P-47 T-bolts and the 73FS
Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:21 AM
If you will, let me cut and paste the last entry I made on that thread (War Stories) before sharing some interesting new developments...
"Mission Complete! (Dec '06)
I delivered the 1/48 scale model of Ross' P-47 Razorback Thunderbolt in time for it to be presented to him for Christmas by his daughter, Julie. I had hoped to deliver it in person to him weeks before. As I'm still fighting a head/chest cold, I wasn't able to be there in person to witness his reaction. I do really do regret that.
On the weekend I completed his "420" bird he suffered a mini-stroke and is now 100% blind in his right eye, yet with new glasses, he's seeing 70% out of the left. A cruel irony, but Ross is coping.
I called him this evening, as I was curious as to how my efforts were recieved. He told me he was absolutely delighted, and that it really WAS his '420' Thunderbolt. I told him of the details I had attempted, to add accuracy and to personalize his aircraft. I told him when the light was right, he would notice that the leading-edges of the wings and tail were waxed... just as he described in our conversations.
He told me everyone there was impressed with the details, and he was proud to finally show them HIS P-47. (If anyone could actually claim ownership of an aircraft... it would be the crew-chief!) Ross asked me how many hours I had invested in his model. I told him I really didn't keep track, but that it kept me out of mischief for awhile to be sure.
I also gave him a Squadron Publications "Walkaround" of the P-47 which he said had brought back memories of things he hadn't thought-of since the war. He was much appreciative of all those access-panel closeups... those shots only a modeler--or crew-chief--can appreciate.
Ross told me that he had been studying his '420' model with a magnifying glass... and I admitted to him that I was forced to use one to build it for him! He told me that he remembered sitting under the wing of his '420' taking a break from the hot sun, when the pilot would come-over and ask how the plane was running?
Ross would tell him "Oh, I don't know... she's running a bit rough, but it'll probably get you back-home." Then the pilot--a Lt. Anderson--would get all excited and threaten to bust him down to a private. And Ross would laugh, as he enjoyed that memory of a time so-long ago... and so far from home.
At the end of our conversation, Ross thanked me again. He said it was the finest Christmas gift he had recieved in many years. That was a high-compliment indeed, and I consider it an honor to have been able to build the '420' for him to enjoy.
And that about closes the book on this tale...
Of course there's that old B&W photo of the Curtis P-40N he crew-chief'ed... the '409' bird, with "Francine" on the left-side... under the exhaust-stack. The pilots' name was Lt. Barbour. That was when they were still based on Hawaii.
Would you believe I now have new information on the pilot?!!!
Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:32 AM
"Ross told me that he had been studying his '420' model with a magnifying glass... and I admitted to him that I was forced to use one to build it for him! He told me that he remembered sitting under the wing of his '420' taking a break from the hot sun, when the pilot would come-over and ask how the plane was running?
Ross would tell him "Oh, I don't know... she's running a bit rough, but it'll probably get you back-home." Then the pilot--a Lt. Anderson--would get all excited and threaten to bust him down to a private. And Ross would laugh, as he enjoyed that memory of a time so-long ago... and so far from home."
The Lt. Anderson that Ross refers to... just happened to be his grandfather, Lt. Glenn Anderson. To make a long story short, he exchanged emails and shared some great info and photos with me. Of his grandfather climbing out of a P-47N on Ie Shima. That P-47 was crewed' by a fellow named HANDY and they named the aircraft "Handy-Andy." Anderson, get it? Even has the "Barflies" logo on the side of the fuselage.
As an aside...
(At war's end, Handy was flying back to Pearl aboard a B-29 and riding in the bomb bay with another airman when the bomb-bay doors were accidently opened. Yes, they tumbled from the bomb-bay and into the Pacific ocean!)
So, Brent mailed me a section of his grandfather's autobiography that dealt with his time flying. He also burned a DVD of film shot when the 318th moved from Saipan to Ie Shima.
It arrived at my address on Ross's 89th birthday. TO THE DAY!
Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:50 AM
It's been a terrific addition to this story, and I continue to reap the dividends. I called Ross to wish him a happy 89th birthday on August 1, and would you believe I still have yet to meet this gentleman? He says it will happen soon... I'm simply waiting on him.
At the end of our phone conversation, he thanked me again for building his "420" T-Bolt... I only asked Julie to pay for the kit and materials. I donated my labor.
He said he admires that model every day, and each day he thinks of me.
Now who can ask for better payment than that?
I think I came out way ahead.
Posted 11 August 2009 - 09:11 PM
this is real nice story, thank you for sharing, bro. But let me answer your easy question
Now who can ask for better payment than that?
Posted 01 September 2009 - 02:17 PM
here are the Pictures, sorry that it took such a long time, my friend. IÂ´ve just read the email.
Posted 02 September 2009 - 11:54 PM
These photos are of Lt Glenn Anderson... his aircraft, "Handy Andy" was a P-47N based at Ie Shima. (His crew chief's last name was Handy.)
Posted 03 October 2009 - 05:02 PM
Now this is what this forum is all about. This is great--just GREAT!
Posted 03 August 2010 - 10:04 PM
This came after years of trying--unsuccessfully--to arrange a meeting. I took it upon myself to 'crash the gate' so-to-speak. He kept telling me that one day we'd get-together, but that day never seemed to get any closer.
I wasn't sure exactly where he lived, but a young fellow in the condo-projects told me "Old Ross? Heck yeah, he lives right up-there!" We had a good visit and it was great to finally meet this man... the day before he turned 90 years old. I told him "You'll notice Ross, that I didn't bring you a "90-year-old birthday card"... instead, I brought you a Zero!
And when I was leaving, he just had to share the story about him sitting under the wing of "his" Thunderbolt when Lt. Anderson came strolling-up the flight line.
"How's she running today Ross?" he asked. "Aww, not great Lieutenant, but maybe it will bring you back..." Ross answered. And Lt Anderson jumped up and down cussing Ross and telling him how he'd bust him back to buck private if it didn't!
Ross just laughs and laughs when he retells that story... and I never get tired of hearing it.
Posted 27 March 2018 - 02:33 AM
I wondered if this thread was still to be found... grateful that it is. I had a great time building this model-- and the stories Ross shared led me to others in the 316th. The Barflies.
'Sorry to report that Ross passed away some years back, but the memories he shared still live on.
Funny thing--shortly after I posted this story here I got an e-mail from the Grandson of Lt Glenn Anderson--Ross' favorite pilot--and he shared his Grandfather's autobiography on the days at Ie Shima and Saipan/Tinian. Absolutely priceless.He went on to serve in the Air National Guard and his grandson learned to fly and became a commercial pilot. Great story.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users