File #1118: "OHWG ROBERT ARN INTERVIEW - FINAL AND COMPLETE.pdf"

OHWG ROBERT ARN INTERVIEW - FINAL AND COMPLETE.pdf

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Civil ! &Patrol
Oral Hi~ ry Interview
Mr Robert E Am
1 and31 March 2012

OHIO WING HEADQUARTERS

Ohio Wing Civil Air Patrol Interview Release Form
Interviewer: Frank A. Blazich, Jr., 2Lt, CAP

Name of Person(s) Interviewed: Robert E. Am, Col, CAP

Address: 49 Abbeycross Lane, Westerville, Ohio 43082-7307

I understand that the recording and the transcribed manuscript resulting from this oral interview
will become part of the holdings of the Ohio Wing of the Civil Air Patrol and may be released
for research purposes. This interview, and/or any copies of documents or images may be used in
the creation of published (either in print or digital form) historical documents by the Ohio Wing.
I do hereby voluntarily give, transfer, convey, and/or assign all rights, title, and interest in this
interview to the Ohio Wing of the Civil Air Patrol with the following restrictions imposed as
stated below:

Signature of Interviewee:,2~~/~"t~ ,

S i g n a t u r e
D a t e :

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I n t e r v i e w e r T ' ~ ~ ~

, ~ ~ d ' ~ -

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CIVIL AIR PATROL
ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM

Interview
of
Mr. Robert Eugene Arn
by
Second Lieutenant Frank A. Blazich, Jr., CAP

Date: 1 and 31 March 2012
Location: Westerville, Ohio

FOREWORD
The following is the transcript of an oral history interview recorded on digital
media. Since only minor emendations have been made, the reader should consistently
bear in mind that they are reading a transcript of the spoken rather than the written word.
Additionally, no attempt to confirm the historical accuracy of the statements has been
made. The transcript reflects the interviewee's personal recollections of a situation as he
remembered it at the time of the interview.
Editorial notes and additions made by the Ohio Wing Historian are enclosed in
brackets. Where pertinent, footnotes have been added to provide additional information
for the reader. Any additions, deletions, and changes subsequently made to the transcript
by the interviewee are not indicated. Researchers may wish to listen to the actual
interview tape prior to citing the transcript. Every effort has been made, however, to
leave the words of the interviewee original and unaltered.

SUMMARY OF CONTENTS
In this oral history interview, Mr. Robert E. Arn recounts the events and wartime
experiences before joining the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and his time as a pilot at Civil Air
Patrol Coastal Patrol Base No. 14, Panama City, Florida, from 16 September 1942 until
23 June 1943. Mr. Am's service as a member of the United States Army Air Forces
(USAAF) in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater are also discussed until his return to
civilian life in 1948.
Mr. Am begins with the attack on Pearl Harbor and the circumstances that found
him volunteering to serve on coastal patrol duty in Panama City, Florida. After surviving
a broken neck from an automobile accident, Arn's determination to fly advanced from
CAP to the USAAF and eventually 106 combat missions and over 5,000 flight hours in
World War II.
Many colorful adventures and exploits of life at Coastal Patrol Base No. 14 are
shared, including his encounter with Clark Gable, the development of the base from its
primitive conditions, navigating via paper mills, and improvising survival gear against
the dangers of the Gulf of Mexico. Am also explains some of the patrol techniques and
attack procedures against U-boats in the event of a sighting.
Finally, Am's flying ambitions with the CAP found him as a service and transport
pilot in Memphis, Tennessee. From flying light civilian aircraft 300 feet above the waves
of the Gulf of Mexico, Arn would go on to fly medium bombers, pursuit and fighter
aircraft, transports, and dive bombers and fly halfway around the world to ferry supplies
over the Hump to support Allied efforts in the CBI theater.

GUIDE TO CONTENTS
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SUBJECT
Otterbein College and joining Civilian Pilot Training Program
Desire to serve in navy and car accident and broken neck
Joining CAP to fly at Panama City, Florida
Driving to Florida and initial base impression
Coastal Patrol Base No. 14 location and establishment
Arn's roommate and observer, Cleve Morrison
Dinner with Clark Gable
Patrol flying and arming of aircraft
Fuel drums on Dog Island, sympathizers and seafood
Loss of Charles Andrews and Lester Milkey
Congressman Vorys
Lifesaving equipment and aircraft modifications
Spotting lost torpedo
First base commander Major Robert Dodge
Leaving CAP and joining the USAAF
Birth of first son
Into the war
Leaving the service
Navigation via paper mills
Relations with the local community
"Bombing" LSTs and deer hunting
Creating the logo for Coastal Patrol Base No. 14
Losing a wheel on takeoff and base maintenance
Bombing training
Antisubmarine warfare training (lack thereof)
Briefings and operations
U-boat attack techniques and armed aircraft
Base security
CAP training and impact on military service in CBI theater
Appraisal of CAP's coastal patrol operations
Images and documents of Arn's CAP service.

C I V I L A I R PAT R O L O R A L H I S T O R Y I N T E R V I E W
Recorded Interview with:
Date of Interview:
Location:
Conducted by:

Robert Eugene Am
1 and 31 March 2012
Westerville, Ohio
2Lt Frank E. Blazich, Jr., CAP

PA R T I - 1 M a r c h 2 0 1 2
B:

For technical purposes, today it is 2:03PM on 1 March 2012 and I'm at the home

of Colonel (CAP) Robert E. Am.

A:

Well as you know, Pearl Harbor was 7 December 1941. I had finished my high

school in 1940. I immediately enrolled in Otterbein College or university as they call it
n O W.

B:

A:

1

What high school did you graduate from?

Westerville High School. Up there on the wall [gestures to wall] is my graduation

photo of 1940. My wife graduated in 1941, a year behind me, and we were going
together, three years in high school, and then we went two years, and we wanted to get
married before I went in the service. So when I joined Otterbein College, my freshman
year, two weeks after I enrolled the government came along with the CPT Program:
Civilian Pilot Training Program.2 Well, I naturally was crazy about flying because I
wanted to go Parks Air College out of East St. Louis [Missouri] after graduation from
high school, but my father didn't have the money and I didn't have the money so I didn't
go. So I enrolled at Otterbein, and lo and behold I was carrying sixteen hours at the time,
my freshman year, but I could take night school at Capital [University] for primary,

10tterbein College was founded in 1847 in Westerville, Ohio. It changed its name to Otterbein University
in 2010.
2 The Civilian Pilot Training Program existed from 1938 to 1944. Parks Air College (today Parks College
of Engineering, Aviation and Technology as a college within Saint Louis University) was one of the
original three CPTP schools.

and I took my flying through Foster Lane out at Port Columbus [airport]. So I went
ahead and took the 40 hours of flying and ground school at Capital, graduated with
honors from the primary program. Then they had their secondary and cross country
program. The secondary program you could sign up for and take it but you had to
obligate yourself to the army, navy, or marine corps. In other words, it took the place of
taking primary.
All I wanted to do all my life was fly, back then they called them the Wildcats,
F4Fs off the old [USS] Lexington or Hornet. So I chose navy, and I was to report; I
could go ahead and finish two years at Otterbein. Then that made me eligible for OCS,
Officers Candidate School. So I would take my Officers Candidate School at Pensacola
[Florida] and right there at Pensacola I also could take my advanced training to go into
F4Fs, but I would have to fly the SNJ AT-6 like that silver airplane [pointing to
photograph on wall] up there on the wall.
So, that's what I signed up for. Well, I went through my freshman year and my
sophomore year and two weeks before I was to report, on or about 1 June, my, Jackie my
girlfriend then, and later to become my wife for 63 years, and I decided we would
celebrate and go downtown to the old Hai Lai Restaurant on North High Street before
they moved over to River Road and we would have a nice dinner and go to the Palace
Theater downtown to see a show, which we did. Coming downstairs from the mezzanine
floor, lo and behold I heard a call come across the entrance to the Palace Theater. Two of
my fraternity brothers had blind dates, and they were out, and the one happened to be
Hutch Williams, a very good friend of mine, and Harry Bean, both of them are good
friends. Hutch Williams' father owned the Williams Grill Restaurant, which was a very
nice eating restaurant in the center of town here at the time, and his dad had just
purchased a new, 1941 Buick four door. And he had his dad's Buick. And he said "Bob,
why don't you and Jackie join us and we're going up to Hai Lai, up to the Olentangy Inn
at Olentangy Village and get a sandwich and a beer." I said "that'd be a good idea. My
car's down in the parking garage, we'll just leave it there and come back for it."
So we went up and we had a beer. We come out and it was like a cloud burst, and
the streets were wet and everything and this was before Columbus has removed all the

street car tracks from the center of the streets. High Street had street car tracks in it,
Front Street, Long Street; all those had street car tracks, and so coming down Front
Street, just as you get approach Broad [Street], right beside the LeVeque-Lincoln Tower
Building, Hutch lost control of his dad's new Buick and we struck one of these
downtown hydrants, fire hydrants, head on. And I mean that Buick was no more,
[Laughter], it just wrapped itself around that hydrant. Well I was in the backseat and had
Jackie between my legs and I catapulted over her and my head went through the dash.
That was before the days of EMS [Emergency Medical Services] so they picked us up in
the Black Maria, the police wagon, took us out now to a hospital that doesn't exist, Saint
Anthony Hospital close to Grant, and it's now Grants Parking Garage, but Saint Anthony
Hospital where they took emergency cases. Well they got us patched up, and the two
blind dates that Hutch and Harry had, their folks came in from Bexley and picked them
up and took them home. So that left Jackie and myself, and Harry Bean and Hutch. So we
decided we'd send Harry Bean on a street car down to get my car and bring it back to the
hospital and we'd have transportation home. In the meantime we would call Jackie's
parents and tell them everything's alright, she's okay but we had a little auto accident in
the center of Columbus, slipped on the [street] car tracks and lost control of the car and
wrapped his dad's new Buick around that fire plug.
Next day we met at Williams Grill that morning for breakfast to talk to Mr. and
Mrs. Williams about it and she took one look at me and she said "you don't look good,
Bob." Well I said "I don't feel good after last night." I had my head all bandaged up and
everything, and she said "well I want you to go around and see Doctor Scatterday," he
was a doctor, and that's when they had old Doctors North Hospital in Columbus which
was an orthopedic hospital. And he says "you're in luck, I'm going down to the hospital
and I want to take some X-rays." I went down to the hospital, took X-rays, and lo and
behold next thing I knew they put me on a gurney, sand bags on both sides so I couldn't
move, I had to be perfectly still until they could get a brace to put on my neck. I had
fractured the fifth and sixth cervical in my neck.
Well, that was pretty good that they got a brace and they got it on me. The
downfall was I would have to wear it for three months while the neck healed. Well, I'd

wear high collar things around my neck, and still to this very day you can feel the hump
back here. And I thought "oh hell, I'm going to miss that class on the fifteenth, there goes
my navy, there goes my flying!" because you weren't supposed to fly when you had a
fracture. Well, I made the mistake about a month and a half later when I was in
Westerville that summer of, three of my fraternity brothers [from the fraternity] that I
belonged to, Sigma Delta Phi, lived here in town and they wanted to go for a ride in an
airplane. Well, Mrs. Denton, who I used to rent her airplane, a Fairchild 24, was out of
town and I knew the guys weren't too sharp that were behind the counter, so I think "I
know where we can get an airplane." So we went out to old Norton Field and I rented
Mrs. Denton's Fairchild 24 and I took them out over Ohio State University, and flew all
around so they could see the stadium and everything and then up over Westerville and
back. And on landing we were walking back to the hanger and lo and behold who should
I bump into but the CAA [Civil Aeronautics Administration] inspector from the State of
Ohio, Colonel Briscoe at the time. And Briscoe had just given me my flight test for my
commercial license. I have been working at Foster Lane's on the weekends and built up
enough flying time to have my commercial license before the accident.3 And that was one
thing that I was going to help propel me through the navy training program. Well,
Briscoe says "follow me" and I brought the fraternity brothers with me and we went over
to the old administration building at Port Columbus and my original license, in the
southeast corner of the field was the old administration building, nothing like what it
looks like today. And, if that desk is still in that building, my original license is there.
But, anyway, I was sick. There is my license there [pointing to wall], you can see
it is a commercial license, you see it is dated 1941. Well, I was just sick, so I thought "oh
hell, I've really ruined my flying career." And my mother had died the same year I had
graduated from high school in 1940 and my father was a government construction
engineer building the Elwood Ordinance Plant out at Elwood, Illinois. He wasn't around,
so I was living with a neighbor up on North Vine Street, not more than 300 yards from
where we are now sitting, on the other side of those woods over there [gestures to

3 Foster Lane founded the Port Columbus Flying School in 1935 at Port Columbus Airport. Now known as
Lane Aviation Corporation, the flying school remains in operation, 77 years later.

window behind him]. And Mrs. Bean said "Bob, you want breakfast?" and I said "no."
When I got up I went out on the porch and got the paper, and there were great big
headlines in the Columbus Dispatch, "Pilots Desperately Needed to Man a CAP Base for
Coastal Patrol Work, Panama City, Florida."

B:

A:

What month would this be?

Well, that would be, that would have been end of July 1942. And so, I thought

"boy, I'm going to see whether I can get in that outfit." I went up stairs and I very
carefully removed the brace. Took my brace off, found out I could move my head to the
right, to the left, up and down, didn't hurt. I went in, got my CPT papers, then I got my
flight log because of all the time that I had, and I went down to Stone's office.
Congressman Vorys was there at the time. And I walked in and I said "I'd like to
volunteer for that outfit. I'm a pilot and I brought my papers along and I thought maybe
you'd like to look at them." So they looked at them and oh, they were ecstatic, a guy that
had flight trainer time, blind flying, flown different types of aircraft, been with Foster
Lane, and I had all this backed up because I had my log books and everything else. I said
"there's only one catch. I had a little accident a few months ago and I hurt my neck, and
Colonel Briscoe took my license away from me." Vorys says "no problem, no problem.
We'll get your license." Well, by golly the next day he got my license back, a copy of
my license back. And that's the copy down over there [points to wall]. I got a copy of my
license back. He said "now we've got your copy, now will you sign up with us?" So I
signed up for CAP coastal patrol, to report down to Panama City, Florida in August the
following month.

B:

Did they tell you where the base possibly would be? When you first volunteered

did you have an idea where you'd be? Where they'd send you?

A:

They told me right away. Panama City, Florida, because they were making

arrangements and the commanding officer would be a Major Bob Dodge, and he was

from Marysville [Ohio], originally. So, I said "count me in, I'll go down." So I went
down with a man by the name, he drove an old Hudson. Binger was his name.

B:

A:

Yes. Fred Binger?

Yes, something like that, I don't know. What fascinated me about that old Hudson

[was] that we didn't have air conditioning back then, but he had been out in Arizona and
he had an air cooler.

B:

A:

That you would hang on the window?

Put that thing on the window in back and you'd put water in it and the water

would. Yes, cold air comes in through that window, oh, and that's what we had going
down to Florida. And you know it was August, it was hotter than hell. So we went down
to Florida. Well, you've never seen a more disillusioned man than myself when I, when
we found out. We drove downtown, we couldn't find the base. We drove downtown and
we got a hold of the postmaster down at the post office, and he says "I'm not supposed to
say, but four and a half miles back, on the highway that you come in from Dothan,
Alabama, you will see a little shed, there's a guard man there. You'll turn in that little
sand road it was," and you had to go back in about a mile and a half on that damn road to
get to the base. It was just nothing but scrub palms I call them, sand and so forth, and lots
of sand fleas. So we drove back and lo and behold, back in the '20s, late '20s, before we
had the crash, there was a big land boom in Florida.
And everybody from up north was a sucker. What they would do is lay a street
down and then they would mark lots off, [and] they didn't have any water, electricity, gas
or anything like that. But anyway, there's a lot. If you want to buy that lot, you can buy
that lot. So, this is the area that we were in, and this little airport, so called airport, was
abandoned back in the late '20s and [now] the year was 1942.4 And so this was where our
4 The airfield which became Coastal Patrol Base No. 14 was originally called Atkinson Field after its
original owner, J.B. Atkinson, Jr. of Panama City, Florida. Atkinson donated the property to the city's
Chamber of Commerce in 1932. The field was located at 30.22 N, 85.69W. Today it is completely gone;

airport was supposed to be. They had mowed the grass down offthe runway and they had
cut down some of the scrub palms. We had potholes of sand all the way down and we
found out that the center runway was in too bad a shape, we couldn't use it but we could
use the north-south runway and the east-west runway.

B:

Do you remember the orientation, in terms of a heading, like 180, etc.?

A:

Okay, we were northeast of Panama City, on the highway that goes to Dothan,

Alabama. We were on the west end of St. Andrews Bay, and we were just a couple of
miles from Lynn Haven. It was actually four an d a half miles from downtown Panama
City, but about two miles from Lynn Haven. And it is out right on the edge of the bay,
the little island that laid out from us was Mouse Island, and the inner coastal waterway
came down through St. Andrews Bay and they took a lot of barges down through there
that were going around the coast of Florida. But anyway, that's where we were to be.
Well, they had no housing for us, so the new GIs that were coming in to Tyndall Field,
which was a gunnery school on the other side of town run by the regular Air Corps, they
had built this tent city. And over there on the wall [points to photograph on wall] right
there is a picture of me sitting on the steps of one of the tents in tent city. So we had to
live there, but then Bob Dodge said "Look, within a couple of weeks we are going to
have quarters out here for you. What we've done, we've located a 3 C camp [CCC,
Civilian Conservation Corps] up the other side of Lynn Haven that we're going to try to
take down in sections and reconstruct it here on the field.5 And what we want is an
operational building; we want a building for a place for the women, that were there to
cook for us and so forth, and a dining hall. Then we're going to build a dormitory,
reconstruct one of the CCC dormitories, and at one end will be for the enlisted men, the
other end will be for the officers, and we will have a regular latrine in the middle." And
that's what we had. So lo and behold I got a room out there when we had it constructed
and we lived on the base. The entire time I lived there I lived on the base. Shortly after I
the intersection of Calhoun Avenue and County Road 385, Panama City, Florida would be roughly the
epicenter of the field.
5 Dodge was most likely referring to Florida CCC Camp P-80, Lynn Haven, Florida.

got there I got a roommate and his name was Cleve Morrison, and he was a pilot in the
movies, a stunt pilot in the movies.

B:

Do you know his hometown, where he was from originally?

A:

Originally he was from Conyers, Georgia. Anyway, his sister was Colleen Moore

in the movies, which was a silent film star, and she had the Colleen Moore's Dollhouse
that came through Columbus once a year, touring the nation and they put it up in
Lazarus' front windows, what was the big department store we had here, they would
always display it there.6 And my wife can remember seeing Colleen Moore's Dollhouse.
Well, it was stored out at the old plantation at Conyers, Georgia where Cleve and his wife
Mazy lived. And Cleve got a bad case of drinking. He couldn't stop drinking. He lost his
pilot's license, he lost just about everything. His father used to be a set designer for
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer out in Hollywood, and his father is the one that actually owned
the estate. Then his father and mother died and they moved in the estate in Conyers,
Georgia. Beautiful colonial mansion, with a guest house out in back, and a great big long
building, modern building, on the west side of the house which his father had all kinds of
tools that you would ever want. When Cleve ran out of money he would just sell one of
his father's tools. And Mazy put up with an awful lot, his wife, and I put up with an awful
lot of him because I wanted to cover for him, no sense of him getting into trouble. And he
was put in with me as an observer, and he flew many missions with me as an observer.
I was the youngest and he was about 15 years older than I was, far as that goes.
Well we came to Christmas of 1942, and I called Jackie and I asked her if I sent her the
money would she fly down to my brother's in Atlanta, Georgia for over Christmas and
then fly back. I got enough money for a roundtrip ticket for her, and my brother had
invited her and invited me. My father was going to come down from Elwood, Illinois
and join us for Christmas. Well, back in those days if you weren't married you didn't go
nowhere," and her folks were staunch in that way. "You aren't married, you're not going

6 Known today as Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle, her dollhouse is on display at the Museum of Science and
Industry in Chicago, IL.

down there." Well, Lord, we've been well supervised by my brother and his family, and
my father and everything up, but she couldn't come. So I got mad, and I called my
brother up and I said "well, Jackie and I made up our mind, when she gets to be 18, and
that will be 2 April [1943], we're going to get married, so put that date on your calendar,
that's when we're going to get married so 2 April this coming year if I'm still around."
And he said, "oh, don't worry, Bob. That will be alright." So what I did, I volunteered to
fly extra flights on Christmas day. We sometimes put out three patrols a day.

B:

What times, normally, what would be the hours of the patrols? I've heard dawn to

dusk.

A:

B:

A:

Okay, dawn to dusk. Dawn was the dawn patrol, that's the first patrol of the day.

What hours?

I'm talking about from six in the morning till about nine, about three, three and a

half hours is all we had of gas supply for. So we would fly a three or three and a half
hour mission. By the way I want to show you my missions, [and] I have them listed over
here in this one book [included on page 50]. Anyway, going on with the story, Cleve felt
sorry for me. That was the only time he was ever sober enough that he realized what I
was doing and I had volunteered. I told Bob Dodge, A lot of these guys were married
and they got their children down here and Christmas day will be a good day. I'll go
ahead and fly the extra patrols. I don't mind for one day to fly all of the patrols," so I said
"if you get someone else to volunteer to fly the other plane we'll have a crew to keep our
patrols up on Christmas day." So we did. So the night before Christmas, Christmas Eve
night, Cleve says "hey, put on your very best uniform, Mazy and I are going to take you
to dinner tonight." And I said "oh, I don't want to go to dinner, Cleve." "No, we are
going to go down to the Cove Hotel, down on the waterfront, in Panama City, Mazy's
coming down from Conyers, and we have a guest we want you to meet." I say "okay, I'll
go." And he said "now, we'll pick you up, she just got the car and she is bringing it down

to me. We want to pick you up at six o'clock," or something like that. So we went to
dinner at the Cove Hotel. Lo and behold but who should they get but none other than
Clark Gable, the movie actor.
He and Cleve were very close friends when he was starting out in the movies, and
they still knew each other quite well. So I had dinner, Christmas Eve night, with Clark
Gable and one of the other officers from Tyndall Field. A lot of people don't realize he
had married Carole Lombard, and she was killed in that bond drive when she crashed in
that American airline; they hit a mountain out west, near Reno [Nevada]. Well, two
weeks after he had gone up and recovered her body from the wreckage he volunteered
and went into the military as a gunnery officer. And he went through gunnery school, and
got his OCS, and he was commissioned, and when he was over there at Tyndall Field, he
was a commissioned officer, but then Cleve and his big mouth, he opened up, "Bob
here's real young but he shoots skeet." And I had bragged about how I used to should
skeet with some of the guys in the Columbus Gun Club, and he [Gable] was a great skeet
shooter. He said, "well, you just have him call me," he gave me the number of what
office to call over at Tyndall Field, "any time he has free, I'll go out and shoot skeet with
him." So I shot skeet, three different times, with Clark Gable.
Then he was transferred, and then later transferred overseas with the Eighth Air
Force. But, anyway, that was quite an experience. Another experience happened, this
pertains to the patrols. Along the last week of November of 1942, we were on patrol in
the east sector of our zone, southeast sector of our zone, which is just off of Lighthouse
Point, and it was the evening. So we were told to do a beach sweep. Well, the slow plane
maintains a course back to Panama City, and we catch up with them about St. Joe, and so.

B:

For when you all flew, it would normally be a two-ship formation. Did the one

plane decide to go one direction?

A:

We throttled back the fast plane, we like, like if they were flying like that

[gestures with hands side by side, one slightly back[, we would throttle this plane way
back. And we would stay even with them [and] we'd fly formation, going to and from.

That's another thing. When you had bombs or a depth charge on board any of the planes
on the flight, we were not permitted to fly over land. We had to be over water at all times.
Our bomb racks were not the best in the world, they were from World War I, not World
War II, but World War I, and they weren't too trusty. And to take our bombs, we drilled
through the floor, mounted the bomb rack. This plane here [points to wall], this Cessna,
the reason they could carry the bombs so easily; that's a big tubular steel landing gear,
and it went just like a U-shape, like a horseshoe. It went down to the two wheels, but
then came up through the fuselage, all one piece, and went through the fuselage so all
they had to do was drill through that and put the cross bracing in and you could fasten
your bomb rack right to it. Other planes such as the Fairchild had the soft belly, the
Waco had the cross members on the landing gear, and you always had to have your
bombs positioned directly over the center of gravity, and if you didn't have that you
would be in trouble. So anyway, this plane here [pointing to wall] the center of gravity is
right there on the landing gear, underneath the landing gear, and we could carry three 100
pound demos [demolition bombs]. Now what we had was three rings that I would judge
were about an inch and a half, two inches in diameter, and they came up through the
floor. And we would have them side by side. You just reach down and you pulled up.
Well, they had the arming wire fastened to the plane, so when you pulled the release
wire, that automatically pulled your arming wire when your bomb came loose, your
arming wire arms your bomb, and it was a live bomb. And so we had no problem with
that.

B:

Basically it was just a pull cable?

A:

Yes, it was just very simple. But anyway, to get back to the story of our patrol that

evening, we were told to do a beach sweep, so we came on up from Lighthouse Point.
The first part of land you hit is Dog Island. Well, we made a sweep of the outer perimeter
of Dog Island, of the beach, and the old guy at the lighthouse, the St. George Lighthouse,
which was a big white lighthouse at the end of St. George, he'd always stand out, and he
could see us coming miles away. And he would stand up there, usually waved a towel or

I don't know if it was a handkerchief or shirt or what, but he'd wave to us as we'd go by,
and we'd waggle our wings at him, 'cause we were right down on the beach, on beach
patrol. And he was out there that night when we waved to him as we went past and went
on out towards Sand Blas Point, turned the comer, met the other plane up at St. Joe, and
then we flew back to Panama City base. The next morning, lo and behold we had drawn
dawn patrol, same area we were to go back to. So it was up to us to run a beach patrol
going back out. So we ran a beach patrol reluctantly, because we'd just come up the
beach and there wasn't anything. When we rounded the lighthouse again we waved to
him that morning, it was just getting light, and we waved to him as we went past. We got
to Dog Island and the observer tapped me, I forget who the observer was that day. He
tapped me on the shoulder and "my God, look up ahead!" And up on Dog Island there
must have been a 100 gas drums, 55-gallon gas drums, all over the interior part of that
island. Here a damn sub had put in during the night, came around through the channel,
and on the back side it was deep enough water that he could get up fairly close to the
land. They had, a trawler had come out from Carrabelle [Florida] or someplace, crossed
over, and they had refueled a submarine out there. We reported it, but then that's all we
ever heard about it. But they had refueled right underneath our hands, during the night.
Well that's when they put out a strong coast guard unit.
Okay, well then after that incident it become very definite that lights were going
to have to be dimmed all along the coast. You made a silhouette out of any ships if you
had light along the coast. We were living out of Larkway Villas, Jackie and I had gotten
married, 2 April [1943], later on, we had to have a dark thing but at the base we had the
blackout. If you had a car, you had to tape out your headlights and just have a one inch
slit across. You couldn't see anything but you could see an oncoming car coming
towards you. You had to drive very carefully at night. And the city itself had to turn out
all neon lights and all city lights and everything so the coast would be blacked out and
none of the silhouette business would be shown. The submarines would lay out and
come up, well, one of the best places for us guys to eat when we didn't have any money
was just down the beach just about half a mile from where we lived out on the beach later
on was called the Old Dutch Tavern. And the Old Dutch Tavern was run by this

Dutchman that you'd go in there and you could get a beer for ten cents, you could get
oysters, crackers, and he'd always have some oysters there or any other seafood on the
counter. He'd make up a hamburger for a quarter. Oh, it was just paradise and he'd really
load it down with stuff. Well that son-of-a-gun got caught, first part of December [1942]
going out to sea supplying a submarine in his boat. All boats were not permitted out in
the Gulf, only authorized. All fishermen had to stay out in St. Andrews Bay or down
there on the backwater of Dog Island or Carrabelle on the bay regions. They could fish in
the bay regions but they couldn't go out in the open water of the Gulf.

B:

A:

Was this publicized, what he was doing?

Yes, this was listed, I think, or told. They put out bulletins and they put them on

like telephone poles. Fishermen weren't permitted to go out in the Gulf. Well, this was
about the time we had a dawn patrol. Well, in the meantime we had had Carl Clark take
off from our base on a foggy morning. Down there, when you got to the fall of the year
or early winter, you have one big handicap in flying, [and that] is the fog. The Gulf is
warm, the water's warm, but the air coming from the north, coming down, it created a
morning fog that was very intense. You fly up 900, 1,000 feet and you get on top of it.
And usually what we did, we climbed up through it and got on top of it and then fly out
to the area we were going out to, and then it began to thin by the time you got out there
and you could fly your patrol. And it never mattered too much to us because we would
usually fly about 300 feet above the water, and we stayed at about that altitude. But the,
I'm getting ahead of my story here in a couple things, but anyway Carl Clark and I think
Wetzel was with Clark, they were in number two airplane. Phil Milkey and I forget
unless I look, the other officer was with Milkey. Andrews it was, from Springfield, Ohio,
he had a Buick agency over there.7
They took off and I don't think either pilot was real sharp on instruments, but
Milkey's plane took off and instead of climbing straight out up on top, when Clark took
7 Mr. All] refers to Charles W. Andrews. Milkey is Lester E. Milkey of Sandusky, Ohio. The other men
involved that survived were Carl S. Clark of Columbus, Ohio and Franklin B. Wetzel, of Lakewood, Ohio.
The event described here happened on 30 October 1942.

offhe took offtoo close behind Milkey and they should have varied to the right the
minute they took off and then climb up at a different angle but instead they were climbing
both the same. Carl Clark ran into the back of Milkey's plane, chewed the tail offofit,
and they went straight into St. Andrews Bay and both Milkey and Andrews were killed.
Clark was able to, he had Wetzel with him, they was able to make an emergency landing
in St. Andrews Bay and was luck would have it they made a crash landing right beside a
barge that was being pushed through. And the tugboat that was pushing the barge rescued
them immediately and stopped their venture through there and they tried to rescue the
others but they couldn't, they went straight in, and they recovered their bodies later.

B:

I know Congressman Vorys was present at the base, and did fly missions. I have

very little information about his time there and wondered if you could add anything new.

A:

I did not start flying there until 16 September 1942. There was a month there that

they had started and that's when Congressman Vorys went down on the original month.
He was out of there by the time I got there. He only flew a couple of weeks I think there
was what it was.

B:

A:

Do you recall any stories people shared about him?

They said he was a real good guy, and he was a very likeable individual. And

when I met him he was a very likeable individual, very friendly and all that, and seemed
like a good Joe, all-around good guy.

B:

A:

Did he actually have a pilot's license or was he flying as an observer?

No, he was flying as an observer. There were 12 of us original pilots, [and] that's

what there were [who] actually did the flying, but oh, I want to bring this up before I go
on. When we started out flying down there, we had no safety gear per se. We flew

without parachutes as you know. Because we were too damn low, you couldn't use a
parachute.

B:

But did you have Mae West life vests?

A"

We had no Mae West life raft or anything. But we did go and get truck tire inner

tubes and to reinforce our thought that it would be alright we wore a knife which, that
was the knife I [points to knife mounted on wall] wore. That's for shark attack in case we
were attacked by shark we would have a knife. So we would wear that on our belt. It was
about as useless as tits on a boar hog.
Anyway, [Laughter], we [had] to [do something to] make the inner tube so it
would not blow away when you crash landed when you went into the drink. None of us
ever gave it a thought but when you pancake into the gulf or any body of water with a
fixed gear landing aircraft, she's going over on her back. So we had the door fixed that
we could have pins we could just pull this wire and it released the hinges on the pin,
whether it was up or down, and that released the door so you could get out of the plane,
because it would be upside down. We tied a 25-foot cord, we went down to the
fisherman's wharf, down Panama City, and we got some old cork, they put them on I
guess the top of nets when they fish; we cut those in two, and we fastened them to this
rope securely, we drilled them out and fastened them to the rope so the wind wouldn't
carry the inner tube away. It would be trailing this rope with this cork and that you could
get to the line and then pull the line in and get to the inner tube. And that was our gear
we, would save our lives we thought.

B:

A:

Did you have flare pistols or anything of that nature?

Not right at first, we didn't have any of that. Well, everything went fine till just

about the time I started flying. I had just been flying just a couple of weeks and we had a
navy and an army inspection the same day. The navy came over and the army came
down from Dale Mabry Field down near Tallahassee [Florida] and they were looking out

gear over, looking our planes over, and I can remember one of the navy officers says
"what's this for?" and we said "well, that's our life saving equipment," pointed to the
inner tubes in the back of the plane with a rope. "Well, how does that work? .... Well, you
throw it out, and you have the rope." They started laughing, and laughing, and laughing.
"My God, you crazy nincompoops, you're flying over the Gulf of Mexico and you think
an inner tube is going to save your life? Why you wouldn't last hardly at all out there,
especially in the winter time if you get in that cold water, you're going to have
hypothermia. Well, you've got to have some equipment." So the very next day a navy
truck arrived at the base and it had enough Mae West life preservers on board. They gave
us flares that you put on the side of the plane; we had the flares that you could shoot.
They gave us those little lights that were not more than four to six inches long, and they
had them on our belts, little electric light but it was sealed so it wouldn't

B"

Like a little blinking light?

A"

Blinking light, red light, so you could see that in the water at night, and they gave

us shark repellant that we could release to make a circle that the sharks wouldn't like to
come around you, because boy, there are some good sized sharks there. You get there
down off Sand Bias Point in the morning early, on a dawn patrol. They lay in the
shallows of those reefs that go out, kind of sunning themselves, waiting for the sun to
come up, and they lay in those reefs, they look like a miniature submarine laying down
there! Yes, the great big, 16-foot sharks laying there, hammerheads. Those hammerhead
sharks were off Sand Bias Point and they are not one buy many of them! [Laughter].

B:

Well, at least you had a knife.

A:

Yes, [Laughter], well, that couldn't kill a shark, [Laughter], but anyway, you'd be

a gone gosling. But they thought we were stupid or just half-baked for flying out there
over the Gulf the way we were doing but we were getting along fine and we were fat,
dumb, and happy and we were doing a good job. Well, then the army wasn't going to be

outdone. That's when they, the army or the navy, were kind of scraping over CAP,
"who's going to take it over, which force is going to have it."

B"

This would be fall of '42?

A"

This would be the end of '42, before you get to '43. And this was what was

happening. Our radio that we had at the base couldn't reach the far extremities of our
patrol area. From Mobile [Alabama] you could get broken transmission. Down
Lighthouse Point, broken transmission. You get beyond Barrier Island and you might as
well forget the radio, you don't have it. You get back in from the area where you can
pick it up. So they gave us these, the base, a large liaison set radio, and they sent the guys
in to set it up and everything in our control tower. So it would reach the extremities of
our base and we could get transmissions back and forth. Then they increased in each
plane the capabilities of its transmitting that we could transmit further than what we were
before. They brought us, the army brought us also blankets, bedding, cots, some cooking
gear, oh, a field kitchen and we set that up in this so called "quarters" that we had, the old
three C camp that had been abandoned. And it had been abandoned ten years before we
had it. And then we got it but we cleaned it up and that became our quarters that we lived
in. So we had a very makeshift thing.
But another episode I want to tell you about is the torpedo. Now what I think it
was, up at Pensacola they practiced torpedo dropping from planes, and one of them they
didn't recover. We thought it was a live, German torpedo. Off about two miles north,
northwest of Sand Bias Point we were on patrol one day, on the inner patrol, that's the
south end of the inner patrol. My observer says "hey, what's that back there?" I said
"what do you mean? ....There's something sticking up out of the water." I said "it wasn't
a sub was it?" "No, no no, it's still in the water." Well I wheeled around, came back and
my God, sitting at a 45 degree angle in the water was a torpedo.

B:

Was the tail end sticking out?

A:

The nose was sticking out, and the tail was down in the water. It was sitting there

in the water. Half of it submerged, the other half above water. We called the base, we
told them "there's a torpedo down there, floating in the water, dead, it's not moving."
"Oh, my God! Well, circle it and we're going to send other planes out to relieve you
because you'll be needing gas before long." So they sent two other planes out to circle to
keep the area safe, then when we went back and refueled, they sent us out immediately
back to the same spot to patrol the area until the coast guard and the navy got there. Well,
those patrol boats were coming from Panama City and they were coming hell bent for
election through the water, out there, until they got there about as far from here to that
condo across the street from me [about 20 feet] and all of a sudden you see that boat
swerve like crazy. He put it in reverse - the spotted the damn torpedo. They had it backed
off right now, and then they went dead in the water, and then you could see them backing
in very slowly toward the torpedo. Then finally a guy stripped his shirt off, his outer
blouse and his thing, and got down to bare nothing and they hooked a line up and a
swimmer went over. He attached a rope to the torpedo and they pulled it very gently
back, but they trailed it, that line must have been 50 feet long.

B:

A:

These were actually live torpedoes they training with, not dummy torpedoes?

Yes, and they pulled it in to the coast guard station at Panama City. That night we

went over to see it, and God that is a monstrous thing, standing on end.

B:

A:

Ten feet long? Twelve feet long?

I don't know what the size of the thing was, but they had it at the end of the pier

there at the coast guard station and us guys got in a car and we went over to see it that
night. But that was another exciting experience there that we had.

B:

I noticed, it is difficult to tell with the records, but the original base commander

was Robert Dodge.

A:

That's right.

B:

Can you describe him, what you thought of him as an officer, as a commander.

A:

He reminded me of my father, a Dutchman. I don't know if he was or wasn't, but

see before the war he was a bridge builder, he was a contractor for bridge builder for a
highway department. But he was a very thorough man. Uh, he liked his girls. He kept, as
much militarism as he could, because he had no knowledge of it himself, and this second
lieutenant from the army air corps' armaments squad that was sent to us became our
instructor, drill master, to teach us how to do an about face, and how to do a left face,
right face, marching drill. And he drilled us certain mornings of the week. We would
have drill and Bob Dodge wanted us to be as much military as we possibly could. So we
used this second lieutenant that had graduated from OCS and he was pretty good, but a
good Joe. We all had kind of fun. We had a small water tower there, and in December of
'42, it's the guard's duty to go past and stop the pump at midnight on his rounds at the
guardhouse. Well somewhere or other this guard didn't, and that night it got colder than
shit, and lo and behold that water tower looked like one of those ice cream cones that you
get, complete all the way down to the ground was ice. And, [Laughter], we had frozen ice
there at the field from the water tower that he didn't stop the pump on. Then we got that
corrected.
But the base was run very much military-like by Bob Dodge, doing the best he
could. I left the base after ten months. Jackie and I, I came home one day from patrol
and I said "I'm tired of flying this ship I'm going to get in the service," because the day
before I had been talking to one of our other deadbeat pilots who couldn't fly but was a
permanent observer, who was this doctor from Michigan. I'm trying to think of his
name. He had been a navy flight surgeon, in the navy, oh about ten years before he war
broke out, and he had retired from the navy. Now he was too old, and he had a problem
also, he couldn't go back in and rejoin the navy, and go on active duty, and he had been a
commander I think in the navy. Well, he owned a plane and he was out of Huron, or close
to Huron, Michigan, flying over Lake Huron, over to Canada, and getting dope and

whiskey and got caught by the federal authorities and had his license permanently taken
away from him. He was one of our observers. We had a, what you could say, a "colorful"
bunch of characters, and he's the one that told me "well, don't try to get into the navy,
because you mined your chances of getting into the navy when you reported you had
your accident. BUT, as a CAP pilot, and you're flying active duty patrol duty, why don't
you go to the navy over at Pensacola and take a six four physical."That's the type of
physical you got to take. "That is good then to fly civilian aircraft and that is good to get
into the military, into the air force. The navy has a problem: they shoot you too low
when they shoot your chest X-ray. They don't go as high as your fifth or sixth cervical.
They'll never see it."
So, I went over. Jackie and I were married by this time, April 2. We went over to
Pensacola, I took my navy physical, I brought it over to Dale Mabry Field at Tallahassee
and returned to Panama City, and lo and behold within ten days I got word from
Memphis, Tennessee that they wanted to talk to me about flying for the military. Would
I come up and take a hiring ride, a check ride, in an AT-6, just like that second there
[points to model of AT-6]. Well, that's like the SNJ in the navy. So I went up to
Memphis, I took Jackie along with me. We had gas from the base so I didn't have to use
any [ration] coupons. We went to Memphis and I took the hiring ride and was hired
immediately. I was given ten days to report back to the army air corps but I would have
to be a civilian for about a month and a half to two months while my orders were being
cut to become a second lieutenant. So I accepted that, and I resigned my commission as
CAP, and I went to the regular air corps and I signed up and I was hired, and I became a
second lieutenant in the air force.
But the air force didn't know what to do with me for a month and a half, so I was
put in the 105th Training Squadron at Memphis, Tennessee. Well, I didn't know you
could fly so many airplanes. I checked out in, in the military, in the army air corps, we
used to carry a little white card folded over. Every airplane you were entitled to fly, it
was typed on there as to what, the time you flew it and whether you were first pilot
material, and it would be listed on there. So, you will see 36 airplanes that I am qualified

to fly as first pilot,s So I spent my entire month and a half, except for three occasions.
One occasion was, I had to go to, up into Wisconsin to pick up a Howard aircraft, a PT23, and deliver it to Jackson, Mississippi, and I was sent back the following day to
Memphis to finish up. Then I got a call by one of the squadrons there. They needed a
pilot to go out to get a B- 18 at E1 Paso, Biggs Field, E1 Paso and fly it back to Memphis
to our training command there. So I went out and got the B-18 and flew the B-18 back.
And I went to get a B-25 from Tulsa, Oklahoma and I flew it back to Memphis, and then
the minute my commission came in I was transferred over from the 105th to the 93rd
Ferrying Squadron. At the 93rd Ferrying Squadron you have to be sharp on all the aircraft
because a call would come in from a factory, "we got 20 planes that got to be delivered,
how many pilots can you send us?" So these different bases around the country,
Romulus, Michigan, Memphis, Tennessee, and these different bases would send so many
pilots to that factory. We'd pick up the planes and then deliver them to the port of
debarkation.
And I did that until after, oh, let's see, it was about mid-'43 when I was called in
by the CO [commanding officer] and I had been delivering P-51 s and P-47s; P-47s out of
Evansville, Indiana; P-51 s I was flying out of Palmdale, California. The port of
debarkation was Newark, New Jersey. Evansville I was flying both to Hamilton Field,
San Francisco, the ones that were going to the Pacific, and then the other Jugs that were
going to Europe I was flying them out of, to Newark, New Jersey. Then I flew dive
bombers for awhile, A-25s, A-24s, B-25s, and they put me on the A-31 and A-35 which
was built by Consolidated Vultee, and that was the dive bomber that the Australian and
New Zealand boys were using. Our government said it wasn't safe to fly so we sold the
plane lend-lease to New Zealand and Australia.
Anyway, I was called in by the CO and I was sent over to Little Rock, Arkansas
to take a new system of flying. It was taught by Bryant School of Aeronautics for
transport pilots, for airline pilots. I went through the course; it took three weeks to get
through the course. I went through the course and I made honors, and lo and behold I was
s The list includes the PT-17, PT-19, PT-22, PT-23, AT-6, AT-7, AT-8, AT-9, AT-10, AT-11, AT-17, AT19, UC-78, 0-59, OA-10, PBY-5A, P-36, P-40, P-47, P-51, P-80, B-18A, B-25, A-20, A-24, A-25, A-26,
A-35, A-31, A-29, C-45, C-46, C-47, C-54, C-60, C-69, and C-61.

made an instructor in the next class. And so then I instructed three classes, then I got a
call that I was being transferred to ATC, Air Transport Command.
So I went back to Memphis but we were not in the 93rd Squadron anymore, I was
in ATC, and I flew that until my wife was about to have Bobby and during World War II,
if a woman was more than six months pregnant she could not fly on the airlines, because
they had taken the nurses off, and the stewardesses were gals right out of school, who
were from college. They were the stewardesses, so they no longer had registered nurses
on as stewardesses. So I got her a London Fog trench coat to wear, and two weeks before
she delivered I got her an airline ticket on American Airlines to Columbus, Ohio and her
folks picked her up. She had the baby here in Ohio and I was in Memphis at the time. The
day that my son was born I was flying a B-25 and checking two guys out and we had to
do a round robin and I had to fly from Memphis to St. Louis, to Oklahoma City to New
Orleans, to Jackson, Mississippi and back to Memphis. We got back in that night. I
called her that morning as we left and she said she had a doctor's appointment that day
but everything was fine, "so go ahead and take your flight." So I took my flight. That
night we got back, and it was about nine o'clock and there was only about one place to
eat on the base and that was up at the Officers' Club, so we all decided we would go up
to the Officers' Club and eat in the bar because we weren't in Class A uniforms, we
couldn't go in the dining room. So we went to the bar and we ordered our steaks and
while the steaks were being fixed I called home and instead of getting my father-in-law's
house all calls to that number had been transferred to Grant Hospital, Columbus, Ohio.
Well hell then I knew, and I got the call and I talked to him, and my wife delivered my
son at that time. So then the next day I worked on getting a Red Cross leave and I flew
home and I got to hold him and so forth, and I went back then after my Red Cross leave
to Memphis and my overseas orders had been cut and I was to report to Nashville, pilots'
pool, at Nashville, and they were going to be three to four days before our orders were
cut.

They were going to take us to the Grand O1' Opry, but they had us in isolation.
And so, I knew the old sergeant that was in charge of the flight line, and so I went to him
that first day, I said "Sarge, I'm not shipping out for three days, but if you got a plane that

has to be slow timed or anything that has to be repaired? .... es, we got that P-47 out
Y
there," he says, "it had a new carburetor put on it, we're delivering it tomorrow around
ten o'clock to Orlando," he says, "it's going down to the training command, down to
Orlando, Florida Pursuit Squadron." I said "you mind if I take it up and slow time it for
you?" He says "sure, how big a flight are you going to make?" I said "just to Columbus,
Ohio and back." "Oh, hell, you can't do that." I said "I'll have it back by ten o'clock."
Old Sarge let me have that 47 and I flew home and I called Jackie and I said, I called
Jackie's folks and I said "meet me at the airport. I'm flying to the navy base at Port
Columbus in a P-47. Pick me up." And so I got to spend the night with her and I had to
take off the next morning early by about eight o'clock and I flew back to Nashville. No
problem, just open that baby up and you'd get there.
[Laughter], but anyway, it's been a very colorful life and I went overseas then,
and I got down to Miami [Florida], and I was assigned a, I've been flying in ATC C-54s,
so I was assigned a four-engine C-54 and I was introduced to my other crewmembers.
We flew from Homestead Field out to Bermuda, and then from there I went on over to
the Azores, and from the Azores I went on to Casablanca, and from there to Tripoli. Then
I flew to Paine Field [airfield], Cairo and I faked some engine trouble on Number Three
so we could get out to see the Sphinx and stuff at the Pyramids, and I wanted to see that
myselfi So I got a picture somewhere on the ass-end of a camel in one of these pictures
here on the wall, it shows me, I don't know where the hell it is now [gestures to wall of
photographs]. But anyway, I got it here [pulls out scrapbook], here I am here, I'm the
third one on the back of that camel. We were out at the Sphinx and the Pyramids. But
then I went on to Abadan, Iran, and from there I went down to Karachi, and Karachi they
told us we were deadheading out on a plane, and our plane was going back to New York,
and we were going on toward east end of India to the Hump. I said where I was going and
he said "well you're going to go to Chabua." I said "I have no idea where Chabua is," he
said "far northeast comer of India." So we flew to New Delhi, and then we flew on in to
Chabua, and I was assigned that night to Sookerating, and I said "where in the hell is
Sookerating?" He said "that's a front line base, that's the one up guarding the Hell Gate
Pass." And I thought "oh shit, I'm really getting in the war."

So I went there, and from there I flew 106 combat missions out of there. And I
flew six missions in B-25s, search and rescue, and I also taught Chinese students in the P40 out of there, the old Assam Dragon Squadron. When I came home, the war was not
over, but I came home after my 106 missions, they said I was war weary. So I came home
and I was made eastern control officer for ATC out of, we called it Ford Dix Army
Airbase, they call it McGuire now, at New Jersey. To keep my flying time in I flew
MAT one and two to Romulus, Michigan, from there, going to Newark, New Jersey,
Rome, New York, Buffalo to Cleveland, to Romulus, and then I was transferred to
Topeka, Kansas, and there I got on the statesman run, and I was flying the statesman run.
My leg was from Topeka to Washington, DC, Andrews Field, one stop at WrightPatterson. Then I was put on the western run just for two weeks, on out to Lowry Field,
Denver and then on to Stockton, California.
When I heard that they were getting ready for the Bikini project in the Pacific, I
wanted to get the hell out.9 1 had it. Seven ways to Sunday I wanted to get out, and I had
over 5,000 hours in the air, and my CO called me in out at Topeka and he said "Bob,
what in the hell is the matter, you keep sending these letters in that you want to get out.
You got more than enough points, I know, don't give me that thing about points." Well, I
had 600 some-odd points and you could get out I think at 200 and so-odd points, you
could get out of the service, if you had served your time. And he said "I know you got
more than enough," but he said "how in the hell am I going to let you out?" Well, I was a
service pilot; I had never been through a military school. He said "it is going to be
changed from the Air Corps to the Air Force and that is going to happen September 17.
Now you got to get your ass in to some school and you got to graduate and become a
military pilot, because you got all this combat time on your records and that would look
bad for the air force to have a service pilot with all that combat time." I said "why in the
hell didn't you tell me a year or so ago, before I got to facing that in Burma and China?"
He said "now cool down, cool down." He said "the CO down at Enid, Oklahoma, there is
a B-25 school and he's a friend of mine. His adjutant is probably the best pilot there is on

9 The "Bikini Project" was called Operation Crossroads, the first postwar nuclear tests conducted by the
United States at Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific in July 1946.

B-25s." He said "they want to see how you can handle a 25, I heard you flew one in
Burma," and I said "yes, I did, search and rescue and I flew one at Adams Field in Little
Rock, Arkansas in school." "Okay. Tomorrow morning you take a crew and you fly to
Enid, Oklahoma and you take it so." My original service pilot wings are those there
[pointing to display case on wall] and my instructor pilot, who was the adjutant at Enid,
Oklahoma, those are his wings [also in display case] there that he gave me. He took mine
off, my originals off, threw them in the waste basket, and pinned his on me and said
"you're a military pilot through and through." I've got the orders in this green book [in
Arn's hands] where I took the flight and I became a military pilot.
So, I got myself out. Well, I no sooner got out then I went back to Otterbein and I
was still on active duty, and the military would, money was hard to come by. So to get
some military pay I stayed with the air force, but on one condition. I'd be CO of the
105th Radar Calibration Detachment at Lockbourne, or Rickenbacker. And here I am,
that's my group [points to photograph on the wall]. We were a radar calibrating unit.
We did the DEW [Distant Early Warning] line across Canada, calibrating it, and then
they assigned me to do GCA approaches for all the airports around. I did Hopkins up at
Cleveland, I did Metro up at Detroit, I did Indianapolis, sunken Lunken before they
moved over to Covington, Charleston, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh-Allegany we
did that one and we did the one here at Columbus. So, then I got the hell out. So, that's
kind of my life story.

B:

Major Dodge was replaced as the commanding officer of Patrol Base 14 and I

didn't know if you knew anything about his replacement.

A:

Oh, that was by a man of the name of Ernest Dwyer, Miami, Florida.

B:

Yes, if you could, do you know anything about why exactly Dwyer

A:

He came in to play after I had left. I don't know why he replaced Dodge; I'll be

honest with you. I must have left about that time.

B:

A:

In terms of the flying, how did you all navigate? Did you

Dead reckoning. Yes, we used dead reckoning. Time and airspeed is what it was.

Now, on that, you know we had a method that nobody else could use.

B"

Please explain.

A"

It's called the nose. We had one in Carrabelle, we had one at St. Joe, we had one

at Panama City, and we had one at Pensacola: a paper mill.

B"

Ah, so you could smell it?

A"

Sulfur air does not blend with the other air. When you have sulfur fumes they stay

together and they form a line, like this [gestures with hands]. You could be 50 miles out
at sea and that line would be just as straight as could be from the clean air to the sulfur
air. It's yellow, it's about as yellow as that lamp shade would be [tawny yellow] from
clear atmosphere. And you could see that line. You could smell it. And you'd say "Sniff,
that's a St. Joe beam. Sniff, that's Panama City beam! Sniff, that's a Pensacola beam!"

B"

A:

So that's kind of how you knew where you were.

If you had a north wind, or an offshore wind, it blew right out over the Gulf, and

with time and airspeed we knew about how far out we were. We could pretty well
pinpoint our location at any time.

B:

Okay. What would you say the relations were like with the local community, with

the base personnel?

A:

Pretty good. They knew what we were doing, and they were, Panama City itself

they were kind of scared because you had the shipyards there, the Wainwright shipyards.
They not only built the Liberty ship that was being made there, just one of many places.
But the LSTs [Landing Ship, Tank] were being made there for the navy. If I was a spy, I
could tell you how many is going to the Atlantic today and how many is going to the
Pacific, because the Pacific was the light blue and the dark green was the Atlantic ones.
And they would be in the bay there and my wife and I had an evening sometimes, we got
a guest house down on Cove Boulevard and before I left there, for one month, and I'd
fish out at the end of that pier. You could look out and count how many LSTs were out
there. And we used to; they asked that we help them out. They had greenhorns handling
the big 75mm [gun] at the back end of the ship. When they were out doing their sea trials,
they'd do maybe a couple days' sea trials out off Panama City. Whether we would fake
an attack, like an attack plane, well, we flew at 300 feet anyway, we didn't care, so we'd
come steaming at them and they would get back there and fake it like they were going to
fire at us and stuff, and then we would have the sea marker dye they gave us and we
would throw it. Sometimes we made a mess on those LSTs. Yep, that sea marker glow
would go all over and you know they had to scrub them down, so, [Laughter], it was kind
of fun. That was fun; that was something different.

B:

I guess you often flew with your same observer?

A:

No, we had different ones. I flew a lot with the same one because I wanted to

protect him.

B:

What did you all do when you weren't flying, you mentioned fishing. What else

did you like to do when you didn't have to fly?

A:

We went out hunting one day. We took a six-by-six truck owned by the regular

military and four of us got in the back end and we were doing fine, we were going
through those scrub things, looking for deer, we were going to shoot deer. We had the

old M1 rifles with us and we were going to shoot deer. Pretty soon "KER THUD!"
"What in the hell did he hit?" We stopped and we looked, there was no damage done to
the truck. We got investigating and pushed the sand back. Here was a curb. Menhaden
had built all these streets, and you scratched down and you found a street, but now they
were all covered over with sand in ten years time. He had driven over a street at a 90
degree angle that had a curb on it and we dropped down with that truck and it jarred the
devil out of us. We were out hunting and that was godforsaken country and that's where
they were selling lots to us northerners.

B:

Okay. On your missions were you usually doing patrol missions or did you have

military directed missions, escorts, etc.?

A:

I had 106 combat missions in the military.

B:

What about CAP?

A:

Yes, my total missions with CAP were 179 1 think. Yes, 179 it was.

PART II - 31 March 2012

B:

Can you describe how you created the logo for Coastal Patrol Base No. 14. When

did you create it and what was your inspiration for it?

A:

That is the original drawing [pointing to wall]. That's what the damn guys started

wearing on the back of their jackets so they could identify that they were coastal patrol
down there. Forty years later, a very good friend of mine, Don and Ira Ross, he was a
pilot down there, celebrated his fortieth wedding anniversary. I don't know where I was
at the time, but I drew them this picture here [pointing to image of drawing of later base
logo]. I forgot how I drew the first one. If you notice I have him with the umbrella up
here. You see my bomb wasn't very good looking. Down here is the actual bomb. I'd

been around bombs long enough that I knew what to draw [Laughing]. Anyway, I forgot
that I had roller skates on him, and I drew that and sent it to him. After Don and his wife
died, their son sent that [back] to me, about six - seven years ago from Fort Lauderdale,
Florida, and said "Bob, I'd bet you'd like to retain that in your archives."
You know, I was a nut to draw Disney, I was always drawing Disney. I don't
know what in the shit I did.

B:

I was just curious to know what inspired you to come up with such an image.

A:

I don't know, I was kind of a crazy kid [and] it just was appealing to me. How

ridiculous, I'll put Donald Duck on there and I'll put roller skates on the sonuvabitch, and
let it go. I gave him an umbrella for a parachute, and that's what I did.

B:

A:

Were the roller skates landing gear?

Yes, and the parachute was the umbrella, and he was going to bail out as soon as

that bomb went down.

B:

A:

Do you remember when you [first] drew this up?

I would say it was on or about my birthday, 2 October 1942 [birth year 1922]; it

was around my birthday. I was nuts around that time.

B:

A:

Major Dodge asked you to come up with something for the base?

Yes, and I went ahead and drew that and they accepted it right away. Hell, that's

what they wanted. I don't know where Bob Dodge got that done because I don't think it
was completed [by the time Arn left]. Don Ross's wife, she sent that to me [pointing to
picture of patch]; she said "this is what you started, and I want you to see the finished
product," and she sent me the patch later on. And that is the actual patch.

B:

Did any of the planes you fly have nose art or this image painted on them?

A:

No, just the CAP logo, and we put a number on each plane.

B:

Did the numbers have any significance or was it just for your [base] purposes, to

figure out which bird was being flown for certain missions?

A:

Whichever one was mechanically able to make the trip [Laughter]. Old man

Reaver [John P. Reaver of Columbus, OH], he was the head, more or less, of the
maintenance and sometimes he would have them [airplanes] ready, sometimes he
wouldn't have them ready.
One story I forgot to tell you about. I was going out and we were taking two
Stinsons; I was flying the old Stinson. We had a Stinson Reliant and we had an old
straight wing Stinson, not the gull wing. The good Stinson Reliant took off first and I
took off second. We were still over St. Andrews Bay, outbound for the patrol, and the
tower called and said "I got some news for one of you guys, either number one or number
two. You don't have all your wheels." We said "what?" My observer looked out and he
said "I'll be goddamned, we lost a wheel on takeoffi" I said "what!" Well, as we took off,
the damn spinner hub had come off and the wheel just rolled right on over towards our
operations. They saw the wheel coming down the runway while we went and took off to
fly our patrol. That's a little problem getting back when you don't have all your wheels.

B:

A:

How did you land it?

Well, I landed it on one wheel and I kept it [balanced] on one wheel as long as I

could until I got the tail wheel down, I used full flaps then, and I was way over to the side
of the runway where the soft sand was. Just about the time she died I dropped the nose,
she spun around. Two patrols later the same plane was back out on patrol. They put the
wheel back on, put the proper things on the hub, and it was back out on patrol. Oh
Christ, some of the things that happened down there, it was pathetic [Laughter].

Those CAP days were different, I'll tell you. When I arrived there I was heartsick.
It looked like World War I. Here was a bare, naked ass field, with the palms coming out
of the ground. They had mowed the runway, and that was it, period, but they [runways]
were short. They went right to the edge of the water, St. Andrews Bay, and that little
island that sat out to the one side of the island. We got the bright idea, we weren't very
sharp with dropping bombs or anything, so it was suggested that we make an outline with
rocks of a full-sized submarine out there on Mouse Island, and then we took 55-gallon
drums and then built a conning tower for the submarine. We would take and put 100pound practice bombs with a powder charge [on the aircraft] and we'd go out and we'd
make a dive at that. See, when you dropped a bomb, the bomb would stay even with you,
and at 300 feet you're right over it when the damn thing explodes, so we had to be able to
cut to the right or left immediately, either way, to let the bomb go ahead and make a
strike, and we were always guessing, by golly.
The way we did it was this. The Stinson could carry a depth charge; the Cessnas
could carry three 100-pound demos; the Fairchild could carry nothing, the Waco could
carry nothing, because they had cross bracing on the landing gear and there was no way
we could stay at the center of gravity point and put a bomb rack in. The wings are too
flimsy, you can't put anything out there on the wing. The fuselage on the Fairchild is too
weak underneath, and there's no cross member.
Whenever we had a bomb load, or an ash can ]depth charge] underneath an
aircraft, we were never allowed to fly over land. When we took off, we were at or over
St. Andrews Bay, and we had to stay over St. Andrews Bay, otherwise we would fly over
the Wainwright Shipyard and we could have blown them to Timbuku, so we had to stay
over the water all the time. They didn't want us flying over the city or anything like that.
We never trusted those damn bomb racks, because if you had a bomb come loose, you
sometimes had to pull the wire to release it.

B: Was the sub target outline the only the bomb delivery training you had the Civil
Air Patrol?
A:

That's the only training we had.

B:

A"

Did you have someone train you or did you all figure it out on your own?

We had an ordinance crew that was assigned to us from Dale Mabry Field. Dale

Mabry Field was a pursuit squadron but they did have 100-pound demos and depth
charges over there which they didn't use. We had a lieutenant, a shaved tail, who was
sent to us that was put in charge of five enlisted men. There were two privates, two
corporals and a sergeant. They were our ordinance crew. Now, they brought their own
ordinance truck over and they are the ones that handled the bombs at all times. Out in the
middle of our field, between the two runways, we had a bomb dump. That was guarded
by former sheriff deputies that they went ahead and put into the CAP, and they were the
enlisted men that 24 hours a day would guard the bomb racks. It was about two miles off
the main highway, [and] we were northeast of downtown Panama City.

B:

A:

How many practice bombs did you drop, that you can recall today?

I think about eight or nine.

B"

Did you ever drop any practice depth charges?

A:

No, I never dropped a depth charge.

B:

How would you say the base did as a whole in terms of bombing practice? Would

you say that everyone was fairly proficient?

A:

I think we were pretty efficient. There were a couple of guys that dropped them

too soon, over anxious, but no. You have to remember, I was the youngest guy there, as
a pilot. All these guys were in their early forties, fifties. Andrews, who was killed, he

had to be in his fifties, and Vaughn was in his forties, who were killed. Black was in his
forties. 10

B:

A:

B:

How old was Lester Milkey that you recall?

Milkey was in his forties also. Hell of a good pilot.

Did you receive any antisubmarine warfare training in tactics by the Civil Air

Patrol? Did they give you any specifics, even silhouette training.

A:

No. If we saw a submarine and if we were armed, a lot of times we weren't

armed, we were just scouts more or less. But if we were armed, we would take after his
butt and we would force him to dive, go after them. If it was a sighting, we would report
it immediately to the tower. The tower in turn was to tell the navy as well as the coast
guard. Now the navy had very few ships at the time so they would tell the coast guard.
Well, that was like telling that wall over there that there was a submarine out there,
because most of these coast guard guys were doctors and lawyers that owned a 40 or so
on foot Mathews [type of yacht]. The coast guard would take over their boat and paint it
all grey, but they could go as the commodore and be in charge of their boat. Well, they
had no training either! So, it was like the blind leading the blind.

B:

Were you all given any type of silhouette training, to distinguish between

different ships or submarines?

A:

No. We were assured that there were no submarines in the Gulf of Mexico, or

any of the waters around the Gulf of Mexico in our area that were American [or allied].
If we saw a submarine, it was assumed to be a German submarine. There were no
submarines allowed into the Gulf of Mexico. Our submarines had been moved out into

10 Alvie T. Vaughen of Galion, Ohio was killed on 4 January 1943 along with Curtis P Black, of North
.
Olmsted, Ohio.

the Caribbean, off of St. Thomas and out there. These submarines would pretend to be a
fishing boat going across the Gulf of Mexico and one of our planes not us, an army or
navy plane flying from Miami to Dallas, or to Houston or somewhere, would spot a ship
out there in the Gulf. Shortly after we [CAP base] got underway, they issued orders that
all shipping had to stay within 20 miles of the coastline. That puts them on the
continental shelf. A submarine can't operate very well on the continental shelf because
the water is too shallow between the convoy and the coast, so they would have to be on
the outside, towards the deeper water, to take a shot at one of these ships, and that was
the area we patrolled, on the deep water side. So if they did make a dive, they couldn't
dive deep enough and we would see their silhouette under the water. Then it is still open
season on them. The Germans were in a tight squeeze there. Up until that time, they were
operating all over the Gulf, and after the CAP got under way there were very few ships
that [were sunk].

B:

How long were the pre-flight briefs and post-flight debriefs, or what they were

like usually? Did you even have any?

A:

No, it was "You're going to take sector one, two, or three." One is up by Mobile,

two is straight out from Panama City, and three is down in the south quadrant off of Sand
Blas Point further south.

B:

They never asked you any questions typically?

A:

No, just look out for everything that you saw, and report anything that you saw.

B:

If you spotted a U-boat and you were armed, what would be your attack plan?

A:

Attack plan was come in from the rear on him and try to get lined up as best we

possibly could, because he would start to submerge on us and we could get him even
thought he went under. If we could still silhouette him, we could drop a bomb on him.

B:

A:

What was your bombsight like, or did you have a bombsight?

Shit, no we didn't have a bomb sight. We used the hub of the propeller and the

left side of the windshield and halfway between we were pretty well on line and as long
as you held a straight line you just dropped and you just dropped when you thought and
got the hell away.

B:

You really had no recognition training of any ship of any kind?

A:

No, we were expected to be dumb enough to know.

B:

Were you ever warned about the effective range of U-boat antiaircraft guns?

A:

We'd try to take a crack at them before anyone would ever get on deck to get their

guns in order. That's the reason we never flew higher than 300 feet. When you are out
there on the swells of the ocean going like this [rolling motion with hands[ and you're
flying at 300 feet, he can't see you until you are right on him. He's floating low in the
water and those swells out there going up and down; we worried about them in case we
had to ditch in a trough, but we never had to.

B:

What was the farthest offshore you ever flew? You said you would fly at 300 feet,

but how far out did you fly?

A:

Normally we would fly between 30 to 40 miles out. There were a couple of times

I took a long mission because we wanted to get a look at a trawler that was way out and
we took an extra gas load and we flew all the way out, and I would judge that is 400
miles out and turned back. That was at the full range of the plane for the gas
consumption.

B:

How often were the aircraft armed when you flew them? How often did you carry

ordinance?

A"

We did not start arming the planes until it was mid-November 1942, I think, that

we started arming the planes. Well, in fact we did not have the racks and we didn't have
the personnel to put the bombs on. The ordinance guys [from the U.S. Army] put them
on the plane. We flew with a few of the planes armed after that. Maybe the planes in the
western quadrant wouldn't have bombs but the guys in the center [off Panama City]
would have bombs, and the guys to the south by Lighthouse Point wouldn't have any
armament. But if we saw something, we could call the guys on the patrol in the center
could fly to you and cross that way. We tried to keep the center patrol armed.

B"

A"

Could you describe the security procedures at the base.

Bob Dodge did a good job. You have to remember that Base 14 was pretty well

isolated. They could make a patrol of the area but nothing was supposed to be out there
on St. Andrews Bay that would come in for us. We were surrounded by water, around
three quarters of the base. On the land side it was almost two miles to the main road into
Panama City. This was a dirt road that really broke your kidneys to go over that road into
Panama City. It was horrible. We kept guards at the highway before you entered the
road [to base] twenty-four hours a day. We kept guards on duty all the time.

B"

A"

What were the guards armed with mostly?

They had .38 revolvers, old police revolvers. They must have had them when

they were employed by the sheriff, because most of them were guys who had retired from
the county who were former deputy sheriffs. Those were the kinds of people they hired.

B"

How many aircraft or personnel do you recall being stationed at the base?

A:

There were around 40. We never kept everything airborne all the time. We only

worked on the aircraft that worked [Laughter]. As long as you had six planes that were
capable of going out you could cover all three patrol areas. There were times we had only
four that could fly at one time and we had to skip one of the patrols and the center patrol
was always skipped, because that's where Tyndall Field had their gunnery range most of
time, and let them be out there firing away! But mostly we covered the north, but when
there was a convoy we made sure we had three patrols out there. Not every day we had a
convoy.

B:

How did you feel about the operations at the base? If they were ineffective, what

would you have done differently? Was the effort effective?

A:

For not having any military training, and no training at all, I think they did an

exceptionally good job. We played as close as we could to being active duty soldiers,
and Bob Dodge did a wonderful job.

B:

Do you feel your service in CAP came in handy when you were in the CBI

[China-Burma-India theater] and when you were a ferrying pilot?

A:

Yes, because I learned some things in CAP that helped me tremendously when I

was flying in the regular military. I went from CAP to the Air Transport Command,
which stands for "Allergic to Combat." I knew how to handle fog pretty well, and low
level I was never scared about. I thought of CAP quite often when I was doing low level
over in Burma. One instance in Burma was at Warasup [Burma] and we were having a
hell of a fight trying to retake Burma and weren't doing so good, but Merrill' s Marauders
captured Warasup in Burma and the West Irrawaddy River comes right down, for 30 - 40
miles straight line, right towards the airfield, then makes a turn and goes and flows into
the East Irrawaddy River which is the big river that flows all the way through Burma.
We had two C-47s from troop carrier try to get supplies into Warasup and they got in the
traffic pattern going around and the Japs shot them down. The Japs were up in the

mountains on both sides and they shot those two C-47s [down]. They asked me if I could
get a C-46 in there. I said "boy, it would be a tight squeeze but we can get it in there."
"Well, how would you go about getting it in there? .... Well, I wouldn't fly a conventional
pattern, so I would go in low level."
So, I came in over the mountain range, low, out through Hell's Gate Pass and the
minute we passed Hell's Gate Pass at 14,000 feet I started putting her down right along
the mountain and we built up speed until we go to 310 [knots] and that's moving a C-46.
We dropped her down to the old 300-foot level I used to fly. It puts the teak trees about
100 feet above you, and we were down below the teak trees in the river. The river is
straight toward Warasup when I got to that point and we stayed down just at the tree top
level. But when you are moving at 310 they don't hear you coming until you are there,
and by the time they get their guns ready, you're gone, just like a fighter going through.
If they fire, they are going to be firing at their buddies across the river, and if they are
going to fire from one side, they are going to fire into the troops on the other side. So we
went through and we had a few holes in the tail of the 46 from where ground fire hit us,
but other than that we went out the same way. I put her down right on the deck of that
river and we were probably below 300 feet, but I came out all the way.
But on my way back I had seven critically injured GIs on board, and my plane,
569, that I flew so much of, did not have accommodations for anything but cargo.

11

That's all we flew, gas, bombs, and things, and I had no fancy stuff in there, no litters or
stuff like that. So they put them on litters but we had to tie them down to the O-rings on
the floor, and we put them crossways on the O-rings and there was a little GI who was a
medic; he volunteered to go back and take care of the bottles and insulin, and whatever it
was they were giving them. I told him to hang on, that he was going to go for a wild ride.
Well, we were supposed to take them to Ledo, that's up where [General Joseph] Stilwell
was on the border between India and Burma, at the General Infantry Hospital. We got up
11 The aircraft Arn is referencing, C-46 tail number 296569, Am was piloting when photographed flying
over "the Hump" by official USAAF photographers. A photograph of this exact aircraft, with Am at the
controls, can be seen adjacent to page 438 in Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate, The Pacific:
Guadalcanal to Saipan, August 1942 to July 1944, vol. 4 of The Army Air Forces in Worm War II (1949;
repr., Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, GPO, 1983); same photo also found in Don Moser,
China-Burma-India (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1978), 78-79. Images of this aircraft are included
on page 51 of this interview.

38

there within five minutes of Ledo and I called them, told them we were coming in with
seven critically wounded, meet us with ambulances and doctors, and they called me back
immediately, "negative, negative, negative. Proceed on to the air force hospital at Chabua
if you have litter patients." There was a crash that happened at the center of their field
and we had to abort our landing at Ledo and I took them on to Chabua and dropped them
off. I can remember the one little guy raising up offhis litter and saying "that was a real
ride coming out of there!"
That plane, the next two missions after that we had a whistle in that damn thing.
Oh, it would drive you crazy. You'd go back to check the gas drums for leaking, or
anything that came undone, but that plane had the damndest whistling you'd ever hear.
We looked and we looked and I told my crew chief, Bob Schaffer, "Bob, we've got a hell
of a whistle on that fuselage, you go back and it would drive you crazy. You go back to
check the load and it's deafening." "Oh hell," he said, "we've missed a hole somewhere."
So they looked all over it. "Oh, there are no holes in that plane." Well, after the second
time I went back, trip over to Kunming the following day, I lit up a cigarette, something
you are not supposed to do with all that gas on the plane, and I blew the smoke out and it
went right up into the bulkhead that came across the top of the fuselage. Right up on top
of the bulkhead, that bullet must have grazed the fuselage right at the top of the bulkhead
through the metal and that was creating that whistle. So when we got back from that
mission I said "Bob, get the rope and ladder out, get a guy on top of the fuselage, that
damn thing is on top," and I showed him the inside, and said "it is above this bulkhead,
that's where the hole is." Sure enough, once they patched that we didn't have that whistle
anymore.

B:

What would be your frank appraisal of the Civil Air Patrol coastal patrol

operations, of all of that?

A:

The army and the navy, because at the time they could not make up their mind

who in the hell owned them [CAP], or who [should] take over. Our paychecks came from
the Office of Civilian Defense; never came from the navy, never came from the army air

corps. They didn't know where to put them. But, if the army or the navy, I don't care who
it was, had taken command of the CAP, they could have used them in many ways. They
did not take advantage of what they had. Even though they were older pilots, a lot of
pilots were incapacitated to what their standards are for health reasons to pass their
[military] physical; they were a very valuable asset and could have been used better on
more important missions. But they just did not use them, and I think politics must have
gotten mixed up in some of it, but that is my opinion.

IMAGES AND DOCUMENTS

Figure 1 - Robert E. Arn in his CAP uniform. The Officers' Hat Badge had not yet
been issued when this photo was taken. Arn substituted a pair of CAP pilot wings
instead.

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CO~ U~4~, O~10

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De~r ~lr:
. ~ : i ~ ~ . 11 ~ l z ~ 3 - ~ 1 z o t ~ o ~ - ~ ~ q i ~ m e n ~ ~ s ~ 1 ~ e , ~ ,

~t 1~1= ~J~ ~z~lzs~ ~r~, !q~.
] ~

~ e r

o f

~

~ 4 ~ 1 ~

~

,~(,(

Figure 2 - Arn' letter of appo'nlment a an ob erver at Coastal Palral Base No.
PanamaC'ty,Flor'da, late ummer 1942.

14,

Figure 3 - This is Arn's original flying chart for Sector 2 of Coastal Patrol Base No.
14's area of operation. This covers Panama City to Sand Bias Point. Arn added the
logo in post war.

OFT1CE OF C]Vff~KN I3q~i~[~

~e CoaStal Pa~ol IOo 14

w i t h

~

l u d u t y s ~ a $ ~ a t
| ~ ~ ~ a B ~ C C ~ d

~ p l l o t - ~ b s ~ v ~ t o ~ l o t , .
L l o u t q m l u ~ t t o ~ t ' o t L t O D

~pt*u

CIWll AJLp

~01

Figure 4 - Promotion orders to duty assignment of pilot and rank of first lieutenant.

Figure 5 - Arn's creativity resulted in his creation of the base insignia, Donald Duck
riding a bomb with an umbrella parachute and roller skates ['or landing gear. He
believes he first sketched Ibis insignia in October 1942.

[1:1~ 7~v. ~ ,k,'/I Q]G
0/,p O~JlSc¢I ~roX 6~6

KINI6m ~O Qu.~wl~ ~ ~

F

i

g - Arn'sr release from the Civil Air Patrol 1o enter into the USAAF.
u
e
6
. . . .

Ooute~. pB'~-01 I~ f 14.

p m

~,lBee&

~t~ss*eila

~

~
:Se

IFnda~l

S~L0 . ~

da~tlO

0tJ0dmms

146 . 160

~.S~SGO

4.

~ly4)~LXAli

l~lJ

ms~

ISe

~ O Wa l 3 ~ l l D ~ e A e - 1 6 4

1 ~

4~t~

?~

d~4 L~a k~S VoFiilKa~ll

9C

~Ds ).0

IIe

TO~4~W~ B.L .S*

~5

4d)t~LO

L

'~6

~

~

P l e e

1o

10o

-

O l

180

To t e 1 ~ I ~ U ~ ~ ' ~ m t o ~ 6 * 1 9 4 ~ 1 8 ~ 1 ~

a~0~ve atetmta

Figure 7 - The cumulative flying time and array of aircraft flown by Arn at Coastal
Palrol Base No, 14,

C]~RTIYICATE 0F S]~RVIC~
~ttom all men b~J ~heee preseais that

a member of ll~e ~isil Air ~atrol of the ~uile~ ~lal~s

of Amertra. ~erve~ o~ artwe ~m~ with (OA~ (~otwtal
~]alrol from i~ ~;L~tcCtttNrJ~]~1o J~ Ottt~ |~S

~i~is t~erlifttate of ~erulrr is ismteh IM~ 31M ~tay of

A~ast 1943

i. reroOttition of loyal attb efferlise eer~ice

on antiaahmarine patrol.

Figure 8 - A r n ' s

"
"
O fl i ¢"~ 1 C A P c e r t i fi c a t e o f s e r v l c e ,
I

C I TAT I O H T O A C C O M p A N y T H E AWA R D O F
THE A~ MEDAL
TO
F~ST LIEUT~AHT R. E. ARN~ 5-1~33~3
C I V I L A ~ PAT R O L

For meritorious achievement while p~rllelp~tlng in
~m~i~bmarine patrol misBlon$ during World War IL The
&ccompltshment ol these misalon~ In ]lglt t commute ta] type
~*~g'¢r~{~ desp[le tht¢ h[tgard~ of ut~fftt3orable wogth~r ¢¢~d[t~ons reIIo©t~ the htgk~st credit upon lhi~ v~tU~t member
ol the Civil Air patrol, The high degree o[ ¢ompt~te~ce
~tnd *~xc~pUonal couragt¢ he dtsi;[~yed in the vol~nl~ry
p~rform~tn~ o[ ~ h~Z&rdo~B ~t~d (li[ll~uH t~k ~oltt~bat~d
in large measure to the security o[ ¢oa~a] shipping a~
m~titmr~* ~uppl? l~nes, His pa~'~otlc efforto ~lded m~'erial[y l~ the a~compli~hmcnt of a vital m~slo~ ol th~ Army
A i r F o r ~ e s l ~ t h e p r o s ~ t l o n o f t h ~ ~ a r.

THE ',~IITE HOIJ$1~

/
~

"

~

~

Figure 9 - Award citation ['or the Air Medal, presented to Arn in 1948.

, I
Figure 10 - Flight Log for Arn's 179 missions out of Panama City, Florida.
50

Figures 11 and 12 - Robert Arn at the controls of C-46, ta'l number 296569 ferry'ng
supplies over "the hump," circa 1944.