|Click Image to see the full article published October 1962|
appeared to be slowly chasing the fire response team away from me--I had to laugh out loud again! It was about then, with the right wing on the ground that I heard a bang, the gunner hatch flew off and I saw the gunner running down the wing as the aircraft continued to slow toward a stop. His parachute was banging behind his knees--he was soon followed by the navigator and I watched them hit the ground and keep on running. Guess they were afraid that there was going to be a big bang or a fire or something bad. Well, there I was, probably a little shook but making sure that I did a proper shut down so Major O'Neil wouldn't chew my a--. I guess I didn't realize how long I spent trying to do everything right. Then Don Keating, the assistant Operations Officer climbed up the right wing into the cockpit and said "get your ass out of here I will make sure things are shut down". I did get out and don't remember if I used the belly hatch or the right wing as a walkway. I really don't remember much about after we were on the ground other than I had to write a statement before leaving the squadron and in the next day or so had to take a check ride so I could go flying again. Seems that we did everything right and there was no criticism that I remember--even Major O'Neil didn't chew me out. Guess we did OK.