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A Short Story - Morning Flight

Updated on June 25, 2016

Morning Flight


The early morning sun was already burning through the low lying fog, just as forecast, and he could now clearly see the airfield through the mist. He felt the sun’s warmth on his shoulder as the crewman adjusted his shoulder straps. To his left was Henderson, his wingman for the mission. He was sitting silently in his own cockpit, looking neither left nor right. Henderson was a skilled pilot with two kills of his own, and he was glad to have him assigned as his wingman. He could trust him to be there, protecting his six o‘clock.

This was his last mission. Tomorrow he was rotating back to the States, and instructor school. After that, who knows. He had six kills, and today, he desperately wanted another. He had a bet on with Harkins that he would go home with seven, and he wanted that dollar. He smiled at the thought. It wasn’t the damned dollar of course. It was the pride of youth.

He wanted to stay, but had been abruptly refused. “We need you to pass on your skills, Captain. Teaching what you know and how to do it could save the lives of many a young man.” The Colonel’s voice softened. “Hell, Benny, I know how you feel, but this war leaves no room for personal feelings. If we are going to win, and we must win, then we have to do the prudent thing. You are going home, so pack up.”

“Sir?” Corporal Davis pointed at the tower where a lone figure was climbing the outside stairs to the observation deck. He appeared to have a flare gun in his hand. It was time. He nodded, and Davis stepped off the wing root, ducked under and reappeared in front. To each side, crewmen stood ready with fire bottles off the wingtips.

The airfield was a former English pasture, and the grass was the same grass that the farmer’s cows once dined on. The house and barn were visible on the far side of the field, on a hill rising beyond a wooded copse. It had been confiscated for the duration, and the farmer was angry until the first German bombs rained down. Now he sometimes bought fresh meat to a grateful mess hall sergeant. His curly haired daughter of eighteen often came to the fence and waved as the flights landed. She was a beautiful young girl, and the returning pilots thought of her as a good luck charm.

He looked over his shoulder at the tower just as the red Very flare arced into the sky. He looked forward, and Davis had his right arm up, his index finger pointing up and twirling as a signal to start his engine. He worked the primer five times and was rewarded with the sweet smell of aviation fuel.

“Clear the prop.”

Davis signaled that the prop was clear and he pushed down on the brakes. The starter motor whined, and the massive, eleven foot, four bladed propeller, began to turn, A cylinder caught and coughed, then another, and suddenly, the mighty V-twelve, Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, built by the stateside Packard company, came to life with a snarling roar. He could feel the smooth surge of power as the P-51 Mustang leaned against the chocks. The same thrill of having that much power at his bidding and control swept through him again, as it always did. He thought once more about how he loved this job. He reduced the engine to idle.

He checked his instruments, one by one, and was satisfied with what he saw. He looked left and right and nodded to the crew members at each wingtip. They put down their fire bottles and disappeared under the wings to pull the chocks. In seconds, they reappeared at the wingtips, holding up the chocks for him to see. He looked down the line to his right, and the first plane was already taxiing. He waited, watching Davis who had both arms extended in front with fists closed for brakes, head turned to his left, watching the taxiing fighters.

Finally, Davis beckoned to come to him, and he released the brakes and cracked the throttle. The sleek and beautiful aircraft rolled forward slowly, as Davis backed up, still beckoning. Then he stopped, and extended his left arm forward, fist clenched, a signal to engage the right brake. He complied. Immediately, the Mustang swung hard to the right and into the line of taxiing aircraft. He glanced to his left, and Davis came to attention, with a crisp salute. He returned the salute, and Davis gave him a thumbs up which he also returned, with a wide grin. He considered the Corporal to be a friend, and he was sure the feelings were mutual although they never discussed it, since he was an officer.

The string of fighters were silver dancers in a long conga line as they zigged first right and then left in order to see where they were going. A view straight ahead was impossible with the tail wheel on the ground and the nose high in the air.

As he made the turn to the end of the runway, he checked over his left shoulder and saw Henderson behind him. While he waited for the man ahead of him to take off, he scanned his instruments again, looking for discrepancies. All was normal. He taxied into position and held, looking toward the tower. He got a green light, and advanced the throttle part way, applying full right rudder as he did so, to counteract the massive torque of the Merlin.

The P-51 lurched forward, and the prop blast engaged the rudder, giving him some control. He increased the throttle and pushed the stick forward slightly. The tail rose obediently and he could finally see forward over the long nose. He advanced the throttle to full takeoff power, and reduced pressure on the right rudder as the airspeed increased. He checked the airspeed indicator, and eased back on the stick. Immediately, the Mustang lifted off, and the altimeter began to wind. A P-51’s rate of climb was described as that of a homesick angel, and it was exhilarating.

He climbed to altitude and formed up. Behind him and on his left, he could see Henderson, just feet away. He lifted his hand to Henderson, and watched the leader. The coast was coming up fast, and they would soon be out over the Channel. He scanned his instruments. All was normal, and the big engine was humming a sweet tune of its own.

A few miles out over the Channel, they received the order to check their guns. He broke formation, cleared the sky ahead, and fired off a short burst. The recoil from the six, fifty caliber machine guns slowed a Mustang’s speed enough to be felt by the pilot. To his left, he heard the rattle of Henderson’s guns. They reformed with the rest of the squadron.

The morning’s briefing confirmed that they were escorting a flight of one hundred B-24 Liberators all the way to Berlin. They would rendezvous near Rotterdam on the coast and then proceed straight to Berlin. The weather was clear and resistance was expected to be light until they were within fifty miles of the target. He was assigned to provide top cover, so they would be some two thousand feet higher than the formation of bombers.

“OK, there’s our customers, gentlemen, so take your positions and look sharp. Remember to keep the chatter down and sing out if you see anything. Stay calm.” The last remark from the squadron leader was aimed at Jenkins, who tended to get excited, yelling into the mike so loudly that he became unintelligible.

He signaled to Henderson, and they broke left and began to climb to their assigned positions along with eight other fighters.

One of the first lessons he had learned was to keep his head on a swivel. The pilot who spotted the other guy first was usually the winner, and this morning, they were flying into the sun. If the enemy was above them and could attack them by diving out of the section of the sky where the sun blinded them, they might not see him until it was too late. The German pilots knew that, so that was the most likely tactic. However, they would have to be lying in wait to do that, and often, they miscalculated the wait time and were short on fuel.

“Bandits, five o-clock and high! I make out about a dozen.”

That was O’Reilly, and he was flying top cover too. He twisted his neck far to the right and spotted the enemy. They were in a turning dive, maybe five miles behind and several thousand feet higher. He slapped on full throttle and rolled hard to the right, pulling back on the stick. He knew Henderson would be glued to his tail as he rolled out and pointed the nose straight at the diving fighters. He picked out what looked like the lead aircraft, and fixed his attention on it. That was his man, and he was ready to engage. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Henderson, slightly behind and somewhat farther away, ready to fire.

The enemy was flying the ME-109, and the closing speed between the opposing fighters was nearly five hundred miles per hour, so it was just moments before he saw the twinkling fire at the enemy’s gun ports and saw the first tracers coming at him. As always, they looked slow and harmless, but he knew that they were deadly, and that for every visible tracer round, there would be four more invisible rounds of sudden death. He held off for a few seconds longer and then opened fire, see-sawing the rudder pedals as his own tracers danced back and forth on the lead German. He saw a flash of flame and a smoke plume for an instant and then they blasted through the German formation. Instantly, he rolled right onto his back, and pulled the stick back into his gut. He was now above and behind the diving Germans, and he wasn’t about to let the advantage go. To his left, he saw Henderson, tucked in and slightly behind as always.

Ahead and below, two enemy aircraft were smoking and one was on fire. They were probable kills; one for him, and one for Henderson. But probable wasn't good enough. He needed a confirmed kill.

He was gratified to see a parachute open, as the burning fighter began to break up. Another American pilot jumped the tail of the smoking aircraft and soon, it too was burning, but this time, there was no parachute. The pilot was probably dead. For some reason, that always bothered him.

They were closing fast on the remaining 109’s, as the enemy fighters homed in on the distant bombers. Again, he picked out the lead aircraft as Henderson moved slightly away. They were directly behind the 109’s and slightly below, where they could not be seen by the targeted aircraft. He closed and had just begun firing short bursts when his target suddenly blossomed into flames and its right wing simply tore away. Kill number seven confrmed. He had won his dollar. Then he was by them and climbing hard.

He looked to his left for Henderson, but for the first time, he was not there. He craned farther around and then checked to the right. Far below was the distinctive shape of a P-51, trailing smoke. He saw no parachute. He was reaching for the mike when several tracers flew by, and something slammed into the armor plate behind the seat. Behind him and to his left, he could see a 109 about five hundred feet back. Frantic, and for the first time, he went to the P-51’s vaunted war emergency power setting, nearly doubling the output of the big Merlin.

Thirty seconds later, he looked back and was gratified to see the ME-109 falling back rapidly. A few seconds later, the German pilot abandoned the chase entirely and dove away.

He pulled the throttle back out of war emergency, and eased the stick forward, but to his surprise, he continued to soar upward. Puzzled, he checked the throttle setting again and rotated the stick. Nothing changed, and he continued his climb. He was now passing easily through his service ceiling of forty two thousand feet, and climbing faster than he ever had. He checked his instruments, but all was well. And for some reason, he realized that he was content to sit back and see what happened. There was no fear.

The roar of the Merlin gradually disappeared, and the world grew still. The big prop flashed silently in the sun and the sounds of radio traffic and frantic voices drifted away. Suddenly, he knew what had happened and where he was going. Far above, he was beginning to make out a fantastic shaft of warm, inviting light, and a sense of great joy overtook him. He was going home.

“How old was he?” The VA doctor checked the monitors again and put away his stethoscope. The nurse checked the chart. “He was ninety two. He was a decorated World War Two fighter pilot and an ace. He later trained other pilots. He retired as a colonel.”

“Well, looks like he slipped away quietly, so I’m pronouncing him.” He reached for the chart.

The nurse nodded. “Earlier this morning, he was moving his hands and feet as if he was flying. I wonder what he was dreaming about?”

At the doctor’s raised eyebrows, the nurse quickly explained, “I earned my private pilot’s license some years ago, doctor, and believe me, he was moving stick and rudder.”

The doctor nodded, and the door opened. An old man stood there, gazing at the figure on the bed.

“Sir? I’m afraid you’ll have to leave sir.”

The old man looked at the nurse for a long moment. “I’m his next door neighbor, and we also fought together in World War Two. I’ll want a moment alone with my Colonel and my friend.”

The nurse looked at the doctor who nodded.

“Very well.” Her voice softened. “I’ll need your name sir.”

“It’s Davis. Back in those days, it was Corporal Davis.”

The door closed softly and for a long time, he stood at the foot of the bed, looking down on the still figure. Then he spoke.

“Had me a dream this morning Colonel Benny. Had me the same dream you had this morning, so here I am. I knew it, sure as hell!”

He came suddenly to attention and snapped a brisk salute, his eyes moist.

“Have a good morning flight, sir! I’ll be seeing you soon enough myself.”

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    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Oh my goodness - what a story. The end brought tears to my eyes. You did it again - rated up and awesome!

    • Old Poolman profile image

      Mike 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

      WillStarr, up and beautiful my friend, this is a great story and I really enjoyed it. I was lucky enough to get a ride in a completely restored P-51, and this story brought back a lot of memories. What an aircraft that was.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, suziecat7, and thank you as always!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Mike,

      My father-in-law was a WW2, P-51 pilot and instructor, so this is dedicated to him.

    • Old Poolman profile image

      Mike 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

      Outstanding Will, a great tribute to a real hero.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      It was near the end of the war, so just before he was scheduled to be deployed, the war ended.

      As a pilot myself, I was fascinated by his tales and deeds. These were extraordinary people.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      You are absolutely right, Will, those pilots were extraordinary people and this is an extraordinary hub. Held my interest all the way.

    • NotWiredThatWay profile image

      NotWiredThatWay 5 years ago from New York

      Wow, this was great. I wasn't expecting the ending. Do you fly? You seemed so knowledgeable the way you explained everything. Up vote most definitely.

    • albertacowpoke profile image

      albertacowpoke 5 years ago from Redwater, Alberta

      What an inspiring story Will. I particularly like the ending. Well written and fascinating. Thanks for posting.

    • profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago

      You've had us all in tears, Will. I lost an uncle in the war who was a Spit. pilot. The story in on HP. You are a wonderful writer, my friend; you must be a pilot to be able to describe these events.

      I heard the Mustang was a terrific plane; if it outflew the 109's like that, it must have been.

      Up of course and awesome. Bob

    • profile image

      Diane 5 years ago

      VERY MOVING STORY WILL ! JUST SO HAPPENS THE P-51 ALONG WITH THE VOUGHT F4U CORSAIR ARE MY TWO FAVORITE WAR PLANES!

      MANY A MAN HAS DIED FOR OUR FREEDOM AND WE OWE THEM.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      I love the way you write. Your story took me into that plane and I lived every twist and turn. You are so talented. Up, awesome and beautiful.

    • Teylina profile image

      Teylina 5 years ago

      Oh, WillStarr, I wasn't ready for this one! Too early in the day to absorb, but can't help it; every cell in my being feels it. Thanks for a great write and a couple of phrases I love--imagery of planes lined like "silver dancers' and (since I love flying in very small planes, the lift-off as that of a "homesick angel" - thank you

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Up and awesome. Quite a story and well told.

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 5 years ago

      As always this was great and brought back memories of those we loved and lost.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      My eyes were moist by the end of this wonderful story. I felt like I was sitting next to those men in the plane with a ringside seat. Only a good writer can cause that response. Awesome story.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Will, This is a wonderful story, brought some tears. There's not many of them left. Thank you for sharing.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I don't know what happened, but i added on to my comment, it didn't post. What i wanted to say, i love your stories, you give your characters dignity, that's why they're so good.

      Cheers

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

      Will, most excellent, the 4 plus 1 always kept a fellers ass puckered as to where the invisible 4 would either hit or fly by, self sealing fuel tanks were a blessing, dust

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      WillStar, I missed your stories there for a while!

      What a twist! You almost got me. Perfect, the suspense and all.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Awesome Will. Excellent tribute to those guys who were amazingly brave and talented. Another "fun" read with a very tender ending.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wonderful story!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi drbj,

      They were extraordinary because so many were not professional soldiers at all. They were just ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things. Most were not yet of legal drinking age!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi NotWiredThatWay,

      Yes, I confess to being a pilot, but I was never shot at!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi albertacowpoke, and thank you!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      VHi diogenes,

      I was waiting for your comment because it happened on your soil. If it had not been for the Spitfire and Hurricane pilots winning the Battle of Britain, we would have had no such airfields. We would have had to invade England!

      God bless your uncle.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Diane!

      Those two were probably the best fighters of the war. The Japanese called the gull-winged Corsair "whispering death".

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi breakfastpop, and thank you!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Teylina,

      I'm glad you liked it!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you dahoglund!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Ginn Navarre,

      They are fading away quickly.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Pamela99, and thank you for the kind words.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi always exploring,

      Yes, we are losing them every day now. They are almost gone.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Dusty,

      Pilots like you are the new gunslingers, facing the other guy with almost no protection. And you did it every day.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Cardisa,

      That's great praise, coming from such an accomplished writer.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi CMerritt!

      We're all waiting for your next one!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Just Ask Susan, and thank you for reading me!

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

      Will, your talent is explosive! And I mean that in a positive way. You tell a story in a way that others just can't. With all the talent right here, I think we could open up a school for writers. And you would be one of the esteemed professors!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Great enjoying story.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Geez, Dexter...you're making this old man blush!

      Thank you, my friend. :-)

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi writer20, and thank you so much!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      You are going to have to work hard to top this tale. Excellent in every way.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Ohhhhhh, you made me cry WillStarr. In a good way though. I just love the line, "The string of fighters looked like silver dancers...."

      What an all around excellent story and unusual. A perfect read.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi WillStarr, wonderful emotional story, I was going to ask if you were a pilot, I see from the comments you are!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi mckbirdbks, and thank you! I'll keep trying. :-)

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Hyphenbird,

      That's what they looked like...beautiful but deadly, just like other ladies I know!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Movie Master,

      Guilty as charged!

    • SubRon7 profile image

      James W. Nelson 5 years ago from eastern North Dakota

      Great story, Will Starr. You had to have piloted planes to have written that with so much feeling; maybe you still are. Real good job, my friend

    • MysteriousOne profile image

      MysteriousOne 5 years ago

      Very touching story,WillStarr...brought tears to my eyes! Voted Up/Awesome!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you SubRon7,

      I haven't flown in some time, but it's something you don't forget. Every pilot is permanently in love with flight.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, MysteriousOne,

      It's about all the young men who went to war and served so valiantly. It’s also about today's end of their long journey.

      My father-in-law needed little urging from me to talk about those days. His eyes lit up and his hands danced gracefully through the maneuvers he learned and later taught. I think his only regret was never getting to engage the enemy in the game of death he had trained so hard to play.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Oh my, really got engaged here. This is one of the best yet. You've written one here that can touch a guy's heart for sure Will. What a generation those men where and are. Reminds of an old N.Africa ace the grown men would talk about when I was a kid. They called him 'Eagle Eye'and he gave those germans & italians hell. They were all heroes whether they got to be in combat or not. Great write my friend.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank Alastar Packer,

      An asset all fighter pilots had to have was exceptional eyesight. My father-in-law died at age 84, and never wore glasses, even to read. It was amazing.

      Chuck Yeager was the same way.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      I had Tears in my eyes as I finished this story of yours WillStarr, It was a Wonderful, well written Read.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you b. Malin,

      I put my heart into this one. One of my earliest memories was the heavy drone of big radial engines, as wave after wave of airplanes in formation passed over our small Iowa town, on their way to the war.

      It was my war too, because we participated in rationing, scrap metal drives, and listening to the war news on the radio. My father was nearly killed working on ships at the Norfolk Navy Yard, an accident that kept him out of the war. He was one week from reporting.

      I remember these warriors as young men coming home and eager to start a normal life, but many couldn’t leave it behind, and the toll was awful.

      I remember it well, although I was just a small boy.

      My wife read it and burst into tears, because she knew it was based on her daddy.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

      What a powerful story. I just recently saw an interview on CNN with 2 fighter pilots who particpated in DDay. Amazing men! And you are right -- they said we were just doing what we were supposed to do. They didn't feel like heroes. Thanks for sharing!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Sally.

    • RonBarber profile image

      RonBarber 5 years ago from Billerica, Ma, USA

      Great Hub! Inspiring! There are heroes among us.

      Thanks.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Ron!

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

      Very nicely done, your tribute is well written and awesome...voted up

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Cogerson!

    • caltex profile image

      caltex 5 years ago

      Will, thanks for another great read. You truly are a talented writer!

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

      A great storyteller is what you are Will. Your stories never fail to have that surprise element, that moment of wonder for the reader. Don't know how you do it, but that is probably the magic of your writing. Sad but lovely story.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi caltex, and thank you!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, chspublish!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Great job Will and without a doubt one to vote up/awesome.

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Eiddwen!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      This is one of those stories that pull my tears by the gallons. Very-very well written, WillStarr. No doubt, you are a PRO, keeping to all the rules of a short story and especially by knotting all threads in a surprising end. I fell in love with the pilot when I read this sentence: “....The pilot was probably dead. For some reason, that always bothered him...” Voted UP and awesome.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Martie,

      I'm glad you liked it!

    • marshacanada profile image

      marshacanada 5 years ago from Vancouver BC

      This is a Beautiful exciting story Will Starr. Voted up up up.You are such a good writer.

      My uncle was a RCAF pilot killed in WWll.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you marshacanada,

      The great contribution of Canadian pilots is often overshadowed by others.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      I believe you should be a professional writer, if you are currently not. All your stories, the ones I have read so far, simply amazing Will. You have a gift my friend. I look forward to reading more my friend. Have a good weekend.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, lyricwriter!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Oh my, this is my new favorite, Will! The tears are still in my eyes from this tender ending.

      Voted UP and AB-- this is the real deal, mar.

    • profile image

      writeronline 5 years ago

      That's a beautifully written story, WillStarr.

      And very absorbing, from the setting, through to the extreme detail, that adds interest as well as credibility. I started reading when I didn't really have enough time; but I couldn't stop. The story has a real sense of purpose, and yet the resolve took me completely by surprise. Then it made me cry, I don't mind admitting.

      As you know, (from your kind comments on my small offering to my Dad a while back), I have a great deal of respect and admiration for men of that generation. From this story, it's obvious that you do too.

      Masterful, imho.

    • quester.ltd profile image

      quester.ltd 5 years ago

      great telling of the story

      "Chuck Yeager was the same way." Knew the man - he was a legend we owe him more than most

      q

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you marcoujor,

      I appreciate that.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi writeronline,

      I have a deep respect for all our warriors, but this war literally changed my life.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi quester.ltd,

      I attended his retirement at Edwards, and watched him break the sound barrier one more time.

    • quester.ltd profile image

      quester.ltd 5 years ago

      Interesting, Will, I was there as well

      q

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Wasn't that great?

      It was the first sonic boom I had heard in years!

      (Actually there were two, counting the chase plane)

    • biblicaliving profile image

      biblicaliving 5 years ago from U.S.A.

      Great Story! Masterfully told..

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, biblicaliving!

    • biblicaliving profile image

      biblicaliving 5 years ago from U.S.A.

      Is there any particular source you use for inspiration when it comes to a historical theme? I love history, fiction or non, and have thought about trying to write something as such.. Not sure how to develop primary character or plot.. Nothing is worse then a reader knowing what is going to happen a 1/3rd of the way into the piece. Thanks..

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      If you love history, then that's your source! There are volumes of history to choose from.

      The best way to learn, is to read good books and see how the authors do it. Then develop your own style.

      But nothing will happen until you actually start writing! You like the Bible, so why not write a biblical story?

    • biblicaliving profile image

      biblicaliving 5 years ago from U.S.A.

      Actually, I have been kicking around an idea very similar to that. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I'll look forward to it!

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      Barbara 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Will, I don't know how you do it, but you always surprise me. I love that. I also love your new photo.

      One question: I believe you flew yourself. Did you fly any of these planes? You describe the action as if you know the details. Of course, you always do that in your stories. Tis a mystery how you accomplish this. I do not have such an imagination! Hugs.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Storytellersrus,

      Pilots are in love with flight, and almost all of us will attend every air show and read every magazine on flight, so we accumulate a lot of knowledge. Add to that the fact that my late father-in-law was a WWII P51 pilot instructor, and I had better know enough to write a story!

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Will, I kind of understand. I once flew gliders. But my husband continues to be an avid student of winds aloft. It does seem to be an addiction. He flies RC planes to relax! Thanks.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Yup!

      There are many aspects to becoming a pilot, including an understanding of meteorology and such things as how the winds aloft will affect the course of your flight.

      I can't fly RC's worth a darn! :-)

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      Becky 5 years ago

      I love this story. Many of us have had strange dreams and had them be true.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Becky, and thank you!

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      Peter Geekie 4 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear will star,

      Thank you for an excellent and very well written story, it confirms the thought that you have to feel these aircraft of that era to fly and more importantly fight.

      Kind regards Peter

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Peter.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 20 months ago

      Great story. I think it was a wonderful twist at the end.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 20 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Robert!

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 20 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Made me tear up. Beautiful story Will! Thanks!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 20 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Babbyii!

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