My Mom had two brothers, Don and Bob. They both answered the Call to Duty in World War II, Don in the Seabees,
Bob in the US Army Air Corps.
I was lucky enough to sit with each on occasion and listen to some of their experiences.
Don, a Sea Bee in the Phillipines, talked about diving heavy equipement with one hand and shooting with the other.
When it was his turn for Sentry Duty at night he described being in the blackness of the jungles of the South Pacific,
alone in the periphery of the encampment, listening to the noises and rustleing in the jungle around him. He couldn't
know whether it was an animal about to attack or the enemy creeping up in a surprise attack. He sat with his finger on
the trigger of his weapon, hoping to be able to get off a round to alert his mates before having his throat slit. He
would sit like thin until relieved by the next Sea Bee to stand on guard.
Bob spoke to me on a couple of occasions. When I returned from my USAF duty in Southern Italy he shared that
he had been stateioned at Pantanella and Bari Italy very near were I was stationed. He was just 20 years before
Bob did flight training in Biloxi MS, in B24s. They were flimsy aircraft, flew at 30,000 feet with no pressurization,
cramped seats, freezing cold. Their missions usually last 10-12 hours. 40% of the flights were shot down.
He first was a co-pilot on the Marvin Tanenbaum crew, later assumed command of the Joe-Gia Wolf. Bob flew 50 missions and
told me of one where they took a lot of flak, the plane limped home. He said going over the Alps was so close he could
count the trees as he skimmed over them. On this flight the flak killed his co-pilot and he flew back to base with the
dead comrade in the seat.
Their Grandfather was William Clinton Fifield, a volunteer in the 6th Iowa Cavalry who had two battlefield promotions.
This is some valiant bloodline.