My Life-Long Quest for my World War II Airman Father

The title "Carrying Fire" is taken from Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, in which Sheriff Ed Tom Bell talks about his own father. “I had two dreams about him after he died. I don’t remember the first one all that well. But the second one it was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin through the mountains of a night. Goin through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on goin. Never said nothing. He just rode on past and he had this blanket wrapped around him and he had his head down and when he rode past I seen that he was carryin fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. About the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was goin on ahead and that he was fixin to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there.”

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Minter Field 1944



Minter Field Graduation




This is a photo taken on successful completion of Primary Pilot Training at Minter Field near Bakersfield, California in the spring of 1944. My father is 5th from the right in the top row. Does anyone else know someone who was there and can be recognized? If you click on the photo you will see a larger view.

Primary Pilot Training is where they first flew the BT-13 Valiant, better known as the "Vultee Vibrator



The next step was Advanced Pilot Training which my father took at Pecos Army Airfield in Texas, graduating with wings and as an officer in June 1944, Class 44-F.