGNED: GENERAL DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER – SUPREME

ALLIED COMMANDER



                                                                                                                   



(Training continued at Upottery until September 1944

When the 439th was alerted to move to Juvincourt, France

(ALG A-68) as the vanguard of the 50th troop Carrier

Wing.  The movement of equipment and personnel took

Several days, but the air echelon returned to England the

Following week to take part in the invasion of Holland

                                        Scheduled to begin on September 17, 1944.                      (CONTINUED)

38.    EXT.   DAY    OPERATION MARKET GARDEN                                                                             28.

                                                                                                                                                   

September 17, 1944 - D-Day, Chuck

is driven to his glider in a jeep…..he arrives and

starts his pre-flight  check.  He sees his glider

is carrying a ¼ ton jeep trailer covered with

a tarp.  Chuck ask the loadmaster what was in

the trailer and is told 800 pounds of

land mines, but not to worry because it

would take the weight of a sizable vehicle

to detonate them, small consolation he

Thought.  Three glider Troopers of the 82nd

Airborne Division were also included

in his load.



39.   EXT.  OUTSIDE OF THE GLIDER

CHUCK

(Flags down the crew chief),

 Where’s my co-pilot?



CREW CHIEF

Smiles…. The Colonel decided against using two pilots on

This mission.



40.   INT  COCKPIT                                                CHUCK  

(Chuck is next in line for hookup, when someone

Appears climbing over the jeep and into

The co-pilots seat. In full combat dress

And carrying a Thompson Machine gun

is Warrant Officer Walter F. Domanski,

The assistant engineering officer of the

91st TC squadron. )



CHUCK

What the hell you doing here?



DOMANSKI

Hi, got room for one more don’t you…..



CHUCK

Yes , but you’re not supposed to be here.



DOMANSKI

                                  I am tired of missing all the action…… Big smile                  (CONTINUED)

  40.                                                                                                                                                             29. 

CHUCK

What happens when the Colonel finds out

Your AWOL and on the way to Holland?



DOMANSKI

Well, guess he will send someone to

 come and get me. But they have to

find me first.



(The four hour flight to Holland was

Very long and exhausting for Chuck

Being at the controls the entire trip,

 his flight suit was wet from

perspiration, beads of water are

showing inside his watch crystal)



41. EXT   THE HOLLAND COAST – COCKPIT

CHUCK

Look…. the Germans  are shooting at

 The column…….Just then the C-47 Tow plane

In front of Chucks glider takes a

direct hit in the right engine

and goes into a steep dive pulling

the glider with him.



DOMANSKI

Oh my god, cut loose, cut loose…….

(He watches the two planes as they

 Plummet towards the ground)



CHUCK

Do you see any parachutes?

Is anybody getting out?



DOMANSKI

No, Nobody got out…… I didn’t see any chutes.



CHUCK

I always knew you wouldn’t have enough

Time to get out of these gliders.

I guess that’s why we use these

Parachutes for cushions…..

Besides, I wouldn’t leave the men in the back anyhow.

41.                                                                                                                                                               30.

(Near the end of the 90 mile overland portion

of the flight the glider began to take machine gun

ground fire from a windmill, as the tracer

bullets came up it look like a fiery whip coming

towards him. Fortunately no one was hit

or the glider damage.)





Chuck receives a Green light

 from the tow plane and releases the Glider.

Turning to the left he quickly spots his

Landing zone. As he circles towards

The field below more ground fire is

Coming his way. As he makes his

approach he sees another C-47

tow plane do down trailing

fire.  





In an effort to evade the enemy fire coming

Up at him Chuck put’s the glider into a steep dive,

Quickly picking up speed.



CHUCK

Chuck feels someone rapping on his helmet, its

One of his passengers, a burly airborne sergeant



AIRBORNE SERGEANT



Hey….Slow this S.O.B. Down!



CHUCK

What the hell………..

Not sure what to do, chuck continues flying

The glider towards the landing zone.



AIRBORNE  SERGEANT



The sergeant starts pounding Chuck in the back……

Causing the glider to begin dropping even faster.





                                                                                                                                     (CONTINUED)

41.   COCKPIT                                                                                                                                              31.

DOMANSKI



Resting his Thompson  Machine gun on the

The sergeants shoulders …….

If you don’t get back in the back I’ll

Slow you down permanently.



AIRBORNE SERGEANT



Since the sergeant had left his weapon

In the back of the glider, and probably

Because he sensed that discretion was

The better part of valor, he beat a hasty

Retreat to the back of the CG-4A.



CHUCK



Thanks, Walter…I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.



42. EXT LANDING ZONE  HOLLAND  1:30PM



Chuck lands the glider with no injury’s to him or

The passengers, but the field he has landed in

Is overgrown with giant Beets, which have

Torn up the bottom of the glider.

Chuck helps unload the trailer and

A few minutes a jeep arrives to tow the

Trailer away.



CHUCK

Walter, good luck guy, you keep your

 head down and your ass further down…..

they both laugh, then shake hands.



DOMANSKI

So long Chuck, thanks for the free ride…….



Chuck starts his trek back to the

coast and then to his base in England.

Walking most of the way and

 Catching a ride when he can.

The end of the third day chucks finds

A burned out farm house and

43.  EXT  FARM HOUSE                                   (CONTINUED)                                                              32.                       

                 



A collapsed potato shed with some

Empty potato sacks, which he uses to cover

himself with for the night.



CHUCK

Daylight arrives and just as chuck is ready to leave,

Germans are arriving in a truck.  His

Heart is beating so fast and the sweat is starting

To run down his face into his eyes.

He doesn’t move, there is a German officer

 Giving orders, then he hears more trucks. Within

A few minutes later they move out back

 on the road, going in the direction chuck has

 just come from.



44.  EXT  EMPTY ROAD

CHUCK

Sounds of a vehicle coming towards him

Very fast…..he get down in the ditch…..

Its a jeep with an American Infantryman

 Driving, Chuck jumps up waving….

 The jeep comes to comes to a screeching halt

Raising a small cloud of dust and dirt.



JEEP DRIVER



 What the world you doing out here alone,

 I was ready to shoot at you …jumping

Up like that.  You alone?



CHUCK



Yes I am .



45.  EXT  JEEP    -  DAY                                     JEEP DRIVER



You know the Germans are right

Down the road!  Get in here…

Man you are lucky, if you had missed me

You would have been dead or in a prison camp.

(CONTINUED

45.                                                                                                                                                                 33.

CHUCK



Yes, I had a close call with some

 German trucks Early this morning.



(The jeep raises dirt and gravel as the

 driver takes off down the road as fast

as he can go towards the coastal area

and the American and British lines.)



46.  EXT  DAY - AIR CORPS AIRFIELD  

 

The driver drops Chuck off at a temporary

 Air evacuation Air Field.



CHUCK



Corporal, Thanks for stopping for me…….



JEEP DRIVER



Salutes…..Good Luck Sir…..



47.  EXT  DAY - AIRFIELD  OPERATIONS  SHACK



CHUCK



Salutes….Sir I am with the 439th  glider

Group, can I catch a ride back to England?



MAJOR



Are you C-47 Rated?



CHUCK



Yes Sir, co-pilot.



MAJOR



Right outside, they are loading

 some wounded, you tell Captain

                                                Fleck, I sent you to fly Co-pilot this trip.                         (CONTINUED)

48.  EXT   DAY – C-47  COCKPIT                                                                                                                34.



CHUCK



Captain Fleck. I am flying Co-Pilot this trip.



CAPTAIN FLECK



Welcome aboard…..I heard it was bad for you

Glider pilots…..was it



CHUCK



Well…. I saw one glider go down, still

Attached to the C-47, and had another C-47

Fly just over my landing zone on fire….I could see

The Tail Number, I knew the Pilot, there were no survivors.



CAPTAIN FLECK



It should be an easy trip back….

Will you do the pre flight check,

And we will get out of here and have a beer

At the officers club in England

In a few hours.





49.  EXT   DAY - C-47 TAKING OFF  



FADE IN COCKPIT  Pilots powers up engines



TAKE OFF    FADE OUT









-THE END-









(Continued)

                                                                                                                                                                     35.



Of the 6,500 Men who volunteered for the Army Air Corps Glider Program, at the war’s end only 3,400 would be going home to their families.









The Life Expectancy of Pilots in Combat was:



BOMBER PILOTS – 1 HR, 46 MIN



FIGHTER PILOTS – 19 MIN



GLIDER PILOTS – 17 SECONDS













As of July 2009, there are less than 150 World War II Combat Glider Pilots still alive.









(CONTINUED)








Written By:

Michael G. Skidmore

4204 South Chestnut Ct

Broken Arrow Oklahoma 74011

918-455-0808