ABANDON TOWER !

 

It was another weekend for the Weekend Warriors in the summer of 1948. Dick Judd and I had the control tower duty. We had a flight of F6Fs lined up ready for take off on the short West runway 27 . After clearance, each aviator would pull into position, lock the brakes, rev up the engine, unlock the brakes and roar for takeoff. About the fourth one in line turned loose ,but the right brake did not completely disengage and as result his takeoff was heading directly for the tower. Now I had seen Judd move when we played baseball together and where we regularly trounced the Maintenace Dept. and I would describe him as moderately fast, but as center fielder, I was helluva lot faster. Well I want you to know that Judd was down the ladder to the second deck before I finished shouting out, "that sucker is heading right for us", a warning for him in that he was seated and couldn't see the danger as quickly as I.

The aviator veered to the left in time, passed about 30 feet in front of the tower, rattled our windows and shook our timbers and generally scared the hell out of us. I didn't let up on Judd, for I continually reminded him that he exhibited that kind of speed on the diamond, Operations would have an even better team. -- Bill Easter

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A Note:

Jets back then were a curiosity and I recall the first time one landed at GI, the mechs were all over it with tons of close scrutinies. The word from them : that thing needs a plumber to maintain it , not a mech. -- Bill Easter

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Revised: August 05, 2010