The Cowboy’s father Nat died three years ago today. I’ve been thinking about him and was scrolling back through past blogs to see what/how we were doing during that time. On the day before he died, I posted this photo:
And Yankeeflyer a person who often comments on our blog posted the following in his comment on that day:
Thank you Nat and the crew of Flak Alley Sally.
DFC Citation – Mission 62. Rashin, Fusan in Korea (July 11)
For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 11 July 1945. These individuals were combat crew members of a B-29 aircraft on a mine laying mission to Rashin, on the north eastern coast of Korea. This mission was flown from bases in the Marianas and return for an over all distance of approximately 4400 miles. Many difficulties and dangers overcome on this operation included complex navigational problems involved in such a long over water mission; making landfall at the planned time and place on the Korean coast; achieving a precise mine-laying run in the face of unfavorable weather conditions and difficult terrain; the great strain resulting from the long flying time involved; the possibility of encountering determined enemy opposition while twice traversing the main islands of Japan; and the danger of being forced far out to sea. Throughout this difficult and gruelling mission each member of this crew performed his assigned duties with such outstanding skill and devotion to duty that the entire operation was accomplished as planned and the mines released in the exact area where they would most effectively block shipping. The coolness, courage and determination shown in accomplishment of this long and hazardous mission by these veterans of repeated assaults against the Japanese homeland reflect great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.
First Lieutenant EDGAR L. VINCENT as Airplane Commander
First Lieutenant WILLIAM G. SPELLMAN as Navigator
First Lieutenant HERBERT C. HORST as Bombardier
Staff Sergeant WALTER H. STULL as Radar Gunner
Staff Sergeant JOSEPH N. ROTONDI as Radio Operator
Technical Sergeant LEON L. STEWARD as Central Fire Control Gunner
Staff Sergeant NATHANIEL B. CLARK as Left Blister Gunner
Staff Sergeant GORDON P. BRANTMAN as Right Blister Gunner
Sergeant LOUIS L. CHICQUETTE as Tail Gunner
[Transcribed by David Wilson, son of Sgt Bernard E. Wilson (Gunner, “Anonymous IV”)]
And this is Nat’s Distinguished Flying Cross he was awarded for that mission. Nat talked about that mission saying it was brutal, cold and frightening. Fuel was an issue. Nat said, “it was almost a suicide mission!” I just can’t imagine–Nat was only about 22 years old at the time. He truly was one of the greatest generation.
We made a Billings run this week, I had an appointment with my internist and we enjoyed a nice lunch. No need to buy very many groceries as we will soon head south. It was cool enough that Emmi went along.
Our weather has been beautiful–perfect fall weather. I have taken some photos over the course of this week and it was cool to see the comparisons in the fall color just days apart.
Saturday we moved an apple tree. Years ago we planted three apple trees and none of them ever bore very many apples. About two years ago the dang voles destroyed two of the trees eating all the bark from around the trees from ground level up about a foot–the trees died. The third tree never bore fruit and we decided it couldn’t hurt to move it to a more open space with more light and less water–the trees were planted right along the creek and we had been told apple trees don’t like “their feet to get wet.” We will hope it survives. I am never more thankful for equipment than when we are planting trees!
Sunday morning was a red letter morning–we saw a bald eagle and what we think was probably an immature bald eagle. Amazing!
I finished longarming the three quilt tops granddaughter Katie brought me and I have the binding for all three cut. I’m very pleased to have finished these quilts. I didn’t get the bathroom vanities or the stairs painted but there is always another time, isn’t there!