This happened in '47 or '48, at a point after the new tower was built.

We had an inbound crosscountry flight of two Marine Corsairs with very similar ID numbers, like 831278 and 831728, just to mess with our heads. We in the tower recommended to LtCdr Murphy, the Ops officer, (who had two Quartermasters working for him in flight planning by the names of Doyle and about the Irish mafia) to declare the base IFR. He was always pretty quick to disregard our recommendation in this regard and keep it VFR until all 'our' aircraft had pancaked.

At any rate, the Corsairs were starting to get worrisomely behind their ETA. Finally we got a call from the one we thought to be the flight leader asking for landing instructions. When he broke thru the clouds there was only one Corsair and it didn't seem neither the time nor our prerogative to ask where his wingman was. He landed safely.

Shortly afterwards, we got a call that his wingman had landed at Selfridge, an Air Force base N. of Detroit. We never got an explanation of why they were significantly late, how they got separated and why one found GI and the other didn't. But who are we mere enlisted swabbies questioning officers of the vaunted senior service USMC ? Even the Corps can pull a snafu. My,my, what a revelation.

Bill Easter
Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Copyright 2005NASGIVM  All rights reserved.
Revised: August 05, 2010