Sunday, April 18, 2010

Advanced Training - Air Force Base in Lincoln, Nebraska

(Continuation of Captain Estes's Memoirs)

"Then they sent me to Lincoln, Nebraska. And there
was a group of Air Force personnel there: there were
gunners and flight engineers, there was everything.
I don't know how they chose them or how they chose
who was going to be on whose crew, but I wound
up with a crew there. And of course, it was the
first time I'd ever met my navigator, that was
Bob Swain; and the first time I was ever
introduced to my copilot, that was John
Congleton. And John had finished in single
engine, but they didn't need any single engine
pilots, they needed copilots for these big
B-24s, and he was assigned to me as my

He was the finest boy I ever knew. He'd
been misplaced of course, he should have
been in single engine but they put him in --
in my copilot's crew, and we became great

There at Lincoln his mother and his fiancee
had come up to see him before he went any
further away, and so I met his fiancee, Marian,
and I'm in touch with Marian now, oh, monthly.
We write and we talk and we keep in touch.
Of course, John in the interim, had a heart
problem and died, and I think he was probably
the first member of my crew that died, but
that was after we had gotten home."

(To be continued.)

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