Just graduated from high school in Windsor, Colorado, our father volunteered for service in WWII. He did flight training in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and eventually was stationed with a B-29 crew in the Pacific. When I think of him during that time, I have in mind images of him like this one that shows him, bottom center, with other pilots.
Dad looks young in the next photo, leaning casually against an Army truck (it was the Army Air Force at that time). As he looks into the lens I wonder what he was thinking, thinking at this precise moment and thinking during the entire bombing campaign from Tinian and then Iwo Jima (or Io Jima as it says on Dad’s map).
When we cleaned out Mom’s house before she sold it, we found some photos Dad had never shown us (he didn’t talk about the war). These four are especially interesting.
These four radar images show the target area, bombs away, and leaving target.
I found a short film made in 1946 to sell “peace bonds” that shows a radar operator at work. The moment in the film when a navigator draws a ruled line from somewhere in the Pacific to a target in Japan takes my breath away. Dad left a map just like the one in the film with lines exactly like that drawn by his own hand.
I wish Dad were still here. I’d love to ask him about the war. His war service must have exerted enormous influences on who he became.